Visualising Your Ideas

This exercise focusses on exploring ways in which to visualise ideas. The brief is to design a leaflet for an organisation which invites people to volunteer for a task. I need to think about the types and sizes of paper to use, the different formats the leaflet could take, how to attract people to pick up the leaflet and where/how it would be displayed or handed out.

Keywords from the brief: “leaflet” “volunteer” “people” “task” “four chunks” “120 words” “contact/address details” 

I went to my local library to try and find some existing examples of similar leaflets… the collection below didn’t have much in the way of asking people to volunteer but there were some examples of various folds and styles. My main observation from the range I found was that none of the leaflets were eye-catching enough to jump out at me and peak my interest to pick them out over any of the others…. I decided that I wanted to try and experiment with some interesting and unusual shapes for my designs. Bold colours and use of illustrations and photos worked well in adding vibrancy and interest to the overall message of the leaflets. It was also helpful to physically see the size of the display rack and what formats of leaflets fitted. The Visit Surrey leaflet allowed me to rule out a large folded sheet for my leaflet as there was far to much space for the amount of information that needed to be included.


I researched different types of leaflet fold examples and put together a Pinterest board of some interesting and unusual leaflet designs. I found the designer Stuart Hodgson at was a good inspiration for design and layout ideas.


I decided my leaflet would be encourage people to volunteer to help on a community allotment. Before starting my initial thumbnails for the leaflet design I made a list of keywords and sketched some images that I associate with allotments to help stimulate some possible visual ideas:

“Shed” “Tools” “Vegetables” “Soil” “Bees” “Gate” “Harvesting” “Fruit” “Wheelbarrow” “Gardening” “Digging” “Watering Can” “Grow” “Plot”


There were also a few examples of leaflets for other organisations promoting their allotments that were interesting to look at…


My next stage was to draw thumbnails of possible ideas for the leaflet design – I tried to do this quickly with the aim of visually brainstorming as many ideas as I could which I could then analyse to choose the best to develop as mockups.



There were five designs that I decided to produce as mock-ups. I tried to choose a variety of formats so that I could see which seemed to be the most successful both visually and practically.














I think that the two DL formats would probably be the most versatile and cost effective. They could be displayed in standard racks at libraries, community centres or churches etc but also handed out or distributed in envelopes through the post. They are also a standard size so cheaper to produce.

I asked a few of my friends which one would appeal to them and there was a unanimous vote for the 6 page accordion fold. They are all adults in the target audience. My 9 year old niece however, choose the one with the friendly vegetables on the front…. this was a good example of the importance of thinking about the target audience.

The apple is a fun shape but wouldn’t easy fit in people’s bags or pockets or in a display rack and has a smaller area for communicating the message. I like the honeycomb format as the leaflet can be small for distribution but once unfolded actually offers lots of space for text and pictures. It would be a good size for handing out to school children or disseminating in the street but has the disadvantage of potentially being lost in a display rack. The bee is also quite fragile and could be easily torn and potentially could increase printing costs. The gatefold potting shed worked well too but was a little large – it was at the only one I made experimenting with a bigger than A4 size. I think it would work well if it was produced on a smaller scale though and my friends liked the design.

I found a fantastic infographic for helping to decide on the right size and weight of paper for a design project and made some notes on the advantages of different flyer sizes.

86 Paper Weights IE

Taking all this into account I think that I would use a DL format for my leaflet with a paper weight of around 170gsm.

I really enjoyed the process of visualising my ideas….. I’m not the best sketcher in the world and so my thumbnails aren’t very good but I guess it doesn’t matter too much as they are just an initial brain dump of ideas. I worked harder on producing my mock-ups and am pleased with the result. The exercise has shown me that this can be a very useful way of experimenting with ideas and remembering to check that a potential design can work in a practical as well as visual way.







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