Printing Terms

Bids and Quote Sheet

  • Advance Copies: a few copies of the finished print product sent as soon as the project is completed in the bindery.
  • Extent: a listing of all project components.
  • Finished Size: the dimensions of the finished piece.
  • Flat Size: the size of the printed piece prior to folding.
  • Landscape Format: horizontal (or, album).
  • Number of Colors: a listing of the number of colors for each project component. Example: “Text pages 4c x 1c” means 4 colors on one side of text sheets and 1 color on the other side.
  • PP: printed pages (front and back). Example: “32pp text” means 32 printed pages (front and back).
  • Pages: there are two pages for each sheet of paper. Also called “Leafs”–there are two pages for each leaf.
  • Portrait Format: upright (or, vertical).


  • Back Lining or Backing Paper: an additional back paper or cloth added to the spine to make the binding stronger.
  • Board Book: often used for children’s books. Each cover and page of the book is laminated to a heavy board.
  • Burst Bind: to bind by forcing glue into notches along the spines of folded signatures. A burst bind is stronger than a perfect bind.
  • Comb Bind (also called Plastic Bind): bound by inserting a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the binding edge of the book.
  • End Sheets: the sheets that attach the text to the hardcover (case) of a book.
  • Flush Cover: the text pages come to the edge of the cover.
  • Hardcover (also called Case Bound): this is the term for a hardbound book.
  • Head and Tail Bands: a cloth band that decorates the head and foot (or tail) of the spine.
  • Hinged Cover: this is a softbound book that is scored approx. .125” from the spine so that the cover opens without damaging the spine of the book.
  • Overhang Cover: the cover is slightly larger than the text pages.
  • Paste bind: the pages are secured with glue along the spine.
  • Perfect Bind (also called Limp Bind or Drawn-on Cover): hot glue is used to adhere the text pages to a soft cover.
  • Plus Cover: the cover is printed on a different paper than the text pages.
  • Round-Back Hardcover: the spine is rounded, as opposed to a square-back cover where the spine is flat.
  • Quarter Cover: book with the spine covered in one material and the other areas of the cover bound in a different material.
  • Saddle Stitch: bound by stapling sheets and cover together at the spine.
  • Self Cover: text and cover are the same paper.
  • Self Ends: the outer pages of the book’s text are bound to the hardbound case, eliminating the need for end sheets.
  • Side Stitch: to bind by stapling sheets through the front of the printing.
  • Slip Case: a box, open on one side that is made to hold a book or series of books.
  • Softbound: this is a term for a perfect-bound book with no stitching.
  • Stitched and Bound: this is a term for perfect binding with the pages stitched together prior to perfect binding. This is a more secure binding than perfect binding and holds up better for repeated use or for softbound books that need to be forced flat by the reader.
  • Wire-O Bind: bound by inserting coil wire through holes drilled through the binding edge of the book.


  • Aqueous Coating: water-based coating available in matte or gloss finish. This coating accepts ink jet printing well. A thicker coat than varnish, but not as thick as laminate.
  • Laminate: plastic coating. Offers the most protection and is available as gloss or matte.
  • UV Coating: liquid coating cured with UV light. More durable than varnish or aqueous coating. Not as durable as laminate.
  • Varnish: a light coating that reflects light. Can be gloss or matte.


  • Art Paper: coated paper. Can be gloss art or matte art.
  • GSM (Grams Per Square Meter): this is the term for paper weight used everywhere except North America, where poundage is used.
  • Offset Paper: alternative term for uncoated paper.
  • Recycled Paper: new paper made entirely, or in part, from previously used paper.
  • Uncoated Paper (sometimes referred to as Wood-Free): no coating on the paper surface.
  • Vellum Paper: uncoated and rough surface.
  • Wood-Free (also called Free Sheets): paper made from wood fibers mixed with chemicals and cleaned free of impurities. Resists yellowing with age.


  • CYMK: these are the printing inks used in producing full-color printing (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black). This is the file format that colors must be converted to (from RGB) for commercial production of full color.
  • DPI: dots per inch. Usually 300 or 350 DPI is required for full-color printing.

Proofing and Shipping

  • Blueline Proofs: proofs showing the positioning of pages, graphics and text in mono color. Not used for proofing of color images.
  • Digital Proofs: proofs made from a photo mechanical process or a digital printer. Can be very accurate, although not as accurate as press proofs.
  • Dummies: bound blank paper proof to show the binding, paper quality and thickness.
  • Press Proofs: proofs made by putting files on a press and printing proofs. The most accurate form of proofing.
  • Bill of Landing: legally binding document listing goods shipped by the shipping company, acknowledging the receipt of goods and promising delivery to the person named.
  • CBM: this is the total size of a shipment in cubic meters.
  • CIF: stands for “Cost, Insurance and Sea Freight.” This is pricing based on delivery to the port of import (example: Los Angeles port). This does include international shipping and insurance, but does not include customs or port processing fees or local delivery.
  • Consignee: the person to whom the merchandise is destined.
  • DDP: stands for “Delivery Duty Paid.” This pricing is based on delivery to your destination. All costs including local delivery are included.
  • Ex-Factory: client, or client’s agent, who is responsible for picking up the goods at the manufacturer’s door.
  • FOB: stands for “Free on Board.” This is pricing based on delivery to the port of export (example: Hong Kong port). This does not include international shipping, insurance, customs or local delivery.
  • Ship Weight (sometimes called Gross Weight): this is the total weight of the shipment including all product and pallets.
  • Shipping Packing List: shows # of copies per carton, size & weight per carton, # of cartons per pallet, and size & weight per pallet.