Copy Design | Image
Limitations | Backprinting | Marginal
Copy for a continuous form can consist of rules, text, graphics,
screens and halftones. When designing the copy for the form, you must keep in
mind that there are image limitations on the press equipment and the laser printers
that print the forms (see Image Limitations below).
- Use it to highlight areas.
- Use it to shade backgrounds.
- A variety of densities are available.
- Screened copy is supplied in a negative or on a disk.
- Use 5% to 15% screen in areas that will be imprinted.
- Use halftones for pictures.
Web Press Equipment:
Continuous forms are printed on web presses. Web
presses have plate and blanket cylinders, which along with other components,
produce a printed impression on paper. The plate and blanket cylinders
have a slot or gap in them where the plate and the blanket are attached.
Nothing can print in this area. The nonprintable area is known as
the "cylinder gap" or the "plate lockup". The
gap area is usually 3/8" in depth and extends the full width
of the sheet.
Note: All colors have this 3/8" gap
because each color is printed on a separate cylinder.
Three Ways To Allow for the 3/8" Gap on a 9 1/2" x 11"
Example: A 9 1/2" x 11"
form would have a maximum image of 9 1/2" x 10 5/8".
- The manufacturer can work around image size limitations by trying
to adjust the copy within the limitations or by running the copy
as a split image (run on two separate printing units on the same
- The width of the continuous form is usually not a problem. The
width limitations are determined by the width of the printing cylinders.
If you have an image width problem, consult your manufacturer.
Note: When discussing the
image limitation options with your manufacturer, you will have to
inform them of the number of colors you will have on the front and
back of your form, so that they are able to determine which option
they should use.
Backprinting is any copy printed on the back side
of the form.
- The same design features are available as on the front of the
- The same image limitations apply to the back as on the front
of the form.
Marginal words are printed on a dry offset unit
using a rubber stamp type of material.
- They are usually printed in a standard red ink.
- They are used to make reference to the form they are printed
on or to provide special instructions.
- Marginal words are used for part to part designations, such as
Original Copy, Duplicate Copy, and Triplicate Copy.
- They may be used as a method to add an additional color to a
form, but the quality will not be as good as the quality produced
by a regular offset printing unit.
- There may be size limitations depending on your supplier's capabilities.
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