Tri-Fold Brochure Design
A tri-fold is a brochure or a leaflet consisting of a sheet of paper folded twice at equal intervals forming three equally-sized panels on each side. That is, six panels of equal size, three on each side, are created by folding the same sheet twice. There is usually a cover, a secondary cover, a panel with the contact information and three panels of content. There are several ways to fold the sheet, but usually the middle panel is the second internal content panel (central) and the external contact information panel; the one on its left, facing the inside of the tri-fold, serves as the first internal content panel and as an external main cover (it is the right panel located on the outside of the tri-fold); and the one that is on the right side of the interior of the brochure serves as the third inner content panel and as an external secondary cover (it is the left panel located on the outside of the tri-fold). Another common option is to fold it using accordion, Z-fold or inverted Z-fold method.
The most common size by far is LTR open (11″ wide x 8.5″ high), and it is ideal for presenting products or services, and small projects or small businesses. It is used heavily at conventions or trade shows. It is ideal for hand delivery due to its small size and hardness when closed. It has a much longer average useful life than a standard flyer.
The tri-fold brochure intrigues the audience and invites them to open it and see what is inside.
The printing costs are low due to small sizes of sheets (usually LTR or LGL). They can be easily printed digitally. In fact, the only difference in the cost of printing a tri-fold brochure and a flyer of the same size is the folding cost. They can be even printed and folded at home.
There are slightly larger tri-fold brochure types, ie. the legal (14″ wide x 11″ high), which allows for a larger panel size without a significant increase in the printing costs. Even such a format as triple-LTR (25.5″ wide x 11″ high) is common, but its use is much more professional and it is used to present large enterprises or high-end products and services of non-mass consumption (the cost of printing is quite high as for this size of sheet). The variants that are the extensions of the tri-fold are also common. They are created by folding the sheet more times (this usually results in a larger size) and can form a brochure with four, five or more panels on each side by folding the sheet in an accordion shape. The cost of printing these brochures is usually higher, especially in large sizes.