A book estimate usually takes 24 to 48 hours to prepare. Non book or book plus items may take longer. Please contact your sales executive and provide the following information:

Trim page size and orientation (portrait or landscape)
Number of pages in multiples of 4
Binding (see Binding Styles)
Text paper and printing colors (see Paper)
Endsheet and printing colors (see Endsheets)
Case materials
Dust jacket
Cover stock if paperback
Types of proofs
Shipping requirements, arrival port or warehouse destination.
Schedule requirements
Any special production or packaging requirements

A brief note on estimate:
The unit cost indicated is the manufacturing cost. Shipping and prepress are quoted as separate line items.
Most estimates have the manufacturing and a run on cost. A run on is the unit cost that you be will charged for any copies shipped over the ordered quantity. The industry standard is 5% over or under the ordered quantity.
Upright or portrait format books are more economical than landscape books.
Paperback books are less expensive than flexibound or hardbackbooks.
Based on standard sheet size, the most cost effective trim page sizes are upright 6” x 9” (22.8 cm x 15.2 cm), 7.5” x 10” (25.4 cm x 19 cm), and 8.5” x 11” (27.9 cm x 21.5 cm).

Paper Sizes

Size Width x Height (cm) Width x Height (in)
Letter 21.59 x 27.94 cm 8.5 x 11 in
Legal 21.5 x 35.56 cm 8.5 x 14 in
4A0 168.2 x 237.8 cm 66.2 x 93.6 in
2A0 118.9 x 168.2 cm 46.8 x 66.2 in
A0 84.1 x 118.9 cm 33.1 x 46.8 in
A1 59.4 x 84.1 cm 23.4 x 33.1 in
A2 42 x 59.4 cm 16.5 x 23.4 in
A3 29.7 x 42 cm 11.7 x 16.5 in
A4 21 x 29.7 cm 8.3 x 11.7 in
A5 14.8 x 21 cm 5.8 x 8.3 in
A6 10.5 x 14.8 cm 4.1 x 5.8 in
A7 7.4 x 10.5 cm 2.9 x 4.1 in
A8 5.2 x 7.4 cm 2.0 x 2.9 in
A9 3.7 x 5.2 cm 1.5 x 2.0 in
A10 2.6 x 3.7 cm 1.0 x 1.5 in




Here are some general guidelines for scheduling your project:
Prepress usually takes 1 month to 2 months. This depends on whether we are sending proofs or if you are supplying final CMYK color proofs. Please allow for two rounds of color proofs and one round of digital ozalids. Please discuss your prepress workflow with your sales executive.
Printing and binding for a standard hardback or paperback book is 4 weeks. If your project requires special treatments, manufacturing time may be longer.
Door to door delivery takes approximately 5 to 6 weeks to US and European warehouses, 3 weeks to Australia and New Zealand warehouses.

Some additional notes about scheduling:
• UPS and FedEx packages take 2 days travel from Hong Kong to US and Europe.
• UPS and FedEx packages take 4 days from US and Europe to Hong Kong.




Book binding is the process of assembling printed and folded signatures into a book block and applying either a paperback cover or hardback case. Our standard binding is smyth sewn, which is the strongest type of binding.
The advantage of printing with Asia Pacific Offset is that your imagination or your budget is the limit. Take advantage of our 20 year-plus experience in printing and binding to make your project idea into a reality.
To stay within budget, machine binding and sewing will provide great savings. For larger trim sizes or thicker books, you have the option for hand binding and casing-in.

Here are the maximum sizes for machine binding:
Upright / Square Back
Maximum width is 12" (30.4 cm)
Maximum height is 15" (38 cm)
Spine width is 1.5" (3.8 cm) for 12" x 15" (30.4 cm x 38 cm)
Trim page size is 11.75” x 14.75” (29.8 cm x 37.4 cm)

Landscape / Square Back
Maximum width is 12" (30.4 cm)
Maximum height is 12" (30.4 cm) or less.
Spine width is 1.5" (3.8 cm) for 12" x 12" (30 cm x 30 cm)
Trim page size is 11.75” x 11.75” (29.8 cm x 29.8 cm) (square)

Upright / Round Back
Maximum width is 11" (27.9 cm)
Maximum height is 15" (38 cm)
Spine width is 1.5" (3.8 cm) for 11" x 15" (27.9 cm x 38 cm)
Trim page size is 10.875” x 14.75” (27.4 cm x 37.4 cm)

Landscape / Round Back
Maximum width is 11" (27.9 cm)
Maximum height is 11" (27.9 cm) or less.
Spine width is 1.5" for 11" x 11" (27.9 cm x 27.9 cm) (square)
Maximum spine width is 2.5" (6.35 cm).

Hardback See Portfolio Examples

Hardback binding, also known as case binding, involves sewing each individual signature for durability, adhering all the signatures to a muslin binding strip, and then anchoring the resulting "book block" into a cloth-covered or paper-covered rigid board "case." Heavy endsheet paper is then glued over the inside of the case to both decorate the inside front and back of the book and to lock the book block into place by anchoring the ends of the backing strip. Small strips of decorative fabric, known as head and tail bands, are attached at the top and bottom of the spine.

