Copy Design | Image
Limitations | Backprinting | Marginal
Copy for a unit set form can consist of rules, text, graphics,
screens and halftones. When designing the copy for the form, you must keep in
mind that there are image limitations on the press equipment and the laser printers
that print the forms (see Image Limitations below).
- Use it to highlight areas.
- Use it to shade backgrounds.
- A variety of densities are available.
- Screened copy is supplied in a negative or on a disk.
- Use 5% to 15% screen in areas that will be imprinted.
- Use halftones for pictures.
Web Press Equipment:
Unit set forms are printed on web presses. The web
presses have plate and blanket cylinders, which along with other components,
produce a printed impression on paper. The plate and blanket cylinders
have a slot or gap in them where the plate and the blanket are attached.
Nothing can print in the this area. The nonprintable area is known
as the "cylinder gap" or the "plate lockup". The
gap area is usually 3/8" in depth and extends the full width
of the sheet. Because of the gap area, the printable area of any form
will be less than the total width of the finished form.
Note: All colors have the 3/8" gap because
each color is printed on a separate cylinder.
Three Ways To Allow for the 3/8" Gap on a 8 1/2" Stub Width
Example: An 8 1/2" x 11 5/8"
form would have a maximum image of 8 1/8" x 11 5/8".
Three Ways to Allow for the 3/8" Gap
on an 11" Stub Width
Example: A 9 1/8" x 11" form
would have a maximum image of 9 1/8" x 10 5/8".
Listed below are some ways that a manufacturer can
work around the image limitations:
- The manufacturer can work around image size limitations by trying
to adjust the copy within the image limitations.
- The copy can be run as a split image (split the copy and run it
on two separate printing units on the same press).
- The form can be printed oversized and trimmed to the finished
Note: When discussing the
image limitation options with your manufacturer, you will have to
let them know how many colors you will have on the front and back
of your form for them to determine which option they could use.
Backprinting is any copy printed on the back side
of the form.
- The same design features are available as on the front of the
- The same image limitations apply to the back as on the front of
Marginal words are printed on a dry offset unit using a rubber stamp
type of material.
- They are usually printed in a standard red ink.
- They are used to make reference to the form they are printed on
or to provide special instructions.
- Marginal words are used for part to part designations, such as
Original Copy, Duplicate Copy, and Triplicate Copy.
- They may be used as a method to add an additional color to a form,
but the quality will not be as good as the quality produced by a
regular offset printing unit.
- There may be size limitations depending on your supplier's capabilities.
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