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Art book gutters for print on demand

Contributor ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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I'm composing an art book for the first time and having some gutter issues. The book is 7"x10", app. 260 pages, and will be Print on Demand. My question: When a graphic runs across two pages, do I have to account for about a 1/2" along the spine to not lose any of the image in the gutter?

 

My first screenshot (Kraken 1) shows an image running across the gutter. My instinct is that I should move each half of the image 1/4" away from the spine and let the gutter be filled with a bit of the image that will be "swallowed" by the fold (Kraken 2).

 

Am I right? Should I be doing something else? Please advise, and I thank you in advance. Just FYI, I'm not permitted to talk to the print production people at the publishers (don't ask!!), so I'm hoping I can get an answer here.

 

Thanks,

Susan

 

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Community Expert , Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

Hi @Susan Culligan , If by gutter you mean the inside bleed, the bleed comes from the opposite page in the spread, so you don’t have to do anything with a crossover image:

 

Screen Shot 2.pngScreen Shot 3.png

 

If you start moving page items to account for a binding method, you are getting into the page imposition, which should always be handled by the printer.

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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Without specific guidance from someone at the technical print end, all you can do is guess to try and match the image across the pages. (Let me guess: this is going to KDP, where contact with humans, should any such actually work there, is impossible.)

 

Have you looked/asked to see if there are specific technical layout parameters that would answer this question?

 

Frankly, if you can neither ask a technical question and get a qualified answer, nor be given pro-grade layout specs, I'd wonder if this "printer" is up to the job at all, and is more of a novel/text book printer than anything that can handle art books, spanning images etc.

 

Best-judgment follows.

 

If this is flat-sheet perfect binding, or any glued-spine binding, I would run the image to a 1/8 inch spine-side bleed and offset two placements of the image so that there is about 1/8 inch duplication/margin on each page. That is, if you were to perfectly tear out the pages and match them up, there would be just under a quarter inch's duplication across the span. That would be for typical POD paper and binding quality; if it's a better, "softer" binding that would allow greater page spread, reduce that to maybe 1/8 inch total duplication.

 

If such duplication would be highly noticeable, then you have no real choice but to position the image for 'perfect' matchup right at the spine trim, with a 1/8-inch spine bleed, and accept that the gutter, in normal reader hands, is going to "eat" a stripe of the image.

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Contributor ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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Hi James:

 

No, it's a top publisher, and the reason I can't talk to them is purely political. This will be going to a "real" printer in England. Thanks for your input, that's easier than putting a whole 1/2".

 

As always, I appreciate your wisdom.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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Then what you need to know is the print method. If this will be sewn signature, you can use the perfect-match method (with small spine-side bleeds) and it's on them to get it right. If it's perfect-bound, a small duplicate region might be good insurance.

 

"Political" — I am glad to have evolved to a point where I can decline projects, sometimes politely, and sometimes being able to tell them "fold it 'til it's all sharp corners, and..." 🙂

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Contributor ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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Ha!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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Hi @Susan Culligan , If by gutter you mean the inside bleed, the bleed comes from the opposite page in the spread, so you don’t have to do anything with a crossover image:

 

Screen Shot 2.pngScreen Shot 3.png

 

If you start moving page items to account for a binding method, you are getting into the page imposition, which should always be handled by the printer.

 

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Contributor ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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Hi Rob:

 

Oy! Are you saying that the printer would take the gutter into account on their end? That would be great. Maybe I'll try again to get our account manager to ask them the question.

 

I miss the days when I could just trot over to our printer, sit down and talk things over. That was always fun. Oh well . . .

 

Thanks,

Susan

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Community Expert ,
Feb 14, 2023 Feb 14, 2023

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Oy! Are you saying that the printer would take the gutter into account on their end? That would be great.

 

I think they should with their imposition software. Even InDesign’s basic print booklet imposition can handle how the space between imposed signature pages is handled, surely professional imposition can do the same:

 

Screen Shot 4.pngScreen Shot 5.png

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Contributor ,
Feb 15, 2023 Feb 15, 2023

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Thanks!! This helps a ton.

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