Simple Fold & Cut Font

by Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine, and Katie Steckles, 2016


This typeface illustrates how to make each letter and numeral in the alphabet by taking a square piece of paper, making a sequence of simple folds (each folding along one line), and cutting along one complete straight line. It is inspired by the Fold-and-Cut Theorem, in particular the Demaine-Demaine-Hawskley-Ito-Loh-Manber-Stephens 2010 paper about simple fold and cut. See also nonsimple fold and cut fonts by Takaya Iwamoto and McGill's Wow Lab.

There are many font variations for you to play with. • The “Puzzle Font” toggle decides whether to show just one cut (leaving the letter as hidden within the puzzle), or show all the cuts that will result (revealing the letter, which is the default). • The “Crease Pattern” toggle shows the full crease pattern, along with one or all the resulting cuts (according to Puzzle Font). Mountains are blue, valleys are green, and cuts are red. • The “Folding Steps” toggle shows the simple folding sequence, along with one or all the resulting cuts (according to Puzzle Font). When all cuts are drawn, you can see how the folds align all the desired cuts, so that a single line cut simultaneously makes the entire letter. • The “Cut-Out Letter” toggle shows the resulting piece of paper that results from the folding and cutting. This option is particularly useful in the Puzzle Font, so you can see the mysterious folding along with the surprising result. • The “Grid” toggle shows the underlying 16 × 16 grid that the font was designed on. This option also makes the Folding Steps easier to follow, because it gives you a reference for what part of the paper moves and what part stays put. • Origamists prefer the “Thin Lines” toggle, which makes all the lines thinner, valleys dashed, and mountains dot-dashed, particularly useful for printing out a crease pattern.

To fold and one-cut a letter in practice, here are printable PDFs for all the letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Check out other mathematical and puzzle fonts. • Feedback or not working? Email Erik.