May 11, 2018
Figuring Out Tab Dividers
Tabs are an ideal way to organize the content in a three ring binder or box. Our tab dividers enhance and complement your presentation product by carrying the branding through to the inside of your product. While tab dividers are sometimes referred to as an accessory product of your binder, you shouldn’t underestimate the variations and styles available. So let’s clarify the typical terminology as well as available print options for your index tabs.
What do the different numbers mean?
Bank of tabs
A bank refers to a single row of tabs running the full length of the sheet, normally along the longer side of the sheet, from the top to the bottom of a binder. A bank of 4 consists of 4 tabs with extensions in different positions. A bank of 8 consists of 8 tabs.
Our digital tabs are available in banks of 4 to 8 tabs and our offset tabs come in banks of 2 to 8. We can create more tabs to a bank with our custom options, but we do not recommend adding too many tabs to a bank since it significantly reduces the size of each extension which will make it difficult to add copy to the tab.
So what happens if you’ve structured your content into 12 sections and therefore need 12 tabs? In this case we would recommend adding a second bank to your set, so that you have 2 banks of 6 tabs each. The first bank would have the segments 1 through 6 while the second bank would mark sections 7 through 12.
Set of tabs
A set is the total number of tabs needed per binder or box. A set can be one bank of tabs, for example if you need 8 in a set – you could create one bank of 8. Or it can consist of several banks of tabs in different sizes, for example if you need 15 tabs in a set – in this case you could either create 2 banks of 8 and leave out the last tab of the second bank (if you want all extensions to be the same size) or you could create a bank of 8 for the first sections followed by a bank of 7 for the remaining segments.
When we provide you with pricing for your tab dividers, we will need to know the number of units you are looking to produce. A unit means how many times you need the set of tabs printed (this number usually correlates with the number of binders into which the tabs will go). It’ll make sense when we use a quick example: Let’s say you need tab dividers for 10 different sections of your binder content. In this case you would need 10 tabs in a set, most likely 2 banks of 5 tabs. If you need 300 of these complete sets, that is the number of units we will quote for you. So the unit price we give you doesn’t state the cost of one individual tab but one full set of tabs. The total cost will reflect the price for printing this set of tabs 300 times.
What are the parts of a divider?
The extension of a tab divider is the part that extends out past the regular sheet. This allows for the tab copy to be visible so you can identify the sections of your content. A standard tab extension sticks out 1/2″ from the sheet. Tab extensions are available in a standard rectangular shape with rounded corners, half-moons or custom shapes. Please note that custom shaped extensions are only available with our offset print option and might involve an additional die charge.
If you do not want a tab extension, we refer to these dividers as cut sheets.
This is the area of the regular sheet size that can be designed and printed to your specifications.
The wording that will print on the tab extension.
What other options can I specify?
This is the part where we can put holes in your tab dividers so they can be used in a ring binder.
This is where we assemble the tabs into complete sets.
Offset printing is available for longer print runs or when the use of a PMS color is desired. They are produced on 12-point stock with your choice of lamination or varnish. They can be shipped collated or non-collated.
Digitally printed tabs are available on either 12-point stock or a 100# white index with Mylar® reinforcement.
We hope this little glossary was helpful! Now have fun designing your tab dividers: You can find some great design examples in our online gallery! We look forward to working with you.
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