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How to Design a Square Folded Cross Brochure

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Read Time: 10 min
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

The square cross fold brochure is a great way to get your business noticed. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to design a square folded cross brochure in Adobe InDesign. You will learn how to set up your document by applying guides and diecuts and placing property photos, and then you will learn how to design a real estate brochure template.

Designing a cross fold brochure can be time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be. Skip the tutorial and grab this amazing Real Estate Square Folded Cross Brochure on Envato Elements. Envato Elements has an extensive collection of professionally designed brochure templates ready for you to customize.

Real estate square cross fold brochureReal estate square cross fold brochureReal estate square cross fold brochure

What You'll Learn in This Square Cross Fold Brochure Tutorial

  • How to set up diecuts and guides in InDesign
  • How to format and place photos in InDesign
  • How to lay out and design a 4-fold brochure

What You'll Need to Create a Square Folded Cross Brochure

1. How to Set Up Diecuts and Guides in InDesign

Step 1

Open InDesign and create a new document (File > New). Make the Width and Height of your 4-fold brochure 17.1875 in, 2 Pages, 0 in Margins, and 0.125 in Bleed on all sides.

Create a new documentCreate a new documentCreate a new document

Step 2

In the Layers panel, rename 'Layer 1' to 'Artwork'. Create a new layer and name it 'Diecut'. Uncheck the Print Layer box. Create another layer and name it 'Guides' and uncheck the Print Layer box.

Add artwork, diecut and guides layerAdd artwork, diecut and guides layerAdd artwork, diecut and guides layer

Step 3

On the Diecut layer, create a 5.75 in square using the Rectangle Tool (M). Change the Fill to None and the Stroke to the pink color swatch in the Swatches panel. Change the Stroke Weight to 0.5 pt. Make sure Smart Guides are turned on by going to View > Grids & Guides > Smart Guides. Place the square in the middle of the document. The pink guide line will be where the brochure will fold.

Middle square diecutMiddle square diecutMiddle square diecut

Step 4

Copy (Command-C) and paste (Command-V) this square, but change the stroke to green in the Swatches panel. This guide shows where our document will be cut. Change the size of this square to 5.8508 in Width and 5.75 in Height. Move it to the right of the first square. This will be our cover. The cover should extend all the way to the bleed area. 

Add green guide to coverAdd green guide to coverAdd green guide to cover

Step 5

Copy (Command-C) and paste (Command-V) the square again. The next three squares will be smaller than the first two squares because they have to fit on top of one another once folded. Place this square at the top of our document. Change the Width to 5.6 in and the Height to 5.8508 in.

Add top square diecutAdd top square diecutAdd top square diecut

Step 6

Create two more squares for the left and bottom panels. Add labels to your document like the image below. This will help you remember how your document folds and which panels are paired with one another.

Left and bottom square diecutLeft and bottom square diecutLeft and bottom square diecut

Step 7

Copy (Command-C) and Paste in Place (Edit > Paste in Place) the pink diecut square and the green fold squares to the second page of our square cross fold brochure. Next, go to Object > Transform > Flip Horizontal so that the inside of our cover is now on the left side. Label the second page as we did the first.

Add second page fold and cutsAdd second page fold and cutsAdd second page fold and cuts

Step 8 

Select the Guides layer in the Layers panel. Create four blue squares with an Opacity of 20%. This will show us how far we need to extend the bleed area. Use these sizes for the squares:

  • Cover: 5.8508 in Width, 6 in Height
  • A1: 5.8508 in Width, 5.85 in Height
  • B1: 5.85 in Width, 5.8508 in Height
  • C1: 5.85 in Width, 5.8508 in Height
Add bleed in the guides layer panelAdd bleed in the guides layer panelAdd bleed in the guides layer panel

Step 9

Create four more squares and Fill them with yellow with an Opacity of 20%. We will use this yellow square to mark our safe margins. We will keep all the important information within this guide so it doesn't get cut off. Use these dimensions:

  • Cover: 5.2258 in Width x 5.25 in Height
  • A1: 5.2188 in Width x 5.1 in Height
  • B1: 5.1 in Width x 5.2188 in Height
  • C1: 5.1 in Width x 5.2188 in Height
Add yellow marginsAdd yellow marginsAdd yellow margins

Step 10

Next, Copy (Command-C) and Paste in Place (Edit > Paste in Place) the yellow and blue guides on the second page. Next, go to Object > Transform > Flip Horizontal as we did in the previous step so that your second page looks like the image below.

Add margins to second pageAdd margins to second pageAdd margins to second page

2. How to Format and Place Photos in InDesign

Step 1

Open the house with a pool and deck photo in Adobe Photoshop. Change the image to CMYK by going to  Image > Mode > CMYK Color. Make sure the image has a Resolution of 300 by going to Image > Image Size. Change the Resolution to 300 and make sure Resample is unchecked. Save this file as a TIFF. Apply these same settings to the rest of the photos we're using in this cross fold tutorial.

Add 300 dpi resolutionAdd 300 dpi resolutionAdd 300 dpi resolution

Step 2

Go back to InDesign. Select the Artwork layer and create a frame on the cover using the Rectangle Frame Tool (F). Make the frame the same size as the bleed layer. File > Place the cover image we just saved as a TIFF and resize it so that it's 38% smaller.

Place cover imagePlace cover imagePlace cover image

Step 3

Place the remaining 5 photos on the outside panels and the inside back (second page). Make sure you turn the outside panels B1 and C1 upside down because once we fold it, the panels will be right side up.

