Over-Spending on Your Imposition?
But if your magazine is insert-heavy, you need to stop thinking of economies lost and start thinking of killing two birds with one stone. Designate a 16 or an 8 as a late-close signature and plan to print it every issue, complete with the two insert locations it offers. By subtracting it from the rest of the pages, you’re free to pursue economies on them while this signature holds two or three last-minute ads, justifying its cost.
Quality and Imposition
The terms “signature” and “form” are not interchangeable, and, in fact, provide a useful difference in nomenclature. A signature is a collection of pages; a form is one side of a signature. Forms relate most closely to plates; signatures to paper-roll stands. Keep the distinction alive in your jargon, and you’ll have a clearer way of thinking about the final effect of imposition on image quality.
On a 4x2 press, two pages are inline with each other, which means they draw ink from the same channel. In three-around configurations, three pages fight for the same ink levels. Advances in prepress and press controls have reduced the toll that inline conflicts can take, but the truly conscientious production expert examines the contents of each form to minimize color-fidelity woes. You’ll need your printer’s imposition layouts to see how individual pages fall.
The first pages to consider are spreads. If they break on different forms or, worse, different signatures, they could become orphans instead of twins. They could even print with different crews, though printers are usually conscientious about marking such pages for proper follow-through. The danger is that once one page is printed it can be difficult to get the other to match.
From the ad director’s point of view, the ideal imposition would put an editorial page inline with every ad, and the press OK would promptly ignore any claims that edit page makes on ink density. That’s an extreme, but smart production planning still considers advertising needs. New and precious advertisers can be positioned to avoid likely conflicts.