Plastic covers only on the front

Renaissance Man's picture

I'll spare you my history (and histrionics) on this subject, but, long story short, I'm seeing more and more pamphlets and directories that come with a clear plastic cover on the front but not the back. To me, it degrades and cheapens (the perception of) the product. Is this the "new normal" in financially strapped times? Or is this a counter-productive cost-cutting measure?

PublishingMojo's picture

I think the new normal is Download the PDF, print it out, and get your own damn plastic cover.

Renaissance Man's picture

Spot on. That made me laugh! Thanks.

But for those that do print directories, the question remains: do I save fractions of a penny and look cheap, or do I put out a class act? My vote is for a class act.

Arthus's picture

It's functional and cheap, the 'plastic' side almost always points up, so there is no need to use it for the backside as well.

The use of plastic for covers is, to me, already questionable if you want to do a class act. But it helps with lastability and is cheap. Sometimes a class act isn't needed.

It's probably a choice based on 'how many people bother with the aesthetics of printed matter' Which isn't that high.

Chris Dean's picture

I can’ visualze this. Can you uplod a photo?

JamesM's picture

I can't visualize it either. Pamphlets and small directories are usually saddle-stitched (stapled on the folded edge like a magazine) so the front and back covers are one folded piece of material.

Are you maybe referring to a gloss varnish on just the cover?

aluminum's picture

I prefer no plastic on my print directories, as it makes it a lot easier to line the pet cages/recycle without the plastic.

Joshua Langman's picture

What is a directory in this context? I'm also not sure what we're talking about. Picture?

russellm's picture


(isn't even one clear plastic cover sounds like a waste of plastic.)

Renaissance Man's picture

In the most recent case I'm talking about, it was a spiral-bound church phone directory. I think there should have been no plastic either front or back, or it should have had clear plastic front and back.

Some of you want to see a picture of a piece of clear plastic?

russellm's picture

no... Could you email me a sample.

JamesM's picture

> it was a spiral-bound church phone directory

Okay, that's certainly a binding method that would permit that, and I'd agree it seems odd to do the front but not the back.

But spiral binding is not generally used on higher-end, well designed pieces. It tends to be used on things run off at the local copy shop, so it wouldn't surprise me to see poor design choices.

Chris Dean's picture

I still can’t vizualize a pamphlet with a cover, clear, plastic or no. I think we’re asking for a picture of the object in question. Or any example for that matter. I’m pretty confidant we know what clear plastic sheets look like on their own.

Chris Dean's picture

Like this?

On objects like this, thick black card stock on the back and a clear plastic sheet on the front has been a thing for as long as I can remember. The card-stock makes it stand up in your hand, and the plastic protects the cover. Simple pragmatics.

PublishingMojo's picture

Chris, the booklet in your photo has a Wire-O binding.

Other options are spiral (or coil) binding, and plastic comb binding.

For shorter runs, what you mainly see is plastic comb binding. At my house, the plastic-comb-bound church directory sits in a rack on the kitchen counter and gets dog-eared and ketchup-stained. I wish somebody had thought to put a plastic cover on it.

Chris Dean's picture

That’s just meant as a plastic over example (still not sure if that’s what were talking about though). We used thease guys back in my art college days:

Really nice.

timd's picture

Acetate cover front and back or acetate cover front, card back is normal with those instant binding machines.

I find the card back is more practical, helps stop the document folding over when standing on a shelf.

But these are rarely long-term documents, with small or no design budgets, so halving the acetate budget is probably justifiable.


Syndicate content Syndicate content