Place remaining imagesPlace remaining imagesPlace remaining images

3. How to Lay Out and Design a 4-Fold Brochure

Step 1

Open the real estate logo in Adobe Illustrator, and change the color to C27 M0 Y0 K17. Copy (Command-C) and paste (Command-V) the icon into InDesign and place it at the top of the cover. Select the Type Tool (T) and add the name of your real estate business using Magnify Bold, 11 pt, and 150 Tracking.

Add logo to brochureAdd logo to brochureAdd logo to brochure

Step 2

Add headers to the four panels using Himalaya and Magnify Bold. Rotate the type by . Select the Glyphs panel (Window > Type & Tables > Glyphs) to use alternate glyphs for the letters 'e', 'W', 'D', 'A', and 's'.

Add headers to panelsAdd headers to panelsAdd headers to panels

Step 3

Add the contact information to the back cover along with the logo using the Paper swatch. Use the Pen Tool (P) to create two dividers on either side of the contact information. Use a 1 pt Stroke and Arrowhead for the Start/End points. Create a horizontal rectangle and Fill it with Black. Change the Opacity to 60%. Go to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather and apply a Linear 90° Gradient Feather. Change this layer's Transparency to 60% and the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Add text to back coverAdd text to back coverAdd text to back cover

Step 4

Let's move to the second page of our square folded cross brochure. Add purple and green background colors to the panels. Click the hamburger menu in the top-right corner of the Swatches panel and select New Color Swatch. Add two colors, C85 M100 Y32 K17 and C85 M27 Y54 K19. Add the blue logo to each panel and change the Opacity to 50%.

Add inside background to second pageAdd inside background to second pageAdd inside background to second page

Step 5

Install the PAT file from the geometric pattern folder in Adobe Photoshop. To install the pattern, go to Window > Patterns to open the Pattern panel. Select the hamburger menu, click Import Patterns, and select the PAT file.

Create a new document in Photoshop. Go to File > New and create a 6 x 6 in, 300 ResolutionCMYK document. Drag and drop the pattern onto the document. Double-Click the pattern thumbnail in the Layers panel and change the Scale to 56%. Save this file as a TIFF.

Create pattern in photoshopCreate pattern in photoshopCreate pattern in photoshop

Step 6

Go back to InDesign and File > Place the pattern file we just saved. Change the Opacity to 15%. Add a Radial Gradient Feather by going to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather. Copy (Command-C) and paste (Command-V) this same pattern onto the other panels.

Place pattern in InDesignPlace pattern in InDesignPlace pattern in InDesign

Step 7

Add the information about your business to the panels using Himalaya, Magnify Regular and Nostalgic Memories. Create vertical dividers on the B2 panel using the Pen Tool (P). Use 0.5 pt for the Stroke Weight and the Swatch C12 M33 Y85 K17.

Add text to inside panelsAdd text to inside panelsAdd text to inside panels

Step 8

Open the vector map in Illustrator. Copy (Command-C) and paste (Command-V) the map and location icons on the A2 panel. Label the map with several locations. Create the 0.55 pt Arrowhead dividers using the Pen Tool (P).

Add map to right panelAdd map to right panelAdd map to right panel

All Done! Time to Display Your Beautiful Creation!

Great job following my how to create a cross fold brochure tutorial in InDesign. Now it's time to display it for all the world to see. Check out this minimalist mockup from Placeit below. Take your designs to the next level and showcase your designs in the best way possible.

Cross brochure mockupCross brochure mockupCross brochure mockup

5 Brochure Templates to Save You Hours of Work

Whether you're a freelance designer or an entrepreneur with a product to sell, the last thing you need is more work. That's why I put together a list of five brochure templates for you to quickly create high-quality marketing materials for your business. They're easy to customize and print-ready, so you can spend less time designing and more time doing what you love.

1. Metro Cross Fold (INDD)

Metro cross foldMetro cross foldMetro cross fold

Looking for a way to make your business stand out? Download this professional, high-quality brochure folding template. It's easy to edit and customize with your own content, and it'll dazzle your customers and clients.

2. Business Cross Fold (INDD)

Business cross foldBusiness cross foldBusiness cross fold

You don't have time to waste on designing a cross fold brochure for your business. That's why you need this professional and easy-to-edit brochure template. With this, you can spend more time building your business and less time designing.

3. Square Trifold Brochure (PSD)

Square trifold brochureSquare trifold brochureSquare trifold brochure

Trying to stand out in the crowded market? WOW your customers and clients with this easy-to-edit square trifold brochure. With eye-catching panels, you can easily show off your business credentials, benefits, and services.

4. Yacht Trifold Square Brochure (INDD)

Yacht trifold brochureYacht trifold brochureYacht trifold brochure

What's the best marketing tool you have? Your brochure. You know that brochures are the most effective way to communicate your message, products and services while also increasing your branding efforts. Sail away in style with this high-quality yacht trifold brochure template. 

5. Square Bi-Fold Brochure (PSD)

Square bi-fold brochureSquare bi-fold brochureSquare bi-fold brochure

Here's a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs. This easy-to-edit template is guaranteed to impress your customers and clients. With a professional and high-quality design, all you have to do is fill in the details and send it out!

Design Brochures Like a Pro With These Resources!

Brochures are a great way to promote your business and get new clients. But sometimes, it can be hard to know how to design them or what you need to include. That's why I put together this list of tutorials, templates, and other resources for designing brochures!

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