Basic Quality Standards

Substantive Approval

Substantive approval is made by Customer on the basis of softproof, plano proof or full-featured proof from delivered PDF files or by imposition print verification.

Technological Approval

Technological approval is made during reception of plano print sheets by print provider’s technologist on the basis of imposition print relying on model delivered by Customer or on subcontractor’s or Customer’s scheme. Validation including, but not only:

  • net format,
  • size and accuracy of bleeds,
  • page order,
  • correctness of spreads,
  • proper installation according to previous scheme resulting from, for example: type of binding, quantity of patterns, quantity of colors, method of printing, printing machine’s type,
  • positioning on printing sheet, clutching, creep, etc.,
  • printing sheet format (paper),
  • control strip.

Finished product should be made in accordance with the contract and instructions given by customer in compliance with all printing and binding standards. Below you will find all tolerable deviations caused by technological limitations. Things like restrictions of machines and quality of resources used for production of given order impact on technological limitations.


Colour pattern that allows the making of print compatible with it shall be delivered. Delivered colour patterns should be uniform. In the situation when proofs and, for example, sheet from previous printing (printing sheet without extra finishing) are delivered altogether, the Customer is obliged to determine, which pattern from ones that were delivered is a binding one. Totem press possess several systems depending of machines used for colour management such as:

  • Xerox FreeFlow linearisation every 8 h x-rite,
  • OCE PrismaProduction linearisation every 8 h x-rite,
  • Ricoh Command Work Station linearisation every 8 h x-rite.


Proof delivered for print as a valid proof should be made in accordance with ISO 12647-7 standard. Band allowing making of measurements needed for proof certification, must be placed on every proof - UGRA/FOGRA control band is recommended. In the case where a proof fails to pass the certification process, Customer is informed about this fact and proof delivered by Customer may be used as a model for print, but colour differences regarding to pattern should be expected.

Following datas should be included in proof:

  • date of completion
  • title of the work/order number
  • UGRA-FOGRA control band.

Printing sheet from previous edition

Printing sheet from previous edition might be used as a print model, but only in situation where it has check boxes that allows making of measurements of densities and raster point growth used for original print. Model sheet can’t be subjected to extra finishing (UV varnish, shining foil/matt foil/soft foil). Order, from which the sheet come, should be finished not later than 6 months, however the sheet itself couldn’t be exposed to sunlight. Substrate of sheet delivered as colour pattern should be consistent with material used for production of current order. It is crucial in terms of accuracy of white colour.

Print acceptance by customer, next to the machine

In case of customer’s direct acceptance of print, made next to the machine, the customer is obliged to sign sheets that automatically become a print pattern. The pattern is now used for work process.

Print without colour pattern and customer’s acceptance

Print shall be made with the use of standard density or in accordance with ISO 12647-2 standard. The material selected by customer affects the colour of print. If its white colour doesn’t match colour assumptions given in ISO 12647-2 standard, we reserve the right of potential colour difference. The colour of finished product is also affected by finishing processes like:

  • UV/seal varnish
  • shining, mat, soft touch foil.

Print is made in a standardised D50 light. Fluorescent light of used machines are successively replaced annually. Print is made on the basis of colour pattern, which is actual (annually changed) Pantone template. Because of inability to make densitometric control of colour density, colour is considered correct, when it is located within visual evaluation between sample (+) and sample delivered by customer (-). Additional finishing through imposition of mat, shining, soft touch foil or UV varnish, may cause a change of colour in an unpredictable manner, depend on the graphic on print. Print house is not responsible for colour changes after extra finishing, because changes occur regardless to print house actions and can’t be measured neither. To guard against undesired changes of colour, it is necessary to do tests that can be executed only on customer’s clear wish and at his expense.

Colours matching

Tolerated matching deviations of colours printed subsequently, measured in the middle of the sheet for 150 lpi ruling raster:

Tolerable <= 0,4 mm
Intolerable > 0,4 mm

Varnish matching

The layer of varnish should be laid flush and without any loss, the acceptable deviations in varnish matching to the image are:

UV/structural/convex varnish
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Seal varnish
Tolerable <= 0,5 mm
Intolerable > 0,5 mm

Due to the specificity of digital printing process, it is accompanied by paper fluting. In case of this occurrence, it may appear that maintenance of varnishing standards would be impossible. The layer that have places without varnish on UV varnishing surface is recognised as incorrect UV varnishing layer.

