Posts Tagged ‘Creating a Church Directory’

Church Directory Printing: Seven Things To Tell Your Printer

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Planning to Create a Printed Church Directory? Save Time and Headaches by getting your Printer involved Early in the Process.

A professionally-printed directory is a very valuable resource for the members and leaders of a church. But creating a custom directory is a big undertaking, so it is advisable to get your printer involved early in the process.

As a printer of books and directories, I have compiled the following list to help guide you. Basically, these are the seven things you will need to relay to your printer so he/she can accurately quote and produce your directory.

If you are unsure of anything, don’t worry…your printer will offer guidance and suggestions.

1) Dimensions

Some Church Directory dimensions – such as 8.5” x 11” or 5.5” x 8.5” – are quite popular and economical to produce. Furthermore, some printers can produce large, odd or custom size directories and some cannot. It all depends on the printer’s production equipment.

Also, your printer may make size suggestions to help keep your production and distribution costs as low as possible. This is why it is advisable to always consult with your printer BEFORE getting too deep into the design and layout phases. A few subtle design changes upfront could translate to big savings later.

2) Quantity

Knowing the quantity will allow your printer to match your Church Directory to the type of printing press best suited for producing it. For example, if you only need 150 copies of your directory, it might be more cost effective to produce it on a digital printing press. Conversely, if you need 1500 directories, then an offset press will likely be the most economical production method.

3) Page Count –

The page count of your Church Directory (along with the total quantity of directories needed) will help your printer calculate how much paper is needed to produce your project. The page count will also help determine which Binding Style is best suited for your directory (see #4 below).

To help determine the proper page count of your directory, see our earlier Blog article:  Book Printing Lingo: Understanding the “Page Count” of a Book

4) Binding Style –

Church Directories are generally bound with the Spiral Binding method or the Perfect Binding method. Both of these methods provide a very professional appearance and can accommodate high page counts.

The Spiral Binding method uses a plastic or metal coil that is inserted and twisted through small holes or slots that run along the spinal edge of the directory’s cover and pages. An advantage to this type of binding method is that the directory can be opened a full 360 degrees which permits it to lay completely flat on a desk or table.

With the Perfect Binding method, the directory’s pages and cover are glued together at the spine with strong yet flexible glue. The three open sides of the directory are then trimmed to give them sharp clean edges.

Sometimes, a third binding method – Saddle Stitch binding – can be used for directories if the page count is low. Saddle Stitching uses staples driven though the directory’s spine to secure the pages into book form.

5) Ink Colors –

Will your Church Directory be produced with full-color pages and a full-color cover? Or will some of the elements be printed in black ink only? In some cases, black ink may be the more economical choice, but full-color provides maximum impact and perceived value, especially if your directory contains photographs. Sometimes there is a mixture of full-color pages and black ink pages, such as when the church directory contains advertisements among the member listings.

Your printer may also ask if the ink coverage extends all the way to the edge of the pages or cover (called a Bleed). Depending on the project, an ink bleed may cost slightly more because it requires printing on a larger sheet of paper and then trimming the paper down to the desired size.

6) Paper Characteristics –

The paper characteristics you select– such as thickness, texture and sheen level – largely depend on two factors. The first factor is the value you want your directory to project. For example, a directory made with a heavy, lustrous cover provides a higher image of quality than a thinner, duller cover.

The second factor is how durable you want your directory to be. If you print a directory infrequently, then you should consider using more durable paper with a protective clear finish. This will help it survive until the next printing. However, if you reprint a directory rather often then the thickness and sheen level of the cover and pages can generally be reduced, if you so choose.

7) Additional Requirements –

Let your printer know if your Church Directory project has any special features or requirements. For example, will your directory require any tabbed dividers? Will any sections within the directory be printed on colored paper? Will the directory’s cover be laminated to improve longevity? Would you like your printer to distribute the finished directories directly to your congregation members?  The more information you can provide to your printer the smoother the quoting and production processes will be.

With 25 years of printing experience, Formax can produce your Church Directories in just about any quantity, size, type, color or binding style you may need. Also, because we work with a lot of churches, synagogues and foundations, we can offer a variety of money-saving suggestions to help you stay within budget.

If you have an upcoming project and would like any guidance or assistance, just give us a call at (314) 434-5500 or (866) 367-6221. Or, if you already know your specifications and would like to receive a quote, please click here. We look forward to assisting you!

Take care! Keith

Church Directory Printing: Creating a Valuable Resource for Members

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

A professionally-printed Directory is a valuable resource for current and new Church Members

A professionally-printed member directory is a valuable resource for a church congregation.

A printed directory contains the names and contact information for all the leaders and members of the church. It provides the opportunity for congregants to contact and get to know each other. Some church directories even contain photos of the congregation members and list the committees and activities in which they participate.

In addition to being an excellent resource for current members, a printed directory is also a very practical welcome gift for new members. Through a directory, new members can learn more about the mission of the church and better acquaint themselves with leaders, staff and fellow members. In addition, directories often include a schedule of courses, events and programs offered by the church.

To read about the other benefits of creating a printed directory, click here to access our earlier article entitled “Benefits of Printing a Member Directory Listing for your Organization.”

Funding a Church Directory with Commercial Advertisements

Often, the cost of printing a church directory can be offset by offering advertising space to congregation members. For example, many parishioners are involved in high-demand professional services such as medical, financial, real estate, law, insurance or accounting. Others may provide computer or auto repair, home maintenance or remodeling, instruction or personal enrichment, and other in-demand services.

By allowing commercial advertisements to be placed within the directory, everyone at the church learns what business offerings fellow members may have to share. This helps bring members together because everyone prefers to deal with people and companies they know and trust. Plus, the ad revenue covers the cost of printing the directory.

Offering Ads to Businesses within the Community

In many cases, advertising space is limited to members of the church. But, it could also be offered to other commercial businesses within the community. Business owners will be pleased with the opportunity to reach members of the church and many will offer special rates or discounts to congregants as a result. It’s truly a win-win relationship.

Important:  Get your Printer involved early in the Process

If your church is planning to create a printed directory, it is recommended that you contact your printer early in the process to discuss all your options. In most cases, your printer will be able to offer suggestions to improve your directory’s layout and function.

Spending just five minutes with your printer at the beginning of a directory project can save you time, money and hassles down the road. Click here to access our article entitled “Church Directory Printing: Seven Things to Tell Your Printer.”

Formax Printing Solutions can help print any size or type of bound directory your church may need. We offer a variety of options to match your needs and budget, so give us a call today at 866-367-6221 (toll free) to discuss your church directory project.

Take care! Keith