Making Brochures on Color Laser and Inkjet Printers

Making Brochures in-house...
...on Laser, Color Laser, or Inkjet printers.

This page is a step-by-step breakdown of the vital steps in the process of successfully making brochures that will effectively represent you and your company's offerings.


 Making Brochures:  Choosing a Format

The first two things you need to decide are the paper size and format that you will use for making brochures.  The most common brochure formats are tri-fold 8.5 x 11 and half-fold (bi-fold) 11 x 17.  Other variations exist, but these two are the most practical for common brochure applications.  

Brochure Paper

Tri-fold Brochure:  A tri-fold brochure (8.5"x11" or 8.5"x14") is more appropriate for making brochures that are intended to be hand-held, easily carried, passed around, placed into a jacket pocket, etc.  This is also the common use for a "take-one" box in a waiting reception area, front counter, or desktop.


Brochure Paper

11 x 17 Bi-fold Brochure ("half-fold"): Making brochures to an 11 x 17 bi-fold format will result in a final brochure size of 8.5 x 11.   This format will accommodate a lot more information and/or photos.  This lends itself well as an insert in a marketing pocket folder, or by itself when a grander presentation is sensible.  This format is appropriate for creating a more comprehensive

presentation when your potential customer will have the time to sit down 
and browse the brochure (good for product catalogs).

 Making Brochures:  Layout, Design, and Content

The impression you make in any marketing document must effectively communicate your company's unique selling position.  Why is your product/company worth remembering for your customer?  This is the chief aim of making brochures for marketing your product or service.  Present your best angle in a straight-forward, no-nonsense way to capture a business lead.  

Front Cover:  The front cover should be clean and simple to include a company logo.  Most importantly, it should be eye-catching with a clearly-stated message that engages the reader.  

Inside Panels:  Include your specific selling points on the inside panels.  Well chosen pictures are essential to making the written information more interesting and enticing to read.  Your writing should focus on customer benefits first and foremost.  Describing product features should be secondary to product benefits.
Back Cover:  When making brochures remember to include summarized or highlighted points about your company's products or services.  It is always worthwhile to concisely repeat the benefits of what you offer.  The back cover is also the appropriate location for pointing out your company's experience or expertise.  

Important:  keep in mind, some people may not read anything more than the front and back covers of your brochure before deciding to put it down forever.  Be as concise and engaging as possible while maintaining a straightforward, approachable tone to your words, as it relates to your type of customer.  

Helpful websites:
How to use MS Word to create a tri-fold brochure at
Also: refer to this interactive brochure template editor sponsored by Hewlett Packard.

 Making Brochures:  Final Presentation Decisions

The choice of brochure paper strongly affects the overall impression of a brochure.  The paper type affects the split-second first impression created by your brochure.  It is as important as the visual impact of the front cover design and the main selling point in its text.  

Here's a look at papers from glossy to standard bright white...

High Level Impact - Glossy Brochure Paper:  when making brochures for most business services or products, a glossy brochure paper reinforces an impression of competence and class.  This is also widely accepted as the most effective paper for achieving a commercially-printed look (i.e. print-shop quality results).  


Note: the paper recommendations below are for flat, un-scored sheets (i.e. they are not pre-scored for manual folding into the final folded brochure).  Refer to the last step in this article for options on achieving the final brochure fold.



for Inkjet Printers:  An ideal glossy brochure paper for making brochures is the gloss version of HP Brochure & Flyer Paper.



for B&W and color Laser Printers:  Refer to our 32 lb. Laser Gloss, specifically made for brochures.  It is a versatile and magazine-like glossy brochure paper.


After coated, glossy papers, matte paper is an alternative available for inkjet printers only...

Matte Paper, an inkjet alternative: 
Matte paper is a less expensive alternative to glossy brochure paper.  It gets your message across with enhanced photo image clarity and more vibrant colors to a degree far beyond any uncoated bond paper.


for Inkjet Printers:  Refer to matte paper, a less expensive alternative to glossy brochure paper.

The final, least expensive options include the variety of uncoated white bond papers available...
Economical Brochure Paper: 
If you have a wholesale or warehouse type of marketing approach, then a less expensive paper may be appropriate or preferred.  An uncoated bright white bond can more effectively communicate your offering and save you money on making brochures.  

We recommend a 24 lb. bright white bond with a high brightness rating of 90 or better.  If your brochure layout uses pictures or employs heavy ink coverage, we recommend the 39 lb. weight to prevent show-through of the ink from the back side to the next of each sheet.  


for Inkjet Printers:   Refer to bright white bond inkjet paper, 24 or 39 lb.



for B&W and color Laser Printers:   Bright white laser paper, 24 or 39 lb.

 Making Brochures:  Completing the Brochure

Completing the tri-fold or bi-fold is the final step to making your brochure ready.  The most practical options are discussed below.

Folding:  If quantities are small, your brochures can be folded by hand.  See also the pre-scored paper option below.  

However, for larger quantities it is an inexpensive step to have your brochures machine-folded at a local print shop, or some copy shops.  This operation can often be completed within a couple of hours, but expect a turn-around time of a day or less in most print shops.  

Pre-scored paper (ready for folding):  Another popular option for inkjet printers only is HP Tri-Fold Brochure Paper, which is pre-scored for easy folding.  This product is a generalized solution for convenient short-run brochure printing, but is still a very suitable option for making a good impression. 

For the complete range of paper choices, see the brochure paper article.


We are passionate about supplying the best paper for you to complete your project successfully and on time. We know paper, so we sell only premium quality papers, all designed to make your projects look their best. Our knowledgeable customer service team is dedicated to fulfilling your paper needs in the best way possible, and we have only the highest quality products to accomplish this goal.

At Graytex we practice the Golden Rule - we treat customers the way we wish to be treated. Since our founding, 35 years ago, we have consistently attracted a loyal base of regular customers. If we do not have exactly what you need, we will gladly tell you where to find it if we can. Try us, you will like us guaranteed!

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It is true that Graytex Papers has the edge on paper stock, variety, hard to find paper types and sizes, and our professional shipping policies, but the biggest edge we have going for us is our customer service. You may do several print jobs a week, or less, or more, it doesn't matter, we want to help you make every project stand out with exceptional clarity, unbeatable eye appeal, and that feel of paper quality that tells your customers, guests, and associates that you know true luxurious quality.

If you can imagine it - we can help you print it!

Take some time to browse our website pages before giving us a call. Spend some time discussing your paper and print needs with our experienced staff at 800-813-5828. We will find that perfect solution to make your print noticeably superior and memorably impressive. We offer the flexibility of customer ordering by phone or anytime ordering online using our secure website ordering page.

At Graytex, we are passionate about premium quality papers. Our Bright White papers are Number 1 grade, the highest quality paper available. Graytex Bright White papers are more opaque than most, which results in less bleed-through with your documents. This top-grade opacity allows for double-sided printing without show-through on your manuscripts. In addition, these papers provide premium brightness, increased richness, and greater smoothness than #4 papers. Your documents will not only feel luxurious; they will be printed accurately and be more visually stunning.