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Copy Design | Image Limitations | Backprinting | Marginal Words | Other Features

Copy Design

Copy for single sheet products 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 that manufacture the forms (see Image Limitations below).

Screened Copy:

  • Use it to highlight areas.
  • Use it to shade backgrounds.
  • A variety of are densities 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.


  Image Limitations

Web Press Equipment:

Many single sheet 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 gap 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.


Note: All colors have this 3/8" gap because each color is printed on a separate cylinder.

Three Ways To Allow for the 3/8" Gap on a Single Sheet Product

Example: An 8 1/2" x  11" form would have a maximum image of 8 1/8" x  11".

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 printed as a split image (run on two separate printing units on the same press).
  • The application can be printed oversize and then trimmed to the finished size.
  • It can be printed on sheet fed equipment.

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.


Sheet Fed Equipment:

The image limitations are less restrictive on sheet fed presses. The sheet 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 using sheet fed equipment may solve image limitations problems, it may not be cost effective if you are running a large quantity of sheets.

  Back Printing

Backprinting is any copy printed on the back side of the sheet.

  • The same design features are available as on the front of the sheet.
  • The same image limitations apply to the back as on the front of the sheet.

  Marginal Words

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 distribution of the form or to provide special instructions for the user.
  • They may be used as a method to add an additional color to an application, 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.

Other Features

There are many other design features that may be required for various types of single sheet products. The features include Folding, Die Cutting, PaddingEmbossing, and Foil Stamping.


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