A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign

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A gate fold flyer is a simple yet effective method for marketing a business or event. Inexpensive to print, this versatile flyer design uses just one sheet of letter-sized paper.

Here you’ll learn how to create an adaptable gate fold flyer template in Adobe InDesign. I’ll also show you how I put together a food-themed design for the flyer, which makes the most of the conceal-and-reveal format of the gate fold.

Suitable for beginners to Adobe InDesign, this tutorial is a great quick introduction to basic print design techniques.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — The Finished ProductA Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Another View

What You’ll Need to Create Your Flyer

We’ll be using Adobe InDesign to put together the artwork for the flyer. To recreate the food-themed design pictured here, you’ll also need the following images:

1. How to Set Up the Flyer Template in InDesign

Step 1

Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document.

With the intent set to Print, set the Page Size to Letter (8.5 by 11 in) and the orientation to Landscape. Set the Number of Pages to 2 (for a front and reverse side) and deselect Facing Pages.

Set the Margin width to 0.25 in, and Bleed to 0.25 in also, before clicking Create.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — New Document

Step 2

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1, renaming it Photos (or Content if you prefer).

Create a new layer above this, naming it FOLD LINES – DO NOT PRINT.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Naming Layers

Then lock the bottom layer, so we can work on the FOLD LINES layer first. Here, you can place guides and any annotations you don’t want to show up on the final artwork.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Layers Panel

Step 3

Page 1 of your document will be the inside of your flyer, which is only revealed once the flyer is folded out. Page 2 will be the outside, with the two outer flaps creating a front cover. The center will be the reverse or back of the flyer.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Page OneA Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Page Two

Working on Page 1 and the FOLD LINES layer, pull out a guide from the left-hand ruler (View > Show Rulers) to the center point of the page, at X position 5.5 in.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Show Rulers

Pull out a second guide to 8.25 in, to mark out the fold line on the right side of the flyer.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Set Guides

Pull another guide out to 2.75 in, to mark out the fold on the left side.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Inner Fold Lines

Step 4

It’s also helpful to mark out the margin space of each section of the flyer.

Pull out a guide to 2.5 in.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Margin Spaces

Pull another out to 3 in.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Inner Margins

Then select both of these guides, and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste.

Drag them over to sit either side of the fold line on the right side of the flyer.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Margins Around Inner Folds

Step 5

From the top ruler pull down a guide to Y position 4.25 in, to mark the horizontal center point of the flyer.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Center Guide

Step 6

Drag your mouse across the page to select all the guides, and Edit > Copy them.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Copy Guides

Scroll down to Page 2 of your document and Edit > Paste in Place the guides onto the page.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Paste in Place

Step 7

You can also mark out the two fold lines on each page more strongly using the Line Tool (\).

We’ll switch off the visibility of this FOLD LINES layer before we export the artwork, so you can make these as obvious as you like.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Line Tool

2. How to Add Images to Your Flyer

You now have a blank template for your gate fold flyer, ready for placing images and/or text content onto. Here, I’ll show you how to create the food-themed flyer design pictured, which you can use for your flyer or adapt with your own images to create a unique design.

Step 1

Scroll up to Page 1 of your document and lock the FOLD LINES layer. Unlock the bottom layer, Photos.

Select the Ellipse Tool (L) and, holding Shift, drag to create a circle about 4.9 in in diameter.

Position the tool over the left half of the page, centrally over the fold line and horizontal center line.

From the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches), make sure the Fill and Stroke Color of the shape are set to [None] .

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Ellipse Tool

Copy and Paste the circle, moving the copy over to the right half of the page.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Copy and Paste

Step 2

Switch to the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and create an image frame across the far-left section of the page. Extend it up to the fold line and the bleed edge on the top, left, and bottom sides.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Rectangle Frame Tool

Go to File > Place, choose one of the food photos (in this case, the Beef tartare image), and Open.

Scale the image holding Shift, and size so that half of the plate fits inside half of the circle.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Scale the Image

Step 3

Create a second image frame over the next quarter section, and File > Place another image (Summer salad).

Scale to fit the circle shape.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Scale to Fit

Repeat the process to fill the remaining two sections with images (Salmon and fennel and Blueberry cake).

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Repeat to Fill SectionsA Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Complete Inner Page

Step 4

Select one of the circle shapes on Page 1 and Edit > Copy it.

Scroll down to Page 2 of your document, and Edit > Paste. Move the circle into the center of the page.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Center Circle

Paste again, and move this circle over the left side of the page, with the halfway point hitting the left edge of the page.

Paste one more time, moving this circle over to the right side, as shown below.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Paste Again

Step 5

As before, use the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) to fill each section with an image, using the circles as a guide for scaling and positioning the plates.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Repeat with Rectangle Frame ToolA Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Center Placement

You’ll end up with two pages filled with images. If you want to add text to the flyer you can use the Type Tool (T) to create text frames over the top.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Add Text if DesiredA Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Completed Inner DesignA Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Completed Outer Design

3. How to Export Your Flyer for Print

Step 1

When you’ve finished working on your flyer, head back to the Layers panel. Make sure to switch off the visibility of the FOLD LINES layer.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Turn off Layer

Step 2

Go to File > Export.

Name the file, and choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format drop-down menu. Then click Save.

In the Export Adobe PDF window that opens, choose [Press Quality] from the Preset menu at the top.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Export PDF

Step 3

Click on Marks and Bleeds in the window’s left-hand menu.

Check both All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings, before clicking Export.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Marks and Bleeds

Great job! You can now send this PDF straight off to the printers.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Ready for Print

Looking for more flyer inspiration? Make sure to check out these flyer designs for inspiration.

Or, develop your print design skills further with this trifold brochure tutorial.

A Beginner's Guide to Creating Gate Fold Flyers in Adobe InDesign — Completed Gate Fold Flyer

Mockup image above by contributor SARMDY.

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