Book terms and jargon in the glossary for additional information regarding book design and production.
Glossary Book Terms.
Glossary book terms and jargon for book printing and related terminology.
Read our glossary book terms list to be better informed about book printing. We may add more glossary book terms as technology changes. Do you see any glossary book terms to add?
Against the Grain — Folding or printing on press at a right angle to the grain direction of the paper.
Aqueous Coating — Water based coating applied by printing press over printing.
Artwork – Art — Images, including photos and type that is set-up for printing on press.
Author’s Alterations – AA — Changes or corrections requested by author after art has been submitted. AAs are charged at an additional cost based on an hourly rate.
Barcode — An EAN Bookland barcode is specifically for printed books. It contains the ISBN and retail price of the book. It may be reduced in size to 80 percent, but 92 percent is standard. The barcode goes on the lower right corner of the back of the book.
Binding — The covering of for a book such as leather, cloth, coated papers. Also, to compile leafs or signatures together with glue, stitching, sewing or other means to keep together.
Binding Cloth — Usually a cotton fabric that has been treated to affix to books as cover wrap.
Bindery — Department within a printing plant that folds, cuts, collate, drills, binds printed pieces or books. At times, some or all bindery services are contracted though an outside bindery.
Bleed — To run an image over the edge of a sheet or page and then trim after printing. A bleed is 3 mm, or 1/8 inch (0.125 inch).
Blind Folio — The page number is not printed on the page. This could be a blank page.
Blind Image — An image that is not foiled or printed with ink, but is embossed, debossed or stamped.
Blueline — A proof made from a negative by means of a photographic process. The page(s) and – or plate(s) to be printed show up in the color blue. Similar processes produce similar proofs, but know by different names. A blueline might be known a position proof, Ozalid, blueprint, diazo, Dylux, VanDyke, a brownline, among others. It is simply a proof of the film negative versus a proof showing color. Bluelines should be checked to view the film from which plates are made to print from, not for content.
Board Paper — Board is paper at or over 110-pound index, 80-pound cover or 200 gsm. It used for products such as file folders, business cards, perfect bound book covers, and post cards.
Body Type — Formatted type used for text, versus type used for heading, subheads, titles, chapter headings, etc. Body type should be easy to read.
Burst Binding — Spine perforated and glued. Also see Perfect Binding and Notch Binding.
C1S and C2S — Abbreviations for “coated one side” and ‘coated two sides’ referring to a type of paper.
Camera-ready Copy — Artwork ready for printing without need for further copy or other changes.
Case — The hard cover for the covers and spine.
Case Binding — Encasing a book in a case made of grey board covered with leather, vinyl coated paper or cloth.
CMYK — Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors used in the printing process.
Coated Paper — Paper with a clay coating. In Asia, it is commonly provided in gloss and matte finish.
Color Correct — To change or adjust process colors. Generally done correctly by professionals under controlled lighting.
Color Key — A brand name for a type of color proof that overlays each plate to form the composite color.
Color Separation — (1) Breaking down continuous-tone color images into four screened process inks suitable for printing on press. Can scanned on a drum scanner, flatbed scanner, and digitally separated. (2) The final color separated for four-color process printing.
Color Transparency — Transparent film used to make color separations. A 35mm slide is an example of a color transparency.
Continuous-tone Copy — Images like photographs and illustrations that have not been prepared for printing. They have to dot pattern. A print of a photo taken with a camera is a continuous tone photo.
Cover — The front, back and spine of a book are considered the cover and should be set-up to print on one page. If the inside covers are to be printed, create a side 2.
Cover Wrap — The covering material used on the grey board of a hard case book. It may be cloth, paper, vinyl, bonded leather or leather. Often the paper is printed with a design similar to the dust jacket.
Crop Marks — Lines indicating trim and bleed.
Cyan — One of the four process colors that make up process color printing.
Data Compression — Reducing the size of a digital file so that it may be transmitted faster.
Deboss — To press an image so it lies below the surface. It is the opposite of emboss – to raise the image.
Die — Used to cut, score, stamp, emboss, and deboss.
