Typically accordian folds are simple zig-zag folds with 6-panels and two parallel folds that go in opposite directions. Each panel of the accordian fold is about the same size.
Accordian folds are similar to the pleats on the musical instrument known as an accordion (note the different spelling).
Some tri-fold brochures, business letters, invoices, and monthly statements commonly use an accordian fold. This fold allows an address at the top or bottom of a typical portrait style letter or invoice to show through a window envelope, avoiding the need for address labels.
Sizing and Folding Panels for an Accordian Fold:
Unlike spiral folds where some panels have to be smaller to nest properly with each other, with an accordian fold the panels can all be sized the same unless using one of the variations, described below.This can make it much easier to set guides, margins, and gutters during page layout.
Variations and Other 6-8 Panel Folds:
Variations include half-accordian folds where one panel is half the size of the others and engineering folds where one panel is twice the size of the others. Eight and 10-panel accordian folds are also common.
Note that a 6-panel fold may be described as a 3-panel while an 8-panel may be described as being a 4-panel layout. 6 and 8 refer to both sides of the sheet of paper while 3 and 4 are counting 1 panel as being both sides of the sheet. Sometimes "page" is used to mean a panel.
- C Folds are a common 6-panel spiral fold for brochures and newsletters.
- Spiral Folds with 3 parallel folds produce an 8-panel piece.
- Double Parallel Folds produce 8-panels.
- Gatefolds have 6 panels, with the middle panel double the size of the others.
- Double Gatefolds have 8 panels of approximately even size with two ends folded in.
- French Fold produces 8 panels of even or uneven sizes using crossfolds
See Folding a Brochure for measurements in inches and picas for three different sizes of a variety of ways to fold a brochure.
Also Known As: z fold | zig-zag | pleated folds | concertina folds
Alternate Spellings: accordion folds