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Glossary of Technical Terms

Book Design, Layout, Printing, and Binding


© 2008 12/14


Page A book is made up of leaves of paper. One side of one leaf is a page.
Page Proof See proof.
Pagination The system or organization of pages, which often involves page numbering.
Paper General considerations for book or printing papers:
Uncoated & coated papers: The difference between uncoated and coated papers is that uncoated papers consist only of the paper stock, which may or may not be sized, whereas the printing surface of coated papers have a pigment coat of some thickness. Glossy papers are coated papers.
Printing method: Papers for offset printing carry sizing that prevents or minimizes picking; these papers also have narrow tolerances for moisture content than papers for letterpress printing.

Material: Most book papers are made from cellulose fiber from wood. Cheap paper used for inexpensive paperbacks yellowed: "pulp fiction"; whereas, better papers, also made from cellulose may be treated to be lignum and acid free.

Color : most books are printed on "white," but white ranges from pure white to yellow-white. Color also may effect opacity.
Finish: book paper runs from "rough" (antique) to gloss, such as clay cast papers.
Weight: The weight of paper is defined as basis weight.
Bulk: The thickness of paper is expressed in thousandths of an inch.
Price: Paper prices vary greatly from cheap newsprint to heavy clay-coat.
A book bound in paper. Also paperbound.
When setting type, there are two kinds of paragraphs: a plain paragraph has the first line indented and the other lines are flush; a hanging paragraph has a full, first line, and all the other lines are indented. A third type of paragraph, a block paragraph, has no indentation, but a line space separates it from the preceding and succeeding paragraphs, common in business letters.
Part title
The title of a division of a book, usually printed alone on a part title page preceding the following text. Part of the display matter.
The assembling of type, illustration etc. as a guide to the printer for makeup, or as camera-ready-art.
Adobe Acrobat’s native file. Portable Document Format that encapsulates type and images from highly compressed for web use, to low compression, high quality print work. Often used by print-on-demand printers for book formats.
Printer’s Error, which are corrected at the printer's cost.
Penalty Copy
Copy that is difficult to compose--heavily corrected, foreign language, mathematical symbols, etc.—usually billed at a higher rate.
Perfect Binding
See binding.
Written documents giving the author, or publisher, formal permission to quote or reproduce something from another work.
To mix up type accidentally.
One-sixth of an inch. See points.
Pica em
A 12 point em.
Pica type
Typewriter type: 10 characters to the inch.
When ink pulls loose paper fibers from the paper, this is called pick.
To reuse previously printed matter as part of a new work.
In digital art, the smallest piece of image information (picture element.) Each pixel can carry two types of information: intensity (white to black) and color (RGB or CMYK).
1) The image carrying surface for printing. 2) A printed image on smooth or coated paper.
Portable Network Graphics—a bitmapped digital image format with lossless compression. Created for the internet to replace GIF (Graphics Interchange Format).
One-twelth of a pica, 1/72 of an inch.
An image—reflective or transmitted—where the hue and intensity information is correct, as opposed to a negative or monochrome positive.
A preliminary part of a book containing the author’s statement regarding the purpose of the book, often including acknowledgments.
See front matter.
In book making the printing of the book; distinct from composition, makeup, and binding.
Also POD. A computer based publishing model, where books are printed (usually by a specialized lasterjet printer), trimmed and bound to order.
Printer’s Error
An error that is corrected at the printer, publisher, typographer’s expense. See author’s alterations.
Process Color
Standard lithographic ink colors for color printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. See control color.
Progressive proofs: color printing proofs, showing the colors individually and progressively as they are printed.
An impression or reproduction made from the film, plates, finished art, ect. to check for mistakes or deviations.
Proof Reader

Someone who checks the type to make sure it is identical to the original copy.

