Need a Small Run of Landscape Books? A Large Digital Press Offers the Best Value

landscape-book-example

Landscape Books are wider than they are tall

A Landscape Book is a book that has a width dimension larger than its height dimension. Books that measure 11” wide x 8.5” high, 10” wide x 8” high, or 9” wide x 6” high are all examples of the landscape format. Because the spine runs along the shorter of the book’s two dimensions, landscape books are also known as a “short side bind” or a “short edge bind.”

As a general rule, most production runs of less than 500 books are printed on a Digital printing press rather than on an Offset press. This is because a Digital press is the more economical choice for producing shorter print runs.  However, there are some instances where the physical dimensions of a landscape-oriented book may prevent it from being produced on certain Digital presses.

The Size Issue for Saddle-Stitched Books

Let’s say you want to print a saddle-stitched book with a finished size of 11” wide x 8.5” high (a very common landscape book size). Because a saddle-stitched book is constructed from folded sheets, the pages and cover of an 11” wide book would need to be printed on sheets measuring at least 22” in width.

However, the majority of Digital presses currently in operation only have a maximum sheet size of 13” x 19”. So unless your printer has a larger Digital press to accommodate the minimum 22” needed, this particular book project would have to be produced on an Offset press. This is because Offset presses can accommodate larger sheet sizes, such as 23” x 29” or 28” x 40”.

If you need 500 or more books, Digital press size is not really an issue because an Offset press would likely be the more economical choice at this higher quantity anyway. But a quandary often arises when there is a need for a short run of saddle-stitched landscape books, say 250 books at a size of 11” x 8.5. Offset production, which involves the creation of printing plates and extensive set-up, may make this particular project too cost prohibitive at such a low quantity.

The Size Issue for Perfect Bound Books

A similar dilemma can arise for short-runs of perfect bound books created in the landscape format. The pages would probably not have any size issues, but the cover of a perfect bound book is created from a single sheet that is wrapped around the page block. Hence, the cover of an 11” x 8.5” landscape perfect bound book could easily exceed 22” because of the added spine width. Just like the saddle-stitched book example above, this perfect bound book’s cover would not fit on a 13” x 19” Digital press.

The Solution: A Large Digital Press

Fortunately, Formax has a large Digital press that can accommodate a sheet size of 14.5” x 26.5”. This sheet size is large enough to produce short-run landscape books up to 13” in width, solving the saddle-stitch and perfect bound size issues presented above. Since the book’s pages and cover can be Digitally produced, the cost of a short-run landscape book order will be much less than if all or part of the book had been produced on an Offset press.

So, if you have a need for 150 to 500 softcover books in a landscape format, be sure to get a quote from Formax so you can compare the savings associated with Digital production. And if you ever have a need for books in quantities of 500+, we can also produce medium or long runs economically using our high-speed Offset presses.

Book printing is our specialty, so give us a call at 866-367-6221 to discuss your project or use our simple quote request form. We look forward to saving you money on custom softcover books!

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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