A few words about montage

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It’s been a while, but we’re back now! And this time Nikitas Vgontzas, who’s been in charge of montage for 15 years, will help us with the post and explain us some things about montage.

On offset printers, we mainly print on A1 (61cm x 86cm) and B1 (70cm x 100cm) sized papers.

View previous post: Economical printing paper sizes

Depending on the desirable printout size (when folded), we choose the adequate paper size.

For instance:

  • A. We want to print a 16-page product catalogue, sized A4 (21cm x 29cm).

A4 is part of A1 (61cm x 86cm).

On each side of an A1 sized paper we can fit 8 A4 sized pages.

For printing a 16-paged printout we’ll need two sides of A1 paper.

The way they’re placed on the surface depends on the way the sheet will be folded. You can see pictures of the broadsheet layout process and a video of how the sheet is folded below.


Montage of A side



Montage of B side


  • B. We want to print an 8-page product catalogue, sized A4.

As we have mentioned, we can fit 8 pages on each side of an A1 paper, so we’ll only need one side this time.

In order to print the pages front and back we’ll use the work-and-turn method, which means we’ll print once on the sheet as is and then we’ll turn it to print on the same side.


8-page file montage for work-and-turn printing

All montage required for printing works with the same logic. Here are some tips for graphic designers that can help the typographers’ job:

  • Printers need some spaces on the paper. The A1-sized sheet (61x86cm) divided by 8 pages equals 21.5×30.5cm per page. When we’re creating the file, we should size up the final trimmed printout to be 1 centimeter smaller than the 1/8 of the A1 sheet.

e.g. 20.5×29, 14.5×20.5, 29×42, 16.5×24, 24×33.5, 11.5×16.5

More on the post “Economical printing paper sizes”

  • As you can see on the montage picture, page 4 is above page 5, page 13 above page 12 etc. The printing machine prints in zones, so the colours of page 5 affect those of page 4 etc. We should know that in case the colours of the two pages are completely different or contrasting, there may be little differences on the output. It would be best, if possible, to put colour consistent pages next to each other.
  • Furthermore, as I already mentioned, the number of pages that can be printed on one side depends on the size of the page. In magazines or books with many pages, they should be evenly divided, so that they can be printed economically.

e.g. In a 252-page book of B5 size, we need 15 sides for the 240 pages in sets of 16 pages, 1 side for an 8-page set and 1 side for the remaining 4 pages. If the book had 256 pages, we’d only need 16 sides for sets of 16 pages (we’d need one less side). This way, both the printing and the binding processes would be more economical.


Finally, I’ll mention two prevailing montage programs in Greece:


  1. Signastation from Heidelberg
  2. Preps from Kodak

Thank you very much!

   Nikitas Vgontzas

We’ll talk further about montage on some next post. We’ll also mention some issues that appear in the files we receive for montaging.


A few words about montage

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