A signature is a folded group of pages that make up the pages of a book. The term is used in offset, digital, and web printing when multiple pages are printed on a larger sheet of paper, then folded.

Here’s an example of a larger sheet of paper with 16 pages printed on both sides. The numbers indicate page numbers.

After it’s folded, it then goes into either a saddle-stitched or perfect bound book or magazine.

16 page signature example

Signatures have a minimum of 4 pages. The number of pages are nearly always a multiple of 4 (although there are exceptions to this.)

For example, a 24 page book can have any of the following combinations of signatures:

  • 3 8-page signatures
  • 2 12-page signatures
  • 6 4-page signatures
  • 1 16-page signature + 1 8-page signature

…and so on.

The number of signatures and their layout depend on the design goals of the book, the end use of the book, paper, printing press capabilities, and print finishing requirements.

It’s important to talk to your printing provider during the design stage to get the most effective layout for the project at hand.

Here at Clear Print, we handle all of the layout based on what you want to accomplish.

Call us at 818-709-1220 to discuss your book project.

Or send us your job specifications here and we’ll be in touch shortly.