The future is flat

LAYFLAT by Metapaper

You see the difference the moment you open a LAYFLAT brochure. The pages lie completely flat and every spread is a centerfold. No more bulging pages or images and information disappearing onto the gutter. With LAYFLAT the important facts are presented where they should be: front and centre!

With classic binding techniques such as stitch binding or perfect binding it is often the situation that information can disappear into the ‘gutter’ and that there can be an offset between the left and right facing pages of the book or brochure.

Today however it is possible to produce books and brochures without the gutter – where every page opens perfectly flat, where every spread is a center-fold and where the page formatting is divisible by two instead of by four.

How it works:

Two production processes present: The small edition of up to 250 copies which is digitally printed and semi-automatically bound; the large edition which can be produced on either digital or offset presses and subsequently processed automatically.

The basic principle is the same. In the case of small runs a paper with one side pre-coated with adhesive can be used. Two options are available. TOP PHOTO 190gsm – a real photo paper and TOP EXTRAROUGH 150gsm – an open natural, uncoated paper.

What the printer does with the paper:

  • The printer prints the paper on the non-adhesive side
  • The printed sheet is folded print image inwards – glue outwards
  • The printed folded sheets are stacked on top of each other to create a book block
  • The finished book block is placed in a book press and a pressure of eight tones per square meter is applied to activate the adhesive
  • To produce a hardcover book the book block is cut to the final size and the end-leaves cased/glued-in to the hardcover boards
  • To produce a softcover publication the same paper can be used for the text and cover pages. A further sheet is wrapped around the book block with the adhesive inwards. The book block is pressed with the folded sheet under pressure and then cut to final size.


Pioneers of the Layflat binding include: Albert Bauer Print (Hamburg), Magentur (Berlin), Limego (Gelsenkirchen), Margreff (Essen), dialogistiker (Frankfurt), Nino (Pfalz), Elanders (Stuttgart), Bluemedia (Munich), Eberl (Allgäu) and Hernegger (Tyrol).

For large print runs a machine is used in which the paper is printed on one side using digital or offset printing then coated on the non-printed side with an adhesive and subsequently folded and pressed.

The advantage of this method is that almost any paper can be processed. It is very important that the paper does not break in the fold. Pioneers of the automatic layflat process include the printing house Nino.

It should be noted that a certain level of paper stability is necessary for the application of the adhesive in both methods. Papers under 120gsm are not recommended. It must also be recognized that paper is glued together so a double-side thickness is obtained. Specifying the TOP EXTRAROUGH White 150gsm will create a page thickness of 300gsm.

Layflat brochures and books are particularly well suited to highly visual projects and projects where large visual spreads and cross spread information is fundamental to the finished product including: photobooks, real estate exposés, architectural subjects, illustrations or cross-page typography

Printing house

Printing houses with offering for Layflat brochure

Projects to

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