Paperback See Portfolio Examples


Signatures are prepared for a limpbound binding just as they are for hardback binding; they are folded and then sewn together for durability. However, they are placed into a sturdy paper cover. This durable binding makes for the highest quality paperback available. Limpbound books can be further enhanced by adding flaps to the front and back covers. This is our standard binding for all paperback books.


Perfect binding involves gathering all the signatures for a book into a book block and then grinding off the spine of that block to produce a neat stack of individual sheets. These are then glued into a heavier paper cover to produce a square-spine, paperback volume. This binding is used for the vast majority of trade paperback books because it is easy to produce and economical.

The major disadvantage to perfect binding is its lack of durability. Basically, each individual page is "padded" into the glue along the spine. Sometimes if the spine is forcibly cracked, or the glue holding the spine together ages and becomes brittle, individual pages can fall out of a perfect-bound book.


Notched binding is a combination of the cost-effectiveness of perfect binding and the durability of limpbound binding.

Notched-binding signatures are folded and gathered into a book block just as they are for perfect binding. The signatures are "notched" in alternating bands. The crossover tabs of paper connect every page to another page, providing dramatically improved durability, while the notches allow the spine glue to move into the signature, adhering the innermost pages.

Flexibinding See Portfolio Examples

Flexibinding is a popular hybrid between a paperback and hardcover binding. This format is popular for handbooks, guidebooks and journals. The book blocks are sewn and have endpapers. The covers are usually made with laminated paper over a lightweight board and a round backed spine, which allows the book to lie flat. It is a less expensive option than hardback binding, but offers a higher perceived value than a traditional limpbound paperback.

Wire-o See Portfolio Examples

Wire-o is a general term used to indicate different binding styles in which the cover and text pages are not sewn, but rather held together by a metal or plastic wire-o, spiral or comb.


Sometimes confused with spiral or coil binding, Wire-o binding does not spiral through the printed material, but instead travels in a back-and-forth path that creates a kind of wire comb. This style is popular in the production of calendars and paperback books such as manuals and reference titles that need to lay flat when in use.

There are several options for dressing up a Wire-o binding. You can have a semi-concealed Wire-o binding that provides a printable spine. Semi-concealed is available in a paperback or hardback version. You can also use a concealed Wire-o style that almost completely hides the binding and presents a clean and attractive appearance while maintaining the advantages of a lay-flat style.


Spiral binding has the lay-flat advantages of Wire-o, but its architecture is slightly different. As with Wire-O, the book block is punched with a series of small holes. A coil binding then is screwed into those holes from one end of the block to the other. You can use plastic or metal spiral.


This binding style is sometimes used on cookbooks and other titles that must lay flat when in use. It uses a plastic toothed “comb” to hold the book block and covers together. Plastic binding is available in various colors.

Board Books See Portfolio Examples

Board-book binding is unlike any other and is used almost exclusively on titles for children. Each page is a rigid board that is faced with a printed (and often varnished) sheet on both sides. The sheets run from board to board creating a hinge between each page, and it is these hinges that hold the whole book together.

Nonbook Products See Portfolio Examples

Nonbook products include a wide variety of products from stationary to kits to ceramic items. Asia Pacific Offset, together with our colleagues in Hong Kong, have years of experience in helping our clients develop new products. We offer suggestions for the most cost efficient and high-end options to make your product unique. As one stop shopping source for your project, we bring together all elements in a kit, from a princess tiara to a special ceramic bowl. Please contact your local sales office to find the options available for your project.




The paper selection is one of the most important decisions to make when designing your project. There are many considerations to take into account: project subject matter, best reproduction method, cost, and availability.

Through our bonded warehouse, Asia Pacific Offset offers several papers as stock papers, ranging from uncoated to matte coated papers. We also use local paper merchants to provide a wider range of stocks. Most of the papers from the local market are on a first come first serve basis, please make sure to provide your paper order and quantity confirmation as indicated in your schedule.
For larger quantities and paper usage, we will order the paper directly from the paper mill; depending on the paper, it takes approximately 2-1/2 months for paper to be delivered from the mill and sheeted for your project.
Asia Pacific Offset is FSC and PEFC certified and we are able to supply FSC and PEFC certified papers. The rules and regulations for applying these logos to the copyright page and the cases are very strict; please indicate your requirements to your sales executive to make the necessary accommodations in the schedule.
We are also able to source PREPS graded papers. Please ask your sales executive if you have questions regarding your selection and stock availability.
Asia Pacific Offset offers recycled papers with varying amount of post consumer recycled pulp.

Paper Weight

This is the thickness of the paper stock. Asia Pacific Offset uses the European grammages for the paper weight. Please use the cart below to translate the US weights to European Weights. The most common stocks available are 115 gsm, 128 gsm, 140 gsm and 157 gsm matte coated sheets, and 100 gsm, 120 and 140 gsm uncoated or woodfree sheets. Weight Conversion PDF.

Paper Coatings

The coatings most commonly available are matte, glossy or uncoated.
Uncoated paper is a good selection for line art and softer images. Coated papers are best for art and sharp images.