Binding processes

There should be a model accepted by customer for every binding process whereby the work will be made. Model should present customer’s intention precisely and should be provided with essential comments allowing correct order completion. In case of extra elements (glue inserts, insert, etc.), the model should present their placement precisely. All notices contained in model should be confirmed in email.

Sheets slicing

Tolerable deviations during sheet slicing:
Tolerable <= 1mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Folding and perforation

The fold deviations from fold line resulting from preparatory processes, i.e. slicing and amount to 1,5 mm. In case where leaflet is subjected, besides the slicing and folding, to extra processes like punching, it should be assumed that fold deviation from fold line can increase to 2 mm.


Tolerable deviations of pages in the the signature in relation to one another and between each other

for 4-pages signature without big

+/- 0,5 mm

for 4-pages signature with big

+/- 1,0 mm

for 8-pages signature

+/- 1,0 mm

for 12-pages signature

+/- 1,5 mm

for 16-pages signature and bigger

+/- 2,0 mm


Oprawa zeszytowa

Correctly made booklet is characterised by:

  • not very squeezed staples, causing ripping of staples inside binding at the place of folding,
  • number of staples is accurate with customer’s order,
  • staples hold connection of booklet edges,
  • endings of staples do not overlap.

Staples in the standard made booklet are placed at ¼ of spine height, measured from footer to a header. Staples shouldn’t be subjected to displacement both vertically and horizontally.


Tolerable deviations in finished product




flat staples

Vertical placement,

ring staples


<= 3 mm

<= 2 mm


> 3 mm

> 2 mm

In case of ring fitting, displacements of ring staples, resulting in increase or decrease of distances between them which makes it impossible to file them in a ring binder, are unacceptable. Standard size of rings is 6 mm, however split measured from the middle of rings amounts to 80mm. Quantity, kind and shape of staples staples should be given by customer before the start of binding process.

Glue binding

The glue binding can be divided into two types:

  • glue binding,
  • sewn-glued (recommended for coated materials of a weight not exceeding 115g/m2).

The choose of binding depends on further utility purpose of binded position. Minimal spin thickness amount to 2 mm and maximal spin thickness amount to 70mm.

While using glue binding, you have to remember that during bonding of low-absorbing papers (MWC, LWC) lines, the glue penetration of block’s inside can occur. It cannot be completely eliminated without effects on spine’s bonding durability.

Connection capable of resisting the burden of 4,5 N/cm to tearing on single book’s sheets is considered correct. The durability of glued, seamless binding can be investigated by organoleptic method. If sheets don’t fall out the connection during the process of regular opening, the connection is considered correct. Moreover, the durability of bonding is approved if one of middle sheets is capable of holding the weight of whole block and don’t fall out, while being held and slightly shaken.

Side gluing between cover and inside is typically set for 7mm on every sheet (second sheet of cover and first sheet of inside, and last sheet of inside and third sheet of cover) and is covering the image at the side of gluing. In case of centerfolds between those sheets (combined image/graphic on sheets) it is necessary to slide them for 7mm out of spine (the image connection is replaced for 7mm). Inside centerfolds shall also be slided for 1,5 mm per sheet from the side of spine. There may be a situation where the glue will stand out to 1 mm outside big limiting side gluing.

System of fibers also affects on durability of binding. When system in inside sheets is incorrect, the fluting may occur at the place of gluing, which, in result, makes opening harder. Incorrect system of fibers in inside sheets (fibers perpendicular to the spine) is often dictated by work’s format, cost-efficient page layout/template layout on printing sheet and by print quality - at the same time printing house is not responsible for it.

Inside sheets shouldn’t be varnished on spine, because it will significantly weaken the glued binding durability, excessive differences in binding and inside densities may cause finished product’s pulling off.

