InDesign Basics: Imposition and Booklets Types

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When you are designing any type of editorial product, it’s generally easier to work with the pages ordered sequentially. However, before you are ready to print you will need to convert your file through a process called imposition, in which it arranges the pages in order to not only obtain faster printing and but to also simplify binding.

Imposition in InDesign

Imposition is one of the fundamental steps in the prepress printing process that many see as tricky and difficult to manage. But thanks to InDesign, this process has gotten a lot easier. You can now design a booklet with the pages in order and then use the “Print Booklet” feature to create the imposition and format your document to be print-ready. This feature offers a range of options for any type of booklet you may be looking for.

Depending on the type of final product, you may need to export your file in a specific booklet format. Below are brief descriptions of the different types of booklets to help you choose which is the best option for your Product Design process.

There are several types of print products, with different sizes and formats, and with that, the imposition may vary. Think about your final product, how many pages is it going to have, if you need several booklets or just one. If you have all of these in consideration, the imposition process is not going to feel overwhelming and you are going to end up with a beautifully printed booklet.

About the feature

After you finish designing your book or magazine in InDesign, you then go to File>Print Booklet and on the Booklet Type menu, you can choose between three different options:

  • 2-up Saddle Stitch,
  • 2-up Perfect Bound
  • and Consecutive.

Keep in mind that you can use Preview to see if the imposition you choose is the correct one for your product. InDesign may need to add blank pages to the finished document if you don’t have enough pages for the option chosen.

2-up Saddle Stitch

This option creates two-pages, side-by-side printer spreads which are appropriate for printing on both sides, collating, folding and stapling. Saddle Stitch is the most common and cost-effective option because it gives your booklet a simple binding - the folded sheets are gathered and then bind (by stitch or staple) through the fold line. However, this type of binding cannot hold a lot of pages and it works best with smaller booklets containing less than 100 pages (i.e. a notebook, manual, small magazine…). The perfect example is the comic booklet we created for Crystalize with their developer comics.

2-up Perfect Bound

Creates two-page, side-by-side printer spreads that fit within the specified signature size. The perfect bound option divides your file into several booklets, depending on the number of pages. In Signature Style, you can have each booklet with 4, 8, 12, 16 or 32 pages.

This option has the same principle as the 2-up saddle stitch in terms of binding, but instead of just binding one booklet, you are binding several and then collecting them into one final product. In general, the Perfect Bound is used for bigger editorial projects, and is widely used in soft- and hard-cover books. Bunad magasinet uses this type of imposition for their magazines.

Consecutive

Creates a two-, three-, or four-page spread in which it shows the pages in consecutive order. This is the perfect option to print fold-out booklets or brochures because it gathers the pages to be printed on one page and next to each other.

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