Gosh, That’s Handy!
Though a hot new web term, the phrase “above the fold” originally hails from the dusty old business of newspapers.
A paper’s front page was folded in half before it was given to newsstands and to that kid who stood on the corner hollering, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” So, only the top half was visible, and thus capable of enticing the stray eyes of passersby and interesting them enough to buy the paper.
No matter its size or thickness, no piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven times.
Editors put the most important news on the front page, but they put the most enticing headlines and photos on the top half—above the fold.
The phrase refers to the visible portion of a front or cover whose contents can only be partially seen without doing anything further.
The Fold in the Digital World
Well, since a webpage can scroll on and on past the first screen’s worth of browser window, you have a new digital “fold.” This phrase is most often applied to the homepage, the “front page” of a website.
Whether the site is a news site or a cellphone rhinestone sticker retailer, the concept still applies: the most important or enticing items should be kept in the first visible area. Designers, who tend to have the largest monitors, can sometimes forget how small a window through which the majority of people will be viewing their website designs.
Pick a Fold, Any Fold
Have you ever described a fold to a design or printing professional as a “wrap-arounder,” “like a road map” or “a foldie-innie then outtie”?
Well, here are some of the most common folding styles for printed materials with most of their common and uncommon names.
Also known as a zig-zag fold, a z-fold or a back-and-forth.
Four-page Standard Fold
Single fold is the most common nickname for this fold.
Double Parallel Fold
Often this fold’s name is unknown. When it is known, it also gets called a double fold or parallel center.
Also commonly called a wrap, barrel fold and over-and-over.
Not to be confused with its close relative the double gate fold, aka window fold.
Double Gate Fold
Just like a gate fold with an additional fold down the middle.
The very common format is commonly called a C-fold, spiral fold, and trifold (though it only has two folds).
Also called an eight-page broadside fold, a right angle fold or a French fold.