Brochure design styles

Brochures have really come a long way from the classic tri-fold style. You now have a variety of styles and layouts to choose from, according to the design that works best for you, your targeted audience and your budget. You can maximize your marketing campaign’ effectiveness and present your business and services or products in their best light by manipulating several key characteristics: design, layout and fold.


An important first step is to choose the size of the paper as it determines how much content you’ll be able to present your audience with. Brochures are generally composed of one single page, even though expanding to multiple sheet formats is also possible. Though custom sizes can be offered by most design companies, the standard sizes are usually: Letter – 8.5″ x 11″, Legal – 8.5″ x 14″, Tabloid – 11″ x 17″ and 11″ x 25.5″.


There is a significant number of possible styles that could work well with your brochure. These styles can be achieved by using the standard sizes listed above.

Tri-fold brochure

This brochure is very popular as it can accommodate both graphics and text. The information is presented on 6 panels when using this style. Remember the front panel is the largest and each panel has different sizes to ensure a clean closure.

Accordion or Z-fold brochures

They are great for smaller amounts of content and also to create interest with its design. This style is best used as a 3 panel document, each panel having the same size. It has 2 folds and the paper compressed into a Z shape.

Double parallel brochure

Makes a very direct presentation. This style is perfect for a clear separation of content, allowing it to be distributed along the 8 panels of the brochure. The last two panels are a bit narrower though, to allow a clean closure.

Gate fold

It’s a unique style that counts on 3 to 4 panels, out of which 2 outer ones are smaller and opening like a gate. It’s great to create a seamless, attractive look.

Right-angle half fold or french fold

The paper is first folded in half horizontally, then in half again vertically, this way creating 4 panels plus 8 usable pages. It’s a fun design that has a lot of content space.

Barrel fold or roll fold

This style is made up by 4 progressively smaller panels, the brochure being rolled into itself. It creates an air of curiosity, which increases the chances for the brochure to be read by the target reader.

Bookfold or program brochure

This is a style presently growing in popularity due to its format versatility. You get 4 panels more to work with by folding your brochure in half.

Your front cover content should be kept as simple as possible. It needs to include the name of your company, its logo and your slogan. Make sure to include just enough information to catch the reader’s eye and encourage him to learn more.

Your brochure‘s back panel/page should give details about your company. Contact information such as phone, fax, address, e-mail and web address, along with a brief bio should be included.

Keep in mind that the information you are choosing to put on your brochure is the most important detail. Ensure it is relevant for the brochure‘s purpose, complete and edited. It should be approved and ready to go before submitting it for your brochure layout and design.