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Printing Lingo: “Head-to-Head Printing” vs “Head-to-Foot Printing”

It is extremely common for books, brochures, and other print projects to be created from sheets of paper that have printing on both sides.

Head-to-Head and Head-to-Foot are terms used to describe the relative orientation of the printing on the front and back of two-sided documents. In other words, these terms help clarify the direction in which the two sides "back up" to one another.

In the print industry, the top of a document is referred to as the Head and the bottom of a document is referred to as the Foot.

Head to Head Printing…

A document printed Head-to-Head will have the top of the front side placed at the same end of the sheet as the top of the back side (see Diagram A). As you have likely surmised, the vast majority of two-sided documents are printed Head-to-Head.

Head to Foot Printing…

A document printed Head-to-Foot will have the top of the front side placed at the opposite end of the sheet as the top of the back side (see Diagram B).

Head-to-Foot (also known as Head-to-Toe or Head-to-Tail) is much less common than the Head-to-Head configuration.

Multi-page wall calendars and books that are bound along the top horizontal edge are examples of documents that must be printed Head-to-Foot in order to function properly. Also, two-sided documents consolidated into tear-off pads, including certain business forms, are sometimes printed Head-to-Foot.

If you have any questions about Head-to-Head printing or Head-to-Foot printing, give Formax a call at 866-367-6221. Or, if you have a print project and would like a quote, click here to access our simple quote request form. As always, we look forward to assisting you!

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 book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus 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 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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