church booklets

Church Booklets: How to Design an Effective Booklet

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

April 24, 2023

Religious communities have long used printed materials in their corporate and individual activities and church booklets can be an effective part of a church’s resources. Small enough to fit in a coat pocket or notebook-sized, church booklet printing is a tried and true way to promote smaller chunks of information in a convenient format that is easily personalized for a wide range of activities, topics, or purposes.

How Can Church Booklets Serve a Congregation?

With the huge variety of ways that churches can give attendees and prospective members information, church booklets might seem like a less desirable, low-tech option. But one reason why printing church booklets is so compelling is exactly that it is not another screen, app, or electronic communication in a world that is overwhelmingly digital.

Church booklet printing also allows churches to convey specific information to members, guests or the community in a highly portable and convenient format.

Church booklets can be used to promote events or programs. Regular programming, like youth group meetings or children’s church information, can be captured with church booklet printing practices so regular attendees can easily access the information or members can offer church booklets with that targeted information in a compact book.

Church booklets often explain congregational beliefs. New or potential members may have questions about a church or that particular community’s beliefs or traditions. Church booklets can be developed to provide an overview of the church’s tenets or separate booklets can be created to focus on one aspect of a church’s philosophy, stance on a subject, or foundational beliefs. By utilizing church booklet printing to clarify and confirm a church’s basic beliefs or religious commitments, even current attendees can benefit from these church booklets.

They can tell the story of your community of believers. Booklets are the perfect place to introduce the church to newcomers.

Church booklets offer a place to provide members with quick reference materials. When speaking with potential members or those seeking knowledge about the church or specific beliefs, members can refer to booklets since they offer a platform to concisely present information.

Church booklets can be customized for a church’s needs. They can provide groups, like teens or parents of young children, with evergreen communication about programs or ongoing offerings.

Basics for Church Booklets

Church booklet design starts with making three initial decisions that will guide the rest of the process.

1. Decide on the Booklet Purpose

First, determine what need the booklet is fulfilling. The purpose of church booklets will direct the rest of the decisions, but the beauty of making a booklet is that the purpose should be very narrow since booklets are relatively brief.

The purpose may be to inform readers about a specific topic like booklets that explain the church’s tenets or beliefs. Or church booklets may be created to celebrate a milestone or a group within the congregation. Booklets can be used to announce a special anniversary for the church, announce yearly celebrations for graduates, or even act as a congratulation for new parents or newlyweds. Booklets can also be used to promote an event or a group, like booklets that give information about youth groups or provide children’s church details.

The purpose of the booklet sets the tone for the text as well as the color scheme and graphics that will be used as a cohesive look and feel of the booklet will increase its appeal to the intended audience, making the booklet more usable and effective in achieving the goal for its creation.

2. Choose Your Audience

Church booklets may be created for general use or for a specific audience. Since booklets are by nature brief, content that speaks directly to the intended audience will be most effective. Word choice, layout, and church booklet design elements like graphics and color schemes will all tie directly to who you are creating the booklet for and why you want them to read it.

3. Pick the Takeaway

What do you want the reader to remember when they have put down the booklet? Be sure that your overall message is consistent with the purpose of the church booklets and that the takeaway ideas or concepts are clearly spelled out for the audience.

Church Booklet Design and Creation

Now that you have determined the purpose and audience for your booklet as well as who you are writing it for and what you want them to know when they read it, it is time to develop the book itself.

Size: Booklets are typically produced in sizes smaller than 8 ½ x 11, but they can be made in any size. Choose the size that works best with your booklet’s purpose and intended audience. The size should be convenient for users as well as coordinate with other church booklets or communications that your church already utilizes.

Many churches make all booklets in the same size while others use sizes to denote the purpose or audience, choosing the same size for all informational booklets, a different size for celebratory ones, and yet a third size for promotional booklets.

Format: Find a template to make writing your content easier and quicker so you don’t have to worry about setting the right margins or pagination or using graphics or other visual elements. Many free templates are available online or you can create a basic template to use for all of your current and future booklets that matches your congregation’s unique needs.

Content: Once the formatting is set up, insert the text content for your booklet. Be sure to review your text carefully for spelling, punctuation, and other errors that will keep your booklet from appearing professionally created.

Consider having a few people or even a professional editor look over your content before initiating the church booklet printing stage so that you can catch any small errors, especially important on church booklets with evergreen content that your congregation intends on keeping for a while.

Graphics: Accent your content with engaging graphic elements. Keep your purpose and intended audience in mind when creating or including graphics in your booklet. Celebratory booklets look great with high-quality photos to evoke memories or help people imagine the event while informative booklets may benefit from charts or other visuals to help readers understand the content.

Promotional booklets might utilize a combination of both photography and other graphic elements.

Contact Information: Leave room for key contact information so readers can find out more information or reach the church if they have any questions. The back cover is the ideal place for this information since readers won’t have to open up the booklet to search for it.

Binding: Many booklets are bound with Saddle Stitch binding, utilizing heavy staples to bind flat and folded sheets of paper to create the booklet. But booklets can also be made with a sturdier binding like Plastic Coil and Wire-O binding if they are going to be high-use like safety booklets that are created to be kept in each room of a building and used for many years.

Cover Design: Craft an interesting cover so the right reader will pick up the booklet. Just like book covers are developed to attract the intended audience, your booklet should appeal to your target audience. The purpose and intended audience should both play a part in what your booklet’s cover looks like but if you need help, consider enlisting the aid of an expert cover designer to bring together your concepts into an attractive cover.

Practicality: You want your booklet to accomplish its purpose, so be sure that you have included the necessary information as well as made it convenient and helpful for the reader. If your booklet doesn’t solve some sort of problem or situation, then readers won’t find any practical need for it. The purpose of the booklet should be obvious and the information provided should be highly readable and easy to find within the book.

Get Started with Your Church Booklet Printing

Creating useful or informative content in the format of a brief booklet can help your church connect with attendees and potential members in a way that digital or other communications cannot. But creating a winning booklet is just the first step.

Partnering with a trusted printer like Publishing Xpress will ensure that your church booklets look great and are produced with quality materials so your booklets will be durable and do their job. Publishing Xpress has been printing booklets for organizations like churches for decades and their printing expertise will provide your church with beautiful, well-made booklets that you can use to inform, promote, and celebrate your church body for years to come.

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