Amica Design Services

AMICA understands the importance of professional graphic design and what makes a high-quality book for printing.

AMICA makes it easy and affordable for you to realize the dream of your own printed book.  Designing and laying-out a book is an art and our knowledgeable team has 25 years of experience in book print design; our designers can create designs, layouts and provide templates that you will be proud of.  We offer a variety of book design services for self-publishers and first-time authors to help create a book for you that will stand out in the market.

AMICA knows a great book design can mean increased sales and that’s important. All our books are designed with Adobe InDesign. While InDesign is not easy to learn quickly, even if you have experience with other software; this one is unique. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are quite helpful for brochures, but are a tremendous challenge when constructing an entire book and why our books are designed with Adobe InDesign.

Certain books may require a specialized layout designer to work with you on your specific custom layout requirements. The custom layout tech service will make your book interior look professional and will promote the success of your book.  The cost is dependent on the complexity of your book, to learn more about our design service, please call (800) 622-9256 and we will guide you through the process.

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Here are some quick tips for Designing Books:

  • Provide a solid typeface for the book’s text pages.
  • Utilize a typeface that has glyphs and alternate characters.
  • Recognize the differences among hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes are, and how to use them.
  • Utilize proper quote marks, not inch marks.
  • Understand the difference between RGB and CMYK, as it pertains to book printing and designing books.
  • Be aware of the parts of a book and their order.
  • Utilize someone proficient in InDesign or QuarkXpress.
  • Group pages properly, using masters, page numbering, headers and / or footers.
  • Provide automatic page numbers.
  • Keep in mind, odd numbers are always on right-hand pages in printed books, and even numbers on left-hand pages.
  • Remember the first page of a book is always a right hand page, but it’s not always number “1”. When Roman numerals are used in front matter, and when the page number on a particular page should not show; like on the title page and copyright page.
  • Always define and use Character and Paragraph styles.
  • Preserve generous margins and use of white space.
  • Always text type size should be 10, 11, or 12 point, depending on the weight of the font and the x-height. Use at least 2 pts between lines.
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Before you even get started, you might want to familiarize yourself with a few common printing terms.

CMYK or 4-color printing: Almost any printed material uses CYMK, making it a more common printing term. CMYK – cyan, magenta, yellow, black – refers to the four ink colors used to create almost every color in a printed project.

Finish: The way paper feels after a print job is complete is the finish. There are a variety of finish types to choose from when preparing your job for print. Some of the most common include glossy or calendared paper, shiny whether coated or uncoated; machine finished, which has a smooth surface on the front and back sides; cast-coated, which provides a super-high gloss surface used primarily for packaging or covers; lightweight coated, which is a thin paper typically used for magazines or catalogs; matte-finished, which is rough does not reflect light; and embossed or pressed, which includes a feel on the paper surface.

Prepress: The workflow steps and procedures that happen between the time a design is final on screen and it is prepared for actual printing. This process can include creating printing plates, adjusting images, getting elements on a press or even creating a certain file type.

Offset Printing

Offset printing is what we do at AMICA and it’s the most common form of printing for books and other bound materials. Inked images are transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket to the printing surface. The first offset printing on paper dates back to 1904. After printing, paper can be cut into pages and bound. Most of the books you buy in stores today from hardcover to paperbacks are printed using this method because it works best for high quality and longevity.

Margins and Cuts

When it comes to selecting a size and paper type, one of the most important considerations is image area versus print size. Files often must be prepared for print at a slightly larger size than the final version. This difference can help hide imperfect cuts and ensure a more quality job.

Bleed: Space added outside the printable image area to account for cuts to paper. Anything between the trim and bleed may or may not show in the finished print job. The bleed allows for some degree of error in the printing process. Check with your printer for bleed specifications for each job before getting to far into a design.

Cut sizes: The actual size of the finished paper after it is cut from larger “parent” sizes. Often larger sheets are used on commercial printing presses for jobs and then cut to the more common sizes for items such as paperback books or magazines.

Gutter: The space between columns of text or facing pages.

Safe zone: The part of the image area that will be unaffected by any cuts. Everything within the safe zone should print without fear of being trimmed.

Trim: The edge of a page that has been prepared for printing. Most printers ask that no important elements are placed within one-eighth inch of the trim.

Colophon: The brief description of the publication, printing or production notes related to the specific edition of printing is called a colophon. This can appear at the front of back of a book. It can include information such as technical printing information, price, number of copies published, colors and typefaces used and cataloging information.

Endsheets: Heavier-weight paper used at the front and back of a book to hold the cover to the binding.

Folio: Standardized information and layout that will be used on multiple pages. This is often in the form of a header or footer and includes information such as page number or the title.

Signature: A groups of page that is printed on both sides of a single sheet of paper that becomes a specific number of pages ones the paper is folded, trimmed, bound and cut. The number of pages in a signature depends on the page size and size of press sheet. Signatures are almost always counted in multiples of four.

Spine: The outside edge of a book or cover binding where the pages come together. The spine might include text or simple information.

Tip-in: Pages that are printed separately from the main job but added to the book are called tip-ins. These pages may be of the same size and type as the main book or look different in shape, paper type and style.


The final step in getting your printed material ready is binding. There are a variety of binding processes, which bring together all the pages and a cover into a single unit. The most common binding types are available through most commercial printers. The type of binding you select can depend on number of pages, aesthetics and price.

Saddle stitched: A common technique that is created when wire or thread is punched trough pages at the spine. The process would be similar to stapling and works for up to 80 pages depending on the paper weight. This process is one of the least-expensive binding methods.

Perfect bound: A technique in which a layer of glue holds together book signatures and the cover. The process is common for several signatures at a time (typically 16-200 pages) and is moderately priced.

Sewn bound: This binding technique works like saddle stitching but is for a larger number of pages and uses a much thicker type of threading across the full-length of the spine. The process is rather pricey and can work for an almost unlimited number of pages.

Case bound: Hardcover books are often case bound, which is a process where inner pages are sewn together in sections and then glued together. Then a cover is glued to the pages. The process is relatively expensive and can work for any number of pages.

Spiral bound: Holes are punched through pages and a plastic or wire spiral is threaded through them. The spiral is crimped on the end to prevent it from slipping. (This is a common type of binding for notebooks.) This relatively inexpensive process works for up to about 300 pages easily.

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Amica Printing will continue to invest in the technology that allows us to produce results that are far above the industry standards for color and quality.


Amica Printing offers a full range of services from design to distribution along with quality-focused project management and the reliable support you deserve.


For decades Amica Printing has made a commitment to minimize our environmental impact where ever possible to use recycle paper and soya base inks.

Avenues To Help Your Business Excel

Design Services: There are definite advantages of having graphic designers in-house. Our graphic designers are extremly knowledgable about paper choices, special manufacturing techniques and binding processes.

Printing: We are proud to use the most modern equipment available. Not only will the work we print for you look terrific, but our printing capabilities will enable you to customize and target your customers better than ever before.

Publishing: Book publishing has undergone a revolution in the last ten years, and both the power and profit are in your hands! Over the years we’ve worked with many small publishers and self-publishers to publish books cost effectively.

Shipping: Production facilities running 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, more than one printing plant, utilizing state of the art equipment and great versatility of production, provides lead and turnaround times faster than our competitors.

We’re Here To Help Your Business Blast Off!

Through Creative Ideas, Innovation & Sheer Determination

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