saddle stitched booklet

How to Format a Booklet for Print

Formatting is booklet can be a daunting task. Even with the proper tools, all the content, and the needed experience (and/or patience), building a booklet is one of the more difficult graphic design tasks.

In this article we’ll explain how to avoid the common pitfalls and make sure your printed booklet comes out looking like it’s supposed to. Also, we have provided a handy image that summarizes everything with visuals. You can download this for your reference, or send it to your graphic designer.

Here’s the graphic design terms you need to remember since they will be used in the file.

  • Bleeds: this is the extra space that goes around each page. Without this, your booklet would need to be undersized, over-sized, or have image margins (white space) around the edges. So, to make the booklet have image or graphics that comes off (or bleeds off) the page.


  • Content Margins: This is the space between the edge of your elements that you do not want cut off and the elements you do want to bleed off the page. For example, you want all your text (unless its part of a background design) to stay on the page. Writing outside the content margin puts that text in danger of being cut off.


  • Trimline: A trimline is the mark of the actual cut. This is where the product starts and stops.


  • Creep: It’s hard to visualize creep, but we’ll take a shot at explaining it. The more pages you have in a booklet the thicker the spine. All that thickness causes the insides of the magazine to move further from the center. Page by page the image creeps towards the trimline. This is why experienced printers have powerful imaging software that has “creep adjustment”. This automatically crops the more middle pages closer to the spine. Since we’ll take care of this you do not need to worry about it, but you will have to observe the content margin strictly for our adjustments.

Here’s the handy graphic we mentioned earlier:

booklet layout printing can help you design your booklet as part of your printing order. Click here to view booklet printing information.

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