Why Making Paper Dummies is the Smart Move

coverA print project starts in the head of a designer, starts to take shape on the computer screen and then is crafted into a two dimensional representation. It is then translated into a printing cost via the printing specs. But where in the process does one actually see the physical form of this idea? How is one to know if the combination of papers, colors, weights and folds accurately translates the designer’s vision?

By making a paper dummy.

A paper dummy is a complete bound version of a project with no printing. It can be made by your paper merchant and is constructed to your printing specs with the actual paper stocks specified. This allows you to see how the end product will look like and identify any potential red flags. It can also help with:

  1. calculating weight for mailing costs
  2. identifying too heavy or too light of paper weight specified
  3. production and construction of piece
  4. determining the thickness of book with multiple pages
  5. testing the number of inserts that will properly fit into packets, pocket folders and envelopes
  6. client presentations

Printers, take note. It’s a competitive market where price, delivery and quality are an expected given. Set yourself apart by taking a paper dummy to your client. It shows another level of service and provides the platform for a one-on-one conversation instead of communicating only thru email.

2 sizesHere, the designer is creating a 50 page perfect bound book and wanted to look at it in two different sizes, 6 x 6 and 7.5 x 7.5. They wanted to have the book in the hand to see how it felt , functioned and if the pages turned easily.

spine thicknessBecause the book was being perfect bound, they needed to find out if papers for the inside pages provided enough thickness for the spine.

weightThey also wanted to compare different weights for the cover. Which one would stay closed better and which one would compliment the weights inside the best?

3rd colorThey also wanted us to offer any suggestions for the cover in a completely different finish, so we offered a third alternative that fit their budget and design.

all 6Six different covers were made in two sizes with varying weights, finishes and shades of ivory.

packagedLastly, the 50 inside pages were cut to size and packaged up separately from the covers so they could mix and match the combinations to find the perfect fit. (Kind of like Garanimals children’s clothing back in the 80’s!)

finishedThe decision of which paper stocks and size to use is so much easier when you have the dummy in your hand.

We are happy to provide printers and designers with these paper dummies and it’s a service we do for free in our sample room. Contact your Field Paper Rep or our Customer Service with the following information and we will put it together:
Flat size of project
Finished size of project
Cover Stock: Grade name, finish, color, weight
Inside Pages Stock: Grade name, finish, color, weight
Fly Sheet Stock
Number of inside pages
Perfect bound of saddle-stitch
Detailed description of any special folds, binding, pocket