Glossary of Printing Terms
Acid-free Paper - Paper made from pulp containing little or no acid so it resists deterioration from age. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.
A4 Paper - ISO paper size 210 x 297mm used for European size Letterhead.
Against the Grain - At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. Also called across the grain and cross grain. See also Grain Direction.
Alteration - Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author alteration and customer alteration.
Aqueous Coating (AQ) - Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath.
Artwork - All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing.
Author's Alterations (AA's) - At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided. AA's are considered an additional cost to the client usually.
Back Up - (1) To print on the second side of a sheet already printed on one side. (2) To adjust an image on one side of a sheet so that it aligns back-to-back with an image on the other side
Basic Size - The standard size of sheets of paper used to calculate basis weight in the United States and Canada.
Basis Weight - In the United States and Canada, the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to the basic size. Also called ream weight and substance weight (sub weight). In countries using ISO paper sizes, the weight, in grams, of one square meter of paper.
Bind - Usually in the book arena, but not exclusively, the joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue or other means.
Bindery - Usually a department within a printing company responsible for collating, folding and trimming various printing projects.
Blanket - Rubber-coated pad, mounted on a cylinder of an offset press that receives the inked image from the plate and transfers it to the surface to be printed.
Bleed - Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.
Blind Folio - A page number not printed on the page. (In the book arena, a blank page traditionally does not print a page number.)
Blind Image - Image debossed, embossed or stamped, but not printed with ink or foil.
Blocking - Sticking together of printed sheets causing damage when the surfaces are separated.
Blow-Up - An enlargement, usually used with graphic images or photographs
Board Paper - General term for paper over 110# index, 80# cover or 200 gsm that is commonly used for products such as file folders, displays and post cards. Also called paperboard.
The main text of work not including the headlines.
Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also called business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper and writing paper.
Category of paper suitable for books, magazines, catalogs, advertising and general printing needs. Book paper is divided into uncoated paper (also called offset paper), coated paper (also called art paper, enamel paper, gloss paper and slick paper) and text paper.
The decorative design or rule surrounding matter on a page.
(1) a repeating registration problem in the printing stage of production. (2) Customer unhappy with the results of a printing project and refuses to accept the project.
General term referring to paper 6 points or thicker with basis weight between 90# and 200# (200-500 gsm). Used for products such as index cards, file folders and displays.
The term used to indicate work printed on one of a large sheet of paper.
Carton of paper from which some of the sheets have been sold.
Build a Color
To overlap two or more screen tints to create a new color. Such an overlap is called a build, color build, stacked screen build or tint build.
Thickness of paper relative to its basic weight.
A dot or similar marking to emphasize text.
Burst Perfect Bind
To bind by forcing glue into notches along the spines of gathered signatures before affixing a paper cover. Also called burst bind, notch bind and slotted bind.
Register where ink colors meet precisely without overlapping or allowing space between, as compared to lap register. Also called butt fit and kiss register.
To subcontract for a service that is closely related to the business of the organization. Also called farm out. Work that is bought out or farmed out is sometimes called outwork or referred to as being out of house.
C1S and C2S
Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.
To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between rollers during manufacturing.
(1) Thickness of paper or other substrate expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), pages per inch (ppi), thousandths of a millimeter (microns) or pages per centimeter (ppc). (2) Device on a sheetfed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
Mechanicals, photographs and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used. Also called finished art and reproduction copy.
Business using a process camera to make photostats, halftones, plates and other elements for printing. Also called prep service and trade camera service.
Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.
Selling unit of paper that may weigh anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 pounds (9,090 to 45, 454 kilos), depending on which mill or merchant uses the term. Abbreviated CL.
Selling unit of paper weighing approximately 150 pounds (60 kilos). A carton can contain anywhere from 500 to 5,000 sheets, depending on the size of sheets and their basis weight.
Covers and spine that, as a unit, enclose the pages of a casebound book.
To bind using glue to hold signatures to a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather. Also called cloth bind, edition bind, hard bind and hard cover.
High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet.
Coated paper rated #4 or #5 with basis weight from 35# to 50# (50 to 75 gsm) commonly used for catalogs and magazines.
(1) Alternate term for elliptical dot, so called because midtone dots touch at two points, so look like links in a chain. (2) Generic term for any midtone dots whose corners touch.
(1) Widely spaced lines in laid paper. (2) Blemishes on printed images caused by tracking.
Deterioration of a printed image caused by ink that absorbs into paper too fast or has long exposure to sun, and wind making printed images look dusty. Also called crocking.
(1) Production copy of a publication verified by the customer as printed, finished and bound correctly. (2) One set of gathered book signatures approved by the customer as ready for binding.
Technique of slightly reducing the size of an image to create a hairline trap or to outline. Also called shrink and skinny.
