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Paper. Making the Right Choice. Paper can be the most expensive component in a publication—often 30-50 % of the total cost. Factors that affect cost. What size paper does the publication require? Which paper stock is appropriate and meets the budget?

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Making the Right Choice


Paper can be the most expensive component in a publication—often 30-50%of the total cost.

Factors that affect cost

Factors that affect cost

  • What size paper does the publication require?

  • Which paper stock is appropriate and meets the budget?

  • How will the paper be folded, bound, delivered?

Standard u s paper sizes

Standard U.S. Paper Sizes

  • Business card—2x3.5

  • Index card—3x5, 4x6, 5x8

  • Letter—8.5x11

  • Legal—8.5x14

  • Tabloid—11x17

U.S. sizes are measured in inches; European paper is measured in metrics.

Paper stock

Paper Stock

The publication itself and the method of printing will typically determine the paper stock needed.

  • Bond

  • Cover stock

  • Newsprint

  • Book

  • Coated

  • Glazed (glossy)

  • Matte

  • Acid-free

  • Vellum

  • Safety

  • Linen

  • Bible

  • Parchment

  • Granite

  • Deckle edge

Paper stock1

Paper Stock

  • Another factor in selecting the correct paper stock is the paper weight

  • Definition: The actual weight in pounds of 500 full sheets of paper regardless of the basic size or grade of paper; also known as ream weight (500 sheets = ream)

    • Basic Size Example: bond paper 17x22, cover stock 20x26

    • If 500 sheets of bond paper at 17x22 weighs 20 pounds, the paper is described as 20# paper

Paper folds

Paper Folds

  • Paper folds can add interest to a publication and catch the reader’s attention.

    • It can also add to the cost of the publication.

  • Publications can be folded by hand or by using an automatic paper folder

Paper folds1

Paper Folds

  • Accordion—a zig-zagfoldwith parallel folds that go in opposite directions; alsoknown as zig-zag OR z-fold

  • Gate fold—folds the sidesin toward the middle of a page

Paper folds2

Paper Folds

  • Tri-fold—two parallel foldsresulting in three panels on each side of the paper; also known as brochure fold or spiral fold

  • Half fold—divides the page in half; often called a booklet fold

Paper binding

Paper Binding

  • Definition: the joining of pages with either wire, glue or other means

  • If a multiple-page document requires binding, there are a number of choices. The most frequent choices are: saddle stitch, punch and bind and perfect binding.

    • Any binding choice will increase the cost of the publication

Saddle stitch

Saddle Stitch

  • Saddle stitch—a type of binding that staples down the middle of folded pages; frequently used to assemble booklets

Spiral binding

Spiral Binding

  • Spiral binding----type of binding that secures pages by using metal combs/wires or plastic combs that fit into holes punched along the edge of the pages; allows the publication to lay flat when opened.

Perfect binding

Perfect Binding

  • Perfectbinding—to bind pages together with glue to create a book; technique used on paperback books.

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