A non-folded piece is generally called a flyer by printing professionals, a folded flyer is called a brochure. An essential part of the early planning stages of a well designed brochure is deciding where and how you want it to fold.  There are many ways to fold a piece of paper, and the way it folds (and unfolds) is an integral part of the presentation of your brochure design. Below are the most common brochure folds.

You can use the guides in our templates available, open the template in the application to see the fold lines in addition to trim and bleed lines during the design of the document. Keep in mind that panel 2 is the back cover. The user first sees the front cover (panel 1) and then upon opening panel 3 so these two panels should have a matching or consistent style.

Single (half) Fold or Bifold a single fold brochure made by folding the paper in half making four panels:(2-front + 2-back) 


Z fold are made by folding the paper in thirds in “zig zags.” It opens like an accordion in the shape of a “Z”.  Panels are the same size.

Accordian fold three zigzag folds with 8 panels (3 parallel folds that go in opposite directions). Each panel of the accordion fold are the same size

Booklet or French fold folding a page in half in one direction and then folding it in half again in the opposite direction. After folding it makes of eight panels: (4-fronts + 4-backs). Panels are the same size.  Booklet folds are commonly used for mailers.

Tri-folds  are made by folding the paper in thirds. After folding it consists of six panels (3-front + 3-back) with the right panel tucked inside of the panels created by the first fold.  

Tri-folds are commonly used for marketing events, services or products. The panels fold in on each other to form the finished size. The three panels do not have the same width since you need to compensate for the thickness of the paper in the fold and tolerances of the folding machine. For an 8.5″ x 11″ tri‑fold brochure or pamphlet, make part 3 which folds to the inside 3.625″ wide while the 2 other panels are 3.688″ wide. 

Trifold or Letter Fold


Double Parallel Fold  made by folding a sheet of paper in half twice in the same direction making eight panels (2-front + 2-back). The last two panels need to be slightly smaller than the outer panels to fold properly inside the outer two panels.

Double Gate Fold  The left and right panels fold inwards to meet in the middle and then folding at the center making eight panels: (4-fronts + 4-backs) Panels on each end need to be slightly smaller than the outer panels.

When doing a 4 panel double parallel fold or 4 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).

Some folds require "short panels" to allow the finished piece to remain flat otherwise the folded in panel will "dog ear" and not be a good fold. 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.

Double Parallel or Gate Fold

Roll (Barrell) Fold  the piece is folded inward multiple times as if you are “rolling up” the paper with folds. 

4 panel roll folds have two panels that are the largest 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 3/32 instead of a 16th, but that's only a 32nd of an inch difference.

Roll Fold


Half Fold & Tri-fold Folding a sheet of paper (often 17″ x 11″) in half, and then tri-folded in the opposite direction

You can download templates on our Template menu, if the template you need is not on the page please contact us to request a template.  You can chat live or email us at info@uniquecolorprinting with any questions or help calculating correct measurements.