printips - Minuteman Press

printips - Minuteman Press
May we have a word?
Mike Stempien & Linda Kerwin - Owners
Very often, even if we carefully plan for things
to happen in a particular way, things change. It
does help to have all the information for a project
up front. This edition covers some of the critical
information about how we work. In the print world
everything must be precise. Being furnished with
correct information makes chances of your print
job coming out right the first time all the better.
Speaking of planning, the more notice you give
us, the better we can turn your print projects
around accurately and on time. Some companies
share their event calendars with us. This helps us plan and
contact you ahead of time to remind you to check your
inventory in time enough to get things ordered and printed
on time. If this sounds like a great service for you, give us
a call. We are here to help with your success.
We are so happy to share this past year with you. We
appreciate your continued support and wish you the
merriest of holidays!
Mike Stempien and Linda Kerwin
With respect for the environment, if you are on our mailing list and you do not wish to receive this newsletter,
please let us know by giving us a call @ 650-377-0700 and we will be happy to update our mailing list!
San Mateo
Your Eco-friendly Printer
One North Amphlett Boulevard, Suite F
San Mateo CA 94401-2900
650-377-0700 Fax 650-377-0180
Please Route to the Print Buyer
U.S. Postage
San Mateo, CA
Permit No. 951
Return Service Requested
The Idea Corner
The cover of your document – the first thing the reader sees –
is a very important part of the finished product. To safeguard
the cover from scuffing and wear, consider these means of
•Coating: Coatings are applied after printing as a protective
layer. Some commonly-used coatings are varnish, aqueous
and UV coating. Coatings can be applied to one or both
sides of the cover.
•Overlay: Use a clear plastic sheet over the top of the cover.
The sheet will normally only be necessary over the front
cover where the most protection is needed.
•Die cutting: instead of printing on the cover, cut a window
through which text on the title page will show through.
This technique also increases the range of stocks you can
consider for the cover since it won’t have to feed through a
copier, digital printer or press.
Your Eco-friendly Printer
P rin T ips
December 2011 Vol 5; No. 12
Consider the End from the Beginning:
Allowing for Bindery Functions
re you familiar with the
term bindery? That’s the
department in our company
where we create the final product
from flat press sheets – products like
a folded brochure, a booklet, a pad, a
numbered invoice, pages with holes
ready for a ring binder, a spiral bound
manual, or a ticket with perforations
to make a tear-off stub. The bindery is
where we trim business cards to final
size and trim the edges of booklets
to make them even. It’s where we
apply the glue that makes individual
sheets carbonless paper into a set.
It’s where we package the order and
do the final quality control check. So
even though we rarely mention the
bindery when talking to you about a
project, it is a very important part of
the printing process.
Bindery operations
If you have ever cut, folded, stapled
or punched holes in sheets you’ve
printed, then you are familiar with
bindery operations. We perform
these operations using stand alone
equipment for sheets printed on
our offset presses, and with addon modules to our digital printing
equipment to collate multi-page
documents, staple sets, and even
make booklets. Having these inline
capabilities adds a level of efficiency
that can mean a faster turnaround
time for your job.
Allowing for bindery operations
when creating documents
You will get the best results for
your project if you understand that
some bindery functions require
an adjustment to the layout of
the document file. The three
most common are allowances for
trimming, folding and document
If your document contains a bleed
– an image or line or solid color
that extends all the way to the edge
of the sheet – the layout will need
adjusting. This is because we can’t
print an image to the edge of the
sheet. What looks like printing to
the edge is really a printed image
that has been extended past the
final size, then trimmed to the final
size. The standard allowance for
a bleed is 1/8 inch (0.125) beyond
the finished size. So if the final size
of your printed product is 8.5 x 11,
then set the document size at 8.75 x
11.25, set trim marks at 8.5 x 11, and
extend the image that will bleed .125
inches past the trim lines.