Strength of a color as compared to how close it seems to neutral gray. Also called depth, intensity, purity and saturation.
A mark used to indicate closing space between characters or words. Usually used in proofing stages.
Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.
Halftone screen with ruling of 65, 85 or 100 lines per inch (26, 34 or 40 lines centimeter).
Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories cast, gloss, dull and matte.
To organize printed matter in a specific order as requested.
Mostly in the book arena, specific marks on the back of signatures indicating exact position in the collating stage.
Refers to amounts of process colors that simulate the colors of the original scene or photograph.
Press sheets printed with photos or illustrations, but without type. Also called shells.
In multicolor printing, the point, line or space at which one ink color stops and another begins. Also called break for color.
Unwanted color affecting an entire image or portion of an image.
Color Control Bar
Strip of small blocks of color on a proof or press sheet to help evaluate features such as density and dot gain. Also called color bar, color guide and standard offset color bar.
To adjust the relationship among the process colors to achieve desirable colors.
Instructions in computer software that allow users to change or correct colors. Also called HLS and HVS tables.
Color Electronic Prepress System
Computer, scanner, printer and other hardware and software designed for image assembly, color correction, retouching and output onto proofing materials, film or printing plates. Abbreviated CEPS.
The entire range of hues possible to reproduce using a specific device, such as a computer screen, or system, such as four-color process printing.
Brand name for an overlay color proof. Sometimes used as a generic term for any overlay color proof.
Way of categorizing and describing the infinite array of colors found in nature.
(1) Technique of using a camera, scanner or computer to divide continuous-tone color images into four halftone negatives. (2) The product resulting from color separating and subsequent four-color process printing. Also called separation.
Order in which inks are printed. Also called laydown sequence and rotation.
Change in image color resulting from changes in register, ink densities or dot gain during four-color process printing.
Film (transparent) used as art to perform color separations.
To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper. Also called plastic bind and GBC bind (a brand name).
Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books and magazines. Also called job printer because each job is different.
Mechanical on which copy for reproduction in all colors appears on only one surface, not separated onto overlays. Composite art has a tissue overlay with instructions that indicate color breaks.
Film made by combining images from two or more pieces of working film onto one film for making one plate.
Proof of color separations in position with graphics and type. Also called final proof, imposition proof and stripping proof.
(1) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. (2) In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics and other elements on the page.
Simulation of a printed piece complete with type, graphics and colors. Also called color comprehensive and comp.
To keep paper in the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that its moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom. Also called cure, mature and season.
Device with lights, timing mechanism and vacuum frame used to make contact prints, duplicate film, proofs and plates. Also called platemaker and vacuum frame.
All photographs and those illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones. Abbreviated contone.
The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.
Business that makes products such as boxes, bags, envelopes and displays.
Surface or frame on a process camera that holds copy in position to be photographed.
Thick paper that protects a publication and advertises its title. Parts of covers are often described as follows: Cover 1=outside front; Cover 2=inside front; Cover 3=inside back, Cover 4=outside back.
Extent to which ink covers the surface of a substrate. Ink coverage is usually expressed as light, medium or heavy.
Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.
Coarse cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to increase strength of binding. Also called gauze, mull and scrim.
Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages. Also called feathering, outpush, push out and thrust. See also Shingling.
Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks and tic marks.
Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.
To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent setoff.
Customer Service Representative
Employee of a printer, service bureau, separator or other business who coordinates projects and keeps customers informed. Abbreviated CSR.
Circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore also the length of the printed sheet that the press cuts from the roll of paper.
Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.
A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing.
Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.
Abbreviation for hundredweight using the Roman numeral C=100.
One of the four process colors. Also known as process blue.
Technique of reducing the amount of storage required to hold a digital file to reduce the disk space the file requires and allow it to be processed or transmitted more quickly.
To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface. Also called tool.
Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut. Also called feather edge.
Instrument used to measure density. Reflection densitometers measure light reflected from paper and other surfaces; transmission densitometers measure light transmitted through film and other materials.
(1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding color, the relative ability of a color to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers.
Difference between the darkest and lightest areas of copy. Also called contrast ratio, copy range and tonal range.
Technique of using a personal computer to design images and pages, and assemble type and graphics, then using a laser printer or imagesetter to output the assembled pages onto paper, film or printing plate. Abbreviated DTP.
Device Independent Colors
Hules identified by wavelength or by their place in systems such as developed by CIE. 'Device independent' means a color can be described and specified without regard to whether it is reproduced using ink, projected light, photographic chemistry or any other method.
Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.
To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.
Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or ink-jet.
Chemical process of reproducing line copy and making halftone positives ready for paste-up.
