Glossary

Acrobat (Adobe): a common program that permits the user to view files saved as Portable Document files (PDF). The full version of Acrobat also allows creation and editing of PDF files.
aqueous coating: a protective and decorative coating for covers. Aqueous is inexpensive and often applied inline as the cover is printed.
basis weight: a system whereby common types of papers had weights relative to similar papers. Offset papers measuring 25x38" were weighed in reams (500 sheets), the result identifying the weight of the paper i.e. 50 pound, 60 pound etc.
bindery: all production operations occurring post-press are functions of the bindery. Also separate businesses that service printers with a wide variety of finishing services.
bulk pack: packing books tightly in a carton without shrink-wrap, dividers, etc.
case bound: hard cover.
cover stock: papers suitable for book covering. Cover stock is sold by the pound (one ream, 500 sheets, of 20 x 26" paper determines the weight, but can also be identified and specified based on caliper, i.e. .010 pt, .012 pt. or commonly 10pt or 12pt.
digital books: books printed with toner instead of ink.
delivery: the area where paper exits a machine.
feed; feeder: the area of equipment that paper is put into production on the machine.
film: traditional photolithography used a film negative or film positive to create the image on printing plates.
film lamination: a protective and decorative coating for covers. Usually a thin sheet of a petro-synthetic (polyester, nylon, etc) bonded to the cover with heat and pressure.
flood varnish: press varnish applied to the entire sheet.
French flaps: a trade paper book with cover flaps (resembling a dust jacket) folded inside the front and back cover.
gathering: assembling the signatures of a book.
glues: there is such a wide variety of glues in the book industry that listing them would take pages. In soft cover books there is spine glue, hopefully strong and flexible, and side glue that helps strengthen the the bond between the text and cover. Case binding has glues to hold the end sheets to the sewn book, a glue to hold the reinforcing cloth, a glue to tie the sewing threads together and prevent unraveling, and a glue for the head bands.
hinge score: a light cover score parallel to the spine on the front and back cover.
inline: any processes that occur sequentially on the same piece of equipment without additional set-up. A four-color press can print four colors inline.
ISBN: International Standard Book Number An international standardized book identification system used by all bookstores, wholesalers, distributors, etc. Visit ISBN on the web.
letterpress: a printing process that used raised letters or images that were inked to transfer the type directly on to the sheet. Can also be used for die cutting and scoring.
notch bound: a soft cover binding that uses glue pushed up notches through the signature spines for increased page pull and flexibility of the spine.
oblong: a book that is bound on the short side.
on demand: digital printing used to produce limited runs as required.
page count: Total number of pages (not sheets of paper) in your book. Page counts must divide by 2 and generally round up to be divisible by 4 or 8.
photoinitiators: chemicals that release drying agents when exposed to ultraviolet light: as in UV coating.
plate: printing plates carry the type or images to the sheet of paper by transferring ink onto a compressible blanket which transfers the image to the sheet.
press varnish: a generally colorless liquid similar to ink without pigment that offers inexpensive protection to book covers. Available as gloss or dull. May be tinted.
proofs: printer’s proofs represent the publisher’s last check before the title is printed. The publisher must express any misgivings to the printer now; never assume the printed piece will differ from the proof.
recto: an odd numbered page. A page on the right.
saddle stitch: a binding that uses a wire stitch (aka staple) through the spine to secure the text and cover.
side glue: a soft rubbery glue applied parallel and adjacent to the spine on the first and last page of the book
signature: traditional book manufacturing printed flat sheets that would be folded into 64, 48, 32, 24, 16, 8 or 4 page sections called signatures that would be assembled to form a book.
silk screen: not commonly used in book production. Originally used to apply U/V coating because it could apply a thicker layer of liquid coating than an offset press. Can print large solids on synthetic covering materials.
Smyth sew: the most popular sewing method for binding signatures together.
sew wrap: a sewn book that is covered with a soft cover.
sheet fed: a printing method that prints and delivers individual sheets of paper one at a time (as opposed to a web press).
spot varnish: a design element. Instead of coating the entire sheet with press varnish (flood varnish), a colorless or lightly tinted image is transferred to a sheet, usually over a contrasting coating (e.g. matte over gloss).
stain: coloring the trimmed side(s) of a case bound book.
text stock: Paper which is identified by a basis that weighs a ream of 25 x 38" paper. Also called book or offset, the most common paper used for the text of a book.
trim size: The final size of the book after trimming.
Ultraviolet (U/V) coating: A relatively inexpensive cover coating that can offer excellent gloss and very good scuff protection. Results can vary based on manufacturer and method of application.
upright: a book bound on its long side.
verso: an even numbered, left-handed page.
web press: a press that prints a continuous web of paper from a roll, usually cutting and folding the sheet prior to delivery.