Booklet Printing Guide

What are the different types of booklets?

Page and sheet counts, as well as the addition of a cover, can sometimes make things confusing when it comes to booklets. Generally, the lingo goes as follows:

Self-Cover: This is when all pages of the book are on the same type of paper.
+ Cover: (pronounced 'plus cover') This is when the cover is on a different type of stock.

Note that the actual content of what's on the cover (the first two & last two pages) isn't what separates the two different types of books. It's simply whether the cover is a different stock than the text.


Page Counts vs. Sheet Counts

Sometimes there is confusion about the difference between page count and sheet count. They aren't the same. Sheet count is used primarily in the logistics of printing the actual booklet so that we can calculate the amount of paper needed to make the booklets. Page count is used for the design and layout process. If you picture holding a finished booklet in your hands, you'll see that the page count will always be even, regardless of whether or not there is content on the pages.

Also, since the booklet is printed and bound as sheets, the page count will always need to be divisible by 4.

These are important things to remember, since the way you prepare your file will determine will determine which pages the content will be printed on.

As a rule of thumb, it's easiest if you add blank pages to your PDF at the proper locations to make your page count divisible by 4. Otherwise, it will take additional time for us to reach out to you to find out where to put the blank pages. Also, remember that the first two & last two pages will be the cover.

So, generally speaking, if you send a file that's a 25 page booklet, in reality it's going to be a 28 page booklet, whether or not you have content on the other pages.


Bleeds & Face-Trim

If your booklet has content or images that are going to touch the end of the page, then add a 0.125 in. bleed. Otherwise, we will do our best to accommodate your file, but note that the book may measure out to be a tiny bit smaller than the size of the file you provided.

When you collate a bunch of printed sheets together and fold it in half, you'll see that each added sheet will protrude a little bit longer than the previous sheet. This creeping is more noticeable on booklets with a larger sheet count. Because of this, we do a face-trim on each finished booklet. This provides even edges all around the booklet when it's closed, providing a more professional look.


Binding Types & Binding Methods

Each booklet will be secured with two high-quality staples approximately 4" apart. Staple position is unable to be adjusted.

Square Bind vs. Saddle-Stitch

By default, the book has a simple half-fold before the face-trim. As an option, we can apply 'square binding,' which is best described as a mix between a saddle-stitch and a perfect bound book. After folding, an special crease is applied that forms a square spine on the booklet, so that it remains flat while closed. This option is ideal for books with a larger sheet count.

Square bind is pictured on the far left, while typical saddle-stitching is picture is situated on the right.

Note, that for small page-count booklets, square binding is not practical, and therefore not applied (ex. 12-page booklets.)