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- Page dimensions: Make sure you use the exact dimensions that you want for the printed job. Also take care that the proper bleed is applied on all pages. Please don’t spend a lot of effort figuring out how we will print the job. Every printing establishment has different equipment and differing opinions on the best way to produce the finished product. All you really need to focus on is getting your creation into the proper format – and leave the printing to us. Please try to use uniform margin value (e.g. 5 mm) throughout the document.
- Page numbering: Odd pages are on the right hand side, even pages to the left (don’t laugh, I have seen documents in which this basic rule was forgotten.)
- Folding panels: Be aware of folding panels. Not all pages in a folding panel have the same size! Do your work at the exact size of the printed piece and allow for proper margins where you want it to fold.
- Dot gain: Imagesetters should be set up to give linear output. This means that if you use a 50 percent flat on a page somewhere, the output on film or plate should also measure 50 percent. The printing process, however, is not linear. Due to the pressure of rollers, the absorption of ink by the paper and some optical effects as well, that 50 percent flat may well get printed as a 65 percent. The actual percentage of dot gain depends on the paper used, speed of the press, screen ruling, operator, the type of press used, the quality of blankets and other parameters. A dot gain of about 10 to 16 percent is not uncommon in sheetfed offset printing. For newspaper printing, this dot gain can even grow to 30 percent. Most (all?) scanner software uses default settings that compensate for the average sheetfed offset printing dot gain. Your layout should take the dot gain into account as well, especially if the job will be printed on various types of paper and presses. Consult your printer before starting a critical job!