Some notes on books and printing; a guide for authors and others online

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presented to the


Mr. William W. Johnson





Some Notes on

Books and Printing


PRINTING : A Praftical Treatise on the Art of
Typography as applied more particularly to the Printing of
Books. Largely illustrated. Post 8vo, $s.


Hints and Suggestions relating to Letterpress and Lithographic
Printing, Bookbinding, Stationery, Engraving, etc. Crown
8vo, 5J. [^Second Edition.


Terms and Phrases, Abbreviations, and other Expressions
mostly relating to Letterpress Printing. Crown 8vo, jj. 6d.


Limited Edition, Fcap. 8vo, Zs. 6d. [Out of print.

Some Notes on

Books and Printing

A Guide for Authors
and Others





jS^^j^^h /^^^a^^^^S^^^fim



^^^ f .Mj^s^






HE present volume is pradically a
revised reprint of my little book
" On the Making and Issuing of
Books," w^hich Mr. Elkin Mathew^s
published for me in the spring of last year.
The appreciation with which that volume met,
and the inquiries I have had for it since the
limited edition was exhausted, have encouraged
me to re-issue it in a different form, with the
addition of many typographical specimens, and
a few samples of really good papers suitable for
printing purposes.

All the types shown here are in use at the
Chiswick Press, but founts that are peculiar to
that office have not been included, in order that
the utility of the book for general reference
may not be in any way limited.

C. T. Jacobi.

OSlober^ 1892.


The Preparation of MS. for the



Making an Index .......


Corredtion of Proofs .....


The Character of Types .....


The Sizes and Names of Types


The Leading of Type .....


The Chara£ler and Varieties of Papers


Of the Margins of Books .....


The Sizes of Books determined


Some Methods of Illustrating Books .


The Binding of Books .....


The Issue of Books by Publication and by Subscription


Copyright .




Review Copies ,


Demands of Public Libraries

• 31



Casting off Copy


Extras ....


Casting off Printed Matter

• 34


• 34



Eledlrotyping .


Hints on Drawing for Process Blocks

• 36


• 36


Cost of Paper .
Reams of Paper



Specimens of Types

Samples of Papers




at end





HE first and most important The prepa

step in the produd:ion of a
Book is the proper preparation
of the manuscript. A tidily
and carefully written MS., es-
pecially if the work of an un-
known author, will often carry weight with it
when placed before the publisher for his con-
sideration. A badly written MS. sometimes
does not receive that amount of attention which
its literary merit would otherwise command.

In writing use either quarto or folio paper,
ruled or plain, and write on one side only, with,
say, an inch margin on the left-hand edge.
This allows room for any desirable subsequent
alteration, or for remarks and instructions for
the printer. Let each sheet be distind:ly paged
throughout, and avoid, as far as possible, inter-
lineations in the MS.

ration of
MS. for the


Paires should not be confused with leaves —


for in printing, two pages are equal to one
leaf, being printed on both sides.

Bad copy is a bane to the printer, and much
trouble and annoyance is obviated if good MS.
is supplied at the outset. To write clearly
entails but little extra labour, the habit once
acquired becoming second nature.

Every printing establishment of any note has
its methods and customs as regards orthography,
the use of capital letters, and of puncftuation.
As a rule, it is best to leave these details to the
printer ; any little deviation desired may be
easily remedied in the proofs with which the
author is supplied. At any rate, it is best that
the capitals be kept down as much as possible,
spelling only proper names and titles with a
capital letter.

It is perhaps as well to say here that there
are certain methods of indicating in MS. where
italic, small capitals, and capitals, should be
used. These are simply :

Italic '

SMALL CAPITALS =r^=— -——=-=:


These underlinings, if borne in mind, will save
much trouble.

Paragraphs should be boldly indicated by
setting the line well back in the " copy," as the
MS. is technically called, but if by chance,
when the copy has been written, a fresh line
is required where it has already been run on


in the same line, a paragraph may be expressed
by making a bracket mark, thus [

Footnotes should each have a corresponding
reference, and where possible should be written
at the bottom of the page to which they refer.
Either letters, ^ b c d^ qj. figures, ^ ^ ^ *, may be
used for the purpose.

