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Manufacturing Variance

Learn what manufacturing variance is and why it’s important to understand when printing your project with PrintNinja.

Sheet-fed offset printing quality can’t be beat, but as with any mechanical process, printing, trimming, and binding all exhibit miniscule variances (usually under 1mm) from piece to piece. This is why projects need bleed, for example, so that a cutting variance of 1mm won’t leave unsightly unprinted edges showing. While it’s impossible to avoid, we take all the steps we possible can to make sure your project ends up looking great. It’s also why we include a free 2% overrun – if there are any manufacturing variances you deem too severe, you can discard tem and still be left with the same amount as your original run. Since domestically printed copies can be ordered in any quantity, overrun copies are not included by default. Based on the quantity ordered, some small portions (1-5 copies) may be included and are not guaranteed.

The most obvious and common manufacturing variances can be seen with specialty options such as embossing, debossing, hot foil stamping, and spot UV.

Watch the process of debossing a book cover:

It is difficult to get a spot UV, for example, placed exactly on top of your cover title without some pieces showing a millimeter of variance. It’s not extremely noticeable, but next time you are in your local bookstore take a close look at a few of the titles. Can you spot the variance?

Manufacturing variance with a Spot UV showing slight overlap

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