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Printing Terms

Use These Common Printing Terms

To Help The Printer Understand Exactly What You Want And Get More Accurate Quotes



Bids and Quote Sheet

  • Advance Copies: a few copies of the finished print product sent as soon as the project is completed in the bindery.
  • Extent: a listing of all project components.
  • Finished Size: the dimensions of the finished piece.
  • Flat Size: the size of the printed piece prior to folding.
  • Landscape Format: horizontal (or, album).
  • Number of Colors: a listing of the number of colors for each project component. Example: “Text pages 4c x 1c” means 4 colors on one side of text sheets and 1 color on the other side.
  • PP: printed pages (front and back). Example: “32pp text” means 32 printed pages (front and back).
  • Pages: there are two pages for each sheet of paper. Also called “Leafs”–there are two pages for each leaf.
  • Portrait Format: upright (or, vertical).


  • Back Lining or Backing Paper: an additional back paper or cloth added to the spine to make the binding stronger.
  • Board Book: often used for children's books. Each cover and page of the book is laminated to a heavy board.
  • Burst Bind: to bind by forcing glue into notches along the spines of folded signatures. A burst bind is stronger than a perfect bind.
  • Comb Bind (also called Plastic Bind): bound by inserting a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the binding edge of the book.
  • End Sheets: the sheets that attach the text to the hardcover (case) of a book.
  • Flush Cover: the text pages come to the edge of the cover.
  • Hardcover (also called Case Bound): this is the term for a hardbound book.
  • Head and Tail Bands: a cloth band that decorates the head and foot (or tail) of the spine.
  • Hinged Cover: this is a softbound book that is scored approx. .125” from the spine so that the cover opens without damaging the spine of the book.
  • Overhang Cover: the cover is slightly larger than the text pages.
  • Pastebind: the pages are secured with glue along the spine.
  • Perfect Bind (also called Limp Bind or Drawn-on Cover): hot glue is used to adhere the text pages to a soft cover.
  • Plus Cover: the cover is printed on a different paper than the text pages.
  • Round-Back Hardcover: the spine is rounded, as opposed to a square-back cover where the spine is flat.
  • Quarter Cover: book with the spine covered in one material and the other areas of the cover bound in a different material.
  • Saddle Stitch: bound by stapling sheets and cover together at the spine.
  • Self Cover: text and cover are the same paper.
  • Self Ends: the outer pages of the book's text are bound to the hardbound case, eliminating the need for end sheets.
  • Side Stitch: to bind by stapling sheets through the front of the printing.
  • Slip Case: a box, open on one side that is made to hold a book or series of books.
  • Softbound: this is a term for a perfect-bound book with no stitching.
  • Stitched and Bound: this is a term for perfect binding with the pages stitched together prior to perfect binding. This is a more secure binding than perfect binding and holds up better for repeated use or for softbound books that need to be forced flat by the reader.
  • Wire-O Bind: bound by inserting coil wire through holes drilled through the binding edge of the book.


  • Aqueous Coating: water-based coating available in matte or gloss finish. This coating accepts ink jet printing well. A thicker coat than varnish, but not as thick as laminate.
  • Laminate: plastic coating. Offers the most protection and is available as gloss or matte.
  • UV Coating: liquid coating cured with UV light. More durable than varnish or aqueous coating. Not as durable as laminate.
  • Varnish: a light coating that reflects light. Can be gloss or matte.


  • Art Paper: coated paper. Can be gloss art or matte art.
  • GSM (Grams Per Square Meter): this is the term for paper weight used everywhere except North America, where poundage is used.
  • Offset Paper: alternative term for uncoated paper.
  • Recycled Paper: new paper made entirely, or in part, from previously
    used paper.
  • Uncoated Paper (sometimes referred to as Wood-Free): no coating on the paper surface.
  • Vellum Paper: uncoated and rough surface.
  • Wood-Free (also called Free Sheets): paper made from wood fibers mixed with chemicals and cleaned free of impurities. Resists yellowing with age.


  • CYMK: these are the printing inks used in producing full-color printing (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black). This is the file format that colors must be converted to (from RGB) for commercial production of full color.
  • DPI: dots per inch. Usually 300 or 350 DPI is required for full-color printing.

Proofing and Shipping

  • Blueline Proofs: proofs showing the positioning of pages, graphics and text in mono color. Not used for proofing of color images.
  • Digital Proofs: proofs made from a photo mechanical process or a digital printer. Can be very accurate, although not as accurate as press proofs.
  • Dummies: bound blank paper proof to show the binding, paper quality and thickness.
  • Press Proofs: proofs made by putting files on a press and printing proofs. The most accurate form of proofing.Shipping
  • Bill of Lading: legally binding document listing goods shipped by the shipping company, acknowledging the receipt of goods and promising delivery to the person named.
  • CBM: this is the total size of a shipment in cubic meters.
  • CIF: stands for “Cost, Insurance and Sea Freight.”
    This is pricing based on delivery to the port of import (example: Los Angeles port). This does include international shipping and insurance, but does not include customs or port processing fees or local delivery.
  • Consignee: the person to whom the merchandise is destined.
  • DDP: stands for “Delivery Duty Paid.” This pricing is based on delivery to your destination. All costs including local delivery are included.
  • Ex-Factory: client, or client's agent, who is responsible for picking up the goods at the manufacturer's door.
  • FOB: stands for “Free on Board.” This is pricing based on delivery to the port of export (example: Hong Kong port). This does not include international shipping, insurance, customs or local delivery.
  • Ship Weight (sometimes called Gross Weight): this is the total weight of the shipment including all product and pallets.
  • Shipping Packing List: shows # of copies per carton, size & weight per carton, # of cartons per pallet, and size & weight per pallet.

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Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions of Sale International Print Brokers

All sales, agreements for sale, quotations, proposals, acknowledgment and contracts of sale, including but not limited to purchase orders, shall be subject to the following terms and conditions.


Orders are firm and not subject to cancellation without Artful Dragon Press, Inc.'s agreement.


All merchandise covered by this invoice is a special order made expressly for BUYER. All merchandise is non-returnable unless it does not substantially conform to the quoted specifications as determined by ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC.


This invoice may include a charge for producing artwork and/or graphics. Any such artwork and/or graphics is the BUYER'S property which is available to the BUYER for pick-up and use at any time. Should the BUYER not presently wish to obtain possession of their artwork and/or graphics, ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. will store it on our premises without charge. We will not make use of it without the BUYER'S consent. During the period that ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. retains possession of the BUYER'S artwork and/or graphics, ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. does so as a gratuitous depository, an as such, ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. is not responsible for any damages for any loss of the art being held for the BUYER'S convenience. ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. and BUYER (hereinafter THE PARTIES) are in agreement that no bailment is or will be created.


Prices do not include any applicable sales, use, excise or any other tax. Any applicable taxes will be added to prices at time of invoicing and the BUYER agrees to pay the same. BUYER's exempt from taxes must furnish Certificates of Exemption at time of execution of the agreement or such taxes will be charged.


A. All invoices are net and due as specified in the project agreement between the parties and are due upon presentment, unless indicated otherwise.


B. Security interest - BUYER hereby grants and ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. retains a security interest in the subject matter of this Agreement to secure the payment of indebtedness remaining unpaid hereunder. C. Deposit Requirement - Deposits shall be required as determined by ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. and in such amounts as stated on the quotation.


Acceptance of this offer is expressly limited to the exact terms and conditions of sale contained in the project agreement and the terms and conditions stated herein and any attempt to alter or omit any such terms shall be deemed a rejection and counteroffer.


Change Orders - Changes in order quantity or specification must be delivered to ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. in writing and are subject to approval by ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. and MANUFACTURER. Any resulting increased cost will be born by the BUYER.


A. All goods sold are subject to the manufacturer's standard express warranties there being no implied warranties as to merchantability or as to the fitness of the merchandise for any particular use.

B. All orders and deliveries are subject to availability of materials and/or merchandise from manufacturers.

C. No liability shall accrue against ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. as a result of any breach of contract resulting from any strike lockout, work stoppage, accident, act of God, or any other delay beyond Artful Dragon Press, Inc.'s control, including but not limited to discontinuation or unavailability of merchandise, or any other materials. ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. act's as agent for the Buyer and shall be held harmless by the Buyer for any defects. ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. agrees to act on Buyer's behalf to correct any defects.

D. ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. shall not be liable for any losses, forfeitures and all other consequential damages whether direct or indirect, and whether or not resulting from or contributed to by the implied default or negligence of ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC., its agents, employees, subcontractors and manufacturers, which might be claimed as the result of the use or failure of the goods or services sold. THERE IS NO FURTHER WARRANTY EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED IN CONNECTION WITH THE DESIGN, SALE, MERCHANTABILITY OR USE OF THE GOODS AND/OR SERVICES EXCEPT AS TO TITLE; AND ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC.'S LIABILITY ON ITS WARRANTY SHALL IN NO EVENT EXCEED THE COSTS OF THE GOODS.

E. Buyer and Seller agree that the buyers exclusive remedy is for the repair or replacement of any defective part or product. Buyer agrees that no other remedy applies, whether for incidental or consequential loss, injury or other loss.


BUYER agrees to indemnify and hold ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. harmless from all actions, claims or demands of any person, firm or corporation arising out of or in any way connected with the goods and services sold, whether based in whole or in part on the implied default or negligence by ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC., its agents, employees, subcontractors or manufacturers.


The above terms and conditions represent the full statement between BUYER and ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC.. Any amendments to these terms must be in writing and signed by an officer of ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. This agreement is subject to Minnesota Law and the parties agree that any dispute will be resolved by arbitration in the State of Minnesota or in the Goodhue County District Court, in Red Wing, Minnesota.


Deduct only the amount in question or dispute and pay the difference - complete details concerning the deduction should accompany the check, thus enabling ARTFUL DRAGON PRESS, INC. to take appropriate action.

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FAQ Page for Artful Dragon Press Overseas Print Brokers


Q:Do I have to be a printing “expert” to work with you?

Don’t worry. If you’re unfamiliar with buying printing, printing terminology or the production process, we’ll walk you through it. We’re excited to show you how to save money by printing in Asia or India.


Q:Is the Asian production quality up to my standards?

Yes. You’ll get printing that is as good as or better than what you’re getting now. Our associates invest heavily in the latest equipment and technology. Their quality control standards are as rigorous as those of the top printers in North America or Europe . Many have ISO certifications.


Q:What is the standard delivery time for doing jobs in Asia?

Production time frames are competitive (it’s not uncommon for printing plants in Asia to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week). Normal production time is 5 to 10 days after receiving your approval of the proofs, depending on the size and complexity of the job. You must also factor in the freight time: allow an average of 14-21 days for shipping by sea to U.S. West Coast ports. Inland transportation usually adds another 5 to 7 days. Delivery times to other countries may require slightly more or less time. If you need it faster, we can ship a partial by air for the cost of the airfreight.


Q:Is there a minimum order?

If it a single color product, you normally need to print at lease 10 to15,000 pieces for cost effectiveness. If it is a full color product savings can occur on quantities as low as 2,500 pieces. It greatly depends on the page count, the binding style and the overall project complexity. Most of our jobs run between $10,000 and $500,000. Please refer to our “Get a Quote” tab for a more detailed breakdown of the minimal quantity guidelines.


Q:What format can I use for the artwork?

Just about any format you want. Our pre-press capability is state-of-the-art. We can accept all of the standard media (Zip, Jaz, CD, DVD or upload to a factory server) and graphics software (QuarkXPress, PageMaker, Photoshop, PDF).


Q:What about special projects that involve more than printing?

We have excellent vendors for the duplication of CDs and CD-ROMs, video and audiotapes and other items. We can also arrange the assembly of multi-component projects that require handwork, due to lower labor costs. Just tell us what your requirements are and we can often help.


Q:How can I be assured of a high-quality job without a press check?

We provide a complete set of press proofs for all jobs, as well as a bound sample using the exact materials that you specified. Your final job will not be printed until you have approved the press proofs. In addition, either we or one of our associates can be at the press check.


Q:Can I or one my representatives attend the press check?

Sure. Just let us know and we’ll make the arrangements.


Q:What kind of paper will my job be printed on?

We can print on any paper you specify. However, you will get the greatest cost benefit if you use stocks manufactured in Asia . Several countries produce high-caliber papers from U.S. wood pulp. Remember, since you’ll receive a press proof printed on the same stock, you will know exactly what you are getting before the production run.


Q:If you ship by sea, do I have to worry about customs clearance and delivery from the port?

No. We’ll take care of everything. Your order will be delivered to any address you designate.


Q:What if I want my job shipped to another country?

We’ll deliver it anywhere in the world.


Q:Can I save money on color separations done in Asia?

Yes. We can furnish top-quality color separations. However, with technological advances in pre-press and desktop publishing, the savings on the typical project are not nearly as great as they were just a few years ago. The major benefit of printing in Asia is that you receive color proofs and advance copies.


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