Extradl matter included in the text should
be clearly shown, either by marking it down
the side with a vertical line (in coloured ink or
pencil is the best plan), from beginning to end,
or by setting the whole well back within the
compass of the text.

Titles of works or newspapers are under-
lined or placed within inverted commas in
order to make them distindt, the printer using
his discretion as to which style he will adopt,
except in the case of special instrud:ions from
the author.

If a work is to be divided into chapters,
a table of contents should be placed in front ;
if illustrated to any extent, a list of illustrations
should be added as well. The correal order for
preliminary matter, where all these details are
necessary, is : half-title, title, dedication, preface,
contents, and list of illustrations ; the certificate
of a limited edition should face either the half-
title or the full title. Nearly all works of any
value are the better for an index, and the absence
of one is sometimes a serious defed:. It of
course depends on the nature of the work to
what extent it shall be indexed.

Volumes issued with a due regard to these


details are undoubtedly the better for them. If
the volume is an important one, and a good
index is required, the author or editor is the best
person to provide it ; failing either, the printer's
reader who has had charge of the volume may
be intrusted with the task. Some firms are
willing to undertake this portion of the work.
The index should not be completed till the
work has been finally corredled and passed for
the press, or errors may creep in which will
destroy its reliability and value.

Making an The best and quickest way to make an index
Index. jg |.Q ^i-ife each item on a separate slip of paper.
Each slip should contain the head to be in-
dexed, with the page reference attached to it.
Assuming you have chosen what subjed:s to
index, for instance, say, all names of persons
and places, let every one of these be written
out as often as they occur in the text, com-
mencing with the first page and taking the
whole in sequence. As they are written, throw
them into a box or basket, and, when finished,
gather them together and place all in alpha-
betical order. The next step is to eliminate
all duplicate headings, but before doing this
the page reference of the one thrown out must
be transferred to the slip retained, and in its
numerical order. This considerably reduces
the bulk of the index.

This plan is the only royal road to making a
corred index, without the chance of duplication
or omission. Care must be taken a second time


In checking the stridlly alphabetical arrangement
of the slips. When you have assured yourself
of this, they may be pasted up in sheet form ;
this reduces the risk of losing any of the slips,
and is a more convenient form for handling.

With regard to, the corre(5lions in the proofs Correftion
it must be remembered that the more care- of proofs.
fully a book is written, the less expense will
be incurred for " author's corrections." This
charge is often a great source of contention
between the author, publisher, and printer, and
altogether is an unsatisfactory item. A printer
is bound, with certain reservations, to follow
the copy supplied, and if he does that, and the
author does not make any alterations, there is
no charge, and nothing to wrangle about. But
should there be many emendations in the proof,
they may prove disastrous as regards trouble
and expense.

A page of type may contain two or three
thousand letters, every word being built up
letter by letter, and line by line till the page
is complete. A small corred:ion, trivial as it
may seem to the inexperienced, will possibly
involve much trouble to the printer, and the
labour expended on it is not apparent and is
only appreciated by a practical man.

A word inserted or deleted may cause a page
to be altered throughout line by line, and a
few words may possibly affe(ft several pages.
The charges made for corrections are based
on the time consumed in making the altera-


tions or corredlions, and are very difficult to
check, even by an expert.

If it is actually a necessity that a work must
be correcfled when in type, and the amount of
these alterations is likely to upset the arrange-
ment of the lines and pages, it is best to ask
for proofs in " galley " or slip form. This
means a little more trouble to the printer, but
to the author or publisher it will probably cause
less expense in the long run.

In marking corred:ions for the printer certain
signs and symbols are used which express more
concisely the meaning than could be indicated
by a more ordinary method of marking the
alterations. We give on the opposite page the
principal characters used : that page showing
the corre(5tions as they would be marked by a
skilled person ; this, the facing page, the type
corredted according to these directions ; and
on the page overleaf the corrections explained
in detail.

