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Pages, spreads and sheets

There can be some confusion around pages, spreads and sheets, so here are some definitions.


In newspaper printing, a page is one side of a folded sheet of paper. Here is one page:

Front and back covers also count as pages. You can find page sizes for all the newspapers we print in the artwork guidelines.


A spread is two facing pages - one left-hand and one right-hand page side by side. Two halves of a spread could be on separate sheets of paper like this:

Or on a single sheet of paper like this:

When the artwork is printed right across the page with no central margin or gutter, it's a double-page spread or DPS for short. The double-page spread in the middle of a newspaper or magazine is the centrespread.

It is possible to print a double-page spread on all newspaper sizes apart from a traditional broadsheet. If the spread goes across separate sheets of newspaper, there's a risk that both halves won't match exactly. We don't recommend printing across a spread unless it's the centrespread or the pages are part of the same sheet, like in the picture above.

Please note: If you are printing artwork across the spine of the paper some of the ink may rub off on to the facing pages, particularly around the gutter in the middle. For this reason it's best to avoid printing dark images which face lighter images or blank pages.


A sheet is one double-sided piece of newsprint. It contains four pages (two on each side) and two spreads (one on each side). Like this:

One sheet is the same as a 4-page newspaper.

Printing multiple posters or full-spread images in one newspaper

To print with us, all newspapers must be uploaded as one PDF file with single pages in reading order.

To make a newspaper that you can pull apart into posters, work out which pages make printer's spreads (that is, that print on the same sheet of newspaper) and split your artwork across these two pages. For example, in a 12-page newspaper, pages 2 and 11 are printed on the same sheet, as are pages 3 and 10, 4 and 9 etc. 

If you're unsure how to lay it out, try making a dummy paper. This helps you to understand which pages join together to form spreads. Place the sheets together, and fold them in half, to create a dummy paper. Number the pages of your dummy, in reading order. Now pull the sheets apart again. You can see which page numbers have which content on them, and will now know which order to upload your artwork in.

Further help

If you're not sure about anything just contact us and we'll be glad to help, or if you'd like to see an example, why not request a sample.