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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pull out a second guide to 8.25 in, to mark out the fold line on the right side of the flyer.
Pull another guide out to 2.75 in, to mark out the fold on the left side.
It’s also helpful to mark out the margin space of each section of the flyer.
Pull out a guide to 2.5 in.
Pull another out to 3 in.
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.
From the top ruler pull down a guide to Y position 4.25 in, to mark the horizontal center point of the flyer.
Drag your mouse across the page to select all the guides, and Edit > Copy them.
Scroll down to Page 2 of your document and Edit > Paste in Place the guides onto the page.
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.
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.
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].
Copy and Paste the circle, moving the copy over to the right half of the page.
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.
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.
Create a second image frame over the next quarter section, and File > Place another image (Summer salad).
Scale to fit the circle shape.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. How to Export Your Flyer for Print
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.
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.
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.
Great job! You can now send this PDF straight off to the printers.
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.
Mockup image above by contributor SARMDY.