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.

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 certified to use materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The rules and regulations for applying these logos to projects 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 chart 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 an explanation of the standard finishes that can be applied to covers, cases, and jackets. 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 layer in InDesign, set at 100%. 

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.

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.

File Preparation Guidelines

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

• Adobe InDesign or Quark: double page spreads built to trim size with bleed 1/8” (3 mm)
• Adobe Illustrator (Not suitable for interior layout. Please restrict to line art and single page documents, like logos, jackets, etc.)
• PDF: print quality single pages with bleeds and crop marks




It is ok to resample from a large image to a smaller one as long as you keep the original aspect ration of the image.

It is NEVER A GOOD IDEA to upsample from a small image to a larger one, i.e. change 72 DPI to 300 DPI. 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.



Black and White Images

Depending on your project, you can set up your images as grayscale, duotones, or 4 color CMYK images.

A grayscale image is set up generally using process black. Highlights and shadows are set up in grayscale.

A 2 color black and white image is set up using process black and a PMS color. The PMS color can be used to create more details than the grayscale from highlights to shadows.

A 4 color black and white image is created using CMYK, and provides the most detail from highlights to shadows. 4 color black and white images require a very delicate balance.



Vector Art

Vector art is created in Adobe Illustrator as an AI or EPS file, saved at 1200 DPI and 100% color. Vector art is normally used for line art such as logos, architectural drawing, and barcodes.




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 and Quark have preset trap settings; generally you do not need to worry about trapping.

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.



Rich Black

For rich black, we recommend the following build: 30C 30M 10Y 100K

Small sized elements such as rules and fonts smaller than 8pt, and vector art, should be made 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.



Creating Your Files

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.



Color Management

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 or Quark.

For best results the profiles need to be applied to the images in Photoshop, not in InDesign or Quark.
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)

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.

Acceptable image files are TIFF, PSD, JPEG, AI or EPS files.



Finalizing Your Files

• Check that important content is within safety margins. 
• Check and edit colors. 
• Check that process colors are CMYK (not RGB). 
• Check that spot colors are converted to CMYK or, if desired, carefully defined and applied as spot 
• Trash unused color swatches. 
• Check and edit fonts (with the help of Quark's "Usage" menu item or Adobe's "Find Font" menu item). Delete fonts not being used in the file. 
• Make sure there are no missing or inactive fonts. 
• Check that fonts are styled in their "true" form (in other words, unaltered by artificial "bold" or "italics" options in the application.) 
• Check that linked graphics are up to date. 
• Delete unused elements, elements on the pasteboard, and empty boxes. 
• Check layers. 
• Make sure that the template layer only contains template elements. 
• In Quark and InDesign, the Template layer should be set to non-printing or turned off. 
• Check to see that the artwork layer only contains artwork. 
• If possible, create a color proof to check your document for color quality, spelling and layout. 




What is preflight? To preflight a job essentially means to check it for technical errors to make sure it is ready to print. The process involves running your layout file through preflight software, or a preflight plug-in, that systematically scrutinizes it for RGB images, font conflicts, misused colors, missing graphic links, etc. — any issues that could be a problem for the printer.
The way you run preflight depends on what application you used for your layout file. As layout programs, InDesign and Quark have built-in preflight and/or job-collecting functions, while Illustrator and Photoshop files have neither.

InDesign: simply open the document and select "Preflight" from the File menu.
Quark: "Collect for Output" from the Quark menu but not preflight. To preflight a Quark document you must use separate preflight software such as Markzware's FlightCheck.

Preflighting will result in a report listing conflicts and errors with your files. Part of preflighting is fixing errors and running it through again until you get a clean report.



Typical errors and how to fix them

• Linked graphics are RGB: To fix, open the original graphic file(s) in Photoshop or Illustrator and convert the colors to CMYK.

• Missing fonts: To fix, first attempt to activate the missing font in your computer. Or, open the layout file and manually change any text that uses a missing font to another font. Many times, the "missing font" warning refers to something as irrelevant as a spacebar space formatted with a missing font. (You can detect where missing fonts occur in Quark with the "Usage" menu item, or in InDesign and Illustrator with the "Find Font" menu item.) For a clean layout file, you must delete or edit all unused/invisible text (even spaces) detected as problematic.



Releasing Your Job

Collecting your job is an automated process for gathering all of the active components of your job — layout, graphics and fonts — into one new, neat job folder. As with the preflight procedure, the way you collect your job depends on the program your layout file was created in. QuarkXPress lets you "Collect for Output," and InDesign lets you "Package."
• For an InDesign layout, select "Package" from the InDesign File menu.
• For a Quark layout, select "Collect for Output" from File menu.
• InDesign will create a preview PDF and add it to the collected job folder.
• If you designed with fonts that you don't have commercial permissions to, please purchase the font and supply it.

Note: Include separate application or PDF files for each element of your project: e.g. text, cover, case, jacket, ends, etc.


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: DAP Warehouse, CIF Port, FOB Hong Kong, multiple drop shipments, and air freight.

DAP Warehouse (Delivered at Place)
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.

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.
Click here to




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 or grayscale.

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.




DAP (Delivered at Place)
A shipping term which indicates door-to-door delivery and includes ocean freight, customs clearance charges, and inland trucking. Duties, taxes, or tariffs are extra.

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.

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.

The bottom of the page.

The outer vertical edge of the book, opposite of the spine and gutter.

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.

A monochromatic image built using only black color. The gray tones are created as a percentage of black.

The middle space between two facing pages, opposite of the foredge.




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.

The top of the page.




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 file 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.

To preflight a job is to check the file for technical errors to make sure it is ready to print.

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 Art
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.










Cookie Policy

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.