Compendium Book Bindery

  • A

    • Adhesive Binding

      Instead of using a thread or a wire to bind the book, glue is used to combine the gluing edge to a plastic layer. The cover is glued, too. In industrial production, the fixated innerbook is glued. When the original manual process, invented by Emil Lumbeck, is used, the single pages of the innerbook are glued together. The durability varies with the different adhesives used. You can use dispersions, hotmelt or PUR adhesives. Adhesive bindings are commonly used on paperbacks. Their disadvantage: They tend to automatically close with a snap and aren't very durable. A regular book that is read once can withstand the stress, notebooks with an adhesive binding though quickly fall apart after a few uses.

  • B

    • Bastard title

      Also known as false title. Page 1 of a book, although it comes without a page number. Commonly contains the name of the author and/or the book title. Sometimes it only contains the publishing house's signet, the last name and the short form of the book title.

    • Blank page

      “Page intentionally left blank.”

    • Blanking

      In the first printing step you don't always print everything. You can, for example, seperately print illustrations and text.

    • Bleed

      Usually printed matters are printed upon larger sheets of paper. They are then cut to the right size. This work step is called blled. You have to mind the right format very closely, yet you have to spare a few milimeters so as to not produce so-called streaks.

    • Blind Embossing

      This one is a classical processing technique. It comes without colour and works extremely well on leather. With an engraved brass stamp that has been slightly heated the pattern is embossed onto the material. Blind embossings are especially expressive when they are embossed all over the front, back and spine of the book.

    • Blurb

      Also called banderole. A paper strip with a print, wound around the book and used as advertising medium.

    • Bogus paper

      Simple, usually grey or brownish paper, made of unsorted waste paper. Used for cardboard packaging, back inserts, calendar's backs and rear caps of writing pads.

    • Book Cover

      As part of the book case the book cover is used to protect the innerbook from any harm. Book covers usually are a bit bigger than the innerbook. Most of the time they are covered by leather, fibres, paper or synthetic materials and can be refined with a offset printing, a silk-screen printing, a blind embossing, varnish or die cuttings.

    • Book Edge / Thumb Edge

      The outside edges of the innerbook. The thumb edge can be refined with colour or metallic foils. A motif can be applied as well.

    • Book Folding

      The stage of the production process in which the pages of the book are folded after printing and before binding. The folds are also called crease lines.

    • Book Spine

      The narrow side of the book at which the innerbook is glued to the book case. On paperbacks the innerbook usually is glued right on the book case. When it comes to hardcovers though, the innerbook can be applied to a gutter [ist Bundsteg hier richtig?]. Book spines can be rounded or flat. They usually come with a lettering containing information like author, title and publishing house.

    • Buckram

      Buckram is a stiff cloth made of a coated linnen or cotton fabric. It is applied to the book case. It's especially useful on books that are used very often, because it's robust and repels both dirt and moisture.

  • C

    • CMYK

      Cyan, magenta, yellow and key are the subtractive colors that are the base of the modern four-colour printing.

    • Casing

      The application of the innerbook to the book case.

    • Cellophane

      Cellophane is a protective foil that is applied to book cases. Special machines are used to apply it to the paper. The foils are availabla both as matt foils or as glossy foils. If you want the perfect feeling you should use softtouch cellophane. The surface feels soft and smooth.

    • Coated Paper

      Paper with a very even surface. Binder is spread upon the surface to achieve this effect. It both enriches the paper and makes the surface more homogenous, thus providing a better detail reproduction and quality for the printing process. You can get coated paper matt and glossy. For notebooks though coated papers are rarely used.

    • Color Embossing

      Color embossing works similar to blind embossing. The only difference is that a colored foil is but in between the book and the brass stamp. The color is applicated to the book throgh pressure and heat.

  • D

    • DIN Formats

      In Germany, paper sizes are categorized according to the so-called DIN 476 norms. There are four categories: A = printed matter, writing paper, etc.; B = loose-leaf binders, normal binders; C = envelopes; D = special formats.

    • Dummy

      A dummy is a sample of the product. It is used to demonstrate format, scale, paper quality, cover material and binding of the finished book. The pages are blank.

  • E

    • Effect Foils

      Foils like 3D foils, hologram foils, metallic foils or rainbow foils. They are mostly applied partially or integrated into the typography, evoking an extremely interesting effect.

    • Embossing

      A printing technique that allows to stamp or press an image, pattern or text onto a substrate. On covers you commonly find blind embossings.

    • Endpaper

      A strong paper (white, tinted, corrugated, embossed, marbled, etc.) used to secure the body of a book in its case. Anything can be printed on an endpaper.

  • F

    • Fine Paper

      High-quality paper that is extremely durable, even and has perfect printability.

    • Finishing technologies

      Techniques like blind or foil embossing, the application of varnishes or die cuttings can be used to upgrade books. There are figuratively no limits to the creative use of finishing technologies.

