Presentation folders do more than simply hold documents together. Use presentation folders to advertise your company and reinforce your image in the marketplace. Design a presentation folder for functionality as well as for appearance.
What Kind of Folder?
Select a folder type based on how you expect to use it. Choose a standard file-type folder for holding a few letter-sized pages. Turn to a pocket folder for several documents, sets of documents or documents plus odd-sized pieces, such as brochures or postcards. Include a tab in your selection if the recipient will be likely to file the folder and contents.
Consider the size of the documents: legal (9.5" X 14.5"), letter (9" X 12") or smaller (4.5" x 10.25" or 4" x 9.25") for pieces smaller than page size. Place them in the appropriate-sized folder to show them to best advantage. (See Reference 1)
Choose the folder material based on use, as well. Specify stronger materials where durability is desired; glossy or embossed finishes will be more eye-catching.
Do-It-Yourself Presentation Folders
Purchase plain folders and enhance them for impressive results on a budget. Many office supply stores carry solid-color folders in a variety of colors and formats. Choose the color to match or complement your company image.
Add your company logo, contact information and advertising by adding self-adhesive labels. Print these on your own printer using publishing software (the sample reflects Avery 5164 labels) or have them professionally printed.
Use care affixing the labels. The folder's appearance reflects your company's image.
Insert business cards in die-cut pockets, if applicable. Add the desired materials and your folders are ready to go.
Order custom-printed folders, if your budget allows. You will convey a more professional impression with attractively printed folders. "Nothing beats the professional look and feel of a glossy full-color folder customized with your design," suggests Printing For Less, an online printing company.
Work with your printer to choose the format, material and color of folder as well as to design your imprint. Expect extra charges for features such as tabs or die-cut designs, or shapes beyond typical folder configurations.
Check proof copies carefully to avoid costly printing errors. Look at the proof with a critical eye. How do the colors look together? Is the text information readable or should it be larger? Make any desired changes now to avoid waste and additional fees in the future.
Identify the online companies and printers in your area with a simple Internet search. Ask business associates for referrals if you like the appearance of their materials.
When Things Change
Salvage existing materials by updating information with self-adhesive labels over old information. A new telephone number or area code, new web address or physical address need not require tossing the folders you have.
Find a label of the appropriate size and print the new information. Most commercially available label products identify themselves with a comparison to an Avery product, making for an easy selection of the needed template.
Mary Beth Magee began her writing career with an article in the "New Orleans Times-Picayune" more than 40 years ago. She has been published in local and national media, including "Real Estate Today" and "Just Praising God." Magee holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology, with a focus on adult learning, from Elmhurst College.