Why do we love using brochures? Maybe because they’ve always been the official take-away piece for businesses? When you want to bring some information home with you—take a brochure. When you’re too impatient to talk to an employee—take a brochure. When you need a portable, compact and handheld piece of way-finding collateral containing a weeks worth of events, a list of contributing individuals and sponsors, and a daily roster of the best golfers in Canada—take a brochure.
2015 marked the second year of the Staal Foundation Open Presented by Tbaytel— the most recent event added to the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada schedule. The week-long event hosted four days of professional competition, two Pro-Am tournaments, local charity events, interactive children’s activities and sports celebrity appearances.
As communications sponsor, Generator was tasked with designing the official event collateral. One of the most important items for the event was the daily pairings brochure that was provided each day to the golfers, caddies, media, staff, volunteers and spectators.
Our objective was to create a handheld way-finding resource containing all pertinent tournament information for the week-long event. Our goal was to design a durable, portable and compact brochure that contained a course map, sponsor information, local charity information, event schedule, advertisements and daily pairings information. All content needed to be organized in a way that was user-friendly and readable for both tournament professionals and spectators.
The two critical areas of research I conducted was consulting the tournament administrators regarding industry standards for event brochures; and secondly, consulting with our printer—Lakehead Printing, to discuss options for layout and assembly.
The tournament administrators provided me with a series of sample brochures from major 2014 PGA events. These samples were an important resource because they helped me understand what information needed to be present and how it should be organized. Using these examples as reference, I collaborated with the tournament administrators and communications committee to create a hierarchy of information pertinent to the 2015 Staal Foundation Open. The process helped me chunk information and develop a linear progression of information that fit comfortably into the brochures composition.
Meeting with Lakehead Printing was important to determine the parameters of the brochure. We discussed details such as maximum printable area, stock choice, binding and folding preferences. It was their idea to use an inserted slip for the daily pairings roster and schedule, instead of printing directly on the brochure. This was a major improvement because the pairings information changed every day of tournament play, which meant the brochure was printed and assembled every night after the new pairings for the next day were announced.
Once the parameters of the brochure were confirmed, I created a dummy for the communications committee and we began to delegate space for items to be placed, such as the course map, event schedule, advertisements, event information, and bios for the local charities and PGA TOUR Canada. Over the following weeks leading up to the tournament, Barry Smith (Creative Director) and I met with the communications committee to work on each section of the brochure. Each newly assembled mock-up was tested to ensure that the information was correct, and located strategically throughout the brochure to ensure a user-friendly experience.
We chose an eight-page stapled brochure, with a single page insert located within the fold of the centre spread. The objective of this design was to provide a compact, portable and pocket-sized piece of resource material.
It was important for the primary information such as the course map and daily pairings sheet to be located in the centre spread due to their size, quantity of information and frequency of use. Chunking this information was successful because it allowed for instantaneous access to the most frequently used information, without the user needing to flip through the lesser used supplementary information such as bios, ads and sponsorship recognition.
The critical feedback we received from event-goers was that the brochure was an effective way-finding tool that was readable, organized and accessible at a moment’s notice. I attribute the way-finding success to the organization of the course map and the use of ‘callouts’ to magnify multiple points of interest within high traffic areas. The callouts were placed within the negative space of the course map to effectively communicate the locations of promotions, attractions and amenities, without cluttering the map with visual noise.
It was important to supply spectators, golf course staff, volunteers, golfers and caddies with the pairings brochure every day before competition; however, there was one problem we had to overcome. During tournament play the roster and tee times change daily based on the golfer’s previous day’s results. Instead of printing and assembling four different brochures with unique pairings information for each day, we decided to design one generic brochure with a one-page insert containing the pairings information for the following day.
To begin this process, our printer produced blank shells of the insert that would be ready for overprinting. After each round of play ended at approximately 5pm, a new roster and schedule of tee times were sent to me to format and forward to the printers. The shells were then imprinted, trimmed, packaged and delivered to the golf course and inserted into the generic pairings brochure each morning. The final product saved a lot of time and proved to be more cost-effective than the alternative.