Brochures have a wide range of uses across countless industries – marketing, tourism, hospitality, entertainment, you name it. But, not all brochures are made the same. In fact, there are quite a few options at your disposal for how to present your brochure.
Before you dive into designing your brochure, it’s important to first know what type of fold you are going to use. We have compiled together the most common, useful, effective and impactful brochure folds to help you pick the perfect one for you and your design.
What are common brochure fold types?
Also known as a bi-fold or book fold, half fold is constructed by simply folding a brochure page into two equal halves. Commonly used in the food and entertainment industry, they are quick to mass produce and fold and keep a degree of simplicity.
Tri-fold brochures are constructed by folding three panels in on each other. It can be folded horizontally for wider, shorter panels, or vertically for narrower, taller panels. Commonly used for direct mail campaigns and other marketing collateral, the multiple panels help to fit and categorize a lot of information.
Z-fold brochures are constructed by folding three equal panels in a way that allows them to open like an accordion instrument would, forming a distinct zigzag “Z” shape. It is commonly used in image-heavy applications and allows for images to spill over from one panel onto the next. With six panels in total front and back, that’s plenty of room to showcase your best imagery and the opening style would be particularly suited to large graphs, maps or any image-centered designs.
Gate fold brochures are created when two smaller panels on either size of a larger panel are folded inwards to meet in the middle, creating a gate-like appearance. Commonly used for image-heavy and more artistic designs, gate fold brochures gives your design a dramatic impact when opened, leave a lasting impression on your readers.
French fold brochures are created by combining two half folds by folding the page first in half horizontally, then vertically to create a card-like brochure. Commonly used for greeting cards, invitations and collateral that requires fast, quicker printing usually done on one side. The format lends itself to a memorable message and are also incredibly useful for mailing purposes as the folded down version often fits nicely into a standard envelope.
Double gate fold
The double gate fold brochure adds a slightly longer width and a second fold down the middle, creating eight panels in total instead of the six that a regular gate fold produces. Commonly used for larger presentations, magazines, and more visually impactful brochures, it allows the design of a cohesive image across the outer gate panels, and the reveal of more content on the inner panels.
With a roll fold brochure, each panel ‘rolls’ in on each other when folded, creating a spiral-like fold. Each subsequent panel will be slightly smaller than the last to allow for each panel to fit inside the last. Commonly used for brochures that contain information with a clear structure, it is an ideal choice for guides, handbooks and mini-tutorial booklets. It also makes it easy for readers to compare page to page and quickly scan the organized content.
The accordion fold brochure has four panels that are each folded in alternating directions to the previous, creating a zigzag-like fold shape. Commonly used for travel brochures, instructional booklets, event schedules and the likes, this format lends itself well to a timeline or chronological reading.
Tri-fold half fold
The tri-fold half fold is an amalgamation of the French fold and tri-fold where the brochure is folded first in half, then into three inward panels. Useful for brochures that need to be quickly printed, it generally only requires one side of the page to be printed on.
Four panel roll fold
Similar to a roll fold but with one more panel than the standard, the four panel roll fold is useful for compiling a lot of information into segmented sections, making it incredibly useful for tutorials, step by step guides, and informational booklets.
Sixteen panel fold
The sixteen panel fold, as its name suggests, is made up of sixteen panels, making it perfect for information-dense content and much larger presentations. It is designed to be flexible and portable as it unravels into a large page or folds into a small portable booklet.