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7 Facts to Know About Paper Folding for Commercial Printing

Paper can be folded many different ways, which allows you the flexibility to produce a printed piece that unfolds in your readers' hands just as you imagined it would.  Creative folding techniques can help you deliver a very strong message if used effectively. For your next commercial printing project, consider some of these folds. 

The 10 Most Common Folds

Take a look at the many folding options available.


7 Facts to Know About Folding

  1. You should expect a tolerance of 1/32 inch per fold, depending on the weight and thickness of the paper. Allow adequate spacing between columns to fit the resulting panel sizes.

  2. To get the best results, ask us to provide you a paper dummy in the design phase to ensure the paper you have chosen folds properly.

  3. Always provide a folding dummy when you send in your job to ensure proper folding. This helps those who work on your project to communicate effectively.

  4. When using a gate fold, the outermost panels (those that fold in together) need to be sized 1/8 smaller than the inside panels. In order for the graphics to appear seamless along the opening, they need to overlap in order to compensate for the cut.

  5. When doing a roll or barrel fold, as the panels move from the outside to the inside, each panel width should increase by 1/16 of an inch.  For example, on a six panel brochure, if the finished folded width is 4 inches wide, the innermost panel might be 3 and 3/4 inches wide.

  6. Be sure to ask for scoring if you are using a heavy paper or if you have heavy ink coverage. If scoring is not used, cracking along the fold will happen, distracting from the overall look.

  7. *Keep in mind mailing costs when deciding on a fold. Brochures with accordion folds need to be placed in an envelope before they can be mailed. Others like the single fold or tri-fold can be mailed with or without an envelope. If you design a brochure with a final shape of a square, be aware there is a mailing surcharge (unless a rectangular envelope is used).


Your rep can help guide you on a creative fold that works for your project. If you have questions about setting up the art properly, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you! 

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Jun 07 , 2016 |

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