Coated paper Uncoated Paper



Project Components

In addition to the paper selection, there are several components that make up a book.

Jacket / Case or Cover

Depending on the type of binding, your book will have a paperback cover, hardback case and/ or jacket.
A paperback cover may be a coated one sided (C1S) artboard or a coated two sided (C2S) artboard. Our standard recommendation is 260 gsm or 310 gsm coated one sided artboard, and you will select a finish.

A case can be made using real cloth, imitation cloth, leather, imitation leather or a printed laminated case with a finish applied to it. All cases are wrapped over gray board, our recommendation is minimum 2.5 mm board. For larger trim size and landscape books, the minimum recommendation is 3 mm board. There are many choices available for case materials, please contact your sales executive to help with the selection. When submitting files, don’t forget to include the stamping file for the spine and the front case.
A hardbacks may also have jacket wrapped around the case. The jacket is usually printed 4 color on glossy paper with a finish applied to it.


Each component should be submitted as a separate InDesign or Quark file. Please contact your sales executive to receive a template based on the final specifications for your project.


Here is a list of the standard finishes to apply to covers, cases and jackets:

Film applied after the printing is completed. This technique provides the greatest protection; it is available in gloss or matte finish.

Varnish is a liquid finish that can be applied to seal the ink onto the printed sheet. Varnish is available in gloss or matte option. Varnish is not as durable as lamination.

There are special techniques that can be applied to the cover, case, or jacket to emphasize a design element. When submitting a file that requires a special technique applied to an area of the cover, case or jacket, each unique element needs to be provided as a separate channel in InDesign, set at 100%.

Spot UV
Spot UV is varnish that is set using a UV light; finish can be gloss or matt. The UV is applied to a specific area of the cover, case, or jacket to provide a contrast to the lamination applied. Spot UV is not recommended for any flexible areas, such as the hinge area.

Foil Stamping
This is created using a stamping die and is applied after the printing is complete. The foil can be shiny, matte, or pigment color. If there is no color applied, it is called blind stamping or blind deboss.

Emboss is the die used to raise an element. Embossing can only be applied to a cover or jacket. To deboss is to recess an element into a case, also called blind stamping. Debossing is pressed down and is generally applied to a case after the case material is applied to the board.

You can use one or two or three of these techniques. There are other alternatives as well, so please take advantage of our expertise and ask your sales executive how to best realize your cover, case or jacket design.

Endsheets are the uncoated pages at the beginning and end of hardback or flexibound books that are glued to the inside case and to the first and last page of the book block. Endsheets can be unprinted or printed.

Endsheets are printed separately from the book block, and are therefore not counted as part of the text pages. Endsheets files should be submitted as separate files from the text and case.

Books with smaller pagescan be bound as self-ends, meaning that there are no separate ends. Page 1 and last page of the book block are then glued to the case. If you chose this option, design text with these two pages blank.


Gatefolds are an oversized page that folds out of the printed book. Gatefolds are a great way to showcase a large painting, graphic, map or any similar material. They look easy and fun to include, but they are quite complicated and should be designed very carefully.
Gatefolds should be designed and placed between signatures or in the middle of the signature to provide the strongest bind in the book block.
Gatefolds can be tipped in or glued in the signature, but the gatefold will have a glue strip to adhere it to the book block.
The most common gatefold is a 6 page gatefold. Although two pages appear to be part of the book block, they are actually printed separately and should be designed as such.

A 4 page gatefold is normally tipped or glued in the book, they are not sewn in the book block.

If you have any questions on how to design your gatefold, reach out to your sales executive early in the design process.



Country of Origin

In most countries, items manufactured overseas require clearly printed country of origin. For hardback books, country of origin must be clearly marked on the jacket and the copyright page, since the jacket can become separated from the book. If you have any questions, please contact your sales executive.

90% of our projects are printed in China. A few projects need to be printed in Hong Kong because of the subject matter. If you are not sure if your project should be printed in China, please inform your sales executive when the project is quoted.



Types of Proofs

You will receive two different kinds of proofs for each project, color proofs and ozalid proofs (ozalids are also known as plotters or bluelines).

There are several choices for color proofs, from lowest to highest price: digital proofs, digital wet proofs, wet proofs or press test. The color proofs are the final guide on all issues related to color. You should review these proofs carefully. If you would like to make a change, please provide color corrected hi-res image files for replacement. Always return 1 set of marked up or approved proofs.

Digital Proofs

The digital proofs are hi-res CMYK Epson proofs, output on Epson paper. They are faster to output and the least expensive alternative for hi-resolution color proofs.

The disadvantage of using Epsons proofs are they are continuous tone, instead of CMYK screen. Moires, trapping or overprint issues will not be evident. PMS colors and tints are not accurately depicted. Digital proofs are not suitable to show line art or rules (which will appear thicker), or black and white, duotone or 4 color black and white images. Since digital proofs are output on digital paper and not the paper that will be used on press, the colors will appear different while on press. Digital proofs are not suitable for books printed on uncoated or woodfree papers.
This type of proof provides 1 set of proofs.