In making a correction in a proof always
mark the wrong letter or word through, and
insert the alteration in the margin, not in the
middle of the printed matter, because it is apt
to be overlooked if there is no marginal reference
to the correction. To keep the different cor-
rections distinct, finish each one oif with a stroke,
thus / and to make the alterations more clear,
if the corrections are heavy, mark those relating
to the left-hand portion of the page in the
left margin, and those to the right on the right-
hand margin.



tions or c^rre^ftioos and are very difficult to

check, even by an expert. [If it is actually a ne- n-^'hoA,.

cessity that a work must be carre(5ted when in

y type J and the amount of these alterations is likely
to upset the arrangement of the lines and pages,

^ Y ^^ ^s best to^ ask for proofs in / galley " or Slip <^.

' ' form.->

This means a little more trouble to the printer,
but to the author or publisher it will^probably ^
cause less expense in the long run. **

7 ^In marking corred:ions for the printer certain

signs and symbols are used which express more (3^
concisely the meaning than could be indicated
by a more ordinary method of -tka* marking the c^

alterationy We give on the opposite page the
principal characters used/ that page showing Q
the corr£(5cions as they would be marked by a
skilled person ; this, the facing page, the /jype ^—
corred:ea according to these dired:ions ; and
on the page overleaf the correlations explained an

In making a correction in a proof alwiays
mark the wrong letter or word through, and t^m,
insert the alteration in the margin, not in the
mi|?dle of the printed matter, because vis/1\apt fe»
to De"9?^rlooked if there is no marginal reference

Ko>W ^° tKe^orreCtion. io keep the different cor- 7/

redlSns^istind, finish each one off with a stroke,

thus / and to make the alterations more clear,

^ if the coQeCtlons are heavy, mark thosej-elating -v

to the left-hand portion of the page in the
to/ left margin, and those^the 4cfron the right- 'if^
/ hand margin.



Synopsis of some of the P r oof -Reader s Marks used
on the foregoing page.

New par. or n. p. or [ Commence a fresh line
or paragraph.

X A bad or battered letter.

^ Delete or expunge.

/. c. A capital or small capital to be changed to
a lower-case letter.

Run on. Sentence not to commence a new line,
but to follow on previous matter.

I A space or quadrat standing high to be

pushed down.
□ This indicates that the line has to be in-
dented one em of its own body.

Cl A turned letter.

© A full-stop or full-point has to be inserted.

L^ Space to be reduced.

Rom. Change italic into roman.

Trs. A transposition of a word or words.

J The matter has something foreign between

the lines, or a wrong-fount space in the line,

causing the types to get crooked.
Cap. Alter a lower-case letter into a capital,

expressed also by three lines under, ^.

3 The words or letters over which this is

marked to be joined.
S A space has to be inserted.

yxA caret mark, indicating something to be


When the corrections have been duly made
and approved by the author or editor, it is
customary to write the w^ord " press " on the
top of the first page of the sheet ; all inter-
mediate proofs should be marked " revise."
The final, or ** press proof," is always retained
by the printer in case of any challenge or dis-
pute. It is his voucher, and he retains it for
future reference.

Printer's readers, styled " corrediors of the
press," are, as a rule, a very careful and pains-
taking body of men. Generally with a pradlical
experience, and sometimes a classical knowledge,
they virtually subedit the MS. Their queries
on proofs should be seriously considered, for
they frequently find an author nodding, and
due attention to their valuable queries will well
repay the trouble.

The beauty of a volume is dependent on the Thecharac-
seleftion of a suitable characfler of type. These ^^^ ^^ types.
** founts " of type may be broadly classified into
three divisions, namely :

(/s:) the old faced,

{b) the revived old style,

(c) the modern faced.

The first series {a) is occasionally used for
bookwork, as is the case in this volume ; the
old-fashioned long f being sometimes used in
conjunction with the ligature letters, fi flfTftfh
111 fil fk fb dt, and so on.


