At The Ambit Works, we love answering our client’s questions to help support the projects that they’re working on! Since we get many of the same questions over time, we figured the blog was the perfect place to host the answers to these questions so that the information can live on forever – and give our customers a go-to resource in just a click of the mouse! So, today on the blog, we’re going to focus on page creep in relation to printing projects! Enjoy!

What is Page Creep?

Creep is where the inner most pages in a folded stitched booklet cause the paper to extend or creep further out thansaddle-stitch image the outer pages when folded. The creep is incrementally forcing each page to push out based on the thickness of the actual sheet. Creep is usually not an issue when booklets have just a few pages. It is only when a bulk of pages gets stacked and folded that this can became an issue.

How Do You Account for Creep?

There are various ways to deal with page creep. Most commercial printers have software to deal with the mathematics of incrementally shifting each page. The mathematics are determined by the number of pages and the thickness of each sheet. Basically, a good printer will make the adjustments for you so you don’t need to deal with the issue.

Designing for Creep

When designing a large booklet that will be saddle stitched, it is always good practice to be mindful of creep. Here are a few tips to follow:

  1. A good rule of thumb is to keep page numbering and important graphics away from the trim edge when a document has a very high number of pages and will be saddle stitched.
  2. Try to not have design elements bleeding off the edge if you need them to be consistent throughout the booklet.
  3. Take about the issue early on in the project with your printer to ensure you’re in close communication with the challenges associated with creep.

What’s the Final Result?

Creep really shows its effect when the final trim happens on a booklet. After the booklet is assembled and stitched, a blade will trim the excess pages to give the book a uniform look. If the creep was shifted properly, then each page will align in the same position. The printer (if you’re working with a good reputable company) will take care of all of this for you! Voila! You’re booklet will come out nice and clean so no one other than yourself will be thinking about that pesky page creep!

Have more questions? Ask us!

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