Dot created by a computer and printed out by a laser printer or imagesetter. Digital dots are uniform in size, as compared to halftone dots that vary in size.
Direct Digital Color Proof
Color proof made by a laser, ink jet printer or other computer-controlled device without needing to make separation films first. Abbreviated DDCP.
A letter fold at the side of one of the creases, an indentation occurs.
Phenomenon of halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing detail and lowering contrast. Also called dot growth, dot spread and press gain.
Relative size of halftone dots as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used. There is no unit of measurement to express dot size. Dots are too large, too small or correct only in comparison to what the viewer finds attractive.
Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors. Abbreviated DPI. Also called dot pitch.
Double Black Duotone
Duotone printed from two halftones, one shot for highlights and the other shot for midtones and shadows.
To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.
To expose film or a plate twice to different negatives and thus create a composite image.
A method of recording electronically (disk, CD, floppy) using a modified frequency to allow more data storage.
Double Dot Halftone
Halftone double burned onto one plate from two halftones, one shot for shadows, the second shot for midtones and highlights.
Printing defect appearing as blurring or shadowing of the image. Doubling may be caused by problems with paper, cylinder alignment, blanket pressures or dirty cylinders.
Considered as "dots per square inch," a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.
Sample of inks specified for a job applied to the substrate specified for a job. Also called pulldown.
In the printing arena, to drill a hole in a printed matter.
Halftone dots or fine lines eliminated from highlights by overexposure during camera work.
Halftone in which contrast has been increased by eliminating dots from highlights.
Phenomenon of printed ink colors becoming less dense as the ink dries.
Using metal plates in the printing process, which are etched to .15mm (.0006 in) creating a right reading plate, printed on the offset blanket transferring to paper without the use of water.
To print over dry ink, as compared to wet trap.
Dual-purpose Bond Paper
Bond paper suitable for printing by either lithography (offset) or xerography (photocopy). Abbreviated DP bond paper.
Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.
Simulation of the final product. Also called mockup.
Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.
Thick paper made by pasting highlights together two thinner sheets, usually of different colors. Also called double-faced paper and two-tone paper.
Offset press made for quick printing.
Brand name for photographic paper used to make blue line proofs. Often used as alternate term for blueline.
Electronic Front End (Electronic Composition)
General term referring to a prepress system based on computers.
Electronic Image Assembly
Assembly of a composite image from portions of other images and/or other page elements using a computer.
Mechanical exclusively in electronic files.
(1) Publishing by printing with device, such as a photocopy machine or ink jet printer, driven by a computer that can change the image instantly from one copy to the next. (2) Publishing via output on fax, computer bulletin board or other electronic medium, as compared to output on paper.
To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface. Also called cameo and tool.
Casting of light-sensitive chemicals on papers, films, printing plates and stencils.
Emulsion Down/Emulsion Up
Film whose emulsion side faces down (away from the viewer) or up (toward the viewer) when ready to make a plate or stencil. Abbreviated ED, EU. Also called E up/down and face down/face up.
Encapsulated PostScript file
Computer file containing both images and PostScript commands. Abbreviated EPS file.
Sheet that attaches the inside pages of a case bound book to its cover. Also called pastedown or end papers.
Smooth finish on uncoated book paper; smoother than eggshell, rougher than smooth.
Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.
Encapsulated Post Script, a known file format usually used to transfer post script information from one program to another.
Paper that is not the brand specified, but looks, prints and may cost the same. . Also called comparable stock.
Price that states what a job will probably cost. Also called bid, quotation and tender.
The individual performing or creating the "estimate."
To use chemicals to carve an image into metal, glass or film.
Edge of a bound publication opposite the spine. Also called foredge. Also, an abbreviation for typeface referring to a family of a general style.
Halftone in one ink color printed over screen tint of a second ink color. Also called dummy duotone, dougraph, duplex halftone, false duotone, flat tint halftone and halftone with screen.
Fast Color Inks
Inks with colors that retain their density and resist fading as the product is used and washed.
Component of a printing press that moves paper into the register unit.
Soft woven pattern in text paper.
Side of the paper that was not in contact with the Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to wire side.
Ink color used in addition to the four needed by four-color process.
Thickness of film. The most common gauge for graphic arts film is 0.004 inch (0.1 mm).
Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection or increased gloss.
Papers made specifically for writing or commercial printing, as compared to coarse papers and industrial papers. Also called cultural papers and graphic papers.
Screen with ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimeter) or more.
(1) Surface characteristics of paper. (2) General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post press operations.
Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.
Refers to ability of film to be registered during stripping and assembly. Good fit means that all images register to other film for the same job.
Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs.
(1) Any color created by printing only one ink, as compared to a color created by printing four-color process. Also called block color and spot color. (2) color that seems weak or lifeless.
Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.
