4 Advantages of Digital Printing

Like virtually every other aspect of our lives, printing has not only gone digital, it’s thriving there. With more manufacturers and full-scale production of digital tabletop printers than ever, it’s no wonder that older technology such as flexographic presses that use polymer plates are becoming outdated. And there is a reason why digital printing continues to be the most popular printing method for a myriad of projects.

From a general standpoint, digital presses function very similar to a desktop printer. Digital presses use dots of ink to recreate an image from a digital file. However, as this technology is perfected, digital printing produces high-quality projects at a lower cost. This article discusses four of the largest advantages to digital printing.   



  • Low Cost with High Value


Believe it or not, there was a time in our recent history when offset printing ruled the world, and only large companies could afford it. Offset printing requires customized plates to be made, and of course, the cost of these plates (along with associated setup fees) were passed along to the consumer. With the arrival of digital printing, those days are fading. 

Digital printing doesn’t require the same outdated hardware and setup fees are becoming a thing of the past. This allows printers to print as few materials as needed without sacrificing a large initial fee, and reap the benefits of avoiding obsolete inventory, faster turnaround times, and eliminating several steps between concepts and prototypes. 



  • Quick Turnaround


Although offset printing is still around and continues to offer the highest quality, advances in the world of digital printing continue to gain ground in this area. And truth be told, it takes a trained eye to notice any differences between a product from an offset printer and that of a digital printer. With this minimal disparity, the speed at which you can print using digital over offset makes the former a much better option for a quick turnaround. 

Also, as digital printers don’t require plates (or the added time and cost of having those plates produced and changed), a print job with digital printers goes much quicker. They allow for quick, short print runs that aren’t possible with offset printers. 



  • Added Versatility & More Options 


One of the greatest benefits of digital printing is that it allows creators to be very versatile with their projects. Digital printers have large media ranges and can support printing on over 3,000 certified substrates, including metallics, darks and synthetics. 

Digital printers also offer advanced printing techniques, such as foil stamps, die cuts, and UV and aqueous finishes. Additionally, materials such as thin paper, fabric or even ceramics can be used as a printing backdrop. This notion was nonexistent with offset printing. 

With so many options, digital printers allow designers to be versatile in their designs and adapt to consumer desires without sacrificing quality or time. 



  • Go Digital, Go Green 


While digital printing offers designers more options, quick turnaround times and lower costs, it also eliminates the pre-press time and materials that come with offset printing. There are no screens, emulsion or extra solvents used in the printing process. Moreover, as digital printing only ejects ink to the parts to be printed, it reduces ink waste as well as the cleaning process once the job is complete. 

For many printing jobs, offset printing is still a beneficial option for those that can afford it. However, as technology in digital printing advances, consumers to continue to expect the quality of digital printing to increase and the price to decrease. For those that seek a printing option that is quick, offer a high value, provide more design options and are environmentally conscious, digital printing is the way to go.


Contact Pel Hughes if you’d like to discuss your printing needs.

5 Design Ideas for Distinctive Graphic Design Business Cards


A business card is important in virtually any industry. A simple business card is your brand. It shows potential clients not only what you do, but also gives them a glimpse into the type of person you are, and what they can expect from your work. 

The importance of a distinctive and creative business card is even more vital for graphic designers, however. Indeed, the very card that you are showing is in essence a small sample of your actual work product. As opposed to, say, a lawyer or businessperson, whose cards are essentially all the same, a graphic designer’s card must stand out from a crowd. 

Now that we’ve established the importance of a unique card for graphic designers, let’s take a look at some of the most effective design ideas to ensure your card stands out from the pack. 


  • Images 


When people think of a business card they think of text. Typically, a card states your name, title, address, the company you work for, and some contact information (email, cell phone, etc.). If you want your card to be distinctive among a dozen others, give your audience exactly what they don’t expect. 

