Double Page Spead's with Saddle Stitch books.

I'm doing an A4 saddle stitched book and want to put an A3 image across the centre pages.


When I've tried pictures going across 2 pages before with saddle stitch books, a little bit of the image was missing from the middle.    Probably due to the printing process?


I thought about putting a small blank vertical strip (maybe 2 or 3mm wide) down the centre of both halves of the image, hoping that this would be removed and not part of the image.     I was going to try and order a proof and see if I managed to get it right, but with a colour book its going to be over £10 plus postage just to see if I'm right (or wrong.)


Is there a measurement for the amount which will be lost on each page?


Thank you.


  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Hardly anything is lost with saddle stitch books. With perfect bound about a 1/4 of an inch is lost on either page.


    In other words, I would just take the loss instead of adding a gutter.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Hello and thank you for replying.


    I'd rather know what 'hardy anything' is though as a measurement!  If I will lose 2mm of artwork, then I know I could add 23 or 24 pixels on to compensate.


    Thanks again.

  • Looking at the previous saddle stitched book I did.   I didnt do a double centre spread, but some images did went across 2 other pages.   And maybe it appears that a lot is missing due to the staples not having been put quite in the right place.



  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    One trick that is often used, if a double spread gets a bit lost in the binding, is to create two images from the one, but each one slightly over an actual half (you will have to work out how much gets eaten).


    The left of the right image and the right of the left image.

  • That's a good one for future thoughts.


    For the few double pages in the rest of the book I've put a 2mm black or white line down the rhs of the left page and vice versa.


    I suppose those pages depend on how well the staples ae put in.


    Its the middle I'll have to take a gamble on.


    Thank you.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Traditionally published saddle stitch books do not add a gutter. They lose they 2mm as well. It just doesn't look good in my opinion to have even a hint of a white space between the pages.

     A citizen of the world.

  • I see what you are saying, but the staples in a lot of copies of the last saddle stitched book I did were more than 2mm out of line. This meant that I had a few mm missing from one half of the book of double pages, and a line in the gutter added on the other half of the book.

    I've decided to send for 2 proofs. One of a version with no added line and one with a 2mm white or black line (depending on the majority colour of that particular page) at the gutter side. I'll see which turns out best.

    I'd rather not lose or gain anything if I can help it.

    Thank you.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    This may not be any help to you, but I often look at example books I own to see how things are done. It seems to be mostly avoided! If they feel the need to have large images then they create a large book (above Lulu's largest size usually) often with the images at landscape in a portrait book. The only one I do have with two page spreads, a tiny bit of the images are missing in the bind, but not really that obvious and one does not notice unless one deliberately examines it, then it is. It was not a cheap book either. Around $40.

  • After receiving the 2 proofs I can now see that adding a small margin in the gutter has helped.


    With one proof I added 2mm to the inner side of each double page spread, and no margin to the centre pages.

    With the other I added 4mm to the inner side of each double page spread, and 2mm to the inner side of the centre spread pages.


    The 4mm version prooved to be better.  With the no margin centre spread its very noticable that something is missing when you follow any diagonal lines.    When adding 2mm to the inner part of each centre page, there was still a tiny bit missing, but very little.  It may be worth adding 2 and a half  mm or even 3mm.  Its this which is cropped from each of the centre page inner sides.


    Adding 4mm to the inner side of each double page was good too.  Especially with this being a thicker (68page) book.  Some doubles looked like the image flowed neatly.  With others you could see a half mm line, but this merged with the shadow of the gutter.


    With just adding 2mm to the inner side of the double page spreads the images again jarred where diagonal lines were concerned.



  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Full bleed does indeed mean no margins where the two halves of the image meet, otherwise they do not meet, but I am glad following my advice helped.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Better late than never ... But Lulu do give advice on how much to add to page sizes to gain Full Bleed, and you are right about an overlap.
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