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Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 2
Martin Perhiniak on Tue, May 28th 0 comments
Continuing from Part 1 in this 3-part InDesign and Photoshop tutorial, Martin Perhiniak shows you how to create a beautiful trifold brochure. Part 3 is coming tomorrow.

In this three part tutorial, we are going to design a trifold brochure for a fictional travel agency  specialized in tours to the beautiful island of Bali. In the first part of the tutorial, we concentrated on the title design which was created in Photoshop using one of my photos I took of a Balinese monastery. In the second part, we will incorporate this title design into our brochure design in InDesign. The final design will look like this:

Bali brochure


In the previous part of the tutorial we designed the title, which looks like this:

Bali title


Step 1 - Setting up the project folder and preparing files

First of all, we need to organize our files for this project. In the previous part, I recommended to create a new folder for this project with another folder inside called Links. You should save your InDesign document in the project folder next to the Links folder and keep all additional images together with the title design in the Links folder. The way InDesign works is that it only links in image files but doesn’t embed them automatically to keep the file size small and make it easier to work with multiple page documents. That’s why it is useful to keep all images organized in a specified folder used in the document before you actually place them into InDesign.

The title graphic should be placed into the Links folder too. You don’t have to save it into a different format, you can use the PSD file in InDesign. I will use 3 other photos in this tutorial. Feel free to use any landscape photos of Bali you can find on the internet and also place them into the Links folder.


Step 2 - Setting up the InDesign document

To create a new InDesign document open InDesign and press Control/Command-N. In the dialog box you can set the size of your document. We will only create the front of our trifold brochure first. Set the size to Width 3.6 in x Height 8 in. You can keep the margins set to default but click on More Options and set the Bleed on all sides to 0.125 in. The "bleed area" is an extra space for design elements or backgrounds that extend beyond the finished size of your piece.

Pic 1


This will be only one fold, but we can easily add the other 2 folds later. This is a standard trifold brochure size but you can use different sizes too.


Step 3 - Creating all the folds

Once you have the first fold, you can easily copy that and create all the other ones. Before doing that, you should turn off an option to make it possible to attach the folds together into spreads. You can access this feature by right-clicking on the page in the Pages panel and choose Allow Document Pages to Shuffle. 

Pic 2


Now you can right-click again on the page thumbnail in the Pages panel and choose Duplicate Spread twice. This is what you you should see:

Pic 3


Now you can drag the first page and attach it to the spread next to it in the Pages panel. This is how it should look like:

Pic 4


Step 4 - Creating the second spread

Even though we have all three folds ready, we still only have one side of the brochure. If you think about it, a trifold brochure actually has 6 sides. The easiest way to create the other side of the brochure is to duplicate the whole spread. Select all three pages (click on the first on the left and while holding down Shift, click on the last one on the right). Once you have the selection you can right-click on the spread’s thumbnail in the Pages panel and choose Duplicate Spread. Now this is what you should see:

Pic 5


Step 5 - Compensating the folds

We have to slightly adjust the size of two folds to make sure the trifold brochure will fold nicely when printed. These are the folds going to inside the brochure. You will have to use the Page tool (3rd one from the top of the toolbar) and select the first and last pages and set their sizes on the control bar to 3.5 in:

Pic 6


Step 6 - Designing the cover

For the cover I would like to add the title on the top and use another image at the bottom. Between the two images, I will use a blue strip with a text saying ‘Heaven on Earth’. I used a font called Medea ITC Std, but of course you don’t have to stick to this. The way you can place images into InDesign is choosing File > Place and then find the files on your hard drive. This is how I designed the front of the brochure:

Pic 7


You can come up with a design for the back and inside fold.


Step 7 - Designing the inside folds

For the design on the inside folds I used 3 images and the same blue strip for subtitles. Even though the content is divided into folds it is good to design some kind of visual connection between them. 

Pic 8


Make sure you extend all images and strips on the edges all the way to the Bleed edge marked with red lines in Normal view as these will provide you a nice trimmed print without having white edges around the images.

Pic 9


Also make sure you align your content’s text inside the margins (if you don’t see them press W to enter Normal view). It doesn’t look nice when text gets too close to fold lines or trimmed edges. When this brochure gets printed it will look something like this:

Bali brochure


We are going to learn how to create this 3d mockup in Photoshop in the next part of this series.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and well done for your hard work :)


Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 1

Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 2 (You're reading it)

Design a Trifold Brochure in InDesign and Photoshop, Part 3

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