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Manuals: Black and White and Read All Over!

Many manuals are online but most products still require a printed Manual. While a manual is typically not something you buy, it is part of the packaging for most products. It does not help market the product so it is considered an expense.

Because it is an expense, most companies are looking for ways to increase profits by decreasing cost. A great way to improve your bottom line is by looking at 3 ways to reduce the expense of your manual.

1) Paper – Manuals tend to be Black Ink on White paper. Typically, designers look for a Brighter paper for manuals but this is a more expensive paper. In actuality, the Opacity of a paper is more important than Brightness when it comes to the best paper for your manual as the Bleed though is minimized. The good thing about a High Opacity paper is it is usually much cheaper than a High Brightness paper. A nice Groundwood or even a Newsprint makes a great solution for a manual.

2) Quantity – Most manual’s content is set for the year. It is best to look at an Estimated Annual Usage or EAU to determine if there is savings to be had by running a year’s worth of manuals. Most commercial printers will work with you on storage and just in time shipments. If the quantity is large enough you can print your manuals on a web press. A web press is a very efficient press that can print on high opacity papers, at a higher run rate and folded signatures.

3) Size – Manuals come in all sizes. Anywhere from 3 x 5 to 8 1/5 x 11. By being flexible on your size there are many efficiencies you may can take advantage of that will save you money. By changing the size by ¼ of an inch may allow your manual to be printed 2-up and bound 2-up and save quite a bit of money. Having your printer involved with your Manual at the design phase is a great way to make sure something like Trim Size does not keep you from saving money when printing your manual.