Book Printing Terms

Why Work with a Graphic Designer
Pre-Publication Book Review
Collaborating with a Book Publicist

Essential Printing Company Queries
Author’s Guide to Print Industry Pricing
Securing a Quality Book Printer
Selecting Your Book’s Ideal Printer


Effective Book Marketing Plan Creation
Setting Book Prices for Maximum Sales
Successful Book Launch Guide
Good Reads Promotion Guide
Crafting a Functional Book Marketing Plan
Manuscript to Market
Book Launch: Reviews and Timelines
Selling Your Book 
Guide to Crowdfunding Platforms
Successful Book Creation for Authors


Amazon Book Promotion Guide
Promoting Your Book with Hashtags
Advantages of Book Pre-Orders
Winning Book Awards: Why and How
Getting Valuable Book Reviews
Making Book Signings a Success
Crafting a Distinctive Author Brand

Writing Benefits

Amazon Book Promotion Guide
Promoting Your Book with Hashtags
Advantages of Book Pre-Orders
Winning Book Awards: Why and How
Getting Valuable Book Reviews
Making Book Signings a Success
Crafting a Distinctive Author Brand


Choosing the Right Literary Agent
Creating a Book Series: Tips & Practices
Advantages of Professional Book Editors
Avoiding Top 5 New Writer Mistakes

Offset vs. Print on Demand
Print on Demand Quality vs. Offset Printing
Offset Printing: Why It’s Better than Print on Demand

Book Printing vs. Publishing

Board Book vs. Hardcover

Hardcover Square Back vs. Round Back

List of Printing Terms

PRC Book Printing
  • A:

    Is the process in which a material or substance absorbs another substance. In book printing, it pertains to the capacity of paper or printing materials to absorb ink or fluids, influencing the final appearance. High absorption rates can lead to bleeding or smudging, while low rates result in less vibrant colors.

    Acid-free paper: Paper with a neutral pH, resistant to deterioration and yellowing over time.

    Acrobat: Adobe’s software for viewing, creating, editing, and managing PDF files, widely used in publishing.

    Adhesive binding: A binding method using glue to hold book pages together.

    Against the grain: Printing method where paper is fed perpendicular to the grain direction, impacting finish and ink coverage.

    Alkaline paper: Paper with a pH of 7.5-9.5, enhancing resistance to aging in printing and publishing.

    Alignment: Positioning text and images on a page.

    Arial: A sans-serif typeface commonly used in book design.

    Ascender: The part of a lowercase letter extending above the x-height.


    Also known as the spine, it’s the bound edge of a book securing pages. Plays a crucial role in design and durability.

    Baseline: Imaginary line where most letters in a typeface rest.

    Bleed: Area where ink extends beyond the trim edge, allowing for correct size trimming.

    Blind embossing: A print technique pressing an image into paper without ink, creating a tactile effect.

    Binding: Joining book pages together.

    Bitmap: An image composed of pixels, each a single color.

    Book block: Pages of a book, excluding cover or binding.

    Booklet: A small book, typically under 48 pages.


    Hardcover binding using materials like cardboard, cloth, or leather, protecting and enhancing a book’s exterior.

    Case binding: Binding where pages are sewn and attached to a hardcover case.

    CMYK: Acronym for four primary printing colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

    Coated paper: Paper with a surface coating for smoothness, gloss, and better ink absorption.

    Collate: Assembling pages in the correct order.

    Color correction: Adjusting color balance, contrast, and brightness in an image.

    Color separation: Process of separating an image into its color components for printing.

    Computer to plate (CTP): Digital printing process creating plates directly from digital files, bypassing traditional methods.

    Contrast: Difference between lightest and darkest areas in an image.

    Cover stock: Heavy paper or cardstock for book covers.

    Crop marks: Printed lines indicating where a page should be trimmed.


    Amount of ink or toner affecting print darkness, adjustable for desired visual effect.

    Die-cutting: A process cutting shapes or designs from paper or materials.

    Digital color proofs: High-quality color representations for previewing and approving print jobs.

    DeBossing: Pressing a design into paper, creating a depressed area for a 3D effect.

    DPI: Dots per inch, measuring image resolution.

    Dot gain: Dots appearing larger than intended, affecting print quality.

    Drop cap: Large initial letter starting a paragraph, often styled differently.


    Raising an image or design on the surface.

    Endpaper: Paper attaching a book block to a hardcover.

    EPS: Encapsulated PostScript, a vector graphics file format.


    Foil stamping:
    Printing method applying foil to a book cover.

    Font: Specific typeface style or design.

    Format: Size, shape, and layout of a book.

    French fold: Folding a single sheet twice, creating four panels.


    Galley proof:
    Preliminary printed piece for review and corrections.

    GIF: Graphics Interchange Format, a web graphics file format.

    Gloss: Shiny, reflective finish on book covers or printed materials.

    Gutter: Space between facing pages, where binding is.

    Gradient: Gradual color transition in design.

    Gray scale: Range of gray shades for monochrome images.

    Gripper: Device holding and transporting paper through a printing press.

    Gripper edge: Leading edge of paper held by grippers in printing.