When preparing a file for an item
such as a business card where more
than one can fit on a press sheet,
then include trim marks that show
us what you intend for the final size.
Depending on what is being printed,
we may prefer to have just one image
with trim marks rather than several
continued on next page
Our Products:
Business Stationery
Training Manuals
Mailing Services
Promotional Items
And Much More
Our Services:
Offset 2 & 4 Color Printing
High Volume Digital Copying
Graphic Design Needs
Free Pickup & Delivery
Have a smart
phone that is QR
code ready?
Simply Take a
photo of this code
to contact us now.
Production Notes: This issue of
Smart Print Tips is printed digitally on New Leaf Imagination
100% Recycled, 100% postconsumer waste, processed
chlorine free, Green-e Certified,
Forest Stewardship Council Certified to make a statement that
represents our environmental
Against the grain: folding paper at right angles to the grain
direction. Results in broken paper fibers and a rougher
finish to the fold than when folding with the grain.
Bleed: an additional amount of an image that extends
beyond the edge of the page.
Crop: to eliminate portions of the image, usually on a
photograph. Often indicated by crop marks that print on
the press sheet.
Finished size: the exact dimension of the printed piece
when trimmed and folded.
Flat size: the exact dimension of the document or page
after trimming but before folding. The flat size dimension
always includes compensation for folding.
Folding dummy: a sheet or sheets assembled and folded
to finished size.
FPO: an acronym for for position only. A low resolution
image placed in a document, to be replaced before printing
with a high-resolution version.
Hand fold: folding styles that must be done partially or
completely by hand. A hand fold can follow a mechanical
Imposition: in booklet or book making, the placement
of pages on a signature so that after printing, folding and
cutting, the pages will appear in proper sequence.
Mechanical binding: holding pages together by stitching,
plastic comb, plastic or wire spiral, stitching with tape
binding or other means.
Mechanical fold: a fold that can be made with a folding
Paper grain: the orientation of paper fibers. During
papermaking, most fibers line up with their length parallel
to that of the paper making machine.
Saddle stitching: applying one or more staples in the fold
of a booklet.
Shingling: in image assembly and layouts, the center or
gutter margin that is adjusted according to the position of
the page in the signature and the bulk of the paper.
Signature: in booklet or book making, a group of pages
on a single press sheet that have positioned so that after
printing, folding and binding, the pages appear in proper
sequence. Placement of pages in a signature is determined
by using a folding dummy.
Spread: two pages meant to be viewed as one.
Trim marks: marks placed on the copy to indicate the edge
of the page or image.
continued from
previous page
Consider the End from the Beginning:
Allowing for Bindery Functions
images on the sheet. The process of positioning images
to print on the press sheet is called imposition; we may
want to determine the imposition plan ourselves based
on production considerations.
When you are preparing a document like a trifold
brochure, remember that the size of panels that fold
in must be slightly smaller to produce a completely
flat and even fold. The adjustment is particularly
critical when the image from one panel abuts the image
from an adjacent panel. To compute the adjustment
mathematically, determine the width of single panel if
all were the same size, reduce the width of the panel
that folds in by at least 1/8th inch (or more, depending
on the thickness of the paper being used for the job),
divide by two and add that amount to each of the outside
panels. Here’s an example:
will be drilled or punched, you must allow extra space
from the edge of the sheet to where the image begins
to accommodate the drill or punch pattern. A half inch
clear space is recommended for an 8.5 x 11 sheet, so
shift the margin to the right for one-sided pages. For
two-sided pages, shift right for odd-numbered and left
for even-numbered pages.
8.5 x 11 sheet of paper folded in thirds to produce a
brochure measuring 8.5 x 3.67 after folding.
Booklets consisting of more than two or three flat press
sheets before being made into the booklet can present a
problem known as shingling or page creep. To illustrate
page creep, fold ten sheets of paper in half. Gather them
into a booklet and examine the booklet’s outer right
hand edge. Notice that the pages are uneven (shingled).