Die Cut — To cut shapes or special edges on paper using a die. It is often custom-made.
Digital Proofing — Proofs produced from digital files printed on paper. They can be lasered or ink-jetted.
Double Bump — To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.
DPI — Dots per inch, a measure of the resolution of the printed image.
Drill — To drill a whole in a printed matter. Instead of using a 3-hole punch, printers would drill the holes.
Dummy — An example of what the final product may look like. Usually made up of plain stock. Sometimes the cover wrap used is what was quoted to the client. Also called a mock-up.
Dust Jacket — A loose paper wrapping for a hard case or perfect bound book. Also called a jacket, it has inside front cover and inside back cover flaps. The dust jacket and flaps often contain promotional information. Also see French Fold Dust Jacket.
Emboss — To press an image into paper so it sits above the surface as a raised image.
Encapsulated PostScript file — A digital file containing both images and PostScript commands. Abbreviation EPS file.
Endpapers — Folded sheet that attach to the inside front and back cover of a case bound (hardcover) book. Endpapers can be plain white paper, a colored paper, printed, or a specialty endpaper that comes in different colors and finishes. Also called endsheets. Soft cover books do not have endpapers.
Fifth Color — Ink color used in addition to the four needed by four-color process. It is usually a spot ink.
Film Laminate — A permanent covering used to protect the cover of a printed book cover. It can be matte or gloss.
Finished Size — The size of printed item after trimming or folding. The flat size would be a different measurement. Also called trimmed size.
Flat Size — The size of a printed item after trimming but before folding.
Foil Emboss — To emboss an image and apply a foil stamp, commonly applied to a dust jacket.
Foil Stamp — A foil stamp may be used on a book cover and / or on the spine. A die is made for a provided image, usually the title and author’s name. Then the images is pressed or stamped into the cover and a foil is affixed to the impression.
Format — The style, shape, size and layout determined for a book design.
Four-color Process Printing — Full color printing uses CMYK, or cyan, yellow, magenta and black inks. The shorthand for 4 color process on both sides on a page is 4/4 or 4C/4C. Four color process printing on one side is 4/0.
French Flaps — Extended front and/or back cover on a perfect bound book.
French Fold Dust Jacket — A dust jacket that has a fold on the top and bottom. Also see Dust Jacket.
Galley Proof — A proof of typeset text that has not yet been paginated.
Gathered — Signatures assembled in the correct order for binding.
Ghost Halftone — A digital image whose density has been scaled back so that it is a faint or ghosted image.
Gilding — To gild the edges of a book with gold leafing. Bibles and special edition books may have gilding.
Grammage — Basis weight of paper in grams per square meter (gsm). Grams per square meter is the standard in Asia and Europe.
Gray Component Replacement — Technique of replacing gray tones in the cyan, yellow and magenta films. It is used to reduce the amount of ink on paper. Abbreviated GCR.
Gray Scale — Strip of values ranging from white to black.
GSM — The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square meter).
Gutter — The two inside margins toward the center or spine of the book.
Halftone — To scan a continuous tone image and convert the image into halftone by means of adding a dot pattern which can be coarse or fine. The screened image is also called a halftone.
Hardcover — Hardcover books, also called case bound or hard bound, are bound with stiff boards and a material, called the cover wrap that covers the boards. This can be paper, cloth, leather, vinyl and more.
Head Margin — The margin at the top of the page.
Impression — An impression is one sheet passing through a unit of a press.
Ink Jet Printing — Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink. This is not used for books printed on a printing press, but is commonly used for printing envelopes. Also called jet printing.
ISBN — International Standard Book Number, a number assigned to a published work. It is most often on the copyright page. To get an ISBN number, go to ISBN.org.
K — Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing. Hence the “K” in CMYK.
Laminate — A clear sheet applied to a hard case book over printed paper, and to perfect bound books. It protects the surface and comes in gloss and matte finishes.
Landscape — The landscape orientation means it is horizontal. The width or a book, image or style is greater than the height. The opposite is portrait, or vertical.
