Today, I’d like to talk about design and marketing. To do so, I’m going to use tree cookie art as an example.

What’s a tree cookie, you ask? Let me “inform and enlighten” you.

Tree cookies are made from fallen branches gathered from orchards and woods in various parts of the northeast.

Art by Nature brochure

Art by Nature is a small business run by two artists. As a CSBA (Certified Sustainable Building Advisor) and a master woodcraftsman they produce “artfully disguised noise control creations” using reclaimed tree branches sliced into “tree cookies” (Art by Nature, 2019).

Here’s an example of their eco-friendly work.

Stingray (8″ x 8″)

I created a brochure to help market their unique art that could be printed or made available for download from their website (see my recent blog MOBILE FIRST for a mockup of the design).

Why a brochure?

Even in today’s digital world, brochures are often used as part of a business’s marketing strategy.

A marketing brochure is a printed piece of marketing collateral that often includes a trifold layout with page inserts or a booklet format. Brochures are one of several print options companies can use as part of business or product promotion. This tool is especially important and useful for small businesses.

Neil Kokemuller

When designed as a part of a marketing kit, brochures can effectively provide an overview of a company. The popular 8 1/2″ x 11″ trifold design is broken down into six sections: assigned in the order they appear as the brochure is unfolded.

Five Goals

From a design perspective, I determined the brochure needed to accomplish the following goals:

  1. present the new Art by Nature (ABN) branding elements.
  2. establish the artists’ experience and expertise.
  3. define the term tree cookie.
  4. encourage potential customers to make a purchase, either from available stock pieces or by commissioning custom artwork.
  5. show the range of sizes available for purchase.

Let’s take a look at how a well-designed brochure can help ABN accomplish their marketing goals.

The Front Flap

Section 1, also called the front flap, starts with a transparent photo of tree cookies, ABN’s signature art. This close up serves as a background to ABN’s branding elements:

  1. tree image (overlapped for visual interest)
  2. tag lines
  3. web address
  4. telephone number

Notice that goal #1, presentation of ABN’s branding, is immediately addressed.

The Outside Flap

Upon opening the pamphlet you see section 5, which shows a photo of our artists. They’re standing in front of a four foot square work commissioned by an acupuncturist in New Jersey. The photo provides the viewer with a visual size reference, showcasing large scale art options available for purchase.

Details about the artists are listed below the photo. Goal #2: experience and expertise, check.

Just below that is a photo of ABN’s largest stock piece, The Big Kahuna. To reinforce the branding, contact information is repeated at the bottom of the panel.

The Interior

Interior sections 2, 3 and 4 are revealed when the outside flap is opened.

Knowing some will not read the two columns of text on sections 2 and 3, the third goal of defining tree cookies is taken care of at the top of section 3.

For those who appreciate the details, the artists’ story is gracefully delivered around the tree portion of the logo. This provides visual interest and breaks up the “grid” format of the brochure.

The two paragraphs at the bottom of the section 3 are highlighted with pale yellow, which draws the reader’s attention to popular gift ideas and ABN’s custom work (goal #4).

Section 4 on the far right shows two more stock pieces available for purchase, accompanied by the web address and phone contact information. This completes goal #5 by showing works on the smaller end of the size range (8″ x 8″ and 12″ x 12″).

The Outside Back Panel

Outside Back Panel

Finally we arrive at section 6. The back of the brochure uses white space to push the reader’s eyes to the bottom of the panel, once again reinforcing the brand by showing the ABN logo in its entirety.

Using Design as an Effective Tool

ABN’s artists create intricate works of natural art, designed to engage viewers with a pleasant experience that promotes mindfulness and serenity.

… psychologists are exploring nature’s impact on people’s mental functioning, social relationships and even physical well-being. Others are putting that research into practice by working with interior designers, architects and city planners to create psychologically healthy buildings and cities.

Rebecca A. Clay

Like our artists, graphic designers also work to provide an engaging experience, but have the added responsibility of providing the data necessary to make an informed choice.

… graphic designers are not simply artists; they are engineers whose job it is to create tools that both inform and enlighten.”

Alberto Cairo, author of The Functional Art

until nxt time …

If you’re interested, you can learn more about ABN’s tree cookie art by downloading their print-friendly brochure here.


Art by Nature (2019). Art by Nature [Brochure]. New Jersey, USA.

Cairo, A. (2013). The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.

Clay, R.A. (2001, April). Green is good for you. American Psychological Association 32(4), 40. Retrieved from:

Foster, H. (2019, June 30). MOBILE FIRST. Retrieved from:

Kokemuller, N. (n.d.). Why brochures are important for marketing. Retrieved from:

Layout of a Trifold Brochure. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

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