Digital Wet Proofs

This is a digital proof (using toner), but on the actual paper on which the book will be printed. It uses a simulated screen, but without the additional cost of creating plates. It is more color accurate than a digital proof. Similar limitations that apply to digital proofs also apply to digital wet proofs; PMS are CMYK simulated, line art will appear heavier than in the finished printing, and digital wet proofs should not be used for duotone image, since the 2nd color is usually a PMS color.
This type of proofs provides 1 or 2 sets only.

Wet Proofs

Color wet proofs are one of the most accurate color proofs and the recommended proof for color critical projects. They are produced using print plates on the paper that will be used during printing. The proofs are created on a proofing press, using two ink wells. Since ink and plates are used, PMS colors can be accurately depicted. Because the plates are manually registered and proofed on a proofing machine, registration and dirt spots can be seen on proofs. This type of proof is suitable for high quality art and if 4 proofs are required to be sent to several parties for approval.

Press Test

These are the most color accurate and the most expensive type of proofs. These use plates, the same paper that will be used on press, and are output on a printing press, not in a proofing room. Because they are placed on the printing press, the proofs take more time to produce as they have to be scheduled between bulk printing projects. This is the most accurate proof, but their cost is prohibitive in proofing an entire book. We recommend ordering press test of one or two forms and proof the rest of the project as other types of proof.


The last item you will review before the plates are created is the ozalids, plotters, or bluelines. The ozalids will show you imposed pages in correct sequence. Ozalids are not to be used for color. They are ripped from the final files. If there are any issues with the files that will create an output error the ozalids will show this. Please review them carefully and return the approved set of ozalids.

Color Guidance

With some projects you can chose to supply color guidance for us to use on press. However, we strongly recommend that you discuss this with your sales executive to make sure that the prepress house you are using produce proofs that can be matched on press. We suggest running a test well in advance of the final files and color guidance being released.

Viewing Conditions

The best way to achieve standard viewing conditions is to purchase a color-viewing booth. This will include a 5000° Kelvin light source with balanced color temperature in all parts of the spectrum, and the structure of the booth will control reflections from surrounding elements. Be careful to not make critical decisions about color under office lighting conditions.

Reviewing Your Proofs

Notes about reviewing color proofs:

• Use a red marker to write comments on the proofs.
• Clearly mark OK on all pages that are approved.
• All text corrections should be made by the designer. Please submit only the pages with the text corrections. To help the prepress department, it is helpful to circle the areas on the proofs or ozalids that have text corrections. Text corrections can be proofed as new physical ozalids or PDF ozalids.
• If you submitted hi-res files, all color corrections should be made by the designer. Please submit the new hi-res files, and clearly mark on the proofs, which images are to be replaced. All color corrections need to be reproofed as digital proofs or wet proofs.
• Asia Pacific can make the color corrections to hi-res files at an extra cost. All images will need to be reproofed as digital proofs or wet proofs. It is best to use industry standard mark-up symbols when reviewing and marking your proofs.
• A written summary clearly indicating pages with corrections is appreciated, and may be sent in an email.

Please return 1 set of approved wet proofs or the 1 set of digital proofs to use it on press for color guidance, along with approved ozalids.

Bleed Zones

When setting up your file there are three important areas to keep in mind:

Trim area: This is the size of the trim page size. It is the size that your finished book will be trimmed to, height and length of the page.
Bleed: This is the area that extends BEYOND the trim line. If you have a background, image or any design element that you want to bleed off the page, you must extend this by 1/8" (3 mm) beyond the trim marks.
Safe area: Keep text boxes and headings contained in the safe area, which is at the minimum 1/8” (3 mm) in from the trim area.

The printer sets up the imposed pages on the sheet, therefore it is important to set up bleeds on all 4 sides of the page.



Color Management

For best results the profiles need to be applied to the images in Photoshop, not in InDesign:
When preparing your image files in Photoshop, select from the Edit/ Convert to Profile and choose one of the following from the drop down menu:
• For GRACoL, Adobe profile: Coated GRACoL 2006 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
• For FOGRA coated, Adobe profile: Coated FOGRA39 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
• For FOGRA uncoated, Adobe profile: Uncoated FOGRA47 (ISO 12647-2:2004)



File Prep

Review the guidelines in this section to help prepare your files as accurately as possible. This will help to avoid errors during preflight. If you are not sure that your files are set up correctly please contact your sales executive for advice.



Acceptable Files

Application Files Accepted:
• Adobe InDesign
• Quark XPress
• Adobe Illustrator (Not suitable for interior layout. Please restrict to line art and single page documents, like logos, jackets, etc.)
• Print ready PDFs created from the application files listed above



Font Guide Lines

We recommend that you use PostScript, OpenType or TrueType fonts. Some fonts get corrupted during transmission, such as burning on DVD or uploading via FTP. We recommend compressing fonts before submitting them.

Do not create fonts that do not have a corresponding printer font. For example, in your layout program you can select "Helvetica" and then click a "Bold" style because there is a corresponding "Helvetica Bold" printer font. But if you select "Futura Heavy" and then apply a "Bold" style to it you will not get a bolder version of that font because there is no corresponding printer font.

