Glossary Of Terms

Glossary Of Terms

We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process. To help you gain a better understanding of what’s happening to your project, we’ve compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y
  • AC

    Author's Correction

  • Accordion Fold

    A type of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.

  • Acetate

    A transparent or translucent plastic sheet material of a variety of colors, used as a basis for artwork and overlays.

  • Aerate

    This refers to a manual process whereby an air stream is blown onto paper sheets to create a riffling effect that separates the sheets as they are fed to the printing press.

  • Air

    Large white areas in a design layout.

  • Alignment

    The condition of type and or art materials as they level up on a horizontal or vertical line.

  • Alley

    A term for a random, coincidental path or a row of white space within a segment of copy.

  • Alphabet Length

    The measured length (in points) of the lowercase alphabet of a certain size and series of type.

  • Anodized Plate

    In lithography, a plate manufactured with a barrier of aluminum oxide, which prevents chemical reactions that break down the plate; it provides optimum press performance.

  • Antique Finish

    Paper with a rough, sized surface used for book and cover stock.

  • Apron

    The white area of text (or illustrations) at the margins which form a foldout.

  • Aqueous Plate

    Water soluble plate coatings, which are less toxic and less polluting.

  • Arms

    Those elements of letters that branch out from the stem of a letter, such as: "K" and "Y".

  • Arrowhead

    A symbol shaped like an arrowhead that is used in illustration to direct a leader line. Reference, leader line

  • Art Paper

    A paper evenly coated with a fine clay compound, which creates a hard smooth surface on one or both sides.

  • Art-Lined Envelope

    An envelope that is lined with an extra fine paper; can be colored or patterned.

  • Artwork

    All illustrated material, ornamentation, photos and charts etc., that is prepared for reproduction.

  • Ascender

    Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in "d", "b" and "h".

  • Author's Alterations (AA's)

    Changes made after composition stage where customer is responsible for additional charges.

  • Autochrome paper

    Coated papers that are regarded as exceptional for multi-colored printing jobs.

  • Back Lining

    The fixing of a material, either paper or cloth, to the back of a book before it is bound. Reference: case binding.

  • Back Margin

    A term referring to the margin which lies closest to the back of the book.

  • Back Step Collation

    The collation of book signatures according to reference marks which are printed on the back fold of each section.

  • Back To Back

    Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.

  • Backbone

    That portion of the binding, which connects the front of the book with the back of the book; also called "back".

  • Background

    That portion of a photograph or line art drawing that appears furthest from the eye; the surface upon which the main image is superimposed.

  • Backslant

    Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.

  • Backstep Marks

    Marks printed on signatures that indicate where the final fold will occur. When gathering and initial folding is completed, these marks appear as a stepped sequence.

  • Balance

    A term used to describe the aesthetic or harmony of elements, whether they are photos, art or copy, within a layout or design.

  • Balloon

    In an illustration, any line which encircles copy, or dialogue.

  • Bank Paper

    A thin uncoated stock used for making carbon copies.

  • Banker's Flap Envelope

    Also called wallet flap; the wallet flap has more rounded flap edges.

  • Banner

    The primary headline usually spanning the entire width of a page.

  • Barrier Coat

    A coating that is applied onto the non-printing side of paper to add to the opacity of that paper. Reference, opacity.

  • Bas Relief

    A three dimensional impression is which the image stands just slightly out from the flat background. References, blind emboss.

  • Base Line

    This is a term used to describe the imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points etc.

  • Basic Size

    This term refers to a standard size of paper stock; even though the required size may be smaller or larger.

  • Basis Weight

    Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.

  • Bearoff

    The adjusting of spacing of type in order to correct the justification.

  • BF

    An abbreviation for boldface, used to determine where boldface copy is to be used. Reference, boldface.

  • Binding

    Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book.

  • Black Out

    Also referred to as black patch; a piece of masking material which is used in layout to mask an area leaving a window into which another element can be stripped.

  • Blanket

    On offset presses a fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber to transfer the impression from the plate onto the paper.

  • Blanket To Blanket Press

    A printing method in which there are two blanket cylinders through which a sheet of paper is passed and printed on both sides.

  • Bleed

    Extra ink area that crosses trim line, used to allow for variations that occur when the reproduction is trimmed or die-cut.

  • Blind Emboss

    A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.

