What is the best finish for your brochure?

Design finishes can give your brochure that extra wow factor.

You need your brochure cover to enhance your reputation: It could be the first impression people get of you and your business.

Toast are experts in this field and our knowledge and experience can help your brochure really pop.

Let’s take a quick look at some finishes and what they add.

Lamination and spot UV varnish

Enhancing Your Brochure Cover

Your brochure’s cover is the first thing your audience sees, and making it visually appealing is paramount. Here are some key points on how you can enhance your brochure cover:

Lamination: This is a technique that involves adding a thin layer to the paper, which not only protects it but also imparts a unique texture and visual appeal. Consider the following:

  • Gloss or Matte Finishes: You have the option to choose between gloss and matte finishes, allowing you to tailor the look and feel of your brochure cover to your brand’s personality.
  • Ideal for Brochure Covers: Lamination is commonly applied to the entire page, making it an excellent choice for brochure covers. It not only enhances durability but also adds a touch of sophistication.

Combine with Spot UV Varnish: For an added touch of elegance and to create a visual impact, consider combining lamination with spot UV varnish. Here’s why it works:

  • Spot UV Varnish: This technique involves applying a transparent layer selectively to specific graphic or image areas, creating a glossy, eye-catching effect. It’s perfect for adding subtle yet compelling touches to your brochure cover.
  • Creating Contrast: As demonstrated in our Halcyon brochure example, applying spot UV varnish to the main swirl graphic and logo while keeping the rest of the cover matte creates a striking contrast. This not only grabs the viewer’s attention but also adds depth to your design.

By implementing these techniques, you can take your brochure cover to the next level, leaving a lasting impression on your audience.

Die cutting

The art of die cutting opens up a world of possibilities for your brochure cover, allowing you to add a dimension of creativity that can truly make your brand stand out.

Unleash Creativity:

Die cutting is like wielding a precision tool to craft your brochure cover. It involves cutting out specific shapes or patterns from the paper, creating intricate designs and visual elements that can captivate your audience.

The possibilities are virtually endless, enabling you to express your brand’s uniqueness and create a bespoke piece of art that represents your message.

Showcase Your Brand:

Your brochure is more than just information; it’s a representation of your brand.

With die cutting, you can take your branding to the next level. Whether you want to replicate a logo, symbol, or any distinctive element, die cutting allows you to bring it to life in a way that’s both eye-catching and tactile.

Your brand identity becomes tangible, making a memorable and impactful first impression.

Making a Lasting Impression:

Imagine a brochure cover that isn’t just a flat surface but a dynamic, three-dimensional work of art.

That’s the power of die cutting.

It creates a tactile experience that engages the sense of touch, making your brochure cover more than just visually appealing; it’s interactive. In our example of the 3rock logo, die cutting was used to create a window that unveiled the insert beneath.

This unexpected surprise for the reader adds an element of intrigue, leaving a lasting impression that sets your brochure apart.


Whether it’s a unique shape, a peekaboo cutout, or an intricate pattern, die cutting transforms your brochure cover into a canvas for creativity.

It adds depth, intrigue, and a tactile element that invites your audience to explore and engage with your brand, creating a connection that goes beyond the ordinary.

When you’re looking to elevate your brand’s presence, die cutting is a tool that can turn your vision into a remarkable reality.


Selecting the right binding method is a crucial decision in the brochure creation process, as it significantly impacts both the functionality and aesthetics of your marketing material. Here’s a comprehensive look at various binding options and how they can ensure your brochure stands out and endures:

Saddle Stitch (Staple Stitch):

Ideal for Smaller Brochures: Saddle stitching, or staple stitching, is a popular choice for smaller brochures. It involves wire staples binding the pages together at the spine. This method is not only cost-effective but also provides a clean and polished look that’s perfect for concise brochures.

Perfect Bound:

Suitable for Thicker Brochures: When your brochure boasts a substantial number of pages (typically ranging from 40 to 700), perfect binding is the way to go. This method involves binding the pages together with adhesive glue along the spine. The result is a sleek, professional appearance that’s often associated with high-quality publications such as magazines and books.

Wiro Bound:

Customisable and Vibrant: Wiro binding introduces a creative twist to your brochure. A metal wire loop is used to bind the brochure along one side, and it’s available in different colors, giving you an opportunity to match it with your brand’s aesthetics. This method is particularly suitable for manuals, reference guides, and materials where readers need the flexibility to lay the brochure flat or flip it around, making it easier to navigate and read.

Screw Fixing:

Adding a Focal Element: If you’re seeking a unique and eye-catching binding method, screw fixing may be the perfect choice. Holes are drilled into the brochure pages, and screws are inserted to hold them together. This not only adds a tactile element but also serves as a focal point for your brochure. Screw fixing is ideal for smaller brochures, making it a memorable and interactive experience for the reader.

Additional Binding Methods:

  • Case Binding: Commonly found in hardback books, case binding provides durability and a polished finish. It’s perfect for brochures that are meant to be cherished and last for an extended period.
  • Various String and Sewn Binding: These methods offer a unique and handcrafted touch to your brochure, making it an excellent choice for artistic or specialty brochures where a touch of craftsmanship is desired.

By carefully selecting the appropriate binding method for your brochure, you not only ensure its durability but also enhance its overall aesthetics.

Each binding option has its unique characteristics, allowing you to tailor your brochure to your specific needs and brand identity.

Whether it’s a sleek, professional finish or a creative, interactive binding, the right choice will ensure that your brochure stands the test of time and leaves a lasting impression on your audience.


