Folded Maps

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Have you ever looked at folded maps on the shelf and wondered why some have covers and others don’t?

Folded maps with separate cover

Did you know that folded maps with a separate cover have been around for some time? We have an Ordnance Survey (OS) map of Frome in our boardroom that was printed in 1929. 

The original idea of a map cover was to protect the map inside. The classic test is that you should be able to hit your map against a sharp edge and the cover protects the paper map inside (do take care if you try this at home!)

Over time, the visual impact of a map with a separate cover has become increasingly important in a retail environment. The image on the front cover of the map can really grab the attention, just like this one below. 

While maps with a separate cover are commonplace in the UK and some parts of Europe (e.g. Germany and Italy), in other parts of the world they are not known at all.

A folded map with a separate cover attached is one of the classic styles of British map production and is used by OS for all of their paper map series, including the iconic Explorer and Landranger maps.

The folded map will usually be printed on paper rather than a synthetic material and the separate cover provides protection both during general use and also some resistance against the weather.

The cover is printed on a robust card material and is then usually laminated to provide additional durability as well as an enhanced finish. It makes the cover nice and glossy too!

The cover is creased and die-cut to size, and then joined together with the folded map.

We are able to do this using a unique machine. Please take a look at our CMC map casing machine in action and head over to our FAQ page for more information on sizes and folding configurations.

Maps with a separate cover really do offer a great look and feel to your map.

Folded maps with integral cover

This style of map production is also very popular and provides a cost-effective solution, with the map cover being incorporated within the design of the map sheet, allowing the map to be created from one large sheet of paper.

This means that the size options are very flexible, allowing you to create a map that is easy to fit into your pocket or bag.

Maps with integral covers can be printed onto waterproof or weather-resistant materials, such as Polyart and EnDuro. These are our materials of choice if you’re looking for something that’s more durable than regular paper. Head over to our FAQ page for more information on sizes and folding configurations.

Folded maps with an integral cover are a great cost-effective solution and offer a wide variety of sizes to choose from too.

Can’t decide whether or not you need a cover for your map?

Our expert team will be happy to guide you through the various options that are available, to help you choose the perfect solution for you.