AMiable Solution #327: Three Cheers for Tri-Fold Brochures
Tri-folds are arguably the most popular and most standard brochure layout and size for a reason. Actually, for three reasons:
1. Easy to organize.
The tri-fold’s six, clearly defined panels provide a natural structure for your content with natural breaking points. You can use these panels as guides to create clean columns of text or as barriers to address a different topic, product, or aspect of your business on each one. This is a particularly good strategy for organizations or businesses with a wide range of services or products. That’s not to say, however, that you need to treat each panel as a separate design entity. In fact, when each side of your tri-fold is viewed and treated as one big spread, with images or photos or design elements stretching from one side to the other, you can create one very impactful brochure. Readers understand the flow of a tri-fold brochure, so their focus is on scanning images, headlines, and subheads, not on figuring out where to start or where to go from there.
Tri-folds created from an 8.5" x 11" base offer more flexibility in their usage than most other brochure sizes and forms. They can be used as selfmailers, inserts in envelope mailings, display material in countertop rack card displays, and handouts at events. In fact, one well-designed brochure can fulfill all four missions in one print run! That’s good news for marketers who need to be particularly efficient with their time or budget or for marketers who find themselves with shelves of overage and no idea what to do with it.
3. Standard, but flexible.
Tri-fold brochures may be standard, but that doesn’t mean they all look or function the same way. Marketers can choose from multiple fold options—accordion, traditional, or horizontal—and sizes, the most common being 8.5" x 11", 8.5" x 14", 9” x 16”, 11" x 17", and 11" x 25.5". And, as with other brochure formats, you can choose the tone you want to set with the paper you choose to print them on.
You still need to grab your audience’s attention with an impression cover, a body full of benefit- and reader-oriented copy, and a powerful call-to-action to generate results, but a carefully designed and implemented tri-fold brochure will get you just that.