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How to Make a Zine | PrintingCenterUSA


Mon, Feb 11, 2019 @ 08:15 AM Linda Malisani 0

First Off, What is a Zine?

Zine publications are a great format for anyone to share their thoughts, experiences, photos, artwork or interests, get them in front of an appreciative public and connect with other people with similar interests.

What is a Zine?

If you are just learning about zines, they are small-circulation independent publications with an endless list of themes from photography to flowers and from comics to science fiction. They cover niche subculture topics, generally outside of the mainstream and appeal to an alternative public. Zines are artistic, personal, political, cultural or experimental. You may have heard the word “fanzine” which is a non-official publication produced by ‘fans” of a cultural genre (art, music, film, literature).

Size tends to vary, but the most standard sizes are 8.5" x 11", 6" x 9" or 5.5" x 8.5" folded and stapled. Dimensions may be customized to suit your purpose, so let your creativity guide you! Page count varies from as few as 8 pages and up. The traditional binding process for zine printing is saddle stitching, which can accommodate a publication of up to 92 pages. Anything larger will need to be perfect bound.

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How to Make a Zine

Print High Quality Zines Every Time with These 5 Easy Tips

1. Begin by deciding on content. What would you like to express or share? Will you include photographs or artwork? Will the zine be published in color or take on a vintage style with black and white images? What type of text will be used for this project? What story do you want to tell and most importantly what about the cover? If you are publishing a photozine, the sequence will be of utmost importance since text will be sparse. This is where the fun begins!

Zine Printing

2. Create a layout of your zine. To get started, either download our free zine templates, use our online design tool or use your own software. Get creative experimenting with different techniques and ideas. Sprinkle headings, descriptions or explanations throughout. Add color blocks, borders, special effects and make it your own. Once you are happy with the flow, print a black and white sample of your project and get an idea of how the printed version will look at this stage of the process.

PDF File Checklist

3. Pick the perfect software program to design your Zine. Adobe products such as Illustrator or InDesign are a good choice or use free online products such as Canva. Adjustments to image size or placement that would negatively affect the printing of your zine will be made now. Most designers find they must move images or text to fine tune the layout and format your publication for printing. This is a very important step in the overall process.

4. Easy imposition. When working with PrintingCenterUSA there is no need to setup your pages for imposition. We will do it for you! Most online printers have software to automatically impose your files and setting up imposition can actually slow down your project with a commercial printing company. Imposition minimizes printing time by maximizing the number of pages per impression and reducing the cost of press time and materials meaning a savings for you!

5. The finalized version should be converted to PDF format, which we prefer to publish your freshly designed zine. You are now ready to place your order with us! If you have any questions, PrintingCenterUSA’s friendly customer service representatives can walk you through the process. Either give us a call at 800-995-1555 or chat with us online.

Zine Printing 

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Since you already know how many pages you need, just select the number of copies you would like to print and the type of paper weight and finish. You have a couple different options when selecting your paper. Text weight, which is a lighter brochure like paper, and cover weight, which is a cardstock paper, thicker & usually used as a cover to a nice zine product. Then, select gloss or matte paper based on your preferences. Coating options include UV coating to prevent scratching and to give the cover a professional, almost wet gloss look and feel. Click here to find more information about paper and options. You might also want to request paper samples before deciding.

Zine Pricing

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What Binding Do You Want?

Zine Binding

Choices for binding are also available and include saddle stitching or perfect binding. The traditional method for binding zines is saddle stitching which is a book binding tool using thin staples inserted into the spine of folded printed material and allows your booklet to lay flat. A zine publication with more than 92 pages will need to be bound with the perfect binding process. This process glues the pages and cover together at the spine and gives a sleek and professional look to thicker zine projects.

Binding Options

Get Zines Printed Fast

Once your order has been placed, we will provide you with a proof. Select either a hardcopy or a PDF proof which gives you one last opportunity to confirm that the placement, resolution, text, color, etc. is exactly as you want it. Once we receive your order and proof approval, in as little as 4-7 business days your zines will arrive!