We recommend that you select the font you want directly in the font menu rather than selecting the base font and applying a style. With large fonts that contain many weights the latter technique can make your results unpredictable.

When setting up your font color, please keep these guidelines in mind:
8 pt. at 100% of solid color.
12 pt. at 60% to 80% of color
16 pt. at CMYK color. Smaller CMYK font will print with jagged edges and appear fuzzy (or off register) because the dots are printed as screen.




Trapping is extending a graphic or image by 0.25pt to avoid any white halo or gap around the image or graphic. Generally process colors do not need to be trapped, although there are some exceptions. InDesign has preset trap settings, generally you do not need to worry about trapping.

You should be aware of trapping when you are knocking out an image or design element from a solid background. There are two ways to avoid the white halo, or what appears to be misregistration, by applying the correct trapping or by overprinting. Overprinting is recommended for text or thin graphics or lines, but remember that overprinting will add the assigned color of the object to the underlying color and may affect the object color.

If you have green text (c: 95, m: 0, y: 80, k: 0) sitting on a blue (c: 95, m: 20, y: 10, k: 0) background, you do not need to trap because of the solid cyan background AND if the text is 16 pt. or smaller you should set the text to OVERPRINT.



Image Set Up

Hi res image files should always be submitted as TIFF, PSD, AI or EPS files. The most important factor in a quality reproduction is the final file size. All image files should be 300 DPI (dots per inch) and line art should be 1200 DPI at final size.
A large image scanned at 150 DPI is functionally equivalent to an image half that size that is scanned at 300 DPI. Both will result in a file that is roughly the same size.

When preparing your image files you need to capture the right amount of information. If your files are too small they appear blurry or pixelated. If they are too large they make the imagesetter work too hard or may produce a Postscript error.

Images less than 300 DPI (or 1200 DPI for line art) will cause an error during the preflight process. All hi-res images need to be set up as CMYK, and not more than +15% or -15% of the reproduction size. Artwork downloaded from a web site is usually too low-resolution for print reproduction. Avoid using lines within artwork that are thinner than .5 point.

All images should be submitted as CMYK, not RGB format. All color should be retouched and color corrected in Photoshop prior to the images being imported into InDesign.



Bitmapped Images

Raster or bitmap images are contained in the form of small squares in grid like pattern, known as pixels, to represent graphics. Each pixel in a bitmap image has a specific location and color value assigned to it. The most common file type are TIFF, EPS or Photoshop PSD files.

When preparing photograph files for print reproduction you should almost always produce TIFF images or PSD files. TIFF files are more common, and are an open format, which means they can be used in InDesign or Quark. PSD files can only be used in Adobe Photoshop program.

Another common image file is a JPEG. Primarily used for photographs, JPEG is one of the two common file formats used on the web. It is a compressed format so information is lost during compression. If you have a JPEG file you want to use in print, open it in Photoshop and select: Image->Mode->CMYK Color (or Grayscale).

It is ok to resample from a large image to a smaller one. Photoshop simply throws out the extra pixels and an image will appear smaller and every bit as sharp as it was before.

It is NEVER A GOOD IDEA to upsample from a small image to a larger one. In this situation, Photoshop adds pixels to the image. The program assigns color to these new pixels based on the color of neighboring pixels. This may result in an image that is blurrier than the original, as shown to the right.

Never submit GIF image files for print production.



Black and White Images

Depending on your project, you can set up your images as 1 color black and white, duotones, or 4 color CMYK images.

1 color black and white image is set up generally using process black. Highlights and shadows are set up in grayscale.

2 color black and white image are set up using process black and a PMS color. The PMS color can be used to apply a sepia color or PMS gray to create more details in the grayscalefrom highlights to shadows.

4 color black and white are created using CMYK and provide the most detail from highlights to shadows. 4 color black and white images require a very delicate balance. When setting up your files, you have to make sure that there isn’t a color cast in your images. You must eliminate the cast in Photoshop before the image is imported into InDesign.



Vector Illustrations

Output all the vector illustration files as EPS or AI (Illustrator). Be sure to match the color names in these files to the names of the same colors in the layout software.

Some versions of Adobe Illustrator allow you to raise or lower Adobe Illustrator's default output resolution. Don't adjust this setting. Lowering the resolution will result in poorly formed paths. Raising it might give unnecessary errors during preflight.

Save line art files as bitmapped images. If you save them grayscale, the edges may output with a halftone screen making them appear blurry or jagged.



Using Black Ink Solids

If a large area of solid black will be crossing other built tints, there will be a difference in density between the areas over color and those that are not over color. The solution is to build a "rich black" tint mix as follows:


Using this rich black will avoid any obvious density variations in black solids. It is also a good formula for producing a dense, uniform solid black, even when it will not be crossing other colors.

Other black elements such as rules, type, and thin illustration elements should be made up of 100% black and set to overprint.

Consider adding varnish on pages that are solid dark color facing a white page to prevent set off.



Releasing Your Project

Before submitting your files, please use the Preflight command in InDesign to check your files.

