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A brochure without words

There is simply too much information these days; too many words and not enough time to read them.

T.S. Eliot seemed to understand this when he asked: ‘Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’

As a society, one could almost argue that we have become overwhelmed - so I will keep this blog post short.

The task: About a year ago, a few of us at the International School of Brussels set upon the task of writing a new school brochure.

The working principle: Convinced that the web already provided access to huge quantities of information about our school and that there was simply no need to repeat this information on paper, we decided to do something different.

The result: a book that communicates the ‘spirit’ of our school in just a few words and pictures; a series of ‘impressions’ that, together, seeks to conjure up for the reader a sense of what ISB experience is like for the 1500 students who make up this extraordinary international community.

Take a look. Comments welcome.


This Powerpoint is a modified version of the book.  ©International School of Brussels. Design by Manuela Skylitsis.

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Reader Comments (6)

I realize that this was published almost 6 years ago but, seeing this presentation motivates me to move from the classic powerpoint to a more effective format for sharing information to my audience. Thank you for this post.

October 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaudelle Lewis

I agree that the thinking behind this is effective, as outlined in the brief blog, and the results are fine. It is not quite a "brochure without words" but it has few words, and they are placed for good effect. The move away from words, or to reduce words and replace them with well designed visuals is a good move; one we all need to more fully consider.

January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Johnson

I also agree with the importance of limiting text, especially when one is quickly trying to get a specific message across. Pictures create an overall feeling that sometimes words cannot express with limited text. I also feel it is a good idea to have some brief, key information accompanying a few of the images. The combination of simple words with a majority of pictures is more powerful than long-winded paragraphs, especially in a brochure where people may glance at it only for a few moments.

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura K

Hi David

I'm enjoying reading your posts which are short (definitely the kind I prefer!) and to the point.

As a school you need to get the balance right between keeping parents (both existing and prospective) informed but not overwhelming them with information. So the idea of creating a brochure which places images at the centre is perfect.


September 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPalvinder Thurman

Hi David,

I really enjoyed the brochure. I loved the naturally taken photos from school events and functions. The limited texts were engaging.

A question if I may, was music considered to be added to the brochure? I feel that appropriate music with such powerful visuals would add to the charm of this innovative presentation.



February 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmita Patel

I believe what is more powerful than the actual imagery in the brochure is the fact that you chose such a boldly different approach to representing your school. The fact that you didn't produce "one more brochure" speaks volumes about your school.

September 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Lenz

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