While you are waiting for your printed zines to show up, think about how you will distribute them. Share them with friends and family or explore the whole network of Zine Fests out there from Chicago to Houston and Los Angeles to New York, put on by independent creators and publishers to trade and celebrate zines. If you can attend one you will really get an idea of the popularity of zines and the diversity of styles and content as well as get some feedback on your creation. 

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Your first attempt at zine publishing might involve a learning curve, but the results will surprise you. Each time you will be inspired to create yet another. Congratulations! You have now joined the family of zinesters worldwide!

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Catalog Design | Design Tips That Sell


Mon, Feb 4, 2019 @ 09:31 AM Amber Gauthier 0 Catalog Printing catalog design
Catalog Design

Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to catalog design. This daunting task is made simple when you follow these helpful tips. Don't get overwhelmed with all of the pages and information you want to include; instead start by outlining the goal of the catalog. Figure out what you need to accomplish there are different types such as a sales catalog, and informative piece, educational, a guide or a display catalog. Next, put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What would attract them, what information do they need, and what will keep them turning the pages. After gathering this information then start designing.

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Catalog Design
 

Do you have the look you want?

Don’t forget the design and print quality of your catalog is just as important as the information. It doesn’t matter how great your information is, if you have poor images and poor print quality, your audience may be disinterested and less likely to read.

Catalog Printing Examples

1. Use engaging colors, images, and design elements that represent you or your company.

2. Stick to a simple font that is easy to read. Consider size, style, and color.

3. Use white space, and use your space wisely. Keep a good balance, don’t use too much or too little text or images.

4. Eliminate unnecessary elements or distractions.

5. Select the appropriate finished size and know how you will distribute: mailing, handing out, or hanging in a display…

6. Full color images with 300dpi or more resolution are perfect for catalogs.

7. Keep a consistent style and look throughout the entire document.

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Catalog Design Tips

*Depending on the type of catalog, you will need a reference to your website, an order form, table of contents, glossary, and an index.

PrintingCenterUSA can easily help you order a Catalog and have it shipped to your doorstep fast! We give you fast and free quotes, and have a knowledgeable staff and helpful customer service representatives who can help you get started. If you already have design software and just need help getting started, we also offer FREE catalog templates to help you start designing a beautiful catalog that people will always remember. We also have a FREE online design tool where you can drag and drop your images and make a stunning catalog without needing any of your own design software!

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Now that you've seen the best way to showcase your products, build your catalog today!
Not sure if a catalog is right for your needs? Click here to see all of our printing options.


Perfect Binding | PrintingCenterUSA


Mon, Jan 28, 2019 @ 10:50 AM Amber Gauthier 0

Perfect binding is a popular type of book binding you see on soft cover books such as paperback books and magazines. The internal pages are printed on both sides of text weight paper, then gathered together (collated) into a book, one on top of the other, in numbered page order. The cardstock cover of the perfect bound book is placed over and around the inside pages, attached along the binding edge by the application of a strong yet flexible PUR glue.

Perfect Binding

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Is Perfect Binding Right for Your Project?

Perfect Bound Booklets aren’t limited to authors who are printing books of 500+ pages. The minimum page requirement is 28 pages and plenty of businesses and organizations use this method on a variety of printing projects because of its highly professional appearance and relatively low cost, in both short runs and larger order quantities. Perfect bound binding is commonly used for a variety of publications, such as manuals, reports, catalogs, magazines, photo books and more.

We know that perfect bound books are a no-brainer when it comes to high page counts. With any booklet that contains more than 92 pages, perfect binding is definitely superior and highly recommended and is affordable.

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what is perfect binding

The primary benefits of perfect binding books are that they look professional and offer great visual appeal. Also, there is the option of placing content on the spine, such as an author, book title or any type of design. This is something that neither saddle stitch binding or spiral & wire-o binding offer. Perfect binding definitely produces a high quality and professional look that can’t be matched.

 

How to Set Up a Perfect Bound Book

Understanding the difference between the term “sheet” and “page” is key to correctly assessing your booklet’s final page count, which can in turn affect your quote, production time and more. For perfect bound booklet printing, you must have at least 28 pages, and up to 2” thick.

First, let’s start with a single sheet of paper. It has 2 sides – a front side and a back side. With perfect binding, one sheet of paper equals two pages (unlike saddle stitch binding). If you are holding up a sheet of paper in front of you, you are looking at page 1. Flip the page over and you are now looking at page 2. 

