If you are beginner when it comes to print out things you can forget the headache while preparing document to print and leave behind all that weird-vector-things. With this tutorial you will be able to create a print-ready tri-fold brochure in nothing but Photoshop. The techniques shown here could be applied to any other printing documents as well, like flyers, business cards etc.
Preview of Final Results
Create a Tri-fold A4 brochure Photoshop Tutorial
- Program: Adobe Photoshop CS4
- Difficulty: Medium/ Hard
- Completion Time: 2 Hours
Step 1 – The concept
Every project needs some concept. At first, we have to plan out things to not get failed in the middle of design process. For now we need to determine the dimensions of the document. It is best to make a calculations with just pen and paper when you can easily and fast draw out shapes and values. I am making a brochure which after fold will be in dimension of A4 size. If you would like to use Letter size rather than European standards, then just check it’s dimensions. It is best for me to work in millimeters. So, if you want to use inches instead, you will have to convert my values (Photoshop does it automatically). Actually, my sketch is one big doodle, so I decided to make a clean graphical show off of the concept. Don’t care about this too much, just write down the values to not confuse yourself. The big numbers determine the placement of the single pages. Notice, that the front page is on the end of document while the back is in the middle. It could be confusing at first, but it’s simply logical. You just have to imagine the print in your head. There are also paper sizes of real dimension and sizes with bleeds. Also, I will tell you that it is named C folding type.
Step 2 – Resolution
Resolution in print is the most important thing to take care of (aside design itself). While creating a new document you can set it here:
Printers shoots out the color dots on the paper. That’s how printers usually works. And the DPI (dots per inch) is the value that determines the amount of those dots in one inch lenght. You can instead use DPCM (dots per cm) value, but I have never met the person nor the printing company that measures dimension in dpcm. Besides, it could be easily converted in Photoshop. While creating new document just type the value of 72 pixels/inch (It’s actually PPI to be formal, not the DPI, but it’s commonly named DPI), when you will change this to pixels/cm…
…the value will automatically switch to the 28,346. The same thing happens when you will change the size units (if you will change the pixels to cm/inches, the dpi value plays role here, just try out). While creating the images for computer screens like web, it is common tu use 72dpi value. Actually, dpi has nothing to do here, for screen images are only relevant to pixels and dpi will only affect its printing size; well, we could say that it is some kind of myth. The universal value for print is 300dpi. It’s named the minimum for getting the sharp, nicely covered with color small prints (small means business cards, brochures, flyers, tickets etc). But it is not the value that is used all the time. As we are creating our A4 brochure which would be seen from the distance of our hands it is perfect. Some printing services suggest even 600dpi and more but it is quite officious. In the past I made a banner that was hanged on the wall and its resolution was 28dpi (If I would use 300dpi instead in this case I would crash my computer, for the size of the document could reach the horizontal or just split artwork into parts which is painfully and time consumable). As you can see 28dpi is very low value and if we had a piece of this banner in our hands we would see the print imperfections, however, from far distance (like street in this example) it was correctly sharp and crisp.