Creating and Setting up a Tri-fold Brochure

image001 A tri-fold, or Gate fold brochure has the Inside right panel and Inside left panels folding over the Inside center panel, with the right panel folded inward first, then the left panel folder over the right panel as shown here. The reverse side of the Inside right panel is the Outside back panel and the reverse side of the Inside left panel is the Front panel (cover). The term Gate fold comes from the way the brochure is opened; both the left panel (Front) and right panel (back) open up like swinging gates to reveal the inside of the brochure.

Because this type of fold reveals all three Inside panels at once, content and graphics can be made to have more “punch” by expanding them across multiple panels which really makes the information jump out at the reader. In other words, the three Inside panels can act as one large panel or one double and one single panel.

Because the Tri-fold brochure opens up like a gate (hence Gate fold) to reveal all the panels at once, this can make for a more dynamic layout by allowing the design to expand across multiple panels.

Technically the panels are not folded in equal parts, the first fold, which is the Back panel is folder slight narrower (about 1/16″ less) than the Front Panel. If this doesn’t happen the panels will “bow” outward as it will not lay flat over each other.

The tricky part to this type of fold is to remember that the Outside panel is designed in reverse to the Inside. In this illustration both sides of the brochure are laid out as they would be for printing. Each panel has been numbered for clarity. Notice in the Outside layout that the Front panel (3) is actually on the right side and the Back panel (2) is on the left side.

Both sides back to back

This can confuse a first time designer because designing the Inside of the brochure is a straight forward, left to right, 3 column design. The confusion stems from the fact that the brochure is printed double-sided; one side is the Outside and the other is the Inside of the brochure. When panel 6 (Inside right panel) is folded over it reveals panel 1 (Back panel). When panel 4 is folded over, it reveals panel 3 (Front panel which is the cover).

Another way to picture this is to imagine printing each side of the brochure on a separate sheet of paper and then gluing their backs together to create a double-sided brochure. In this illustration both pages are properly laid out ready to have their backs glued together. You can clearly see that Panel 3 (Front panel) will be on the other side of Panel 4 and that Panel 1 (Back panel) will be on the other side of Panel 6. It should be clearer now to understand why the Front and Back panels are placed in reverse to the Inside panels.

To properly fold this brochure, Panel 6 is folded slightly shorter over the Center panel than Panel 4 can fold over it flat. If both panels are folded evenly there will be a bellowing out of the panels as they cut into each other.

Fold Lines

When creating a basic 3 column brochure its a always a good idea to add column spacing between each column to separate the columns. Generally the brochure’s fold lines are in the column spaces so when folded the text doesn’t get trapped in the fold lines. (Of course this doesn’t apply if the design is spanning across multiple panels). Its also a good idea to determine where the fold lines will be so you can tell if text will get caught in the fold lines.

Fold Line Measurements
However if you want the accuracy in the fold lines the common width measurements used for the Tri-fold brochure fold lines are:

larger outside fold is 3.69″ (Front panel)
smaller inside fold 3.63″ (Back panel)

New Trends In Custom Business Card Printing

It wasn’t so long ago that custom business card printing meant full color business cards. Now they’re so common they don’t even raise an eyebrow. Fortunately printing technology has moved on and you can choose a business card that is so unique, they will be not be forgotten.

Silk laminated business cards are elegantly smooth to the touch. The lamination makes them waterproof and tear resistant so they are very versatile with lots of different eye candy finishing options so your card stands out from your competition. Silk cards are printed on an impressive heavy 16Pt. card stock. They are available with spot UV coating, raised Spot UV as well as foil options. A cold foil process is used that prints the foil on the card so you don’t need expensive custom dies and hot foil stamping.

One of the newest trends in custom business card printing is Premium Silk Cards. These 32 Pt. silk cards are two layers thick that are die cut on top or bottom to create a 3D effect that is totally unique and new. They are highly customizable and spot UV, foil, embossed, perforated, variable data and many other options can be added. silkex2 silkex

When was the last time you were excited to hand out your business card just to see the reaction? Your goal is to show your prospective customer that you are different, innovative and a unique thinker. Raised Spot UV cards are a spot UV you can feel. It’s raised to give your card an added sense to the touch and it’s visually aesthetic.

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Need a card for marketing and promotions that will stand up to use. 30 mil plastic cards are a thicker plastic than standard 20 pt. plastics. These cards are a great promotional item that can be used in a lot of different ways. The thickness is impressive the same as a credit card so they feel important. There are many functional ways to use this type of card from marketing purposes to identification. If a strong water and tear proof card is what you are looking for then these plastic cards are the answer. These cards have a bold and vibrant look and are very durable. They can be used for business cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, hotel key cards, fundraising cards, membership cards, ID cards, luggage tags to name just a few. They are available in a silk finish or gloss UV finish. The Silk finish is more scratch resistant than gloss. These cards are made with PVC white plastic and come with round corners. They are very affordable and come with many customizable options such as silk lamination, foil, spot UV (on silk), barcoding, variable data, signature panel, scratch off with PIN numbering, hold / lanyard punch, magnetic strip (encoded or blank), embossed sequential numbering and custom die cut.

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You may ask why custom business cards are so important. The reason is that your business cards create the first impression a potential buyer gets about you and your business. Since you only get one chance to make a first great impression, you need to do something unexpected to capture attention. Custom business cards such as silk laminated cards, raised spot UV cards, premium silk cards and 30 mil plastic cards do that. Being remembered when potential customers need your services is the most important goal of giving out business cards. These new trends offer that.



Lots of businesses benefit from cheap Every Door Direct Mail promotions, a USPS bulk mail program offered by your local post office. With EDDM, you can target every house or house and business in any zip code right down to individual carrier routes. Free maps are available so you can choose the best demographics in your area for your product or service.

The benefits are the low cost for each card or flyer you send since it is only $ .175 per address. You don’t need a bulk mail permit and there’s no need for expensive mailing lists or imprinting addresses on your promotion. Delivery is just a few days. That’s much faster than traditional direct mail.

Of course, there are some regulations. The rules for this USPS service are simple and will benefit you by attracting more attention than a large 5.5 X 8.5 postcard or flyer. The mailing size for each piece has to be 6.125 tall or longer than 11.5. You can make your own size of postcard or flyer as long as you meet these specifications. The most common sizes are 4 x 12, 6.25 X 9, 8.5 X 11, 8.5 X 7 and 9 x 12. All sizes cost the same to mail at the low cost of $ .175 cents. These large sized postcards should be printed on heavy postcard stock so they don’t feel cheap. Heavy 14 Pt. or extra heavy 16 Pt card stock is recommended. The maximum weight is a generous 3.3 oz. per piece. Cards must be bundled in 50 or 100 flats and delivered to the post office of your choice. The maximum quantity you can send out from each post office is 5,000 pieces per day. You can select as many post offices as you want and mail more.

You can mail catalogs, brochures or anything else as long as it meets the Every Door Direct Mail size and weight requirements. With these mailbox/billboard sized cards, your message will stand out and get noticed. A 6.25 X 11 full color postcard is 300% larger than a standard 4 X 6 postcard and about $ .09 cents cheaper. You can bulk mail to all homes and businesses in a mail carrier’s route. Each zip code has many routes. Individual postal routes vary so pick the ones that best fits your need. The average distribution for each carrier is about 300-600 homes and businesses.

An EDDM promotion is an excellent value for getting your message out and increasing new and old customers as well as improving sales. Everybody looks for a bargain so advertising and branding with Every Door Direct Mail is a win, win deal for you and your customers. If you develop a low cost monthly mail promotion with a good promotion, a call to action and an expiration date new business will come to you.