There are various types of folds that can be used for brochures, each with its own unique design and layout. It is important to choose the right fold for your project based on your desired messaging and the amount of information you need to convey. Here are some common folds to consider:
Bi-fold brochures (also referred to as half-folds) are one of the most popular types of brochure you can find. These are made out from one sheet of paper folded in half. This folding forms 4 panels: a front cover, a back cover and two internal pages. There are also catalogs and multi-page brochures that are made by stacking multiple sheets of paper and then folding them. The folding line can run along the shortest side of the sheet or the longest. This type of folded brochure is commonly used for conveying minimal information or simple product presentation.
A very popular type of brochure, trifold brochures are made by folding a sheet of paper two times. To fold it, looking at the inside, you fold the right card inwards and then fold the left card so that it sits on top of the right panel. This type of brochure has 6 panels, 3 inside panels, and 3 outside panels, that are almost the same size (one of the panels is slightly shorter so it can be folded inside the other two without overlapping). Tri-fold brochures are commonly used for business and product marketing.
The gatefold (also referred to as an open-gate fold) is a type of brochure folding that has two parallel folds to create six panels, three outside panels, and three inside panels. The side panels are roughly half the width of the center card and fold inward without overlapping. The gate fold works well for both conveying information, as well as presenting more involved graphics displays. This type of brochure is less commonly used, which is why it can feel more creative and lend itself to making a greater impact.
Double gatefold brochures (also referred to as closed gatefold) are very similar to gatefolds, except that they are folded one more time along a central crease after folding the side panels. This achieves a narrower size. The central fold makes it, so that it now has 8 panels (4 inside and 4 outside), dividing the large central card in 2. Double-gate folds are a creative choice for larger presentations with more information.
Barrel fold brochures (also referred to as role fold brochures) are made of a sheet of paper with three fold lines that make four panels on each side. This type of brochure has two large panels of the same size, followed by a smaller one and then an even smaller one. You start by folding the smaller card inwards and continue in that direction. Barrel fold brochures are well suited for instruction manuals, tutorials and step-by-step guides.
The z-fold brochure (also referred to as a fan fold or zig-zag fold) brochure is similar to the trifold in which both of them are made by folding a sheet of paper three times, resulting in 3 outside panels and 3 inside panels. What makes them different, is that in the z-fold, one card is folded inwards and the other one outward, in the shape of the letter Z. Since the panels don’t fold into one another, they’re all the same width. Since the z-fold brochure is similar to a tri-fold, but is different enough to stand out, they tend to work well for mail marketing projects.
A double-parallel brochure has three parallel folds that make for eight panels (4 on each side of the sheet of paper). In this type of brochure, the sheet of paper is folded in half and then folded in half again so that one-half of the sheet is inside the other half. This makes the panels of the inside half to be smaller. In a double-parallel brochure, two panels are slightly shorter, so that they can fold inside the other two without overlapping. This type of fold is a great choice for more comprehensive marketing collateral such as a more detailed listing of products and services.
French-fold brochures (also referred to as a cross fold or right-angle fold) have two perpendicular fold lines in the form of a cross. Following these folds, the sheet, the sheet of paper is first folded in half horizontally and then vertically. This brochure has 4 panels on each side. A french-fold brochure can be used to display a larger image in a more compact form. Common use cases are for posters, advertising, maps and event programs.
An accordion fold brochure is created by folding a piece of paper in 3 separate, parallel locations resulting in a zig-zag pattern. The accordion fold will have 4 separate panels of equal size that results in a compact, but versatile brochure for displaying imagery and messaging. This type of fold is well suited for a lot of information with common use cases being guides, maps, tutorials, menus and more.
This type of folding has a central horizontal fold line and two vertical fold lines, which divide the paper into 6 panels, front and back. This brochure folds in half horizontally and then folds like a tri-fold brochure. And, as is in a tri-fold, there's a slight difference in card size to allow for appropriate folding. As with tri-fold brochures, this type of fold can be used in business and product marketing, but is able to house more information. This allows for more versatility in conveying your message to existing and potential clients.
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