In Search of ‘Extreme Printers’

I’m on a mission to elevate print, and I need some help. Many of you may (or maybe not) know that I have a Website called that provides custom templates for folded materials and lots of resources and videos, etc. As the site has caught on, and its visibility, traffic and video views have gone up dramatically, so have the inquiries and requests from our audience.

A trend we’re seeing is that people come to the site for creative inspiration. The most frequently viewed videos are the ones featuring exotic specialty folds. We’re seeing growing interest in branded and proprietary folding solutions, and solutions for direct mail and digital print as well. But we have a problem, because we’ve been getting messages like this:

“I need to produce 25,000 flipper brochures like the one in your Dec. 8th ‘Fold of the Week’ video for a client in San Francisco. Can you point me to a printer in the San Francisco area that can do this type of work?”

See the problem? The issue for people is certainly not finding a good printer—there are many of you out there. The issue is finding a good printer that actually wants to do this kind of work, and that can do it at the highest level of quality.

There is a lot of mainstream print work out there, and many great printers who exist on that type of work…and who do it very well. When a specialty project like a flipper brochure comes into the shop, it can be stressful and unprofitable to try to make that happen for the client, or the project may need to be outsourced.

However, I’ve found over the years that there are printers that thrive on this kind of work. “You want a Twist fold? Sure! A funky Iron Cross with a custom envelope? Bring it on! Show me your concept sketch—we can do that!” These are the printers we’re looking for, and we’ve tried to find them, but it’s not an easy task. So, I’m asking you “Extreme Printers” out there to please identify yourselves.

Trish Witkowski is Chief Folding Fanatic at, and president of Rock the Mailbox. An educator, author, speaker and award-winning designer, Trish has a specialized expertise in creative solutions for direct mail and marketing, and is the curator of the world's most exciting collection of folded print and direct mail samples. Trish is the creator of the FOLDRite folding template system, and has authored many resources, most recently Direct Mail Simplified, and Paper Folding Templates for Print Design. She also hosts a popular weekly e-video series "60-second Super-cool FOLD of the WEEK", and is an instructor at Trish holds a MS in Printing and a BFA in Graphic Design from RIT.
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  • buyer

    You fail to mention that some of these strange folding concepts actually hold pattons. I found this out when researching a flipper book Cenveo was not able to do the fold unless I paid the patton fee. ( which I was not able to obtain )…anyone else with these problems? It has only happened 1 time.