Method of printing on a web press using rubber or plastic plates with raised images. Also called aniline printing because flexographic inks originally used aniline dyes. Abbreviated flexo.
To print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish. flooding with ink is also called painting the sheet.
Cover trimmed to the same size as inside pages, as compared to overhang cover. Also called cut flush
Leaf, at the front and back of a casebound book that is the one side of the end paper not glued to the case.
To foil stamp and emboss an image. Also called heat stamp.
Method of printing that releases foil from its backing when stamped with the heated die. Also called block print, hot foil stamp and stamp.
A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials.
With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges.
Gatefold sheet bound into a publication, often used for a map or chart. Also called gatefold and pullout.
Folio (page number)
The actual page number in a publication.
Each side of a signature. Also spelled forme.
Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product.
Roller(s) that come in contact with the printing plate, bringing it ink or water.
For Position Only
Refers to inexpensive copies of photos or art used on mechanical to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction. Abbreviated FPO.
Trough or container, on a printing press, that holds fluids such as ink, varnish or water. Also called duct.
Mixture of water and chemicals that dampens a printing plate to prevent ink from adhering to the nonimage area. Also called dampener solution.
Four-color Process Printing
Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full-color images. Also called color process printing, full color printing and process printing.
A printed sheet, printed one side only, folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.
Proof of type from any Source, whether metal type or photo type. Also called checker and slip proof.
(1) To halftone or separate more than one image in only one exposure. (2) To reproduce two or more different printed products simultaneously on one sheet of paper during one press run. Also called combination run.
A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.
Signatures assembled next to each other in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to nested. Also called stacked.
Normal halftone whose density has been reduced to produce a very faint image.
(1) Phenomenon of a faint image appearing on a printed sheet where it was not intended to appear. Chemical ghosting refers to the transfer of the faint image from the front of one sheet to the back of another sheet. Mechanical ghosting refers to the faint image appearing as a repeat of an image on the same side of the sheet. (2) Phenomenon of printed image appearing too light because of ink starvation.
Consider the light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g., paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish).
Ink used and printed on coated stock (mostly litho and letterpress) such as the ink will dry without penetration.
General term used to distinguish between or among printing papers, but whose specific meaning depends on context. Grade can refer to the category, class, rating, finish or brand of paper.
Graduated Screen Tint
Screen tint that changes densities gradually and smoothly, not in distinct steps. Also called degrade, gradient, ramped screen and vignette.
Predominant direction in which fibers in paper become aligned during manufacturing. Also called machine direction.
Grain Long Paper
Paper whose fibers run parallel to the long dimension of the sheet. Also called long grain paper and narrow web paper.
Grain Short Paper
Paper whose fibers run parallel to the short dimension of the sheet. Also called short grain paper and wide web paper.
Basis weight of paper in grams per square meter (gsm).
The crafts, industries and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.
Graphic Arts Film
Film whose emulsion yields high contrast images suitable for reproduction by a printing press, as compared to continuous-tone film. Also called litho film and repro film.
Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colors and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message.
Visual elements that supplement type to make printed messages more clear or interesting.
Method of printing using metal cylinders etched with millions of tiny wells that hold ink.
Printed cyan, magenta and yellow halftone dots that accurately, reproduce a neutral gray image.
Strip of gray values ranging from white to black. Used by process camera and scanner operators to calibrate exposure times for film and plates. Also called step wedge.
Alternate term for binding edge when referring to perfect bound products.
Approximately 1/8 inch (3 mm) along the spine that is ground off gathered signatures before perfect binding.
Edge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheetfed press, thus going first through the press. Also called feeding edge and leading edge.
Newsprint and other inexpensive paper made from pulp created when wood chips are ground mechanically rather than refined chemically.
The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square meter).
In the book arena, the inside margins toward the back or the binding edges.
Subjective term referring to very small space, thin line or close register. The meaning depends on who is using the term and in what circumstances.
(1) To photograph or scan a continuous tone image to convert the image into halftone dots. (2) A photograph or continuous-tone illustration that has been halftoned and appears on film, paper, printing plate or the final printed product.
Piece of film or glass containing a grid of lines that breaks light into dots. Also called contact screen and screen.
Faint shadow sometimes surrounding halftone dots printed. Also called halation. The halo itself is also called a fringe.
Halftone dots with no halos or soft edges, as compared to soft dots.
Mechanical consisting of paper and/or acetate and made using paste-up techniques, as compared to electronic mechanical.
At the top of a page, the margin.
Imposition with heads (tops) of pages facing tails (bottoms) of other pages.
Web press equipped with an oven to dry ink, thus able to print coated paper.
Spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage, caused by dirt on the plate or blanket. Also called bulls eye and fish eye.
Color reproduced using six, eight or twelve separations, as compared to four-color process.
