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Design Considerations

Whether you are designing your project in concept sketches only or doing full layouts via desktop publishing or mechanicals, here are some issues to consider before finalizing your design.

Dummy to Size

If you fold an 8 1/2" X 11" sheet into the standard three-panel fold, you will see that the inner panel must be shorter than the other two to avoid the "telescoping" effect (inner panel causes the outer panel to pop up and not lay flat). Often these designs are created with graphic elements intended to land right on the folds and are laid out with the panels equal in width, which results in folds not landing on element edges or being under-trimmed on the last panel to accommodate the fold, thereby making the margins uneven. Generally the short panel is about 1/16" to 3/32" shorter than the other two, but this rule applies on all folded items and the value increases with the number of times the piece is folded.


Creeping is an effect that occurs mostly on saddle-stitched publications but can affect others as well. The thickness of the paper begins to push the design's panels away from where they are planned to be. There is a discussion on creep and how to adjust for it on our Saddle Stitching page.


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Corporate Printers
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