You’re getting ready to design and print your booklet (i.e. catalog, magazine, pamphlet, manual, etc), and you’re wondering, Is there anything I need to know before I get started? We’re so glad you asked. Check out our top booklet printing tips to ensure that your final printed booklet is everything you envisioned.
Booklet Blueprint: Booklet Printing Tips for Successful Designs
1) Keep It Clean-Cut. We see a lot of different projects at Dazzle Printing, and there’s no question that design has a lot to do with the marketability of each printing project. While we encourage you to make design decisions that truly make the booklet your own, there are three key words we recommend following when it comes to type, layout, and even content: Keep. It. Simple. Avoid overly distracting or off-putting features like crammed text, too many typefaces, or busy layouts that distract your readers. Simplicity keeps your audience focused and interested.
2) Stay Consistent…Most of the Time
The color schemes and fonts you choose will only go as far as your booklet’s layout. Our recommendation is to choose a core layout design and stay consistent from booklet to booklet, which will help you build a recognizable brand image. Just don’t make the mistake of being too consistent within each booklet – too much predictability can bore your readers. By sprinkling a few unexpected layouts or backgrounds throughout your booklet, you’ll keep your audience engaged and turning the page.
3) Stay in the Booklet Printing Zone
Keep in mind as you design your booklet that printing presses aren’t able to print right to the edge of the paper – pages are printed larger and then cut to your specified finished size. For that reason, there are two printing zones you need to know about: the bleed and the safe design zone.
The Bleed – Before you begin your actual design, you’ll want to set your pages up with an additional 1/8 inch bleed on all four sides. This is the portion that will be cut off before we bind your booklet. Therefore, you’ll want to design an 8 ½ by 11 booklet as 8 ¾ x 11 ¼. You’re probably wondering if that small increase will affect your overall costs. Not at Dazzle Printing – we never charge extra for bleeds, because we know they’re just a necessary part of the booklet printing process.
The Safe Design Zone – In addition to the bleed, you’ll want to allow for an additional 1/8 inch of space between your bleed line and critical text & graphics. This assures that nothing is cut off during printing.
4) Choosing the Best Booklet Size
We know you’re putting a ton of thought into your booklet, and there’s certainly a lot to consider including the booklet’s size. Making this choice essentially comes down to three key elements:
Usefulness –Your audience should be a top priority when deciding on the best size for your booklet. While printing costs and brand image are important, you don’t want to make these decisions at the expense of your booklet’s readers; ultimately, their impressions are what matter the most. Take a user-friendly approach and consider what will be most beneficial to your audience. For example, if you’re printing a catalog, a smaller 5½ x 8½ won’t showcase your products as well as a larger 8½ x 11 booklet.
Cost – Cost is a top priority for most of our clients – unless you’re working with a generous budget and/or have a very specific reason for unique sizing (see “branding” below), why pay extra for extra large sizes? Save money by going with a standard size. Here at Dazzle Printing, we offer three standard sizes:
8½ x 11
6 x 9
5½ x 8½
However, you can select numerous custom sizes within those sizes at no additional cost.
Branding – Presentation is everything when it comes to your project, and some clients decide that a custom size gives their booklet a more unique or striking feel that really highlights their brand image. For example, an automotive company that prides itself on innovation and hipness might choose a square 10 x 10 booklet for its accessories catalog. Custom sizing could be an important part of your brand, making it worth the added cost. At Dazzle Printing, we can print any online booklet printing project from 3 x 3 to 9 x 12 inches. Rather than charging exorbitant additional costs, we simply round the dimensions of your booklet up to the nearest standard size. So for example, if you’re wanting a 7 x 10 booklet, you just pay 8½ x 11 pricing. Yep – it’s that simple.
5) Color vs. Black Ink: Which Is Best for Your Booklet?
When it comes to selecting color versus black ink, it really comes down to whether color is more beneficial for your purposes than the cost-effectiveness of going with black ink. Color has a dramatic impact on readers and is a huge component to their initial impression of your booklet. A study by University of Loyola, Maryland, found that color ink increases both motivation to purchase AND willingness to read by up to 80%. That’s incredible! Still, it really comes down to your booklet’s purpose. If your goal is to boost product sales or readership, color is the best choice. On the other hand, if your booklet is mostly informational text, such as a product manual and there’s no tangible advantage to color ink, consider the cost-saving benefits of black ink.
6) Choosing the Best Online Printer
You’re most likely searching for an online printing company that offers exceptional quality at the lowest possible price – we like your priorities! The online printer you choose can make or break your booklet. But with a little research, you can find the online booklet printing company of your dreams.
The search can be a little overwhelming, since most online printing companies will naturally advertise their booklet printing prowess or amazing low prices. But don’t just take their word for it. Get a quote, ask for samples, and look for strong testimonials and reviews. At Dazzle Printing, we offer a convenient online pricing calculator, along with a free printing samples package that will reach your door within a few business. We also encourage you to check out our testimonials page or peruse our Google and Trustpilot reviews and decide for yourself.
7) Ask for a Test Drive
Once you’ve selected an online printing company, don’t be shy – ask for a test booklet! At Dazzle Printing we offer a free print file evaluation, so you have a complimentary PDF version of exactly what your readers will see, allowing you to make changes before your booklet goes to print. We can also ship you a physical copy upon request, for an additional charge.
Questions? Need Advice? Just ask. We live and breathe printing (hey, someone’s gotta do it), and we’re happy to hear the details of your project and make suggestions. We hope these booklet printing tips have been helpful.