Lay Flat Binding — A kind of binding that allows a publication to lie fully open, with a hollow back.
Leading — Amount of space between lines of type.
Leaf — One sheet of paper in a book. Each side of a leaf is one page.
Lightweight Paper — Book paper with basis weight less than 40# (60 gsm).
Loupe — A magnifying lens that stands upright on a surface. It is used to inspect proofs, color, printing, etc. It is also called a glass and another similar item is a linen tester.
More Glossary Book Terms!
Magenta — One of the four process colors including cyan, yellow, magenta and black, (CMYK).
Makeready — The set-up and detail work to ensure proper printing and bindery operations for a particular project. The printing and bindery setup.
Manuscript — An author’s original work, in any form, submitted for publication.
Margin — The white space around the edge of the page.
Match Print — A name of a proof for process color.
Matte Finish — Flat (not gloss) finish on coated paper.
Mechanical Binding — Binding materials using a comb (GBC), spiral coil, 3-ring binder, or a technique not requiring gluing, sewing or stitching.
Mil 1/1000 Inch — The thickness of plastic films, “mils”. The measurement for plastic sleeves for CDs or DVDs are expressed in mils.
Mock Up — An example of what the final product may look like. Usually made up of plain stock. Sometimes the cover wrap used is what was quoted to the client. Also called a dummy.
Notch Binding — Spine notched and glued. Also see Perfect Binding and Burst Binding.
Offset Printing — Most commonly used for books. Ink is offset from plate to blanket and then from blanket to paper.
Orphan — A word, or part of a word appearing alone at the end of a paragraph. Orphans should be avoided by re-wording or changing spacing to lengthen or shorten it.
Over Run — Additional printed pieces to the original requested quantities. Overage varies in printing. Typically, a US standard is plus or minus ten percent unless a request to print for “exact quantity” is received. In Asia, unders and overs can (although infrequently) vary by as much as fifteen percent. Typically, the range is closer to two to five percent. Please request “exact quantity” at time of request for quote.
Page — Either side of a leaf in a book.
Pagination — The flow of pages in a proper order throughout the publication.
PDF — Portable Document Format. An Adobe document that allows viewing and editing (in upgraded versions).
Perfect Binding — Spine roughened and glued. Also see Notch Binding and Burst Binding.
Perfecting Press — A press that prints both sides of the paper at the same time.
Perforating — Creating a line of small dotted wholes to be able to tear-off part. A reply device may have a perf to be able to tear off a portion to mail back.
Pica — A unit of measure equal to is approximately 0.166 in. There are 12 points to a pica and 6 picas to an inch.
Pixel — A unit of a digital image. It is a scanner, computer, or other digitally generated dot.
Plate — A printing plate contains the image to be reproduced on press.
Pleasing Color — Average color. It may not match original samples such as a fabric swatch, a continuous tone photo, or print.
PMS — Pantone Matching System.
Point — A unit of measure in typography equaling 1/12 pica or .013875 inch (.351mm). There are 12 points to a pica and 6 picas to an inch.
Portrait — The landscape orientation means it is vertical. The width or a book, image or style is greater than the width. The opposite is landscape, or horizontal.
Prepress — Procedures performed by the printer, color separator, or service bureau prior printing.
Prepress Proof — A color proof, also called dry proof, is made by a digital output device. It is not the same as a ‘press proof’ that is printed on a commercial printing press, with ink instead of toner. A press proof is also not created with inkjet device printing.
Press Check — Press sheets that are examined before allowing production to begin.
Press Proof — Proofs made by press using before the job is started.
Print-On Demand (POD) — A method to make a few books at a time. The file is output on high-end digital copiers and output in single pages. The pages are then bound, but often will fall apart quickly. Star Print Brokers prints book signatures on commercial printing presses. (See signatures).
Process Color — The colors used for four-color process printing: cyan, yellow, magenta and black, (CMYK).
Rag Paper — Paper or stock with a high content of cotton.
RIP — A “Raster Image Processor” Device translates native files into bitmapped information for a laser printer or imagesetter; both output devices.
