Print Like A Pro

Imposition Printing

Kyle Irwin

What is Imposition?

As you may already know, printing is a bit more involved than simply pressing a few buttons. While digital printing has come a long way, print shops still need to employ many different methods to ensure quality printing, while keeping the process as efficient as possible.

One important method is imposition, which is the practice of printing multiple copies per printed sheet. Rather than printing one copy at per sheet, print shops will impose your design to fit as many prints as possible on a larger sheet of paper.

For example, at Printworks, we use a digital press with a maximum sheet size of 13 x 19. If we were to impose 2 x 3.5 business cards on a 13 x 19 sheet, I would be able to fit 25 business cards on each sheet.


Image of Printworks business cards imposed 25 up on a sheet of card stock.

Why Impose When Printing?

You might be wondering why to impose when printing, and there are a few main reasons why it is important::

1. Speed — It may seem obvious, but printing multiple copies at a time will cut down on print time. For instance, if we are printing 100 business cards, and can impose 25 business cards onto a 13 x 19 sheet, we only need to print four sheets in order to reach our desired quantity.

2. Reduces waste — Imposition cuts down on paper waste as well, because less sheets of paper are used to generate high quantities. An effective imposition will utilize as much sheet space as possible.

3. Simplifies Finishing — Sometimes imposition is used to print a document with multiple pages. A technique called collation is used when imposing files with multiple pages, so that they print in order. This reduces finishing time because every page of the document is collated (sorted in order) prior to cutting, and no page sorting is required.

4. Cost — Best of all, imposition saves money! Every time a piece of paper runs through a commercial printer, a click charge is added to the final cost of the print job. By reducing the quantity of individual sheets that run through the printer, the amount of clicks is lowered, saving you money.

How Do I Impose For Print

If you are looking to impose a file yourself, there are different software programs available. Additionally, there are ways to manually impose in programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, though it takes a bit more work.

However, the good news is that you don’t have to worry about imposition when ordering with Printworks! At the risk of sounding vain, we’re pretty much experts when it comes to imposing for print, and we’re eager to prove it!


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