Skip to content

Another New Career: Designing Brochure Covers

I decided instead of not posting while I’m working, I would bring you into my workspace.  Although I am not a graphic artist, I am designing covers for a new brochure for California Council for the Social Studies.  So I’d like you to help me judge attractiveness.  You should probably know what the organization is all about.


California Council for the Social Studies

  • advocates for and promotes social studies education as an essential foundation in developing citizens for a democratic society in the 21st Century.
  • provides professional development for social studies teachers through state and regional and local conferences.
  • identifies and produces quality instructional resources and programs to improve classroom instruction of social studies
  • assists in the development and implementation of state and local policies, legislation, framework, standards, testing and other instructional components.

So here are a few brochure covers I have played with.  I won’t be at all insulted if you have some constructive feedback for me because these are ideas.  Paula may redo them all, but I wanted to give her something to work with to start.  One of these designs has an image that may be copyrighted that I have altered a bit, but if we use it I’ll get permission or purchase the image.  Since we might not choose it, I’ll leave it for now.

Brochure #1

Brochure #1

Brochure #2

Brochure #2

CCSS Brochure #3

CCSS Brochure #3

So what advice do you have for me?  Do any of these look like a possible brochure cover?

46 replies »

  1. The third one looks like a gov’t pamphlet. If you’re going for that official look, that’s u’r best bet. I like the 4th one best, my only suggestion would be to remove the letters over the fingers… it’s a bit busy and difficult to read the acronym. Best of luck and have fun with it! 😀


  2. The first one I think is the best ……..simple and to the point
    The second is too way out
    The third looks like an old sock
    The fourth a bit wacky
    Good Morning dear Marsha 😀 xox


  3. Honest feedback? Here goes:
    1. It’s good, but I don’t quite like the slant of the font. Especially in the subtitle. It’s a little too slanted and a little too think to read comfortably. Also, since it’s about California, wouldn’t a photo (in the same style and general look as the one you have) of a California flag (or any other California-related symbol) make a bit more sense?

    2. The background is way too pink and too unquiet. It distracts. The vertical writing is BAD. It’s hard to read and you want it to be easily read because that attracts the gaze.

    3. The third looks unprofessional, in the way that it’s a bit all over the place and there is no structure there.

    4. Don’t like the background – too jumpy. Don’t like that you’re using different fonts and/or different sizes of the font, it makes it eve more unquiet. I have no idea what the picture has to do with your message.

    I’m sorry if it sounds harsh… But now comes the good part (= the constructive part):
    – keep the background simple and in tone with the picture you’re using, like you did with no. 1
    – give the symbol/picture another think – maybe there’s something that connects better with your message – something to do with social studies teaching or with California or both?
    – try and use a font that is a bit straighter than this one, the slant is a little too rushed – maybe something in bold?
    – for the overall structure, the first (and fourth, except for the CCSS in the middle) is the best because it’s easy to read, easy to orientate yourself at a first glance and it makes it clear what it is about
    – if you have some kind of professional crest or symbol or emblem, try using that as well, maybe in front of the undertitle – it’ll make it look a lot more professional and serious and it increases the branding aspect (people with recognize it on other pamphlets or letters or whatever else you’re using)

    I hope this helps!


    • Wow, you are a wonderful critique. It really does help. Like I sais, I’m not a professional. I did them all in photoshop, so I’m going to purchase adobe illustrator, which is what the folks in our county office use. THANKS SO MUCH!


  4. I prefer the first one however, I’m not sure about the font… I’d like to see it in ‘regular’ as well as ‘italic’ in order to have a comparison…! Well done to you… 🙂


  5. I’m with Ralph on this one, I like number one best. It’s simple and easy to read. I also agree with carolynpageabc in that I would like to see it in both styles of font. Good work, you will have that list complete in no time!


