Imposition Methods – The Basics

When you begin the process of printing a book, manual, newsletter or any other document that has multiple pages, it’s likely that the word “imposition” will come up. What does it mean? And why is it important? Here is a quick overview about imposition, and what it means to you as you print your publication.

What is imposition?

Imposition is the process of arranging many pages so that once completed, the publication appears in the right order and orientation.

Why is the imposition method used important?

The method of imposition used is very dependent on the type of binding that will be used; for instance, perfect bound, spiral bound, or saddle stitched. If you have a designer sending us print files, it will be important that they’re in the proper imposition format for your binding method.

What are the different imposition methods?

There are many imposition methods, but the ones most commonly used are 1-up-for-1, 2-up-for-1, and 2-up-for-2.

  • 1-up-for-1: This is simply printing the file directly from the page layout, and is usually used when a single copy is being printed.
  • 2-up-for-1: The sheet of paper is divided in two, and has a left and right page. The left page of each sheet is upside-down and contains the first half of the document, and the right pages contain the second half. Once the book is printed, the paper is cut down the middle. The left side is then flipped and stacked on top of the right side, allowing the pages to be in consecutive order.
  • 2-up-for-2: Like in 2-up-for-1, the sheet of paper is split down the middle and two pages are printed at once, but in this case, one entire copy of the book is printed on each side. After printing, the paper is cut down the center to create two copies of the book.

How will I know what is the best imposition method to use?

That’s a great question, and the answer is easier than you think: trust the experts at Seaboard Graphics to help you. Our designers work with our press staff to correspond the correct imposition methods with binding methods, so you can focus on the content you’d like in your book rather than the mechanics of how it’s printed. If you have a designer in-house that will be providing the files, we’ll work with them to make sure your book printing goes off without a hitch, too! Seaboard’s customer service representatives are always happy to help, so simply give us a call at 315-652-4200.