Lightest portions of a photograph or halftone, as compared to midtones and shadows.
Perfect bound cover scored 1/8 inch (3mm) from the spine so it folds at the hinge instead of, along the edge of the spine.
Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a variety of printing jobs. Also called floor sheet.
A specific color such as yellow or green.
The actual area on the printed matter that is not restricted to ink coverage,
Laser output device using photosensitive paper or film.
Arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.
(1) Referring to an ink color, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit. (2) Referring to speed of a press, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through the press.
Cylinder, on a press, that pushes paper against the plate or blanket, thus forming the image. Also called impression roller.
To print new copy on a previously printed sheet, such as imprinting an employee's name on business cards. Also called surprint.
Relationship of the densities and dot gains of process inks to each other and to a standard density of neutral gray
Reservoir, on a printing press, that holds ink.
Characteristic of paper that prevents it from absorbing ink, thus allowing ink to dry on the surface of the paper. Also called holdout.
Ink Jet Printing
Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles. Also called jet printing.
Form (side of the press sheet) whose images all appear inside the folded signature, as compared to outer form.
Department of an agency, business or association that does printing for a parent organization. Also called captive printer and in-house printer.
Within a publication, an additional item positioned into the publication loose (not bound in).
Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels, having inked areas lower than noninked areas. Gravure and engraving are the most common forms of intaglio. Also called recess printing.
Color proof of separations shown on one piece of proofing paper, as compared to an overlay proof. Also called composition proof, laminate proof, plastic proof and single-sheet proof.
Printed pages loosely inserted in a publication.
A number assigned to a published work and usually found either on the title page or the back of the title page. Considered an International Standard Book Number.
Job Lot Paper
Paper that didn't meet specifications when produced, has been discontinued, or for other reasons is no longer considered first quality.
A number assigned to a specific printing project in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping.
Form used by service bureaus, separators and printers to specify production schedule of a job and the materials it needs. Also called docket, production order and work order.
A vibration machine with a slopping platform to even-up stacks of printed materials.
Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing. Hence the 'K' in CMYK.
(1) The screw that controls ink flow from the ink fountain of a printing press. (2) To relate loose pieces of copy to their positions on a layout or mechanical using a system of numbers or letters. (3) Alternate term for the color black, as in 'key plate.'
Key Negative or Plate
Negative or plate that prints the most detail, thus whose image guides the register of images from other plates. Also called key printer.
Kiss Die Cut
To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper. Also called face cut.
Lightest possible impression that will transfer ink to a Substrate.
Strong paper used for wrapping and to make grocery bags and large envelopes.
Finish on bond or text paper on which grids of parallel lines simulate the surface of handmade paper. Laid lines are close together and run against the grain; chain lines are farther apart and run with the grain.
A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing color, providing a glossy (or lens) effect.
Artist style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)
Register where ink colors overlap slightly, as compared to butt register.
Bond paper made especially smooth and dry to run well through laser printers.
Ink that will not fade or blister as the paper on which it is printed is used in a laser printer.
Lay Flat Bind
Method of perfect binding that allows a publication to lie fully open. (Also known as Lay Flat Perfect Binding.)
A sample of the original providing (showing) position of printed work (direction, instructions) needed and desired.
Amount of space between lines of type.
One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.
Strong, smooth bond paper used for keeping business records. Also called record paper.
Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope. Also called barrel fold and wrap around fold.
In North America, 8 1/2' x 11' sheets. In Europe, A4 sheets.
Directions about a specific matter (illustrations) and how to use. In regard to maps and tables, an explanation of signs (symbols) used.
Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.
Book paper with basis weight less than 40# (60 gsm).
Any high-contrast image, including type, as compared to continuous-tone copy. Also called line art and line work.
Negative made from line copy.
Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.
Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose nonimage areas repel ink. Nonimage areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.
Area on a mechanical within which images will print. Also called safe area.
A company, partnership or corporate creation (design) that denotes a unique entity. A possible combination of letters and art work to create a "sole" entity symbol of that specific unit.
Binding method allowing insertion and removal of pages in a publication (e.g., trim-4-drill-3).
Proof of a halftone or color separation that is not assembled with other elements from a page, as compared to composite proof. Also called first proof, random proof, scatter proof and show-color proof.
Lens built into a small stand. Used to inspect copy, film, proofs, plates and printing. Also called glass and linen tester.
One of the four process colors.
(1) All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or bindery job, as compared to production run. Also called setup. (2) Paper used in the makeready process at any stage in production. Makeready paper is part of waste or spoilage.
Order for paper that a mill makes to the customer's specifications, as compared to a mill order or stock order.
Die that applies pressure during embossing or debossing. Also called force card.
An author's original form of work (hand written, typed or on disk) submitted for publication.
