Printing and Publishing terms can be a minefield. Here are a few of the most commonly used ones to help you navigate your way through the process of publishing your book.
Artwork All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.
Bindery Usually a department within a printing company responsible for collating, folding and trimming various printing projects.
Black One of the four process colours. Denoted as K in CMYK.
Bleed Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming. At least 3mm on inside pages and anything up to 30mm on a cover, depending on the style.
Blurb A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket.
Body The main text of work not including the headlines.
Book Block Folded signatures gathered, sewn and trimmed, but not yet covered.
Case Covers and spine that, as a unit, enclose the pages of a casebound book.
Case Bind To bind using glue to hold signatures to a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather. Also called cloth bind, edition bind, hard bind and hard cover.
CMYK Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colours used in all professional printing jobs.
Coated Paper Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. The most popular coated papers are gloss, silk and matte.
Collate To organise printed matter so that page numbers will appear in the correct order.
Color Sequence Order in which inks are printed. Also called laydown sequence and rotation.
Condition To keep paper in the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that its moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom.
Cover Thick paper or card that protects a publication and advertises its title. Four parts that make up covers are: Outside front; Inside front; Inside back, Outside back.
Cyan One of the four process colours. Also known as process blue. Denoted as C in CMYK.
Digital Proofing Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or ink-jet. A good way of checking position of text and images and for typing and grammatical errors.
Dots-per-inch (DPI) Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors. A minimum of 300 dpi is needed on all images used in high resolution printing.
Dummy Simulation of the final product. Also called mockup.
End Sheet or End Paper Sheet that attaches the inside pages of a case bound book to its cover. Can be a plain or textured solid colour or a repeated printed image from the book.
Estimate Price that states what a job will probably cost. Also called bid, quotation and tender.
Finish Can relate to the surface characteristics of paper, ie gloss or matte and is also a general term for other post press operations such as trimming, folding and binding.
Flat Plan Diagram of the pages for a publication showing imposition and indicating colours and images. At Wellington Publishing Partner all projects start with a flat plan.
Folio (page number) The actual page number in a publication.
Font Also known as a typeface. This is the type style used on a project and can be serif or san serif and come in a range of styles such as light, italic and bold.
Format Size, style, shape, layout or organisation of a layout or printed product.
Gate Fold A sheet where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.
Gloss Light reflecting properties of paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish.
Graphic Design Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colours and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message.
Gutter In the book arena, the inside margins toward the back or the binding edges.
Head(er) The margin to the top of a page.
Imposition The arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.
ISBN A 13 digit number assigned to a published work and usually found either on the title page or the back of the title page. Stands for International Standard Book Number.
Laminate A thin transparent coating applied to usually a thick stock cover providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing colour, providing a glossy or silk effect.
Landscape An art design in which the width is greater than the height. (Opposite of Portrait.)
Layout A sample of the original design providing the position of printed work, images and including any special instructions for the printer.
Leading Amount of space between lines of type.
Leaf One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.
Lithography Method of printing using plates.
Magenta One of the four process colours, denoted as M in CMYK.
Margin Imprinted space around the edge of the printed material.
Mark-Up Instructions written usually on a dummy or a proof.
Matte Finish Flat finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
Mock Up A reproduction of the original printed matter and possibly containing instructions or direction.
Offset Printing Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
Page One side of a leaf in a publication.
Page Count Total number of pages that a publication has. Also called extent.
Page Proof Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.
Pagination The numbering of pages.
Perfect Bind To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also called adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind, patent bind, perfecting bind, soft bind and soft cover.
Pixel Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device.
Plate Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.
Point A unit of paper thickness equating 1/1000 inch. In type, a unit of measure equaling 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).
Portrait An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.)
Press Check or Pass Event at which make ready sheets from the press are examined before authorising full production to begin.
Press Proof Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job.
Printing Any process that transfers to paper or another substrate an image from an original such as a film negative or positive, electronic memory, stencil, die or plate.
Printing Plate Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.
Process Colours The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Proof Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.
Quotation Price offered by a designer or printer to produce a specific job.
Ream 500 sheets of paper.
Recycled Paper New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
Register Marks Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.
Saddle Stitch To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch.
Satin Finish Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.
Scale To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing.
Self Cover A publication not having a cover stock. A publication only using text stock throughout.
Separations Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding images of one specific colour per piece of film.
Spine Back or binding edge of a publication.
Spread Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit.
Stock Popular sizes, weights and colours of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant’s warehouse.
Template A standard layout that can be used to produce multiple pages in a design with agreed similarities.
Trim Size The size of the printed material in its finished stage .
Uncoated Paper Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.
UV Coating Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Used to highlight areas of colour, or images usually on a cover.