A Quick Printing Guide: Folding

A Quick Printing Guide: Folding


If you use print for marketing purposes, then a decent understanding of your folding options is useful for all kinds of reasons. Firstly, it gives you more options to design and layout your print in the most user-friendly way possible for your customers – increasing response rates into the bargain. It’s also important as it allows you to optimise your print to get the most bang-for-your-book (sorry – printing pun!) when talking to printers.

So here we look at some of your most common folding options. Getting to understand these will help you increase product effectiveness and stop you being bamboozled when you’re talking to your printer – they’ll be familiar with these terms so it’ll help in making sure you get exactly what you want!








Single Fold
Folded down the middle to make four pages.








Standard Fold
Folded twice to make six pages.








Gate Fold
Gate folds can usually only be six pages (6pp); both sides fold to the middle. More suited to sheet fed presses as they are typically very long products or square-finished. There’s also the double gate fold where both flaps fold and meet in the middle and are then folded again.








Concertina Fold
Folded back on itself in a zigzag – a good solid fold but cannot be mechanically inserted as you need a closed edge.








Roll Fold (or Parallel over & outer Fold)
One panel is rolled over the next, continued to the desired size (common is 6pp). Disadvantage is that each panel progressively gets smaller, so artwork must compensate for this. Excellent for inserts (provides an edge to be grabbed by). Web presses cannot finish roll folds on press as the product would get stuck on the plough folders, so offline folding is needed.








Square (French or Right-angled) Fold
Think folded posters. Excellent for poster inserts and leaflets designed to be opened flat. Again, something more commonly found on larger, B1+ sheetfed presses.




Parallel & Reverse Map Fold
There are a range of folds that are usually associated with maps.








Endorsement fold
The product’s finished (e.g. stapled, etc.) then folded to a new size (e.g. DL). Good for inserts that are larger than the product it will be inserted into, when open flat.  Commonly for retail flyers to be inserted into national press.








Standard & Concertina Letter Fold
Folded in half then folded again using either standard or concertina folding.

 Top Tip – folds are usually priced per 1000, with the more complex folds costing more. It’s therefore very important to clearly specify exactly the type of fold you require to your printer at the time you place your order. That way, you’ll get the correct fold and your printer can give you an exact price. No surprises when it comes to invoicing!

For more information on your finishing options, get in touch and we’ll be only too happy to help!