Re: Downsizing (literally) the manuals

Subject: Re: Downsizing (literally) the manuals
From: Wendy Putman <wputman -at- CASTLETON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:35:02 -0800

Judging from the books on my own shelf, there is no "standard".
The standard comes from production efficiencies. Paper is about 65% of
overall printing costs, so making the most efficient use of paper is
critical. Efficient paper use depends on the size of printing press your
printing company will use to print the manuals. If you choose a size
that's, for instance, just over the efficient paper size for their
presses, they will go to the next paper size up, trim, and still charge
you for the (large) scraps laying on the floor at the end of the day.
You don't say whether you do 8 1/2 x ll manuals that are perfect bound
(or do you DocuTech and cirlox bind?), so I'll add in the incredible
expense of using an offset press for small runs.

From a design perspective, it means a lot of work, depending on
how efficiently the old template will adapt to the new design. Someone
told me that using FrameMaker, you can "downsize" the page as long as
it's proportional. This works well for a page 90% of its original size,
but I don't know what would happen if you went smaller.

I almost hate to say this, but your dilemma is the type of
project I love to get my hands on! Good luck!

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ron Rothbart [SMTP:ron -dot- rothbart -at- DOCUMENTUM -dot- COM]
> Sent: Thursday, December 11, 1997 5:47 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Downsizing (literally) the manuals
> Currently, our manuals are 8 1/2 x 11. We are proposing downsizing
> them to
> the standard 7 x 9 1/2 size. The response to our proposal is generally
> positive, but one marketing manager is asking for "data." She wants us
> to
> come up with marketing or usability studies that show measureable
> benefits.
> Does anyone know of anything we can use?
> Also, are there other issues besides the ones we've already
> considered. The
> reasons we've given for downsizing are:
> * Looks more professional
> * It's the standard
> * Other companies in our "space" do it
> * Smaller paper books fit on all book shelves
> * Smaller paper books are less awkward to use
> * The PDFs we make from our manuals would be more usable (less
> scrolling)
> The costs we've considered are:
> * Creating a new template
> * Applying the new template to legacy documents
> * Perhaps some scrapping of current covers
> * Downsizing cover art
> * Trimming by the printer
> * Adding some kind of space filler to the 8 1/2 x 11 boxes
> Are there other costs and benefits?
> ~~
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
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