Book Typography

The setting and arrangement of the various parts of a book. Book production has a long history, and many of the customs and traditions are highly standardized. The order of the portions of a book are generally as follows, although not all parts need to be present in a single book:

Front matter: all the material that precedes the main text of the book, which includes in order:

Half-title (the book title alone on a page); fact title or ad card (the list of books by the same author, commonly facing the title page); title page (always a recto page, listing title, author, and publisher); copyright page (commonly on the reverse of the title page, listing copyright and CIP data); dedication (may be on the copyright page or, more commonly, on a new recto page); preface, prologue, or foreword (always begins a new recto page); acknowledgements (commonly on a new recto or can be included with the back matter); table of contents (always begins a new recto); lists of illustrations, figures, maps, charts, tables, etc. (commonly begins new recto); and introduction (always begins new recto). Front matter is commonly paginated using lowercase Roman numerals.

Following the front matter is the main text of the book, which always begins on a new recto, and with Arabic pagination beginning at page one.

Back Matter: all the material that follows the main text of the book, including:

An afterword, epilogue, appendix (or appendices); notes, quotations, bibliography, glossary, index, and about the author. Some books also include a colophon, providing production details about the book, the typeface used, etc.

In the typesetting and assembly of books, the following terms are used commonly:

Verso: the left-hand page of a two-page spread.

Recto: the right-hand page of a two-page spread.

Folio: the page number.

Running head or running foot: the book title, author, chapter name, or other identifying line of text appearing at the top or bottom, respectively, of each page.

Line short/long: an allowance for setting certain pages shorter or longer, respectively, than the standard page depth to eliminate widows, excessively short pages, or to provide room for illustration matter.

Widow: the last line of a paragraph when it is less than one-third the width of the line, commonly used to refer to the carry-over of a hyphenated word.

Orphan: a widow carried to the top of the next page.

In the printing of book pages, a sheet of paper printed as one page is known as a broadside. Folding it once to produce four pages makes it a folio. Folding it again to produce eight pages makes it a quarto. Folding it again to produce sixteen pages makes it an octavo. Folding it yet again to produce thirty-two pages makes it a sixteenmo. Folding it yet again to produce sixty-four pages makes it a thirty-twomo.

See also Book Publishing: Production.

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