Fold Types

Many of the more common folds are shown in the following diagrams. Certain folds require "short panels" to allow the finished piece to remain flat. The short panels are identified on the pictures below. The amount of trim for the short panels will depend upon the weight and type of stock used in your project, but a safe measurement is 1/16th of an inch. Use the supplied panel dimensions to help make sure your project folds correctly.


Description: [4 panel single fold]
Single Fold
(four panels)

Description: [6 panel accordian fold]
Accordion (or "Z") Fold
(usually six or eight panels)

Description: [8 panel french fold]
French Fold
(eight panels)

Letter Fold Description: [blueline rule]

Description: [6 panel letter fold]
Letter Fold
(six panels)

11 x 17 (tabloid size)
Description: [6 panel tabloid fold]

81/2 x 11 (letter size)
Description: [6 panel letter fold]

81/2 x 14 (legal size)
Description: [6 panel legal fold]

When doing a trifold, divide your paper width by 3 (ie, on an 81/2 x 11 sheet, divide 11 by 3 to get 3.6667). Round that number up to nearest 32nd of an inch (ie, 3.6875). This number will be the size of your two wide panels. To get the third (short) panel, subtract a 16th, or .0625 from the wide panel size (ie, 3.625). The form below will do the work for you, but, since trifolds work with thirds (uneven numbers), the measurements are not always exact (ie, if you add the three numbers together, the sum does not exactly equal the original size). The results are extremely close and are usable.


Double Parallel Fold/Four-Panel Gate Fold Description: [blueline rule]

Description: [8 panel double parallel fold]
Double Parallel Fold
(eight panels)

Description: [8 panel gate fold]
Gate Fold
(eight panels)

When doing a four panel double parallel fold or four panel gate fold, two of the panels are wide and two short. Divide your width by 4 (ie, 17 divided by 4 is 4.25). Add a 32nd, or .03125, to the number to get your wide panel size (ie, 4.28125). Subtract a 16th, or .0625, from the wide panel size to get your short panel size (ie, 4.21875).


Roll Fold Description: [blueline rule]

Description: [8 panel barrel (or roll) fold]

Four panel roll folds have two panels that are the same size, a short panel, and an even shorter panel. Divide your width by 4 (ie, 17 divided by 4 is 4.25). Add a 16th, or .0625, to the number to get your wide panel size (ie, 4.3125). Subtract 3/32nds, or .09375, from that number to get the short size (ie, 4.21875). To get the final, even shorter size (the shortest size), subtract another 16th, or .0625 (ie, 4.15625). This actually makes the difference between the two large panels and the short panel 3/32s instead of a 16th, but that's only a 32nd of an inch difference.

If you need any further help, please feel free to contact any member of our Pre-press Department at 320.738.1007.





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