In double gatefolds there are three parallel folds. The left and right edges of the paper fold and meet in the middle, without overlapping, along a center fold.
Some menus might use a double gatefold or a modified version where the outer panels are one-half to one-quarter the size of the inner panels. Advertising pieces that double as posters, some brochures, and inserts in books or magazines use this style of fold.
Also Known As: gatefold
The basic gatefold doesn't have the middle fold so that there is one large middle panel and a smaller panel on either side that fold in and meet in the middle; however, the term gatefold may be used to describe the basic or the double gatefold.
Examples: A double gate fold might be used in the middle of a magazine as a tip-in for a fold-out center spread.
Sizing and Folding a Double Gatefold:
The outer panels (the ones that fold in to the middle) are usually 1/32" to 1/8" smaller than the inner panels (the ones covered by the panels that fold in) to allow for proper folding and nesting.
Using an 11 x 17 sheet size for our example, here's how to size the panels for an 8-panel double gatefold:
- Take the length (width) of your sheet of paper and divide by 4: 17 / 4 = 4.25 This is your starting panel size.
- Add 1/32" (.03125) to the starting size: 4.25 + .03125 = 4.28125 This is the size of your two middle panels.
- Subtract 1/32" (.03125) from your starting panel size: 4.25 - .03125 = 4.21875 This is the size of your two smaller end panels.
For a 6-panel gatefold (single wide panel in middle), simple double the result of step 2 to get the size of the middle panel.
Variations and Other 6-8 Panel Folds:
As described above, the basic gatefold is a variation that gives you 6 panels. A double gatefold with much smaller end panels (they fold in but don't meet in the middle) is another variation.
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.
- Accordian or Z Folds can be 6-panel, 8-panel, or more.
- Spiral Folds with 3 parallel folds produce an 8-panel piece.
- Double Parallel Folds produce 8-panels.
- 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 double gatefolds.