A brochure is a great tool to promote your business. Capable of many functions, it is also one of the easiest printed pieces to customize.

Eye-catching and compelling brochures start with a layout that presents your information in an interesting and logical manner. While brochure layouts differ, they share some common terms.


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Brochures are divided into panels—the area from the edge of the page to a fold or the area between two folds. Each panel holds a column, the area where text and graphical elements are placed. The spaces between columns are known as gutters. Margins are measured from the outside edge of the page to the outside edge (top, bottom, left and right) of the columns.

The most basic brochure is a single page of any size, printed on one or two sides. However, a brochure really shows its versatility when you begin folding it.

There are an almost unlimited number of ways to fold a piece of paper, but the fundamental fold is in half, either vertically ( a "standard" fold) or horizontally (a "tent" fold). Combining two standard folds results in the letter fold (sometimes called a #10 fold because folding a 8.5" x 11" piece of paper in thirds will produce a brochure that easily fits inside a #10 envelope).

An accordion fold produces a brochure in which the panels fold on top of each other. When stretched out, the accordion-folded brochure lays flat and can be read from side to side. The main advantage to this type of brochure is its flexibility—add as many panels as necessary.

A roll fold (or barrel fold) results in a brochure with panels that fold in on each other. Again, the main advantage of this fold is its ability to accomodate additional panels in a compact size. A roll fold also ensures that the information contained in the brochure is displayed in a certain order.

Gate folds use two end panels that fold inward. The brochure then folds again down the center. This type of fold is useful when presenting a series of thoughts or images that build to a conclusion.

The parallel fold is sometimes called the half-and-half fold because the finished piece is folded in half, then folded in half again. The final folded size is a quarter of the orginal width and the same height.

Folds can be combined to create unique layouts. For instance, a poster fold is a piece that is given a parallel fold first (the "base" fold) and then an accordion fold (the "finish" fold). Custom folds, such as a triangle fold, are also possible.

Century Press, Inc. • 10443 Balls Ford Road • Manassas, VA 20109 • (703) 335-5663 • (703) 335-2480 fax
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