Book Anatomy Terminology  

That portion of the binding, which connects the front of the book with the back of the book; also called "back".
Binder's Board
A heavy paperboard with a cloth or paper covering that is used for hardback binding of books.
Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book. Designers need to pay attention to the margin or bleed requirements for each type of binding.
Book Block
A term given the unfinished stage of bookmaking when the pages are folded, gathered and stitched-in but not yet cover bound.
A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.
The stiff covers of a hardbound book usually grayboard. For art books this is usually 3mm.
Case Binding
Books bound using hard board (case) covers.
Clamshell Box
A box that encloses a hard cover book, with a top and bottom that closely fits, similar to a clamshell.
The outside of a book. Hard cover has binder board covered in some type of covering material, soft covers use cover stock papers. Hard cover books are covered in cloth, various man-made materials with embossings, etc. or colored binding paper with embossings. They can also be printed in full color with film lamination protecting the printed cover.
Any small symbol used to embellish the text.
A term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering. You can request to approve the F & G's after printing is complete but before binding to ensure all is well.
Papers that have a surface resembling metal. Foils come in metallic colors or solid colors both glossy and matt.
French Fold
Type of fold applied to dust jackets. The top and bottom large margin (at least 2” wide) is folded over instead of being cut.
Head and Tail Bands
Woven thin ribbon that strengthens the binding and is attached to the bound text block but not to the book cover.
That space on the spine of a case bound book between the block of the book and the case binding. It acts like a hinge.
Inside back cover.
Inside front cover.
Individual Shrinkwrapping
Before packing, books are often individually shrinkwrapped in plastic wrap.
Jacket or Dust Jacket
The paper cover sometimes called the "dust cover" of a hardbound book.
One of a number of folds (each containing two pages) which comprises a book
Notch Binding
A type of binding where the signatures are cut as per perfect binding, but also are notched so more glue is applied.
Outside back cover.
Printed books that are bound on their shorter side; also referred to as album bound, landscape or horizontal.
Outside front cover.
One side of a leaf.
A term used to describe the binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.
Perfect Binding
Binding process where backs of signatures are cut off, roughened and glue is applied.
The odd numbered pages (right hand side) of books.
Saddle Stitching
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center.
Spiral Bind
A binding whereby a wire or plastic is spiraled through holes punched along the binding side.

Self Cover
A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal sheets.
Self Ends
Where you have a hard cover book without endsheets, the endsheets are the same material as the interior. This usually works best with matt coated interior paper rather than glossy coated paper for better gluing.
Side Stitching
Stitching where wire staples pass through the pile of signatures or leaves gathered upon each other.
Signature (section)
Printed (press) sheet that is folded and collated to make up the interior of a book. The signature is one press sheet folded into 12 or 16 pages, meaning that 6 or 8 pages are printed on each side of the sheet.
A three sided box that protects the book. Usually covered in the same material the hard cover is bound with.
Back edge of a book.
Spiral Binding
Plastic or metal binding used in notebooks, and soft cover books that allows the book to open flat on the desk.
A term given to books bound on the longer dimension, along with portrait, or vertical.
A term given to the left-hand or even-numbered pages of a book.
The roll of paper that is used in web or rotary printing.
Web Press
Cylinder printing machine in which the paper is fed from a continuous reel, as opposed to sheet fed.
Wire “O” Binding
Binding like a comb binding the wire “O” opens and closes around die-cut holes.
Wire Stitching Or Stapling, Saddle-Stitched
To fasten together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples.


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