So you need some brochure design, eh?

Tri-fold brochures are one of the most common types of marketing pieces.  They are thin and convenient to carry, or can easy used as a self-mailer.  They offer a slight element of surprise by enticing the viewer to open it and see what’s inside.  Despite how familiar most consumers are with this format, it’s still surprising how few people know how to properly setup their files to create one.

Granted, you might not be using an Adobe application like InDesign or Illustrator. We understand! Not EVERYONE is using top-of-the-line graphic arts software.  SO… if you are stuck using something like Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, or even Publisher (ick…) there’s still a RIGHT way to set up your files.

If you are like 99.9 % of Microsoft Word users, you’ll probably start with a New blank page… and then divide the sheet into three equal columns.


Stop Sign


If this is what you’re about to do…. It’s WRONG!   Now this doesn’t make you a terrible person; it just means you didn’t know any better – and that’s okay.  You’ve come for help and we’re here for you.

Anytime you fold something, the inside panels will ALWAYS be shorter than the outside panels. The thickness of your paper would determine how much smaller. For regular paper weights, 1/16” is standard and for cover weights, about 1/8” will work. In the Tools section of our website you can use our handy-dandy Folding Guide.  There you’ll find the dimensions for most common sizes, as well as the ability to calculate fold panels for any size sheet.  You’ll also see that this same concept works for all types of folds.   While you’re visiting the Folding Guide, you can also learn about french folds, double-parallel folds, gate folds, and more! 

To help get you started, we’ve built a few Trifold Brochure templates: 

MS Word Template MS Publisher Adobe InDesign

Go ahead and download them, but take a look at the guides to see how everything is structured.  You’ll notice all of the margins and guides are setup to make your brochures fold properly.   And don’t forget to bookmark www.universalprinting.com for immediate access to our folding guide, proportion calculator, DPI calculator, and a variety other tools and essentials.


Universal Printing Blog Logo

Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.


Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *