Looking to impress your customers with your next marketing campaign? In this tutorial, we'll create an eye-catching and professional brochure template that is easy to customize.
Brochures are a staple marketing tool—they get the job done. Visually appealing, versatile and easy to edit: that’s what many look for in a pamphlet template. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to cover all of those in our brochure design. We will touch on key tools that will make it easier for you or your clients to edit a template. If you dabble in InDesign, this tutorial is easy to follow.
What You Will Need
You'll need access to Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator—if you don't have the software, you can download a trial from the Adobe website. You'll also need the following assets:
- School girl writing in class
- Young family with kids
- African elementary school girl
- Xavier logo template
- Addington serif font
- Bw Stretch font
Download the assets and make sure the font is installed on your system before starting. When you are ready, we can dive in!
1. Setting Up a Trifold Brochure InDesign File
In InDesign, go to File > New. Name the document Pamphlet Template. We will create a DL trifold brochure template. Set the file to the following dimensions:
- Width to 98 mm
- Height to 210 mm
- Orientation to Portrait
- Units to Millimetres
- Uncheck Facing Pages
- Margins to 10 mm
- Bleeds to 3 mm (it's best to seek your professional printer’s preference)
A trifold brochure has a panel that folds in, and this panel is shorter by 1 mm. We will create a second Master Page with this new size.
Head over to the Pages panel. If you don’t have it active, head over to Windows > Pages. The top portion of the panel contains the Master Pages. Right-click on A-Master > New Master. On the New Master window, make sure Based on Master is set to [Master]. Set the Width to 97 mm. Click OK.
On the Pages panel, right-click on the B-Master we just created and select Apply Master. In the Apply Master window, under To Pages, enter 1, 6 (this is to specify that we are changing Pages 1 and 6). Click OK.
In the Master Page Size Conflict window, click Use Master Page Size.
Now that we have the page sizes set up, we can move the pages to set up the spreads. Pages 1-3 will be the outside spread, and Pages 4-6 will be the inside spreads.
On the Main Menu of the Pages panel, make sure that Allow Document Pages to Shuffle is unchecked. Drag Page 2 towards Page 1 to combine them. Combine Pages 1-3 as one spread and Pages 4-6 as a second spread. Make sure that you have the BAA and AAB Master Pages configuration, as shown in the image below.
To exit the Master Pages mode, double-click on the regular pages thumbnail.
For this trifold brochure template tutorial, we will work with three layers. This will make it easier to update the template when it needs new information.
Bring up the Layers panel by going to Window > Layers. Double-click on Layer 1 and rename it Vectors. In the Layers panel main menu, select New Layer. Name it Images. Click OK.
Create a new Layer named Text. Click OK.
Adding color swatches will make it easier to change up the colors to adjust to brand guidelines. Head over to Window > Color > Swatches to expand the Swatches panel. Choose New Color Swatch button from the main menu. Add the following three colors:
- Purple: C=80 M=100 Y=0 K=15
- Yellow: C=0 M=25 Y=90 K=0
- Orange: C=10 M=80 Y=90 K=0
Click Add and OK after you input each color value.
Open up the Paragraph Styles panel by going to Windows > Styles > Paragraph Styles. From the main menu, select New Paragraph Style.
In the New Paragraph Style option window, set the Style Name to Title. Select Basic Character Formats from the left side menu and use the following settings:
- Font Family: Bw Stretch
- Font Style: Heavy
- Size: 24 pt
Perfect! Now let’s create a few more styles, and then we will be ready to format text boxes. Use the following settings for Copy:
- Font Family: Addington CF
- Font Style: Regular
- Size: 10 pt
- Use the following settings for Pull-quote:
- Font Family: Bw Stretch
- Font Style: Heavy
- Size: 30 pt
- Tracking: -15
Perfect! Now you are all set to start the design. Remember that the steps above are key when you want to create a template. It will be easier for your clients or you to edit the brochure in the future with new colors and fonts.
2. How to Create Vectors in Your Pamphlet Design
On the Layers panel, select the Vector layer. Using the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a rectangle on Page 2 of the pamphlet.
On the Swatches panel, set the color to orange.
Using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw two rectangles on Page 3. It is not necessary for the page to be divided exactly in half—we can come back to this later.
On the Swatches panel, set the top object to yellow and the bottom object to purple.
Draw two rectangles that cover the whole panel on Page 4. Using the Swatches panel, color the top object purple and the bottom object yellow.
Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top right corner of the bottom object. Using the Up Arrow key on your keyboard, move the point upwards until you’ve created a steep slope. It doesn’t have to be the same measurements as the image below—you can add your own spin to it.
Repeat the same action on Page 6. This time, the slope should be on the opposite side and at a different height. I’ve set the color of the top object to orange and the bottom object to purple.
Perfect! Let’s lock these by going to the Layers panel and locking the Vectors layer.
3. How to Add Images to Your Pamphlet Design
On the Layers panel, select the Images layer.
On the toolbar, select the Rectangle Frame Tool (F). Draw a rectangle that fits Page 1, making sure you are also including the bleeds on the top, left, and bottom sides.
With the frame selected, press Command-D to Place an image. Locate the African elementary school girl image and click Open.
Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the image within the frame. Head over to the Control panel and activate the Constrain Proportion for Scaling button. Set the Percentage to 70%. Move the image until you’ve placed the subject in the center of the panel.
Often, images won’t have the same color grading. It is useful to have an overlay to achieve an even look throughout the project. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a rectangle over the image.
Using the Swatches panel, set the color to purple. Head over to the Effects panel (Windows > Effects) and set the Blending Mode to Color.
Head over to the inside panels, and let’s start on Page 4. Select the Ellipse Frame Tool (F) from the toolbar. Click on the document to open the Ellipse option window. Set the Width and Height to 60 mm. Click OK.
On the Swatches panel, set the color of the Stroke to [Paper]. Head over to the Control panel, and set the Stroke Weight to 5 pt.
Select the circle and press Command-D to Place an image. Locate the School girl writing in class .jpg and click Open.
Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the image within the circle. You can resize the image by dragging any of the eight points around the image. Press Shift as you drag to resize the image proportionally. In the image below, you can see I’ve resized it just enough to fit the circle.
Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw another circle measuring 6 mm in Width and Height. Place this ellipse over the circular image we added above.
On the Swatches panel, set the color of the Stroke to [Paper]. Press X to switch to the Fill color and set the color to Black. Head over to the Control panel, and set the Stroke Weight to 5 pt.
Head over to the Effects panel, and set the Blending Mode to Color.
Using the Align panel, select both images and press the Align Horizontal Center button and the Align Vertical Center button. To Group both of these ellipses, press Command-G.
To align the grouped objects to the center of the panel, head over to the Align panel. Set the Align To: option to Page and click the Align Horizontal Center button.
Duplicate the grouped ellipses by pressing Option and dragging to Page 6. Ungroup the ellipses by pressing Shift-Command-G, and move the overlay ellipse to the side.
Select the circular image and press Command-D to Place another image. In the Place option window, select the Young family with kids image. Head over to the bottom and check the Replace Selected Item option. Click Open.
Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), resize and move the image. Remember to press Shift to resize the image proportionally.
When you are done, align both ellipses with the Align panel. Group them by pressing Command-G and align them again to the panel. Head over to the Align panel. Set the Align To: option to Page and click the Align Horizontal Center button.
Add a logo to Pages 2 and 3 by pressing Command-D and locating the logo you wish to add. For this tutorial, I will be adding the Xavier logo template. To resize the vector proportionally, press Shift and drag one of the points. Place both logos in the bottom left portion of the page.
4. How to Add Text to Your Pamphlet Design
On the Layers panel, lock the Photos layer and select the Text layer.
Using the Text Tool (T), create two text boxes. Add a title to the top text box and a smaller tagline to the bottom text box. Head over to the Character panel and use the following settings:
- Font: Bw Stretch
- Font Family: Heavy
- Size: 80 pt
- Leading: 70
- Tracking: -10
On the Swatches panel, set the top text box to purple and the bottom text box to orange. Place both text boxes on top of each other, right at the edge of both rectangles we drew earlier.
