Creative folding options on a budget

Everyone uses basic brochure and poster templates, but switching it up every now and then is always a pleasant surprise for your clients. Learn a few, simple paper folding techniques to help bring a brochure design to the next level, both creatively and efficiently. These creative folding options add new life to a brochure or poster. However, they can be very budget friendly if there are no specialty die cuts. Check out these popular budget-friendly folding techniques below to get ideas for your new projects.

roll fold instructions

Roll Fold

A roll fold is a slightly more advanced fold than a regular brochure fold. Instead of having a paper or brochure fold from two different sides into the middle, this fold allows the paper to continually fold into itself. In order to achieve this, you fold panel 1 into panel 2, panel 2 into panel 3, and so on.

gate fold

Gate Fold

A gate fold is a brochure that gets its name from how the user opens the panels since it literally opens like a gate. To create a fold like this, the two side panels, 1 and 3, must be narrower in size to equal the size of the base panel 2. This way, there will be no gaps between the panels and there will be more of a surprise when the user opens the folds to reveal what is on panel 2.

accordion fold


An accordion fold is made up of folding a piece of paper opposite ways for every other fold. This adds a zig-zag type of look to a brochure, and it’s an easy way to fold paper. To achieve this fold, you must fold panel 1 into panel 2, fold panel 3 towards the back of panel 2 and repeat until the entire paper is folded.

accordion tab fold

Accordion Tab Fold

The accordion tab fold is essentially the same as the accordion fold except the panels are different sizes. The cover panel, or panel 1, is the narrowest of all of the panels, panel 2 is slightly wider, and panel 3 is even wider, and panel 4 is the widest. This way, once the paper is folded, the user can quickly skip to a section of the brochure with the natural tabs this fold creates. Repeat the folding technique as the accordion fold.

diagonal z fold

Diagonal Z fold

This fold is great for trade shows and booth handouts since it displays three different levels of information at once. In order to create a Z fold, you must cut the paper at an angle before any of the folding takes place. Once it is cut, you fold panel towards panel 2, and panel 3 towards the back of panel 2.

poster brochure fold

Poster Brochure

This is the most advanced of the folding techniques, yet creates a beautiful brochure that doubles as a poster. First, you must fold the paper into quarters, and then fold it in half. Keeping the paper folded in half, cut halfway through the crease you have created through folding. Now there are 8 sections in the paper with a slit in the middle. Fold the paper horizontally on the slit line. Push panel 5 and panel 8 inward to create a “plus sign” shape. Then, fold push panel 7 towards panel 5, and panel 8 towards panel 1. Now you’ve created a brochure from your poster!