Milwaukee printing tipsThere is more to a printing job than putting ink on paper. Prepress and press work are followed by post-press which includes folding, saddle-stitching, perfect binding and a host of other processes.

Folding is one of the least precise components of printing so it helps to understand the limitations when designing a creative piece. Most folding equipment can hold 1/32″ of tolerance for each fold. While that doesn’t seem like a lot of variance, keep in mind that most jobs include a number of folds, and if the first one is 1/32″ off each successive fold may get worse.

This is very important to consider when doing a complex piece like a double-gate fold brochure where everything needs to line up correctly on completion. If you position copy and panels of color exactly at the folds, at some point the copy may no longer be centered and the color solids may extend beyond the folds of the brochure panels.

EBA always recommends to clients that prior to completing the design of a complex project you have one of our prepress team members review your initial artwork. There is no charge for this service and it will save you time and potential delay with your project.

With folding, a good rule of thumb is to assume that the folding equipment will be “off” by up to 1/16″ in either direction. Since this can ruin the positioning of crossover (type and/or images than extends from one panel to the adjacent panel), you may want to choose panels that are next to each other to avoid problems.

Closely related to folding is scoring, which is a “pre-fold,” of sorts. Using a metal or plastic wheel or a wire string attached to an offset press or folder, the scoring process “starts” a fold in the paper. This allows the subsequent folding operation to be more precisely positioned and less likely to crack the paper, the paper coating, or the ink on the paper. Scoring is always done by EBA for brochures and catalog/booklet covers which are printed digitally. Digital printing dries out the paper in the printing process and scoring avoids “cracking” of the paper.

Scoring is an important step in the production process when the paper exceeds 100# text weight or thicker, when you’re folding against the grain, or when you’re folding through heavy-coverage, solid color or cover stock. Cover weight paper always needs scoring.

Thinner paper, such as 50# text weight, poses the opposite problem since it can wrinkle in the folding equipment. It is too light and not rigid enough to withstand the rough treatment of the folding process. To be safe, discuss scoring and folding requirements with an EBA print consultant. This will assure you the best results with your project.

Great customer service, friendly, easy to work with. The quality of the work is excellent. I recommend EBA Printing all the time.

Moshe R., Mequon, WI

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