Format of binding work and place of gluing have also an impact on durability (album’s format and spine on shorter side will cause glued binding durability significantly weaken). This is due to ratio of glued side length to the length of side perpendicular to glued side.

There is possibility of glue stand out to 1 mm above big limiting side gluing and endings of threads used to sewing sheets in block. At the inside of leg there may be visible threads and subtle stand out of glue at the point of threads passing through leg’s spine. In case of sewn-glued binding the damages in spine at the place of slicing can occur, which is caused by a difference of spine thickness to the rest of binding surface.

Tolerable deviations in finished product:

Size stability
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Shift of graphic fitting on the spine of book (for spines > 7mm)
Tolerable <= 1,5 mm
Intolerable > 1,5 mm

UV / structure / convex varnish shift
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Deviations of seal varnish
Tolerable <= 0,5 mm
Intolerable > 0,5 mm

Deviations of dry / metallic and colour foils pressing
Tolerable <= 1,5 mm
Intolerable > 1,5 mm

Hard binding

The book in hard binding consists of book block, which undergo the same standards as sewn-bound and glue-bound books and hardcover (cardboard lining / covered of veneer), which quality parameters are regulated by summary below:

Tolerable deviations in finished product:
Deviations in cover format
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Deviations of block placement in cover
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Deviations of cardboard thickness
Tolerable <= 5 %
Intolerable > 5 %

Deviations of edge size
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Shift of graphic fitting on the spine of book (for spines > 7mm)
Tolerable <= 1,5 mm
Intolerable > 1,5 mm

UV / structure / convex varnish shift
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Deviations of seal varnish
Tolerable <= 0,5 mm
Intolerable > 0,5 mm

Deviations of dry / metallic and colour foils pressing
Tolerable <= 1,5 mm
Intolerable > 1,5 mm

Dodatkowe niezgodności dla oprawy twardej:

In the case of colorful embossing made on structural materials, local non-colorings on colored surface are allowed (depending on used covering material). Porosity of cover is dependent on quality and level of smoothed surface smoothing. In relation to use of glue with water content during binding (bonding sheets with cover), the possibility of block and endpaper fluting is allowed. Hard-bound book can be made with simple or curved shaped spine. The level and quality of curving depend on used material structure (paper type) and number of pages in book, as well as format of this work. We can observe the best effects of whitewashing on uncoated substrates in thickness compartments from 7 mm to 50 mm.  

Finished product format

Format of finished product is measured in two sizes, from spine to the side of front product - width, and from the top side to the bottom side of product - height. Format of finished product should be correct with the format specified by a customer.

Tolerable deviations of format compared to the order:
Tolerable <= 1 mm
Intolerable > 1 mm

Sliced, perpendicular edges of product should make an angle of 90 degrees, deviation from rectangularity is measured regarding to the spine and should never exceed 2 mm on the longer side of the copy.

Tolerable <= 1,5 mm
Intolerable > 1,5 mm


Deficiencies of print work

Printing house reserves the right to deviations of finished products quantity in relation to the order:

Print work (copies)

Akceptowalne maksymalne odchylenie

1 - 99


100 - 499


500 - 1999


above 2000



In case of work print deficiency or detection of faulty copies by customer in amounts not exceeding amounts in table, complaint won’t be taken into account (in the lack of other clause in contract). Deficiency of print work detected in printing house shall be reported to the customer before the shipment and at the same time the invoice shall be automatically reduced for emerged deficiency. 


Product is typically packed in boxes made of 5-layer corrugated cardboard (EB wave, 618g/m2 density).

Typical boxes formats:

  • 400mmx280mmx400mm
  • 365mmx240mmx375mm
  • 303mmx216mmx360mm

Date validated by Customer in the system is a date of product shipment from print house, physical delivery depending on location will take place from 1 working day. Country deliveries to 200 kg - 1 working day, country deliveries on full pallet 2 working days. Foreign deliveries depending on location and quantity from 2 up to 5 working days.

In case of damaged consignment recipient is obliged to draw up the damage protocol in courier’s presence and to complete photo documentation. That is the basis for handling of customer complaints.