Design trifold brochures that get your business noticed

Brochures don’t have to be just a mere container for your company’s best offers.

You can do more — it is one of the most versatile offline marketing materials after all — even with a simple trifold.

A brochure can tell your brand story in a way a flyer or a poster can’t: you can have an impressive introduction on the cover, a powerful body of products or services, and a compelling closing call-to-action that drives impact.

These design proves that your brochure doesn’t have to be several pages long. It can just be a back-to-back page, segmented in a trifold.

01. Make It Bright

Want to make sure your trifold doesn’t go unnoticed? Design it using a single bright hue, as showcased above. If you’re working with your own brand colors, go with your brightest option.

02. Different Color Panels

Breakup different bits of content and add visual interest to your trifold by using a different color on each panel. Above, Sasha Barr alternates between black, yellow and white backgrounds to design a cool informative guide for Sub Pop Records’ interns.

03. Go Horizontal

Change things up and explore a horizontal layout instead of a vertical one. Not sure what this might look like? Check out the slick invitation Plenty designed for West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology’s biggest fundraiser above. Be sure to also check out this link to read a little more about the project.

04. Classic Black & White

Design in black and white along and create a classic and timeless piece.

Another cool thing about designing in black and white? You can print a quick run on your office printer if you ever need to. Granted, your laser printer version will never look as slick as a professionally printed—but it will get you out of a bind.

05. Use a Funky Texture

Not feeling super confident in your design skills yet? Make your life easy and use a fun texture to add visual interest to your trifold.

06. Create a Spread

I often see trifolds where design is governed by the panels created by folds. Forget about them and create a beautiful design packed with color and graphics that spans across all 3 interior panels.

Yes, it requires a bit more heavy lifting but you’ll wind up with a solution as impactful as the one above by Stephane Pianacci.

07. Use Fun Shapes

 Don’t have photographs to work with? Try a few fun shapes instead. Build a pattern with them, as showcased above, or place them strategically around your layout to help viewers navigate content.

08. Use the Grid

Working with text-heavy content can be a challenge, especially for those new to design. Make thing easier for yourself and use a grid to facilitate laying out and organizing information.

In general, the more column grids in a layout, the more flexible the layout can become. Aim for a higher number of columns to make sure you’ve plenty of room to design a solution as beautiful as Rocio Gomez’s above.

09. Include Beautiful Photography

Carefully curate the imagery you choose to use on your trifolds. Make sure your shots are high quality. If you’re still looking for the perfect set of photographs, check out Canva’s superb library packed with hundreds of options covering virtually every subject.

When working with photography, be sure to also pay close attention to the treatment you’ve given to each image and how you’ve cropped them. Make sure all your photographs work well together, as showcased in the example above.

10. Go Type-Centric

No photographs? No problem! Select a beautiful typeface and work with size and styling to create a piece as beautiful as Michele Byrne’s above.

If you’re still getting comfortable with typography and all its ins and outs, work with one of our templates below. Remember, be mindful of what content you choose to set at different sizes.

11. Feature Large Design Elements

Not everything in your trifolds panels need to be small, tidy text. Add contrast to your brochure by using oversized design elements, like the large number in the example above, in combination with type set at a regular size.

Remember, content set at a larger size is automatically highlighted. Be sure to give some thought to what content you choose to make big and bold.

12. Use a Single Color

Colour tends to give the uninitiated a headache. Forget about struggling to pair colours or define roles and use a single color. Set your type in it, use it as a background and even apply it as a color filter to your photographs to produce a monochromatic trifold.

13. Overlay Elements

The different elements you choose to design with don’t have to always steer clear of each other. Overlaying bits and pieces of them can help you create interesting visual solutions, as showcased above.

14. Interesting Photo Treatments

Take a few chances and play with different filter and photo treatments. Use your brand’s colors to create a cool color filter, like the one above.

You’ll find filter that enhance the mood of your images or give them a vintage feel.

15. Modern Feel

Create a modern piece with masterfully set type, carefully curated imagery, and sophisticated design elements. Let a solid grid inform your design and you’ll wind up with a lovely trifold.

16. Use Large Type

I am a huge fan of type set at exaggerated sizes. Select a beautiful typeface and bump up its size for a bold statement like the one above.

Remember, give careful consideration to the content decide to set in large type, as you’re ultimately highlighting it. They’ll pop off the page and likely stick around in your viewer’s minds.

17. Feature Illustrations

Substitute photographs with sweet illustrations, just as João Neves does for Hot Club Portugal above. The lovely silhouette of the instrument and musician add a gorgeous touch to the trifold.

Be mindful of the illustrative style you choose. Smooth, clean shapes, for example, don’t convey the same feeling that rough, textured ones do. Be sure you’re selecting a style that works well with your content and sets the right mood.

18. Use Fun Icons

Create a set of fun icons around the topic of your trifold, as showcased above. If you’re new to icon design, give recreating whatever object you wish to turn into an icon with basic shapes. If you were creating a tree icon, for example, you’d be able to build is using triangles and a square alone. Or you can always just download free ones — we have a list of the best icon resources right

19. Crop Wisely

Working with photography doesn’t just mean selecting stunning shots—you’ve to make sure you are giving them the right treatment and cropping them beautifully too. Give careful consideration to what you’re choosing to leave out of the shot and make sure it doesn’t convey the wrong message or work against your design.

20. Integrate Your Panels

Written by Maria Jose Courtesy of Canva