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Bookbinding • View topic - Printing books to bind - best materials and method
Just like it says folk, only printing here

Printing books to bind - best materials and method

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:08 am

Hi,
I've just started apprenticing as a bookbinder and am really pleased to find this forum! So hello everyone and apologies if I ask some rather obvious questions or ones that have been asked before.

I am interested in printing and binding some friends' books. One is a book composed of photos and poems, the others would be just text. My questions are as follows:
1. If I were to format the book into signatures, I'd prefer to use InDesign (I have it already and am familiar with it). Does anyone know if InDesign can do this and if so, how?
2. What paper would I want to print these on. I'd be after a fairly high-quality finish. Would it differ for the photo and the non-photo book?
3. I have a one-year old, basic colour Dell laser printer. Would I be able to print from this? I'm imagining I wouldn't. Where would I be best to print these and what would be the best method?
4. Alternatively, is there a company that does all this for a reasonable cost, that anyone would recommend?

Thanks, I appreciate any advice.

jen

Re: Printing books to bind - best materials and method

Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:11 pm

Welcome.

To begin your book project you need to decide on the page size, binding type, and number of pages.

I am making some assumptions here that you are going to use gathered signatures in a case bound style using 8-1/2 X 11 size paper folded down to 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 (this would also apply to 11 x 17 folded to 8-1/2 x 11 but you won't be able to print this on a home desk top printed unless using a larger inkjet).

Each folded signature represents 4 pages, and generally one gathers 4 signatures per section, binding the number of sections needed to get the page count needed (remember to leave blank pages for front and back fly leaf). Once you know how many sections you need for the book you can work out the page imposition. My advice is always make a numbered page dummy so that you can look at the page numbers on each signature.

I do my layouts in InDesign manually, although you should check the documentation as there might be a booklet making function available. When I started doing imposition back in version 1.5 there wasn't such feature with the program, and I have gotten used to doing it manually. I suppose I should look for it though.

Anyway, in InDesign you can make the page spreads corresponding to each side of a signature. Thus page 2 signature backs page 1 signature, page 4 signature backs page 3 signature, etc. The signature pages are split right side/left side with the front right side being the "first" page of the folded signature. You have to walk your way through the signatures based on how many gathered groups you need, which is why the dummy becomes so helpful. Unless the newer versions of InDesign have an imposition routine. Hope this isn't too confusing.

As to printing, why not send a sample print to your Dell and decide if the print quality is sufficient based on the print? Hammermill makes color copy paper that is very nice. My only caveat is that you must remember that laser printers use heat to fuse the toner and you will see a bit of cracking along your fold (this is worse on gloss paper and cover). You don't want to fold over any printing if you can avoid it as the toner will flake and won't look too nice.

If you are going to fold down 8-1/2 x 11 paper to make your signatures, buy 11 x 17 and cut it in half. The 8-1/2 x 11 paper sold in retail stores is grain long, which will be the wrong grain direction when folded in half. 11 x 17 is typically grain long, so when cut down to 8-1/2 x 11 the grain direction will be parallel to spine when folded in half.

If you decide you have to hire the printing out, try to find a small commercial or quick printer near your location so that you can go in person. Give them a call first and describe what you need to see that they can accommodate you.

Hope this helped.

Re: Printing books to bind - best materials and method

Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:14 pm

Hi, Jenks

I don't print the books I bind but I'd like to add one thing to ENT's great advice.

When ENT mentions that laser print will flake away at folds, keep in mind that pages get handled all the time and bent while reading. It's known that laser print will flake over time and not just at fold but all over. It was never considered to be an archival printing system, just as inkjet printing is not (it's suseptible to moisture in the air and will transfer over to opposing pages. So it all depends on how long you expect your books to survive. 10 years, 50, 200?A printer will use printer's ink which is the best way to go. I understand you can get printer's ink for a home inkjet printer but not a laser printer. Good luck and have fun!

Re: Printing books to bind - best materials and method

Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:35 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the advice ENT & bookbum. Actually, doing setting the pages manually on InDesign will probably be good practice for me at this time while I'm working with fairly short books). I believe there is a feature in InDesign called Print Booklet which will do this for you (but I haven't fully looked into it yet).

This is really useful info about printing. Thank you!

j

Re: Printing books to bind - best materials and method

Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Printing books to bind - best materials and method

Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:06 am

I think I read it on www.printingforum.com. A good place to ask anyway.

Re: Printing books to bind - best materials and method

Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:48 pm

printingforum.com is not a valid site anymore....