For example, pick up a book and as you turn its pages, notice that each “page” has two sides (the front and back of one sheet of paper). Your printer will refer to each side as its own page. So each sheet within your book will be counted as two pages.

how to set up a perfect bound book


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The Perfect Binding Process

Now that you understand the difference between sheets and pages, you can easily give your print shop the correct page count when submitting your perfect bound book.

As shown below, if you take a closed book so that you are looking at its cover – that’s page 1. Open the cover and you will be looking at page 2 (left) and page 3 (right). Keep going until you close the book and are looking at the back cover. The back cover will count as your last page. All-in-all, make sure to count every page, including the cover, the back cover and the inside pages (counting any blank pages) for your total page count. 

counting pages in a book with perfect binding

Binding Options

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Perfect Bound Book Design Tips

If you have decided that your printed project is going to be perfect bound, there are a few important design tips to keep in mind when it comes to your inside pages and cover design:

1. Don't Lose Yourself in the Gutter

Unlike a saddle stitch booklet whose open pages lay flat, perfect bound books are glued at the spine and cannot lay completely open without breaking. During the binding process, an area of each page will disappear into the spine, also known as the gutter. Depending on how many pages are in the booklet, the gutter can take up between 1/4” – 3/8” of each page. It’s good practice to leave at least a quarter inch of safety margin space on the insides of each page. Be careful to keep note of which pages will be on the left or right side of your perfect bound book so you can place your safety margins on the correct side. Keep all text and any images that need to remain visible inside the safety margin so they don't get lost in the gutter.

Perfect Binding Gutter

2. Be Careful with Two-Page Spreads

If you decide that you want one image to be featured across two pages, keep in mind that the alignment of the photo where the pages meet together might not perfectly match up. When an image covers two pages, the gutter area will still obscure at least a quarter inch off of each side. It might seem like a small amount of space to worry about, but it can drastically affect the photo’s appearance. It helps to choose photos that won't be so obvious that there's a gap missing (for example, a person's face across 2 pages might be a lot more noticeable than a photo with less detail).

Perfect Binding Two-Page Spread

3. Determining the Width of the SpinePerfect Binding Spine Design

A unique feature of perfect bound books is the ability to design the spine. You can keep it a solid color, add text or have one continuous image covering the front cover across to the back cover. Setting up your cover correctly is very important for perfect binding because the width of the spine needs to match exactly with the thickness of your book (which depends on the paper weight and number of pages you choose).

As soon as you have a final page count, give us a call at 800-995-1555 and we can help you choose your paper weight and calculate the width of your book's spine.

 

PrintingCenterUSA is happy to answer any questions you have about perfect book binding or any of our full color digital printing services. Call us at 800-995-1555 or send us an e-mail.

 

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What Does Collate Mean?


Fri, Dec 14, 2018 @ 09:36 AM Kevin Evans 2 Online Printing

The meaning of the word collate is to collect, arrange and assemble in a specific order of sequence. In printing terminology, it is to assemble multiple sheets or parts together to create a set. Collating is most commonly used in the preparation of booklets, catalogs, manuals & collated color copies.

What does collate mean?

 

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What is the Difference Between Collated and Uncollated Copies?

What is the difference between collated and uncollated copiesAlternately, uncollated would mean the opposite. To print uncollated would be to print copies of multiple sheets separately and not assembled in any order. So, if you have a document with 3 sheets of paper, each sheet would not be combined or assembled together with the others to make a set.

In the printing world, the terms collate and uncollated are often used when discussing the specifications of a print job. If you have a document that includes multiple pages, it is important to understand the difference between these two terms before submitting your project for print. 

You can order your collated or uncollated printing online at PrintingCenterUSA for fast, easy & affordable printing services. You can also sign up for a free sample packet that will be delivered to your door that includes samples of products, papers and finishes.

 

Collate Printing

collate printing

Collate printing is the action of taking multiple different printed pages and putting them together into a complete set. Collating is most common with color copies, as the copies can be collated without being bound together. On the other hand, collating is also common in the process of making booklets, catalogs, magazines and any other type of multi-page product. 