  • Blind Folio

    Page number not printed on page.

  • Blistering

    Although seemingly dry, paper does contain approximately 5% moisture. In cases where there is excessive moisture, and the paper is passed through a high heat-drying chamber, the moisture within the paper actually boils and causes a bubble or blistering effect.

  • Block In

    To sketch the primary areas and points of reference of an illustration in preparation for going to final design or production.

  • Blocking Out

    To mask a section of an art layout before reproduction.

  • Blow-up

    Any enlargement of photos, copies or line art.

  • Body

    The main shank or portion of the letter character other than the ascenders and descenders. Also: A term used to define the thickness or viscosity of printer's ink.

  • Body Size

    The point size of a particular type character.

  • Boldface

    Any type that has a heavier black stroke that makes it more conspicuous.

  • Bond

    A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that has a standard size of 17x22 inches.

  • Book

    A general classification to describe papers used to print books; its standard size is 25x38 inches. A printed work which contains more than 64 pages.

  • Book Block

    A term given the unfinished stage of bookmaking when the pages are folded, gathered and stitched-in but not yet cover bound.

  • Bounce 1

    A registration problem, usually on copiers, where the image appears to bounce back and forth. A bounce usually occurs in one direction depending on how the paper is passing through the machine. This is usually accented by card stock (especially if it's over the machine's spec). When a customer refuses a job for whatever reason.

  • Brace

    A character " }" used to group lines, or phrases.

  • Broad Fold

    A term given to the fold whereby paper is folded with the short side running with the grain.

  • Brocade

    A heavily embossed paper.

  • Brochure

    A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.

  • Buckle Folder

    A portion of the binding machinery with rollers that fold the paper.

  • Bulk

    A term used to define the number of pages per inch of a book relative to its given basis weight.

  • Bullet

    A boldface square or dot used before a sentence to emphasize its importance.

  • Burst Binding

    A binding technique that entails nicking the backfold in short lengths during the folding process, which allows glue to reach each individual leaf and create a strong bond.

  • Caliper

    The measurement of thickness of paper expressed in thousandths of an inch or mils.

  • Camera Ready

    A term given to any copy, artwork etc., that is prepared for photographic reproduction.

  • Cap Line

    An imaginary horizontal line running across the tops of capital letters.

  • Caps & Lower Case

    Instructions in the typesetting process that indicate the use of a capital letter to start a sentence and the rest of the letters in lower case.

  • Caps & Small Caps

    Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type.

  • Case

    The stiff covers of a hardbound book.

  • Case Binding

    Books bound using hard board (case) covers.

  • Casing In

    The process of placing in and adhering a book to its case covers.

  • Cast Coated

    A paper that is coated and then pressure dried using a polished roller which imparts an enamel like hard gloss finish.

  • Chain Lines

    Lines that appear on laid paper as a result of the wires of the papermaking machine.

  • Chalking

    A term used to describe the quality of print on paper where the absorption of the paper is so great that it breaks up the ink image creating loose pigment dust.

  • Coarse Screen

    Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.

  • Coated Stock

    Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.

  • Cold Color

    Any color that moves toward the blue side in the color spectrum.

  • Cold-Set Inks

    A variety of inks that are in solid form originally but are melted in a hot press and then solidify when they contact paper.

  • Collate

    To gather sheets or signatures together in their correct order. (see Gather)

  • Collating Marks

    Black step-marks printed on the back of folded sheets, to facilitate collating and checking of the sequence of book signatures.

  • Colophon

    A printers or publishers identifying symbol or emblem.

  • Color Bars

    This term refers to a color test strip, which is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It is a standardized (GATF-Graphic Arts Technical Foundation) process which allows a pressman to determine the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain. It also includes the Star Target, which is a similar system designed to detect inking problems.

  • Color Separating

    The processes of separating the primary color components for printing.

  • Color Strength

    A term referring to the relative amount of pigmentation in an ink.

  • Color Transparency

    Transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.

  • Column Gutter

    Space between two or more columns of type on one page.

  • Commercial Register

    Color registration measured within plus or minus one row of dots.

  • Composition

    The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter for reproduction by printing.

  • Condensed Type

    A narrow, elongated type face.

  • Continuous Tone

    Image made of non-discernable picture elements which give appearance of continuous spectrum of grey values or tones.

