Even if you are here to find out what type of brochure is right for your business or you are a graphic design learner, this article will give you most of the information you need.

Brochures are still in trend and used by (almost) all companies that want to promote themselves, create awareness or make a call to action.

Each type of fold works well for specific types of content. The way product and service information is presented changes with every fold. Therefore, choosing the right kind of brochure fold can be very difficult, especially if you want to convey your information in the best possible way.

Here are the types of brochure folds you can use for your brochure marketing

  • Bi-Fold Brochure
  • Tri-fold Brochure 
  • Z-Fold Brochure 
  • Gate Fold Brochure 
  • French Fold Brochure 
  • Accordion Fold Brochure 
  • Double Parallel Fold
  • Parallel Map Fold Brochure 
  • Cross fold Brochure 
  • Hidden Panel Folds
  • Die-cut fold Brochure 
  • Roll fold Brochure 
  • Church Fold
  • Engineering Fold
  • Baronial Fold

Half-Fold Brochure

Half-fold brochures, or bi-fold brochures, consist of a single sheet of paper that is folded in half. In this way, the brochure is divided into two areas. 8.5″ x 11″ is the standard half-fold brochure size. It is suitable for presenting one or two key features of a product simply.

What size is an A4 brochure?

The size of an A4 brochure before folding is approximately 8.5 inches x 11 inches (4.25 inches x 5.5 inches folded). This is one of the most popular brochure sizes as it has enough space to print and is portable enough for customers to keep and take home.

More space for details with bi-fold brochures

Bi-fold (or half-fold) brochures give you twice the space in an easy-to-read format. The half-fold brochure layout allows you to have four panels for readers to browse through like a newsletter. Custom folding brochure printing helps present products and services that require details and more information.

Customers who want to buy electronic products, gadgets, and other equipment can use promotional brochures to make better purchasing decisions. Half-fold brochure printing is also great for promoting courses, multi-day events, and programs that people want to attend.

Trifold Brochure

The trifold brochure divides a single sheet of paper into three parts. The right panel is folded under the left panel. The standard booklet size for the trifold booklet is 8.5 inches x 11 inches. As the most common fold, the tri-fold is great for general purposes. It offers a perfect balance between design and content.

A tri-fold brochure folds twice across the center and provides six panels for your information. This gives you plenty of space to talk about your product, company, or brand. Almost every business can benefit from a well-designed brochure.

With the right tri-fold brochure, your business can grow. It is the ideal tool to keep your customers informed about your products and services. A lot of information can be squeezed into six panels while still having an appearance that is visually appealing to your audience.

Most popular size: 8.5″ x 11″ (folds to 3.67″ x 8.5″)

Z-Fold Brochure

The Z-fold brochure also divides a single sheet of paper into three parts. It gets its name from its distinct Z-shape, which folds each panel over one another. The Z-fold is also great for general product presentations.

What’s the Difference Between a Z-Fold and a Tri-Fold Brochure?

At first glance, the z-fold and trifold brochures appear to be identical. They each have a total of six panels, and each side of the page is evenly divided into thirds to display information. And on first inspection, the fold lines are virtually identical.

If you look at the templates for each template, they are identical in layout with a few very important exceptions. The front panel is in the same place on both and the fold lines are equally spaced on both. But on the tri-fold brochure template, you’ll notice that the center panel is the “back panel” while on the z-fold template it’s the “inner panel.”

tri fold brochure vs z fold brochure
tri fold vs z fold

trifold brochure print

To get an idea of how these templates work, I recommend printing them out with a desktop printer first, in either color or black and white. This printed version serves as a physical model for you to use in your mind’s eye to visualize how the final version will work.

Gate Fold Brochure

The gatefold divides the paper into three unequal panels, with the side panels measuring half the width of the center panel. As the name suggests, the side panels fold like a gate. The left and right panels are approximately half the width of the center panels and fold inward to meet in the middle without overlapping.

gate fold brochure


Sometimes a gatefold brochure is folded in again along a central crease. This method is called closed gatefold or double gatefold.

foto source 

The closed gatefold method creates eight panels – four panels on each side of the paper. All panels are approximately the same width.

The standard gatefold brochure size is 8.5 inches x 11 inches. The Gate Fold is ideal for single-product presentations or graphic-heavy designs.

French Fold Brochure

The French fold, also known as the right angle fold, is a unique fold that divides the brochure into four panels. The paper is folded in half and then folded in half again, perpendicular to the first crease.

French fold brochures fold the page both vertically and horizontally, giving a “four-page” feel to a booklet that can also be opened to reveal a full page. Alternatively, the inner panels can be left blank to save on printing costs as the booklet still benefits from the added strength of the double fold.

The standard French fold brochure size is 8.5 inches x 14 inches. Graphic-heavy designs, cards, and invitations to special offers and events are great content options for the French Fold.

Frequently used in advertising, the French fold helps to maximize space and give the impression that there is more content than there actually is. Some restaurants that have an artistic look that catches the eye began folding napkins in the same way as early as the 16th century. Whatever your material, the French fold solves unique challenges that other folding techniques cannot solve.

Advertisers quickly adopted the French fold technique for their brochures and flyers. A good alternative to flat-printed paper, French-style folded brochures helped communicate with readers more effectively and artistically. Full-page designs no longer needed to be stuffed with long paragraph content. Contact information, call-to-action, and other information can be added on the same page. The use of French folds made it possible to accommodate this different type of content on the outside walls. This saves valuable space on the page.

Which is Better, a French Fold or a Half-Fold Brochure?

Choosing between a French or half-fold brochure depends on your marketing message and goal. Both types of brochures are extremely effective for getting results, and each has its unique qualities.