Imprinted space around the edge of the printed material.
Instructions written usually on a "dummy."
To prevent light from reaching part of an image, therefore isolating the remaining part. Also called knock out.
Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press.
A form of a four-color-process proofing system.
Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
Camera-ready assembly of type, graphic and other copy complete with instructions to the printer. A hard mechanical consists of paper and/or acetate, is made using paste-up techniques, and may also be called an artboard, board or paste-up. A soft mechanical, also called an electronic mechanical, exists as a file of type and other images assembled using a computer.
To bind using a comb, coil, ring binder, post or any other technique not requiring gluing, sewing or stitching.
Color breaks made on the mechanical using a separate overlay for each color to be printed.
Ink containing powdered metal or pigments that simulate metal.
Paper coated with a thin film of plastic or pigment whose color and gloss simulate metal.
In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows.
Mil 1/1000 Inch
The thickness of plastic films as printing substrates are expressed in mils.
A reproduction of the original printed matter and possibly containing instructions or direction.
Mostly used over phone lines, a device that converts electronic stored information from point a. to point b.
Undesirable pattern resulting when halftones and screen tints are made with improperly aligned screens, or when a pattern in a photo, such as a plaid, interfaces with a halftone dot pattern.
Paper size (7' x 10') and envelope shape often used for personal stationery.
Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also called sinkage. A mottled image may be called mealy.
Weight of 1,000 sheets of paper in any specific size.
Very light brown color of paper. May also be called antique, cream, ivory, off-white or mellow white.
Signatures assembled inside one another in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to gathered. Also called inset.
Gray with no hue or cast.
Paper used in printing newspapers. Considered low quality and "a short life use."
Web press without a drying oven, thus not able to print on coated paper. Also called cold-set web and open web.
Light blue that does not record on graphic arts film, therefore may be used to preprint layout grids and write instructions on mechanicals. Also called blue pencil, drop-out blue, fade-out blue and nonrepro blue.
Printing on products such as coasters, pencils, balloons, golf balls and ashtrays, known as advertising specialties or premiums.
Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
(1) Characteristic of paper or other substrate that prevents printing on one side from showing through the other side. (2) Characteristic of ink that prevents the substrate from showing through.
A specific lightweight type (kind) of paper usually used in the past for air mail. Seldom used today (in the typewriter era).
(1) Not transparent. (2) To cover flaws in negative with tape or opaquing paint. Also called block out and spot.
Form (side of a press sheet) containing images for the first and last pages of the folded signature (its outside pages) as compared to inner form.
Halftone in which background has been removed or replaced to isolate or silhouette the main image. Also called knockout halftone and silhouette halftone.
Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. Acetate overlays are used to separate colors by having some type or art on them instead of on the mounting board. Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.
To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint. Also called surprint.
Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies in the printing industry. Advance questions avoid blind knowledge.
One side of a leaf in a publication.
Total number of pages that a publication has. Also called extent.
Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.
In the book arena, the numbering of pages.
Sheet printed with ink edge to edge, as compared to spot color. The painted sheet refers to the final product, not the press sheet, and means that 100 percent coverage results from bleeds off all four sides.
One page of a brochure, such as one panel of a rack brochure. One panel is on one side of the paper. A letter-folded sheet has six panels, not three.
A printing plate made of strong and durable paper in the short run offset arena (cost effective with short runs).
Method of folding. Two parallel folds to a sheet will produce 6 panels.
Any sheet larger than 11' x 17' or A3.
To paste copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, to overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical. The mechanical produced is often called a paste-up.
Proofreader mark meaning printer error and showing a mistake by a typesetter, prepress service or printer as compared to an error by the customer.
To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also called adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind, patent bind, perfecting bind, soft bind and soft cover. See also Burst Perfect Bind.
Press capable of printing both sides of the paper during a single pass. Also called duplex press and perfector.
On a "dummy" marking where the perforation is to occur.
Taking place on a press or a binder machine, creating a line of small dotted wholes for the purpose of tearing-off a part of a printed matter (usually straight lines, vertical or horizontal).
A unit of measure in the printing industry. A pica is approximately 0.166 in. There are 12 points to a pica.
Phenomenon of ink pulling bits of coating or fiber away from the surface of paper as it travels through the press, thus leaving unprinted spots in the image area.
Artwork, used in a previous job, to be incorporated in a current job.
Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device. Also called pel.
Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.
(1) In quick printing, a process camera that makes plates automatically from mechanicals. (2) In commercial lithography, a machine with a vacuum frame used to expose plates through film.
Color that the customer considers satisfactory even though it may not precisely match original samples, scenes or objects.
Obsolete reference to Pantone Matching System. The correct trade name of the colors in the Pantone Matching System is Pantone colors, not PMS Colors.
