• label

    note attached to an object that identifies it
  • laicism

    rejection of the influence of the church on the state and the public school system
  • laid paper

    paper produced by hand from a dipping vat or with a cylinder paper machine
  • laissez-faire

    from the French, "leave things as they are", non-intervention
  • lamination

    full-surface bonding of several layers of thin material
  • lamination

    to coat with a protective transparent film material
  • lampoon

    small polemic paper or diatribe, usually covering current topics from the areas of science, religion or politics
  • large-print edition

    editions in which the text is printed in a larger font to facilitate easier reading
  • laser print

    laser printer output which matches the content if not the quality of the definitive version
  • Latin alphabet

    Latin script consisting of capital letters with a vocal repertoire that has been modified from the Greek alphabet
  • Latin script

    script based on the Latin alphabet, which is now the most widespread
  • lay

    person who does not belong to the clergy or who is external to a particular profession
  • layflat binding

    a type of binding that allows books to lay flat when open without damaging the spine; useful e.g. for cookbooks, music books
  • layout

    design of printed products with regard to format, page layout, fonts, white space and the relationship between text and image
  • layout programme

    software for computer-aided design and production of high quality publications
  • leading

    additional vertical distance inserted between lines of set text
  • legal deposit

    the deposit of statutory copies to the national library, the relevant regional library or university library, regulated by law
  • legal right of use

    the exclusive or non-exclusive right to distribute or use copyrighted media
  • legibility

    in typography, the question of legibility of text design and layout
  • legislature

    the branch of a state empowered with enacting, amending and repealing laws
  • lending library

    organisation that rents or sells books and other media out of economic interests
  • Leopoldina

    designation of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in Schweinfurt and now based in Halle an der Saale
  • leporello (concertina fold)

    a book assembled by multiple zig-zag folding
  • letter

    a single character of an alphabetic script
  • letter of enfeoffment

    written confirmation of an enfeoffment
  • letter painter

    occupation dealing with the decoration of small-scale printed matter, depictions of the saints and playing cards with ornamentation and figures
  • letter width

    actual width of a character
  • lexicon

    reference book or dictionary
  • Libell(us)

    the term for a small document in Roman law
  • liber chronicarum

    known in Germany as the Nuremberg Chronicle written by Hartmann Schedel, in print from 1493
  • liberal arts (artes liberales)

    in antiquity and the Middle Ages, these encompassed grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, arithmetic, music and astronomy
  • library

    systematically classified collection of books or the institute created for it, together with its correspondent buildings
  • libretto

    booklet with the text of an opera
  • license

    partial transfer of rights of use, publication or exploitation on payment of a license fee
  • lien register

    official book from the feudal system documenting the issuance of fiefdoms
  • ligature

    several letters of a document visually and formally connected so that they form a unit
  • light fastness

    stability of colours even in strong sunlight and high levels of ultraviolet radiation
  • lignin

    a strong organic polymer stored in the plant cell wall which leads to yellowing in wood pulp based paper
  • line

    denotes total of all characters on a line
  • line length

    length of a set line
  • line spacing

    the distance between two lines of text, one below the other, as measured from base line to base line
  • linen tester

    strong magnifier for checking register and grid pattern
  • linotype

    a form of compositing for metal type, which delivers ready closed, complete lines
  • literacy

    feature of a society where reading and writing are the decisive characteristics of communication
  • literal mistake

    term used by typesetters and printers to denote a letter from a different font occurring in a sentence
  • liturgical books

    books intended for use in worship
  • long grain

    when paper is cut along the grain parallel to the longer dimension of the sheet
  • longseller

    look or other cultural product that sells consistently well over a long period
  • looted art

    cultural goods that have been permanently stolen from the rightful owner during or as a result of acts of war
  • Louis d’or

    the main gold coin introduced in France in 1640 which retained its importance until 1794
  • Luddite

    Disaffected English workers who destroyed machinery between 1811-1816 and became known as Luddites
  • Luther Bible

    the transmission of the New and Old Testament in the German language begun by Martin Luther in 1521
  • luxury

    beyond the usual standard, often considered a wasteful expense  of high symbolic and material value
  • luxury edition

    book edition designed as a presentable show piece, with an elaborate book cover and book decoration
  • LWC paper

    a double-sided, coated, wood containing paper having a maximum weight per unit area of 80g/m², which is printed from the roll