Especially in the graphic design world, which is mostly digital, all you really need is a website for your clients to check out your work. Spice up your card by incorporating an awesome image or collage of images that showcase your talent. Move away from text-heavy cards and make your card more of a work of art rather than a technical piece. 


  • Textures 


Have you ever gone to a networking event or reunion and walked away with a stack of business cards? Usually there are two problems: 1. they’re all the same size and generally use the same material, or 2. someone tried to get too fancy and made their card into a Swiss army knife or unicorn that jabs you in the chest after you slip it into your sports coat. 

Solution? Textures. By using different textures, such as foil stamping or a 3D texture, people can immediately spot your card from others and grab yours first. Even textured letterpresses can be quite effective.


  • White Space 


Another mistake designers make with their cards is trying too hard to be too creative. They’ll lambast their card with intricate fonts or stuff it with graphics so that any information is virtually impossible to read or understand.

Go with a different approach and use simplicity to your advantage. Cards that use white space (and no, it doesn’t literally have to be white) are eloquent and give a sense of simplicity that viewers will appreciate. 


  • Transparency 


In an industry that tries so hard to be prominent, transparent business cards allow you to be simple yet keep that modern touch. In addition to just being cool to look at (or look through), the transparent look deviates from the traditional paper card that everyone is all too accustomed to. 

To take this idea one step further, you make use plastics to make your card waterproof. While your competitors cards are ruined once a client accidentally spills water or their card, or drops it in the rain, yours will still be looking shiny and new. Moreover, plastic provides a nice medium weight in between flimsy paper and heavy metal. 


  • Smart Card


Our last recommendation for a distinctive business card is one that gained traction in 2019, and is sure to flourish in 2020: make it smart. Including your name, address, phone number, etc. is so 2000. It forces people to either keep your card forever, or go through the painstaking effort of writing your contact information down and praying they never lose it. Don’t make your client work! 

By putting a QR code on your card your client can easily scan the card, and all of your information will automatically populate in their phone. Today, most business card makers allow for this option. Take advantage and make it easier for people that want your information, but don’t want to have to carry around a business card for the next few years. 

Step into the next decade with a modern card that not only shows your technologically-savvy, but also willing to take the leg work out of tasks for your client. Get smart. 

Is Print Dead?

“Is print dead?” seems to be one of those almost existential questions that has been asked over the past couple decades, with people expecting the answer to—at least at some point—be “yes”. We’re all aware of the digital age we live in and the importance of social media in our everyday lives. And naturally, as this age progresses and technology outpaces our realization of what’s actually happening, it should be expected that everything is will digital and print will die. 

But look around. Take a minute to think about where we are, what surrounds us, and what influences our lives. Print isn’t dead. It’s all around us, and has a very large impact on the decisions we make and our day-to-day interactions. 

Like most successful tools, print has managed to evolve and we are learning how to use it in tandem with digital communication mediums. Those who believe print is dead are really doing a disservice to themselves and their business. 


Growth and Progress 

The power of print in marketing and brand recognition has been undebatable for literally hundreds of years. However, in today’s digital landscape more and more consumers are getting their information online. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 93% of Americans say they get at least some of their news online. This is forcing print to grow and progress in a way it has never had to in the past. 

Today’s print industry is going beyond the traditional standards and using many aspects of the digital world in their material. Incorporating custom branded apparel, or functional and highly influential promotional products are just a couple of the ways print is keeping its stronghold as an effective marketing tool. 

And while successful print campaigns are evolving and tailoring their messages, businesses are also capitalizing on the popularity and trust that kept print popular for so long. 


“The New ‘New Media’”

In a recent publication by the Columbia Journalism Review, the resurgence of print is hailed as “The New ‘New Media’”. Part of this claim is founded upon the notion that print has always held a key spot among the premier marketing tools, but even more so it’s based on the notion that print was only recently on the decline. It’s the resurgence that made it come back with even more force. 

As the digital age entered our lives, it was the new “cool” thing. However, consumers quickly realized that just because it may be easy to access, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to consume information or make informed decisions. In fact, in today’s culture, 90% of adults still read print magazines, and some of the most popular internet-based companies are actually making a shift to print media. 

