Listen to 300+ podcasts by best-selling authors, published Wednesday, 4pm EST!

Print Newsletter Tools for Paste-Up Tips

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.

Print Newsletter Tools for Paste-Up Tips has been rated 3.1 out of 5 based on 938 ratings and 1 user reviews.
What can I use to hold down my copy?

Hand Waxers

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")

How can I get straight lines when applying border tapes?

Applying Border Tapes

In order to get a straight line using border tape, draw a guideline first using either a non-repro blue pen or pencil. This gives you a line to follow for accurate placement of the border tape.

What is a rapidograph pen?

Rapidograph Pens

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.

What tool can I use to help secure my paste-ups?


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.

Should I use a plastic or metal ruler in paste-up?

Metal or Plastic?

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.)

What can I use to hold down my copy?

White Paper Tape

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.

What is a non-repro blue pen or pencil?

Non-Repro Blue

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.)

What is a border tape?

Border Tape

In a pinch, border tapes are still one of the easiest ways to create a border around type composition, art elements, or a combination of both. They are pressure-sensitive tapes sold in rolls of various widths and designs.

Should I use surgical knives for cutting in paste-up work?

Surgical Knives

Although surgical knives may be used for paste-up, they are not as good as X-acto knives when it comes to cutting. The blades are usually too flexible.

How can I draw good, clean lines with a Rapidograph pen?

Pen Control

When using Rapidograph pens, it is important to note that good control will allow for clean lines. Try holding the pen straight up and down; remembering not to press down (these pens mark with hardly any pressure). Keep practicing until you can draw good, clean lines.

What tool can I use to square up elements on my paste-up?


A steel-blade T-square (15") is ideal for squaring up your work on your paste-up, for cutting items that have been waxed, and for hand-ruling with ballpoint or Rapidograph pens.

Should I use transparent tape to paste up my newsletter?

Transparent Tape

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!)

What is the best style X-acto knife to purchase?

Best Style to Purchase

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.

Should I use double-sided tape for paste-ups?

Double-sided Tape

It is best not to use double-sided tape for paste-up work. Not only is it a slow method, but the ability to "move" the elements is greatly limited. Use a hand waxer instead.

What tool can I use to position small pieces of type?

Pointed Tweezers

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.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Newsletter Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Linda Handiak