Planning Your Document (The World of Desktop Publishing) Part 3


When making a choice about paper size, you have to consider how it is to be delivered. Will it be mailed, posted on a wall, sent through inter-office mail, stacked in a counter display, or posted on the Web? Your delivery method will have an impact on each of your planning decisions.

For example, if the document is mailed, it may need to be folded and inserted into an envelope. The United States Post Office charges more to mail envelopes that do not meet minimum and maximum size restrictions. As a result, paper size and weight will need to be considered, along with the delivery method.


U.S. Post Office Size Restrictions Minimum










Post Cards










Bulk Mailing

Often businesses use bulk mailing as a delivery means. This reduces the cost of mailing a large number of pieces. Bulk mail requires a minimum of 200 pieces of mail. In addition, there are other special mailing requirements along with the cost of a required permit. When used appropriately, this can be an important way for businesses to reduce their expenses.

The biggest change in the world of desktop publishing has come in the means of delivery. As you have learned, you can publish a document by printing, but you can also publish it to the Web. While web publications are cheaper to produce, they have a serious drawback in that they are not as visible as printed publications. Businesses today are struggling with this problem as they try to figure out how best to reach their audience. Even as they struggle, the business world continues to use the Web more each year. Banks are publishing their end-of-the-month statements using email. Publicly traded companies are publishing their stock prospectus and required financial statements online. Catalogs of all kinds are moving to the Web. As a desktop publisher you need to keep in mind that print is not your only means of delivery.

Internet Distribution

Another method of delivery is using the Internet. One of the advantages of using the Web to distribute a desktop-published document is speed of production. Once the document is complete, it can be posted immediately. There are no additional processes such as printing, binding, folding, or mailing to interfere with publication. You can produce as many pages as you want in any color that you select. For these reasons more businesses are using digital technology to send their message. The downside, of course, is that the customer must know the document is available and have access to a computer to read it.


During the entire planning process, each decision must be made with cost of production in mind. When you make a decision about paper, you must keep in mind that although heavy weight papers might make more impact than lighter ones, they also cost more. When you select the paper size, you need to remember that special sizes might attract more attention than standard ones, but there are extra costs associated with special trim sizes. In addition, unusual sizes might require additional postage.

If a document is bound, that will increase its cost. Folding cost is another factor that has to be considered. Printing in quantity can reduce the cost per piece, so you need to decide if a large print run will be more effective than a short one.

Planning Decisions

Audience Purpose Time Frame Team Members Orientation Number of Pages Layout Sketch Page Arrangement Paper Type Paper Size Fold Binding Production Method Number of Copies Printed Sides Color/B&W Delivery Method Budget


In this topic you learned the importance of planning desktop publishing documents before beginning the actual design process.

You considered your audience and purpose. You saw that planning using a sketch allowed you to make decisions about orientation, page arrangement, paper, folds, and binding. You saw how decisions about production and delivery needed to be made and considered along with costs.


accordion fold


recto pages

bond paper

ha If fold

saddle stitch

book paper

landscape orientation

spiral binding



text paper

business letter fold



coated paper


trim size

cover stock paper

newsprint paper

verso pages

dot gain



facing pages

perfect binding


portrait orientation

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