Pamphlet vs. Brochure: What’s the Difference?

What’s different between pamphlet vs. brochure? When are they used? What other types of print collateral are used in marketing? Here’s all you need to know!

Print Design
May 10, 2024

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Is a pamphlet the same as a brochure? Definitely not. Still, the two get mixed up commonly, not only by lay people but by professional designers as well! Learn the difference between pamphlet vs. brochure, and discover what are some other types of print materials used in marketing.

Even graphic designers sometimes get confused about the difference between brochure vs. pamphlet vs. flyer. While these can be quite similar in design terms, they are used for different purposes. Therefore, understanding the difference between brochures and pamphlets can be vital for marketers wanting to use the right kind of print materials in their campaings.

So, without further ado, let’s go on and answer the following questions. What is a pamphlet? What is a brochure? And most importantly, is a pamphlet the same as a brochure and what’s the difference between the two?

What is a pamphlet?

A pamphlet is a small, typically unbound piece of paper. Its origins can be traced back to the 16th century, in countries like Germany, England, and France. Pamphlets have an informational character and usually focus on a single subject. Although this isn’t always the case, pamphlets are often designed on a single piece of paper. They can also be found in various shapes and sizes. Pamphlets can be foldable or, in some cases, contain more than one page. Sometimes they are referred to as leaflets.

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What is a brochure?

A brochure is a multi-page magazine that’s used for advertising certain products or services. This marketing tool can be found in several different shapes and sizes. These characteristics can be things like bound-together pages, bi or tri-foldable, and even as a single-pager. However, in most scenarios, brochures contain multiple, high-quality pages and utilize lots of colors. Because of their advertising nature, brochures must convey strong messages, thus keeping a high reader retention rate. Sometimes, they are referred to as booklets.

pamphlet 2.png

Pamphlet vs. brochure: what's the difference?

Pamphlets are usually handed out on the streets, left in your mailbox, or left on coffee shop tables. Apart from being sent electronically, brochures can often be found at B2B events, placed at the most visible area of a rack or shelf.

While a lot of people use these two words interchangeably, there are differences between a pamphlet vs.  brochure. A pamphlet is smaller and cheaper to produce, mostly focusing on a single subject. The purpose of a brochure is to provide a more in-depth coverage of a certain topic (usually a product or a service). This is why it utilizes more robust colors and visible positioning. All this makes the brochure more expensive to create.

pamphlet 3.png

Why is it important to understand the difference between brochures and pamphlets?

Pamphlet vs. brochure - why are we even talking about the topic?

Suppose you hire a graphic designer to create a “pamphlet/brochure” for your business. Although there are many similarities in form, this can be quite misleading for the designer working on your project.

An information pamphlet should have a vastly different feel to a promotional brochure. The type and purpose of print material you wish to use will influence the way information is organized and presented (colors, images, fonts, shapes, etc.).

Next, the choice between brochure vs. pamphlet also impacts the way the materials are produced and distributed. For example, digital copies can use colors and images much more freely, whereas some printing services will include extra charges and/or limitations on printed materials, such as lengthy brochures that include several pages of high–quality images.

But the confusion doesn’t end with just the brochure vs. pamphlet issue. In fact, it’s also common to confuse a brochure vs. pamphlet vs. flyer, as well as some other types of print collateral.

Let’s clear up the confusion right away!

What isn’t a pamphlet or brochure

By this point, we already know what both a pamphlet and a brochure are and what their purpose is. However, it is quite common to confuse other types of informational or advertising documents as pamphlets and brochures.

So, let’s talk about some of them and give a brief explanation as to what they really are.


We’ll start with the most common point of confusion with print marketing materials: brochure vs. pamphlet vs. flyer.

Flyers are small paper documents that are usually handed out in the streets. Unlike pamphlets, they are always single and one-sided. Companies use them because they’re a cheap and quick way of relaying bite-sized pieces of information. They are used in advertising things such as concerts, store openings, various other events, etc.

The downside to using flyers as promotional material is that they’re not very useful when it comes to advertising products and services. This is because most people just take a short glance at them before throwing them away.

Rack Cards

Rack cards are similar to flyers and are about 10 x 23 cm (4” x 9”) in size. They’re an effective way of advertising local events or individual products.

There’s only so much text that you can fit on such a small paper, so make sure you only display crucial information. This is why they should be utilized as more of a reminder rather than an advertisement.


While mixing magazines up with brochures isn’t such a common occurrence, it still happens more than we’d like to admit. These multi-paged, periodic publications cover a variety of different topics, issues, and amongst other things, advertisements. Magazines are filled with illustrations, photographs, and images. As a rule of thumb, they’re longer and more detailed than brochures or pamphlets.

Where can I get a brochure or pamphlet design?

While there are many places where you can print out these informative paper documents, designing them is an entirely different story. The first thing people notice when you hand them a pamphlet or brochure is the design. If you’re not conveying a strong & professional message with your graphics, chances are your promotional material will get thrown in the trash.

So, where can you get your brochure and pamphlet designs? Here are a few options:

  • Online templates: There are tons of great templates online, many of which are completely free. However, bear in mind that using a free template is never simply a matter of adding your information and downloading the PDF. In order for a pamphlet or brochure template to work, it must be customized with your own branding. Some simple templates will work well with a simple change of colors or fonts, but if you want something a little more detailed, hiring a designer is recommended.
  • Freelance designers: Freelance designers are the best choice for one-off projects, such as a brochure or pamphlet design that you can use for several years. The average cost of a high-quality brochure is around $80 to $100. Of course, in this case it’s expected that you’re able to provide most of the brand assets, such as colors, fonts, and logo variations.
  • Unlimited design service: Brochures and pamphlets are usually just a detail in a developed marketing strategy. So, if you’re looking for an affordable solution for all your graphic design needs, look no further than our unlimited design service. Get everything you need for one flat monthly rate.


Further reading

We hope this guide clears up some questions you had regarding the brochure vs. pamphlet debate, and help you choose the right type of print materials for your business.

If you want some further tips on designing these, we recommend you check out our tips on creating the best brochures and this free collection of brochures and flyer designs to inspire you!

What’s different between pamphlet vs. brochure? When are they used? What other types of print collateral are used in marketing? Here’s all you need to know!

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