Over-Spending on Your Imposition?
24 + 16 2-on $4,800 $14.90
32 + 8 $2,700 $15.75
difference $2,100 $0.85
2,100 ÷ 0.85 = 2,470
24 + 16 $3,900 $15.75
32 + 8 $2,700.00 $15.75
difference $1,200.00 $0.00
Thought that 6x2 24 would be the champion? Only at about 2.5 million and beyond can it beat the 32 + 8. If it’s coupled with a one-on 16, the equal running rates mean that the lower makeready of the 4x2 will come out ahead at every press run.
The moral of this story is: Do the math. Though your instinct may be to use the larger press or to do everything in your power to avoid a signature as small as an 8, this sample set of prices counters those assumptions. Note that the calculations have to extend all the way through paper consumption, where the makeready impact can be magnified.
You’ll soon be making even more calculations if your magazine fits on the new 64-page presses that are popping up. Because printers are in the first stage of amortizing their investment in this equipment, pricing will either reflect a desired return on investment or act as an incentive to fill the presses. In a few years, per page rates on all platforms will start to converge, but at the outset you’ll probably see the best run rate on the 64s, accompanied by high makereadies.
One more twist: if your printer offers a makeready discount for additional signatures of the same size, that reduction in fixed costs could tilt the balance between, say, two 48s and three 32s. Keep your total page count in mind when doing the math.
Page Count and Imposition
When it comes time to put together an issue, production will, at minimum, designate the signature sizes. Production may also have a chance to contribute to pagination decisions, including the critical question of page count. Obviously, the further the book size strays from straight multiples of 48 or 32, the higher the cost per page climbs.