Creative Paper Folds

Are you looking for the perfect paper fold to create the finished look you’re dreaming of? Look no further. We can help you get started on choosing the best paper fold type for your project.
To consider different fold options, you must start at the end. What are you hoping to achieve with your promotional piece? Will it be a direct mail piece or slide inside some kind of holder? Who is the target audience? What content will be used to fill the pages of your piece? Once you have all of these questions answered, you will move to the design and can look at different sizes and paper fold options.

There are many different types of paper folds, but not all are appropriate for every type of project. Take a look at the list below to find the fold that best suites your needs.

  1. Single Fold: Ideal for greeting cards or corporate collateral. If using cover weight, score the paper to create a smooth folded edge.
  2. Letter Fold: A common fold for letters and brochures. The letter fold is creates a self-contained unit optimal for automated envelope inserters.
  3. Gate Fold: A typical style for invitations and brochures, this fold requires either hand-work or specialized equipment to complete the folds.
  4. Half + Letter Fold: This is the perfect fold for newsletters. If printed on an 11” x 17” sheet and folded this way, the newsletter will fit in a # 10 envelope and look great!
  5. Closed Gate Fold: Similar to the traditional gate fold, the closed gate creates 8 panels that are all roughly the same width.
  6. Concertina Fold: Ideal for leaflets and pamphlets, this alternating style fold has panels that can be the same size.
  7. Accordion Fold: Similar to the “Z” fold, this 4 – 5 panel design makes a strong presentation. Each panel should be 1/32” longer than the preceding panel. Run it tail first so the cover till be the widest panel.
  8. Booklet Fold: Ideal for larger books and press sizes, this 16 and thirty two page right angle fold requires additional folding units to add more pages per signature.
  9. Barrel Fold: Perfect for a brochure, this fold “rolls up” to create a multi-panel piece. Make sure that each page is longer than the preceding page.
  10. “Z” Fold Angle: This uniquely trimmed “Z” fold makes for an interesting presentation. Trim two of the panels at an angle and then fold to create this look.
  11. Half + “Z” Fold: Often used for newsletters, this fold positions the masthead on the top of the front and the mailing panel right side up on the back.
  12. Endorsement Fold: The printed piece is finished (bindery, etc.) and then folded to a new size. This is perfect for inserts that are larger than the product it will be inserted into.
  13. “Z” Fold: The “Z” fold is great for multi-page letters that are to be collated and hand inserted for mailing. The pages are nested together allowing them to open in sequence.
  14. Parallel Triple Fold: Similar to the Half + Letter fold, this larger version is perfect for creating promotional booklets.
  15. French Fold: The right fold for poster inserts or leaflets, this fold allows the piece to start as the size of a booklet or brochure and expand to the final larger size.

When you have finished choosing your paper fold and your piece is ready to send to your customers, don’t forget to follow the USPS Guidelines and appropriately package or tab your direct mail piece. Not sure what USPS guidelines your piece falls under? Check out our USPS Guidelines 2013 poster for the latest updates. Find out more on pamphlets vs brochures or visit our service pages to see how Modern Litho can help you get started on choosing the ideal paper fold type for your upcoming project.