Jargon Buster

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Let's talk about print industry jargon...

In all honesty unless you have placed a few book printing orders in your time or work in the print industry would you understand the jargon we printers use?

Having worked with thousands of businesses, publishers and authors we know that sometimes the terminology we use can be confusing. To make things easier here is a list of print jargon and what it really means.

We've tried our hardest not to over complicate and to create an exhaustive list. If we have missed anything or you need any more info just give us a call on 01733 898102.

The Jargon...

A4 - A standard European size of paper or book, 297 x 210mm. A4 books are ideal for workbooks, reference guides and training manuals.

A5 - A standard European size of paper or book, 210 x 148mm. We can produce A5 books in both black & white and colour, they are perfect for novels, poetry books and autobiographies.

A6 - A size of paper or book, 148 x 105mm. Half the size of A5, A6 books are ideal for pocket guides.

Artwork - All original copy including photographs, illustrations and text.

Acetate - Transparent sheet placed over cover or as a divider between pages. Acetate sheets are a great way to protect a cover of a book that will be used daily for example a diary, we can produce coil bound books with acetate sheets; just select this option when getting a quote.

Bitmap - A digital image that uses a grid of picture elements (pixels).

Bleed - The bleed is the area at the edge of a document which gives us space to allow a cleaner finish for trimming. Bleed is generally required to be 2.5mm on all edges for jobs with any images, backgrounds or colours that extend to the edge of the page. For example, an A5 book's dimensions are 210mm x 148mm; with 2.5mm bleed it will be 215mm x 153mm. The extra 2.5mm bleed will be cut off, so any important text or images should not appear in or near this area.

Binding - Method used to secure loose leaves or sections in a book, such as saddle stitch, perfect binding, case binding. We can bind in any of these formats and also coil binding.

Board - A thick paper stock used for hardback covers.

Banner - A long strip of cloth bearing a slogan or design.

Booklet - A small thin book usually stitched with paper covers, typically giving information on a certain subject. Booklet binding, also referred to as staple binding or saddle stitching, places two staples through the centre of all pages. The staple is then clamped closed creating the booklet. Used for a wide range of different products: brochures, catalogues, newsletters, magazines, price Lists, instruction Manuals, theatre and sports programmes as it allows pages to be opened fully without pulling on a glue bind.

Brochure - A small book or catalogue containing information and pictures about a product or service, similar to a booklet.

B & W - Black and white.

BPUK - Book Printing UK is part of the Bonacia family. With over 25 years' experience in short-run digital printing, we now create at least one book every minute.

Coil Books - Coil binding, also referred to as spiral binding, is a popular method of binding for books that are opened and closed regularly such as, recipe books, annual reports, training manuals, reference books and diaries. The advantage of coil binding is that you can open a book 360 degrees and also lay it flat on a surface to read and refer to. When producing a coil bound book the inside book pages are sandwiched between 2 sheets of card (a front and back cover). Holes are then punched in to the spine edge of the book, before finally a plastic coil is threaded and twisted through the holes to form the binding.

Copyright - Copyright is an exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years. Most books include a copyright page at the front. If you need help creating your copyright page please see our Word templates.

Case Bound - Also known as hardback, books are made with stiff outer covers (a case) and the inside pages are glued (cased) in to the cover. You could have a cloth or printed cover. There is also the option of having a dust jacket on top of the cover.

CMYK - The four base colours, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (or Key). Combined they produce full colour for most digital print.

Collating - Placing printed sheets to the desired sequence.

Crop Marks - Printed lines on the edge of paper, this is where the paper will be cut to produce the correct finished size.

Dust jacket - The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover, used mainly on hardback/case bound books. The dust jacket can be printed as an exact replica of a printed case or any design you choose.

Downtime - Downtime refers to a period of time that a system fails to provide or perform its primary function. For us downtime is when a machine goes offline due to a mechanical problem - we try to keep this to a minimum.

DPI - Dots per inch - DPI is used to measure the resolution of an image both on screen and in print. The DPI measures how many dots fit into a linear inch. Therefore, the higher the DPI, the more detail can be shown in an image.

Digital Print - Used for short-run printing, no film or plates required, data is linked directly to the printer. This is how we print all our books.

eBook - An electronic version of a printed book which can be read on a computer or other specifically designed device. Read more on the service we offer here.

Embedding Fonts - Font embedding is the inclusion of font files inside an electronic document. If fonts are not imbedded then when text is printed it may differ from the PDF version.

End Papers - Page leaves at the front and end of a hardback book. These are pasted to the inside front and back covers. End papers can be printed on or could be a coloured paper, making the inside covers look stunning.

Finishing - The process after printing (ie: guillotining, binding etc) to create the finished book.

Flyers - Also known as leaflets, they are a small paper usually advertising an event or product. We can produce flyers in A6, A4, A5 or a custom size.

Full/Four Colour Printing - In this type of industrial or commercial printing, the technique used to print full-colour images, such as colour photographs, is referred to as four-colour-process. Four inks are used: three secondary colours plus black.

Foil Blocking - A metallic finish, mostly used for titles on cloth covers.

Fonts - A set of characters in a specific typeface at a specific point size and in a specific style.

Format - The shape, size, type area, margins and overall visual design and appearance of a page, book, magazine and or other publication.

