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Making a trifold creative

by Mosum

A roughed out trifold to give you some ideas

A roughed out trifold to give you some ideas

Hi Susan,

I need your help!

I've looked through your website and you are so creative. For a club I'm involved with, we desperately need to update our trifold and have left me to the task.

I want to use 2-3 pictures.

And I was wondering how I could make them stand out, perhaps even in a 3-D kind of way. So far our poster board is very dull... red white and black are our colors.

Also, our club is about Jainism (non-violence mostly) and we hold events like Yoga night, Veggie tailgate, and Interfaith Social.

I hope you can help because our trifold will be among hundreds in our schools involvement fair and we need to get some attention.

Thank you very very very much and I hope to hear from you soon!


Hello Mosum

Thank you for writing to me and for being so complimentary. I will make some suggestions for you and I am hoping others who read your request will be able to contribute some ideas as well :)

I think simplicity is the key with trifolds. If they are too busy, people tire of trying to read all of the information and move away too quickly.

I would first of all focus on what the main message of your poster should be. Is it an image you want people to notice? A word? An idea? I would literally make that thing the focus of the whole poster board and make it the largest item on display. As the colour red is an attractant, I would use a red colour for the main idea.

Another 'hook' for people is to turn the main title into a question. Then people will stop to see if your text answers the question, if they want to know the answer :)

Also, make all lines lead the reader towards the main idea. See how I have made the middle piece higher than the side pieces, then added the heart to make people tend to follow on from it to the title?

Are people going to walk quickly by your trifold? Then make the main ideas as simple as possible so it will catch eyes as people walk by. Are they going to stop and read your trifold? Then make written 'pictures' with large headings in thicker letters that will stand out. Use red for the headings (mount the whole heading or individual letters on black cardstock too if possible) and your pieces of information, written on white paper in large black writing matted on black cardstock.

Then use pieces of double sided foam tape or a hot glue gun to pop them up off the background (which will probably also be white). I roughed this idea out for you in the image I attached.

Think about subject matter first, then the images and decorations. If you have a message you need to get across, you don't want people looking only at images and moving on. You want them to maybe be attracted by a main image, then stay to read.

Use some decorative borders as well but be sure to leave enough white space to allow people to focus on the words you want them to read. Do not fear a little white space! It will make people focus on what you HAVE put on the board.

You could make one of the images you want to use very large so that it could be glued to a piece of heavier card and cut out, then add foam tape to the back to pop it up off your trifold background like the heart image above. Position the image to rise above the border of the trifold. I added some sparkle as this also attracts people, but if you use too much glitter it may have the opposite effect. Again, think simplicity but make your 'sparkle' large enough for people to notice.

Or make a different shaped border, sort of like people have done with this one:

Bradley Sweater Sign

Once you have things roughly in place, stand well back from your work and see if you can read it. Ask others (who have not seen your trifold yet) to stand a distance away and see if they can tell what your poster is about.

Another planning idea, if you have time, is to make some 'practice' trifolds with smaller pieces of paper and images cut to size. Move them around trying different arrangements and colours till you have a result that pleases you, then make your real trifold using your practice one as a guide.

Have a look at other people's trifolds on the web by Googling 'trifold poster board' and clicking on 'images'. You may like some of the layouts you discover that way so you could adapt them to your own needs. Here's one with reds and blues that stood out for me in my own search:

Cornstarch Display Board

I hope these ideas help and that you will post a picture of your finished trifold for me here soon. And I hope others may also have ideas to tell you!

Happy crafting :)


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