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Printing 101

Baby Steps To Print Purchasing Know How

The Printing Crash Course - Printing School

What Are Spreads, Signatures and Imposition?

The understanding of the terms of the printing industry are very important and relate important information to the printer. It is important that the proper understanding of these terms be clarified.

Spreads:
Spreads are referred to as the sequence of pages that are in a book or printed piece. When a designer is working on a book, the book is typed and designed sequentially in the page counts of the printed piece. The sequential order of the pages is called "Reader's Spreads". The pages are arranged by the printer (imposed) to be the first page of the book with the last page, page two to be with the second last page and so on. The resultant spreads are not read-able and therefore referred to as "Printer's Spreads". Reading a book, you are basically viewing the book in a form that is considered "Reader's Spreads", and if you removed the staples holding the pages of the book together at the spine, and spread the sheet out, then you will be viewing the "Printer's Spreads" of the book - One is readable, but printing in that sequence will mess the pages up on the printed piece, where as reading in printer's spreads will give you a confusing head ache, if you ever have had one of those, you probably know what I mean.

Signatures:
The printer assembles the "Printer's Spreads" on a much larger sheet so that it can be printed together. The position and the choice of the printer's spreads chosen to be on the same sheet is very important as the press sheet (the sheet that holds the Printer's Spreads) can be folded to form a section of the final book This press sheet is called a "Signature", each signature is either nested into the other to form saddle stitched books, or conversely stacked on top of each other to produce perfect bound books.

Imposition:
The process of placing pages to form Reader Spreads, assembling the reader's spreads to "Signatures" in its position and direction of image head is called the imposing the job.

 

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