Recycled Paper — Paper that is made from old paper that has been recycled, such as newspapers, boxes, preprinted inserts, etc.
Register Marks — Short lines marking edges of paper, trim, or bleeds.
Resolution — Sharpness of an image. The higher the resolution, the smaller the dot. Books are typically printed at 300. Higher resolution files may be processed, but the printed results will be 300 dpi.
Reverse — Image or type produced reversing the ink color. Black type on a white background becomes white type on a black background.
RGB — Stands for red, green, blue. RGB mode is used for web design, where color is made for red, green and blue. In process color printing, CMYK is used, cyan, yellow, magenta and black. Photographs should be changed to CMYK mode before handing off native files or PDF files to a service provider. This can be done in Photoshop by the client, or for an extra cost in prepress.
Round Back Bind — A hard cover case binding with a rounded spine.
Saddle Stitch — A type of binding which simply staples folded sheets.
Scanner — Used to scan an image. There are different types of scanners including a wide range of flatbed and drum scanners. Quality is an important consideration.
Screen Tint — Color created by dot pattern rather than solid ink.
Self Cover — A booklet or catalog having the same paper on the cover as on the inside.
Separations — Images that have been separated into the four inks for process printing, cyan, yellow, magenta and black, (CMYK).
Sheetfed Press — A press that prints sheets of paper. A web press prints on rolls of paper. Books are usually sheetfed. Large run catalogs may be run on a web press.
Signature — A large printed sheet with an even number of pages printed front and back. It is then folded several times and trimmed to form a signature, or group of pages in a book. The groups of pages are then bound into a book. Pages do not fall out as is common with single sheet outputs for print-on-demand books (copying)
Soft cover — An example of a soft cover book is a paperback. They are perfect bound books that can be Smyth sewn, or notch or burst bound.
Specifications — Complete details of a book or any project to be printed. Ink, paper, bindery and well as any specifics are detailed. Abbreviated as “specs”.
Spine — The back or binding edge of a book. It is the area between the front cover and back cover. It will vary in width depending on the type of binding and number of pages in the book.
Spiral Bind — A binding using a continuous wire or plastic, threaded through punched holes. When printing with Star Print Brokers in Asia, and a spiral binding is needed, we bind instead with a Wire-O binding. We think it is better than spiral bound books.
Spot Color, Spot Varnish or Spot UV — One ink, UV or a varnish applied to a specific portion of a page or pages.
Spread — Pages that are side by side. Pages 2 and 3 would be a reader spread. Note: Page 1 in a book is always the first page and it is a right hand page.
Standard Viewing Conditions — Colored viewed under a Kelvin lights in a color viewing booth.
TIFF Tagged Image File Format — A stable file format commonly used for photographs and images in graphic design.
Tip In — A separate printed imaged added to a book. Often to a cover or spine.
Trade Shop — A printer or bindery strictly for trade professionals such as print brokers; not for the general public.
Transparency — A positive photographic image that allows light to come through. An example is a 35mm slide.
Trim Size — The size of a printed item after it is printed and then trimmed to size.
Uncoated Paper — Paper that has not been coated. Coated papers are coated with clay.
UCR Under Color Removal — When making color separations a potion of the of cyan, magenta and yellow ink is removed and black ink is added.
UV Coating — A liquid coating applied to a printed sheet. It is cured to bond with UV light.
Varnish — A thin coating applied over a printed sheet for protection and appearance.
Viewing Booth — A booth for proper viewing of prepress materials, especially color.
Vignette — A graphic element or illustration that fades to the background paper.
Web Press — A press that prints using large rolls of paper versus a press that is sheetfed with sheets of paper. Books are usually printed on sheetfed presses.
Widow — A short line that is the end of a paragraph that appears at the top of the next page. A widow should be avoided by re-wording text or modifying spacing to lengthen or shorten it.
Wire-O Bind — A binding using a continuous wire, threaded through punched holes.
Wood Free Paper — Made with a chemical pulp only. Wood free paper is typically used for novels or paperback books.
Glossary Book Terms
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