Please include:
• Only images that are used in the layout. Make sure the names and locations of linked files do not change after you collect your files.
• All bitmapped image sizes should be at least 300 DPI, and all vector line art files should be at least 1200 DPI
TIFF and EPS files should be CMYK, not RGB. All images as TIFF, and all vector line art as EPS.
• Include all fonts used, along with their corresponding printer fonts, even if the font is commonly used.
• Eliminate all unused colors. InDesign's color palette has a "Select All Unused" option that will help you to locate and delete these swatches.
• Make sure each color has only one name.
• Simplify the graphics to use the minimum number of steps in a blend or the smallest number of points on a path.
• Make sure Photoshop documents do not include unused or hidden layers. Otherwise, ripping errors may occur and the hidden layers may output and create unexpected results.
• Eliminate unused elements on the pasteboard or elements that are completely hidden by other objects.
• All pages should have trims and bleeds (bleeds should extend 3mm or 1/4” beyond the trim on all 4 sides).
• Include low res PDFs for placement and/ or laser printout. Write page numbers on the lasers if the folios do not print or low res PDFs for placement.
• Include separate application or PDF files for text and cover, case any other components (endpapers, binding, etc.)
• Color guidance, if you are supplying.

You can submit your files on DVD, transferred via FTP, Hightail or other online file sharing program, or portable drive (make sure to include the cable to connect to computer). Submit InDesing or hi-res print ready PDFs with trim marks and bleeds included.

For additional details on how to set up PDFs, please visit the Adobe help site:

To place files on the Asia Pacific Offset FTP site, please contact your sales executive for ftp site address, login name and password.

When releasing your files, please make sure to email your sales executive to confirm files were posted and provide the folder name or tracking number, if you are sending DVD or portable drive.


General Shipping Information
For shipping books by sea from Hong Kong, please allow the following amount of time for sailing, customs clearance, and inland trucking to your warehouse.
To US destinations: 4 to 6 weeks
To UK and European destinations: 4 to 6 weeks
To Australian destinations: 2 to 3 weeks

We provide several shipping options to choose from: FIS Warehouse, CIF Port, FOB Hong Kong, multiple drop shipments, and air freight.

FIS Warehouse (Free in Store)
We arrange to ship insured consignments door-to-door from Hong Kong to their final destination. This service includes customs clearance and inland delivery. Duties and taxes are extra. Books shipped into the US do not have duties. Please check with your sales executive on any non-book duty questions.

CIF Port of Entry Shipping
We arrange for ocean freight and customs clearance. Clients arrange inland delivery through their own agents.

CIF Port (Cost, Insurance & Freight)
We arrange to ship insured consignments to the designated port of entry. Clients arrange customs clearance and inland delivery through their own agents.

FOB Hong Kong (Free on Board)
Consignments are delivered to the dock in Hong Kong for clients who make their own shipping, customs clearance, and inland delivery arrangements.

Air Freight
Books can be sent by air freight, but note that this is an expensive option. Air freight can take up to 1 week or longer to deliver. The shipping brokers use commercial airline cargo freight, which means that the books will be scheduled on a commercial flight, and the books will be delivered by local truck from the airport to the final destination.

Air Courier
The fastest way to have books delivered is to use air courier, such as UPS or FedEx. This is very expensive and should be used only for immediate needs. Asia Pacific sends 6 copies gratis air courier delivery for each project.

Shipping into the US:
The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires an Importer Security Filing (ISF), also known as 10+2, which requires cargo information has to be transmitted to CBP at least 24 hours before goods are loaded onto an ocean vessel. Penalties of up to $5,000 for incorrect filing and up to $10,000 for subsequent violations or failure to file will be enforced.
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Our Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP) is available online. Schedules are updated daily and shipping documents are available to download, two weeks after the Ready to Ship date.

Contact your sales executive to provide you with instructions and your unique username and password.



CPSIA 2008

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act 2008(CPSIA) is a set of regulations aimed at controlling phthalates and lead content in consumer products for use by children aged 12 and under. This affects all children's products sold in the US. CPSIA required tests for lead content, lead in surface materials, phthalates, and ASTM F963-11 (Toys) may apply to your project.
Learn more:



EU Directive

The European regulations defines a toy as any product or material intended for the use of children younger than 14 years of age. The compliance regulations require that the toys are designed and produced to adhere a series of rules that serve as guide for the manufacturer:
• comply with safety regulations
• carry a mark CE
• The name and address of the supplier should appear on the packaging
• should include warnings

Learn more:
Guidance No. 9



Lacey Act

Anyone who has imported/exported into the United States, transported, sold, received, acquired, or purchased wood products made from illegally harvested timber may be prosecuted for violation of the Lacey Act as of May 22, 2008.

All paper products will need to have a declaration submitted using the US Department of Agriculture Declaration Form. The form needs to include the pulp source genus and species name of plant sources used in manufacturing the paper.

Learn more:


Acid-free Paper
Neutral pH paper. Paper made from pulp containing no acid.

Against the Grain
At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, instead of with the grain. Also called cross grain.

Aqueous Coating
Coating made with a water-based liquid which is applied like ink by a printing press in order to protect and enhance the printing underneath.




A set of bits that represent the graphic image of a document. Bitmapped images have a ragged edge, not a smooth straight line.

