Choosing a Fold for Your Project

Half Fold

Designing a brochure or pamphlet? You may have thought about content, color, and even paper type, but there's another factor you should consider. The type of fold you select for your project can greatly affect readability, ease of use and overall impact on your potential consumer. There are numerous options to choose from, but here are a few of the most popular ones.

Half Fold: The most simple type of fold, it is commonly used for brochures and greeting cards. It can be used with nearly all types of paper, though thicker stocks require scoring to produce a smooth fold. It works well with most sizes, although it's commonly used with 8.5″ x 11″, 8.5″ x 14″, 11″ x 17″ or 11″ x 25.5″ paper


Letter Fold/Tri Fold: Great for stuffing envelopes, this fold is much like the half fold except the paper is folded into thirds and completely self contained. It's commonly used with 8.5″ x 11″,8.5″ x 14″, 11″x 17″ or 11″ x 25.5″ sized paper.

Parallel Fold: This fold is perfect for mailing projects involving legal or larger sized paper. When pulled apart, it produces paper folded into fourths. When folded, it creates two V shapes, one nestled inside the other. 

Parallel Fold


Z-Fold: Named because of the Z shape it creates, this style is great for multi-page mailers because it saves space. Mailings using this type of fold, however, must be stuffed into envelopes by hand to avoid the pages springing open during the envelope stuffing process.

Accordion Fold: It's the four-panel version of the Z fold, so named because of the finished product's resemblance to the musical instrument. It's a great option for brochures, as a single pull opens all of its panels.

Accordion Fold
Roll Fold

Roll Fold/ Barrel Fold: With this style, each of four panels is slightly longer than the one before it. It can be tricky to get right, and it does not contain crisp folds, so opening it can be confusing.

Gate Fold: This type of fold features two sides that meet in the middle. It's great for multi-part messages, as each section of the message can be printed on a fold, adding suspense when each fold is opened and read. This style does require either specialty equipment or a steady hand to create crisp, equal folds.

Gate Fold
French Fold

French Fold/Quarter Fold: This type of fold is made by folding a page in half in one direction and then in half again in the opposite direction. The finished product is eight panels, four on the front and four on the back. You'll commonly see this type of fold used for brochures and direct mail.

Other Considerations
Before you choose a fold, you'll also want to consider other factors that will affect the finished look of your pages.


Trim is the size of your page. Your fold, as well as the size of the paper you begin with, will impact the finished trim. If you want a large page size, you'll need to find a paper size and fold type that allow for the finished size you want.

Most finished pages will include a margin, but you may have a design in mind that reaches to the end of the page. This is where a bleed comes in. Bleeding is an effect that allows you to print artwork or images that touch the end of the page. This is done by printing the image so that it extends off the edge of the page and cutting the page to the correct size afterwards to ensure no margin exists. If you desire a bleed, you'll have to choose a fold that properly displays it, as some styles can cover up all your hard work.

Metzgers has the abilitly to create numerous types of folds. Let's find out which one will work best for your project. Contact us today!

Bleed & Trim Visual
Tags: Offset - Binary - Fold - Printing



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