Basic Tips for Custom Magazine Printing

Published: 10th August 2011
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Okay, so you've decided to create your own magazine. Everyone is excited about the concept, you've talked to a few writers and you know a number of photographers, but how in the world do you put one together? It’s a daunting task, or so it may seem.





The keys to creating a good magazine are organization and choosing the right software as well as the right talent to work on it. Magazines are more elaborate than newsletters, but not much harder to produce if you think ahead and allow yourself enough time. This article will focus on some of the basic concepts required for custom magazine printing.





Even if you don’t know how long your magazine will be, one thing is for sure—the total number of pages must be divisible by four. If you think about it, each magazine spread contains four pages, two on the front and two on the back. In reality, a magazine is nothing more than a stack of 4-page spreads folded and "stitched" (or stapled) together. Every time you ad a page for a new ad or article, you must think in multiples of four.





The best way to visually plan for magazine printing and production is to take a bunch of 11x17s and lay them out side by side in reader spreads so you can figure out where to place your ads, articles and editorial features. Place a single 8.5x11 sheet at the beginning to represent the cover and another at end to represent the back cover. Hang them on the wall if you have room, or place them side-by-side on the floor if need be. This is a great way to understand the magnitude of the task and it allows you to shuffle pages to make things fit, especially if you get a last minute additions or cancellations.





There are two kinds of spreads: reader spreads and printer spreads. Remove the center spread from any magazine and you will see an example of both kinds. The center spread is in the exact middle of the magazine, and aside from the outside cover, it's the only time you see a spread printed side by side on a single sheet. The remainder (take a look at the back of the sheet) are printer spreads, and you will note that the pages are out of order. They are laid out this way because magazines are actually printed on over-sized sheets. Your printer's software automatically organizes the pages to be printed on large sheets that are later folded down, stacked together, stitched and then trimmed to size.





Aside from the center spread, reader spreads are what you see as you turn the pages of a magazine. Fortunately, multi-page software like Adobe InDesign and QuarkXpress make it easy to work in reader spreads. It's important to use software that allows you to work in reader spreads so you can properly visualize the spreads and accurately place photos, backgrounds, graphic elements and type across them.





Look at the cover of any magazine and notice how the photo prints right to the edge of the sheet. In printing terms this is called "bleed." You must allow 1/8" bleed beyond the trim on every page for the printer to trim off when the magazine is folded and stitched. Start with these basics and work with an experienced designer to get the job done.





High quality magazine printing will help sell your company's products and services and deliver a powerful message. for more information on custom magazine printing Please visit our site.

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