A booklet is a written publication of around 20 sheets (80 pages / printed sides) or less. While books can have either hard or soft covers, the cover of a booklet is traditionally made from the same paper (although the weight may vary) as the text of the booklet, with the cover being considered by printers as “Page 1” of the printable document.
The most common binding form for booklets is commonly referred to as the “Saddle Stitch.” The saddle stitch, which is the most cost-effective form of booklet binding, typically consists of two staples. In this article, you will learn ten great tips for printing booklets.
- “The Rule of Fours”: Key to publishing a stapled booklet is making sure your manuscript page count is divisible by four. In other words, if the format of your booklet is a full sheet (A4), with a landscape format folded in half (making an A5 printed booklet finish), one piece of paper equals four pages in a booklet format. 20 bi-fold sheets would create an 80-page booklet. If your text takes only 77, 78, or 79 pages, you will end up with blank pages in your designed booklet.
- Page margins: When formatting the pages of your booklet, make sure your margins are such that the text does come too close to the page crease. Likewise, leave yourself some room on the left and right edges of the page for the reader to be able to grasp both page edges without covering the text.
- Bleeding: Creating a booklet includes a trimming process. As a result, it is important that your text, and especially your cover art, includes at least 3mm for bleed. “Bleed” refers to images or elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin. Read our guide to bleed by clicking here.
- Cover Page Weight: 120gsm – 250gsm is a sturdy paper weight, but can still be nicely folded. If your cover design will include images or artwork, you may want to consider a glossy finish.
- Text Page Weight: 90gsm – 120gsm paper weight range is good for the contents of your booklet.
- Staples: Although this is the most common way of binding a document, there are other methods such as comb binding available. Talk to us about the best type of binding for your printed booklet design.
- Normally we need your design to be all in one PDF. Single pages and in order. We do have software to establish the proper pagination for your booklet should you need our help. It is best to contact us about how to lay your booklet artwork out in the first instance – adjusting once the artwork is finished can add unnecessary time to your project.
- Page 2 Front Matter: Utilize Page 2 of your booklet for front matter (i.e. publisher and author info, photo credits, design credits, etc.).
- Back Matter: Utilize the next to the last page of your booklet (just inside the back cover) for back matter (i.e. contact information, other books or booklets you’ve published, etc.).
- Contact us at the very beginnings of your project — we can advise on design, layout, and even content borne from experience and a genuine desire for your finished project to accomplish the goals intended. Not all print companies do the same print method and may want artwork set up differently – this is why it is good to talk the project over and get a quote before the design work is complete.
We at Afford A Print exist to help you get the most out of your printed page. We succeed in this for our clients time after time. Let us have the privilege of handling your booklet project.
A fantastic company, so helpful; always prompt replies to queries and emails to help with our project. All work done quicker than expected
so I’d highly recommend afford a print. Thank you so much!”