For example, companies such as Bumble, Dollar Shave Club, Casper and even Airbnb have gotten on board with this new “new” media. These companies now publish Bumble Mag, Mel, Wolly Magazine and Airbnb Magazine, respectively. According to Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism, “It’s sort of like print is becoming the validation of your brand.”

And this popularity is increasing when you consider many of the pitfalls of online and digital media that consumers face, such as privacy concerns. “It’s now cool to bring (print) back around . . .  When you think about data and privacy, and things happening online, think how simple and straightforward it is,” said Monique Lemus O’Brien, group director at The Media Kitchen. 

So, although the question “Is print dead?” continues to be posed in social media posts and news articles, it’s safe to say the answer is “no”. In fact, the nature of digital platforms and the trust that print media has built with consumers over time is making it even more significant than ever.

How to Select the Best Envelopes for Direct Mail Campaigns


There is no sense going to great lengths to create an elaborate direct mail campaign when you do not have the right envelopes.  The envelopes you select should present your message in an artful manner. Fail to select the best envelopes and you won’t get the most out of the time, money and effort you invest in direct mailings.

Why Envelopes Matter

Think back to the last book you bought.  If you are honest about the purchase, you will likely admit the book’s cover played a part in convincing you to buy it.  The same is true of direct mailers. If the envelope is ugly or plain, people will ignore the mailing or quickly open it, decide it is junk mail, tear it in half and toss it in the trash.  The optimal envelope for your direct mailing campaign will ultimately be determined by your unique offerings along with the target market.

Envelope Styles

Consider the style of envelope from the viewpoint of a target customer.  The pocket or wallet style will prove optimal for those involved in B2B (business to business) marketing.  If you opt for the pocket style, the envelope will be comparably short. Opt for a banker envelope that is opened through a flap shaped liked a V along the side and recipients will feel as though they are opening a birthday card.  

Wallet envelopes are also available.  This style of envelope is accessed through a square flap.  Take some time to debate the merits of each envelope style before making a commitment.  

Envelope Size

Studies show the typical household resident is inclined to open envelopes that are large as opposed to small.  Recipients are also inclined to open envelopes rife with color as opposed to those with a plain hue.

It is important that your direct mailing stick out from the rest of the mail.  However, if you are intent on keeping the tone 100 percent professional, it doesn’t make sense to send a massive envelope laden with bright colors.   

Even the Envelope Seal Matters

Opening a direct mailing envelope should be easy, quick and satisfying.  If you decide to transmit several documents or end up going with a single item of considerable thickness, a peel-and-seal might prove optimal as it supports additional weight.  If cost is a concern, opt for gummed flaps.

You can also use self-seal flaps with dual latex layers that create quite the powerful seal.  There is no need to apply any moisture or remove strips. Self-seal flaps are perfect for direct mailings in which thousands of letters are sent.  If you are intent on sticking out, consider enlisting the help of a stationary expert who can fully customize your envelopes exactly as you desire.

Benefits of Using Variable Data Printing


Direct mail can be cheap and impersonal, or it can be cheap and personal. Generic campaigns put you in front of your customers, but do you capture their attention? With variable data printing, small businesses and marketers in niches can vary their marketing campaigns to target the specific needs of a diverse audience without having to create multiple pieces that may only be useful for one campaign.

What is variable data printing?

Variable data printing is a printing method that allows for some parameters to be changed, such as text and images, within an entire output as many times as desired. This is most often used in direct mail to change names and addresses. The software uses a spreadsheet created by the user or the mail house to determine what input goes where on the material. While it certainly makes creating large scale direct mail campaigns much easier and cost-effective to print, it can be used to further customize direct mail to a customer’s preferences and buying history, personalizing direct mail so that it appears that the it was made just for that customer.

How can variable printing help your direct mail marketing campaigns?

