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November 11th 2018 marks a significant milestone in history…100 years since Armistice Day, the day when armies stopped fighting World War I. King George V held the first Armistice Day at Buckingham Palace in 1919 and 100 years later we continue to commemorate veterans and the war fallen.
My grandfather (Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment) is buried in Sicily having lost his life in WWII when my mother was a baby. Having had a stepfather (who was in the Canadian Navy during WWII) and having a father in the military, I have been to my fair share of ceremonies over the years. If you are able to, make the time and take your family to a cenotaph in your neighbourhood. Thank a veteran. And continue to support veterans and active service members for serving our country and making the sacrifices that allow us our freedoms.
"Memoriam eorum retinebimus" (Latin); "We Will Remember Them"
Welcome to another Printing 101 blog entry - Holding it all Together – Bindery Basics
Ever wonder what the best way to bind your project is? There are several different options and it really depends on the type of project/preference and the page count. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of bindery for easy reference and comparison.
Saddle Stitching (Stapling) – This is where there are 2 staples put through the stock to hold pages together (sometimes 3, if needed). Great for lower qty page count projects.
Pro’s: Inexpensive and fast to produce, project lays relatively flat when open to a page (not so much for higher page counts), adds minimal weight so especially good for mailing, easy to insert into envelopes
Con’s: Limited page count
Detailed Spec’s: Minimum 8 pages up to 76-80 pages based on 80lb text weight (increments of 4 pages needed for this bindery type). The max. page count is based on best performance - Add’l pages are also possible, but they cause spine creep (see previous blog entry) and the force of the stitching can sometimes create issues of strain on the cover and the center panels.
Perfect Bindery – This is essentially where all your pages are glued together along with a cover that creates a spine for your project.
Pro’s: Can accommodate a lot of pages and creates a very professional finished look, easy to insert into envelopes, spine allows for design/text when on a shelf
Con’s: Takes a bit of extra time to produce (1-3 days), projects do not lay flat when open to a page
Detailed Spec’s: Minimum 48-52 pages up to 310-330 pages based on 80lb text weight (increments of 2 pages okay for this bindery type). There is standard glue available for shorter term catalogues and a PUR glue, which is much stronger for longer term use catalogues to help insure the pages don’t fall out easily with repeated use.
Plastic Coil (Plastikoil) Bindery – This is where a series of holes are punched through collated sheets and then a plastic coil is threaded throughout them and bent on the edges to close up bindery. Available in many colours
Pro’s: Can accommodate a lot of pages, colourful options available, project lays flat when open to a page
Con’s: Takes a bit of extra time to produce (1-3 days, depending on qty)
Detailed Spec’s: Minimum 20 pages up to 290-310 pages based on 80lb text weight (increments of 2 pages okay for this bindery type). Standard colours are black and white, but there lots of other colours are available (some are special order). A bonus is that this bindery type could be opened up if typos are found on a page so that it can be swapped out (vs. having to reprint the whole project.)
Double Loop Wire (Wire-o) Bindery – This is also a method where a series of holes are punched into collated pages and then a metal double loop wire is put in and then pressure closed (squeezed).
Pro’s: Can accommodate a lot of pages, project lays flat when open to a page,
Con’s: Takes a bit of extra time to produce (1-3 days, depending on qty)
Detailed Spec’s: Minimum 20 pages up to 240-260 pages based on 80lb text weight (increments of 2 pages okay for this bindery type). Black and dull gunmetal or gloss metal are standard. Other colours available, but will be special order. As with plastic coil, this bindery type could be opened up if typos are found on a page so that it can be swapped out (vs. having to reprint the whole project.)
Here are some add’l types of bindery available:
Corner Stitching (stapled corner) – This is just as it sounds, a staple put into the top corner of a project to hold the pages together. Some projects are done this way for economy or simplicity.
Case binding (hardcover) – This is for high-end books or catalogues meant to be kept around for a long-term use. Expensive when compared to other options.
Loop stitching – This is sort of a version of saddle stitching that is designed to include a handy loop so that you can put your project into a standard binder (vs. having to do 3-hole drilling).
Plastic Comb (Cerlox) – While similar to double loop wire (Wire-o) this type of inexpensive binding is most common in copy shops or educational institutions. Simple to be put together but tends to come apart after a lot of use (as it’s just tension on the loop of plastic and nothing is permanently attached).
Feel free to contact us if you’d like to know more about different bindery options and what might work best for your project. We’d be more than happy to provide a sample for your review as well!
Welcome to another Printing 101 blog entry - Weighing in on Paper
If we are going to talk print, let’s start with a vital basic – PAPER.
You’ll find the widest variety of papers available when you are running an offset print project, as the presses have flexibility to handle different thicknesses and coatings. The presses currently used in digital printing have a more limited tolerance for paper options.
There are four criteria used to grade paper - weight (thickness), texture, brightness, opacity and the combinations can become overwhelming. If making a paper selection seems like a daunting task, the easiest solution is to request a suitable “house stock” be used for your project.
The most essential paper specs to note are the paper weight and whether or not the paper has a coating.
Text Weight – used in applications like the interior pages of a book. Typically measured in pounds (lb. or #)
Cover Weight –used in applications like booklet covers, greeting cards. Typically measured in points (pt.)
