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Trifold, flyer or both?

After weighing the pros and cons of the two formats, clients often choose to present the same content both ways. Here’s why.

The most commonly requested print material is a trifold brochure. The format has withstood the test of time because it is a convenient size and allows for “just enough” information to introduce a company or offer.

When asked to create a trifold brochure, we bring up the pros and cons of the trifold format when compared with a flyer that is also 8.5x11 and can be printed on both sides. Trifolds and flyers are very different in their presentation and utility.

After the pros and cons discussion, clients usually opt to do both.

Trifolds are better…

…if you want to mail the piece in an envelope, hand it out or have people pick it up on a display table or in your reception area.

The size is familiar, compact and convenient. The format presents as a brochure, with a cover to pique reader interest and a three-panel interior you can use to tell a story in bite-size pieces or use to make a splash by designing all three panels as one.

Added bonus: On a trifold you are sending out to be printed on a press, you can bleed the ink to the edge of the paper, which lends sophistication to the overall appearance.

Flyers are better…

…if you want to email the piece as an attachment or put it on your website as a .pdf file that visitors can view online or download and print from their desktop. (When you present a trifold as a flat .pdf, you lose the folds, so the flow of content from one panel to the next is lost.)

The flyer format also works better if you plan to convert the .pdf to a .jpg for display in the body of an email you distribute through Constant Contact or a similar platform. The straightforward, vertical 8.5×11 format allows you to present all of the most important information at once.

Quick tip: Don’t bleed a flyer design if you want people to print it out. Most desktop printers can’t print any closer than a quarter inch from the page edge, so depending on your settings, they will either crop a full-bleed design or shrink it.

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