Booklet Design Basics

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Booklets come in many shapes and sizes but are generally smaller than books at approximately 4 to 48 pages, with soft covers and simple saddle-stitched binding. A typical booklet style is a stack of 2 or more sheets of letter size paper, folded in half. The number of pages is always divisible by 4, such as 4 pages, 8 pages, 12 pages, etc. Of course, you can leave some of those pages blank.

Types of Booklets

They can be used as small story books, instructional manuals, recipe books, and are often used as brochures, catalogs, blads, and inserts for CDs and DVDs (CD booklet). Some reports, including annual reports, are essentially special purpose booklets.

Design Considerations for Booklets

Creep occurs with booklets and other publications that use saddle-stitch binding and needs to be compensated for in the design.

If there is no creep allowance when pages are trimmed the outer margins become narrower toward the center of the booklet and there is the possibility that text or images may be cut off.

Creep allowance is a method of counteracting the creep that occurs with some booklets.

If creep is noticeable, the copy can be repositioned toward the center of the spread for those pages in the center of the booklet. When trimmed, all pages will have the same outer margins and no text or images are lost.

Imposition refers to arranging pages for printing so that when assembled into a booklet or other publication they come out in the right reading order.

Printing a 5.5x8.5 booklet on your desktop printer, for example, requires the use of imposition to print the pages onto letter size (8.5x11) sheets of paper that when assembled and folded end up with the pages in the right order for reading.

Saddle-Stitched binding is one of the most common binding methods for booklets.

Saddle-stitching or saddle-stapling or "booklet making" is common for small booklets, calendars, pocket-size address books, and some magazines. Binding with saddle-stitching creates booklets that can be opened up flat.

Booklet Envelopes are open side envelopes with small square or wallet flaps and side seams.

Booklet envelopes are used not only for booklets but for brochures, catalogs, annual reports, and other multi-page mailings. They work well with automatic-insertion machines