Formatting - This refers to the layout of the inside pages of a book. 

Gutter - Space formed by the inner margins of two facing pages.

Gatefold - A gatefold is a folding method that uses two parallel folds to create six panels - three panels on each side of the paper.

Guillotine - A machine with a heavy blade sliding vertically in grooves.

Greyscale - Greyscale is a range of monochromatic shades from black to white. Therefore, a greyscale image contains only shades of grey and no colour.

GSM - Grams per square metre, a unit of measurement for paper weight.

Hardback Books - Also known as case bound, books are made with stiff outer covers (a case) and the inside pages are the glued (cased) in to the cover. You could have a cloth or printed cover. There is also the option of having a dust jacket on top of the cover.

Imposition - The arrangement of pages so they follow in the correct order when folded, for example, a booklet.

Insert - Printed page inserted loose into a book. Printing on a black & white press costs less than on colour press. If a book has 200 pages in black & white and 10 in colour we will print each part separately and insert the colour pages by hand.

Illustration - An illustration is a visualisation or a depiction of a subject made by an artist.

ISBN - International Standard Book Number. If you want to sell your book in a bookshop you will need an ISBN. Read more on our service here.

JPEG - A compressed image file format.

Justify - Alignment of text along the margins so text finishes at the same point.

Laminated - When you laminate something you overlay the flat surface with a layer of plastic or some other protective material.

Landscape - Denoting a format of printed matter which is wider than it is high.

Loose-Leaf - A book that is not bound.

Lead Time - Lead time is the latency between the initiation and execution of a process. The lead time is how long it takes to get a delivery after making your order. If you would like to know our current lead times please give us a call on 01733 898102 or visit here.

Layout - Page layout is the part of graphic design that deals in the arrangement of visual elements on a page. Files need to be set up with a certain layout before being sent to press.

Margins - White space bordering the printed area on a page.

Manuscript - Written or typed work of an author.

Portrait - Denoting a format of printed matter which is higher than it is wide.

PDF Proof - PDF proofing is the fastest and least expensive way to proof your print file. PDF proofing is best if you know what to look out for. We would advise having a hard copy proof if you are at all unsure.

Page - One side of a single sheet of paper.

Printing - The production of books or other printed material.

Pagination - Total number of pages in a book.

Perfect Binding - Pages that are held together and fixed to the cover with glue. Perfect binding is used to create paperback books, also called softback books. Perfect bound books are the most common type of book on sale in bookshops, ideal for novels, poetry books, holiday / travel guides and autobiographies, and many trade books are generally paperbacks.

POD - POD is short for 'Print on Demand'. This generally means a printer will hold your book on file and print copies as you need them.

Print Ready PDF - A PDF file that is ready to print with the correct dimensions, fonts imbedded, images of 300dpi and in CMYK.

Pantone - An international system of designating colours for printing reference.

PDF - A file format for capturing and sending electronic documents in exactly the intended format.

Poster - A large printed picture used mainly for decoration or advertising.

Proof - A sample of what your finished book will look like. We advise that you have a hard copy proof when ordering with us.

Ream - 500 sheets of paper.

Recto - A right hand page folioed with odd numbers.

Resolution -Describes how many pixels a monitor can display or how many dots a printer can print.

RGB - Red, Green, Blue. Three primary colours used for colour mixing, TVs and monitors use RGB. We print using CMYK and cannot guarantee an exact match to RGB files.

Re-print - Re-print is the re-publishing of a material that has already been previously published.

Royal - Royal is a book size, 234 x 156mm.

RIP - Raster Image Processor. A device or program that converts files to be printed.

Saddle Stitch or Stitched - Pages are bound together using metal staples used to create booklets and brochures.

Scanner - A device that captures a photograph, image or document and coverts it into a digital format.

Self-Cover - When the paper stock used for the cover and insides is the same.

Show Through - Printing is visible through the paper.

Shrink Wrapping - Product wrapped in plastic then plastic is heated to shrink to size. You can choose to add shrink wrap to your books at the point of ordering through your account. 

Softback - A book that is bound with a paper cover, see Perfect Bound.

Slim Volume - In general terms this is a thin book. However, here at BPUK we produce a small book (180 x 120mm) and we call this a slim volume.

Spine - Binding edge of a book. You can choose to have your book title, name or something else printed on the spine of your book. Your spine needs to be the correct size to fit neatly around the inside pages of your book. If you are unsure about what size your spine needs to be use our 'Spine Calculator' to check.

Stock - Unprinted paper or material to be printed on. We stock a large range of paper types that can be used to create your book. The paper type you choose will depend on the type of book you are producing and your budget. Generally the thicker the paper the more expensive it is. For more info on paper stocks see our 'Paper Types' page.

SRA - Paper size slightly larger than A series, gives extra space to allow for bleed.

TIFF -A type of image file format (Tagged Image File Format).

Text - The body of copy (type) within a book.

Toner - A dry ink in powder form.

Trimming/Trimmed - Making the edges of a book neat or to the required size.

Typo - Typographical error, a mistake in the copy.

Verso - A left hand page folioed with even numbers.

Wide Format - Wide format printers are generally accepted to be any computer-controlled printing machines that support a maximum print roll of between 18 inches to 100 inches. We use a wide format printer to produce banners and large posters.