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With the beginning of a new year just around the corner, there’s no better time to create your own custom calendars! Whether you’re using them for promotional giveaways for business associates or as unique gifts for friends and family, custom calendars are a great way to share your message with others all year long. Even if you don’t have the budget for large runs of professionally-made calendars, it is still possible to achieve professional-looking results in your own home or office when you use wire calendar hangers – and it’s surprisingly easy! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at wire calendar hangers and discover how they can transform ordinary color copies into a extraordinary wall calendars.
Wire calendar hangers are small, sturdy pieces of wire that have a shallow curve located in the center. This curve is aligned with a notch on the edge of the document (which is created using a half-moon punch), and the resulting opening allows the calendar to be hung using a nail or push pin while still providing clearance for the pages to be turned. They are available in two sizes – 6” wires that accommodate calendars that are 6”-9” on the bound side and 10” wires that are designed for calendars that are 10” or larger on the bound edge. The calendar hanger is secured in place by a standard wire binding spine (recommended size: 5/16”).
Creating a custom calendar with wire calendar hangers is easy! All that is required is a 3:1 pitch wire binding machine, a half-moon punch, 5/16” twin loop binding wires (3:1 pitch), wire calendar hangers, and color copies of your photographs or promotional images that have been prepared with your favorite calendar software. Begin by using the half-moon punch to create a semi-circle notch in the center of the edge to be bound (the edge that will be used to hang the calendar). Next, align your document in the punching portion of your wire binding machine so that it has an even number of holes on both sides (note: this may require you to disengage a few pins to avoid punching partial holes in either the notched section or the outside edges of your calendar). After punching your document, cut your wire binding spine down to the appropriate length for each side of the top edge. Insert your pages as well as the wire calendar hanger into the two spine sections, and use your wire closer to complete the bind. Now your custom calendar is ready to share with a friend or colleague.
Almost everyone has a calendar hanging in their home or office, so creating a custom calendar is an excellent way to share your photographs or promotional messages with others throughout the entire year. Though professionally-produced calendars can be expensive (and often require large production runs), making your own calendars is a cost-effective and surprisingly simple process. By using a wire binding machine, half-moon punch, twin loop wires, wire calendar hangers, and your artwork, creating small or large batches of calendars is as easy as binding a document. If you’re looking for an original gift idea for friends or family, or a useful promotional piece for business associates, custom calendars may be an ideal choice for you.
Laminating is one of the easiest and most cost effective methods of preserving and protecting important documents. From menus and pricelists to posters and children’s artwork, laminating has applications in a wide array of businesses and industries. When it comes to laminating film, roll laminating film is the least expensive and most versatile option, but selecting the right rolls for your machine and your specific needs can seem a bit overwhelming. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at roll lamination film and learn about the various styles available on the market today.
Most roll laminating film is thermal (requiring heat to achieve a proper seal) and made from polyester, though there are specialty films that utilize other application processes, such as pressure sensitive film, or materials, such as nylon film. When purchasing roll laminating film, there are four important factors to consider: core size, film grade, roll width, and film thickness. There are other variables to keep in mind, such as film finish (including clear and matte varieties) and roll length, however these are less critical than the other factors.
Being aware of the key variables (core size, film grade, roll width, and film thickness) between different roll laminating films will help you avoid purchasing film that is incompatible with your roll laminating machine. The core size corresponds directly to the size of the mandrel that holds the film on the laminator. There are three standard core sizes: 1”, 2-1/4”, and 3”. The size of the core often correlates to the length of the roll, since a longer roll requires a thicker mandrel to support it.
The film grade indicates the quality of the adhesive that is used to affix the laminate to the document. Standard film (also called “school film”) is a low-cost material that is ideal for laminating standard 20lb paper with light ink coverage. Pro-grade film is designed for professional use, with a lower melting temperature and more aggressive adhesive that makes it a good choice for digital or offset printing. Additional film grades are also available on the market, including DIGIKote low melt (which has a reduced melting temperature), SuperStick (which has an increased adhesion strength), pressure sensitive (which uses non-thermal adhesives), and nylon "lay-flat" film (which is designed for single-sided applications), however they are significantly more expensive and are not compatible with all roll laminators.
The roll width represents the width of the laminating film, and is dictated by the size of the machine itself. Rolls are available in standard sizes as narrow as 9” and as wide as 60”. Roll laminators cannot use films that are wider than their specified maximum widths, however they can use rolls that are narrower, which means that you can minimize waste when running smaller documents by purchasing appropriately-sized film rolls.