If you intend to show a lot of details or to include information and images that tell a story in a way, a french-fold brochure is a good choice. If you are promoting a sale or event, or you want to use your brochure as a program or menu, a half-fold brochure will provide your audience with quick and easy-to-understand material.

Accordion Fold Brochure

The accordion fold divides your brochure into four panels that are folded on top of each other like an accordion. 8.5″ x 14″ is the standard accordion fold size. Choose this fold if you want to give your customers detailed step-by-step instructions.

An accordion fold is created by folding a sheet of paper back and forth in three folds. It is similar to a Z-fold but has one more fold. When viewed from the side, it forms the letter “M”. (or W)

The name comes from its apparent resemblance to an accordion. The resulting eight panels can be opened with a single pull.

The accordion fold is ideal for event brochures with day-by-day schedules or a self-guided tour brochure that takes the reader from one point to the next. The simplicity of the design also allows the front and back to be presented as separate images. For example, you can print a map on the back and still have four panels for information and a schedule on the front.

foto source 

Double Parallel Fold Brochure

The double parallel booklet folds your paper in half to form two panels, and then in half again to form two parallel folds that go in the same direction. The standard booklet size for a double parallel fold is 8.5″ x 14″. This fold is good for reference material that customers can use for your products and services.

With a Double Parallel Fold, you can create an eight-page handout with plenty of room for images and content.

The four-page spread, revealed when fully unfolded, gives you the perfect opportunity to showcase expanded content such as a timeline, flowchart, or panoramic image.

foto source

Parallel Map Fold Brochure

A parallel map fold is similar to a double parallel fold. The paper is folded in half, then each panel is folded in half again in opposite directions. First, fold in the middle to create two panels. Each panel is folded in half in opposite directions – one folds forward, and the other folds backward.

This fold is commonly used for larger sheet sizes such as 14″ x 8.5″ making a 3.5″ x 8.5″ brochure and 17″ x 11″ sheets making a 4.25″ x 11″ brochure. The two inner panels are slightly narrower than the two outer panels. This fold is popular for programs and promotional items.

Parallel map folding is ideal for information-rich content, especially when you want to detail a wide range of products and services.

Cross fold brochure

We fold a single sheet of paper multiple times to form cross-fold booklets. These brochures are compact and easy to carry. Tourist guides and maps are therefore mostly in the form of cross-fold brochures. The title page of the brochure indicates the content it contains. The large area of the brochure offers plenty of space for creative graphics, diagrams, images, and maps. A customer can even use a colorful cross-fold brochure as a custom poster. This, in turn, leaves a lasting impression of the brand in the minds of customers.

Click here to learn more and see how the Cross Fold is made 

Hidden Panel Folds

The hidden fold has an extra panel that is not visible until the whole piece is unfolded. It can resemble a “T” or “L” shape when fully open, an iron cross, or a unique geometric shape.

A hidden panel fold allows a reader to explore your content as they work their way through the material. This encourages them to stick with it longer, making it a great tactic for marketing or promotional materials.

See an example here 

Die-cut fold

The die cuts use cookie-cutter technology to create a completely one-of-a-kind brochure.

Punches are created with a sharp steel blade that is formed into a specific shape. When the blade presses against the paper, it cuts out the shape – just like a cookie cutter cutting through the fresh dough. Stampings can create common shapes like circles, curves, and stair treads, or custom shapes like city skylines or palm trees.

A die-cut brochure may have a curved edge or a flap shaped like a puzzle piece. It could have a cutout in the front that gives a glimpse of the inside. It can be shaped like a product or combined with custom pleats to create something that feels like a work of art.

Because they are unique, die cuts have a “wow” factor that makes people want to save them and share them with family at home and friends on social media. 

die cut fold brochure

Maison Théâtre 2014-15 See the gallery on Behance

Roll fold

A roller fold refers to a method of folding documents that uses a series of parallel folds to create multiple pages of approximately the same size. Roller fold, also known as barrel fold or over-and-over fold, is a popular choice for folding a variety of documents, especially brochures, flyers, and mailings.

The panel at one end of a document is folded inward so that it lies flat against the panel next to it. These two panels are then folded inwards so that they lie flat against the next panel, and so on. A roller fold is aptly named because it resembles “unrolling” the document with a series of folds.

Technically, the folding sequence can be started at either end of the document, but starting the sequence at the rightmost end is the generally accepted convention. A rolled folded document allows the reader to see the information logically and step by step.

Roller fold is most commonly used to create 8-panel documents (4 panels on each side). The roll-fold technique is also used to create 10-page documents (5 pages on each side) and 12-page documents (6 pages on each side). Although not as common, roller fold can also be used to create documents with 14 or more panels.

Church Fold

Similar to a half fold, but with one lip’s edge folding inward. It gets its name from churches distributing bulletins at Sunday services – the small lip holds the donation ticket. The ticket is ripped off by a patron and given along with the money.

Engineering Fold

This fold resembles a Z fold, except that one of the panels is very large. Used only for marketing when a portion of a brochure needs to be “hidden”.

Baronial Fold

This fold is extremely complicated and can only be done by certain types of paper folders. Used almost exclusively for cartography and folding maps.

Types of brochure designs based on their purpose

  • Company Brochures
  • Sales Brochures
  • Event Brochures
  • Spec Sheets
  • Flyers or leaflets
  • Menus
  • Mailers
  • Folders and inserts
  • Presentation folder Brochures
  • Leave behind brochures

This was the article about brochures. I hope it was useful to you. I suggest you keep documenting yourself and especially try to do as many of these folds as possible, as a way to practice and learn.

All the best to you!