Folding Types Explained

Collected some common folding types, it might come handy if you are just about to start leaflet, brochure, DM material, newsletter project or anything else which could be folded. Also, we created some simple illustrations to give a better understanding, which folding type means exactly what.

Common folding type for 4 pages documents

Single FoldSingle fold or half fold or book fold

This type of fold is mainly used for brochures, postcards and I actually saw some creative business cards with half fold as well.It is usually constructed by folding an 8.5″ x 11″, 8.5″ x 14″, 11″ x 17″ or 11″ x 25.5″ sheet of paper once, creating 2 equal halves. The inner pages are usually used for the content, while the front and the back page presents some company information.

Common folding types for 6 pages documents

C-Fold, Letter-Fold

C-Fold or Letter Fold or Tri-Fold

This common fold, used for mailings and brochures, is much like a letter folded by hand for inserting in an envelope. Basically folding an 8.5″ x 11″,8.5″ x 14″, 11″x 17″ or 11″ x 25.5″ sheet of paper twice. The inside right panel folds to the left and the inside left panel folds to the right on the top, forming the cover page.

Gate Fold Double Fold or Gate Fold or Window Fold

The gate fold is very attractive as the succession of message presentation is dramatic. It requires either handwork or specialized equipment. Lining up images that cross over the inside flaps can be very difficult. The left and right edges fold inward with parallel folds and meet in the middle of the page without overlapping.

Z-Fold

Z-Fold or Fan Fold or Zig-Zag Fold

The “Z” style offers an advantage for multi-page letters to be collated and hand inserted for mailing. Because the pages nest together, the letter is opened with the pages in sequence. Folding the sheet of paper twice (the outside left panel folds to the left and the inside right panel folds to the left, forming the brochure cover)as a result it shapes as the letter “Z”.

Common folding types for 8 pages documents

Parallel Map Folding

Parallel Map Fold / Double Parallel Fold

The Double Parallel Fold & Parallel Map Folds require a four panel design (8 pages). An 11″ x8.5″ sheet is folded into a 2.75″ x 8.5″ brochure. This fold is commonly used for larger sheet sizes such as 14″ x 8.5″ which yields a 3.5″ x 8.5″ brochure and 17″ x 11″ sheet which yields a 4.25″ x 11″ brochure. The two inside panels are slightly narrower than the two outside panels. This fold is popular for programs and promotional pieces.

Parallel Roll Fold

Parallel Roll Fold / Barrel Fold

Popular, although sometimes tricky, the barrel fold “rolls up” a multi-panel brochure. Each panel must be slightly longer than the preceding one. It may or may not be a good design for a given brochure as the message tends to unroll rather than open up to the reader. Consists of 4 panels: two panels that are the largest size, a short panel, and an even shorter panel.

Accordion Fold

Accordion Fold / Triple Fold

This is the four panel version of the previously mentioned “Z” fold. It makes a nice presentation. Zigzag type of fold, opens in the manner of an accordion, permitting the paper to be extended to its full size with a single pull. Used for travel brochures, direct-mails.

French Fold

French Fold orquarter-fold or 8-panel right angle fold

A french fold brochure is made by folding a page in half in one direction and then folding the folded page in half again in the opposite dimension. After folding it consists of eight panels, four on the front and four on the back. Eight-panel french folds with even panels are commonly used for greeting cards and wedding invitations.

Common folding type for 10 pages documents

Double Accordion Fold

Double Accordion Fold

This is the five panel version of the previously mentioned “Z” fold. It makes a nice presentation. Zigzag type of fold, opens in the manner of an accordion, permitting the paper to be extended to its full size with a single pull. Used for travel brochures, direct-mails.

Common folding type for 16 pages documents

Parallel Booklet

Parallel Booklet

This is the eight panel version of the previously mentioned parallel map fold.

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