I have a little project which is about remaking some old piano exercises. The questions are below if someone wants to skip explanation but I though it would be a good idea to add it to clarify what I wish to achieve.

I have rewritten some piano exercises and now I need to group them together, such that I want three exercises to be visible simultaneously on a piano rack. Technically, it means they need to be in one spread.

The first idea was to make a mix of A4 and A3 pages. The layout would be like this:

          || A4 (front)
A4 (back) || A3 (front)
A3 (back) || A4 (front)
A4 (back) || A3 (front)
A3 (back) || ...

And then all A3 pages would be folded in half. This character || means a spine of a book. Unfortunately, I have no access to a A3 printer and will have to (1) bind two A4 pages on a spine and (2) attach the third A4 page to one of the edges. That would simulate a A3 page. This is what I am trying to have:

        || A4
     A4 || A4 | A4
A4 | A4 || A4
     A4 || A4 | A4
A4 | A4 || A4
     A4 || A4 | A4
A4 | A4 || ...

Again, || means spine whereas | means where two pages are folded.

I have a couple of questions on how to sort this layout semi-professionally :)


Firstly, what would be the size of two folded pages to avoid them sticking out of a book when folded / hidden. Also, I think I need to leave a little space between pages so pages should be even more narrower than a regular size of A4.

Secondly, I am going to use a packing tape to stick two A4 pages together. The problem I usually have is that the tape is quite rigid. Once pages are folded one way, it tends to stay this way. It's quite inconvenient to keep it flat on a piano rack. I was thinking to make creases to help with folding and unfolding. What would be the best way for making creases?


  • Ask this in Graphic Design SE? What you are trying to do is called "page imposition" in the printing and publishing business. Also, there are special tapes to do this specifically. It is called to "tip in" a page. You can also use glue if you get the right kind which remains flexible after application without the adhesive migrating from where it is desired. Visit an Art Supply store. – Stan Sep 11 '16 at 16:22

Packing tape (and most other tapes) deteriorates over time. The plastic backing often slips across the glue, leaving the glue exposed, so you end up with a sticky mess.
You need a tape that's designed to be used on paper. In my experience, Scotch Magic 810 Invisible Tape works well for this application. Other brands also exist, look for a tape that's 'acid-free' and designed for use on paper.

But even with a good tape, binding the spine is difficult. And in the places where you have used tape, the book will become thicker than elsewhere.

The page that sticks out must be narrower than A4, so it stays clear of the binding. How much narrower depends on the binding.

For this sort of project, instead of improvising I can recommend a visit to your local photocopy shop. They usually have A3 printers (avoiding the tape altogether) and for a few pounds/Euros/dollars, they can bind your book in a variety of ways.

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