Let's Talk Book Design & Anatomy



Below is an alphabetical list of common terms related to children's book design. Click on a term to skip down!



Backmatter

Material at the end of a book (resources, educator guides, interviews, author notes, photos, etc.).


Bleed

An image that extends past the edge of where the paper will be trimmed. Anything beyond the bleed will not be printed, so full-bleed images extend beyond the trimmed page/spread.


Carousel Book

Also known as a 360° book, the front and back covers touch to form a circle. Some carousel books have ribbons that tie the front and back together. See many examples and more information on carousel books here.


Casewrap

Also known as a case cover or hard case, the hard casing of the book made from printed paper wrapped around cardboard. See many examples here.


Debossing

An indented pattern on the surface of a book, like the title or another detail.


Die Cutting

Cutting paper, pages, and books into specific shapes. See some examples here.


Dust Jacket

The removable paper cover wrapped around a casewrap. See many examples here.


Embossing

A raised pattern on the surface of a book, like the title or another detail. See examples here.


Endpapers

Also known as endsheets, the papers at the beginning and end of the book that are glued to the inside covers. See many examples here.


Fifth Color

A solid spot color ink (often neon) outside of the usual four print colors cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. See some examples here.


Foil Stamping

A metallic effect added to specific details and/or text. See examples here.



Fore-Edge

The edges of a book's pages. Sometimes these are treated with paint, stencils, or foil, and sometimes the treatment is only visible when the pages are slightly fanned. See some examples here.


Gatefold

Two parallel folds that create six panels altogether—three panels on each side of the paper.


Gutter

The space in the middle of an open book where two facing pages meet. Take a closer look at books that are designed to emphasize the gutter here.


Leporello

An accordion-pleat, or zig-zag, book. See many examples and learn more about leporellos here.


Recto

The righthand page of a spread.


Spine

The outside edge of the book where the pages are gathered and bound.


Spot Gloss

A high gloss UV coating on a selective area. See examples here.


Spread

Two facing pages, side by side.


Trim Size

The actual size of a book (width, height, and depth, ie: 9.4 x 12.2 x 1.0 inches).

Verso

The lefthand page of a spread.