Differences between a Brochure and a Pamphlet

Last Updated: April 27, 2024

Differences between a Brochure and a Pamphlet

While brochures and pamphlets are comparative and have the same purpose, there are still quite a few differences between the two. However, many people still use pamphlets and brochures interchangeably and sometimes describe the word with the other. That’s because when you look up this two in the dictionary, they can be a synonym to one another.

Before we go further with the differences between the two, we have to know what they are. As we all know, brochures and pamphlets are the two terms broadly used for marketing purposes. These two can be used in a sort of informational material about the business, it can be about their company, products or services, or even for promotional purposes. Read on to give you a full understanding of how these two differs from one another.

But first, let’s define brochures and pamphlets.

What Is a Brochure?


A brochure is a common marketing tool used to advertise a product or a service and has either a few pages or single page folded a few times. It contains images and information that emphasizes the company’s products or services. Brochures are usually unbound but they can also be bounded, which is why some people refer to it as a booklet. Some brochures also take the form of a flyer that is usually folded once or two times and can be double-sided. These are usually what is seen at events like B2B trade shows.

Most brochures come in two kinds: Bi-fold brochures and trifold brochures.

  • A bi-fold brochure is a brochure that has a single fold and contains four panels that are quite large. These panels contain information and images. Bi-fold brochures are typically used for informational brochures, as it has a larger space for more content. This kind of brochure is used when the recipient is limited and the distribution is either through hand delivery or through retail stores.
  • A trifold brochure, on the other hand, is a brochure that has two folds and contains six panels and is usually used for addressing a larger target. Trifold brochures have a slimmer outline compare to a bi-fold brochure. They are specifically designed to be distributed by hand or by mail and is convenient enough to to be stacked in showrooms or retail store shelves. This kind of brochures is commonly used because they are very easy to carry around and distribute.

What Is a Pamphlet?


A pamphlet is a small, unbound single subject leaflet and has a lesser information as compare to a brochure. It consists of a single paper where the information is placed on both or one side to promote an item or to give information about the event. A pamphlet commonly has a single topic with a straightforward information that aims to make the readers understand the topic easily, which is why pamphlets are usually used for informing rather than to do direct selling (which is the function of a brochure). It is also a non-periodical printed publication mainly written for people without such knowledge about something or someone.

Pamphlets have three main types: civic, cultural, and educational. Each of this type is designed to provide different information.

  • Civic pamphlets – used to distribute information about local issues, such as ordinances, upcoming elections, and referendums.
  • Cultural pamphlets – used to provide information about different countries and cultures including geography, population, and demographic data.
  • Educational pamphlets – used to inform people about something or someone that can make the readers educate themselves about a particular topic such as medical, science, technology, training, etc.

Differences between Brochures and Pamphlets

Although these two are quite similar, they are not the same thing. One of the major difference between the two is how they are used. Brochures are for commercial use while pamphlets are for non-commercial use. Let;s take a closer look at how these differ from one another.


  • The main purpose of a brochure is to highlight the company’s product or services offering and provides a complete description of the offer. They use a brochure to advertise and sell their multiple items and to make people be updated about their promos or discounts. Brochures are also used to give information about what the business is all about and what they can do for their customer.
  • Pamphlets are used to advertise or provide information on a single subject. Some pamphlets are used for announcing some social event or provide information so people may aware and look forward to any business or event. The main purpose of a pamphlet is to inform rather than to sell.


  • Brochures a large in size and has four to eight panels. A typical bi-fold brochure is 11″ × 17″ and a trifold is 8.5? × 11? or 8.5? × 14?. They are large in size to allow for more content space as it needs to provide complete details about the company and product or services.
  • Pamphlets are usually smaller than the brochure as its main purpose is to capture the attention of the reader and makes it easy for them to carry it around. The texts are quite small but small enough to make it readable and clear.


  • Brochures are more attractive than pamphlets as It is made by glossy paper and contains more stunning images. A brochure can be made out of a single paper which is folded once or twice and can also be made out of multiple papers. If the brochure is made using multiple papers, it is usually held together with saddle-stitched, stapled on the creased edge, or can be perfect bound like a paperback book.
  • Pamphlets, on the other hand, is usually printed on a normal paper.


  • Brochures are more expensive than a pamphlet. Since it uses glossy papers, it is printed at a higher cost. Other things that make brochures expensive is that the use high-quality images and designs.
  • Pamphlets are cheaper than a brochure. It is printed in less cost as a normal paper is used for printing.


  • Brochures usually contain folded panels or stapled pages and contain more pages. Bi-fold and trifold brochure are not the only kinds of brochure, there is actually a lot such as classic trifold, single gate fold, four-panel fold, double gate fold, z fold, and a lot more.
  • Pamphlets commonly use single paper but may contain folded pages. There are some pamphlets that have multiple pages and are bounded either by staples or other binding objects and appear as books.

Other specifications of Brochures and pamphlets


  • They are usually brief and summarized.
  • Used mainly to promote a company, product, service, event, activity, hotel, destination, entertainment, and usually given to the customer to close a sale or after a purchase.
  • They are usually created from a single piece of paper to form a bi-fold or trifold.
  • Uses a high-quality glossy paper and take up a lot of colors and uses many images as possible.
  • They need to be attractive and effective to capture the reader’s attention since brochures are usually placed on a racks or store shelves.


  • Mainly used for an educative and informative purpose. However, pamphlets are sometimes and rarely used for advertisement but not always since the goal of an advertisement is to be brief and to the point, and pamphlets are very detailed.
  • It can also contain a table of contents, titles, subtitles, images, charts, graphs, or anything that can provide a complete information.
  • They can contain almost anything. From educational purpose, family planning, political campaigns, training manual, a guidebook to home appliances.
  • Can also be used for catalogs, reference material, manuals, etc. Pamphlets are best to use to basically any place where a person wants to have a detailed information.
  • They are distributed by hand or packaged along with things that need instructions.
  • This not need to be attractive, you can use a normal paper and you do not have to use a lot of colors as long as it will give information, it is considered as a pamphlet.

What Isn’t a Brochure or a Pamphlet?



Flyers are a single, one-sided page design that is great for announcing events flyer or advertising flyer about openings for new business or establishments. These are smaller scale than pamphlets or brochures and only contains few texts. Flyers is sometimes used for promotional material since they are a cheap way to quickly relay information about something. However, flyers are less effective to use in products or service advertisement because people will only take a glance at it then eventually throw it away.

Rack cards


Rack cards are smaller than flyers usually about 4″ × 9″ in size but they are as effective as brochures or pamphlets. They are perfect for advertising local events, individual products, or services as they contain detailed information so that the readers can quickly look over the card and understand everything easily.



A magazine is a periodic publication that contains different topics and articles along with different images and illustration design. They are also used to feature products, services, and other advertisements. They are also printed on a glossy paper with different colors and varies in size and in page length. Compared to brochures and pamphlets, magazines are more detailed and offers different topics and articles throughout the entire publication.

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