Embossing and debossing are tactile and visually enchanting techniques that can transform your brochure into a multisensory experience. Let’s explore how these techniques can be used to add texture and depth to your brochure:

Embossing – Raising Shapes Above the Surface:

  • Tactile Allure: Embossing is the art of raising a shape or design above the page’s surface. The result is a tactile allure that beckons readers to run their fingers over the elevated patterns. This interaction creates a memorable connection, making your brochure more engaging.
  • Visual Elegance: Beyond the tactile aspect, embossing introduces an element of visual elegance. The raised designs catch the light in a unique way, casting subtle shadows and adding depth to your brochure. It’s a technique that appeals to both the eyes and the sense of touch.
  • Sophistication: Incorporating embossing into your brochure design instantly communicates sophistication. Whether you choose to emphasize your logo, a key message, or intricate patterns, embossing elevates these elements to a level of prominence and importance, making a powerful statement about your brand’s identity.

Debossing (or Letterpress) – Creating an Elegant Indent:

  • Subtle Yet Striking: Debossing, also known as letterpress, achieves a contrasting effect to embossing. It pushes a shape into the page, creating an elegant indent. This technique is subtle yet striking, as it adds depth without the need for raised surfaces.
  • Understated Class: The debossing effect adds an understated class to your brochure. It’s an invitation for your audience to explore the textured elements on the page by touch. The subtlety of the indent creates an air of refinement that speaks volumes about your brand’s attention to detail.
  • Rich Visual and Tactile Experience: Debossing introduces a rich visual and tactile experience. The play of light on the indented patterns creates a sense of depth, while the feel of the textured surface draws readers into a more intimate and memorable interaction with your brochure.

Foil blocking

This is when certain areas, normally text and logos, are printed as a thin sheet of metallic foil instead of ink. The business card design for Magic and Logic above shows the foil applied to the logo.

It is one such method that can elevate your brand’s shine to new heights, and here’s a closer look at how it can transform your brochure:

A Touch of Luxury: Foil blocking is the embodiment of luxury in the world of print. It’s a method that lends your brochure an aura of exclusivity and high-end appeal. When specific areas, like text and logos, are printed using a thin sheet of metallic foil instead of traditional ink, it adds a layer of refinement that’s hard to ignore.

Stunning Metallic Effect: The standout feature of foil blocking is the stunning metallic effect it imparts. The foil, whether gold, silver, or other metallic shades, reflects light in a way that draws the eye. This radiant shine creates a sense of grandeur, making your brochure not just a piece of information but a work of art in its own right.

Brand Elevation: When you incorporate foil blocking into your brochure design, you’re essentially putting your brand on a pedestal. The areas enhanced by foil blocking become focal points that demand attention. Whether it’s your company logo, a key message, or an elegant design element, the foil adds an element of prestige that showcases your brand in the best possible light.

Memorability and Impact: Foil blocking isn’t easily forgotten. When a reader encounters a brochure with these glistening accents, it leaves a lasting impression. The tactile and visual experience of running one’s fingers over the raised, metallic surface is an experience that’s etched into memory. It’s this memorability and impact that sets your brand apart in a competitive landscape.

It is more than just a design element; it’s a statement of your brand’s prestige and commitment to excellence.

By adding this touch of luxury, you not only elevate your brochure but also the perception of your brand, making it a shining example of quality and attention to detail.

Metallic or special inks

When it comes to elevating your brochure’s aesthetic appeal, metallic or special inks offer a remarkable yet understated approach.

This technique introduces a subtle shine and elegance to your design that can leave a lasting impression. Let’s dive deeper into how these inks work and the unique advantages they bring to your brochure:

  1. Subtle Metallic Sheen: Metallic ink is designed with tiny metallic particles that, when applied to the paper and allowed to dry, ascend to the surface. This creates a subtle yet captivating metallic sheen. It’s a delicately nuanced effect that catches and reflects light in a way that adds depth and sophistication to your brochure.
  2. Akin to Foil Blocking: The allure of metallic ink lies in its similarity to foil blocking but with a more subtle approach. While foil blocking uses a thin sheet of metallic foil to create a bold, high-shine effect, metallic ink achieves a similar result using paste or liquid ink. This subtlety ensures that your brochure exudes an air of understated luxury rather than flamboyance.
  3. Elegance Personified: The choice of metallic or special inks conveys a sense of elegance and attention to detail. It’s the perfect option when you want to add a touch of sophistication to your brochure without overwhelming the overall design. Whether it’s a logo, text, or intricate patterns, metallic ink enhances the visual and tactile experience.
  4. Versatility: The versatility of metallic ink allows it to be integrated into a variety of brochure designs. Whether you’re creating a sleek corporate brochure, an artistic portfolio, or promotional materials, metallic ink can be tailored to match your brand’s unique character. It’s a versatile tool that seamlessly adapts to your design vision.
  5. Memorable Impact: The subtle shine of metallic ink adds a layer of memorability to your brochure. The play of light on the metallic surface leaves a lasting impression, making your brand and message more memorable to your audience. It’s an unspoken yet powerful way to connect with your readers.

Brochure design finishes

The brochure design and printing is not the end of the process. Creating other digital formats that your audience can engage is just as important. These can be produced in several ways and now have the potential to reach a much wider audience.

If you’re looking for an agency to work on your brochure design, just get in contact with us and one of our team will be able to talk to you about how we can create something stunning.

Talk to Toast

Mark Williams

Mark Williams

Mark is a founding Director at Toast and heads-up the print team. He specialises in Report design and typography. He's been a Graphic Designer for over 25 years.