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(K)reative Files – Are You in the Fold?

June 21, 2013 | Kopytek

For advertising agency design professionals and marketing department creative, designing a printed piece that makes the best use of available space and positions the messaging in a unique way to capture the attention of the audience can be a challenge. Designing your printed pieces to incorporate folding can be very effective, and allows for ample opportunity to display creative prowess.

We’ve seen nearly every variation of folds, both the regular and the more specialized. Here’s a quick rundown on a few of the most requested folding techniques for printed media:

Half-fold/Single Fold

This type of fold is mainly used for brochures and postcards. We’ve also seen some creative business cards incorporating half fold as well.

Tri-fold/Letter Fold

This common fold, used for mailings and brochures, is like a letter folded by hand for inserting in an envelope. The inside right panel folds to the left and the inside left panel folds to the right on the top, forming the cover page.


The Z-Fold is folded much like a fan. 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) creating the letter “Z”.

Accordion Fold

This is the multi-panel version of the previously mentioned “Z” fold. A zigzag type of fold, this opens in like an accordion, permitting the paper to be extended to its full size with a single pull. You can use many panels with this type of fold, providing a large amount of space for content.

Double Parallel Fold

The panels fold into each other. The paper is first folded in half from one short side to the other. Then, the paper is folded over in half again from the same direction. All 8 panels are even and can contain the same amount of content.

Roll Fold/Barrel Fold

The roll fold “rolls up” a multi-panel brochure. Each panel must be slightly longer than the preceding one.

Short Fold

A short fold is similar to a half fold, but one panel is shorter and may be die cut.

French Fold/Quarter 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.

Gate Fold

The left and right edges fold inward with parallel folds and meet in the middle of the page without overlapping.

Double Gate Fold

The left and right edges fold inward with parallel folds and meet in the middle of the page without overlapping. The piece is folded in half again to create the double gate fold.

That’s just a few of the many options that can be done using folding techniques. We’re always interested in a unique design challenge using folding. Is there a vision for your printed piece that you’d like to execute using an uncommon fold? Chances are, it CAN be done. The only limits are your imagination.

Happy (K)reating!

-The Kopytek Team


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