When it comes to folding, there are endless possibilities. Folding can be an essential skill to have especially when it comes to testing out a project that requires specific folds to finish. I’ll be discussing some important styles of folds that every designer should know, and be able to perform.
For starters I’ll discuss the Accordion Folds:
Accordian Folds are essentially a folding technique that creates an accordion like effect on the paper so it squeezes together and expands like an accordion would. Some examples of accordion folds are:
Accordion into Gate Poster:
This fold is used mostly for posters, However, can also be used for direct mail, maps, promotion, and special events. When this fold is opened up it creates a long gate fold spread that opens up to a tall accordion poster reveal. As for the inside of this fold, it opens up to a 20×30 when used for posters / maps. Unfolded this ends up being around 19.5″ by 28.75″ and after it is folded, ends up being 9.75″ by 7.25″.
Stepped Accordion Fold:
The stepped accordion fold is the classic zig zag accordion style fold. These folds have a stepped edge that is used for the purpose of creating tabs, or for purely cosmetic purposes. This fold can be used for Special Events, Self-Promotion, Greeting Cards, Marketing Collateral, Direct Mail and Specialty/Novelty Projects. This fold starts out at 28.25″ by 7″ and ends up at 7″ by 5″ after it is folded, which is able to fit inside of an A7 envelope.
Next up I will discuss Cross Folding:
Iron Cross Fold:
The iron cross fold is the classic + shape, having 4 square panels that all lay over each other to create one smaller square. This type of fold is also able to hold light weight materials such as insert cards. The uses for this fold include, Special Events, Self-Promotion, Greeting Cards, Marketing Collateral, Direct Mail, Multi-Piece Marketing Package and Specialty/Novelty Projects. The iron cross fold starts at 17.19″ by 17.19″ and ends up at 5.75″ by 5.75″ square format.
Rectangular Iron Cross Fold:
This fold is just a variation of the iron cross fold and is essentially the same thing except in a rectangular format, to create a different experience. This fold starts at 17.94″ by 12.69″ and ends up being 6″ by 4.25″ when folded. This fold will fit into an A6 Envelope as well.
Next up we have the Direct Mail Folds:
Closed Gate Fold:
The closed gate fold offers the same characteristics of a normal gate fold, in which 2 panels collapse into each other to create a “gate” that opens up. However, with the closed gate fold there is an addition of fold in the center to “close” it, which makes this fold great for mail. This fold is used for Direct Mail, Self-Promotion, Maps and Information and Marketing Collateral. The closed gate fold starts at 19.81″ by 7″ and ends up at 7″ by 5″. This fold does not necessarily need an envelope to mail, however it will fit in an A7 Envelope.
T-Cross Mailer Fold:
The T-Cross Mailer Fold is a variation of the iron cross fold, but is built in the shape of a “T”. Since this fold is formatted in a mail-friendly manner it is able to be mailed with or without an envelope. This fold is typically used for Direct Mail, Special Events, Self-Promotion and Marketing Collateral. To start this fold is 11.88” by 8.52” and once folded it ends up being 5.88” by 4.25”.
Moving forward, we have Simple Folds:
Tri-Fold with Tucked Cover:
The tri-fold with tucked cover is made with a short trim and a half-moon die cut, the cover is designed to neatly tuck into the curved die to close to make any project feel special. This fold is most commonly used with Special Events, Invitations, Promotion, Marketing Collateral and Holiday Cards. It starts at 8.25” by 16” and ends up at 8.25” by 5.75” after it is folded. This fold is designed to fit inside a 6″ by 9″ envelope.
Broadside Reveal Brochure Fold:
The broadside reveal brochure fold is a tri-fold with some variation that is an asymmetrical broadside folding applied to the exterior of the brochure. This fold creates a horizontal reveal and lots of extra real estate for content that can be hidden when folded. It is used for Special Events, Marketing Brochure, Promotion, Maps and Information and Newsletters. This fold begins at 14.5” by 12.375” and ends up being 4.825” by 6.825” once it is folded. This format is unable to mail without an envelope, so if you intend to mail this format, it is made to fit into an A7 envelope.
As you can see there are many styles of folding, and for different purposes. These were just scratching the surface of the endless possibilities that arise when it comes to folding. Folding is an important aspect when it comes to design and should always be taken into consideration when completing a project.