How To Fold a Paper Brochure

The first step to making a paper brochure is to figure out the final layout; how you fold the paper is an important aspect of the look of the end product.

When designing a brochure and, more specifically, when considering a brochure folding style, there are some things to keep in mind, such as:

  1. Margins- when words or images run across the page unchecked, the folded result can be awkward to handle and hard to read.
  2. Ink- when folding any paper, ink can be smudged; consider having wide enough margins to prevent that, or consider the ink and paper you use.  Higher quality inks are less likely to smudge and often have print more brightly.
  3. Paper- if your paper is too thick or too thin, it might make your brochure difficult to fold.

The most common paper brochure is the tri-fold. Other popular folds include the half fold brochure, and the gate fold brochure. Here are three simple paper brochure folding methods that can be done by hand.

The half-fold or book fold brochure

This brochure is the simplest one to make. Its layout gives you four panels, and can be used for diagrams or comparisons.

  1. Print the brochure in landscape format. Place your intended front page face down.
  2. Take the left edge of the brochure and fold it in half. Make sure the edges line up.
  3. To avoid damaging your paper, try using the bowl of a spoon to make your creases.

The tri-fold brochure

This design gives you six panels. It is commonly used for direct mailing materials.

  1. Make sure your design is printed in landscape format. Lay your printed sheet with the intended front panel face down on a table.
  2. Fold your front panel by bending the left edge of the paper, one third of the way in. Make a crease.
  3. Flip the paper brochure over. Again, take the unfolded section, and line the edge of the paper over the crease made in step 2.

The gate fold brochure

This design gives you eight panels. It is very useful for information leaflets, or promotional brochures.

  1. Print your paper in landscape format. Place your intended front page face down.
  2. Take the left edge and the right edge of your paper brochure up to the halfway mark of your paper.
  3. Fold the edges crisply to prevent trapped air. Trapped air causes uneven edges in the next step.
  4. Take the left folded edge, and fold your paper brochure in half again.


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