Black and White
Originals or reproductions in single color. Also referred to as a B & W halftone.

Printing area that extends past the trim edge of a page. Bleeds should extend at least 1/8" or 3 mm beyond the trim mark.

Blind Stamp
Image or text debossed, embossed or stamped, without using foil.

A type of low resolution proof showing page layout and composition. These proofs are not representative of color. Also known as ozalids or plotters.

Book Block
Sewn folded signatures that are trimmed and sewn, but no cover or case cover.

Thickness of paper relative to its basic weight.




C1S and C2S
Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides. Usually refers to art board or card stock used for paperback covers.

The stiff cover of a hard back book

Case Binding
The process of applying a stiff cover to hardback book.

CIF (Cost Insurance and Freight)
A shipping term which indicates delivery to destination port including ocean freight and insurance charges (does not include customs, terminal charges, or inland trucking).

The four process colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black used to print 4-color images.

Coated Paper
Paper that has a thin coating of clay; it is most commonly used for 4-color printing.

Color Control Bar
A strip of small colored blocks on a proof or press sheet. These strips help to evaluate density and dot gain. Also known as a color bar.

Color Correct
To adjust the values of process colors in the image file to improve color rendition.

Color Curve
Settings in software that allow operators to adjust colors. Adjusting the color curve during plate output will affect all the images and colors on that plate. The color curve cannot be adjusted for an individual image or page.

Comb Bind
A type of binding in which flexible plastic comb teeth are inserted through holes punched along the edge of the book block.

Composite Proof
Page proof with images, graphics, text and all design elements.

Computer to Plate (CTP)
A process in which images and text are sent directly from pdf output to a printing plate without using film.

Crop Marks
Marks printed near the edge of an image, page or layout that indicate where the image, page or layout will be cropped. Also known as trim marks.




A recessed impression on a surface. The opposite of emboss.

An instrument used to measure light reflected between the darkest and lightest areas of a printed sheet.

A metal plate used for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing, or debossing. Dies are made from aluminum, magnesium, copper, and brass.

Die Cut
To cut shapes in paper or artboard using a die.

Digital Proofing
Page proofs produced from computer to paper via laser or inkjet.

Dot Gain
A defect in which halftone dots print larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing detail and lowering contrast.

Dots per inch. Refers to the resolution size of an image.

A blank item that is handmade from materials quoted which represents the final product. Also known as bulking dummy.

Two color image reproduction, normally black and PMS color.




A raised impression on a surface. The opposite of deboss.

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
A file format that contains all the code necessary to print a file. EPS files contain both images and PostScript commands.

End Papers
Sheet that attaches the inside pages of a hard bound book block to its case. The ends are not part of the book block pagination; they are paginated separately. Also called ends, fly sheets, or end sheets.

A list of all the items that will make up the finished product




Film Laminate
Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection. Laminates come in matte, gloss, scuff-free matte or soft touch lamination.

FIS (Free in Store)
A shipping term which indicates door-to-door delivery and includes ocean freight, customs clearance charges, and inland trucking. Duties and taxes are extra. Alsoknown as DDU (delivered duties unpaid).

Flat Back
Case binding that has a piece of board running along the spine creating a square spine. Also known as square backed.

Flood Varnish
The process of applying varnish to an entire printed sheet as opposed to spot varnish, which is applied to specific areas of a sheet or page.

FOB (Free on Board)
A shipping term which indicates delivery to port of export only and does not include ocean freight, customs charges, or inland trucking.

Foil Stamp
Special technique which applies foil material to a cover or case using a die.

F&Gs (Folded and Gathered Sheets)
Collated signatures prior to binding.

A page number. Folios are printed on each page as set up by the designer in the final files.

A collection of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and other typographical symbols with a name and consistent appearance. Usually includes a complete family appearing in different weights and styles such as bold, italic, small caps, etc.

One side of a signature. Often called a forme.

Four-color black and white
A black and white image that uses all four process colors and has more detail and shape than a duotone or halftone B&W image.

Four-color Process Printing
Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan, and yellow to simulate full-color images. Also called color process printing or full color printing.

French Fold Jacket
A printed book jacket which has the top and bottom edges folded underneath for greater strength; we recommend French Fold jackets for oversized books.




A sheet that folds in overlapping layers to show a wider image than the trimmed page size allows. These pages are tipped or sewn into the book block.

An acronym for Graphic Interchange Format. An image of 8 bits for use by web browsers but not for printing

Applying foil to the edges of a book. There are limited colors available for this technique.

Grammage (GSM)
Basis weight of paper in grams per square meter.




Reproduction of a continuous tone image; usually refers to a 1-color image

Head and Tail Bands (H/T Bands)
Cloth strips used in case binding that cover the folded signatures along the spine. They are purely for decoration and provide no added strength to the binding.




Arrangement of pages on a signature so that after printing, folding, and trimming, all pages will appear in proper order.




An outer covering for a case bound book.

An acronym of Joint Photographic Experts Group that provides a 24-bit compression format for images.




Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing. Hence the 'K' in CMYK.

