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Choosing the Right Fold for Your Brochure

Uniquely-sized fold options

The oversized folds for brochures have the advantage of fitting perfectly for that unique purpose.  They also come with the disadvantage, though, of being unable to fit in a brochure rack and are not easily mailed.

Half fold

This fold works well for when you need lots of space for a large spread.  With this design, you can create a layout that will not be interrupted by fold creases.

Accordian fold

The accordion folds a larger piece of paper in a zigzag pattern of four or more panels.  This fold provides for an interesting presentation, but it also has trouble staying closed.

Roll fold

A rolled up pamphlet or certificate sends a message of importance. You can even hold it closed with a fancy ribbon or wax seal for a royal style.

Letter-sized fold options

Letter-sized brochure folds easily fit into brochure racks and work well as direct mail pieces. The only limitation to these fold options is that it can be difficult to get a viewer to open the brochure.

Tri (letter) fold

Certainly the most common, the tri-fold involves dividing the paper into three even sections. First the right and then the left panels are folded over a middle section. Because of the way the flaps unfold, the letter fold is great for unveiling your presentation in steps.

Z -Fold

The shorter version of the accordian fold, the Z-fold contains three panels folded in the shape of a Z. This folding option works well when you want to lead the reader to open the rest of the brochure, since you can start the message on the cover panel and wrap the text to the inside.

Complex fold options

The more complicated folds can be difficult to layout in your design program and are more suited for a specific use. However, the double parallel and French folds can save money since they only need to be printed on one side.

Double parallel fold

This fold involves dividing the paper into two wide and two small panels. The small panels located on the right side of the page are folded inside of the two wide panels on the left side to create a complicated half fold. You can keep one side of the paper blank or use it for a large graphic such as a map, chart or graph.

French fold

In the French fold, the page is halved and then halved again perpendicular to the first fold, like a homemade greeting card. This fold can work well for a promotional newsletter, since the full page spread when opened provides lots of space to work with.

Gate fold

Make your brochure stand out with the gate fold, in which the two side panels are folded over to meet across the middle panel. Then the brochure is folded in half again for a convenient size. This fold provides for a very impressive presentation and is a great fit for when you need to "wow" your customers.

When choosing the right fold for your brochure printing, keep the advantages and disadvantages in mind. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each fold will help you better match your purpose to the folding option.

You can visit my Brochure Graphic Design Portfolio.