Booklets, Magazines…page numbers and binding?

Most designers with experience of the printing industry will know the following, for those that don’t, this article will hopefully be of use to you ensuring you get exactly what you require.

How many pages?

We often get asked to give quotes on bespoke jobs, the customer will say for example “I need a quote on 500 x A4 Booklets with 8 pages”.

We spend time creating a quote only to realise when the customer sends their artwork that they actually require 16 pages, why? In the printing industry 1 page is classed as one side of a sheet of paper, so in the example above we would presume that the customer wanted 2 x A3 sheets of paper folded in half to A4, giving 8 x A4 pages. However, the customer actually requires 4 x A3 sheets of paper folded in half to A4, giving 16 x A4 pages in our terms and the required 8 pages in the customers terms.

To explain further:

1 x A3 sheet of paper folded in half gives 4 x A4 pages (not 2)

2 x A3 sheets of paper folded in half give 8 x A4 pages (not 4)

..and so on.

 Remember that your pages are created by folding a sheet of A3/A4/A5/A6/A7 (or other bespoke size) in half, this means you can only have pages in multiples of 4 eg, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, etc.

Another point to bear in mind is whether your booklet/magazine requires a cover, either way make sure you state whether you do and if so whether your stated page quantity is inclusive/exclusive of a cover.

Saddle stitched or perfect bound?

Saddle Stitched:
Or wire stitched as it is sometimes known basically means stapled, with 2 staples being added to the middle of the folded sheets of paper. This is a cost effective binding ideal for booklets/magazines with few pages.

Perfect Bound:
Gives a more professional finish but is the more expensive of the 2, ideal for booklets and catalogues with many pages.

The printed and folded pages are first gathered together, the cover is scored to the thickness of the spine, creating a channel or groove for the gathered pages. Often, an additional score is placed on either or both the front and back covers to act as a hinge, to help prevent stress at the binding every time the cover is opened and to allow glue to creep over the edge. The gathered pages are pressed together and the bind edge is ground to expose the paper’s fibers, hot glue is applied to the roughened edge, and then the cover is joined to the pages and clamped until dry.