The second series (b) is more generally used
for bookwork ; a glance at the general run of
books nowadays will corroborate this statement.
The third series {c) is perhaps more in demand
for newspapers, magazines, school-books, scien-
tific works, pamphlets, and such like.

As mentioned before, the text of this book is
printed in the old-faced type designed and cut
by William Caslon, who flourished in the early
part of the eighteenth century, but without the
long f for the sake of greater clearness.

For specimens of the various sizes of types in
the different faces suitable for bookwork see the
end of this work.

The sizes Each series of type is made in many sizes ;
and names fQj. purposes of identification they are here
^^^^" named, commencing with the smallest :

1. Diamond. 8. Long Primer.

2. Pearl. 9. Small Pica.

3. Ruby. 10. Pica.

4. Nonpareil. 11. English.

5. Minion. 12. Great Primer.

6. Brevier. 13. Paragon.

7. Bourgeois. 14. Double Pica.

The size of type used for this book is
English. There are other larger sizes than
those here enumerated, and smaller ones too,
but they hardly come within the scope of the
present essay.

Most of these founts of type have some re-
lative proportion to each other in depth, and a


knowledge of these equivalents is sometimes
useful in matters of calculation.

Diamond is equal to /ja/f of Bourgeois.
Pearl ,, ,, Long Primer.

Ruby ,,

Nonpareil ,,
Minion „

Bourgeois ,,
Long Primer,,
Small Pica

Small Pica.

Great Primer.
Double Pica.

The width of pages is measured by the use
of " ems." Technically an em is the exad:
depth of the body of any fount of type, but
Pica size is that adopted for governing the
measure of the line. By ** body " we mean
the square of metal on which the face of the
letter is cast. Pica type without leading runs
six lines to an inch ; and twenty-one Pica ems

wide, as in this work, will be found to measure
three and a half inches if a rule be placed across
the print.

Type is sometimes bulked out by the inser- The lead-
tion of thin strips of lead, this being called mg of type.
** leading." Where no leads are employed, it is
obviously " solid." The type in which this text
is composed is set solid. A " thick " lead is
equal to two " thin " leads — four thick leads are
equivalent to a pica, or twenty-four to an inch.
A book may even be double or treble thick


By this means a volume may be spun out to
almost any length. As there is sometimes a
difference of opinion with regard to the appear-
ance of leaded or non-leaded matter, we venture
to express our views. Undoubtedly a page of
type set quite close looks pretty as a whole, but,
unless it may happen to be a fairly large type,
it is not so comfortable in reading as a page
which is slightly leaded out. Pages of great
width especially demand spacing out, as the eye
is apt to lose the continuity in turning from the
end of one line to the commencement of the

There are many other varieties of type in
existence than those mentioned, but mostly of
a fanciful character, and not in good taste or
in keeping with bookwork. However, the oc-
casional use of black letter, italic, and a bolder
face of type is permissible in order to give em-
phasis to certain passages. This fatter face of
type is sometimes called " clarendon," and
occasionally " Egyptian."

We do not rejed: fancy types altogether by
any means. These characfters are sometimes
good, but more often bad, and their employ-
ment can only be tolerated in advertisements
and works of a miscellaneous or commercial

The types on the following page represent in
the " old face " character many of the different
sizes in general use. A practised eye can readily
discriminate between the various sizes of the
different classes of type bodies.


Nonpareil is the name and size of the type shown here in this specimen page of old face types.
Brevier is the name and size of the type shown here in this specimen page of old
Bourgeois is the name and size of the type shown here in this specimen
Long Primer is the name and size of the type shown here in this
Small Pica is the name and size of the type shown here in
Pica is the name and size of the type shown here in
English is the name and size of the type shown

Great Primer is the name and size of

Paragon is the name and size of the

Double Pica is the name and

Two-line Pica is the name


Thecharac Next to the selection of a good type is the
ter and va- choice of paper to be used, the nature of the
rieties o ^q^]^ ^q some extent ffovernin^ this choice,
papers. i i r i i •

To put an old-faced type on machine paper

or a modern-faced on one made by hand is
hardly logical, though there are exceptions to
this rule. To be consistent, it is best to print
old-faced type on handmade paper, or at least
on that of an antique charad:er ; and most cer-
tainly modern-faced type on machine paper.
The intermediate series of type faces, the revived
old style, may, however, without offence to the
most critical, be employed on either kind of

Papers may be at once divided into two classes
— handmade and that made by machine. Each
kind, again, has two varieties ; these are distin-
guished as *' laid " and ** wove " respediively.

