Fold your way to business success

Do you have a product or service to sell? A brochure is one of the main ways to introduce your product or service to potential clients. It can get your message across in a compact, easy to hold design.

Brochures most commonly come in three sizes: 8 ½x11, 8 ½x14 and 11x17. Unfolded 8 1/2x11 pages are ideal for product sheets, while a bifold design (folded twice for a total of three panels) is perfect for company brochures. An 11x17 page folded in half is a good design for a simple product catalog. Larger sheets can be folded into multiple panels. Larger booklet-type brochures use multiple sheets of paper and are either stapled on the edge of the crease (saddle stitched) or bound like a paperback book.

General guidelines

Here are a few tips for designing a great brochure:

  • Keep the text of your brochure short and sweet. Too much text is simply going to frustrate the reader and they may choose not to read your brochure at all.
  • The font and typeface should be easy to read. A person who suffers from impaired vision may have trouble reading fancier but less clear fonts.
  • Font sizes should be around 12 point for text and 14 point for headlines. If the text is too large, it gives the impression there is not enough information to fill the brochure. Fonts that are too small will be hard to read.
  • Stick to Times New Roman, Arial, and Bookman typefaces.
  • Choose colors that are pleasant to the readers’ eye. A light-colored font on a dark background is the most common.
  • Use headings to convey key messages in case the reader does not read the entire text.

Layout of a typical tri-panel brochure

The front cover should be visually simple, providing just enough content to entice the reader to open up the brochure to read more about your company.

The inside front panel is the most important panel of the brochure. It is a good place to summarize key points or provide a glowing testimonial.

The reader will then fold open the brochure to see the inside panel spread. This is the area where you describe your company or products in more detail. This area should contain a short description of what your company does, as well as your strengths and / or competitive advantages. Keep product descriptions short, and refer potential customers to your website for further information.

Readers are least likely to read the back panel, so don’t include any key messages here. This is usually the panel where contact information is provided.


Now that your layout is complete, you need to have your brochure printed. Check out our printing page for tips to get the job done right.

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