Dictionary of printing terms


is the unprinted part of the page surface along the four edges of the column. The larger the print column on a page of a given format, the smaller the margins.

Spine of the book

is the part of the cover that connects the first and the last cover.


This is the basic colour palette used in the printing industry. The result of mixing them can theoretically result in any other colour. This colour model is a combination of four basic colours: Cyan (light blue), Magenta (purple), Yellow, blacK.


This is an abbreviation from the first letters of red, green, blue) – These are the basic colours perceived by the human eye, forming a combined colour model. By mixing the three basic components of coloured light in different proportions and intensities, theoretically any other colour can be obtained.


This is a 3 millimetre print area that goes beyond the publication area and is intended to be cut off. It is used when we want the print area to reach the edge after trimming the sheet.

Cutting line

it is a mark in the form of a thin line outside the net size of the page, showing where the publication is to be cut to size after printing and binding.

Printing 4+0, 4+4, 1+0, 1+1

A print is the area to which ink, toner, etc. will be applied and it is also a determination of the number of colours that will be used for the particular project and whether the print will be single or double-sided. The print is defined by two numbers separated by a ‘+’ sign. The numbers indicate the number of colours and their position (before or after the ‘+’) on the front and reverse of the project.


is the external part of the book, which is permanently connected with the content. It consists of the front and back side and the spine. The cover can be connected to the cartridge in many different ways. The main function of the cover is to protect the content from mechanical damage.

The veneer

It is a flexible paper, textile or leather product glued from the outside to the linings and spine of the cover. There are two aims of the veneer: 1. The veneer is used to join the rigid linings and spine, and in special situations can even be the spine itself. 2. It is used as a covering material which is easier to print (or otherwise decorate) than rigid cover elements. In this application, the veneer is first printed and then glued to the cover elements, while other forms of decoration, such as embossing, gilding, etc. are made on the veneer already glued to the linings.


It is a sheet of paper usually a bit heavier than a sheet of cartridge, which is glued to both the inside of the cover lining and the first (or last) sheet of cartridge. The main task of the endpaper is to connect the cover with the cartridge. There are, of course, two liners, each for one of the cover sheets. Endpapers are used for rigid linings. Endpapers are unprinted or printed with a background or pattern, while content information is very rarely placed there.


It is a decorative cotton or silk strip, placed at the top and bottom of the back of the booklet to strengthen the binding.


It is a bookbinding process which consists in making it easier to bend the material in the specified and intended place. Creasing means making special dents on paper or cardboard in order to facilitate, or actually enable, the proper bending of the paper or cardboard.


is the weight of one square metre of paper product (tissue paper, paper, cardboard) expressed in grams.

Net format

This is the format after cutting – the size of the finished printing product (e.g. magazines, books), given as a product of the length and width of the pages constituting a block of the insert.