Bow signature

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Arch signature and arch norm are technical terms used in book production . They designate the raw sheet or the position of a book in the context of the designed sequence of all positions within the book block . In the historical book, the term layer counting is used for this .

Until the beginning of industrial book production, arc signatures usually consisted of letters and digits (A, A2, A3, B, B2, B3 ... Z3, Aa, Aa2, Aa3, Bb, Bb2, Bb3 ...).

The labeling has been expanded in industrial book production. On the first page of each folded sheet is the prime , consisting of the signature mark and the sheet standard. The signature indicates the number of sheets and the sheet standard in abbreviated form, the author and the book title with the edition designation. For example like this:

8-Schiller,Tell/5. Aufl.
("The eighth sheet from the fifth edition of Schiller's Wilhelm Tell")

They are available in a very small font size below the set level , the trimming of the respective first side or the outside in the collar , above or below the collating marks . These two pieces of information help the bookbinder to collate the individual sheets correctly in relation to the title so that the correct sequence of the printed sheets and thus the correct page sequence is guaranteed.

The second , the signature with a superscript asterisk, is located on the third side of each sheet for folding control :


Since the end of the 20th century, this way of marking folded sheets has been dispensed with in book production.

See also


  • Severin Corsten : The invention of book art in the 15th century. In: Barbara Tiemann (Ed.): The book culture in the 15th and 16th centuries. Half-volume 1. Maximilian-Gesellschaft, Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-921743-41-9 , pp. 125–202, here pp. 166 ff., Web link (detailed information on the origin of arched signatures in the incunable period).
  • Roland Golpon (Ed.): Spreading information. Design and manufacture media. 3rd updated and expanded edition. Verlag Beruf und Schule, Itzehoe 2006, ISBN 3-88013-660-2 , p. 301.
  • Marion Janzin, Joachim Güntner: The book from the book. 5000 years of book history. 3rd revised and expanded edition. Schlüter, Hannover 2007, ISBN 978-3-89993-805-0 , p. 157, ( limited preview in Google book search).