Finally! Have you been having trouble sleeping, wondering just what the differance is between a leaf and a sheet? Well, here is the cure.
A leaf is a small sheet of paper having,obviously, two sides. Each of those two sides, is called a page. Now, here is the exciting part...a sheet is a large flat piece of paper, either printed or blank. Once this sheet is folded it becomes a folio. A single sheet, folded once or many times, becomes a signature. A signature has at least 4 pages and on a really large folding machine can have up to 128 pages! On this size equipment, a 128 page book can be printed on one sheet of paper.
The great thing about all this is that you don't need to worry about it. Leave it to your printer to understand the jargon. If you get a thrill thinking about folding, and would like to learn more tricks of the trade, I would highly recommend checking out my friend at foldfactory.com. She has some great tips and ideas for folding.
One thing to remember when designing a brochure or folder etc... it is best to avoid having ink coverage across the folded edge if possible. When printed on a digital press, the ink basically "sits" on top of the paper, and tends to crack and flake when folded. With offset (conventional) printing, the ink tends to "soak" into the paper fibers and is a bit more flexable.
Printing, like most other businesses, has a lot of jargon that can be confusing. One of the advantages of speaking to your printer early on in the design of a printed piece, is that they can help avoid little problems and possibly suggest ways to save money. Have you ever been disappointed with a printed job? My experience has been that usually when a job isn't quite what it could be, the cause usually goes back to a design issue that could have been avoided.
Well, this has been fun! I am still finding out about the wheat paper project and will keep you up to date with my finding soon. Help me out by doing the little poll below. Now its time to get between the sheets. (or is it pages?)