Feel free to unlock the Vectors layer and move the rectangles to fit the text.
Head over to the interior of the pamphlet (Pages 4-6). Using the Text Tool (T), draw a text box at the top of Page 3, and using the Paragraph panel, format the text box to Title.
Draw another text box under the circular image, add text, and format it to Copy on the Paragraph panel.
On Page 5, create a text box that fits the top half of the page. Use the Paragraph panel to format the text and the Swatches panel to change the colors.
For the statistics, use the Ellipse Tool (L). Click on the page to open the Ellipse option window, and set the Width and Height to 20 mm. Draw a second ellipse that measures 23 mm.
On the Swatches panel, select the purple Fill color for the smaller circle and the purple Stroke color for the bigger circle. Select this last circle and head over to the Control bar. Set the Stroke Weight to 1 pt and the Stroke Type to Dotted.
Select the Type Tool (T) from the toolbar. Click on the filled circle to add text, and set the format to the Pull-quote style. Head over to the Control bar and select the Align Center button.
Select both circles and Group them by pressing Command-G. Duplicate the group twice by pressing Shift-Command and dragging down.
Select all three groups and head over to the Align panel. Set the Align To: Selection option, and select the Distribute Vertical Center button.
Using the Type Tool (T), create a text box to the right of each statistic. Format the text as Copy on the Paragraph panel.
Let’s work on Page 6. Create a text box using the Type Tool (T) at the top of the page. Format the type with the Paragraph panel and change the color to [Paper] on the Swatches panel.
Add a text box under the image. Set the Paragraph panel to Pull-quote and the Swatches panel to [Paper]. The quote caption can be set independently on the Control bar or the Character panel. I’ve set the Font Family to a combination of Heavy and Book and a Size 10 pt.
Let’s head over to Page 2. Using the Type Tool (T), add a text box on the top of the page.
To create a table, create a text box and double-click to activate it. While selecting it, head over to Table > Insert Table. In the Insert Table option window, set the Body Rows to 10 and the Columns to 2. Click OK.
Double-click on the table to activate it and select all the rows and columns. Head over to the Control bar, and you will notice a small window showing a table. To edit this, you have to choose which parts of the table you’d like to edit. In this case, click on the horizontal lines to deactivate them. Set the Stroke Color to [None].
Deactivate the three vertical lines and activate the three horizontal lines. Set Stroke Color to [Paper] and the Stroke Weight to 0.5 pt.
Head over to Window > Type & Tables > Table to open the Table panel. Select all of the first column and set the Row Height to At least and 10 mm. Set the Column Width to 15 mm and select the Align Center button.
Select the second column, set the Column Width to 63 mm, and select the Align Center button.
Add text using the Type Tool (T), using the Paragraph panel set the text to Copy. Feel free to change the color on the Swatches panel to [Paper].
5. How to Export a File for Printing
Before exporting a file for printing, it's useful to take a look around all the edges of the brochure. This is to make sure all the images and vectors bleeding out are touching the bleeds.
Remember that each fold will be represented by a crop mark. Let your professional printer know to avoid confusion.
To export the file, go to File > Export. Name the file Pamphlet Template and choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format dropdown menu. Click Save.
In the Export Adobe PDF window, set the Adobe PDF Preset to Press Quality. Under Pages, set Export As Spreads.
On the left side of the panel, select Marks and Bleeds. Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings. Click Export. You will have a PDF file ready to be printed.
Great Job! You’ve Finished This Tutorial!
In this tutorial, we learned how to make a brochure template. We covered key tools that will help anyone edit a template quickly and easily. Today, we learned to:
- set up a ready-to-print InDesign file
- use the Layers panel to divide the elements in a file
- add color swatches, which can be changed easily to match any brand
- set up styles in the Paragraph panel
- set up tables in an InDesign file
- export a ready-to-print PDF file
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