Sweet Sixteen

The only real requirement in terms of pagination in a stitched publication is that the total number of pages (if self cover), or the total number of text pages (if separate cover), be divisible by four. In order to obtain a spine to put a staple through, the sheet of paper must be folded in half. As soon as a piece of paper is folded in half, you've got four "pages". Therefore, all total page counts are in multiples of four.

However, we print 8 1/2 x 11 or comparable size periodicals in 16 page signatures. So, your most economical page count will be divisible by 16, utilizing the full sheet without duplication.

The next most economical page count will be multiple of 16's + one 8 pager, printed 2up.

Multiples of 16 + one 4 pages means we have to strip the 4 pages, and burn them twice onto the plate.

Last possibility is multiples of 16 + a 12. This is possible but wastes paper as a 12 page signature uses the same 23 x 35 sheet as a 16-pager, and also requires a special folder set-up to fold the non-standard size.


The sample layouts above shows only one side (Front side of the sheet). Pagination changes based upon the size of the publication

Now, when we have to print an 8/2 up or a 4/4 up or a 12, we still have to print 2 more runs (1 per side of the signature). While an 8 pager requires a press run approx 1/2 as long and the 4- pager maybe about 1/3 as long, the labor involved in setting up and printing that signature is actually almost as much as setting up and printing the full run of the 16-pager. Also an 8 & a 4pg signature both have to be cut up before folding. So you are getting the most for your print dollar when you stick closest to multiples of sweet sixteens.

Marrakech Express Inc

Book and publication printing

Copyright 1994 Marrakech Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 17, 2001