1. One print run. One direct mail campaign can be changed to target specific demographic groups with just a few tweaks. One campaign, one print run, one template. This makes small print runs affordable, and all print runs with a faster turnaround time.

2. Make it personal. If there’s one thing anyone is going to read on your direct mail (besides the word “free”) is their own name. This much variable printing can do, but to further capture a customer’s interest, a mailing, flyer, or catalog can be printed with targeted advertisement so that this customer is receiving what appears to be custom-made letter.

A campaign can target demographic groups or individuals by changing any content to appeal to that group. This would not only increase your return on investment, but allow you to experiment and create test campaigns smaller and more targeted than A/B tests.

3. Eye-catching images, fonts and colors. Customizing fonts, images, and colors allows you to completely transform your direct mail so that one campaign actually functions like many smaller, exclusive, niche campaigns. You could even use the same template over again and simply change the parameters to suit your needs.

4. Make it local. Do you have a storefront, or two? Do you sell your products in brick and mortar stores, at the farmer’s market, a festival? Let your customers know where to find your wares with maps and custom-printed lists of stores, hours, and directions to the places where they can buy your products.

5. Urgent message? A holiday-only sale? Moving locations? Opening a new store in a certain area? Announcing a new product line that a certain section of your customers would be interested in? Variable data printing can help you launch that direct mail with a few changes to an existing template so you can put the news out there immediately.

Creating custom information doesn’t have to be time-consuming and is not only available to those with huge print orders. With variable data printing, you can create multiple, personal, and tailored direct marketing pieces to appeal to each of your customers as individuals.

How the Printing Press Changed the World

Contrary to popular belief, Guttenberg did not invent printing; he invented the printing press. Printing itself began in China with wood-carved reliefs of each character that could be pressed onto a medium like silk. The Chinese also invented moveable type, too. However, early forms of printing were still expensive and time-consuming. Guttenberg’s printing press solved both of those problems. Even though it could take a full day to set one type tray, his metal letter molds and oil-based ink made presses more durable and faster, thus making books cheaper and more available to the public. Guttenberg’s printing press changed the world, and from 1430 on, we haven’t looked back.

Hand-scribing books meant limited books…and limited literacy

Before the printing press, books in Europe were hand-scribed, and thus with books difficult to come by and very expensive, few other than the elite could read. Granted, these books often contained beautiful calligraphy and artwork, and illuminated manuscripts were real works of art. The mass-produced books weren’t so beautiful, but they made information more accessible to a middle class that was becoming increasingly literate. The cheaper books were, the more literate the masses became.

Mass-production meant more freedom to disseminate information.

With books being more widely available to the public and cheap to buy and produce, more books, and thus, more ideas, could be shared. Before the printing press, the most commonly scribed book was the bible and the church had among her ranks most of the scribes; scientific and philosophical ideas couldn’t be so widely shared with the world. The Gutenberg press took the monopoly of publishing from the church and put the power into the hands of whoever could pay to run the printing press. Not only could more books be printed, but also pamphlets and other documents. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, for example, used broadsheets akin to today’s newspapers.

Newspapers inform us all

Even if it took one person a long time to set a type page, once it was set, it could keep printing pages repeatedly. Having a group of people setting type pages for a group of presses meant that multiple pages could be created and printed that day, giving rise to printed news. Newspapers arose in the 17th century and became more widespread in Europe and the United States in the 18th century. They’re essentially still the same as they’ve been for centuries. Whereas news could be largely shared by mouth through conversation, public decree, or other announcements, printed news could share the same facts and the same information with everyone who could read, reaching a larger audience more quickly. With the invention of the telegraph and then the telephone, regional, national, and world news could be disseminated daily, sometimes more ofte.

Books could be mass-produced for information and instruction.

Cookbooks, history books, and a variety of fiction and non-books became possible with the printing press. Ideas that were novel or even controversial, such as scientific theories, philosophies, or political ideas could reach a wide audience through use of the printing press. Anyone who could read a book could expand their horizons and teach themselves any subject they had the interest or stomach to learn. Without books, a country boy born in a one-room log cabin in rural Kentucky could learn math, language, history, and law despite having no one around him to teach him. This country boy in particular was Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States.

