Designing The Perfect Business Folder

Everyone knows the saying that first impressions really count, but this does not just mean a client or customer’s first contact with a receptionist or sales person. Often a customer’s impressions are formed from the minute they are handed any business literature – this includes material picked up at a trade show and ‘filed for later’, to much-requested information that is sent via post. As a result, folders can act as a beneficial tool to manage all business literature and can be given out at trade events, consumer exhibitions, conferences and any other business event.

Designing a folder is fairly straightforward compared to other more complicated types of business literature, nevertheless there are still a few hints and tips that should be considered first.

The most common sizes are either A4 or A5 but if you are a quirky company or want to stand out from the crowd then you may prefer a completely alternative size. However do bear in mind, what the folder will contain: if all your other literature is a different size and you have to fold letters, or cram in brochures it will detract from the professional look you were aiming for. It is also advisable to not skimp on the quality of paper or card: a thicker more robust folder also says a lot about a company – aim for 350gsm or more.

Think about whether you only need one pocket to keep the items safely inside or whether you would like to secure materials on both of the inside pages.

Most businesses choose to have slots for business cards too. It is worth considering whether you want customers to have just one point of contact within your company or if you have several different departments/members of staff handing out cards at an event, then give your clients room to store more than one card. Also make sure the spine of the folder is deep enough for the folder to close easily.

In terms of design – one overriding principle is important – keep it simple. A logo and a telephone number are sometimes just enough. A complicated design is more expensive to print and may need updating more frequently – which is such a waste of resources if the previous batch have not been used. Even a company address can need updating, as can the date. It is much more effective to use high quality stickers to update a folder for a particular event or for a particular date if necessary.

Also think about how many different departments may be able to use the folder – PR, Sales, Internal Communications, Operations etc. – if too much information is printed on the folder, it could limit its uses.

There are no hard and fast rules here but ‘less is more’ is by far the best approach.