Origami Meets Commercial Print

A Miura Fold is a Rigid Origami fold developed by Japanese astrophysicist Koryo Miura. The Miura fold was not developed for paper folding – it was for rigid solar panels with hinges. It allowed satellites to carry folded solar panel arrays which were quickly ‘unfolded’ once in orbit. A Miura fold allows a large surface to be unfolded and folded with a simple pull on the opposing corners.

The Miura fold has become a staple among origami enthusiasts, but it’s not something typically done in a production print environment. It requires both an exacting attention to detail and skilled handwork which can make it seem out-of-reach for a printing project.
At Active, we’re always up for a challenge and wanted to use a Miura fold for a promotional piece. Working with Crosby Associates, we developed a bright, colorful design to show off the many services offered by Active.

We used fluorescent inks for the yellow and magenta inks to give the piece an extra-bright feel. It also increased the contrast between the different colored-panels.

There needed to be a lot of coordination among our highly-skilled prepress and press departments. With the solid color panels and many folds, tolerances had to be very tight to ensure colors didn’t leak over from one panel to the next.
Once the piece was printed and scored came the real challenge – we still had to hand-fold 2,500 pieces. Even thought the pieces were pre-scored, our handwork team was still essentially doing an origami fold. While the hand-folding started off a bit slowly, eventually they came up with a system to get them folded quickly and precisely.

The end result was an interesting, eye-catching piece that really grabs the attention. If you would like a sample of this project or discuss one of your upcoming projects, just fill out the contact form.

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