(1) Regarding paper, a unit of thickness equating 1/1000 inch. (2) Regarding type, a unit of measure equaling 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).
An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.)
To bind using a screw and post inserted through a hole in a pile of loose sheets.
Camera work, color separations, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called preparation.
Any color proof made using ink jet, toner, dyes or overlays, as compared to a press proof printed using ink. Also called dry proof and off-press proof.
To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting.
Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job. Also called strike off and trial proof.
(1) Amount of time that one printing job spends on press, including time required for makeready. (2) Time of day at which a printing job goes on press.
Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.
Mechanicals made so they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads.
Any process that transfers to paper or another substrate an image from an original such as a film negative or positive, electronic memory, stencil, die or plate.
Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.
Assembly of fountain, rollers and cylinders that will print one ink color. Also called color station, deck, ink station, printer, station and tower.
Process Color (Inks)
The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to makeready.
Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.
Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also called correction marks.
Round device used to calculate percent that an original image must by reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size. Also called percentage wheel, proportion dial, proportion wheel and scaling wheel.
Paper made in weights, colors and surfaces suited to books, magazines, catalogs and free-standing inserts.
Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.
Printing using small sheetfed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper.
Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.
Stationery or other forms of stock having a strong percentage content of "cotton rags."
Raster Image Processor
Device that translates page description commands into bitmapped information for an output device such as a laser printer or imagesetter.
Mechanicals made in two page spreads as readers would see the pages, as compared to printer spread.
500 sheets of paper.
New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.
Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.
Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels having inked areas higher than noninked areas. Relief printing includes block printing, flexography and letter press.
General term for xerography, diazo and other methods of copying used by designers, engineers, architects or for general office use.
Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.
Type, graphic or illustration reproduced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the underlying color or paper to show through and form the image. The image 'reverses out' of the ink color. Also called knockout and liftout.
Abbreviation for red, green, blue, the additive color primaries.
Copy that reads correctly in the language in which it is written. Also describes a photo whose orientation looks like the original scene, as compared to a flopped image.
Printing press which passes the substrate between two rotating cylinders when making an impression.
Round Back Bind
To casebind with a rounded (convex) spine, as compared to flat back bind.
Mask on a mechanical, made with rubylith, that creates a window on film shot from the mechanical.
Line used as a graphic element to separate or organize copy.
Map or drawing given by a printer to a stripper showing how a printing job must be imposed using a specific press and sheet size. Also called press layout, printer's layout and ruleout.
To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch. Also called pamphlet stitch, saddle wire and stitch bind.
Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.
To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing.
Electronic device used to scan an image.
To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.
Angles at which screens intersect with the horizontal line of the press sheet. The common screen angles for separations are black 45 degree, magenta 75 degree, yellow 90 degree and cyan 105 degree.
Refers to the percentage of ink coverage that a screen tint allows to print. Also called screen percentage.
Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.
Number of rows or lines of dots per inch or centimeter in a screen for making a screen tint or halftone. Also called line count, ruling, screen frequency, screen size and screen value.
Color created by dots instead of solid ink coverage. Also called Benday, fill pattern, screen tone, shading, tint and tone.
Usually in the book arena, a publication not having a cover stock. A publication only using text stock throughout.
A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently.
Art with elements that print in the base color on one surface and elements that print in other colors on other surfaces. Also called preseparated art.
Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding qimages of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film.
Business using imagesetters to make high resolution printouts of files prepared on microcomputers. Also called output house and prep service.
Undesirable transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the underside of another as they lie in the delivery stack of a press. Also called offset.
Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint.
Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and high-lights.
Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.
Technique of printing one side of a sheet with one set of plates, then the other side of the sheet with a set of different plates. Also called work and back.
Allowance, made during paste-up or stripping, to compensate for creep. Creep is the problem; shingling is the solution. Also called stair stepping and progressive margins.
To bind by stapling through sheets along, one edge, as compared to saddle stitch. Also called cleat stitch and side wire.
Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine or other publication.
Compound mixed with paper or fabric to make it stiffer and less able to absorb moisture.
Separate sheets (stock) independent from the original run positioned between the "printed run" for a variety of reasons.
Halftones dots with halos.
Any area of the sheet receiving 100 percent ink coverage, as compared to a screen tint.
Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment.
Printer whose equipment, supplies, work flow and marketing is targeted to a particular category of products.
Complete and precise written description of features of a printing job such as type size and leading, paper grade and quantity, printing or binding method. Abbreviated specs.
Instrument used to measure the index of refraction of color.
Highlight area with no printable dots, thus no detail, as compared to a diffuse highlight. Also called catchlight and dropout highlight.
Back or binding edge of a publication
To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind.
