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Folding your Printing
Economical Brochure Folding Options

A non-folded piece is generally called a flyer by industry professionals, whereas a folded flyer is called a brochure. An essential part of the early planning stages of a well designed brochure is deciding where and how you want it to fold. Although not as complicated as Japanese Origami, there are many ways to fold a piece of paper, and the way it folds (and unfolds) is an integral part of the presentation of your brochure design.

If you really want to get interesting, you could even design a brochure with an unusual, custom die cut shape and fold, but for many companies that kind of added expense is out of their budget. Without going crazy with it there are, however, many types of brochure folds that are easily machine-folded and thus inexpensive methods of creating an intriguing way of presenting your marketing information on a folded piece of paper.


single fold Single (half) Fold
a single fold brochure made by folding the paper in half making four panels:
(2-front + 2-back)
tri-fold brochure Tri-fold Brochure
made by folding the paper in thirds. After folding it consists of six panels (3-front + 3-back) with the right panel tucked inside of the panels created by the first fold
Z folded brochure Z Fold Brochures
are made by folding the paper in thirds in “zig zags.” It opens like an accordion in the shape of a “Z”
double parallel fold Double Parallel Brochure
made by folding a sheet of paper in half twice in the same direction making eight panels (2-front + 2-back). The last two panels need to be slightly smaller than the outer panels to fold properly inside the outer two panels
Single Gate Folded Brochure Single Gate Fold
The left and right panels fold inwards to meet in the middle resulting in six panels: (3-fronts + 3-backs)
accordion (M) Fold Brochure Double Gate Fold
The left and right panels fold inwards to meet in the middle and then folding at the center making eight panels: (4-fronts + 4-backs) Panels on each end need to be slightly smaller than the outer panels
Roll or Barrel Folded Brochure Roll (Barrel) Fold
the piece is folded inward multiple times as if you are “rolling up” the paper with folds. The outside two panels must be the largest, and each successive panel beginning with the 3rd must be about 1/16″ smaller than the previous panel to fold properly.
accordion (M) Fold Brochure Right Angle (French) Fold
folding a page in half in one direction and then folding it in half again in the opposite direction. After folding it makes of eight panels: (4-fronts + 4-backs)
Right Angle (French) Fold + Tri-fold Brochure Half Fold & Tri Fold
Folding a sheet of paper (often 17″ x 11″) in half, and then tri-folded in the opposite direction
accordion (M) Fold Brochure Accordion (“M”) Fold
three zigzag folds with 8 panels (3 parallel folds that go in opposite directions). Each panel of the accordion fold are the same size

Paper Grains

The fibers in a sheet of paper have a grain direction similar to the muscle fibers in the human body. Paper folds best with the grain, parallel to the paper's grain direction. Sometimes a paper needs to be folded against the grain, which results in a more irregular fold with cracks along the crease. This effect is more noticeable as the paper thickness increases and “scoring” the paper becomes a requirement for a smooth looking fold.

Scoring

Scoring paper is the creation of a crease along the sheet of paper where it needs to be folded to achieve a crisp fold. With thick paper (card stock), scoring is a necessary to get a professional-looking and crisp fold without cracks in it. The best scoring is performed on an old-fashioned letterpress, although they are slower and thus a more expensive than alternative processes. Fast, modern scoring machines are also used, as well as folding machines with in-line scoring devices.




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