Like laminating pouches, roll laminating film is sold in a range of thicknesses, as thin as 1.5 mils and as thick as 10 mils. This metric represents the combined thickness of the film and adhesive that makes up a single layer of laminating film. Similar to pouch laminating machines, roll laminators are designed to accommodate specific film thicknesses, so it is important to use only the film that your machine can handle. Attempting to laminate with film that is either too thin or too thick will result in improper adhesion and can potentially damage your machine.
Selecting the Right Film
Roll laminating film is often categorized by film grade and/or core size. Once you’ve navigated to the section that corresponds to the film you’re looking for, you’ll see that each film roll is listed with three measurements (such as 25 in. x 500 ft. x 1 in.). The first number represents the roll width, the second number denotes the roll length, and the final measurement indicates the core size. In the case of the example, the roll width is 25”, the length is 500’, and it has a 1” core size.
Because of all of the variables involved, there are literally thousands of roll laminating films on the market today. As a result, locating the rolls that work with your machine and are appropriate for the type of laminating that you are doing can seem confusing. Knowing a few key details, namely the core size, film grade, roll width, and film thickness, will make selecting the proper film much easier. Most of this information is listed in the owner’s manual for your machine, or can be located by doing an internet search using the model number of your laminator. Spending the time to learn about your machine will not only save you time in selecting the right film, but will also help you avoid the costly mistake of purchasing film that is not compatible with your
With more and more organizations creating their own bound documents, making your own presentations stand apart from the rest is more important than ever. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at thermal soft covers to see how they work and to learn about how they can be used to add a professional touch to any document.
Thermal soft covers are used for perfect binding, a popular binding style that uses heat-activated adhesives to create an attractive, uncluttered bind. Perfect binding is commonly used on both soft cover and hardcover books, as well as magazines, because it allows for easy stacking and storage (unlike other binding styles which tend to have a bulkier finish). Since the documents are secured with glue, no punching is required to achieve a secure bind.
Thermal Soft Covers
Like traditional binding covers, thermal soft covers are made from paper or clear plastic (or a combination thereof) and are available in a variety of finishes. Instead of having separate front and back covers, thermal soft covers come as a pre-scored, solid piece (similar to a file folder) that has a strip of thermally-activated adhesive down the center. To create a bind, simply place your document within the cover and insert the cover into your thermal binding machine (following the manufacturer’s instructions). Because the covers are made as single pieces, they are available in different spine sizes that are specifically designed to accommodate the thickness of your report. They are offered with spines as small as 1/16” (capable of holding 1-10 pages of standard 20 lb. paper) and 1-3/4” (capable of holding 280-350 pages of standard 20 lb. paper).
There are three standard styles of soft thermal covers – solid, window-cut, and transparent front. Solid covers are made from a single sheet of paper, and are available in a wide variety of textures and colors. Window-cut covers are identical to solid covers in style and design, however they have a small window cut out of the front cover that allows for a portion of the text or artwork from your title page to be visible. Transparent front covers have a paper back and a clear plastic front, which enables the entire title page to show through without requiring the reader to open the book.
One of the best features of this style of cover is that it can be customized in a number of ways, which makes it great for promotional documents, catalogs, pricelists, tax reports, or even yearbooks and photo books. They can be screenprinted, foil stamped, embossed, and offset printed, which gives you (or your organization) complete control over the look and feel of the finished book. When you combine the available customizations with the wide selection of cover stocks and styles, the possibilities are practically limitless!
Perfect binding is a great way to achieve a book-like finish on almost any document. It creates a slim spine that is stackable and easy to store (unlike other conventional binding methods). Thermal soft covers are used in conjunction with a perfect binding machine, and come with thermally-activated glue pre-applied. Since they already have the adhesive in place, you simply have to insert your document into the cover and place it within the thermal binding machine to create your bind. Thermal soft covers are available in many attractive colors and textures, and can even be customized with screenprinting, foil, embossing, or offset printing to create your ideal book.
If you are looking for a way to make your presentations, reports, and even photo books look stand out, then you’ll definitely want to consider binding with thermal soft covers. Not only are they among the most professional-looking binding covers, but they also require very little effort to use. With almost endless options for customization, you can design custom thermal soft covers to fit all of your binding needs.
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