The most common types of binding for collated copies are saddle-stitch, perfect bound, spiral & wire-o.

Related Articles: What is Saddle Stitch?  |  What is Perfect Bound?

 

Not All Bound Printing is Collated

Not all bound printing is collated

There are some instances in which you may want to have a product bound together but not collated. An example in which you have product bound together but not collated would be Notepads. Notepads are usually in sets of 25, 50 or 100 sheets but each sheet consists of the same printing. The sheets of paper are bound together with a padding compound at the top of the product. The sheets can then be easily ripped away from the pad when needed. 

PrintingCenterUSA Specializes in Notepad Printing:
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Printing Uncollated Has Its Uses, Too.

Printing uncollated has its uses, tooIf your print document is a flyer, poster, fact sheet, brochure or some other type of single print out, it may be more useful to print uncollated. Your print file might contain 5 pages that explain 5 different types of products that you will be promoting at a booth, conference, convention or trade show. Having your flyers arranged by product would make it easier to target your customer's interests. This same idea also makes sense for handling print documents for business presentations, classroom lectures and more.

Instant Online Ordering & Pricing: Flyers  |  Sell Sheets |  Posters

 

There are many reasons why you might want to print something either collated or uncollated, bound or unbound. It’s your project and any online printing shop will help you achieve your end goal. The good news is that choosing to print collated or uncollated usually does not have an effect on the overall price of your print job. It's a decision of convenience - not money!

PrintingCenterUSA is happy to answer any questions you have about collating your next printing project. Give us a call at 800-995-1555 or send us an email.

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Saddle Stitch | PrintingCenterUSA


Fri, Dec 7, 2018 @ 12:11 PM Amber Gauthier 1
Saddle Stitched Binding

Saddle stitch is when single sheets of paper are printed on both sides, collated in page number order, folded in half and then stapled through the fold by a saddle stitch stapler. Saddle stitch binding is one of the most common binding methods for booklet manufacturing.What is saddle stitch

Saddle stitch binding is an ideal and economical choice for booklets with smaller page counts. We also recommend saddle stitch for publications with less than 92 pages. For page counts over 92 pages, we recommend perfect bound booklet printing. Saddle stitch booklets are great because they will lay flat and stay open when you are flipping through the pages, making it easier to read. Saddle stitch is our most popular binding type and offers the quickest turnaround time with the most affordable and cost-effective pricing.

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How Many Pages Do You Need for Saddle Stitch?

How Many Pages Do You Need for Saddle StitchSaddle stitch binding requires that any publication has a minimum of eight pages, four pages per spread and up to 92 total pages. Saddle stitch documents need to be built in page multiples of 4 pages (8, 12, 16, etc.) because they are printed on sheets that are folded in half.

See below for a more in-depth explanation on how sheets become pages.

How you number your pages depends on the final page count. For example, in an 8-page booklet, the front cover is considered page 1 and the back of that page will be page 2 (inside front cover). The inside pages will continue in order like the diagram below as 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on. The last 2 pages will be your inside back cover (page 7) and the back cover (page 8). You can get pricing on your saddle stitch booklet by visiting our website.

Page Order for a Saddle Stitch Booklet

Related Article: Saddle-Stitch Printing for Books, Calendars, Catalogs & Magazines 

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Paper Count in a Saddle Stitch Booklet

As mentioned above, the saddle stitch method requires that a booklet be printed out on large sheets of paper and then folded in half. Each sheet of paper will contain 4 of the booklet’s pages.

Single Sheet for Saddle Stitch Binding

If you are printing an 8.5” x 11” saddle stitch book, its' pages and cover would be made from 17” x 11” sheets that are folded in half to the size of 8.5” x 11”.

First, let’s start with a single sheet of paper. It has 2 sides – a front side and a back side. Once the sheet gets folded in half, it will have 4 sides (or 4 pages). The number of sheets will depend on the final page count of the booklet.

Paper Count in a Saddle Stitch Booklet

Usually, any page count of 48 or less is considered a booklet and any job over 48 pages (with a maximum size of 92) would be considered a book. If your publication is larger than 92 pages, consider our other affordable binding options! Our most popular binding type for larger page counts is perfect binding (28 pages – 2” thick). 

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