Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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lettering

The process of marking a binding with author, title, or other distinguishing bibliographical information, and, in a loose sense, with accompanying ornamentation, e.g., lines, library imprints, etc. The lettering of handbound books is usually done either with individual letters (as in the best work), or with type set in a pallet. It is also done at times with straight lines or gouges. See: BUILT-UP LETTERING . Edition and library bindings are usually blocked (stamped), either in an automatic or hand-blocking machine.

Type sizes for lettering books generally range from 6 point (very small) to 36 point (relatively large), depending on several factors, including the size of the book and the relative degree of legibility desired. Design of the type face and proper arrangement of the lettering, however, are as important for legibility as is the size of the type. As a general rule, the factors governing lettering are: 1) only one type face should be used on an individual book or set of books: 2) spacing between lines should be logical and pleasing to the eye; 3) spacing between letters should be the same on all lines; and 4) the type size should be appropriate for the size of the volume. (83 , 161 , 259 , 307 , 343 )




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