A printed manual is one of the most efficient ways to convey logical, step-by-step instructions. Whether the instruction manual is a small booklet or a comprehensive book, it provides essential information for completing a task or a series of tasks.
Many consumer goods come with an instruction manual. Often referred to as an owner’s manual, product handbook or user guide, this bound document instructs the user on the proper assembly, installation, operation and maintenance of the product.
In addition to product-related manuals, instruction manuals are often used by businesses and organizations to convey important operational procedures. Instruction manuals are also commonly used for a variety of training and educational purposes.
The Most Economical Way to Print Long-Run Manuals
When printing instruction manuals in large quantities – like 5,000 or more – a Web Press is the most economical production method. Unlike a sheet-fed press, which has separate sheets of paper entering the press one after another, a web press is fed from a continuous spool of paper that flows through the press. This web of paper is held taught by a series of rollers, which move the paper through the press at a tremendous speed. Once printed, the paper on a web press is cut into smaller sheets.
When printing high-volume book and booklet projects, such as instruction manuals, a web press offers two cost advantages over a sheet-fed press. First, its paper cost is less. This is because paper bought in bulk rolls offers substantial savings over paper bought in cut sheets.
Second, a web press can print on very light paper stock. A sheet-fed press encounters problems when printing on lightweight stock, but a web press handles it just fine. This is an important factor for instruction manuals, and other potentially high-page-count publications because it reduces bulk and prevents the book from becoming too heavy or unwieldy. In addition to making the book easier to handle, the lighter overall weight and reduced thickness helps lower the costs associated with storage and distribution.
Limiting the Use of Color is Another Way to Save
Full color is ideal for printed matter that serves a promotional purpose, but instruction manuals are strictly informational in nature, not promotional.
For this reason, the pages of an instruction manual can often be produced with black ink on white paper or newsprint, or possibly two ink colors on white paper or newsprint. Limiting the use of full color to the manual’s cover – or even foregoing full color altogether – will substantially reduce the printing cost of the manual.
When printing an important project like an instruction manual, knowing all your options upfront will help you achieve the optimal result. So whatever type of manual, handbook, or guide your organization may need, give Formax Printing a call. Don’t pass up the opportunity to reduce the printing costs of your next instruction manual – be sure to explore all your options!
Take care! Keith