Fold Options – What You Need to Know Before You Fold

If you have not given much thought as to how you are going to fold your document, now is a good time. When it comes to producing the most professional-looking publications, the right fold can make all the difference.

Why is folding so important?

When someone picks up your document, you only have a split second to convince them to keep reading.  Folding your document in such a way that a strong picture, captivating headline or company logo are front and center can mean the difference between someone taking the time to read your publication, or simply throwing it away.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to spend hours folding each document yourself.  A good professional printing company has folding machines that can do everything in minutes. When you pick up your order, everything is ready to go!

The following information will help you decide which fold is right for you. These are the most commonly used folds.

The Accordion Fold
This fold is used for documents that have only been printed on one side of the paper.  The Accordion Fold folds the paper twice at right angles to make 4 panels.  If you look at the document from the top, the paper will have a W shape. Make sure the first page captivates your audience and makes them want to open it up.

The Half Fold

This is the simplest form of folding.  The Half Fold is what it sounds like; it folds documents in half, either horizontally or vertically.  The Half Fold is used for greeting cards, party invitations, books, and calendars. If you are looking for an even more professional look, this fold can also be used in conjunction with various binding options.

The Right Angle Fold

For this fold, the document is folded in half horizontally then folded in half again vertically.  The Right Angle Fold is perfect for large pieces of paper that you need to fit into a smaller envelope.  After all, the smaller the envelope, the less postage you’ll have to pay!

The Tri-Fold

This technique folds documents into thirds. This creates 3 different panels.  The Tri-Fold can be done either horizontally or vertically. When it’s done horizontally, the Tri-Fold is also called the “letter fold” because it’s the same fold you would use on a letter you mail to a friend.  The Tri-Fold is best for newsletters and direct mail.

The Z Fold

In this fold, 1/3 of the paper is folded one way, and another 1/3 is folded in the opposite direction, so that there are 3 panels facing different directions.  When you look at these documents from above, the paper makes a Z shape.  The Z Fold is most commonly used for brochures.