A list of paper stock recommendations for some commonly run print projects:
80lb text to 100lb text
100 lb text
12pt or 14pt cover
14pt or 16pt cover
80lb text for booklet cover & interior pages
12pt cover weight for booklet cover & 80lb text for interior pages
Any paper weight can have a coating applied during the manufacturing process and it will affect the way that inks are absorbed in printing and therefore how colour comes out. These are coatings that are right on the stock, (not to be confused with the coatings that can be applied on press during the printing process – but that’s another blog topic!)
So which coating to choose is largely a creative decision ;) The three most popular coatings are gloss, matte or uncoated.
Gloss – adds a reflective shine and makes colours pop.
Matte – adds a subtle silky sheen.
Uncoated – no coating is applied. Inks soak in to the paper and give images a softer look.
For the more adventurous print buyer - have a consultation with your Direction Printing Account Rep to discuss the array of paper options and to get samples (always happy to review & share samples!)
Welcome to another Printing 101 blog entry - Today we're going to talk about Flyers vs Brochures vs Booklets and their differences….
A Flyer is a single sheet of paper (that doesn’t actually fly ;) or will it?), typically sized to 8.5x11 (can vary slightly larger/smaller) and can be printed on one or both sides. Flyers are best for short term use or quick messages like advertising a particular sale, event upcoming etc. They are most often produced on text weights as that helps to keep the budget in check.
Brochures on the other hand are printed on both sides and can be folded in a variety of ways, as shown below. Oh, how I love a good illustration! Generally, brochures are printed with the intention of being well handled and kept around, so they are best printed on a more durable paper with a protective coating like AQ. What’s AQ you’re wondering? An abbreviation for aqueous, meaning a water-based coating that helps to prevent finger printing, seal in the ink and speeds up the dry time. AQ ensures your marketing materials get out on time, increases the longevity and look super sharp!
Some cool folds to target your audiences…
And last but not least what’s a booklet?!… booklets are bound containing multiple sheets … an easy rule… if your job doesn’t require binding it’s not considered a booklet to us. They are typically a main marketing tool that’s printed with AQ, using a combination of text and cover weights.... a show piece to be appreciated.
Booklets can be bound using a variety of methods, but most commonly by the use of staples (sometimes referred to as saddle stitched or corner stapling), wire-o binding, plastic coil binding, loop binding or using glues ie perfect binding. There’s a lot to say about booklets....and of course more fun illustrations to add in, so this topic needs to be continued, stay tuned …..
Flyers - a flat sheet of paper, printed on one side or two.
Brochures - flat sheet of paper, double sided and folded… there are many folds to consider.
Booklets - multiple sheets bound together, two sided… many binding styles available.
It’s officially now spring – as a print provider I have golf and colour on my mind. You can play each hole employing several strokes to get the ball in the cup – or you can figure out how to play in the zone and drop the ball in one stroke. Problem solving on a new client’s project has reminded me of the benefits for adding a Pantone colour to offset print projects and effectively scoring a “hole in one”.
A little background on Colour Systems
Offset printing creates the illusion of “full colour” using four process inks - CMYK (Cyan – Magenta – Yellow – Black). Varying amounts of these four primary inks generates the array of colours.
Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a proprietary colour space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing. By standardizing their colours, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors are consistent. In offset printing, PMS inks offer a tonal range that CMYK inks do not - including specialty inks such as metallics and fluorescents.
In the case of our NEW client – they came to us with print samples showing their company logo and their corporate orange was not consistent from project to project or even from page to page within their catalogue. Their corporate/brand identity was something that they considered colour critical and up to the point of meeting us - it hadn’t been resolved.
As a first step, we tested colour swatches in a variety of CMYK combinations and none were quite right. Then we recommended selecting a PMS colour for their logo as it would produce reliable and vibrant results. Our client opted to go this route PMS #1565 and they’re relieved and happy with the predictable results this produces. We scored an ace with our NEW client by solving their colour dilemma.
For comparison, here is a scan of the Pantone swatch shown next to the CMYK equivalent:
What’s your favourite colour from the Pantone Spring 2018 collection?
We strive to provide our clients with the best overall experience on their projects. From point of order to delivery, we want to make sure that we’re getting “two thumbs up” from you! Don’t just take our word for it, here is some of the feedback we’ve received this week:
“I just wanted to reach out and thank you for all your help with the job. We received the catalogues last week and they look great, it’s kept our shippers busy in sending off to our distributors! The quality of you and your team’s service throughout the process was exceptional. We are very happy!”
Josh, Marketing & Logistics Manager – Hygienic Supplies Manufacturer
“When the planners came in, people were so excited about them there was buzz through the office. It was a huge project, and—as always—on a short timeline. The print quality is beautiful, the colours are rich, and the result is a hearty, practical product that people are excited to use.
Despite our projects often being of an “ASAP,” “quick turnaround,” “strange request” nature, anything we throw at you is taken in stride. From the quoting process, all the way to your lunchtime hand-deliveries, I always feel like our work is handled with a special attention.”
Kaytlyn, Graphic Designer – Magazine Publication
“I can tell you our experience with your team has been quite positive, really appreciate your fantastic service.”
Adam, General Manager – Family Recreation Facility
“Just received the Schedules and I thought I’d let you know that they look GREAT! Thank you so much for all your help and hard work with this project and for always doing a great job with our printed materials. :)”
Soni, Senior Graphic Designer – Non-profit Community Organization
“Hey guys – just wanted to say the booklets look fantastic, thanks so much!”
Connor, Graphic Designer – Museum and Exhibit Space