The Book Block: a book to make better books

Industrial Bookbinding Techniques

Rúben R. Dias, Rui Oliveira, Fábio Duarte Martins and Ricardo Philippe Dantas


The Book Block is an industrial bookbinding technique manual, developed in partnership by Itemzero and Maiadouro, the first in the Making a Book collection, which focuses on graphic book production manuals.

Bringing together 17 of the most common industrial binding techniques in 6 categories, The Book Block explores each of these techniques in detail, describing them and showing what it is possible to do as each one in this day and age.

With the aim of making the language and knowledge of industrial binding techniques accessible to everyone: from graphic production to designers, from publishers to authors, The Book Block was developed by bookbinders and designers with decades of experience, focusing on efficiency and quality of content.

Conceived from scratch to be bilingual, in Portuguese and English, the book seeks to systematize the nomenclature in the national graphic industry, something yet to be done, without ever ignoring today’s globalized market, where much of the work and learning is done internationally.

You can get it at itemzero shop.

Technical info

Title: The Book Block / O Miolo do Livro (2019)
Bilingual (Portuguese and English).
Author: Rúben R. Dias, Rui Oliveira, Fábio Martins, Ricardo Dantas
Translation: Hugo Rocha, Maria João Cunha;
Revision: Maria João Cunha;
Design and Infography: Itemzero;
Typeface: Uivo by Scannerlicker;
Prepress, Printing and Finishing: Gráfica Maiadouro.
Editor: 0. itemzero + Maiadouro
Type: Bookbinding manual
Format: 105×270 mm
Pages: 148pp
Content: 17 industrial bookbinding techniques, grouped under Wire Stitching, Adhesives, Thread Sewing, Mechanical Binding, Rubber-bands and Fasteners. 100+ illustrations and schematics.
Printing details: Plate cylinder offset print 2/2 spot colours; Pantones 3262 U and Blue 072 U; Endpapers printed in one 72×102cm sheet on Munken Print White 300g/m², with 2 imposition maps, 8 folios per sheet; Book block printed in 4 72×102cm sheets on Munken Print White 115g/m2, 1.5 bulk with 8 imposition maps, 3 signatures per sheet; 12 signatures with 12 pages and 2 endpaper folios, smyth sewn with Petic colour 133; Grain direction parallel to the spine; Bound with water-based adhesive; Trimmed on 3 sides; Edges coloured with water-based ink.

The authors

Rúben R. Dias
PhD in Design and Professor at ESAD — Matosinhos. Internationally, teaches workshops and is a speaker in type-related subjects. Rúben consulted and authored The Typographer’s Practical Manual and Imprimere’s book and exhibition, promoted by esad—idea, Matosinhos City Hall and the Portuguese National Press — Mint House. With over two decades of experience, Rúben runs Itemzero, founded the letterpress workshop Tipografia Dias and co-founded the collective Tipos das Letras.
Rui Oliveira 
Gráfica Maiadouro’s Director and Production Manager for over 30 years. Constantly updating his knowledge in the best industry fairs, gathering said knowledge and making it available to his company. Actively looks towards integrating his client’s projects, offering technical solutions with his vast experience has a cornerstone. Regularly participates in seminars/classes in the fields of business management, production management, printing techniques and resource management.
Fábio Duarte Martins
Internationally awarded Type and Editorial Designer, Fábio works regularly with Creative and Art Directors to get the quality in type they want. He writes and teaches regularly on type-related subjects and lectures at the Masters in Design and Visual Culture at IADE. Fábio is an associate at Itemzero and creates typefaces through Scannerlicker Type Foundry.
Ricardo Philippe Dantas 
Assistant Professor at ESAD — IPLeiria, Ricardo is an associate at Itemzero, a member of the Tipos das Letras digital foundry and collaborator with the letterpress workshop Tipografia Dias, where he teaches letterpress printing. Ricardo is also a brand strategist and design consultant for the Meeting Industries.

SOURCE: itemzero

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