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Folding Terms Folding:
Common Terms

Just to make sure we are all on the same page, we've compiled a list of common folding terms.

Secrets to Great Duotones Examples of
Typical Folds

We've illustrated five common folding techniques to help you visualize how each type is manufactured.

Fold Guys

Folding: Common Terms:

CREEP. The middle pages of a stapled/stitched book being pushed out in the center. A final trim will correct the physical alignment of the paper. Special software is used to compensate for creep, moving the image of the pages toward the center to offset the amount the pages are pushed out.

FINISHED SIZE. The size of a printed piece after all trimming and folding is complete.

FINISHING. General term for trimming, folding, binding and generally, post press operations.

FLAT SIZE. The size of printed piece after printing and trimming, but before folding. See finished size.

FOLD MARKS. Marks that appear outside the trim area of a press sheet used to indicate the location of required folds.

FOLD OUT. A sheet bound into a printed piece, typically tri-, roll- or gate-folded, that is used to add an extended page that folds out beyond the standard layout of the publication pages.

FORM. Each side of a signature.

GRAIN. Predominant direction of paper fiber alignment occurring as a result of manufacturing.

PANEL. One side of one page of a finished brochure; for example, a tri-fold brochure has a total of six panels, not three.

SCORE. A crease applied to paper along the line of a fold prior to folding so that the folded edge will be hard and clean, avoiding the potential for the paper to crack.

SIGNATURE. A single printed sheet folded once or multiple times, to become part of a book, magazine or other type of print publication.

Examples of Typical Folds

Fold 1

SINGLE FOLD. Your single fold is pretty much like it sounds. Panels are both the same size.

Fold 2

ROLL FOLD. Think of the roll fold as a slow reveal. Depending upon the number of folds and thickness of the stock, you may need to adjust the panel size to compensate. Call us to be sure.

Fold 3

ACCORDION FOLD. This popular fold combines two or more parallel folds in opposite directions, allowing many pages to collapse into the size of just one.

Fold 4

GATE FOLD. A gate fold is a sheet of four panels, with the two outer panels folding inward toward the center spine. The outer panels are typically slightly less wide to ensure they do not overlap in the center of the piece.

Fold 5

FRENCH FOLD. A French fold is a sheet that is folded vertically and then horizontally, allowing a piece to start the size of a booklet or brochure and expand to a final size that feels like a poster.

Fold 6

SHORT FOLD. A short fold is similar to a French fold, but the initial bottom two panels are shorter and may be die cut. A common example of a short fold is the pocket folder.


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