Brochures are a great, classic way to share information. Whether you use them to tell your brand story, debut a new product, or even as educational material on features, brochures are an important part of your print marketing mix.
Printing them, however, sometimes feels complicated. Read on to demystify all the complexities of trifolds, paper stocks, perforation, and more for printing your brochures.
Printed Brochure Formats
Brochures come in many different formats. In general, your information is printed onto a standard 8.5×11” page (in the USA), and then folded to its finished size. The number of folds decides the final size of your brochure. Here are some of the common folds for brochures.
In addition to choosing your brochure format, you can also choose whether your printer folds the brochures for you. While this usually adds on a slight cost, it saves you eons of time and mitigates folding errors.rnrn
In this format, the 8.5×11” page is folded in half.
In tri-fold brochures, the 8.5×11” page is folded three times. You can choose letter-style folding, in which the two outer panels are folded over each other into the front (like an envelope), or z-fold, when one outer panel is folded to the front of the center and the other outer panel is folded to the back.
Sometimes, you want a larger brochure. You can choose to print on larger pages that are folded more times. For example, at Mimeo we offer a standard 4-fold and 8-fold brochures.
Choose the Right Paper Stock for Your Brochure
It is important to choose the right paper stock for your brochure. A few decision you will have to make include:
Color or B&W
Color printers typically use different paper stocks than black and white printers, so your first decision is whether to print the brochure in color or not. Since brochures are often marketing pieces used to tell your brand story or catch your prospects’ attention, the best option is usually color.rn
Lightweight or cardstock
Next, you’ll need to choose the weight of your brochure stock. If you expect your audience to pick up the brochure, read it, and discard it, then a lightweight stock might be fine. However, if you want the brochure to survive being stuffed into a bag, carted through an airport, or other abuse, then consider a sturdier cardstock. rn
Laminated or poly paper
You may want to add an extra layer of protection to your brochure to prevent it from tearing, bending, or getting stained. Lamination is applied onto the printed brochure like saran wrap. A more elegant option is poly paper, which prints directly onto a tear-free, waterproof synthetic paper. rn
If you intend for part of the brochure to tear off, then you’ll need to find a printer to accommodate perforation. Perforation scores the paper so it is easy to rip in the location you want to tear-off, without damaging the rest of the brochure.
Glossy or matte
You will also need to decide the finish for your brochure. If it is rich in images or color, then you may prefer a glossy finish, similar to a photograph. Otherwise, you will probably be happy with a standard matte finish.rn