Printer’s glossary


The barcode is a scannable version of your ISBN typically included on the back cover. Make sure your barcode is 100% black and does not have elements of cyan, magenta or yellow (0, 0, 0, 100). If needed we can create a barcode for you and send it to you for final layout. You can also create it yourself for free here.



Bleed is an extension of your page’s content beyond the trim area of your book. Bleed is required on all cover page files, as well as any interior files that include elements that run within 5 mm of the page’s edge. Bleed ensures that once your book is printed, trimmed and bound, no unprinted areas appear on the edge of a page featuring elements that run to the edge. We require a minimum bleed of 3 mm (0.125 in) in instances when bleed is needed.

Although Rapido Books make every effort to adhere to your specifications, our printers have a minor variation factor of 0-1 mm.

Our Suggestions:

1/ Keep a safe zone of 5 mm or 1/4 inch text-free to prevent “bleeding” (having text cut off);

2/ If you want one or more images up to the cut, please include a bottom margin to avoid a lost white border on the edge of your page. The bleed must be at least 3 mm or 1/8 inch.


A colophon is a section typically included at the end of a book or on the credit page, which provides information about the book’s printing and design. Information such as the printer’s name and location, as well as typographic details such as fonts used, font size and leading can be found in this section. Colophons were once a common practice but have become rarer in recent decades.

We do not add a colophon to the books we print. If you wish to include one in your book, we can provide you with our logo as well as the necessary information on papers used. Make sure to contact us in advance of your print deadline for this information.


Colour profile

The two most common colour profiles are CMYK and RGB. CMYK stands for “Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK”. RGB stands for “Red, Gleen, Blue”. While RGB is commonly used for online or screen viewing, our digital printers require that all files and images included therein be in CMYK. Any files including RGB elements must be converted to CMYK prior to printing, and this conversion may cause slight variation in the colours of your images.

This is why we recommend you ensure that all your images and PDF files are CMYK before sending them to us. When needed and upon receipt of written consent, we can convert your print files to CMYK. Our printers use the colour profile U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2. We strongly discourage using colour superpositions that exceed 270% as these lead to significant losses in contrast. Read more on colour rendering for digital printing in our blog article on Colour reproduction.


DPI (dots per inch)

DPI is the measure of an image’s resolution. To ensure optimal quality, images must be 300 dpi. Any image below 300 dpi risks pixelization. We will not print images below 200 dpi except under express authorization from the client.


Fibre direction

Paper is composed of fibres which run in a particular direction along a sheet. Printers that do not respect the direction of the fibre yield books that are rigid and fail to open properly. In printing our books we always respect the direction of fibres, that is, fibres always run parallel to the spine. This makes for far more supple products.


Hardcover book

Designing the cover of a hardcover book is slightly more complex than that of a softcover. For this reason, once you have accepted your quote for an order of hardcover books, we will send you a cover template personalized to your book’s format and spine width. You will have to use this template to layout the cover of your book, in order to ensure it conforms with our printing requirements.



Avoid adding text to a spine that is less than 7 mm (0.25 in). Use our spine width calculator to check your spine’s width before finalizing your cover. All quotes for softcover books include the required spine width, which is determined by your book’s page count and paper. For hardcover books, a template will be provided upon acceptance of your quote that you will be required to use to layout your cover (see “Hardcover books” section above for more details).


Spreads are one of the more technical elements of a book that you’ll have to deal with, unless your book is saddle-stitch or spiral bound.

Avoid inserting key elements at the intersection between two pages in a spread (i.e., a face, a crucial element in a photo, text). This element will likely not be visible in the bound book, as it will be concealed in the crease. Also avoid diagonal lines crossing over two pages in a spread. If necessary, request that a proof copy be made in order to validate before doing your print run.
We recommend that you account for a safe space of 4 mm in the interior margin of both pages in a spread for softcover (perfect bound) book and 5 mm for a hardcover book. Please consult us for more information.  


Most professional book design applications (Adobe InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop, QuarkXPress, etc.) allow the user to create transparency effects as a way of producing interesting visuals. On the screen, these visual effects can be very useful and appealing. However, when print files with transparency are sent to press, the RIB will interpret the information contained in the files in ways that may produce results different from the designer’s expectations. To avoid this, it is imperative to begin with a physical test copy. The test copy is a service we offer and which we can produce within 48 to 72 hours. It is the only way to guarantee a proper review of the print result, prior to production of your order. Also, here are a few recommendations to ensure that your print files are properly prepared for print:
  • Never use Pantone colours. Make sure all colours are CMYK (for best results in print, we do not recommend using more than 3 colour components for a single object/colour)
  • Export PDF as PDF x1a, as this will flatten any transparency effects into a single layer, helping to avoid unexpected results in print
  • Use the Overprint Preview feature (Adobe InDesign)

Unlaminated cover

It is possible to produce a cover without lamination. We recommend our Rolland Opaque 80 lb in these cases. Avoid printing solid colours on the spine, or limit superposition to 80%. Contact us for more information about printing unlaminated covers.

Our Services

Fast turnaround

Up to 1,000 copies printed and delivered to you in just a few days!

colour printing

Enjoy top-of-the-line digital colour printing quality thanks to our Indigo presses

for publishers

Our flexible and innovative solutions, specially designed to support publishers’ needs