Even the simplest print job can be made easier for everyone if there is a full size mock-up of the job available. Printers refer to this as a dummy, and a folding dummy, as you might imagine, is a mock up showing where folds fall, and the sequence and orientation of pages.
A dummy helps communicate all the details of the job’s physical format with complete clarity, especially when it comes to the folds you are planning, and showing how elements should be positioned in the flow of the job.
When you request printing estimates for any multipage job, provide a dummy with the specifications. This will eliminate any possible confusion arising from verbal descriptions of the format, so you can be sure you will be comparing accurate estimates. It will also help avoid errors later in the printing process.
If you will be mailing the completed piece, ask your printer to make a dummy with the actual paper that will be used for the job. Different grades of paper that seem similar can actually vary in weight quite a bit. Using the correct stock you will be able to check the weight of the mailer accurately, so you can avoid surprise postage costs for a mailer that ends up being heavier than planned. Run it by your post office rep. to check compliance with postal regulations – it’s a lot easier to fix any problems before the job is printed!