The Prepress Perspective- Week 2

Posted on February 8, 2012

Week 2- Printer Spreads vs. Reader Spreads

One of the great mysteries of the Universe is Printer Spreads. I have always wondered, why are they called printer spreads when printers don’t even use them?

Well, that’s not completely true. We do use printer spreads, just not in the way you would think. Let me explain…

When you send your job into Wentworth, the first stop is the prepress department, then it goes into planning and gets an imposition. When the job gets an imposition, all the pages are laid out so when the piece comes together and gets folded/stitched/bound it will go in the correct page order. It’s like a big puzzle. If you take apart a saddle stitch magazine you can see that the printed pages aren’t actually 8.5 x 11, but instead are 17 x 11. Page 2 is attached to page 27, page 6 is attached to page 23, etc. (These are just examples of page sizes and page numbers, all projects will vary!) Each page is part of a bigger piece. This is essentially a “printer spread.”

The great thing about printing with Wentworth is- you don’t have to worry a thing about printer spreads, we take care of all the hard work for you. We prefer you to send your files in “reader spreads.” That is, the piece is laid out exactly how you would read it in chronological page order. (page 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.) It is easier for you because you don’t have to figure out what the printer spread would be and it is easier for us because we don’t have to arrange the pages back in chronological order.

I apologize to all of you pulling for printer spreads in this fight- reader spreads is walking away the champion today!

Ever wonder what the deal is with PPI, DPI and all those crazy abrevs? Check in with me next week!

–        Valene


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