    • Flyleaf

      Part of the end-paper, a blank leaf between the cover and the innerbook.

  • G

    • Grain Direction

      The grain direction of paper is the direction of the fibres. They can either be directed lengthways or diagonally. To avoid corrugations and achieve a smooth page turning, the grain direction of the paper in the book production process should be parallel to the back.

    • Guarding

      Application of a guard or inner hinge to the back of the innerbook. It's used to cover, protect and stabilize the back of the innerbook.

  • H

    • Hardcover

      A book with a cover made from cardboard.

    • Headband

      Small, colored fabric strips that are applied to the top and bottom edge of the book spine on a hardcover. The headband is supposed to hide the gap between bookspine and innerbook - it also looks beautiful, too. Not to be confused with bookmarks.

    • Hologram Embossing

      You know hologram embossings from banknotes and cash cards. The production process is similar to color embossing. The only difference is that instead of using a colored foil you have to use a holographic foil. This foil, available in different versions, produces a three-dimensional holographic effect, as well as the impression of a shimmering rainbow.

  • I

    • Innerbook

      The inside of a book that has been bound as one block. The single pages or the folded sections can be combined by using a thread-stitching, a wire-stitching or an adhesive binding. The innerbook is glued into the book case.

    • Insert

      Two or more pages that are loosely placed in a newspaper, a magazine, etc. Usually inserts are advertising media like bookmarks, calendar strips, gridded papers, prospects, reply cards, etc. Not to be confused with supplements.

  • L

    • Lumbeck Procedure

      In 1938, Emil Lumbeck invented the first book binding technique that used an adhesive instead of a thread. The margin of the innerbook is fanned to both sides, glue is brushed on the margin. Finally, gauze is applied. This procedure is relatively durable, yet it is only used by book manufacturers who specialize in craftsmanship.

    • Lamination

      Virtually the same thing as gluing. You can, for example, laminate a foil to protect the book cover.

    • Landscape format

      A page format in which the width of the page is greater than its height.

  • P

    • Page numbering

      The process of applying numbers to the pages of a book. If you don't count pages but sheets, this is called folio.

    • Pergamin

      Satined, semi-transparent paper made of finely ground pulp. Mainly used for window envelopes.

  • R

    • Round edges

      Book cover with rounded off edges. A clean application of the cover material right at the edge is a quality feature.

  • S

    • Sex Bolts

      Also known as barrel nut, barrel bolt, 'Chicago Screw' or post and screw. They are used to decorate books, brochures or loose-leaf binders. They are usually made of brass or are nickel-plated. The shaft is put through a hole in the pages. Then the head screw is screwed in. The length of the screws is between 10 and 80 milimetres.

    • Silver edging

      Application of a silver foil to the book edge. The process is similar to the manufacturing of a gold edge.

    • Stitched Notebooks

      The layers of these notebooks are bound together by a decorative stitching. Stitchings, holding together the cover and the layers at 30 points, are a durable alternative to staples which hold together the notebook at only two or three points.

  • T

    • Thread-Stitching

      Binding method that combines folded sections of a book with a tacking thread. The single sections of the innerbook can be, additionally, tacked together before the thread-stitching to achieve an even better stability. This binding method is used for long-living print products, especially for hardcovers. It's the best and most durable technique, unfortunately though it is the most expensive, too. Notebooks that come with a thread-stitching are of high quality.

    • Thumb Index

      Stepped cutouts on the thumb edge. Often used on reference works and address books, making certain pages quicker to look up.

    • Top Edge

      The cut edge on the upper edge of the innerbook. It can also be colored (edge coloring) or a gilt edging can be applied.

    • Trimming

      Cutting off the paper margins to get the required format. The inner book is trimmed on the top, the bottom and the side (three-side trimming).

  • U

    • Uncoated paper

      Uncoated papers usually are used for office supply or notebooks. Contrary to coated papers, no binding agents have been applied, thus making these papers especially easy to write on.

    • Uncoated paperboard

      Single layered, thick paper. The opposite of squuezed or glued paperboard.

  • V

    • Volume

      Amount of pages of a book.

  • W

    • Weight per square meter

      Paper weight in gramms, measured per square meters (g/m²).

    • Wire-Stitching

      Wire-stitching is a binding method that combines single pages or folded sheets with a wire. The wire is cut to a certain length and formed into a wire clamp that is put through the product and closed at the end. Wire-stitching is a cost-effective binding method. Its disadvantage though is the limited durability, thus making wire-stitching a go-to technique for short-lived products like magazines.

    • Writability

      Indicates the performance of the paper when you write on it. When too much ink is absorbed, the writing appears blurred and becomes illegible. The application of glue can influence the absorbing character of the paper. When too much glue is applied, though, the paper won't absorb any ink at all.