One of the first things I learned to make in the bindery was the scratch pad. Whenever there were uncoated text sheets in a pressman’s make-ready pile, with a clean, unprinted side, we’d swipe them to make pads.
As ugly as they might be, these pads remained a popular giveaway item with vendors, customers and co-workers. They were great for internal use, most folks had kids that used them (really big pads for coloring were popular) and one enterprising fellow even snagged the occasional batch of blank pads to sell at flea markets. I suppose we were ‘green’ before there was such a thing.
Most printing companies have at least one bindery staff member willing to be the keeper of the scratch pad...you see the venerable pad in numerous shops. Here’s a clever twist on this old-time practice, submitted by one of our regular readers. Simply dress up the pad with a cover sheet as shown.
This particular shop (they prefer anonymity) uses brightly colored sheets as covers, making the pads far more presentable for use in meetings. You could get really creative with the concept, perhaps printing a custom cover and making various sizes to suit the user.
If you’re not turning press make-ready sheets into pads, try it. It’s a great way to recycle and I’ll bet within no time at all, you’ll have a waiting list of pad requests from co-workers, family and friends.
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