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4 Folds for Fabulous Brochures

Master the art of brochure folding for captivating designs.
Jason Frueh
Published Sep 26, 2020

Being in charge of the design and creation of a new brochure for your business or organization may seem like a daunting task at first, especially for a graphic design novice. You need to ensure the brochure is engaging, stays true to your brand, and is cost-efficient. 

Before diving too deep into the brochure making process, you need to first understand the different kinds of brochures. Factors like the fold, size, typography, and more differentiate the types of brochures available to you, playing an important role in captivating your customer as they interact with your brochure. 

What is a brochure used for?

Brochures can serve a variety of purposes. In general, they are an informative document meant to offer details on a company, service, or product. It is a tangible marketing method, aiming to capture the customer s attention. Compelling images and text are strategically laid out in the brochure to engage the customer.

Some common uses of a brochure can include:

  • Company information
  • Service information
  • Special promotions
  • Restaurant menus
  • Campaign platforms
  • Product catalogs
  • Event program
  • Church bulletin
  • Program details
  • Salon service menus

How many types of brochures are there?

Different types of brochures come in a variety of fold types. Choosing the right brochure fold will depend largely on your intended application. There are a number of creative folds used by brochure designers, but we ll just explore the 4 types of brochure folds most commonly utilized.

1. Tri-fold

Landscaping Tri-Fold Brochure Template

Design via MyCreativeShop Landscaping Tri-Fold Brochure Template

Of all the types of brochure designs, the tri-fold may be the most popular for businesses. This design features two folds, creating three equal sections. The right section folds into the center, followed by the left. The standard size for a tri-fold brochure is 8.5 x 11.

The tri-fold is a versatile design giving businesses the option to display a mixture of text and images. With a total of six panels, there is plenty of space to market your product or services in a logical and intuitive manner (to tell your story). For example, the first panel can start off with a question that leads to an answer on the next panel, requiring the reader to open up and interact with the brochure. Your ultimate goal should be to make your story a real page-turner!

2. Bi-fold

Charity Bi-Fold Brochure Template

Design via MyCreativeShop Charity Bi-Fold Brochure Template

For a keep-it-simple kind of brochure design, you can t go wrong with the bi-fold. A bi-fold brochure features a single fold down the center of a standard-sized sheet of paper, resulting in a booklet with two equal sides and four total panels. Its unencumbered design allows you to easily lay out images and content.

The bi-fold is an ideal medium for sharing your message or the background behind your company or product in a cohesive way. The front cover acts as an introduction to your story. When you flip the page, the two large sides give you ample room to describe how your business, product, or service came to be. Close off with a call-to-action on the final page of your brochure or repeat that CTA throughout. 

Bi-fold brochures work best for uncomplicated messages without a lot of moving parts (those are better suited to the tri-fold and its increased separation between panels).

3. Z-fold

A4 Z-Fold Brochure Mock-Up by ToaSin Studio

Design via CreativeMarket A4 Z-Fold Brochure Mock-Up by ToaSin Studio

Also known as a fan fold or zig-zag fold, this type of brochure folds into the shape of the letter Z. While the folds and the panels are very similar to the tri-fold, there are some key differences.

Both the z-fold and tri-fold feature two folds that create three double-sided sections, resulting in six customizable panels. In contrast to the more compartmentalized, revealing effect of the inward-folding tri-fold brochure, a z-fold displays information in a cohesive, accordion-like style. This type of brochure printing works exceptionally well when you have a full-page image, graphic, or design. The standard size of a z-fold brochure is 8.5 x 11.

4. Gatefold

Gatefold Brochure by Ventrogravic Design

Design via CreativeMarket 11x25.5 Gatefold Brochure Mockups by Ventrogravic Design

The trademark of the gatefold brochure is its two equal-sized front side panels that open up to reveal a large central panel. It s known as the gate-fold or window-fold due to the two sides that swing open, like double doors on a gate or a set of window shutters.

This type of brochure fold is perfect for featuring a single product or service. The large inside panel allows you plenty of room to include graphics and images. A gate-fold brochure is commonly used for high-end or niche products and services. The revealing effect of this kind of brochure design makes for an exciting and memorable marketing experience for your customers.

Flyers: Beyond the Fold

Open House Flyer Template

Design via MyCreativeShop Open House Flyer Template

If you re not sold on any of these folds, you may want to consider the crease-free flyer as an alternative. This double-sided, fold-free marketing option is a great way to get your message out to a large number of people in a specific area.

Flyers and leaflets are great for promoting one-time events or limited-time offerings. The large space available on both sides of the sheet provides you plenty of space to create eye-popping images and text. It is also one of the most cost-effective marketing print options available


Fold On with MyCreativeShop

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