About Foldfactory

Foldfactory is the place to go for folding ideas, trends, and strategies to help you build successful, memorable marketing campaigns. I’m the founder of Foldfactory, and I’ve spent my entire career researching and documenting folding techniques for marketing – so you don’t have to! I’m on a mission to get my research out to the masses, so that every marketer can get great results on any budget.

I’ve collected thousands of exciting samples from around the world—from creative ideas for low budgets, to exciting specialty formats you’ve probably never seen before. I share direct mail, pop-ups, envelope ideas, packaging, and pocket folders, too. I’m working to make it easier for you to sort, evaluate, select, and produce the best fold for your project, and it’s an ongoing and evolving effort. I post new content to the blog and to the Foldfactory YouTube channel every week, and provide additional insights, solutions and strategies to my Fold Club members. I invite you to follow my journey and join the conversation. Your feedback is important to me.

Foldfactory is known for our award-winning (and addictive) custom Template Builder, where you can build instant, production-perfect folding templates for Roll folds, Tri-folds, Parallel folds, Closed Gate folds, Accordions, and more. The Template Builder is free to use if you Join Fold Club.

And if you’re looking for instant inspiration and quick-turn super-creative folds for your marketing endeavors, check out the Foldfactory Designer Folds collection at Smartpress.com. You can download the templates for free, and get instant pricing, too.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about Foldfactory, I hope you’ll be inspired to try something new.

Best regards,

Trish Witkowski

Chief Folding Fanatic, Foldfactory.com

Common questions people ask me:

As a content creator, a niche category expert, and a “folding celebrity” on YouTube, I get a lot of recurring questions about my company, my work, my background, and my show. I’ve answered the most common questions below.

What’s your background, and how did you get started?

I’m a graphic designer with a Master’s degree in printing from RIT. My thesis project was focused on finding and documenting all of the different brochure folds in existence—which was a much bigger project than I ever realized at the time. I defended my thesis and got my degree, but more than 20 years later, my research continues.

Early in my career, I was a designer, then a senior designer, then I became a creative director at a small agency in Baltimore, Maryland. My folding research was a side hustle until my husband accepted a job relocation, and I decided to step out on my own and start Foldfactory.

How did you turn folding into a career?

My original folding research took the form of a book: FOLD: The Professional’s Guide to Folding. We then took the folding compensation mathematics that were documented in the folding diagrams from the book and turned them into our Template Builder software—which still exists today. However, back then it started as a paid subscription service, and then it was a software plug-in, and today it’s an online software service that we offer for free to Fold Club members. So, we got our start selling books and software.

Over time, I realized that people responded to real-world samples and solutions. That’s when I got into video and launched the Foldfactory YouTube channel and “Fold of the Week” in 2009. At that time, I also started speaking at any event that I could. As the audiences grew, the sponsors came. I wrote some books. I created a few courses for LinkedIn Learning. Fast-forward several years and Smartpress.com launches an exclusive line of Foldfactory Designer Folds. These days, I focus on creating content, speaking events, and building community around a common goal of making print communications that work.

Will you speak to my (company, organization, school) for free?

Once in a while I will do a free event, usually for students. However, these days, I just don’t have the time to make content that is free to consume, and then to utilize my time and resources to give free presentations as well. There’s a lot of time that goes into the prep, the event itself and the follow-up, and I have to charge for that time these days.

If you’re on a tight budget, a half-hour virtual Zoom meet-up is my most affordable event option. You also might want to consider finding a sponsor for the event, which can really help.

 Hey, turn that frown upside down! I have a tremendous amount of content that is available to watch or read for free, and I’m working to make it easier to search and sort. Check out Folding 101, the Foldfactory Blog, and the Foldfactory YouTube Channel to start. I also have online courses on LinkedIn Learning that are inexpensive to view, and books and resources, too.

Have you ever seen this fold before? What is it called, and who can produce it?

I love folding forensics! It can be pretty hard to stump me, and I can usually point you in the right direction. I do my best to answer inquiries pretty quickly, but it can take me a few days to get back to you if I’m traveling or deep in a project, so I just ask that you’re patient with me. Note: please don’t send me origami questions. It’s not my specialty. I specialize in production folding for marketing and mail.

Are specialty formats (like the Cross Fold or the Twist Fold) available in the Foldfactory Template Builder?

There are no specialty formats in the Foldfactory custom Template Builder. The reason for this is that specialty formats are far more complex and less linear than the formats featured in the Template Builder. Specialty templates must be built using vector line art in Adobe Illustrator for this very reason. The folding styles featured in the Template Builder are built using industry-approved mathematical folding compensation calculations, and then the software dynamically places the fold guides and fold marks in InDesign.

If you’re a member of Fold Club, be sure to visit our Free Downloads page. We have lots of specialty templates over there that are free for you to use. For example, you can choose from 4 different kinds of Twist folds! You’ll also want to check out the Foldfactory Designer Folds at Smartpress. There are 30 creative formats, free templates, and even an instant pricing calculator. Smartpress makes it easy to design, upload and print highly creative marketing materials.

How much control do I have over template design in the Template Builder?

The template-building service will give you control over the choice of folding style, the flat size or finished dimension of the format (one or the other), panel count for rolls and accordions, and there are some optional modifications related to direction, reverse orientation, and broadside options. You can also choose normal or increased levels of folding compensation (usually applied for heavier paper), where applicable.

What you do not have the ability to do in the Template Builder is to modify the sizes of individual panels. For example, if you wanted to make a tri-fold with a short trim cover, or a double parallel fold with a long trailing panel, that’s not an option in the software. You also cannot add panels to formats that do not have this feature. For example, you can add panels to accordion folds and roll folds. However, if you wanted to add a 5th panel off the right edge a closed gate fold, you cannot selectively add a panel to a format in our software.

Can I run some ideas by you about a (project, campaign) I’m working on?

Yes! As a starting point, please go to this link to purchase an hour of consulting time and we’ll pick a date that works for both of us.

Can you send me a bunch of ideas for my (project, campaign, client)?

Yes! Please go to this link to purchase an hour of consulting time. I’ll reach out to you to determine what you’re looking for, and I’ll search my collection and present ideas to you during our time together.

Do you shoot and produce all of your content?

Yes, I do. I have a photo and video studio and I do all of my own production these days. I haven’t always shot my own work, however. Some of my most beautiful still photos and “magic hands” videos were shot by Chris Paulis Photography. He’s a master (and an all-around great guy). I just do so much photo/video work now (almost daily), that it became necessary for me to bring the entire process in house.

How can I get my work on Fold of the Week?

Thanks for asking! I’m always looking for fresh ideas to feature on the show. I love clever modifications to folding classics, low budget ideas, creative marketing and direct mail formats, event invitations, and specialty folds. I like pocket folders, magazine inserts, folded business cards, booklets with foldouts or folded covers, one-piece folded packaging, and dimensional formats, too. I prefer folds that have relevance and application to a broad audience. I don’t generally choose folds that are identical to something I have featured before, and I also tend to pass on folds that are really specialized in their application or overly complex. I also politely decline origami, mock-ups, and one-off projects. Click here for more information and to submit your work.

Please note: We do not accept payment in exchange for a spot on the show. All placements are earned. Even our partners must go through the selection process, meet the requirements, and wait for timing that suits the show schedule and content flow.

Can you send me a sample of the fold you shared on Fold of the Week? Do you have the dieline/template?

I usually have only one or two samples of the fold featured on the show, because people send them to me–I don’t produce the samples. Sometimes I can create the dieline, but we don’t have dielines for all of the Fold of the Week samples since we don’t produce them. So, my recommendation would be to reach out to the company in the credits, or to ask your favorite printer to help you produce the dieline and fold for your project. The team at Smartpress.com, who offer the Foldfactory line of Designer Folds, could also provide you with a free custom quote and a dieline (for a production fee). 

Is the plant in the background on “Fold of the Week” real?

Nope. Totally fake. That plant has been with me since episode #51 in 2010. I “auditioned” two other plants before locking in on the one I have now.

How many shirts do you have from the show, and do you repeat shirt slogans?

I have as many shirts as I have episodes, so well over 500. I make the shirts myself, using a Cricut Maker to cut letters out of black heat transfer vinyl. The shirts go to storage after I shoot each episode. I don’t sell my pre-worn shirts, so please don’t ask. However, I do have a Foldfactory merchandise store at Zazzle, if you’d like to order a shirt or mug. There are some shirts already in the store, but you can also pick you color and change the text to your favorite folding slogan. Check out the list of slogans here for ideas.

Can I send you my shirt slogan idea?

Yes, please!! With over 500 shows under my belt, it’s great to have help. My viewers have sent me some of the best ideas. If you’d like to see all of the shirt slogans I’ve used so far, check out my blog post: Here’s the “Fold of the Week” Shirt Database You’ve All Been Waiting For. Please send your ideas through my contact form. Did I mention you’re Fold-tastic?

About the Founder

Trish Witkowski is a designer, a content creator, and a keynote speaker. She knows more about brochure folding than anyone else in the world.
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