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InDesign Class: Learn how to create a trifold brochure flip book

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

In this Adobe InDesign class, let's dive deep into creating a trifold brochure for a fictional Investment Management company called AstuteWealth.

This lesson will cover various topics from setting up the document to designing trifold brochure and also creating a QR code right inside of InDesign.

In the second part of this class, we'll publish the trifold brochure as a flip book using the web-based platform Simplebooklet. This platform is interesting as it is the only one – that I know of – which allows you to flip the flaps in a brochure rather than an entire page, like the traditional flip book websites out there.

You can download the lesson files and InDesign template by clicking the link below to follow along with the lesson. The copy for the brochure can be accessed by downloading this Google Doc.

The first thing we'll focus on is creating the document.

Creating Trifold Brochure Document

  • Click New File or go up to File > New > Document to create a new document.

  • If you are printing this only, choose the print tab and set the Width field to 3.625 and the Height to 8.5.

  • Because this will be uploaded for web use, set the intent to Web and in the Width field, type in 216px and in the Height field, type in 612. This equates to 3.625" x 8.5".

  • Set the number of pages to 6 and ensure that Facing pages is unchecked for this.

  • Set the Margins to 27 px or 0.375" all the way around.

  • Click Create.

Here are the settings based on the steps explained above:

Now that the document has been created, the next step is setting up the pages so 1, 2 and 3 are facing as well as 4, 5 and 6. This will essentially become the front and back side of the brochure.

Allow Document Pages to Shuffle

  • In the Pages panel, click on the Options icon – this is the hamburger icon located in the upper right corner of the window.

  • From the fly-out, choose Allow Document Pages to Shuffle.

  • In the Pages panel, drag the second page thumbnail to the right of the first. Then drag the third to the right of the second. Drag the fifth page thumbnail to the right of the fourth and the sixth page thumbnail to the right of the fifth.

You should now have to spreads – containing three pages – in your pages panel and it will look like this.

Now, thumbnails 1-3 will be inside flap, back cover and front cover – from left to right. Do you need a better visual? Here's a look at the finished brochure using that setup:

Thumbnails 4-6 will become the inside pages in the brochure. When it is opened completely, these are the three pages you will see that also contain the most critical information in the brochure.

Watch the video tutorial and we'll work our way through the design process – starting on the cover page and back panel as well as the inside flap. From there, we'll work our way through the inside panels as this can typically include more attention.

While we'll be working within a template provided in the lesson files, one thing in the design process we'll go over is how to create an on-brand QR code that points to a URL.

Creating a QR Code

  • Go to Object > Generate QR code.

  • Under the Type dropdown, choose Web Hyperlink and type in a URL .

  • Click the Color tab to switch over to the Swatches panel within the QR code window.

  • Choose the color from the Swatches available.

  • Click OK.

  • Click and drag the size of the QR code in the layout.

  • Set the background fill of the frame to white so the QR code is visible.

Here is an image slide highlighting the steps explained above:

Once the design is in placed and finalized, you can export the PDF by going to File > Export and choosing PDF (Interactive). This selection will preserve the RGB color mode settings as it will be primarily viewed on web.

Next, make your way to – a web-based, PDF-to-flipbook platform that allows you to transform marketing and communication documents into engaging digital content that is easy to share online and with clients.

Sign up for a free account to get started. This allows users to upload 1 flip book, but that is perfect for this class. Any further flip book uploads would require an upgrade.

Uploading to Simplebooklet

  • Once in the Simplebooklet dashboard, click the Select File button.

  • Choose the PDF exported from InDesign.

  • Once the PDF is converted, give the project a name – in this case, Company Brochure works just fine.

  • Set the PDF Fold Lines selected to Trifold, which will also give you a preview in the thumbnail.

  • Click Complete and wait for the magic to happen.

Once the PDF is uploaded, you can now preview the trifold brochure flip book, which will look like this.

I'd love to see your flip book! Share your flip book link on social media and tag @angelomontilla on Twitter or on Instagram.

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