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A part of books, contact info, or taking credit for your work...


Pamela Moore / Getty Images

Signatures are like a bunch of booklets that make up a whole book. (Pamela Moore / Getty Images) | Printing & Finishing Dictionary | Alpha Index to Full Dictionary:

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1) Several folios collected together for sewing as part of the bookbinding process make up a signature. Multiple signatures usually make up a book. A single signature is much like a booklet but it takes several together to create the longer publication. The signature is formed from a printed sheet of paper that has been folded (in half, quarters, eighths, etc.) and cut, if necessary, to create a set of pages in proper order for reading.

2) A signature also refers to a letter or other character printed on the first page of a section of a book (each sheet that becomes a signature when folded) and used as a guide for collating and binding the book.

3) The contact information of an ad or other document or the credit line (such as on the back of a custom greeting card) is sometimes referred to as the signature, contact block, or credits. It generally consists of one or more of:

  • Logo
  • Advertiser/Business Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Map or Driving Directions
  • Web Site Address

Outside of desktop publishing, signature has other meanings including a name written in one's own handwriting. For the purposes of this site — unless talking about a signature on a design contract — a signature refers to book pages, reference characters, or contact information as described above.

Also Known As: section (book) | contact block (ad) | credits (ad, other documents)

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