Page and Sheet Terminology

  • Album Style: A book stitched or bound on the short dimension so that it is wider than it is tall. Also referred to as landscape format.
  • Binding Edge: The side of the sheet where it is fastened with any of the binding styles. A typical saddle stitched book that is 17" x 11" flat and folds to 8.5" x 11" would be bound on the 11" dimension. If this same book were "landscape" or "album style" format and bound on the 8.5" dimension, it would have a flat size of 22" x 8.5".
  • Bleed or Bleed Size: Elements extended beyond the final finished dimension so they will extend right up to the trimmed edge without any white border. The excess trimmed part of the elements is known as the "bleed." Standard bleed for commercial printing is 1/8"; larger bleeds are required on die-cut pieces to allow for adjustment in dies.
  • Finished Size: Final size when folded. For example, an 11" x 17" flat size folded in half results in an 8.5" x 11" finished size. Also used to refer to the final trim size of a sheet that doesn't require folding.
  • Flat Size: The trimmed size before folding. For example, a sheet is trimmed to 11" x 17" flat size then folded to 8.5" x 11" finished size.
  • Folded Size: Used interchangeably with Finished Size, it is the final dimension of the trimmed piece after folding. Flat size to folded size is normally written: 17" x 11" > 8.5" x 11".
  • Landscape Format: A book stitched or bound on the short dimension so that it is wider than it is tall. Also called referred to as album style.
  • Live Area or Size: The printing area of a page contained within the margins. Allowance must be made so elements clear areas that are hole punched, drilled, or die cut and do not disappear into folds.
  • Page: One side of a sheet. Saddle stitched books must be specified in increments of four pages. Be careful not to confuse "sheets" and "pages" when submitting estimates or specifications.
  • Parent Sheet Size: The size purchased from the paper merchant, usually 17" x 22" or larger. This in turn is either used at size for a large format press or cut in halves, fourths, or smaller to print on a small format press. After printing, the press sheet is trimmed to final size.
  • Portrait Format: A book stitched or bound on the long dimension so that it is taller than it is wide.
  • Press Sheet Size: If the sheets purchased from the paper merchant are not run at their full size, they are cut to size for the press run. For example, four 11" x 17" press sheets can be cut from a 23" x 35" parent sheet.
  • Sheet: A single piece of paper or a leaf in a book. If a sheet is printed on one side it can be referred to as one page; if printed on two sides it is two pages. Be careful not to confuse "sheets" and "pages" when submitting estimates or specifications.
  • Signature: Printed sheet that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. Common page increments for signatures in saddle stitched books are 4, 8, 16 or 32 pages. Example: a 12-page saddle stitched book has three 4-page signatures.
  • Trim Size: The final trimmed dimension of the flat printed piece before it is folded.