Proofreader’s marks
A system for marking copy or proofs to show corrections. See Proofreader's Marks PDF.
Proportional Type
Type that varies in width: for example, narrower for an “i” than for an “m.”
Adobe Photoshop’s native image file extension.
In typesetting, to fill out a line of type with a blank space—a quad space.
A four-color reproduction of a black-and-white image. While CMYK is a four color system designed to reproduce full-color images, the four colors of a quadtone are not intended to reproduce a color image faithfully, but, rather, to enhance a black-and-white image.
Image tones in the shadow area (in RGB or in CMYK this would be the highlights).
A book made from standard size sheets, folded twice forming 4 leaves or eight pages. Sometimes applied to a 9 by 12 inch book. See folio and octavo.
The layout of a standard typewriter/computer keyboard. The first and uppermost letters start “qwerty.”
Ragged Right
Type set with a unjustified right-hand margin.
Irregular margining, either left or right.
Raised Cap
An initial that is set in a large size, sticking up beyond the first line of type. Used for the first sentence of a book or chapter. See dropped cap.
Random Dot
Inkjet and laserjet printers use a random or stochastic dot to create a virtually continuous tone image; as opposed to halftone printing where the dot pattern is regular—e.g. 120 line screen—and varies in thickness to create the illusion of continuous tone.
Chiefly British for flush.
Raster Graphics
Bit-for-bit image mapping of the image pixels. In most graphics programs, this also includes the number of bits per pixel—color depth—which determine the number of colors the pixel can represent. The larger the image the larger the file.
Converting text or art from vector based (scalable) to raster based. In Photoshop, for example, working with type is vector based, in a special type layer. Once the type is rasterized, it become raster based or bitmap, and is uneditable, but can be treated like any other image object.
Also camera raw. In digital photography it is the native format of a digital photograph, e.g. a Canon raw photograph is a different format from Nikon. For most photo editing software the raw files have to be converted into more standard formats (jpeg, tiff, etc.). Raw affords the photographer the best control over image quality if he makes the conversion rather than the camera’s processor.
The quality of some typefaces to be read comfortably or with better comprehension over a sustained period of time.
500 sheets of paper. See basis weight.
The right-hand page, in books having an odd-number folio. The image side of a print.
Reference Marks
Numerals, letters, or symbols used at the point of reference in the text and correspondingly at the head of a note or footnote.
Reference Matter
See end matter.
Painting, photographs, text, etc. on paper or other nominally opaque surfaces—called reflective because light hits the object and is absorbed, reflected, and transmitted, such that the viewer sees the art. See transparency.
To print an impression on a sheet in correct relationship to other impressions: for example, full color lithographic prints, printing in 4 colors, CMYK, each impression must be in register. When the impressions are not aligned, the work is said to be out of register. Registration is not so much a concern with inkjet: the registration of colors is adjusted on the print heads.
Register Marks
Marks used to align pages to keep in register. Although these marks print, they are outside the trim lines.
Regular spacing
The use of a quad space after all periods ending sentences.
Reproduction Proof
Also repro. The final proof with all the corrections. In photo-mechanical art, camera ready. A repro grade photograph is a photographic print suitable for its intended use; repro grade prints are made to size, with dodging and burning, usually with subtle differences in cast, letting the customer select the best settings.
Reverse out
A graphic element or type is said to be “reversed out” when the element or type is surrounded by color and the type or element itself is the paper color.
An additive color scheme of red, green and blue light—as in color monitors. There are three channels (each a grayscale) for each color.
A white streak or river running down a page between words, usually 3 or more lines. Rivers breakup the even appearance of type and, because they are distracting, are to be avoided.
Regular type as opposed to italic. See Type PDF.
A preliminary sketch showing only important areas, with no details.
A typographic element: a line.
Run back
