Compendium Book Bindery


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.


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.

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 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.

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.”


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.


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

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 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.


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.



The application of the innerbook to the book case.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.



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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.

Landscape format

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


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


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.


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


Round edges

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


Silver edging

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

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.

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.



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).


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.


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.



Amount of pages of a book.


Weight per square meter

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


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.


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.