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How to Correctly Arrange Pages for Booklet Printing Project


Arrange Pages for Online Booklet Printing Services

There are many different methods of building a booklet project. Many ways to arrange pages depending on what the final product should look like. If you are a beginner and need basic information on how to build a booklet. These project files for printing, this is the perfect guide for you.

Here we will learn what are “Reader Spreads”, “Printer Spreads”. How to arrange pages for Saddle Stitched booklets and many more.


What Exactly is Reader Spreads?

On a booklet, organized as for the reader spreads. You will notice that booklet pages numbers are ascending as the reader goes into the book. So the order of the pages should go based on the readers consecutive reading order. With the whole intention of just visualizing what the order of pages should be once a reader takes the booklet into the hand for reading.

We have created a graphical example on an 8 pages booklet project arranged with the readers spreads. As the graphic with the blue boxes represents. Order for you to have a better idea on how it should look like. The way that pages count goes ascending as the reader goes page by page.

The only exception is the Cover and Back Cover pages that will be separated into a single row. With the purpose of replicating the fact that when you take a booklet into your hand. You may only see the cover until you actually open it up for a complete view of the 2nd and 3rd pages. As the readers spread goes on, it presents to you opposite pages side-by-side as the graphical representation shows. 2nd page and 3rd page should be in a single row, same for 4th and 5th pages, 6th and 7th as well.


This is a Video On How To Arrange Pages for Catalogs

With the Reader Spreads organization for booklet it’s clear to you on how it will look for the final printed product, but you should never prepare your files like this for the printers who are going to produce your booklets, it’s a real time-consuming task to convert this sort of organization into a printing ready file for saddle-stitched booklets as we will explain next.

You may also confirm that in saddle-stitched booklets, pages 2 and 3 are never printed together as they actually bind in after its all put together side-by-side. Virtually impossible to find a saddle-stitched booklet that has pages side-by-side printed together and you may go examine one of them for further research. This situation completely changes for different types of booklets as we will see further thru this article.


What Exactly is Printer Spreads?

After reading about the Reader Spreads. I bet you have a better understanding now on what should we refer to when we say “Printing Spreads”. As the graphic with the red boxes represents. It shows the pages int the order on which they will be printed side-by-side. Very different from the reader spreads, here you don’t see the pages organized in numerical order, but instead, they are arranged in a way that will allow the right numerical number just after the binding has been completed and folded.

You may run a simple test at home to see how this works and for a better understanding. This might help a lot if you are building up a design file for printing in regards to booklets of many pages. The sample test consists of laying an empty sheet of paper on top of a table, then lay another empty sheet on top of it, right away now you have a booklet even though it’s empty.

Clear Your Mind

Now please fold the sheets in the middle and start marking each page for its numerical value. As it goes starting with the Cover, then page 1, page 2 and so on. Now take the sheets apart and you will notice that page 1 is bond to page 8, page 2 bonded to page 7, page 6 together with page 3, page 4 bonded to page 5. The only pages that you may see that actually printed in the correct order were the pages in the middle of the book or magazine, pages 4 and 5 for this particular case.

Case By Case Catalog Arrange

Now you might be thinking about always having it this way when you are taking the files for booklets to your local printer. But we recommend you ask first as printer requirements change every time and depending on the project you are executing. Most of the printers will work ok with the printer spreads, but other printers might be requiring something totally different for compatibility.

We will include a small video that explains all this arrangement real quick. Please take a look:




Arrange Pages for Booklet Printing | The Popular Way

Most printers, to speed up the process and to make it easy for the customer, they decide just to request a linear page organization order (as the graphic with the dark green boxes on our right). Anyway, this is not the actual order your printer will arrange the pages to the printer, but it helps in keeping a clear idea on what page is what page, then they arrange the pages as they want to for a final printing arrange. This is often seeing on huge orders when the booklets are being printed in large off-set (color processing) machines which the order of the pages are completely different than printing booklets out of a copier machine.

Anyway, it is a lot easier for the printer to have you submit the files in this linear organization than when the customer submit the booklet/catalog design in a 2 pages spreads. Mostly seen put together with a PDF (Portable Document Format) commonly managed by Adobe, very well known worldwide for keeping books together, easy to read, easy to find, maintaining the quality and still being very light compression (takes little space compared to other file formats).

Catalog Design Factors

You might think that you can just create a single file for each page and you got it done. But what happens if the booklet you are building composes of 32+ or more pages in length? are you going to carry 32 different files all with different names on it all around to the printer? This is when the PDF comes in very handy, especially for booklet projects with a larger amount of pages.

Remember this is all about giving the printer flexibility to manage your pages and file to their will as they will anyway play around with your pages, adding borders, margins, page creeps and many other final adjustments needed to become compatible with the actual printer they will run it thru.






Arranging Booklets with Imposition Method?

This is the least popular arrange for booklets used by the customers, nobody likes to deliver the arrange in this method as it can get a bit confusing and it’s rather complicated for the none expertise to accomplish a good Booklet Imposition organization. This is often done by the printer prior to sending to the actual machinery for printing. Avoid printers that require you to arrange your booklets in this form, maybe having a second choice will be the best bet this far.

On our left, we have included a graphical explanation on how the booklet arranges. It should look like with the Imposition arrange method. Imposition refers to the process of arranging a book’s pages prior to printing so that once the printed sheets. These are folded, bound, and trimmed, the pages will appear in the correct order.

For the imposition arrange method we will leave it to the image to explain the rest as it should be clear enough and we know you are not going to use it much at home! But there is another unanswered question remaining for this article as of yet… Keep reading!

Front Cover and Rear Cover Files Should be Sent Separately From the Rest?

Notice that on most saddle-stitched booklets. You will find that the outside paper is a bit thicker and a lot more resistant than the inner pages, this is for a reason, it gives the booklet a better presentation, steadiness to the touch and makes it a lot more durable.

To submit the files to the printer. You have a few options as you may just make clear which are the cover pages/layout. That it goes on a different paper type. Or you may submit the cover layout pages withing a different file which is hardly recommended. When the printing paper varies from the cover to the inner pages.

You may notice that some of the booklets out there are denominated under are bound on a “self-cover book” format. Easy to notice as the paper used for the outside covers is exactly the same as for the paper used for the interior of the book. If this is your final intentions on your booklet. Don’t bother on separating the cover page design files. From the rest as it might just get confusing for the printers. If you need a thicker stock paper for the outside covers. It’s better to get them apart by saving the files separately.

Hope this answer your question, thanks for reading.


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