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Production

When delivering the book to Tipoprint for printing, there are several specifications the file must meet. First of all, the book should be delivered as a PDF file. Make sure there is a 5 mm bleed around each page. In addition, black text should consist of black only, to avoid registration problems. As for the formatting of the PDF file, the pages should be placed under each other so that the book is displayed in the correct order. It is also essential to mention that delivery requirements may vary depending on the paper type chosen.

Printing techniques

You can print your book offset or digitally. Which method is suitable for your book depends on its circulation and purpose.

What is offset printing?

Offset printing is mainly used for large runs and is known for its excellent quality and consistency. This process requires extreme precision, as any errors are undesirable when the book is sent to the bookstore. Large printing presses are used to produce the printed material. Although start-up costs for offset printing are often higher, it can be cost-effective for larger runs. In general, it becomes interesting to opt for offset printing from a print run of 300 copies. Moreover, offset printing offers the possibility of using special inks and finishes, making it ideal for high-quality books with complex designs.

Digital printing, on the other hand, is suitable for print runs smaller than xx and offers flexibility and speed. This in fact does not require a printing plate, but the PDF file is placed on digital printing sheets, which are then printed via a digital press. So this process is much cheaper than offset printing. This makes digital printing an attractive option for authors and publishers with limited budgets or for projects where flexibility and fast turnaround times are essential.

Proof

Would you like a preview of what your book will look like before we start full production? Before we start production, we carefully check the files to make sure everything is in order.

If the job is printed digitally, we can even pre-print a copy and send it to you for checking. Unfortunately, this is a bit more difficult with offset printing. This is because this printing process uses large printing presses with high start-up costs, making printing just one copy very expensive. We do have an alternative! We can print the offset proof on 70 x 100 cm printing sheet, on which you can freely arrange the pages as you wish. Thus, the proof is printed on the right type of paper and on the right offset printing press, making it suitable as a reference for the colours and material of your new book.

Printing process: Offset vs. digital printing

So the printing process of offset printing also works differently from digital printing. We explain both here.

Offset printing process

When we receive the print files from you, we check them thoroughly. This is followed by a proof on printing sheets. Once approved, the real work begins!

Plate making: The process starts with making printing plates. A separate plate is made for each colour in the design. These plates, usually made of aluminium, are exposed with the image of the colour to be printed.

Ink rolls and printing on rubber blanket: The printing plates are then attached to the offset printing machine. Ink rollers apply ink to the raised parts of the plate. The non-image parts take on water, which makes them repel ink. The ink roller then presses on a rubber cloth, which rotates with the cylinder.

Transfer paper: The paper is passed between the rubber cloth and the cylinder, transferring the ink from the rubber cloth to the paper. The elasticity of the rubber cloth creates a sharp and detailed image.

Drying and finishing: After printing, the ink must dry on the paper, which is usually done by heat or air circulation. The result is a beautifully printed product with bright colours and sharp details.

After printing, the large 70 x 100 cm printing sheets are sent to the folding machine, where they are folded to the right size. Because a book often has more pages than can fit on one large printing sheet, we print multiple sheets. These folded printing sheets are then collected, meaning they are placed in the correct order.

When all the printing sheets have been collected, it is time to bind the books and apply the cover. Once this process is complete, the books are ready to be shipped.

Digital printing

Digital printing works in a similar way to an office printer, but on a much larger scale and with higher quality. This process does not require printing plates. After we receive your files, we send them directly to the digital printer, which prints the files immediately. This makes the process much faster and more cost-efficient than offset printing methods.

Storage & distribution channels

After printing your book, you will receive it from us! It is important to think in advance about where you will store the books and how you will distribute them. The best distribution channels for your book depend on where your target audience is in the market. Make sure you have a good plan for both storage and distribution to successfully market your book to your readers. Read more here storage and distribution channels or successfully selling your book.

Frequently asked questions about the production process

How long does it take to produce a book?

Depending on the specifications of your book, we can realise this within 2 to 4 weeks.

How do I determine the print run of my book?

The circulation of your book depends on your expected sales. Think about your distribution channels in advance to get a good estimate. Based on this, you can choose between offset printing and digital printing, which can help you save costs on the printing process.

What are the most common errors discovered at the proofing stage?

Typographical errors, problems with bleed, colour discrepancies due to incorrect colour profiles, low-resolution images, incorrect margins and alignment, incorrect use of black and errors in page layout are often discovered at the proofing stage. It is important to correct these errors to ensure that the final printed product is of high quality and meets your expectations.

Download our handy checklist before delivering your book!

How does book delivery work at Tipoprint?

Throughout the production process, we will keep you informed of progress. As soon as your books are ready, we will contact you to arrange a delivery time. We always send the books with track and trace so you can track the shipment. An hour before the driver arrives, he will call briefly to inform you. With us, it is also possible to have your books delivered to multiple addresses.

Do you have any further questions?

Do you have a question that has not yet been answered? Contact one of our specialists. We would love to help you make your book a success. We can be reached between 09:00 and 17:00 every working day. Do you have an urgent question outside these times? If so, send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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