Knowledge became egalitarian.

For those who could read, could access books and newspapers, and had the curiosity and time to read could know just as much about a subject as someone who had a formal education if they read and retained enough. Books were still cheaper than tutors or private education, and in some places, books were much more readily available than a comprehensive formal education.

Those who could write and entice someone to publish the works for them or could afford to have their books published did so. This meant that visionaries didn’t have to rely on the approval of the establishment to get their works out there. For example, Walt Whitman, the father of modern poetry, was heavily involved in the printing and publishing of his book, Leaves of Grass. Thomas Paine’s self-printed Common Sense pamphlet advocated for the 13 American colonies to seek independence from Great Britain and was read widely in meeting places…and taverns.

The birth of the novel.

While the art of storytelling is something that we have always had with us, and classics and epics like the Iliad were hand-scribed on scrolls, the modern novel couldn’t have really existed without the printing press. In order to create a work of fiction to entertain a wide variety of people, the writer would need access to cheap, uniform printing methods. The easier it was to publish books, the more possibilities there were for writers to create and share works of fiction with others.

One press = uniformity in language.

Hand-scribed books were often full of errors or variations in spelling and grammar. However, with the printing press, spelling became uniform. In fact, the need to save space on a type page meant fewer extraneous letters and punctuation. Sharing information with a variety of people meant that they all had to understand what was being written and shared. Thus, over time, spelling and grammar became standardized. Lettering, too, became more simple and easy to read. Now, every written language also has a consensus of how words should be spelled and sentences written.

How to Design a Business Card


Your business card is a visual representation of you and your brand, so it’s important to design a business card that provides the reflection you crave. Many people are handed business cards every day, so it pays to make sure yours stands out. With the right design, you can leave a lasting impression on someone who could become your next customer. Follow these steps to design the business card perfect for your business.

Decide on a Message

Think about what message you are wanting to send with your business card. Do you want to appear unique? Creative? Professional? What are you hoping your brand communicates about you? Reflect on your personal brand identity so that you can share this messaging with your designer.

Consider a Different Shape

In a world full of the same rectangular cards, one easy way to stand out is to use a different shape. Technology is available today through new printing techniques that allow you to cut your card in any shape you want while still allowing you to print in bulk. You might prefer rounded corners, a card in the shape of your product, a shape that mimics your logo, or cards that have a portion of the card cut out for artistic purposes.

Add Your Logo and Other Graphics

Next, add your logo and other desired graphics on the card. You can work the text around these visual elements. Ensure that your logo has its own place to shine as this is what most people will associate with your brand. Some designers prefer to use one side of the card for your logo and the other for your information and other graphics. Additional graphics can fill the space on a business card. These graphics allow you to provide a more creative look to your card. You can showcase pictures of your staff, products, small and big logos or other images or graphics that reflect your business.

Decide on Text

This is an important consideration because it is what you explicitly communicate to your customer. Consider adding the following information to your card, as needed:

  • Your business name
  • Your name
  • Phone number
  • Business address
  • Job title
  • Email address
  • Fax number
  • Website URL
  • Social media contact information
  • Business slogan
  • QR code

Select Your Typography

Now that you have narrowed down your graphics and text, you will need to think about how you want your card to look. Consider the size of each block of text on your card. Everything needs to be 8 pts. minimum for people to read. However, you might want certain text to stand out more by making it larger, such as your name or the name of your business. You may also want to retain some white space for a more professional look. Choose a font that mirrors your personality. Use a color scheme that reflect your branding. Stick to colors that provide a nice contrast on the card but that are also easy to read.

