Glossary of Terms

A | B | C | D | F | G | H | I L | M | P | R | S | T | Z |


Adhesive Binding. Applying a glue, usually a hot-melt substance, along the spine of the assembled, printed sections. The book or magazine cover is applied directly on top of the tacky adhesive. Also known as Perfect Binding


Binding Margin. The distance between the fold edge and the edge of the body of the text next to the fold.

Bleed. A printing area that extends beyond the cut marks before trimming.


Crease Score. A fold made by pressing a groove into a paper stock without cutting its fibres.

Creep. The slight but cumulative extension of the fore-edges of each inserted section beyond the fore-edges of the section that it encloses. This results in progressively smaller trim size on the inside pages. This is more profound in thicker books.

Concertina Fold. Two or more folds parallel to each other with adjacent folds in opposite directions, resembling the bellows of accordion. Also known as an Accordian fold, a Fan fold and a Z fold.


Die cut. A printed subject cut to a specific shape with sharp steel rules on a press.

Dummy. A set of blank or printed pages prepared to show the size, shape, page sequence, and general appearance of the finished printed product.


Fore-edge. The side edge opposite the spine of a section or a book.

Fold Marks. Guides on the original copy and printed sheet that indicate where a printed product will be creased, perforated or folded.

Folio Lap. The additional paper on the fore-edges of a signature that extends beyond the trim size of the pages. Folio laps are included so that binding equipment can grab and open the signature onto the feeding chain.


Gate fold. A four leaf sheet folded from the two outside edges inwards to enable the page to open from each side of the centre. A closed Gate fold requires an additional parallel fold to finish the size of 1 leaf.

Grain direction. The fibres in paper align themselves in the direction in which the paper flows on the paper making machine. Grain direction is often important if the paper has to be folded after it is printed. Folding across the grain can result in cracking.

GSM (grams per square metre). This is a measure of the weight of paper. It is obtained by weighing a square metre of paper. Usually, the higher the gsm number, the thicker or more rigid is the stock. Although a coated paper of a given gsm will usually be thinner than an uncoated paper of the same weight. The higher the number the heavier the stock.

70gsm - what your newspaper is printed on
80gsm - photocopier paper
250gsm - a board stock used for book covers



Head. The top of a page, book, section or printing form.

Head Trim. The amount of paper that is cut off the sheet above the head margin.

Hole Punching. When holes are added to a job for completion e.g. calendars with a single hole for hanging.


Imposition Layout. A guide that indicates folding sequence, number of pages and section used, lay and grip edges, and cutting and scoring lines for a specific job.


Loop Stitching. A method of saddle-stitching whereby the stitch is formed into a semi circular loop that sticks out beyond the spine of the booklet. These loops slip over the rings of a ring binder, as an alternative to hole drilling.


Miniature Folding. Miniature folding is commonly defined as any folding job with a panel size smaller than 50mm.


Paper sizes


  • A0 841mm X 1189mm
      A1 594mm X 841mm
      A2 420mm X 594mm
      A3 297mm X 420mm
      A4 210mm X 297mm
      A5 148mm X 210mm
      A6 105mm X 148mm
      A7 74mm X 105mm
      A8 52mm X 74mm

  • DL 210x99mm

Paper sizes 


Perfect Binding. Refer to Adhesive Binding.

Perforating. Any operation that punches tiny slits or holes in a sheet of paper or other substrate. Perforating is performed using perforating dies. Materials are perforated either to allow a portion to be easily removed (such as an order form or coupon), or to allow air to escape from folded signatures, which helps prevent wrinkling.

PP (printed pages). When we refer to PP (printed pages), we mean the actual number of printed pages not the number of sheets of paper. For example, an 8pp A4 magazine is 2 x A3 sheets, double sided, folded and saddle stitched to A4.


Roll Fold. A method of folding in which the two panels on the edges of the page fold in over the centre panel.


Saddle stitching. A binding method where multiple folded sheets are stapled at the centre (the spine). Booklets, magazines, catalogues, newsletters and manuals are some of the projects that get saddle-stitched.

Section Sewing. Binding by sewing thread through the spine of a section and from section to section.

Section / Signature. One or more printed sheets folded to form a section of a book.

Spine. The binding edge of a section or book.


Trim out (Double Cut). The area between two books or folders that is removed when the job is completed two up and is cut apart by a fourth or fifth knife for books or slitters for folders.

Trim Marks. Marks placed in each corner of document to be printed indicating where the job is to be guillotined


Z Fold. Z Fold (or Zig Zag fold) when the fold looks like a Z