The trifold brochure. An old standby for years, it is usually an 8.5 x 11 sheet folded to form three panels. It can be a self mailer or hand out. It will fit in a #10 envelope so it can be a bill stuffer or collateral to a letter responding to an inquiry.

Concept, writing and design are most important to making a trifold successful, but I want to talk about the geometry of the layout. This is what makes it fold correctly.

trifold_setupWe often see the panels designed as three equal vertical spaces. This, unfortunately will not fold correctly. This is especially true if you have designed color breaks where the folds are to be located. Since the panel that folds into the brochure needs to be shorter than the other two panels we can often get away with under-trimming the sheet by 1/16 inch. But, sometimes this is not an option. So looking at the inside of the piece, the right panel needs to be shorter. Usually a 1/16 inch is sufficient. And don't forget on the outside, it is the left panel that is shorter.

To set up your document, set a guide at 3.6875" and one at 7.375". This will be the inside of the brochure. For the outside, the first guide is at 3.625" and the next at 7.3125". If you would like a template, we have templates available for InDesign and Illustrator. Just click below.

If your trifold will be a z-fold, all panes can be equal. (3.666")


Apr 2014
Nov 2012