  6. No. 1 is probably the best only I’m not fond of the woman peaking around the US flag. Just does not fit the pic. Also the mish mash of trees to the upper left gives it a cluttered look. Remove the clutter and you’ll have a better overall image. Run these by us again after making some adjustments.


  7. I think the first one is the best; it’s uncluttered and to the point. As was mentioned by another commenter, I would replace the US flag with the California state flag. The California flag is among the more striking state flags and would provide a good art element. In addition, it would reinforce the idea that the subject matter concerns social studies teachers in California.


    • Oh, Sally, how much do I owe you? Would you lie to accompany me through cyberspace and be my voice of compliments. What I couldn’t do last night during my free internet hours was get on the internet. Now that it is past 5:00 I’m up and running. And I just realized that it’s 5:54 and Kiwanis is at 6:30. Yikes! I’ve gotta go!!! ML 🙂


  8. You have a group of wonderful readers, here, with much helpful advice. I don’t have anything new to add … I’ll just agree that I think vertical writing is bad, and the simpler the better. No fancy color fades, either, or weird fonts. Just basic “here’s the facts” goodness.


    • You all picked the one I liked best, too. I have taken your advice and run with it. I bought Adobe Illustrator and fought harder with it than I do with Ralph. I finally caved in about 1:30 and decided I’d had enough, and I’m calling in the expert today. That’s the dear “daughter” that always :has my back:, Paula T. She’ll fix me. I have used your plain simple color choice and a different picture of the same group of kids performing next to a tiny portion of the American flag, so you know it’s a history performance. I put in the Bear Flag of CA for Cotton, whom I love and respect. I’ll share it with you all soon. Love and hugs to you all for your help!!! 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

Personal Links

Verified Services

View Full Profile →


Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge

Where to Find Quotes

Where to find quotes

How to Link to a Challenge

8 Benefits of Photo Challenges

8 benefits of Challenges

For the Love of Challenges

Teacher Resources

Click to Get Early Childhood Teaching Resources

Becky B’s Squares April – Bright

Cee’s Black & White Challenge

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge

Featured Blogger Award

2020 Carrot Ranch Rodeo Contest

Free Download

Use Canva to Create Social Media

Download Today – Free

Write a Top Review

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 16,458 other followers


Blogs I Follow


Blog Stats

  • 139,889 hits
Light Words

Better Living Through Beauty, Wisdom and Whimsey

The Backyard Horse Blog

Living the Dream and the Reality of Keeping Horses at Home

Whippet Wisdom - a Highland Journey

A journey through the seasons with two adopted whippets, a poet and a camera


My family is everything. My life is full, thankful for my horses they fill my soul!


quiet moments in nature

Eat, Play, Live

Doing things that bring me joy


Just another weblog

Robert's Snap Spot

Life in Full View: A Photographer's Journey

Six Crooked Highways

Take My Words For It

The Yoga Cowgirl

Live fully and have fun doing so...

One Woman's Quest

Passion for writing ignites my soul's momentum

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Cath's Camera

life through my lens

The Nature of Things

A blog dedicated to flora, fauna and all the wonderful things in nature.

The Tony Burgess Blog

The Home Of T-Bird From The Dork Web.

An Embarrassment of Riches

Not really embarrassed.

Still Restlessjo

Roaming, at home and abroad

The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More

Susan T. Braithwaite

Scottish Romantic Suspense Author & Screenwriter

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!


I love light, I love to write, I love life - I create my words and images to capture the light in my life.

Unique Times

Where I share my jewels of wisdom of life

Philosophy Through Photography

"A photograph shouldn't be just a picture,it should be a philosophy" Amitkalantri.


Mostly photographs with some words by this arty scientist...

One Million Photographs

Follow along with me as I travel the world on a quest to publish one million photos


Be it always Less, So It can be More.

David M's Photography Blog

Focusing on the Light and Shade

The Hermit Poet's Ramblings

Poetry BLOG By Edge of Humanity Magazine

%d bloggers like this: