Folding Style: Split Tulip
Subcategory: Tulip Folds
Level: Intermediate
Uses: Event Promotion, Weddings, Sales and Announcements, Print Marketing, Fundraising

The Tulip Fold is a beautiful, flower-like specialty fold that expands in a surprising way. There are actually many variations of this format, and I may do a post with all of the Tulip variations at some point, but the Tulip Fold I’m sharing today is the Split Tulip, whose key characteristic is a split cover.

This particular Tulip Fold variation is great because it is basically a rectangle with angled and parallel scores. That’s it. Some variations of the Tulip have unique perimeter shapes and more elaborate die-cutting. I love this version for its simplicity and for the unusual split cover design. Here’s what the dieline for this Tulip Fold variation looks like:

tulip fold
Print Marketing Folded Mailers: Tulip Fold

Tulip Folds stay flat when folded, but once they have been opened all the way, there can be a bit of memory in the paper that keeps them from going back to 100% flat. This is not generally a problem since the opening experience has already happened, but just good to know. I have seen Tulips with belly bands, which is also an option if you’re concerned about expansion.

Creative Direct Mail: The Tulip Fold 3 Ways

The Tulip Fold is a special and memorable format, but you might be wondering where it fits in your marketing plan. Below you’ll find three inspired, real-world examples of how and where to use it. The samples I’m sharing today are all in a horizontal orientation, but you could turn the dieline 90 degrees to a vertical layout design as well.

For Recruitment:

Sample: Traina /

This dynamic recruitment piece for the California Association of Nurse Practitioners (CANP) was designed by Traina and starts with a compelling message on the cover that is cleverly split in all the right places. When opened, a large typographic treatment stretches across and a beautiful central image draws the eye. The mix of black and white photography with the organization’s brand shade of blue is really nicely done, and the effect is clean, modern and friendly. Who wouldn’t want to join this organization?? I also love how they used the angled scores as boundaries, with a mix of square and triangular images in the layout. This piece was printed 4-color digital on 100 lb Matte Coated Text.

For Fundraising Events:

Sample: Ace Graphics for Driehaus Design Initiative /

The Tulip Fold can really excel in the invitation category—I think because that’s often where designers get a bit of extra budget and creative license to “wow.” This gorgeous sample was designed to promote a fundraising event for Driehaus Design Initiative, an organization that promotes and encourages design education and fosters appreciation and understanding of fashion design and history. The cover features a bold, holographic foil stamp, and the interior is flush with saturated color, more foil(!) and a soft touch laminate. The invitation holds a foil-stamped RSVP card, a sponsor card, and a shimmery metallic silver square envelope. G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!! This sample was printed 4/4 plus Spot PMS 877 on 92# Neenah So Silk Super Smooth Cover.

For Marketing Promotion:

Sample: Jaguar USA /

So, we’ve seen the Tulip used for recruitment and events—what about a luxury car promotion? Jaguar USA makes a statement with this “Unwrap a Jaguar” sales event promotion that was sent before the holidays. It begins with a solid black exterior that is stamped with silver foil typography. When opened, a shimmery winter scene is revealed along with the details of the sale. The image stretches across the top panels and the supporting text is divided up nicely across the shaped panels. This piece was printed 4-color digital on the interior, and rich black plus spot silver metallic foil on the outside on an 80 lb Pearlescent Cover sheet.

Love it? Make Your Own Tulip Fold

So, now that you’ve seen three creative ways to use this fold, would you like to try designing one for yourself? Good! Design and print your own Tulip Fold here—you can download the creative direct mail tulip fold template for free and get instant pricing, too.