What is a "Making Order"?
Let’s say you have chosen a particular
paper stock for an invitation and envelope mail package.
You found the paper stock in a swatch book from your local
paper merchant. The art file is done and you’re ready
to send everything to your printer. Then your printer tells
you the bad news. The envelopes are a “making order”
or “manufacturing order” or “mill item,”
and it will take two weeks, instead of two days, for the
envelopes to arrive.
Why did this happen, and what can you
Perhaps the invitation and envelope
are an odd size or shape, perhaps square. Maybe the paper
you have chosen is not very popular, like canary yellow
50# offset. In short, you have chosen an item that has to
be made for you in particular rather than for a vast number
of paper consumers, and you have to either pay more or wait
for the paper stock to be custom manufactured or both. Often
in addition, you (or your printer) will also have to accept
a rather large minimum order. For example, you might have
to order 5,000 envelopes when you really only need 2,000.
How can you avoid this?
First of all, you should involve
your printer early in the design process. Perhaps changing
to a similar paper will do the trick (tell your printer
you will accept a sheet comparable to whatever you have
specified), or maybe altering the size of the invitation
and envelope just slightly will turn a custom job into a
standard paper order. If you are still committed to your
choice of paper, if you at least know at the onset of a
print job that you will need to wait two weeks for a “making
order,” you can factor this into your schedule and
ask your printer to order the custom paper long before you
hand off the art files. Basically, if you stay informed,
you won’t be surprised.
Self-Cover Vs. Plus Cover
When you provide specifications to
your printer for a booklet or magazine, it is very important
to distinguish between a self-cover publication and a plus-cover
publication because the total page count will be entirely
different in the two cases and so will the final bill.
A 16-page booklet on 80# text stock,
for instance, is a single signature (eight pages on either
side of the press sheet before folding and trimming). It
is also a 16-page self-cover booklet. If you add a four-page
cover on 80# text stock, you have a 20-page self-cover booklet.
On the other hand, if you add a four-page cover on 80# cover
stock, you now have a 16-page booklet plus cover. The difference
is the stock of the cover. If the cover paper is the same
basis weight as the text paper, you will call the project
a self-cover book. If the cover is on a heavier stock, you
will call the project a plus-cover book.
To complicate matters, if you add a
four-page cover printed on 100# text stock to a 16-page
booklet printed on 80# text stock, you would still call
the product a plus-cover job, even though the cover stock
has been printed on text-weight paper rather than cover-weight
One thing to keep in mind as you design
your booklet is the size of the press sheet. A 25”
x 38” text-weight press sheet can accommodate eight
8.5” x 11” pages on either side of the sheet
(a line of four pages over another line of four pages, printed
front and back). Trimmed and folded, this sheet would yield
a 16-page signature. It is cheaper to stop here, if you
are able (if you have nothing further to say in your book).
Adding a four-page cover to this 16-page self-cover booklet
would require a separate press run for printing the cover,
prior to stitching the cover to the text signature and trimming
the job. This additional press run will add hundreds of
dollars (or more) to the price of the 16-page self-cover
Egyptian Vs. Gothic Typefaces
Egyptian typefaces are typefaces with
slab serifs. The serifs are the little tails on the ends
of letterforms that lead the eye from one letterform to
another. The letterforms are also consistently thick. Look
closely at various type forms. Letterforms with serifs often
have a diagonal slant, and there are curves where the serifs
are attached to the longer strokes (stems) of the letters.
Egyptian typefaces characteristically have squarish serifs.
In direct contrast to Egyptian letterforms are Gothic letters,
forms with no serifs and broad even strokes. Since both
are less readable than most text faces, Egyptian and Gothic
typefaces are usually used for headlines rather than body
copy. Each gives a distinctive look and feel, depending
on the tone or design approach you want for your printed
piece. But, remember use them sparingly and as headlines
only. They also make good chapter headers on divider pages
[Steven Waxman is a printing consultant. He teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.]