If you buy a brochure, magazine or catalogue for your business, then you might find our handy cheat sheet comes in useful.
We’re always being asked some of the basics – so we decided to make this quick guide that’ll answer all the most common questions – such as:
- Which are the most common papers to use for my brochure/magazine/catalogue?
- How should I ask for delivery so I know they’ll come undamaged or be suitable for my warehouse?
- What’s the most cost-effective page count for my brochure/magazine/catalogue?
You’ll find those answers and more below. Plus we’ve also laid it out as a handy pdf so you can grab a copy and save it or print it out. Just click the graphic below.
And as always, if you’ve got any further questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01869321321.Happy printing!
WEBMART’S QUICK TIPS
Designing & Specifying Brochures, Magazines & Catalogues
Avoid problems and save time and money with these quick tips for when you’re next designing and specifying a brochure or catalogue.
Paper is available in different quality types. The below list shows a range starting from the highest quality (heavier, thicker, whiter) down to the lowest quality (lighter, thinner and less white):
- Near woodfree
- Machine coated
- Light weight coated
- Super calendered
- Improved newsprint
- Standard newsprint
You can choose matt, gloss or silk finishes, with some uncoated options on woodfree and newsprint paper types.
Your project’s page count should be divisible by four (e.g. 32, 48, 64 etc.) to facilitate binding.
The most cost-effective page counts are divisible by 16 (not including your four-page cover).
Presses in the UK are designed to deal primarily with printing A4 and A5 sizes, so these are the most common and cost-effective options:
- A4: 297mm x 210mm
- A5: 210mm x 148mm
There are different weights available for each paper type, expressed as ‘gsm’ which means ‘grams per square metre’.
If you are printing low volumes (e.g. under about 20,000), you will need to specify a paper weight of 80gsm or higher, as this is the minimum that low volume sheet fed presses can process. Higher volumes can be printed more cost-effectively on web fed or gravure presses, which can both process paper as thin/light as 39 gsm.
Normally, four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) are combined together to produce a good range of colours on a printed item.
Special pre-mixed inks, known as Pantone colours, are sometimes needed for colour accuracy or impact (e.g. an exact shade may be specified by a brand’s guidelines or to maximise impact).
In addition, metallic inks (including gold and silver) are available. The more colours you require, and the addition of any special or metallic inks, will increase the printing cost.
The two most common binding types are:
- Saddle stitched: two wire staples applied into the spine.
- Perfect bound: glue applied along the spine.
If your print project is over a certain thickness (typically anything more than 100 pages at 80gsm), then perfect bound will last longer and look better.
Adding a finish to the cover of your project will help to communicate prestige and quality, improve longevity and increase impact. Common cover finishes include:
Sealer varnish: Adds a slight texture and comes in matt, gloss or silk options.
Overall UV varnish: Adds a layer of either matt, gloss or silk texture across the whole cover.
Spot gloss UV varnish: Adds a high-gloss shine to specific areas of the cover and is often used to highlight images or logos and add tactility.
Lamination: Adds a thick, protective layer of either gloss, matt or silk plastic, which gives the cover a more rigid feel and increased longevity.
There are many other options available – tell us what you’re trying to achieve and we’ll provide ideas.
After binding, your project will need to be packed. The most common options available are listed below, starting with the cheapest and ending with the most protective:
Bulk packed on pallet (BPOP): Stacked in bundles onto a pallet then shrink wrapped.
Shrink wrapped bundles: As the finished print comes off the line they are wrapped in a film and then sent through an oven. The oven shrinks the film around the pile making them secure and less likely to be damaged. The shrink wrapped bundles are then placed onto pallets for further shrink wrapping.
Carton packed: As the bundles come off the line they are placed in boxes before being shrink wrapped onto pallets for extra protection.