Booklet Printing

Level: medium

For small business and corporations alike, booklet printing can be a huge marketing strategy. Whether you need product catalogs, want to showcase seasonal services, provide employees with training manuals, design your own menus and more, Smartpress has the booklet options that suit your needs – and the basics to set them up below.

Different Types of Booklets

Custom book printing

Page Order for Custom Book Printing

Page numbering starts with page one, which is the cover. For example, the cover of an eight-page booklet would be Page 1 of your document. The back cover would be Page 8. (Hint: Learn more about how to count pages and sheets.)

Sizing and Page Count Limits for Saddle Stitched Booklets

There are minimum and maximum sizes for online booklet printing. The diagram below helps to visualize this:


The minimum page count for Saddle Stitch Booklets is eight. The page count has to increase by increments of four.

There is a limit to how many sheets a Saddle Stitch Booklet can contain before you need to consider moving up to a Spiral Coil, Wire Coil or Perfect Bound booklet. The page count below includes the front, inside front, inside back and back cover.

  • With cover weight stock for both cover and interior pages, the maximum page count is 16
  • With 100# text weight for interior pages, the booklet can be a maximum of 60 pages
  • With 80# text weight for interior pages, the booklet can be a maximum of 64 pages

If your page count is higher than the page limit, please consider a Spiral Coil, Wire Coil or Perfect Bound booklet.

Page Creep and Margin Slide

Saddle stitch booklet printing can be susceptible to a phenomenon called page creep, which occurs when the inner pages stick out of the edge of the booklet, as compared to pages closer to the outer cover. When the edges of the booklet are trimmed flush after stitching, the width of the innermost sheet will be narrower than the outermost sheets.

Page Creep Before Trim

This shows how the pages stick out of the edge of the booklet before trimming.

Booklet Page Creep After Trim

This shows how the pages are trimmed flush after they are stitched.

For online printing, page creep also results in the printed area of each page appearing to get closer to the outside margin as you flip towards the center of the book.

The margin is an important consideration for page numbers and content that is typically close to the edge. A good outside margin would be 1/4″ – 3/8″. Booklets with more pages or those with cover weight pages will want to consider a 3/8″ margin.

Knowing about this margin slide during the designing process can help you to reduce the impact of page creep.

Booklet Page Margin Area Before Trim

This shows the margin before trimming.

Booklet Page Margin Area After Trimming

This shows the margin after trimming.

Smartpress’ online printing services include applying creep to booklets with a page count of 48 or more. If a booklet has 44 pages or fewer, you can request that creep be applied. Page creep and margin slide can be affected by the stock you choose, with heavier paper resulting in greater page creep.

Uploading Your Booklet Printing File

Because they are multi-page jobs, there are some additional considerations for booklet printing. When you save your PDF, we prefer to have one PDF file with all booklet pages included. If there are pages that do not have printing, please include them in the PDF as blank pages.

Here are some additional considerations:

  • Please do not upload each page individually. When a PDF of all the pages has been made, please put them all in one Folder. Please zip that folder and upload the .zip file.
  • The first two pages and the last two pages of your document will be your booklet cover. If you do not wish to have any printing on the inside covers of your booklet, then simply include blank pages in your document.
  • The naming of the files is very important. To ensure pages are printed in the correct order, it is important to name the pages in the order you would like them to print. Please start with the cover named something similar to Page1, the inside cover named Page2, etc.

If your file is larger than 2GB, please use our FTP to upload it.

Learn more: Perfect Bound: Print Booklets with a Sophisticated BindingSquare Backed Saddle Stitch Booklet vs. Perfect Bound BookChoosing the Right Paper Stock for Your Booklet