This is the result of page creep. To eliminate the
unevenness, the final step in making a booklet is to trim
the face (i.e. the outer right hand edge). If there has not
been an adjustment for page creep, it is possible that
text, page numbers, or other images may be trimmed
away during the face trim.
• 11 divided by 3 = 3.667 – the width of a panel if all
were equal
• To determine the width of the inner panel, subtract
0.125 (1/8th inch) from 3.667 = 3.542
• To determine the width of the outer panels, divide
0.125 by 2 = 0.063. Add this amount to 3.667 = 3.73
• Result: the panel that folds in (the inner panel) has
a width = 3.542; the two outer panels have a width
of 3.73
Making exact adjustments for page creep requires
complicated mathematical computations. A less
accurate though simpler method is to make a dummy
booklet: fold the exact number of press sheets that will
make up the booklet, gather them into a booklet and
stitch (staple) in the center fold. Make the face trim,
then disassemble the booklet. Measure the width of
the inner-most sheet (the one that will have the center
spread) and set page margins accordingly.
Remember that the position of the inside panel changes
from the front to the reverse. In the example above, the
inner panel moves from the left to the right depending
on whether you are working on the outside or inside of
the finished brochure. To see this easily, fold an 8.5 x
11 sheet of paper in thirds, make a mark on both sides
of the inner panel, then unfold.
Do it yourself or ask us for help
The instructions we’ve given to adjust for trimming,
folding and mechanical binding are standards in the
printing industry, so they are worth learning. However,
if the software program you are using doesn’t have the
tools to make the adjustments easily, then we suggest
you let us do it for you. Give us a Word file with text, tell
us where you would like photos or graphics placed, and
let us do the final layout. The cost is small compared to
what you’ll save yourself in time and frustration.
To put holes in paper, we may use a spindle drill (similar
to a wood drill) or a punch (in line on the digital printer
or for mechanical binding such as plastic comb or
coil). When you are setting the margins for an item that
If you have any questions, please contact us at
Questions &
What is the best way to bind a booklet or
There is no best way, as each binding method has
its own strengths and drawbacks. Here is a brief summary:
Saddle stitching/saddle binding: applying one or more
staples on the fold. Printers distinguish between stapling and stitching. A stitching machine forms a staple
from a length of wire that can be adjusted depending on
the number of sheets in the booklet. A staple is a fixed
length and therefore has a maximum number of pages
that can be stapled. Saddle stitched books and manuals will lie flat. Once stitched, no additional pages can
be added. A stitched booklet requires an allowance for
shingling/page creep.
Comb binding: inserting coiled plastic “fingers” attached
to a length of plastic that acts as a spine. Because holes
for the “fingers” must be punched at about 3/8 inches
from the binding edge of the sheet, it is best to keep that
area clear of all text and diagrams. Comb bound books
and manuals will lie flat. Comb binding can be removed
so additional pages can be added, but this requires a special punch and comb binding machine.
Spiral binding: similar to comb binding except the binding device is a length of coiled wire or plastic threaded
through holes drilled on the binding side of the sheet.
Spiral bound books will lie flat when opened, the spiral
can be removed and rebound, and text must be a minimum of 3/8” from the bound edge of the sheet/page.
Wire-o: a continuous double series of wire loops that
are threaded through punched slots at the binding edge.
Wire-o binding will lay flat and requires 3/8 inch from
the binding edge to be clear of all text. Generally speaking, wire-o cannot be removed and rebound.
Side stitch and tape: assembled pages are stapled at the
side with the staples running parallel to the edge. Then
tape is applied over the staples on both sides of the manual. Tape binding does not lie flat and the cover image
must be adjusted so no part will be covered by the tape.
Perfect Binding: a method of gluing the edges of pages
to a spine. Pages cannot be torn out and no pages can
be added after a perfect bind. Does not lie flat. There is
a minimum and maximum number of pages that can be
perfect bound.
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