Printing Lingo: What is an Accordion Fold?

The Accordion folding method works well for any size printed piece

An Accordion Fold refers to a document folding method that uses a series of alternating folds to create multiple panels of a similar size. The parallel pleats formed by the alternating folds resemble the expandable mid-section of an Accordion musical instrument, hence the name “Accordion Fold.”

Printed pieces folded with the accordion method will open fully with minimal resistance. This is because each subsequent fold is made in the opposite direction of the fold preceding it.  Also, unlike many other folding techniques, accordion folds help minimize the bulk of the finished piece so it will close compactly.

Accordion folding is a popular choice for multi-page brochures. In addition to providing a distinctive appearance, accordion folding is generally more cost-effective than producing a multi-page brochure as a bound booklet.

Furthermore, the accordion method is often incorporated when folding large maps into a size that is convenient to handle. It is also a practical way to condense lengthy instruction sheets into a very small physical size, such as the mini-folded instructions enclosed with various consumer products.

The Accordion fold is sometimes referred to as a Zig-Zag fold or a Fan fold.

Give Formax a call at 866-367-6221 if you have questions about the Accordion Fold or any other document folding technique. Or, if you have an upcoming project and would like a quote, click here to access our easy quote request form. We look forward to helping with your next printing and folding project!

Take care!  Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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