    Technique converting continuous-tone images into dots for printing.

    Hardcover: Binding where pages attach to a rigid cover.

    Hard proof: Physical proof on paper for color and design verification.

    Headband: Decorative element at the book’s spine top and bottom.

    Helvetica: Sans-serif typeface used in book design.

    Hue: A particular color or shade.


    Adobe software for vector graphics editing.

    Imposition: Arranging pages on a sheet for correct order after printing and folding.

    Indent: Space between page edge and paragraph start.

    InDesign: Page layout and design software.

    Inkjet printing: Printing with ink droplets for images on paper.

    Italic: Slanted typeface.

    ISBN: International Standard Book Number for book identification.


    JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group):
    Image file format with lossy compression.

    Justified text: Text aligned with both left and right margins.


    Adjusting space between characters in a font.


    Applying a clear plastic film for protection.

    Layflat binding: Binding allowing a book to lay flat when opened.

    Layout: Arrangement of text and images on a page.

    Leading: Vertical space between lines of text.

    Letterpress: Printing with inked raised type or designs.


    Graphic arts technique for selective edits without affecting the whole image.

    Margins: Space between page edge and main text.

    Matte: Non-reflective finish for printed materials.

    Mockup: Visual representation for design or product testing.

    Moiré: Undesirable pattern when two screens or patterns overlap.


    Novelty cover:
    Special effect book covers, e.g., embossing.

    NCR paper: No carbon required, creating multiple copies without carbon paper.

    Negative space: Empty space in or around a design for balance.


    Offset printing:
    Transferring ink from plate to rubber blanket to paper.

    Opacity: Degree of transparency in an image.

    Opaque: Non-transparent paper or ink.

    Outline: Outer edge or contour of a shape.

    Overlay: Transparent layer over an image for composite designs.

    Overprint: Printing one color over another, creating a third color.

    Overrun: Extra copies produced beyond the ordered quantity.


    Page count:
    Total book pages, including front and back matter.

    Pagination: Assigning page numbers to a book for navigation.

    PDF: Portable Document Format for universal document viewing.

    Pica: A unit of measurement in typography, 1/6 of an inch.

    Pigment: Colored substance for inks with long-lasting stability.

    Pixel: Smallest unit in a digital image, a single color point.

    Platesetter: Machine exposing printing plates using lasers or LEDs.

    PMS: Pantone Matching System for standardized color.

    Perfect binding: Pages held together with spine glue.

    Point: Printing unit of 1/72 of an inch.

    PostScript: Page description language for publishing.

    Preflight: Verifying digital documents for print production readiness.

    Press proofs: Printed samples for color and quality checks.

    Process colors: Basic CMYK ink colors creating a full range.


    Desktop publishing software by Quark, Inc.

    Quick response code (QR code): Barcode scanned for information or links.


    Raster graphics:
    Pixel-based graphics.

    Resolution: Pixels or dots per inch in a digital image.

    RGB: Red, Green, Blue primary colors for digital displays.


    Saddle-stitch binding:
    Stapling folded sheets to create a booklet.

    Saturation: Color intensity or purity.

    Self cover: Cover and interior on the same paper type.

    Serif: Typeface with small lines or flourishes.

    Signature: Grouping of printed and folded book pages.

    Slitting: Cutting large rolls into narrower rolls.

    Stock image: Licensed premade image for design.

    Spot color: Specific color from the Pantone Matching System.

    Spine: Book edge where pages are bound.

    Spiral binding: Coil inserted along the book spine, allowing it to lay flat.


    Physical or visual surface quality in design.

    Tolerances: Acceptable deviation from a specified standard.

    Tracking: Adjusting overall spacing between letters in a font.

    Transparency: Degree of light passing through a printed image.

    Trapping: Overlapping colors slightly to prevent gaps in print.

    Trim size: Final book size after printing and trimming.

    Trim marks: Lines indicating where a page should be cut after printing.

    Typeface: Design and style of a set of characters.

    Typography: Art and technique of arranging type for readability and appeal.


    UI design:
    User interface design for digital products.

    UV coating: Clear coating cured with ultraviolet light for gloss and protection.


    Clear liquid coating adding gloss or protection.

    Vector graphics: Graphics created with mathematical equations for scalable quality.

    Verso: Left-hand page in an open book with an even page number.

    Visual hierarchy: Using design elements for viewer attention and communication.

    Vignette: Decorative design fading into the background, often in book design.


    Impressed or embossed design in paper for security or branding.

    Web press: High-speed press using rolls of paper.

    White space: Empty space in design for balance or emphasis.

    Widows and orphans: Single lines isolated at the top or bottom, creating a visual awkwardness.

    Word count: Total words in a manuscript.


    Height of lowercase letters in a font, excluding ascenders or descenders.


    Human-readable markup language for structured data.

    Yellow: Primary color in printing, often part of CMYK.

    Yellowing: Discoloration of paper due to age or light exposure.

    Youth market: Target audience of children or teenagers in publishing or marketing.


    Zinc plate:
    Printing plate made from zinc, common in letterpress printing.

    Zip disk: Removable disk storage for digital file transfer between computers.



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