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Bi-Fold Brochure Design

Bi-fold brochure design involves a series of graphic skills, which only a professional can apply with maximum originality and corporate representation. A bi-fold brochure is primarily a communication tool that allows to present a company and to express its message to the public. So it is essential to obtain a quality piece, as it will become the visible face of an organization. The graphic designer is the person that will be able to perfectly combine the verbal and visual language to accomplish a great impact on the recipients. We dedicate this section to the main concepts when designing a bi-fold brochure, so that you will feel the very security of knowing at the time of hiring the services of a designer.


If you are thinking about making bi-fold brochures for your company, you should be clear about the corporate message you want to convey, because when the public has a brochure in its hands, it will consider the brochure as fully representative of the company. Professional designers carry out first a thorough research on the company, for which they will design a bi-folded brochure. This means that, in the initial stage of design, the professional comes into contact with the personnel of a company to know its activities and its philosophy and to define the general message to be communicated in the bi-fold brochure. Many times it is taken into account what is stated in previous bi-fold brochures or other promotional pieces, in order to establish continuity. But in other cases, when a company wants to renew and give another image, a new message is created according to the new institutional situation.

The corporate message is shown in a bi-fold brochure through the selected graphic elements (colors, pictures, backgrounds, lines, fonts, etc.) and the included text. A semiotics harmonious whole must be created that embodies the main idea of a company, i.e., its personality, values, mission, as well as the intention and the particular objective of the bi-fold brochure itself. As you can see, the message definition is crucial for the design, since the choices of the components are taken according to it.


The design of a bi-fold brochure, like any marketing tool, must always be thought in terms of not only a company, but also the type of public it targets. So, you already know, you have to point out the characteristics of the public which the company has already addressed or wants to address, to optimize the designers’ work. With the necessary information about the recipients (educational level, social sector, gender, age, cultural group, etc.) the designer will be able to make a bi-fold brochure come exactly to the desired people and will achieve that they feel fully identified with the aesthetics of it, and so with the company in general. A tri-fold brochure thought to have the public into account ensures that it identifies itself with the company and that it wants to keep the brochure to stay in touch.


Since the bi-fold brochures are brochures of high informative capacity, the text function is key to them. This means that if you want to have communicatively effective bi-fold brochures, you have to count on the help of a professional editor, who will work together with the designer to turn the brochure into a piece of resounding success. An editor takes care of expressing in words the perfect synthesis of all the performance of a company and its values. The bi-fold brochure quality heavily depends on the quality of the text presented. Above all, the content should be clear and synthetic. It is necessary to avoid vague and long sentences, since they become an obstacle for quick reading made by recipients. Only a bi-fold brochure that shows a text clear and informative at the same time, and only a text consisting of sentences of simple syntax and vocabulary accessible to the average public, can turn out to be a real communication tool. A bi-fold brochure with an interesting, short and grammatically appropriate text ensures that the target public reads and stores it. The formal or informal record will depend on the style of each company.

It is important to think of a bi-fold brochure text in terms of its panels, as each of them fulfills a specific role. On the front panel you should present a statement of maximum clarity and impact to attract the attention of the public and stay in its memory. So, it will ensure that when a person has a bi-fold brochure in its hands, it immediately understands what it is about and is curious to open it. The inside of a bi-fold brochure has to show in both panels a short but sufficiently informative text. It is essential for it to have coherence and to be properly organized, by separating it into paragraphs, headings, subheadings, bullets, graphical boxes, lines, etc. People will only read the bi-fold brochure if it has an interesting, grammatically appropriate and organized text. Finally, the panel at the back of the brochure is generally intended to show the contact information of the company: phone number, fax number, email address and institutional website, address, and hours of attention to the customer.


You may wonder what the main criterion for choosing the fonts of a bi-fold brochure is. Basically, you have to keep in mind its legibility, as the text has a central role in this type of brochures, and it is essential that it be easily legible. Classical fonts, such as Times, Helvetica or Bodoni are highly recommended, because they make the texts easily able to be read, whatever the size. On the other hand, to optimize legibility, it is important that the color of the letters contrast with the background.

The other criterion to consider is the aesthetic profile of the company. So, according to its style, it can be chosen fonts with serif (those with ends: Times, for example) to produce a more conventional image, or fonts without serif (those without ends: Helvetica or Arial) to generate a sensation of greater modernity. Designers avoid overloading a text with fonts, this is why they just choose one or two, maintaining the basic principle of simplicity. A text with much varied fonts generates confusion and seems aesthetically unharmonious. But it is recommended to set differences in the text by means of stylistic changes: bold, italic, underline, shadow, etc.


