Read these 15 Print Newsletter Tools for Paste-Up Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Newsletter tips and hundreds of other topics.
Hand waxers are one of the greatest inventions ever produced for manual paste-up. The initial cost is relatively low (about $40), supplies are fairly cheap (about $3.50 per box of wax), they're clean (not messy like glue sticks or rubber cement), and they're easy to use (just roll the waxer quickly across the back side of your type or graphic)!
The thin wax coating gives just enough "stickiness" to allow you to place your type or graphics into position without having to worry about it moving or falling off the page. (This is especially helpful when making simple one word/line corrections!) However, if you do have to move your element, you can do so with ease - even many months or several years later!
(Also see "Pointed Tweezers")
Long before computers (and even phototypesetting equipment), many rules and lines were drawn by hand with Rapidograph pens. They are technical fountain pens that contain a plastic cartridge filled with an "India-type" ink. Most designers invested in an entire set of the pens which were numbered and color-coded from No. 5x0 - pink (a micro fine line) to No. 9 - emerald green (a macro bold line).
Rapidograph pens consistently provide uniform lines - it was not unusual for a designer to draw all horizontal lines one day, then return to draw vertical lines the next day.
These handy little pieces of plastic help insure that your copy is securely pasted to your board. They are rather inexpensive (less than $2) or you can invest a couple dollars more for a roller.
In a pinch, you can use the rounded, blunt end of any of your other tools as a burnisher.
Metal rulers are an absolute necessity in paste-up. They stay straight, are more accurate, and don't get hacked up from use with X-acto knives. In most cases, you'll find they have standard measurements (inches) on one side and typesetting measurements (picas and points) on the other. (Plastic is acceptable for light duty measuring and drawing.)
When you need to cover up unwanted dark spots or lines on your paste-ups, hold down base sheets on your boards, or tape paste-up boards together, white paper tape does the job. It is a versatile, flat-back paper tape that also allows you to write (instructions) on it surface.
Non-repro blue pens and pencils are the ONLY tools you should use for writing instructions to your printer on your newsletter flats. He will be able to see them, but the camera won't when negatives or plates are made for the printing press. Non-repro blue pens and pencils can be found in most printing supply or stationery stores. (I prefer the pencils over the pens as sometimes the ink is "blobby" enough to show up on the camera.)
It is not recommended that you use clear or transparent tapes to hold down any of the elements on your paste-up. Not only does it slow you down, but you will not have the ability to move your copy around after the initial positioning. The adhesives of the tape also discolor and deteriorate over time.
(Regular transparent tape also shows up on photocopies!)
When purchasing X-acto knives for paste-up, buy the style with a snap-off tip. Your knife will become one of your most valuable tools for cutting and trimming, and because of this, the blades will dull quickly. By using this style, you can break them off easily (rather than replacing the entire tip) at the first sign of dullness.
After you have cut out minor type corrections (as opposed to printing out an entire page) with your X-acto knife, you will need a tool to handle the small pieces. Pointed tweezers are an absolute must! They give you the best control for handling the tiny pieces of type, while positioning them on your paste-up.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|