Add Special Touches

There are many more ways that you can make your card stand out. One option is to use embossing, which creates a three-dimensional image and emphasizes certain areas of your card. Or, you can choose the reverse with letterpressing in which the printer presses the paper down while it inks it, making it look engraved. Foil stamping makes your text shiny. Spot UV coating provides a sheen to certain parts of a card. Another way to make your card stand out is to make it wider and thicker. You can also consider alternative materials like metal or rubber or use scented inks. Finally, transparent cards create a modern, sleek design.

After you take the steps to design the perfect card for your business, reach out to a designer at Pel Hughes to make your vision a reality.

DPI for Printing: What Is It and What Works Best?

One of the most important factors to consider when printing is DPI, or dots per inch. Basically, DPI is a measure of special printing dot density which consists of the number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of 1 inch. When choosing a resolution, it’s all about determining the point at which you can no longer see the dots in an image. The more dots, the higher the quality of print.

It’s also helpful to point out that many resources, including the Android developer guide, use the term pixels per inch, or PPI, interchangeably with DPI. While these terms are similar in nature, PPI is technically the term used for monitors. (Monitors have pixels, not dots.) When discussing printing, DPI is the correct term and it can make a big difference in the sharpness of your printed work.

So with that brief overview, the question remains: What DPI should I use for my particular print job? As you may have guessed, the correct answer is, it depends. Below are some tips to consider when deciding on a DPI, as well as some suggestions for specific printing designs.

It’s (Mostly) About Viewing Distance

As mentioned above, the main focus (no pun intended) when choosing the correct DPI centers on the point at which you can no longer see the individual dots on a page. While the method of printing and the material may have a slight impact on the resolution, the viewing distance can be the difference between 300dpi and 1dpi. If you think about it, that makes sense.

Consider looking at a billboard on the side of the road. It’s rarely viewed closely, so a resolution of 20-50dpi is probably sufficient. However, when viewing a printed image on a menu for example, you’ll want a higher DPI so the print doesn’t look grainy or blurred. The key when considering DPI is to consider how far your viewer will be.

Choosing the Correct Material and Methods

In addition to contemplating the audiences viewing distance of an image, the printing method and material also have an impact when determining the correct DPI. The method and material will affect how sharp an image will be; the higher DPI used, the sharper the image. For example, the Print Handbook is printed using a stochastic screen which produces a finer detail than a halftone screen. The different material will produce a print that looks different when using 300dpi and 400dpi.

Conversely, there are other instances when the limiting factor is the paper/material or printing method and as a result, there is no need for 300dpi. One such example of this would be printing on coated vs. uncoated paper. Coated paper tends to hold detail much better than uncoated paper, and because of this limiting factor, you can likely get away with using 200-250dpi on uncoated paper whereas the same DPI would not be suitable for print on coated paper.

Choosing the correct DPI can indeed be the difference between a good and a great print. It is important to understand what DPI is and which DPI should be used for your specific print job. It’s also important to consider the distance at which the print will be viewed, as well as the print material and methods used. However, given all this, it’s typically better to err on the side of a larger DPI. You can rarely make the mistake of having too high a resolution. But it is very easy to use a low DPI and have your final result come out pixelated. In the end, go for too much detail as opposed to not enough. 

Contact Pel Hughes if you have more questions!


Everything You Need To Know About Vinyl Banners


With today’s fast paced environments, you need something that can grab attention and convey information quickly. Vinyl banners are a must. Vinyl banners are great for promoting products, conferences, sporting events, corporate gatherings, or even personal events such as birthday or graduation parties. They are most effective if you incorporate large, bright images as they easily get attention.  People usually special promotion, event, team or school.


Designing a vinyl banner

For the most part, designing files for banner printing requires the same procedures as any other products. However, are a few designer tips for this product that you can take into account. They are as follows:

  • When designing files for larger banners, there tends to be more flexibility in terms of resolution for vector-based elements. One would be able to get away with submitting files that have a 150 dpi. Keep in mind that this does not apply to image based elements. Images such as logos and photographs should always be at 300 dpi.

