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Books on Folding Paper for Graphic Design Projects

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Folding Paper

There's an art and science to folding paper

Graphic © J. Bear
The art of paper folding isn't only about origami or paper airplanes. From simple business letters inserted into plain envelopes to complex multi-sectioned packages to hold any number of products, designers must create designs to be folded into a myriad of shapes. The books described here provide designers with both ideas for creative folding and the nuts and bolts of how to fold paper of all shapes and sizes, including detailed diagrams for laying out the design and folding the paper.

FOLD The Professional's Guide to Folding:

At $100 plus it might seem a bit pricey but if you do a lot of products that involve more than the typical tri-fold brochures, this reference tome is well worth it. In addition to folding diagrms it covers how to plan your design based on the folds, how to set up folding marks in your digital documents, paper basics that affect folding, and charts on press sheet sizes, envelope sizes, and more. This is a top choice for agencies and professional designers.
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The Packaging and Design Templates Sourcebook:

The 2010 edition has all new projects so you might want both editions. EPS templates are on the CD. The book illustrates a variety of packaging ideas along with templates and detailed instructions on cutting, folding, and constructing each package.
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New Encyclopedia of Paper-Folding Designs:

Featuring Japanese style graphics and some Japanese text in with the English, this collection of projects covers folding techniques for everything from ordinary greeting cards to complex packaging designs. It has a companion CD with diagrams in Illustrator format.
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Forms, Folds, and Sizes:

Among the most useful sections of this book of reference charts are the illustrations and charts showing paper sizes and trimmed page sizes, binding styles, detailed envelope information, and package diagrams. Not exclusively about folding, it does have much folding-related material. [Guide Review]
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How to Fold:

Various editions (1993-2000) from Larry K. Whithers feature instructions on folding advertising, promotional, and personal materials including direct mail, invitations, and folders. Each edition builds on the folding techniques of the previous volume. A book of few words, it's almost entirely diagrams showing a variety of folds. From simple brochures to elaborate packaging that goes beyond the basic box, each spread is a diagram with simple instructions (arrows and numbering) for a different fold.
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Folding Patterns for Display & Publicity:

From the publishers of How to Fold, this book focuses on the shape of packages and provides folding designs and diagrams for boxes and elaborate packaging that goes beyond the basic box. Works well in tandem with How to Fold.
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Fabulous Folds for Card-Making:

Get crafty with your paper-folding. This book shows you how to create some fairly complicated folds specifically for your handcrafted greeting cards. Includes detailed instructions.
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Folding Ideas for Cards & Envelopes:

Comes with folding and cutting templates for a variety of cards, envelopes, and related crafts. There's a CD with some extras too. The CD contains formats for use for homemade cards and for those with access to high-end equipment.
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