Folding Style: Classic Twist
Subcategory: Twist Folds
Level: Advanced
Uses: Events, Marketing Promotion, Print Marketing, Holiday

The Twist Fold is the King (or Queen!) of specialty folds. It really is the one format that stands out among a sea of exciting specialty formats. It’s also the fold that comes to mind whenever someone asks me for guaranteed “Wow-factor”—because it’s a format that is unique enough to be completely new and mesmerizing to just about anyone who receives it.

The Twist, on some level, is actually quite simple. This version starts with a perfectly square sheet or paper—and through a series of strategically-placed diagonal and perpendicular scores, the paper is folded in a way that it very smoothly can twist open, and more importantly, smoothly close back down again without any effort on the part of the recipient. Looking at this specialty format, you would assume that opening it would be easy, and closing it would be a challenge, but . . . paper engineering to the rescue! Twists are also natural carriers, and can hold light materials in the center.

There are many variations of the Twist Fold—Classic, Advanced, Rectangular, Flower, Pinwheel, Shaped, and more. The Classic Twist is balanced and square in shape. Here’s what the dieline looks like. Bear in mind that this dieline mirror-flips for side 2 of the page layout file.

Twist Fold
Make creative direct mailers using a twist fold.

Twist folds are generally used to make a splash for special marketing occasions like events, big announcements, and holiday greetings. The Twist is not a low budget fold, but it brings value in its distinctiveness. It’s the type of format that people will take notice of, hang on to, and (most importantly) act on.

The Twist Fold 3 Ways

This is an exciting format, but you may be wondering where it can fit into your marketing mix. Here are three uniquely different real-world creative ways to use the Twist Fold:

For Event Promotion:

Sample: Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum /

This stylish folded mailer was designed to promote the annual Garden Party event at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. I think the coolest design element of this piece is how each of the four square-shaped cover panels features a piece of art in a symmetrical arrangement that forms a single image when the piece is folded. For the detail-oriented out there (production nerds, UNITE!!), notice how perfect the crossover registration is on the cover images. Gorgeous. When you open the piece, you realize that these four pieces are part of a much bigger work of art that explodes on the page. It’s a brilliant design. The Twist Fold also has a lot of hidden area on the back, which allowed for all the necessary small copy and credits to be tucked away, only to be made visible when opened. The paper choice is a white uncoated 80 lb Text, and it mailed in a coordinating yellow envelope with bright magenta typography that really stood out.

For Marketing Materials:

Sample: Enpointe /

Minneapolis printer, GLS/Next Precision Marketing, recently rebranded the company to better represent their evolution to a branding solutions company. They chose the Twist Fold as their print marketing format for a creative direct mail campaign to announce the new brand identity. They utilized the four square-shaped cover panels to highlight the four core disciplines of the company in solid blocks of alternating brand colors. With a gentle pull, the piece twists (and transforms – get the concept?) to reveal the new name, a personalized message, and a business card. The paper choice is a premium white coated sheet with a satin finish. It was mailed in a square white bubble envelope with a small, branded desktop calendar.

For Holiday Greetings:

Sample: Slate Group for Alderson Auto Group /

OK, *technically* this is an event invitation, but it just screams holiday greeting to me, so that’s how I’m classifying it (see how I did that? Ha!). This sample is particularly clever in its production because all of the imagery is done entirely in holographic foil. They used a gorgeous shimmery navy blue sheet, then foil stamped it on one side only and folded it down. The result is really beautiful. I’m not sure that I have ever thought about the fact that a Twist fold does not have to be printed on both sides, but then you see this design and realize it loses nothing in leaving the back blank. In fact, graphics on the back may have been too much in this case. Paper is Reick Paper SHINE Shimmering Metallic 80 lb Text in Midnight, and it mailed in a sparkly silver envelope.

If you’d like to learn more about this sample, check out the Fold of the Week episode.

Love it? Make Your Own Twist Fold

So, now that you’ve seen a few creative ways to use this fold, are you itching to try it for yourself? Perhaps you would like to create print marketing materials such as custom direct mail and folded mailers. Good! Design and print your own Twist Fold here—you can download the template for free and get instant pricing, too