72 dpi vs 300 dpi

  • Banners that have the grommet option selected should always account for this in the bleed. For instance, the normal recommended bleed is .125 inches. On banners with grommets, bleeds are recommended to go up to a square inch on all corners.

vinyl banners pel print

  • Remember that all files are always converted to CMYK before printing. Any neon’s and Pantones cannot be printed on banners. Be sure that when designing files for the banners, you are doing so in CMYK. This will ensure that you get a clearer idea of the color densities on your banner piece.  Keep in mind that different screens produce different colors; final prints will not be able to match 100% what is seen on the screen.

rgb vs cmyk


Design tips:

  • The type of vinyl matters depending on the occasion. Glossy banners work best when you are hanging them inside, away from natural light. Matte banners are perfect for outdoor advertising. If you hang glossy banners outside it can sometimes be difficult to read the words due to the glare during the daytime.

  • If you are looking to reuse your banner, don’t include information that could easily change such as a price point or date. It’s better to advertise saying “Everything 50% Off Regular Price–This Friday, Saturday and Sunday” instead of “All Meals Just $5.99 on Saturday, May 12”. This way you’ll end up with banners that can be reused time and time again. The best part–banners can be rolled up, folded, etc., making them extremely convenient to store for later use.

  • Determine the space you need to hang your banners carefully; take measurements of the space(s) when possible. Consider how you could be mounting the banners. They can be set up with grommets that allow for roping the banners, or pockets to slip poles through. If you are using ropes to tighten the banner corners, then consider the room you would need to stretch the banner.

What is a print signature?

A signature is a group of pages that are printed, most likely on both sides of a single sheet of paper that once folded, trimmed, bound and cut, become a specific number of pages. The number of pages on a signature depends on your page size and the size of the press sheet they fit on.

print signature

Another term associated with a print signature is a less common term that is known as imposition.This is the placement and direction of pages that are in a signature. Some pages may appear upside down or backwards, but once the sheet is folded and cut, the pages will be in their proper position and sequence. It is the printer’s job to setup a signature’s imposition.

Printers will often speak of two kinds of spreads: reader spreads and printer spreads. When you open a brochure, page two is opposite from page three. This is a reader’s spread; it’s what the reader sees. If you take the brochure apart, you’ll see that page two is actually connected, through the binding, to another page near the back of the brochure. This is a printer spread; it’s what a printer prints.


How to create brilliant designs on a budget?

As a print designer you should take full advantage of working with print signatures to achieve maximum effect for your design concept and learn how to maximize the printing budget.

Instead of using the same paper stock for the whole brochure, you can use different papers and different combination of inks for each individual print signatures. The possibilities are endless for creating amazing brochures.

Each signature is a print run and for each print run, you have to choose a paper stock and the number of inks to be used. The number of inks you print per signature on a specific paper will not only affect your design concept, but the print budget directly.

When designing with print signatures, you also have to take into account from the start, your binding type. Your binding type always depends on the total amount of pages your brochure has, your design concept and the printing budget. By selecting different binding types, it will change the order in which print signatures are assembled in the final brochure, therefore giving you the ability to manage the order in which different papers are presented.

For example, when you use ‘saddle stitching’, first page will go with last page, second page with before last page and so on. If you use a ‘perfect bound’, signatures are stacked one after the other. In the case of a ‘spiral bound’, signatures are also stacked one after the other, but you can insert a single sheet pretty much anywhere and the brochure will lay flat when open. Understanding how different binding types work, is essential to get the most out of designing with print signatures. The ‘pull out’ is another, different type of signature. It could be considered a loose sheet, even though it’s folded, depending on where it’s inserted in the binding. But most pull outs are commonly inserted between two signatures, during the binding process.

The important thing to remember is that when it is bound together, when a job is laid out correctly, the right pages will almost magically turn up next to each other. The more the number of pages in a job, the tougher it is to lay it out correctly. A proof is always sent out before any printing is actually done and one of the things to check for is that all the pages have ended up in the correct order.