Bring Home a Souvenir: Production
Producing your own creation is exciting. Pulling together the proper layout, choosing the correct type of paper, proofreading, editing, and taking the final product to the printers are all elements of assembling the souvenir from your journey. This final chapter shows you how to produce a document, taking it from its first conception to hard copy.
From conception to the final product,
many steps occur in a meticulously planned out manner to help eliminate issues. The production portion of a document’s cycle is where it comes to life and becomes a successful publication. This section of the survival guide discusses several elements that contribute to a successful document. Layout, Printing, Paper Selection and Biding; without these essential elements there can be no final product.
Layout is the design element of the document. Knowing how the text and graphics complement each other is extremely important. A mix of functionality and usability help bring the document together. Each is dependent of one another: usability is how the reader feels when he or she is reading the document: does it make senses? Does it flow? Functionality depicts the usefulness of the document on hand.
Understanding the type of document is another important aspect of a quality layout. If the technical document is a how-to manual, an almost equal mix between graphics and text is necessary. People learn and process information differently so providing a reader with different ways to comprehend the document is a must.
When finalizing a document’s layout remembering its purpose of the guide is crucial. The purpose of the guide will determine what type of binding and paper will be used. For instance, if the idea is to have a document like this Survival Guide, the spiral binding is almost a must. A spiral binding makes it easier to work at a desk or table. This is just one reason why it is important to keep in mind the layout; if not it could lead to serious hold-ups at the printing press.
The type of paper that you choose sends a message to the readers as to what genre of document they are reading. Is this a presentation outline? A coupon book? Everyone notices the difference in feel and appearance between styles such as an instruction booklet and a magazine, so it is necessary to match your appearance with your intention.
The size of both the physical paper and font should match the style and intention of your document. Also, it is important to make sure the size of the paper matches your intention, for example, fliers cannot be too small, and letters should be legible. Your choice of binding should also be kept in mind when deciding on the size of the paper, as bindings can take up different amounts of paper. A larger size might be needed for some bindings.
Another important, but oft ignored, choice to be made is the weight of the paper. Different weights are used for different purposes with heavier weights used for durable projects like cover pages. Weights are numbered in the style of XX# with the XX being the weight in pounds of the paper. There are standards for weights for all kinds of papers.
|65#, 80#, 100#, 120#||Card/Cover Stock|
The thickness of paper is often responsible for its weight. Thickness is a primary factor in the opacity of paper. This is important to consider that a certain level of opacity is needed to assure that text printed on the other side of the page cannot be seen.
Finish is the texture of the paper. Finishes vary greatly depending on how you want your project presented.
|Woven/Smooth Finish||Uncoated regular paper|
|Laid/Linen Finish||Paper produced with textured lines, often for business stationary|
|Laser Finish||Paper for use in laser printers|
|Coated Finish||A waxy finish that can be applied to one or both sides|
Printing is the process of producing material through inked type and a printing press. Throughout the years, printing underwent many transformations. From the original printing press to now, this portion of the style guide can help define ways to successfully print a document.
General Overview of Printing Process
What distinguishes different printing processes from one another is how the image is transferred to the substrate, either directly or indirectly. Direct printing is done by passing the textile through a series of rollers, each printing a different color, or different part of the pattern, while indirect printing is the process where printing plates do not touch the paper.
Each production prepress team defines the processes and procedures that occur between the creation of a print layout and the final printing. The prepress procedure includes the manufacture of a printing plate, image carrier or form, ready for mounting on a printing press, as well as the adjustment of images and texts or the creation of a high-quality print file that meet previous layout needs.
During this phase, the editor makes changes that improve the flow, formatting and overall style of the document. Unlike general editing, content is not the main focus. It is not common to edit content during this phase. Copy-Editing is the step before proofreading
Proofreading is the last phase of the editing cycle before the document is sent into production. At this point, the editor is reading an almost finalized product, so they will go over the text in sections with a fine-tooth comb to make sure there are no mistakes. A common form of proofreading is called double reading. This technique normally requires two readers; one reads a section and makes adjustments to the text then passes it to the next reader so they can re-read the edited section to double-check the work. All of the phases within the editing cycle are important but proofreading is the last line of defense a document has.
Current Printing Techniques
The two major printing techniques used today differ greatly. Knowing the differences will help you make the right choice when producing your document.
Offset printing is one of the most commonly used printing techniques for mass printing. Offset printing is a printing process where plates are inked and an image is offset on a roller before transferring the ink to the paper; the text is “right-reading”, meaning the image of the page appears as printed, not reverse. The image below depicts a high-level representation of an offset printing device.
With large productions, laser printing is not nearly as common as the offset printer is. Laser printing is found in households; it produces high quality text and graphics on stock paper. This technology is fairly new to household consumers and has been in the corporate environment for some time. The process of Xerographic printing is used within laser printers. It directly scans the laser beam across the printer’s photoreceptor.
The choice of binding is the literal backbone of your finished production. Bindings have a large effect on the use, presentation, and durability of a project. There are countless types of bindings and variations.
Spiral is a traditional binding for projects like calendars or notebooks. The spirals are made of individual rings of metal or plastic, from ¼” to 2” in diameter. This allows pages to be turned all the way around a spiral and lay flat on the table. However, pages cannot be added to it after binding has been added.
Unlike a spiral binding, the comb binding is one large piece of plastic. They can be printed to show titles on the spine of the document. The downside of this is that the bindings lack durability and it cannot be folded back.
Much like a combination of spiral and comb bindings, Wire-O bindings insert into slots much like the comb binding, but are composed of double loops of spirals just like spiral bindings. Wire-O bindings can fold all the way over and titles cannot be printed on the side of the binding.
Saddle Stitching is a very simple and common binding. It is little more than staples driven through the center of the document, and then folded around that point. This is an ideal method for simple or disposable documents, such as some magazines or calendars and thinner documents.
Perfect binding is common professional looking document. This works well for many types of books and magazines or large reports and journals. The process is done by gathering all the pages together and placed in a clamp. Then the edges of one side are all sheared off and glue is applied to the edge. This style binding can be laid flat, but doing so will crease and damage the binding.
Coil binding is just like Spiral binding, however, instead of many individual rings, one long coiled piece of plastic is used to hold the pages together.
This is the binding on hardcover books. This is a very durable method of production but it is also much more expensive. The edge of the pages are sewn and glued together and then attached to a spine and later covered.
Tape binding is another very simple method. A strong piece of tape is applied to the edge and wrapped around a half inch on the front and back covers. As you can imagine, this is not a durable method but it is easy. Smaller, temporary documents are best suited for this style, such as ads or presentation papers.
The production of your document is the final stages of its creation. It is when you decide upon many of the non-text elements of your final product, including layout, paper, printing style and binding.