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Design Options for Effective Presentation Folders

A well-designed Presentation Folder helps promote your organization's professional identity

In addition to providing an organized way to assemble sales literature and other client focused documents, a presentation folder is a fantastic marketing tool in itself.

A well designed presentation folder promotes your organization's professional identity, increases credibility and boosts image.

In our last article, we looked at the basic elements of a Presentation Folder. Today, we'll cover some of the more creative design choices. You might be amazed at all the options you have to create a truly unique and attention getting folder.

Coatings and Color Choices

A printed folder is a great promotional tool, but it can be even further enhanced with the application of a clear coating. A coating not only helps create distinction, it also adds durability to the folder. Depending on the look you are after, the coating can be shiny or dull. Also, the coating can be applied over the entire printed area or just to highlight a particular spot. Plastic lamination is a lesser used coating, but it is worth considering when a tough, glass-like sheen is desired.

The use of color is very important for influencing your client's perceptions. In addition to an endless array of printed ink colors, you also have the option of selecting colored paper stock. Light folder colors such as cream, ivory or pastels have the most options for printing because they allow better ink contrast, but dark colored folders such as black, burgundy or forest green are also quite popular. Dark folders are particularly striking when designed with a metallic foil and/or embossed logo, image or text.

Stylish Design Elements

Because of its upscale appearance, metallic foil is a popular design choice for presentation folders. Foils such as gold, copper or silver look very stylish on a presentation folder and provide excellent contrast, especially when used on dark colored folders.

Embossing is another creative design technique used on presentation folders. Embossing creates a raised 3D design and can be used for a logo, image or even text. Embossing can be used in conjunction with foiling or printing, or it can produce the finished design all by itself. Also, textured paper is a popular choice for presentation folders that receive foiled or embossed artwork.

Die cutting can provide extra flair by altering the shape of the folder and its pockets. For example, the corners of the folder can be made rounded instead of square. Or the pockets can be fashioned into a variety of specialty shapes to make them stand out from the norm or enhance printed artwork.

Physical Features can Add Distinction

The thickness of the paper or cardstock used to construct a presentation folder is also an important consideration. Generally, the thicker the paper, the higher the image of quality your folder will project. One technique to enhance the quality and longevity of your folder is to use reinforced edges around the perimeter. This will make the folder appear very thick and strong.

Other physical traits include the number and position of the folder's pockets. A presentation folder generally has one or two pockets, but it could have three pockets if it was designed as a tri-panel folder. Also, the pockets can be positioned horizontally, vertically or a combination of the two. The pockets can even be made to expand outward if necessary to accommodate thicker contents.

The overall size of your folder is also optional and is usually determined by the contents intended for the folder. The most common presentation folder size is 9" x 12" which accommodates documents 8.5" x 11" or less in size, but folders can be made smaller, like 4" x 9" or 6" x 9". Folders can also be made larger, like legal size, to hold contracts such as those used in real estate, insurance or other legal dealings.

Extras to Consider

Business card and CD slits are commonly added to the pocket flaps of presentation folders. In fact, there are multiple ways to display a business card or CD in a presentation folder.

And, if your folder will house a thick bundle of documents, the spine can be made wider so that it expands to accommodate the extra bulk. A wrap-around flap can also be designed to help secure the contents within the folder.

Furthermore, to help your client store the folder and its contents, some presentation folders are designed with a pre-printed tab (similar to a Manila folder). This feature allows your client to keep the materials in a file cabinet for easy reference.

Whether you desire a Presentation Folder that is plain and simple or vibrant and complex, Formax can help you determine the design best suited for your specific needs. We'd be happy to provide a quotation or helpful guidance for any upcoming folder project you may have. Formax makes printing easy for you!

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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