Book Printing Glossary

Learn about book printing processes and terminology with this comprehensive glossary.


A method that is used to create a book from individual printed pages. Methods include but are not limited to; gluing (perfect binding), sewn (smyth-sewing), stapled (saddle stitch), or coil (plastic or metal spirals).


Images that are on the page that extend over the edge of the sheet.

Body Text2023-09-07T14:47:47+00:00

Body text is the copy that is present throught the inside of the book.

Promotional Blurb2022-03-21T22:39:31+00:00

A promotional description about the book or author, as found on jackets of books or on a website.


CMYK is a color model in which all colors are described as a mixture of these four process colors. And CMYK is the standard color model used in offset and digital printing for full-color documents. Because such printing uses inks of these four basic colors, it is often called four-color printing.

Coated Paper2022-03-21T22:40:57+00:00

Paper that has a coating – usually of clay – creating a smooth and often reflective surface. Most paper mills produce coated paper in gloss, silk and matte.


Generally a heavy paper stock that protects the contents of a book. Parts of a cover include; Front, Back, Spine, Inside Front, Inside Back.

Crop Marks2022-03-21T22:42:37+00:00

Marks placed at the corners of a page or document to indicate where the page is to be trimmed.


To “crop” an image is to remove or adjust the outside edges of an image (typically a photograph) to improve framing or composition, draw a viewer’s eye to the image subject, or change the size or aspect ratio.


DPI (dots per square inch) is a resolution measurement that defines how many dots of ink are placed on the page when the image is printed. Found in images that are scanned or pictures taken by a camera.

End Sheet2022-03-21T22:45:19+00:00

The sheet that attaches the inside pages of a hardcover book to the cover.

Facing Pages2022-03-21T22:45:52+00:00

In a double sided document, the two pages that appear together when a book is opened.

Finish Size2022-03-21T22:46:26+00:00

The final size of the product after it has been completed. Also called trim size.


Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a page layout or printed book.


Finish on various materials that cause light to reflect off the item
(e.g. paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnishes).


The inside margins on a book used towards the back or binding.


Content at the top of the page; usually containing the author’s name, or title of the book.


International Standard Book Number. A number assigned to a published work and found on the copyright page and forms the barcode.


The process of setting lines of type to span the full width of the paragraph from left to right. Opposed to ragged right – where the  lines of type do not line up on the right side of the paragraph.


Spacing between the individual characters to create an aesthetic harmony within a printed piece.


A thin, transparent plastic coating applied to the cover of a book which provides protection against heavy use. Found in both gloss and matte finishes.


The orientation of a page or book that the width is greater than the height.


Term that refers to the spaces between the lines of text. Usually referred to as line spacing.

Low Resolution2022-03-21T22:57:26+00:00

Image that is displayed on a computer display or printed piece that has a low dpi (usually under 200 dpi).


An author’s unformatted and original form of their work – often a digital file. Used for submission  in publication.


White space that surrounds the copy on the page.

Mock Up2022-03-21T22:59:58+00:00

A rough version of a book, with pasted in images and text. Used for direction, pacing, and instruction for complicated pieces.


One side of a leaf, or sheet of paper in a printed publication.

Page Count2022-03-21T23:01:01+00:00

Total number of pages that a publication or book will have.

Perfect Bind2022-03-21T23:01:44+00:00

To bind sheets together at the spine and held to the cover by an adhesive or glue. Also called soft bind or soft cover.


The orientation of a page or book that the height is greater than the width.


An early copy of to-be-reproduced material produced as a means of checking for typos, positional errors, layout problems and color check.


Abbreviation for red, green, blue – the colors of light. Most digital images are in this format for display on computer screens.

Saddle Stitch2022-03-21T23:08:33+00:00

Binding style where sheets of paper have been printed on both sides and folded in half to create four pages. These are then bound and stapled in the centre.


Back or binding edge of a publication or book.

Spiral Bind2022-03-21T23:10:00+00:00

Binding using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through drilled holes. This is also referred to as coil or wire-o.

Type Family2022-03-21T23:10:50+00:00

A group of typefaces created with a common design. Each member will have varying degrees of differences such as italic, bold, condensed.


The process of setting print quality type. Involves placement, positioning, and specification of type to ensure maximum legibility and aesthetic appeal.

Vector Graphic2022-03-21T23:12:12+00:00

Image or graphic created by a digital program not based on pixels like a photograph. The size and detail remains consistent regardless of the size.

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