Tips For Creating a Tri-fold Brochure Layout

Here are some tips you want to remember when designing a three panel 11″ x 8.5″ brochure. First, the most common mistake made is dividing your three panels equally (3.666″ x 3.666″ x 3.666″). This is a problem because when your file is printed and folded you will notice that the middle will “bow out” and not lay flat. In order for you to avoid this, your third panel that folds in first needs to be at the minimum of 1/16″ (.0625″) shorter then your other two panels. (See Sample Below)

If you leave the panels equal then your printer will have to under trim the last panel so it will fold properly. They achieve this by trimming 1/16 off the back panel, so your brochure will now lay flat. A problem that comes with this method is if you have any text or images in that area, they will get cut off. Let’s say that you have a 1/2″ (.5″) border running around the edge of your piece that is equal in width on all four sides and the printer trims 1/16″ off the back panel. What do you think the result will be? Three sides with with a 1/2″ border and the back panel border at 7/16″ (.4375″). Not what you are looking for, I’m sure.

So if you would like to create a tri-fold brochure that will fold properly, follow the diagrams that I created below.

Outside panels:
3.625″ x 3.6875″ x 3.6875″
Keep a 1/8″ (.125) safety area clear of anything you may not want cut off. (unless you want an image or color to bleed off the page)

TriFold_Outside

Inside panels:
3.6875 x 3.6875 x 3.625
Keep a 1/8″ (.125) safety area clear of anything you may not want cut off. (unless you want an image or color to bleed off the page)

TriFold_Inside

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