MSUB  Library

Artist Book Collection
Artist Book Glossary

Accordion fold
Series of zigzag parallel expanding folds on long sheet of paper.
synonym = concertina


Artist's book
Book made by an artist where aesthetic issues are focused to communicate the artist's
message: book is a work of art in itself: structure/form and content are usually intertwined.


Process which holds pages inside the book covers.


Book bound along one edge, similar to hardcover textbook or soft cover paperback.
Most western commercial books fit here.


Arranging the pages of the book in correct order.


Inscription or paragraph usually at end of hand-made and many commercial books
listing facts/details such as author of book, font type, number in edition, paper type,
size and other facts.


Refers collectively to identical book copies printed at same time:1/30 = first of 30 books.


Pieces of paper adhered inside covers.
synonyms = paste downs or board sheets


Type of binding where cover is same size as book block without overlap.


Fly leaves
Usually blank pages attached at beginning or end of book near the endpapers.


Bone usually (or tongue/popsicle stick) used to crease, slit papers and/or smooth


Bottom edge of a book when book is held upright.


Outer edge opposite the spine where pages are grouped.
synonym = front edge


Shape, dimensions, structure and general make-up of book.



Fold space where two facing pages come together.

synonym = binding margin


Top edge of text block or leaf when stood/held upright.


A shape is wider/longer than tall (see "Portrait").



Sheet of entire paper including both sides/surfaces.
Paper folded in half, forming one unit of a signature with four pages, each side is counted.


Mitre or miter
Tapering corners at 45° angle before joining: usually cloth corners for hard covers.


Dummy or pretend book used as model for finished book to figure out plan and design.


Mountain fold
Paper fold extends into air or upward such as a mountain.


Nick in
Extra material on corner mitre/miter beyond cover board corner is folded around the
corner and smoothed along the fore-edge: makes a completely covered corner.


A shape or format higher than wide (see "Landscape").


Right-hand page of open book, usually carries odd page numbers.


Making a firm indentation (crease) in a paper without piercing paper so fold stays
in place.


Group of pages to make up a section of book.
synonyms = section, quire or gathering


Back of book that provides support for book covers: Usually firm with printed title and author.


Bottom or lower edge of binding, leaf or page.


Text block
Grouped pages, before or after binding, made of all signatures.
synonym = book block


Tipping in
Process of pasting page edge to an adjacent page.


Unique book
One-of-a-kind book: Many Artists' Books fall in this category.
synonym = "one-off book" and "one-of-a-kind"

Valley fold
Fold slants or points down such as a valley between hills.


Left-hand page of open book; usually carries even page numbers.