[Scribus] Problem knowing how to print a 3 fold leaflet

Louis Desjardins louis.desjardins
Mon Feb 25 15:10:18 CET 2008

2008/2/25, Peter Nermander <peter.nermander at abc.se>:
> > Again, this is layout and not imposition. It is not at prepress stage
> that
> > we put together the portions of a page. This is clearly a task that must
> > be handled upstream.
> And what about a centerfold in a magazine?
> Is that handled in layout or imposition?

A centerfold is made of two regular pages that benefit from being printed in
the reading order on the same sheet. It is just fine when sending your final
work to the printer to treat those pages exactly like any other page, as
separate pages. The centerfold has the particularity of being in the reading
order and in the imposed order at the same time. That doesn't mean that the
designer has accomplished any imposition when he/she is making those pages,
even if they are side by side and elements span accross the pages.

That same designer is not giving any more work than business as usual when
he/she sets up a "false spread" with elements crossing 2 pages that are in
the order of reading, but not in the order of imposition. The only drawback
here is there are risks that those 2 pages might be slightly off once the
folding, assembling and saddlestiching is complete.

To me, the border between imposition and layout is floating. If the job
> has not been done in the layout it can be done in the imposition. And
> anything that can be done in the imposition can be done in the layout.

Well, to me it is not floating at all. The responsibility of the signature
on press will fall on the shoulders of the one who did it. An error of a
quarter inch can ruin a job. It's costly. A job handled into pieces (not
pages, pieces of pages like the case we're discussing about this 3-fold
leaflet) will oblige further manipulation and proofing prior to imposition.
Layout and imposition are different and specialised tasks. In day-to-day
reality, at least the one I know, there is a clear cut between the two. To
be efficient, you need specialised tool for lay-out, then you need a
specialised tool for imposition. Of course, they could be incorporated one
into another, but this is nonetheless a specialised task, to the risk of
repeating myself.

Let's put it this way: the layout has to do with the reading order of a
publication. (It's also at layout level that you put together in the most
convenient way for dowstream operations some parts that naturally go
together, such as the back cover, the spine and the cover, or the panels of
a leaflet. If you prefer to call this "imposition", it's up to you, but this
is not what is meant in general in this industry, at least from my
experience, and this is why I say it is misleading. I think we have the
responsibilty, in a page layout software, not to confuse people with the
task they are accomplishing, and not let them believe they can hand a job in
any way to a printer.) So, pages are put in the order of reading. Imposition
is there to maximise the use of the actual sheet on which the job is going
to be printed, or to accomodate the binding, or both. You know that. In
order to achieve imposition, we have to deal with many other parameters that
are not related to the layout (although it is not bad for a designer to know
what's going to happen downstream): the press size and type, the gripper,
the paper size, the grain direction, the quantity, the folding and trimming
of the forms, be them sheetwise or work and turn, the bleed if there is any,
the postpress operations, etc. At that point, you have enough technical
points to check, you certainly don't want to have to think about the layout.
You don't want to assemble portions of pages, prior to make the imposition.

Look at all the people wanting to print signatures. Some of them export to
> PDF and impose using for example Multivalent. Others design the document
> with larger sheets (2-up) and rearrange the pages.

Correct. Exporting PDFs and imposing a PDF is fine. It's one of the most
used workflow in the world.

Scribus exports quite neatly PDFs. And we have EasyPose coming down the road
that will make imposing PDFs available and easier or simpler for lots or

So where do you draw the limit?

As explained above.



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