“All Edges Gilt” (AEG or 3E) is an abbreviated term in bookbinding and printing trades that indicates all three outer edges of a book have been gilded, often seen written “all edges gilt” or “top edge gilt.” All Edges Gilt can also be abbreviated as AEG.
Gilding involves applying a thin coating of gold leaf or another metal – usually silver, copper, or aluminum – onto any object’s surface. Gilding can be completed manually or automatically, and the results can range from matte to shiny surfaces; all three outer edges of this book’s pages were coated in this way.
Gilding book edges is typically done for two primary purposes: protecting them from wear and tear while creating an elegant appearance for the book.
Gilding all three outside edges of a book’s text block, known as All Edges Gilt.
All Edges Gilt (AEG or 3E) can often be seen in terms such as “aeg, all edges gilt” or “aeg, top edge gilt.” All Edges Gilt may also be abbreviated.
All Edges Gilt (AEG) printing technique was pioneered during the early 1800s. This form of printing involves coating paper edges with a thin layer of gold leaf gilding for decorative effect; although initially developed for books, this trend quickly spread to other printed materials.
AEG is indispensable because it helps protect paper against wear and tear. With gold coating on the edges of the paper, they become much less vulnerable to damage, meaning longer life for less frequent replacement costs and reduced tear or crease risks. Furthermore, AEG may make the paper less likely to tear or crease.