Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dutch Cut

Have you ever cooked in such a way that requires you to arrange your food on a baking sheet in different directions just to achieve the best fit? Think about a time where you were trying to fit strips of chicken on a pan or pieces of dough like the touloubakia pictured above. When you try to fit as many in that pan as you can, sometimes you might turn a couple at the top or side in a different direction just to get a good fit. You've probably done this before when cooking although you may not have realized that you were doing something that printers do on a daily basis - creating a dutch cut layout.

When a printer is figuring out the best way to fit a job on a press sheet, sometimes turning some of pages in a perpendicular direction allows them to fit more total pieces on a press sheet. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but in a scenario where you are printing 100,000 postcards, the difference of fitting 16 versus 19 postcards all on one big sheet amounts to 1,000 total sheets of paper!

Achieving small savings in printing adds up overtime and it can significantly reduce your overall marketing costs. To achieve savings though, you have to be open to suggestions and small size adjustments in your specs. While you hope all printers will offer suggestions on their own accord, printers still need the occasional nudge or trigger from customers. Sometimes all it takes is a customer to let the printer know that when quoting, if there is a slightly different size that works better for them, to quote that as well.

A dutch cut layout requires real thought by the printer, as computerized quoting systems often aren't sophisticated enough to layout such a scenario. It's just like baking where you can't possibly foresee that you will need to turn a couple pieces at the end to make them all fit. You may even have to reshape a few to get them all in. Printers do the same and the flat sheet of paper is a printers baking sheet and the postcard is their dough. Enabling a print chef to make things work for the resources they have will put put money back in your pocket.