Sheetwise Vs. Work-and-Turn and Work-and-Tumble
Sheetwise, work-and-turn, and work-and
tumble sound like just so much gibberish, but grasping their
meaning can save you money buying printing.
When your printer prints your brochure
(for instance) sheetwise, he may lay out four copies of
the front of your brochure to print on one side of a 28”
x 40” press sheet. When this side is dry, he can change
plates, turn the stack of press sheets over, and print the
opposite side of the sheet (the backs of the brochure),
then trim down the stack of paper to produce four brochures
from each press sheet.
Another approach would be to print
the job work-and-turn or work-and-tumble (the only difference
between these methods is how the sheet is turned over: either
from side to side or end-over-end). In these two options,
the four brochures would still be laid out on the sheet,
but two front sides of the brochure and two back sides of
the brochure would print on the same side of the 28”
x 40” sheet noted above. This would allow the printer
to turn the sheets over (once they are dry) and run them
through the press a second time exactly the same way on
the opposite side of the sheet (“backing up the job”)
without changing plates. The same plates would print the
back of the sheet (two fronts and two backs of the brochure),
creating four brochures (called “four-out” or
“four-up”) prior to cutting and folding.
Of course, work-and-turn and work-and-tumble
jobs save time and money by not requiring a plate change
before printing the second side of the sheet. However, if
you were to print the same job sheetwise, you could print
(for instance) two colors on one side of the sheet and two
different colors on the other side of the sheet without
needing more ink fountains on press and without requiring
extra passes through the press. In this way, you could increase
the complexity of your design without paying a premium.
Barn Doors VS. Gatefolds
A Quick Tips reader asked a question
recently about the difference between a “barn door”
and a “gatefold.” After I took this question
to several printers and a few advertising executives and
production artists, this is what I discovered.
There are three complex folding formats
that are often confused with one another. They are gatefolds,
barn door flap folds, and letter folds (wrap folds).
are two parallel folds on at least a six-paneled sheet
(three panels on each side), with the center panel twice
as wide as either the left flap or the right flap. The
left and right flaps touch at the center when the job
has been folded. Be aware that this is the term printers
use for this folding format. However, advertising executives
and designers often refer to this exact same format as
a “barn door” fold, particularly when used
on the cover of a magazine. Therein lies the confusion.
- The “barn door fold”
is a term coined by, and understood by, advertisers
and production artists. This fold is created when two
differently sized sheets (different in width but both
equal to the magazine’s vertical dimension) are
folded and attached to each other and then bound around
the inside signatures of a magazine such that the reader
initially sees the front cover image but can open the
left and right “barn-door” flaps to expose
a second cover underneath.
- The terms “letter
fold” and “wrap fold” refer
to a folding format often used for magazine covers in
which the front cover is double the width of the normal
front (or back, for that matter) magazine cover (when
bound onto the nested signatures that comprise the magazine).
This cover includes a partial or complete flap that folds
inward toward the gutter and page one and obscures (or
partially obscures) the normal inside front cover. Be
advised the terms cited here are what printers call this
folding format; advertising executives and designers,
however, often call this a “gatefold” cover.
Seeds of confusion are clearly sown due to these name
From my informal research I have
gleaned the following rules of thumb:
- Visit your printer and give
him a sample of exactly what you want. Only in person
and with sample in hand can you avoid a miscommunication
over folding format terminology and determine whether
your printer can even do the job. You’ll want to
know this before you say yes to your advertising client.
- Assume the process will cost
considerably more than producing your usual cover.
- Assume the process will take
longer than producing your usual cover.
[Steven Waxman is a printing consultant. He teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.]