Creating CD DVD Booklet Printer Spreads

For inexperienced designers, figuring out the correct page sequencing when designing a CD Booklet or DVD Booklet can be rather confusing. This article is intended to clarify the difference between what looks right and what is actually right. In short, Printer Spreads versus Reader Spreads.

If you’d like to include additional information in your CD duplication or DVD duplication project you will likely need to incorporate a booklet into your budget and designs.

Booklets tend to be more popular than “folders” because we’re much more accustomed to the format of a booklet. Just like a book or magazine, a booklet is folded in half and is stapled in the middle, so they are very compact and easy to browse through.


Printer Spread Page Sequencing

Designing the booklet for your CD duplication or DVD duplication project shares many of the same design rules that apply to every other aspect of your project, but there is one commonly overlooked aspect we want to bring to your attention: Printer Spreads.

Through a whole lifetime of familiarity with books and magazines we know that ‘page 3’ comes after ‘page 2’ and then ‘page 4’ comes after ‘page 3’. This is absolutely correct after a book has been printed, cut, assembled and stitched but you actually have to design it counter-intuitively.

For the purposes of your CD duplication or DVD duplication project your ‘booklet’ is a series of 2 panel folders that are stacked together, stapled and then folded to create the book. There is a specific page order required to assure the booklet has the correct page sequence after it has been assembled, and this sequence (or page order) is referred to as Printer Spreads.


Create A Mock-Up

The best way for you to see this is to make a Printer Spread mock-up of something simple. Here’s how you can create a Printer Spread mock-up of a 4 panel (8 page) booklet using two pieces of scrap paper:

  • Stack two pieces of paper together (face to face).

  • Fold the stack evenly in half.

  • Put a staple in the fold to keep the two pieces of paper together as to create a booklet.

  • Now number each page beginning with the front cover as ‘page 1’.

  • After you’ve finished remove the staple and take the booklet apart.

If you’ve done this correctly you should have a total of eight pages that relate to each other as follows:

  • Page 8 - Page 1,  Page 2 - Page 7,  Page 6 - Page 3,  Page 4 - Page 5

What is "Reader Spread" Page Sequencing?

Now having said all of that, and we don’t want to confuse you, but it is important that you know the difference between Printer Spreads and “Reader Spreads”.

Due to the counter-intuitive page sequence involved with Printer Spreads it’s easy to image that proofing a large booklet for your CD duplication or CD manufacturing project could get rather confusing.

Reader Spreads can be created so the pages are formatted in the same intuitive way that the “reader” would experience them when viewing the finished booklet (after the booklet was assembled and stitched). As you learned from creating your mock-up, while “Reader Spreads” are all well and good for viewing the pages in a more true-to-life manner you cannot use Reader Spread page sequencing for printing or it would lead to rather disastrous results.