For a bi-fold brochure to be an attractive and commercially useful piece, it is essential that it shows photographs and/or quality illustrations. It is important not only to include images about products and services (as in a catalog) but also to show images of the facilities and personnel of the company. This way, the readers will feel the closeness of a company. Many times designers choose metaphorical images to represent the spirit of a company. Moreover, an image that has to always be present is the corporate logo, graphic essence of an organization.


The four panels that make up a conventional bi-fold brochure should have the same graphic sense to make the piece get recorded in the recipients’ minds. A fundamental panel is the front one, as it works as the bail that catches the look of the readers and gets them to open the brochure to keep reading. On the front face, there must be then a really captivating and memorable slogan, as well as the corporate logo and a representative image of the company’s activities. The design, in turn, must be eye-catching, so that it generates a great visual impact.

In the two inside panels, which have to be in harmony with the outside ones, it is necessary to include a clear and well organized text with frames, highlighted boxes, info graphs, and other resources that makes understanding easier. Besides, if the bi-fold brochure works as catalog, it is necessary that in the inside the products are presented by pictures and prices. The design of those panels should have an important amount of free space to make reading more lively and avoid confusion. The back face is generally used to provide the contact information of the company. Anyway, it is important to keep a homogeneous style all over the bi-fold brochure, as well as to make sure that each panel has an easily identifiable function.


When you are planning the design of a bi-fold brochure, it is important to take into consideration, in advance, how many colors are going to be used depending on printing and budget. Full color printing is highly recommended and nowadays very accessible. It is convenient to always be prudent when using the colors to avoid saturation. A successful design is a design that, before all, is simple and impressive at the same time. The best way to consolidate the identity of a company in the mind of the public and make it easily recognizable is to use the corporate colors in the bi-fold brochure.

If you have the possibility to have multicolor bi-fold brochures made, the options are many, which the designers can offer you. One of the most effective is combining colors that are soft or not vibrant, with strokes of bright colors. The soft chromatic palettes have the function to give the recipients’ eyes a rest, while the stronger colors are used to bring out different textual and graphic elements. In case that you can only use one color because of budgetary reasons, an excellent option is to make a design based on the spectrum of a very same color. The chosen color should be the most representative of a company (that is present, for example, in the logo, or referred to a product or central idea), because so, the corporate identity can be reinforced. The white and black bi-fold brochures, for their part, are a possible option if a little budget is at disposal. In this case, the design is crucial again, because it will depend on it to achieve an attractive and original piece without having the benefits common to the colors.


When designing a bi-fold brochure, one of the aspects that can be taken into account is the type of cut. This can be straight (also called orthogonal), such as those presented in the conventional bi-fold brochures, or irregular. The straight cut is performed with a guillotine, it is the most popular in all the printers, and because of that it is the cheapest. The irregular cut is the one that allows to obtain different edges of the paper sheet, i.e., different forms. So, a bi-fold brochure can present a diagonal cut at the upper edge, for example. It is a more expensive type of cut, because it implies using special machines that not all the printers have.


Traditional bi-fold brochures are folded into halves, in the manner of a book. However, there are other less conventional ways of folding that can be used to make a bi-fold brochure an extremely attractive brochure. One option consists in folding the paper diagonally, like a napkin. Another possibility is to fold the paper like a book, but without one side completely coinciding with the other. Another aspect to be considered by the graphic professional is that the design can have horizontal or vertical layout.


Since the bi-fold brochures are pieces whose function is to remain in hands of the recipients, it is essential that the chosen paper to print them be resistant. In addition, how a design will look like will depend on the type of paper that is chosen. This means that, taking into account that the design of a brochure is a complex task and requires a lot of dedication, it is crucial to use a quality paper when printing, so that the work of the designer is not wasted. Generally, by bi-fold brochures are used: illustration paper or cardboard, in either both cases 80# or 100#, glossy or matte. Paper with glossy finish always bring out colors more, while the matte finish increases the definition of the images and texts.


Laminating is a treatment that the paper gets after being printed and involves covering it with a plastic layer. It is recommended, in the case of making bi-fold brochures on a cardboard which does not have its own finish, neither glossy nor matte. A bi-fold brochure will not only be more attractive, but also will have a long useful life in the hands of the public. There are two types of laminating, glossy and matte, either effective in achieving a bi-fold brochure of the highest quality.

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