The best options for printing, folding and binding your brochure, courtesy of GA’s production specialist.
Brochures are a time-tested way to get out messages about a company or organization, product or service. They’re an opportunity to wow audiences who are now used to looking at information on screen with—instead!—a tangible piece they can hold. That said, there are options abound for how to print, fold and bind your brochure—and it can be overwhelming. Here, our production specialist, Chris, gives his two cents. And a glorious two cents they are: Chris has worked in production for 20 years for major brands including Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, PACCAR and more.
The scoop on printing.
Chris says: “Vendors price out the job according to all provided specifications, so it’s important to be as clear as possible up front for the most accurate price estimate.”
The cost of printing your brochure depends on a number of specifications provided with the final design. There are several things to consider that will influence the printing cost of your piece:
- Digital printing versus traditional offset printing (web or sheetfed)
- Online printing service versus traditional printing service
- Standard size (8.5x11) versus larger or custom size
- 4-color (or less) versus five colors or more
With this in mind, the most economical print run would likely be for a 4-color, 8.5x11 trifold produced by an online printer, which could start at $300 per 1,000.
Caution from Chris: “Remember that if you’ve got a rebrand, merger or even logo change coming up, don’t print more brochures than you’ll use before the look and feel becomes obsolete.”
The scoop on folding.
Chris says: “If there are more than one or two folds in the brochure, it may be printed then sent off to a bindery for folding. This means additional man hours. So, choose your folds wisely.”
Just like in junior high when you played tiny paper football, a brochure’s fold can help it win. Here are some of the most common folds:
- Bi-fold: A single sheet of paper, folded in two and printed on both sides.
- Tri-fold: The same as a bi-fold, but with three sections including one that overlaps another. Most standard trifolds are inserted into a #10 envelope, which can accommodate an A4 or 8.5x11 sheet.
- Z-fold: Think accordion, this looks like a Z when you encounter it sideways. “Try this style when you want a single image to span the entire width of one side of the page.”
- Gatefold: Yep, the front folds open like a gate. This is typically a single sheet of paper with a larger middle section and two smaller sections closing over the middle.
The scoop on binding.
Chris says: “Saddle stitching is the most common and most economical. Perfect bound is the elite and high end of binding.”
Often, there’s more to say in a brochure than what can fit on a single, folded piece of paper. That’s where booklet brochures come in. These are printed on multiple sheets of paper and are often bound, resulting in many more pockets of information. Here are the most popular binding techniques:
- Stapled on the creased edge
- Stitched with adhesive or thread
- Perfect bound like a paperback book
In addition to, or instead of print, might you be considering an e-brochure? It could save costs on printing, folding and binding if it accomplishes your goal. Check out our free guide to free guides: “3 steps to creating standout virtual collateral.”