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Doris sent in this question about fold set-backs

Fred: I am new to design. I was hired as an editorial assistant and have found that lately I've been doing a lot of brochures, postcards, etc. I use Quark (PC) and was wondering if there are resources to find out how to setup documents.
      By "set up" I mean if my page size is 11x17 and will be folded to a 2.75 x 8.5 mailer I know that you have to compensate for the offset fold but don't know how to do it myself. Are there templates available showing this? I've looked in all my Quark books--they mention the fact that you have to compensate for the offset fold but don't explain how. Any help would be appreciated. thanks.

Brochure Set-Back

...Providing for Creep

This is one of those questions that transcends the computer, and/or software. What you are referring to is very dependant on the type of job, number of folds and most importantly the type and weight of paper to be used. In booklet and book making this is called "creep".

Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think there is specific software, or techniques used in the various software programs that will allow you to compensate for creep. Some of the bigger pagination systems will have a configurable option for this, but not in consumer level software.

the brochure Here's what I do:

Get a sample of the paper to be used and then fold it like your job. It becomes very obvious at that point what you need to do.

Build the page according to the folds in your "dummy" then save it as a template. Now you've got it for future jobs.

It's more important to have a dummy when you're dealing with a multiple page project, with multiple 'folios' which fold and trim into a booklet. Now you'll have real paper creep. Build the dummy, just as the finished booklet will be produced. (Ask the printer or your local paper merchant for sample sheets of the actual paper.)

Mark the location Once you've got it folded into the booklet, take a raser blade and make a cut in the top edge about 2 picas from the spine. (Most important on saddle-stitched booklets.)

Now, when you unfold, or take a part the signatures you'll see that the raser slit appears in a slightly different place on each page of the booklet. Guess what... the more pages you've got, the more difference you'll see in the first page and the center spread.

Okay... a few clarifications:

I say "fold" into a booklet because this is how the printer will actually manufacture the booklets. In this case you'd like to chat with the printer and ask how the project should be paginated. Once you've folded the booklet up, number the pages then unfold to see how the project will fold.

Page Creep compensation is not as important with brochures, unless there are several cross folds. (Cross folds are those which are perpendicular to each other.) I like to keep inner folded panels about a pica or so from the crotch of the fold they tuck into. That way you're safe.

In summary: even if there are templates to go by, they couldn't possibly cover every potential paper situation.

Best policy: fold it your self, then measure and build your own templates.

Until next time... Happy printing...

Fred Showker
      Fred Showker, Editor/Publisher

I'd love to hear about your educational experiences, and favorite printing projects. Please drop me a line and let's share with all DT&G readers!

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