Copy Design | Image
Limitations | Backprinting | Marginal
Copy for the 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 to achieve different shades of one color
- Use to shade backgrounds
- Variety of densities available
- Supply in a negative or on a disk
- Use 5% to 15% screen in areas that will be imprinted
Web Press Equipment
The plate and blanket cylinders on a web press have
a slot or gap in them where the plate and a blanket are attached.
Nothing can print in the gap area. The nonprintable area is know as
the cylinder gap or the "plate lockup". The gap area is
usually 3/8" in depth and extends the width of the sheet.
All colors have this 3/8" gap because each
is printed on a separate cylinder.
Three Ways to Allow for the 3/8"
The width of the laser form is usually not a problem. The width limitations
are determined by the maximum roll width that the press can run. If you have
questions on width requirements, consult your manufacturer.
Listed below are some ways that a manufacturer
can work around the image limitations:
- They can try to adjust copy to be within limitations.
- They can print the copy as a split image (run on two separate printing units
on the same press).
- They can print on an oversize sheet and trim to finished size.
- The form could be printed on sheet fed equipment.
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 options would
be available for your requirements.
Sheet Fed Equipment
On the sheet fed press the image limitations are
less restrictive. The form can be printed oversize and trimmed to the finished
size. Indicate where the copy bleeds so the supplier can allow for the proper
gripper and trim needed. Although printing the form on sheet fed equipment may
solve image limitation problems, it may not be cost effective if you are running
a large quantity of forms.
To find image limitations for the laser printer
being used, see the technical specifications in the printer manual for printable
Backprinting is any copy printed on the back side
of the form.
- The same design features are available as on the front of the form.
- The same image limitations apply as on the front of the form.
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.
- Marginal words are used to make reference to that form or provide special
- They may be used as a way to add another color to the form, but the quality
will not be as good as if it was printed on a regular offset unit.
- There may be size limitations depending on your supplier's capabilities.
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