vintage brochure gun manual

Vintage brochures as collectibles

When it comes to collecting vintage brochures, probably the first question that comes to your mind is ”Why should I collect them”? There are several reasons for doing so.

Firstly, vintage brochures are very colorful and therefore extremely eye-appealing. Secondly, they have a high historical and informative value. Finally, they cost a whole lot less than the actual items and services they were advertising! Also, the fields of advertising are numerous so you can choose from a number of areas of interest.

siesta motel advertising print
Original advertising print for Siesta Motel in Southern Carolina.

Types of brochures

Just about all of the brochures are printed on paper. They are mostly illustrated and contain various information. However, there are numerous types of vintage brochures. The first difference is visible in their form, or more accurately, their format. The first type is a leaflet, a single sheet of paper that can be folded in a variety of ways. Leaflet folds include the bi-fold, C tri-fold, gate tri-fold, double gate fold, accordion Z-fold and French fold. Another type of format is a booklet. Booklets have a small number of pages, rarely over 20. They are usually staple bound and they look like mini-books. The third type of format is a pamphlet. Pamphlets are actually the same as booklets, but they have no covers.

Travel brochures

The second important difference between brochures is the type of information that they provide. The information in vintage brochures is as diverse as their formats. The most common ones are travel  brochures. Nowadays, when we chose our ideal destination we do that mainly through the use of Internet. We are capturing the essence of the place on our Instagram or Facebook feeds. Vacation brochures almost seem like relics of the trip-planning. As such, they hold a sentimental and historic value. Travel brochures might also contain ticket prices and timetables.

airlines ad print
One of numerous vintage print ads issued by airline companies.

Other brochures

There are also other brochures which are printed for the advertisement purposes. They look like mini-catalogs describing products available for sale. For example, there are vintage brochures for tractors and other farming equipment. Many farmers weren’t living near a big city or didn’t have easy access to a dealer showroom.  That’s the  reason why the catalogs and brochures were often the main way of advertising. These catalogs featured specifications and pictures of the machines, as well as descriptions of their uses.

Today’s collectors usually buy vintage tractor catalogs to accompany tractors they already own or want to own. Much more affordable than the real thing, these paper items can range from a few dollars to north of a hundred. Same goes with other brochures printed by large manufacturing companies. Weapons manufacturers often print similar types of brochures, called operational manuals.

operational manual
German air gun operational manual.

There are also the so-called souvenir brochures, printed to boast about the wonders found at tourist sites, world’s fairs, natural wonders, plays, theme parks, museums etc.

Finally, different organizations print brochures for non-profit purposes. Government, medical, and nonprofit organizations have also printed and distributed brochures on how to prepare for or avoid disasters.

Due to the variety of vintage brochures and their availability on the market, they have earned their place as one of the most popular forms of paper collectibles.

Read more about vintage brochures here 

Checkout our new collection of original vintage brochures here.

Miloš Stanković
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