In proof reading, to move material from the beginning of one line to the end of the previous line.
Run down
In proof reading, to move material from the end of one line to the beginning of the next.
Run in
1) To merge a paragraph with the preceding one. 2) To insert new copy into the text.
Type set in varying measure to fit around an illustration or a box.
Running Head
See Heading. See Running Heads PDF.
1) In flush-and hang material, lines after the first; 2) the continuation of a heading on a second line; 3) a large amount of reset material.
Same Size
Abbreviated SS
Sans serif`
Letterforms that have no serif.
Determining the dimension of art to be enlarged or reduced.
1) In halftone printing, the dot pattern applied to an image. 2) A uniform pattern of dots applied to line copy to create tone. 3) As in screen printing: a technique using a mesh to support a stencil. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen (mesh and stencil) forcing the ink through.
Type designed to resemble handwriting. See cursive.
Secondary text
See extract.
The stroke that projects beyond the top or bottom of the main stroke of a letter.
Service Bureau
In graphic arts and printing, commonly a company that converts digital files to film or film to digital files. See imagesetter.
Also set size. Horizontal dimension of individual letter; generally, condensed, extended, fat or thin.
See offset.
See Binding
The darkest areas of an image, usually with very little detail.
In printing, a different form or imposition is used for each side of the sheet, as distinct from work and turn.
Heavy papers, folded and gathered for saddle stitching will creep or push out: if all pages were trimmed prior to gathering, the inside pages would have smaller outside margins. Shingling anticipates this by making sure the paper is big enough, and in extreme instances the gutter is adjusted to permit even alignment.
Printing that is visible from one side of a leaf to the other.
Side Head
See Heading.
A sheet of a book folded and ready to be sewn. It is usually 32, 16, or 8 pages. If the paper is thin enough, a signature could be as much as 64 pages.
Silhouette The entire background of a halftone is removed. Extracted.
Simultaneous Contrast
The apparent enhancement or diminishment of contrast color, related to the simultaneous exposure to a stimulus: or, simply, the way in which the colors of two different objects effect each other. Often a color appearing in on context appears to be different in a different context.
The vertical distance that any line or graphic element is dropped rom the tope of the normal page, measured from the top of the running head, or if there is not running head from the tip of the first line of text. It is measured in picas and points.
In digital art, a transformation that changes the angle of a line or shape relative to horizontal or vertical.
The angle of a downward stroke of type.
Slash See solidus.
Slipcase A protective box for a book or set of books, with one open side so that when the book is shelved the spine is visible.
A sheet of paper slid under a translucent sheet. The slip sheet may have guides, letters, drawing on it—to assist in making a cleaner or revised drawing on the translucent sheet. In digital art, a white or black layer “slid” under a transparent layer with an object on it. It assists in cleaning up.
Small caps
Roman uppercase alphabet that has the same height as the x-height.
Type set with no leading.
Forward slash. Also virgule, slant.
Letter spacing: spacing placed between letters to justify a line or for display purposes. See Type PDF.
Word spacing: spacing placed between words to justify a line or for display purposes. See Type PDF.
Line spacing: spacing, called leading, placed between lined of type most often for readability and color. See Type PDF.
Spanner head
In a table, a column head covering two or more columns.
Short for specified. Specification on manuscript or layout.
The part of a book that is visible when a book is shelved.
Spot Color
See control color. Commonly a color generated by a non-standard offset ink. For example, a company’s logo may be made using a spot color so that it doesn’t vary from printer to printer.
Spot Varnish:
Print varnish, or press varnish, is the application of varnish to a page. Because it is applied with a plate, where it is applied is controlled--hense spot varnish. It is does for protective purposes; e.g. solid black inks show finger prints, which a varnish coat prevents. An extra clear varnish, called water coat, is often applied to images to make them appear more glossy. Sometime the varnish coat can be tinted to warm or cool an image.