(1) Different images, such as advertisements, printed in different editions of a publication. (2) Printing of a book that has some copies bound one way and other copies bound another way.
Paper that, due to mistakes or accidents, must be thrown away instead of delivered printed to the customer, as compared to waste.
Spot Color or Varnish
One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet.
(1) Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit. (2) Technique of slightly enlarging the size of an image to accomplish a hairline trap with another image. Also called fatty.
Standard Viewing Conditions
Background of 60 percent neutral gray and light that measures 5000 degrees Kelvin the color of daylight on a bright day. Also called lighting standards.
Short for photostat, therefore a general term for an inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone.
Step and Repeat
Prepress technique of exposing an image in a precise, multiple pattern to create a flat or plate. Images are said to be stepped across the film or plate.
Popular sizes, weights and colors of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant's warehouse.
Order for paper that a mill or merchant sends to a printer from inventory at a warehouse, as compared to a mill order.
To assemble images on film for plate making. Stripping involves correcting flaws in film, assembling pieces of film into flats and ensuring that film and flats register correctly. Also called film assembly and image assembly.
Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers. Also called sub weight.
Any surface or material on which printing is done.
Color produced by light reflected from a surface, as compared to additive color. Subtractive color includes hues in color photos and colors created by inks on paper.
Subtractive Primary Color
Yellow, magenta and cyan. In the graphic arts, these are known as process colors because, along with black, they are the inks colors used in color-process printing.
Paper calendered using alternating chrome and fiber rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet. Abbreviated SC paper.
Taking an already printed matter and re-printing again on the same.
A book in a variety of forms, indicating specific stock in specific colors in a specific thickness.
Using a broadsheet as a measure, one half of a broadsheet.
Grade of dense, strong paper used for products such as badges and file folders.
Tagged Image File Format
Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. Abbreviated TIFF.
Target Ink Densities
Densities of the four process inks as recommended for various printing processes and grades of paper. See also Total Area Coverage.
Concerning a printing project's basic details in regard to its dimensions. A standard layout.
Designation for printing papers with textured surfaces such as laid or linen. Some mills also use 'text' to refer to any paper they consider top-of-the-line, whether or not its surface has a texture.
Method of printing using colorless resin powder that takes on the color of underlying ink. Also called raised printing.
Initial ideas jotted on virtually anything in regard to initial concept of a future project.
Screening or adding white to a solid color for results of lightening that specific color.
Usually in the book arena, adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process (separate insertion).
Reduction in the tonal range from original scene to printed reproduction.
Total Area Coverage
Total of the dot percentages of the process colors in the final film. Abbreviated for TAC. Also called density of tone, maximum density, shadow saturation, total dot density and total ink coverage.
Plate that accents or prints a color that four-color process printing cannot reproduce well enough or at all. Also called kiss plate.
Service bureau, printer or bindery working primarily for other graphic arts professionals, not for the general public.
Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through. Also called chrome, color transparency and tranny. Often abbreviated TX.
To print one ink over another or to print a coating, such as varnish, over an ink. The first liquid traps the second liquid. See also Dry Traps and Wet Traps.
The size of the printed material in its finished stage (e.g., the finished trim size is 5 12 x 8 12).
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.
Universal Copyright Convention (UCC)
A system to protect unique work from reproducing without knowledge from the originator. To qualify, one must register their work and publish a (c) indicating registration.
Term to indicate multiple copies of one image printed in one impression on a single sheet. "Two up" or "three up" means printing the identical piece twice or three times on each sheet.
Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.
The shade (darkness) or tint (lightness) of a color. Also called brightness, lightness, shade and tone.
Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.
Somewhat rough, toothy finish.
Brand name for high-contrast photographic paper.
Decorative design or illustration fade to white.
Halftone whose background gradually and smoothly fades away. Also called degrade.
Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.
Abbreviation for volatile organic compounds, petroleum substances used as the vehicles for many printing inks.
To clean ink and fountain solutions from rollers, fountains, screens, and other press components.
Unusable paper or paper damage during normal makeready, printing or binding operations, as compared to spoilage.
Translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing by slight embossing from a dandy roll while paper is still approximately 90 percent water.
Unacceptable stretching of paper as it passes through the press.
Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel-fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages).
To print ink or varnish over wet ink, as compared to dry trap.
(1) In a printed product, a die-cut hole revealing an image on the sheet behind it. (2) On a mechanical, an area that has been marked for placement of a piece of artwork.
Side of the paper that rests against The Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to felt side.
With the Grain
Parallel to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to against the grain. See also Grain Direction.
Made with chemical pulp only. Paper usually classified as calendered or supercalendered.
Paper manufactured without visible wire marks, usually a fine textured paper.
Wrong ReadingAn image that is backwards when compared to the original. Also called flopped and reverse reading.