Kiss Die Cut
To die cut the top layer of self-adhesive paper to make stickers.




Horizontal format in which width is greater than height.

One sheet of paper in a book. One leaf is two pages.

Line Drawing
An illustration that consists of a single density without any shading. Line drawings should be set up as a vector files not halftone files.

Limpbound binding
Signatures are prepared for a limpbound binding just as they are for hardback binding: they are folded and then sewn together for durability. However instead of being adhered into a hard-board case, they are instead placed into a sturdy paper cover. This durable binding makes for the highest quality paperback available.

LPI (Lines Per Inch)
A measure of printing resolution.Specifically LPI is a measure of how close together the lines in a halftone grid are. The quality of printer device or screen determines how high the LPI will be. High LPI indicates greater detail and sharpness. The standard LPI for coated sheets is 175 LPI, and for uncoated (woodfree) it is 150 LPI.




Preparing a press for printing or bindery

Match Print
A brand name of a four-color-process proofing system, which outputs digital proofs.

Mock Up
A blank dummy wrapped using wet proofs or press proofs. Mock ups are used to check how a design wraps or placement of art.

An undesirable pattern caused by screen angles during scanning or printing.




Neutral Gray
Gray with no hue or cast.




Offset Printing
Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

An appliqué printed paper that is glued on cloth or paper case.

Characteristic of paper that prevents print on one side from showing through the other side.

Over Run
Additional printed copies beyond the order quantity. Also called run on.

To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint.

A type of low resolution proof showing page layout and composition. These proofs are not representative of color.




Page Proof
Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page. Also known as composed page proof.

The color matching system that is used to achieve consistent specific colors. Also known as PMS color.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
A print ready PDF is exported from a design program such as InDesign or Quark. The PDF locks and compress the Postscript information of a file.

Perfect Bind
To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover with glue. Also called adhesive bind.

The smallest single dot capable on a computer display or in a digital image.

A metal sheet with one of the four color printing images used to transfer ink from the blanket of the printing press to the paper.

Vertical format in which the height is greater than the width.

Press Guidance
Digital or press proof used during printing to match approved color to the printed sheets.

Press Test
Proof made on a proofing press using the plates, ink, and paper specified for the job. A press test is printed on the commercial printing machine, and is more expensive than a wet proof.

Printed Laminated Case (PLC)
Paper wrapped over board used as a cover for case bound books.

Process Color
The four standard offset pigments - cyan, magenta, yellow, and black - used in full color printing.







The alignment of colors on a printed piece.

Registration Marks
Crosshair marks that appear outside the printed area to assist in the alignment of printing plates. The registration marks are monitored by the printing computer system while on press.

To change the resolution size of an image.

The number of pixels per inch in an image. Also refers to the number of dots per inch used by an output device.

RGB Image
The primary colors used in display devices or scanners-- red, green, and blue. RGB image needs to be converted to CMYK before sending to the printer.

RIP (Raster Image Processor)
A process that interprets the printing file for a document and prepares specific hardware to receive and print the file.

Round Backed
To casebind with a rounded spine instead of square or flat back binding.

Run on
Additional printed copies beyond the order quantity. Also called over runs, overs or R/O.




Saddle Stitch
To bind using staples in the spine.

Screen Angles
The angles at which CMYK screens are placed in relation to one another to avoid moiré patterns.

Screen Printing
Method of printing in which a squeegee is used to force ink through a mesh material and a stencil.

Set off
The transfer of ink from one page to a facing page. Flood varnish can be used to prevent set off.

Sheet Fed Press
A printing press that uses trimmed sheets. These presses can use varying sheet sizes and provide less wastage of paper during the make ready.

A printed sheet that has been folded.

An image in which the background has been removed.

Soy-based Inks
Inks made with vegetable oils instead of petroleum products.

Spiral Bind
A method of binding using a continuous spiral of wire or plastic looped through holes punched in the book block.

Spot Varnish
The application of varnish to specific areas, such as images or type on a printed sheet.

Stochastic Screening
A process of representing a continuous tone image by converting shading and colors into a random pattern.

Abbreviation for specifications for web offset publications. These specifications are recommended for web printing. Do not use these settings for printing with Asia Pacific Offset.




TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices.

Basic details indicating dimensions for the various components of a project.

Tip In
An additional page that is separately inserted; often hand glued in close to the spine.

The overlap of color between two images that prevents a gap from appearing due to misalignment, screen angles or movement on the press.

Trimmed Page Size (TPS)
The actual size of the page in a finished book.

TrueType Font
Fonts that can be displayed or printed at any size.




Uncoated Paper
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also known as woodfree paper.

UV Coating
A durable, high gloss finish applied to a sheet and cured with ultraviolet light.




A liquid coating used to seal an image. Some varnishes may contain additives to create gloss and matte finishes.

Vector Files
A solid rule used to create line drawings.




Wet Proof
Proof made on a proofing press using the plates, ink, and paper specified for the job.

Wire-o Binding
A type of binding in which wire comb teeth are inserted through holes punched along the edge of the book block.

Woodfree Paper
Paper made with chemical pulp only, containing no lignin. Also used as a description for uncoated paper.