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This is not your Grandad’s accordion.

November 21, 2011

Recently a customer came to as with an idea for an accordion fold piece. This would be a piece that is very narrow and very long. The dimensions of this one were close to 40″ long and only 3 1/2″ wide.
Sixteen panels in all. Yikes!
Hmm, this will be a bit of a challenge. We have to figure out a way to make this work. I checked around town, and my suspicions were confirmed; no folding machine can handle this piece. It will be too long and too narrow. The maximum amount of folds on a standard machine is 6; and we have 16…  It will have to be hand folded. Sixteen panels, Yikes!
As usual, we made up some paper dummies to get a feel for how this will work. We tried all the different thicknesses available of the paper we wanted to use. We liked the more substantial 100lb text, but the client thought it was too thick. We ended up using a 70lb Gloss text weight paper. Pretty thin; close to magazine thickness paper. The flimsiness of the paper  would also create some challenges. The paper doesn’t really have enough bulk or umpf to hold its shape. The worry is that while folding, the paper would bend just about anywhere – except where needed, and the fold will come out looking ragged and uneven. Using a letterpress crease will help, but not enough. We decided on using a micro perf rule instead of the standard male/female creasing matrix. This would weaken the paper just enough to allow the folding to go right where we wanted it – but not too much so that the piece would come apart. It folded beautifully; nice and straight and even for all panels.

The other challenge that presented; how do we keep these paper ’16 panel springs’ together once folded? We suggested  a small sleeve with a finger cut-out to slide the accordion piece into. This makes for a very classy presentation, and a good way to keep it all together.

The result is outstanding. The client was super happy with the look and feel.
They will hand these out at a trade-show. It is a cool way to engage someone walking by your booth. It is small enough to put in a shirt pocket and explore later; giving an extended amount of brand awareness time.

If you have a trade-show coming up and would like to explore something like this, give us a call. We would be happy to explore the possibilities with you.

Chris

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