Arvest Press Inc.

252R Calvary Street
Waltham, MA 0245

Fax: 781.894.4434

Open Monday thru Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


Directions to Arvest

Arvest Impressions:

An inside look at the printing process

In Armenian, the word Arvest means "art". At Arvest Press we love what we do, and treat each new printing project with the artistic care of a skilled craftsperson. This passion translates to a high level of customer satisfaction, and top quality products.
Set up: An Imposing Task


Creating an Imposition:


An imposition, in its simplest terms, is the way the prepress department arranges the pages on the press sheet to maximize the paper area and minimize the labor once the piece gets to finishing and bindery. There are many different styles of imposition, typically based on the number of pages, how the final piece is going to folded and finished, and what press the layout is going to be printed on. For this example, we will use an eight page brochure that will be printed on a 4-up press.


A picture is worth a thousand words in trying to explain the process. The first graphic below shows the eight pages of our document, 4-up, imposed to be printed on two sides of a press sheet. Side A contains the pages 1,8,4,5 and side B 2,7,3,6. When side A is printed and turned so side B will print, the pages will back up correctly. Also note pages 4,5 on side A and 3,6 on side B are upside down.


This setup is called head-to-head, because the tops of each page come together in the middle of our sheet. There are also circumstances where the bottoms of the pages are in the middle, foot-to-foot, and when the tops of some pages meet the bottoms of others, head-to-foot. Page setup on the sheet is often determined by the artwork, and to minimize any potential press issues like "ghosting" of the ink.




The next graphic shows the printed sheet backed up. The black numbers represent the front of the sheet and the reversed, grey numbers the back. As you can see from the example, the front page has the correct corresponding page on the other side. When we fold the booklet together, pages 1 and 8 will be the outside and pages 4 and 5 the middle. Folding the top pages down will also orient the top pages so they are now right side up.




This graphic represents the first fold. Pages 1 and 8 are the outside front and back cover of the booklet and the other pages are in order inside. All the pages are now oriented correctly.




The final fold down the spine creates the complete booklet. From here the booklet would be saddle-stitched along the spine and then given a side and face trim to create neat, even pages. When we see this process it becomes more evident why a bleed and safe area are so important in the initial layout of the pages.


final book


Of course this process is simplified to give a the general idea of how an imposition is put together. Multiple pages, or as we talked about in the last post, a binding style like a perfect bind, would require a more complicated imposition than this 8-page booklet.


At Arvest, our finishing and binding are done in house, so the imposition is far easier than if we were sending the piece out to be bound at another location. We keep the quality under our control at all times.


Next Blog: So what is ghosting?

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