Same Size: used to indicate that a piece of art work is to be used at the size shown.

Staging line A line created when using a frisket or mask when removing or adding color.
Staining The coloring of the edges of a book for decoration.
Stochastic dot A random or random-like dot in inkjet or laserjet printers, giving the appearance of continuous tone.
Stock Generally, the paper being printed on.
Stub column The left-hand column of a table.
Stub of a table Guiding entries in the left-hand column of a table.
Style Rules covering punctuation, capitalization, word division, spelling. House style is the set of such rules by a publisher.
Subhead See Heading.
Subscript A small numeral, letter, etc. that prints partly below the base line.
Substance See basis weight.
Superior figure A small numeral that prints above the x-height; see superscript.
Superscript A small numeral, letter, fraction, that prints above the x-height.
Swash letters Ornamental variations of a type face, in caps used chiefly for initials.
Tablet A mouse like device used in graphics programs. It is a pen and a tablet that enable the user to draw.
Tabulation Listing or charting items in a table.
Template A pre-made layout.
Terminal Letters A swash design on the tail of letters: a flourish.
Text Block The body of the book. In book making, it is all the leaves making up the book to be bound, therefore excluding the cover--board papers, end papers, etc. In printing based on digital files, the file containing all the pages of the book; the cover being a separate file.
Text book A book or edition of a book intended for sales and use in schools and college.
Text Frame In digital typesetting, a frame that is drawn and positioned in which type is placed.
Text Type Type of the text, normally 14 points or smaller
Three-quarter Binding A three-quarter bound book has a leather covered spine and the corners of the covers. Today these may be materials other than leather that are somehow different from the rest of the cover. See half and full binding.
Thumbnails Small images, as in a contact sheet, standing in for larger images.
Tiff Tagged Image File Format: A digital image file storage format. It can be use lossless compression.
Tip-in A separately printed leaf that is glued or tipped in. See wraparound.
Title page Nominally the third page of a book, with the title, author and publisher’s names in display type.
Tool To alter the surface of printing plate with an engraver’s tool.
Tracking In digital type setting, letter-spacing. See Type PDF.
Trade book Books or editions for sale through bookstores to the general public.
Transitional Type design that combine features of both Old Style and Modern; eg. Baskerville. See Type PDF.
Transparency Art, type, etc., on film through with light is shown to see the image. Transparencies can be positive (slide film) or negative (color or B&W film)
Trapping A prepress technique of creating a slight overlap of one color over another to correct or prevent registration problems.
Trim size The outside dimension of a page after it has been printed and trimmed.
Tritone A three-color reproduction of a black-and-white image. See Color PDF.
True Type An outline or vector type, originally developed by Apple Computer. Microsoft added True Type to Window in 1991.
Turnover See runover.
Type sizes See Type PDF.
Type styles See Type PDF.
Typographical Error An error made by the typesetter; commonly “typo.” It is a printer’s error.
Uppercase Capital letters.
Variables Any typographic element that can be specified: typeface, type size, type body, measure, and paragraph indent.
Vector graphics Uses points, lines, and curves—based on mathematical equations, the size of which is impendent of the final image size—to represent images in computer graphics. TrueType type is vector graphics. The size of a vector file is independent of the size of the image.
Verso The back side or page of a leaf. The even numbered pages.
Vertical Scale In computer typesetting, adjusting the vertical proportion of type—to compress or expand.
Virgule See solidus.
Visual Designer’s layout.
Weight Variations of letterform such as light bold, etc.
Widows A widow is a short line ending a paragraph at the top of a page. In careful typesetting, widows are to be avoided: usually done by letter and word spacing to either remove the widow or to add a line. Sometimes correcting a widow requires adjusting paragraphs several pages before, or shortening a spread by one or two lines. An orphan is the opening sentence of a paragraph at the bottom of a page. Orphans are more acceptable. Low cost typesetting often changes the type size of a paragraph or sentence to quickly eliminate widows.
Width Variations in letterform, such as light bold, etc.
Woodcut A form of relief printing done with "carved" wood as the image carrier. The negative (non-inked) portions of the image are cut away, leaving the image in relief.
Word division Also hyphenation. Dividing words at the end of a line.
Word spacing The justifying space between words to fill a given measure—the maximum text length for a specific job.
Work-and-Turn A way of laying out the pages (imposition) so that a sheet is printed on one side, turned end for end and printed on the other side, giving two copies of the same pages when cut in half.
Wraparound A separately printed sheet slipped around the outside of a signature before sewing, to add illustrations to a book without having to tip in single leaves.
Wrong font Usually a printer’s error, where the wrong font is used.
X-height The height of the body of a lowercase letter. X being the best example because all terminals touch the baseline and the line drawn across top of the “x” See Type PDF.


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