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Archive for the ‘Printing Guides & Information’ Category

March 4th, 2014

Digital vs. Offset Book Printing


by David Rogers

Vintage Offset Press

Nearly every new book released today was created on one of two machines: a digital press or an offset press. Naturally this leads to questions concerning the difference between the two, and which is better.

As you may guess since both kinds of printing are still used, neither method holds a clear overall advantage over the other. The choice of which to use depends on a number of factors concerning your particular book project, including quantity, content and budget.

Offset Printing

Offset printing has been around for well-over 100 years and is still the most popular method for high volume commercial printing. Here’s a simplified version of how this type of printing works:

The image (and/or text) to be printed is burned onto a metal plate – these days this is procedure is typically done using computers. This plate is then installed on a cylindrical roller in the offset press (labeled “Plate cylinder” in the diagram below), then ink and water are added. The ink adheres to the portion of the plate with an image or text, while the water – which naturally separates from ink – covers the remainder of the roll and acts as a film preventing ink from being transferred to a second cylinder that is directly under this cylinder (labeled “Offset cylinder” below).

This second cylinder in the chain is covered with a rubber “blanket.” Ink is transferred from the plate on the top roller to this blanket. The paper is fed directly under the roller with the blanket, so ink is transferred once again from the blanket to the paper. This is probably most easily understood with a diagram:


March 1st, 2014

Serif vs. Sans Serif: The Infographic

Getting ready to dive into your book cover design? Not sure what font to use for the text of your book? This infographic serves as a great intro into the world of typography with an extremely detailed explanation of serif vs. sans serif fonts, and was put together by the folks over at UrbanFonts.com.

Click here or on the image to see the rest of the graphic.


February 24th, 2014

Important Numbers to Book Publishers: LCCN, ISSN, SAN, Printer’s Key

by David Rogers


For a world of words, there sure are a lot of numbers involved in the publishing and book printing industry. For instance, not too long ago we took a look at the somewhat complex (but very important) world of ISBN Numbers.

As a self-publisher there are quite a few others numbers you should be aware of, as well – including LCCN, ISSN, SAN and Printer’s Key. Not all of these will apply to every book, but it’s good to be familiar with them in case you ever need one or more for your works.

Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)

The Library of Congress Control Number – LCCN – acts as a serial number for books published in the United States that may be added to the Library of Congress’ (LOC) collection. The LOC has served as the central cataloging organization for U.S. books since 1898. You should obtain your LCCN before you are ready to print, as it will be printed on the copyright page of your book.

How to Get a LCCN


February 6th, 2014

Is Preflight and Prepress the Same?

by Shane Stedron


Well, first thing’s first: let’s answer the title question.

Is Prepress and Preflight the same?
No, they are not the same thing.

That was simple, right? Of course, if you’re fairly new to the subject of preflight and prepress, you’re probably still looking for a bit more information.


February 4th, 2014

Book Printing: 8 Tips for File Preparation

by Chris Jamieson

Book Printing File PreparationIt’s time…

You’ve written your book (whew!), gotten your quote and it’s time to send us your files and finally print! However, prepping those book files can be a bit overwhelming.

Chris – one of our resident prepress experts – has shared eight tips for file preparation during the preflight phase of any book printing process.


January 31st, 2014

What is FSC certified paper?

by Valerie Williams

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification on a log

As numerous types of businesses are “going green” these days, many in the print industry have been leading the charge to use recycled materials and reduce waste for some time now.

Many organizations are working to help the print industry go green as much as possible, and one of the most well-known organizations is the Forward Stewardship Council (FSC).

It should be noted that paper doesn’t have to be FSC certified to be environmentally friendly, and that there are many types of recycled paper available from a wide variety of sources.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

One of largest and most prominent organizations ensuring the conservation and responsible tree growth is the Forest Stewardship Council, commonly known as the  FSC. This council tracks and manages forests, milling, and manufacturing processes.


January 29th, 2014

Print on Demand Versus Short Run Printing

by David Rogers


Print on Demand (POD) has become increasingly popular over the past few years, as the printing method allows self-published authors and independent book publishers to print copies of books only as needed. Despite POD’s popularity, however, it’s often still more cost effective to use short run printing, even for a relatively small quantity of books.

Many times short run printing ends up not only being less expensive than POD, but also provides a better quality final product. Here we’ll take a look at the differences between print on demand and short run printing, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.


January 23rd, 2014

Book Cover Stock Options for Paperback Books

by David Rogers

The book cover stock you choose for your paperback book does more than just impact the visual impression your book makes on your reader, it also determines how the book will feel in your reader’s hands. Though these aren’t the kinds of details readers necessarily consciously consider, as an author you’ll want to choose the cover that best fits your vision for the work.

Here at Colorwise, one of the questions we get quite a bit is, ‘what kind of cover stock is best for my book?’ In reality, the answer comes down to quite a few factors, including the type of book you’ve written and what you’ll want to use as your cover art. We’ve put together a list of the most common cover stock options for paperback books to give you a better idea of the options available.


December 11th, 2013

ISBN Number for Books: Why You Need One and How to Get It

by David Rogers

Bookland ISBN Book Barcode

As a self-publisher, you’ve likely heard about an ISBN number for books, but the specifics of getting one (and knowing exactly what you need) can be a bit confusing. However, the actual process of obtaining one of these ISBN numbers is pretty straightforward once you know the basics.

What is an ISBN Number?


November 27th, 2013

Hardcover Books: Case Bound Versus Case Wrapped

by David Rogers

We introduced the two primary hardcover book binding options — case bound and case wrapped — in our previous article on types of bindings. But when deciding which of the two is best for your project, there are quite a few additional details you’ll want to consider.

Here at Colorwise, we’re often asked about the difference between the two types of hard cover books, and this is something you’ll want to understand before you print your book, as the two will result in extremely different looks. To get a better idea of how the two types of hardback books are different, you’ll want to start by understanding how they are the same.