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Old 02-02-2008, 12:24 AM   #1
George
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Default Booklet Questions

Presently, in printing booklets I'm using a Georgia 11 pt. font on 8.5 x 11 folded paper. I can make changes to a booklet's type and layout as often as I like with quick printing -- even each one. Right now, my cost per booklet is a nickel. But I am always considering a few recurring questions.

> Although a ragged right margin does ensure even spacing of words, does that necessarily mean greater ease of reading? It seems to me that overall appearance of the page affects the psychology of perception, and a justified margin actually reads smoother in booklets. A ragged right margin can be an unconscious distraction.

> In a like manner, do even inside/outside margins read easier? It seems that a more narrow inside margin also can be a distraction, again considering the unconscious psychology of overall page appearance. I like to make the inside margin just a bit more narrow, as I get a slightly wider column, in letting the outside margin have room for the thumb. But I wonder if the distraction nullifies any advantage that my particular layout realizes with greater column width.

> Then, what thumb size do I use as average in figuring the outside margin? Right now, I have the margin set to 4.5 pica (that's 3/4in., and the inside is 3.5 pica, 5/8in. -- but maybe, I should consider even reducing the inside). It seems comfortable overall for handling and viewing, but I use my own thumb for a model. (Although I'm setting in picas now, I have to measure the printed page columns in inches, as I don't have a pica ruler. They must sell those.)

[In printing, my left page column moves to the right about 1/8in., unless I manually push the frame slightly past the guidelines. What causes that?]

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Old 02-02-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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George-

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[In printing, my left page column moves to the right about 1/8in., unless I manually push the frame slightly past the guidelines. What causes that?]
The effect you are seeing is called "creep." As illustrated in the attachment below, outer pages have to fold around the inner pages. Before the outer edge is trimmed, you see a pyramid effect at the outer edge. When the booklet is trimmed, the protruding paper is removed, decreasing the outer margin on each page. This gives the appearance that the content of the page "creeps" toward the outer edge as one approaches the center of the book, then back as one continues to the back of the book.

The remedy for this is "shingling" moving the page content closer to the outer edge of the page as one moves toward the beginning and end of the book. Done properly, this gives a consistant outer margin, and the variations at the inner margin are buried within the binding.
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Although a ragged right margin does ensure even spacing of words, does that necessarily mean greater ease of reading? ...a justified margin actually reads smoother in booklets. A ragged right margin can be an unconscious distraction.
If your ragged right edges are distracting, then you are not doing them right. The standard is that a ragged edge should look like "gently-torn paper." If you are relying on the results of what your software produces by clicking the button, neither justified nor ragged right will give you well-set type.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:26 PM   #3
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[In a like manner, do even inside/outside margins read easier?
No. Traditionally, outer margins are larger than inner ones.

It should also be said that creep is usually addressed in the imposition software that places the pages in booklet order, rather than in the page layout program itself. I guess it depends what you are using.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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George:
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I have to measure the printed page columns in inches, as I don't have a pica ruler. They must sell those.
A pica nowadays is 1/6 in, and as the ordinary wooden school ruler has one side graduated in 1/12 in, a printer's rule is unnecessary.

You don't really want to have more than a 24-pica line of 11 pt Georgia, which you'll get if you stick to the old printers' rule of thumb (2:3:4:5 or 6) and have the inside margin 3 pica and the outside margin 6 pica if you're considering the two-page spread. The title page should have symmetrical margins right and left.

   
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:04 PM   #5
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as the ordinary wooden school ruler has one side graduated in 1/12 in, a printer's rule is unnecessary.
I guess George and I should have gone to school in the UK. I'm sure I've never laid eyes on a 1/12-in ruler in my life, and I'm surprised to hear that there is such a thing; what do British school kids measure in twelfths of an inch? I guess it would be useful for down-scaling drawings from feet to inches. I've seen lots of 1/10, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 but never a 1/12. Interesting.

   
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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I guess George and I should have gone to school in the UK. I'm sure I've never laid eyes on a 1/12-in ruler in my life, and I'm surprised to hear that there is such a thing; what do British school kids measure in twelfths of an inch? I guess it would be useful for down-scaling drawings from feet to inches. I've seen lots of 1/10, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 but never a 1/12. Interesting.
I’m with you. The only 1/6-inch (not to mention 1/12-inch) rulers I have ever had were pica poles!

   
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:43 AM   #7
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Howard:

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I guess George and I should have gone to school in the UK
If you had, you would have talked funny, like us! But it is not a generation thing, since all of my children had the same scales on their wooden rulers: the two edges seen from the convex face had inches and tenths and inches and eighths; the two edges of the flat face had inches and sixths on one edge and centimetres and millimetres on the other.

That didn't change (in England) during my own 14 years at school (1934-1948), or much later. Nowadays, cheaper plastic rulers have probably displaced the wooden ones. Most printer's rules are no good nowadays, because 72 of the 'old' picas do not equal 12 inches (I've got one, made in the USA, bought about 1990).

   
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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Howard:
the two edges seen from the convex face had inches and tenths and inches and eighths; the two edges of the flat face had inches and sixths on one edge and centimetres and millimetres on the other.
It sounds really neat. But where can I get one? Will you sell me yours??

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Old 02-04-2008, 01:13 PM   #9
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It sounds really neat. But where can I get one? Will you sell me yours?

George
My last one of that sort disappeared long ago. Schoolboys customarily used their rulers for flicking pellets (they were nice and springy); much later, wooden rulers usually had to be discarded because someone had used them to guide sharp blades, and no longer had straight edges.

I find that nowadays traditional rulers of the same pattern are still made (e.g. by The Ruler Company), and are available with a number of varieties of graduation marks, but I couldn't find any that are marked off in sixths and twelfths of an inch. But I've looked again at my plastic ruler with picas, and it is after all marked 6 to the inch (exactly); a pity I've used millimetres for years!

   
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:28 PM   #10
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Michael,

I never had a ruler in school. Pittsburgh gave us pencils and paper but nothing else. I think the biology students also got a frog. When I taught school, I took the class out to catch some frogs, but then a herd of cows came by, and I didn't like that, cause I wasn't sure what cows were about. So we didn't get any frogs.

I am going to look for one of these rulers you mentioned. I think it would be good.

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