Origami exercise: visualising ideas

Layout for leaflets starting with an A4 sheet of paper.  My topic > publicity to get runners for a fundraising run in aid of a Helpline, the leaflet would be in English, and therefore read left to right.   The leaflet would be circulated as widely as possible, and so needs to be eye-catching in busy leaflet racks and on tables. I came up with nine workable options, which surprised me, as I didn’t expect to get so many.  The main questions that arose were:

  • which order will people unfold and read them in (and what is the standard)
  • how to make sure they work in racks (that you don’t know the size of)
  • how to deal with repeated sections, and how much repetion is reasonable
  • how to do a multi-purpose one that also folds out to a poster
  • how stiff (or not) the paper has to be for a particular fold
  • which ones would be cheap to produce (given it’s a fundraising leaflet).

I used heavy white paper for the mockups, and coloured paper for the content boxes – blocks of text/subheadings, and contact details are in blue; and headline slogans/banners are in green or orange (ran out of green paper).  Paper of choice for printing would be 130 or 170 gsm silk.

First fold

first fold

Horizontal, with contact details on short flap, folding in.   This would need to be stiff paper, the idea is that it stands up supported by the short flap, which would be good for table display. Drawback is it wouldn’t work in a lot of racks, and it’s not arranged very well in terms of reading, there’s a bit of a twist involved in getting to the main text.  So, be a good shape for paragliders.

Second fold

second fold

Classic adaptable A4 folded that works fine with cheap home production on ordinary paper.  Vertical display with main slogan on the top, and equal sized boxes, it should have been easy, but I couldn’t work out the folds without having a look at how other people do it.  Originally had it folded in a Z shape, and then folded it in.  Still didn’t feel right, and realised it was because I was folding it left-handed, and the convention with left-to-right languages is to fold it for right handed opening.  Left it as it was, a leaflet specially for us left-handed people.

Third fold

third fold

Two differently sized front flaps, vertical display, short flap with main slogan on the left.  Contact details behind  the slogan, and repeat of slogan on the back.  This would need to be stiff paper or thin card to work best.  Had a look at how other people use repeated blocks on their designs, and discovered there can be quite a lot of repetition.

Fourth fold

fourth fold

Unlike the picture – this is A5 vertical, two equal sized front flaps opening out, slogan to the left, and full-size slogan/banner space on the back.  This version is optimised for A5 rack display – doesn’t matter which way round it gets displayed.  Looks nice stacked horizontally too.  Also needs to be stiffer paper.

Fifth fold

fifth foldThis is the classic A5 folded with full-front slogan/banner, three columns inside and contact details on the back.  Works fine stacked flat and in most vertical displays, also still small enough to be posted as a letter.  Can be any sort of paper.  Possibly the best option for this leaflet.

Sixth fold

sixth fold bsixth fold aThis one is horizontal with slogan/banner at the bottom folding out.  The slogan/banner flap is repeated, so it doesn’t matter which way round you display it or pick it up – it’s double fronted.

Seventh fold

7th fold a7th fold b

This is where I ran out of green paper… square leaflet with slogan/banner on left-hand flap at the front, and repeated on the back.  Stands up. Contact details on the back of the flap.  Opens out to A4 sheet containing all details which can be pinned up on the wall as a poster.

Eighth fold

8th fold a8th fold b

A6 folded with equal sized sections.  Front slogan/banner, and contact details on back, and both repeated on fold-out to A4.  Good for thinner paper, pocket sized, can be pinned up as poster and will need to be bright and shouty to stand out amongst bigger leaflets.

Last fold

9th fold a9th fold b

Another square fold out leaflet, designed so that the front flap combines with the back to open out to full A5 sized banner/slogan.  Contact details right inside so as not to break the aesthetic harmony…

Realise this sort of format doesn’t make it clear which way up the wording will go, but quite like the shapes so don’t want to scribble on them.  Possibly doesn’t matter at this stage though, as long as have some idea of how it will flow for the reader, as the opening out is important.


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