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Book Printing & Bookbinding Guidelines.

General Guidelines:
For traditional dissertation and thesis printing most students use Microsoft Word for their page layouts. For more creative, colourfull and bespoke books of non-standard sizes we recommend using Adobe InDesign for your page layouts. We do however understand that due to the cost of this software, this might not be an option and so we can accept other formats such as Microsoft Publisher and Apple Pages.
Whatever software you use the following general guidelines apply...
When you are ready to get your work printed - we recommend AND prefer you to save the finished work as a multi page PDF file. This locks everything in place and embeds any linked graphics and fonts. Once you have generated the PDF and importantly checked it’s OK, you can then let us have it for printing.
NOTE: If you for whatever reason cannot generate a PDF file - we will need to receive either: 1. your Word Document and any special fonts you have used, or 2. all your InDesign files, fonts and all your linked images etc. In this instance it is simpler to ‘
Package’ your files. Please refer to the InDesign help guide on doing this!
We are a modern printer and like to work in millimetres (not inches), therefore, when you bring us your file please let us know the size in millimetres so we can allocate the correct size paper to your job. Normal paper sizes are: A4 (210x297mm), A3 (297x420mm) and oversize SRA3 (320x450mm).
When designing your book for us to print & bind take the following example into account:
Example book size: 210mm x 210mm with full bleed (edge to edge) printing...
Most printers cannot print to the very edge of a sheet of paper and therefore have to use oversize paper and trim off the excess afterwards. Therefore, in this example of a 210mm x 210mm full bleed book, it will have to be printed on A3 sized paper (not A4) and trimmed down afterwards. A3 paper & printing is more expensive than A4 therefore the overall cost including trimming will make it more expensive to produce.
If the book is
NOT full bleed and there is a white border of 5mm or more around the edge - we can print using A4 sheets of paper.
The other options to keep the costs down and still have a full bleed book which could be printed using an A4 sheet size, is to design a book that is 200mm x 200mm or 200mm x 210mm.
NOTE: Bleed is a design & printing term that refers to an allowance (an extra 3mm) added around a document when you want images or graphics to run to the very edge of the page. In Layman’s terms it means making your document slightly larger so we can trim off the extra and as a result your design goes to the very edge of the page. In practise you do not make your page size larger as programs such as InDesign have a Bleed setting in the ‘Document Set-Up’ that adds it on for you (you simply extend your images into this area).

IMPORTANT: When exporting to PDF from InDesign - make sure you tick the box called ‘Use
Document Bleed Settings’ - otherwise your PDF will not contain any bleed! (see screenshot below).

InDesign bleed settings

Note for InDesign users: When exporting your document as a PDF do not select the ‘spreads’ option as our in-house printing software will sort this out if printed spreads are required.
Finally - as a general rule - keep any text, page numbers or other important graphics or diagrams at least 15mm away from the inside page edge and a
minimum of 6mm from the outside edges.

Barry Hayman
Author: Barry Hayman, Director of Hayman Creative
Board Member of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter