February 4, 2013
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Design

Books have many parts.  Here are some of them.


(This is Baby’s in Black.)


Book Jacket

(This is the jacket for the hardcover Red Handed with the book taken out.)



(This is Poseidon.)


Cloth Binding

(This is American Born Chinese.  You can tell it’s a cloth binding because you can see the texture of the cloth — this is one of the editions we did of this book.)


Paper Over Board Hardcover

(This is Anya’s Ghost.  POB hardcovers don’t have jackets — their covers are printed right on the hard cover boards.)


French Flaps

(This is Relish.  The french flaps parts of this picture are the part with the croissants in the front and the part with the author photo and bio in the back.  They’re like the flaps of the book jacket but part of the cover.)



(This is Primates.  The endpapers are the green parts — the paper pasted to the hard cover boards and to the first page of the book.)



(This is Odd Duck.  You can see that this book has four signatures — they’re the pages grouped together at the spine of the book.  Those are sewn into the book’s spine.)


Spot Gloss

(This is Broxo.  The spot gloss is on the sword; see how it looks reflect-y?)


Foil Stamp

(This is Foiled.  The foil is on the title; it’s shinier in real life — unfortunately foil is moderately difficult to photograph.)


Gilt Edge

(This is Ball Peen Hammer.  This photo is the top view — the edges of each page are black and shiny.)


Blind Stamp

(This is Sailor Twain.  This is the cover, after you’ve taken off the jacket; there’s a mermaid stamped into the hard cover boards of the book.)


Deckled Edge

(This is Three Shadows.  The edges of the paper are all cut at different lengths.)


In Ye Old Olden Days, printers used to use many, many more cool effects on books (actual gilt on the edges! leather stamping! etc.) that we tend not to use a lot in the modern day or here at First Second.  Maybe someday. . . .

3 Comments on “ A Brief Directory of Parts of a Book ”

  • Keith Schoch | February 6th, 2013 11:52 am

    Such a great idea for a blog post, and the photos are very helpful. Some of these terms are definitely new to me! Thanks for the education.

  • Robin Smith | September 11th, 2013 6:32 pm

    Thanks so much! I learned so much from this post. Eric Carpenter sent me over from Calling Caldecott.

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