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US Letter sized publications printed in European printing houses

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  • US Letter sized publications printed in European printing houses

    Hi Guys,

    It's been a long time since I was involved in setting up jobs for printing. I am based in the UK, but work for a small US publishing company. We have a publication we are planning which will be sold worldwide, but mainly in Europe and the US. Due to the printing costs in the US we are looking at getting the printing done in Europe, possibly Poland. We have not looked into which company will print the books yet, but I'm just trying to get some answers to some general questions before the design decisions are finalised.

    Would European printing houses have the capabilities to print and finish publications that are US Letter in size rather than A4?

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Printers can trim to any size that's required. As a general rule, commercial offset printers don't print on already-trimmed paper stock. Instead they print multiple impressions on large sheets of paper that are then folded up and trimmed to size.

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    • #3
      Hi B, thanks!

      Yes, I was aware that they didn't use already trimmed paper sizes, but was wondering if they may be set up with automated guillotines/systems etc for standard European sizes.

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      • #4
        We do a fair bit of work for the Hilton Hotels group and a lot of the supplied literature is in US Letter Size (8.5" x 11" or 215.9 x 279.4mm). Some of it we are asked to change to A4 and some of it we print as is. Even with bleed we can get 2 up singles or a booklet spread of either size on SRA3 so it really doesn't matter to us. We do make the point that if it is to be posted out, the US Letter Size won't fit into a standard C4 envelope.
        Last edited by StudioMonkey; 10-23-2017, 05:36 AM.
        Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

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        • #5
          Hi Clinton and welcome to GDF.

          We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
          Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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          • #6
            Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank you for the warm welcome and answers to my questions.

            Thank you Studio Monkey for your interesting reply. Some important points to mull over. The US-based publishing company I work for has always previously published in the US Letter format, but this latest project is expected to have a large amount of customers worldwide, especially Europe so the postage/distribution does need to be taken into consideration.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Clinton78 View Post
              Yes, I was aware that they didn't use already trimmed paper sizes, but was wondering if they may be set up with automated guillotines/systems etc for standard European sizes.
              I don't think the guillotine issue would be a problem. Most print jobs aren't trimmed to standard sizes, so unless you're dealing with a very specialized printer, that printer will have the capability to easily adjust to whatever size you need.

              Just about the only possible issue I see is efficiency in using the paper at the sizes the printer has on hand or typically works with. For example, they might stock in-house paper in widths that can more efficiently accommodate A4 sizes without paper waste. You might find yourself being charged a bit more for an American letter-sized letter trim if trimming to that size results in more waste. I doubt this will be much of a stumbling block, though, but I've rarely worked with European printers.

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