Book Printing Information 101 – Part 1

A great book starts with a unique and inspiring idea. The writing of the book – plotting its highlights and fleshing out the littles of details, will take a lot of time and effort. However, after the book is finished, and if the writer wants to publish his or her’s work, the raw draft will have to undergo serious editing. During editing, there might be a lot of things that the writer, commonly in coordination with a publisher and the publishing house’s designer, has to decide on with regards to book printing information. However, if you are a book designer or a writer aiming to self-publish, there are some book printing information that you need to learn before undergoing the task of preparing a book for publishing.

Learning Basic Terminology

A crucial technical term in book printing is “binding.” This refers to how the multiple pages of a book are held together permanently through the use of a sturdy cover. Bound materials can range from books, magazines, and journals. Aside from binding, there are also a lot more critical book printing jargon. Another technical term in the trade is “4-color printing” or “CMYK,” the most common kind of printing available. The acronym CMYK stands for the four colors used when printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

CMYK stands for the four colors used when printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
CMYK – cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

When referring to the feel of a book or magazine’s paper after the printing job, the term “finish” is used. Depending on the preference or printing budget, there can be several types of finish types. The glossy finish is frequently used in magazines and some almanacs. A machined finish, on the other hand, will ensure a smooth texture both on the front and back of the pages. “Prepress” is the overall term used for the procedures and other steps in the preparation workflow of books and other projects before they are actually printed in the machines.

The Significance of Printing Types

In the industry of book printing, there are three standard methods of printing or what is called the printing types. They are all still very much widely used and can have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Letterpress printing is the oldest method since the invention of printing in the 15th century. Although it is the earliest printing type made, it is considered to be a top-notch process used for premium printing that is why it is reserved most of the time for top-quality printing jobs or making limited edition books. It makes use of the movable type printing press where hot metal typesets are used to press the ink unto the paper.

Textbook publishing houses that manufacture large quantities of printed materials make use of offset printing. In this method of printing, the images or text to be printed are put on a plate. These inked plates are transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. Offset printing dates back to the turn of the twentieth century in 1904. The last printing type is utilized even in homes and offices at present – digital printing. Images and texts are printed directly from their digital formats by inkjet printers, large format printers, or the premium laser printers. It is the most popular method as it is more portable and inexpensive.