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Old 08-28-2006, 08:28 AM   #1
Bo Aakerstrom
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Default Newspaper printing

I am currently gathering some information relating to printing a newspaper, something I know nothing about.

What do I need to look out for in order to produce a good quality paper in terms of paper and print quality.

What sizes are common, looking at tabloid size or smaller (such as a magazine size).

   
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
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Lighten photos condiderably as they darken a good deal on news print
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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http://www.naa.org/Operations-and-Te...on-(SNAP).aspx - have alook at this site - it may help - it has a profile to be used for CMYK Conversion. Best of luck
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Aakerstrom View Post
What do I need to look out for in order to produce a good quality paper in terms of paper and print quality.

What sizes are common, looking at tabloid size or smaller (such as a magazine size).
Most newspapers are printed on special web presses, so you might find a couple of likely printers and ask them about sheet sizes and typical paper sizes.

About newsprint: the main thing from a design point of view is that every issue (and sometimes different forms in a single issue) can be on obviously different types of newsprint. This was true even for a newsprint magazine I designed and produced for 18 years, and more so for newspapers. I think they tend to buy run of the mill rather than insisting on specific grades or qualities.

From a designer’s point of view, the challenges with newsprint rival those for the web! Different, but equally vexing. There are limits to 90 lpi halftones, and forget about lovely typefaces with tiny serifs or fine lines. And if, as is often the case, you are stuck with narrow columns, you need to use not only sturdy faces but narrow ones.

Dave Balderstone knows a lot about newsprint stocks and printing.

   
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:09 AM   #5
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The "half-tabloid" magazine size was called "pony" at a printer I once dealt with, but I don't know if this is a standard term across North America.

Sizes depend on the press being used. One dimension is fixed and cannot be changed. The other can be changed a little by loading different width rolls on the press, but there are limits. And generally there is a major charge in changing rolls, so you will want to use the standard size of the printer.

Basically, find a printer or two, and ask about the page sizes and minimum margins (and prices, of course). Then design to those sizes. Much easier and cheaper than designing the job, then having to find a printer who can match your dimensions.
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:33 AM   #6
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My apologies for not following my own thread!
We have had a few things to deal with as our main Windows desktop decided to take early retirement. Actually, in the end it turned out to be the hard drive. Recovering data from a sort of intermittently working hard drive is very time consuming! Fortunatley most of it had been backed-up...

Thanks for the suggestions, We are going to do some fact finding in the comming weeks. Had a look on the site Peter suggested and it seems very useful.

   
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:53 PM   #7
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Bo,

Apologies, I've been away from the forum for a month or so, and only picked up this thread now.

As Kathleen said, I've been working newspapers from a production and printing side since the late 1970s. You have some very general questions, but please feel free to pick my brain as you go forward with specifics. You have my permission to email me if you have questions that require revealing confidential information.

Paper and printability... You need to decide on basis weight. We print on 45 gsm newsprint (grams per square meter) which I think is 127 pound. Most daily papers in North America (I'm in Canada) print on 47.5 gsm, but are moving to the lighter stock as a cost-saving measure. Personally I really like the 45 gsm paper we print on.

The size of your paper will depend on the press you run on. We print on a Goss Urbanite that has a cutoff of 22 3/4" which is the width of the paper when it's opened flat. Because of the cutoff on the press, our page is 11 3/8" wide (Except we fold with a lip for inserting so the front half of our cover signature is wider than the back half, but that's a different discussion).

The press can run different roll widths. We use a 30" roll, so our newspaper is 15" tall.

I don't know what the common press sizes are in the UK, so talk to a variety of printers. A relatively new size that is making some inroads here in NA is the "Berliner" wich is a squarish looking product that requires, again, a specific press. I'm seeing it introduced in some US locations, particulary aimed at the morning commuter train market.

For print quality, you will have to look at the varying grades of newsprint available to you. Beyond basis weight, you need to consider brightness. We print on a fairly bright newsprint (I'm at home and don't have the L*a*b values at hand).

About two years ago our corporate owners cut what they thought was a deal with a west coast mill for 40 gsm paper. We noticed the difference immediately, and so did our readers. It SOUNDED different when you turned the page, for one.

For a number of months I was puzzled by a regular complaint from our readers that we were using a lighter black ink than we had in the past. Of course, we had not changed ink in any way.

Finally, I figured out what our readers meant but didn't know how to tell us. The CONTRAST of the page was lower, because the brightness of the newsprint had decreased substantially. Because the brain set the background as a white point, it apppeared that the black ink was not as black as it used to be.

Thankfully, the experiment lasted less than a year and we're back on our preferred paper.

Again, feel free to ask me anything.
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:50 PM   #8
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A relatively new size that is making some inroads here in NA is the "Berliner" wich is a squarish looking product that requires, again, a specific press. I'm seeing it introduced in some US locations, particulary aimed at the morning commuter train market.
Here in the U.K. we have a free newspaper (Metro) which I think might be something like what you are describing and this is one of the sizes that is being considered.
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For print quality, you will have to look at the varying grades of newsprint available to you. Beyond basis weight, you need to consider brightness. We print on a fairly bright newsprint (I'm at home and don't have the L*a*b values at hand).
I am aware of some common print issues, such as whiteness and brightness, and how the perception of contrast is influenced by them.

Reading a newspaper or a book (or any kind of printed matter) is a tactile experience so the paper weight and indeed, the sound when you turn a page is important too!

Obviously cost is an important factor as well, we'll soon find out which is most important!

Currently a few printers are being approached, and as I come across more specific issues I'll post them here.

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...feel free to ask me anything.
Thanks for the offer, I might just have to take you up on that!

   
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:28 PM   #9
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Default THE newspaper conference/show

You may want to pop over to Amsterdam next month for IFRA. I've never been, but I've heard it surpasses NEXPO, the North American event.
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb View Post
I don't know what the common press sizes are in the UK, so talk to a variety of printers. A relatively new size that is making some inroads here in NA is the "Berliner" wich is a squarish looking product that requires, again, a specific press. I'm seeing it introduced in some US locations, particulary aimed at the morning commuter train market.
For reference, "Berliner" is the size adopted by The Guardian when it had its major redesign last year. I think that it is the only UK daily to use that size; the changeover must have cost a fortune.

Local dailies in the UK are virtually all tabloid size.

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