The Design History behind Trifold Brochures

How did half-fold, Z-fold, double parallel, and trifold brochures come about? Like business cards, brochures have long been used as a printed advertising material. Over the years, the technology behind printing and designing the brochures have improved. As technology advanced, so has the quality of printing and the method used in designing printed advertising materials.

How Brochure Printing has Evolved Over the Years  

Here’s a quick look at how brochure printing has evolved over the past few decades:

  • 1940s to 1950s

In the 1940s, brochures were mostly hand-drawn and printed in black-and-white. If there was color in half fold brochures, for example, the palette was limited. In the 1950s, some improvement was seen because it became easier to include photos in posters, business cards, and brochures. However, most of the design and color elements were still hand-drawn.

  • 1960s to 1970s

This was when color brochure printing started gaining popularity. It was in the early 1960s that Kodak’s instant color photos were manufactured, making it easier to incorporate pictures rather than hand-drawn illustrations into brochure design. The following decade, full-color photography soared, making brochure designs more image-centric. From magazines to brochures, flyers, and similar advertising material, the advancements in photography and design technology made printed products much more colorful.

  • 1980s to present

Fast forward to the 1980s, when computers were already being used to design almost anything under the sun. Although pen and paper was still utilized to create drafts of brochure designs, the improvement in technology has made it easier to design 12-page accordion fold brochures, for example. Desktop publishing significantly decreased printing costs – so those who need printed promotional materials do not have to spend so much money ordering full-color brochures.

Today, you can take your pick from brochures which are printed using digital printers or offset printers. Offset printing presses are huge machines but they do produce better quality than digital printers. Still, it’s entirely up to you to decide which printing method to use. As long as you have an effective, eye-catching design for your brochure, you can use them as a means to promote the product or service you’re offering to your customers.