Laid papers are identified by the wire marks
or water-lines, which are rendered more visible
when a sheet is held up to the light. Wove
papers have none of these lines or marks, and
their absence at once fixes the class.

Further, handmade papers in the full size of
sheet have a raw or ragged edge all round the
four sides, which is called the " deckle." Those
manufadlured by the machine have cut or even
edges : except in the case of imitation or antique
papers, which are now made with a sham raw
edge on one, or even two, sides of the paper.

Another mark of distind:ion between papers
made by hand or machine is that the former is
darker on the right side and the latter darker on


the wrong side, the two sides being obvious by

Machine papers are subjecfb to a very great
number of varieties, not only in shade of colour,
but in style and quality ; this quality is improved
by a larger proportion of rag being used. If
durability and quality are sought for in a fine
book, handmade paper is desirable, its texture
being stronger and of more lasting properties.

The principal sizes of printing papers measure
in inches :

Foolscap 17 ^ i3i

Crown 20 X 15

Post 20 X 16

Demy 22^ >< iji

Medium 24 x 19

Royal 25 X 20

Double Pott . . . . 25 X i5i

Double Foolscap . . 27 x 17

Super Royal .... 27^ x 2o|^

Double Crown . . . 30 x 20

Imperial 30 x 22

Double Post . . . . 32 X 20

Columbia 34^ x 23^

Atlas 36 X 26

[Handmade printing papers may vary slightly.)

Very smooth or highly calendered paper is
only recommended for a book which absolutely
requires it for the sake of its illustrations, hand-
made or rough papers not being adapted for the
suitable printing of pidlorial subjects unless they
are of a purely outline charad:er.


Vellum is occasionally used for very special
copies of a choice work, but its first cost and
the subsequent trouble and expense in printing
render it truly an edition de luxe. It is somewhat
difficult to obtain nowadays any great unifor-
mity in vellums. Formerly they were thinner
and softer.

A substitute for vellum which has crept in
during the past few years, is the Japanese hand-
made vellum paper. It is almost untearable, and
its beautifully even and smooth surface is capable
of receiving the finest impression. So much so,
that it is largely used for printing engravings
and etchings. Its cost as compared with real
vellum is small, and not very much more than
the best English handmade rag paper.

Of the mar- We now approach what is another important
gins of feature in the appearance of a well-printed book,
books. Margin is a matter to be studied. To place

the print in the centre of the paper is wrong in
principle, and to be deprecated. If we look at
a book printed in this fashion, it is apparent to
the book-lover that something is amiss ; for by
an optical illusion its. pages have the appearance,
even if placed in the centre of the paper, of
having more margin on the inner than on the
outer edge of the book, the same deception
applying to the top and tail margin.

To remedy this, it is therefore necessary to
have more margin on the outer than the inner
side of a page, called respectively the *' back "
and " fore-edge ; " and the same rule applies to


the top and bottom, less at the " head " than at
the " tail."

Apart from this, the larger amount of paper
on the fore-edge and tail serves a double pur-
pose. It allows of subsequent rebinding and
cutting, as it is just these edges which usually
suffer most. It also allows room for annotation,
and this margin was much used in olden times
for this very purpose, as a reference to some of
the best printed books of the past will show.
Another suggestion that has been advanced is
that there is more wear and tear on these por-
tions of a book.

As regards proportion of margin, the size of
the book must be taken into consideration : a
gradual increase of margin from a sextodecimo
to a folio. For the sake of symmetry the head

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Online LibraryUnknownSome notes on books and printing; a guide for authors and others → online text (page 1 of 7)