June 23, 2011, 2:52 p.m.
posted by mrthe
Print at Home, at the Office, or at Kinko's
Copy shops pick up where your laser printer leaves off.
Your electronic document's shortest path to paper is probably a laser printer. You have one, or somebody you know has one, and its fidelity is remarkable. Your local office supply store has aisles of specialty papers and binding devices that help turn your printout into a publication.
When you need to quickly print and bind dozens of documents, your next stop might be the local copy shop. They are equipped with commercial-strength laser printers, copiers, paper trimmers, collators, and bindery equipment. A print shop with copying services might have better equipment, a greater selection of papers, and a more knowledgeable staff. They can also advise you when to upgrade from high-volume copying to offset printing. Shop around, and seek recommendations.
1 Selecting the Paper
Tasteful use of specialty or colored papers can improve your document's appeal and make it stand out. However, different types of paper are used for different purposes. Bond paper generally is used in office copiers. Book paper is formulated for offset printing. If you want to use a special paper, ask a professional printer for advice. Naturally, a copy shop will stock only the papers they can use on-site.
A paper's thickness, or weight, is measured differently for different types of paper. So, a 20-pound bond paper is not comparable to a 20-pound book paper. An introduction to paper choices is available online at http://depts.washington.edu/bsc/general_PDF's/Choosing_Paper.pdf.
2 Copying Photographs
Photographs are difficult to reproduce using a common copier. When detail or color is important, consider grouping this artwork together onto a few, select pages. Use the more expensive color laser printing or color copying on just those few pages, and then insert these color pages into your document before binding.
A staple or paperclip might serve to hold your document together, but a proper spine and covers dress up your work. And, they make your document easier to navigate. Some binding mechanisms, such as a plastic comb, allow your pages to lie flat. Other techniques, such as glue binding, do not.
If your finished document won't be lying flat, consider using your word processor to add gutters to your document pages. Gutters keep your page text from getting lost in the spine's fold. In Word, select File Page Setup . . . Margins and increase the Gutter setting as needed.