  • Contrast

    The degree of tonal separation or gradation in the range from black to white.

  • Copy

    Refers to any typewritten material, art, photos etc., to be used for the printing process.

  • Corner Marks

    Marks on a final printed sheet that indicate the trim lines or register indicators.

  • Cover

    A term describing a general type of papers used for the covers of books, pamphlets etc.

  • Cracking

    Delamination.

  • Creep

    When the rubber blanket on a cylinder moves forward due to contact with the plate or paper. Result of added thickness of folded sheets being behind one another in a folded signature. Outer edges of sheets creep away from back most fold as more folded sheets are inserted inside the middle.

  • Crop

    To eliminate a portion of the art or copy as indicated by crop marks.

  • Crop Mark

    Markings at edges of original or on guide sheet to indicate the area desired in reproduction with negative or plate trimmed (cropped) at the markings.

  • Cross-over

    Elements that cross page boundaries and land on two consecutive pages (usually rules).

  • Crossmarks

    Marks of fine lines, which intersect to indicate accurate alignment of art elements.

  • Curl

    Not lying flat and tending to form into cylindrical or wavy shapes. A term to describe the differences of either side of a sheet relative to coatings, absorbency etc.; the concave side is the curl side.

  • Cutter

    Machine for accurately cutting stacks of paper to desired dimensions...can also be used to crease. Also trims out final bound books' top size (soft cover).

  • Cutting Die

    Sharp edged device, usually made of steel, to cut paper, cardboard, etc., on a printing press.

  • Cyan

    A shade of blue used in the four-color process; it reflects blue and green and absorbs red.

  • Cylinder Gap

    The gap in the cylinders of a press where the grippers or blanket clamps is housed.

  • Dampening

    An essential part of the printing process whereby cloth covered rubber rollers distributes the dampening solution to the plate.

  • Deckle Edge

    The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.

  • Delete

    An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

  • Demy

    A term that describes a standard sized printing paper measuring 17.5 x 22.5 in.

  • Densitometer

    An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of color.

  • Density

    The degree of tone, weight of darkness or color within a photo or reproduction; measurable by the densitometer. Reference, densitometer.

  • Descender

    A term that describes that portion of lower case letters which extends below the main body of the letter, as in "p".

  • Die

    Design, letters or shapes, cut into metal (mostly brass) for stamping book covers or embossing. An engraved stamp used for impressing an image or design.

  • Die Cutting

    A method of using sharp steel ruled stamps or rollers to cut various shapes i.e. labels, boxes, image shapes, either post press or in line. The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.

  • Die Stamping

    An intaglio process for printing from images engraved into copper or steel plates.

  • Digital Proof

    A digital proof is a color prepress proofing method where a job is printed from the digital file using inkjet, color laser, dye sublimation, or thermal wax print technologies to give a good approximation of what the final printed piece will look like. The digital proof is generally less expensive than other prepress proofs. Digital proofs can often be produced on the actual paper stock of the job adding another element of accuracy.

    Digital proofing also includes a type of almost-WYSIWYG on-screen monitor proofing or soft proofing generally only used in the early stages of production.

    Digital proofs come in continuous tone and halftone proofs. Strides in color technology increasingly allow some digital proofs to serve as contract proofs.

  • Dimensional stability

    The qualities of paper to stabilize its original size when undergoing pressure or exposed to moisture.

  • Diploma

    A fine paper made specifically for the printing of diplomas, certificates and documents.

  • Display Type

    Any type that stands out from the rest of the type on a page which attracts attention of the reader.

  • Distribution Rollers

    In the printing process, the rubber coated rollers responsible for the distribution of ink from the fountain to the ink drum.

  • Dog Ear

    Occurs when you fold into a fold (such as a letter fold). At the side of one of the creases you get an indentation. It may look like a small inverted triangle.

  • Dot

    The smallest individual element of a halftone.

  • Dot Gain

    Darkening of halftone image due to ink absorption in paper causing halftone dots to enlarge. Terms to describe the occurrence whereby dots are printing larger than they should.

  • Draw-down

    A method used by ink makers to determine the color, quality and tone of ink. It entails the drawing of a spatula over a drop of ink, spreading it flat over the paper.

  • Drier

    A term that describes any additives to ink which encourages the drying process.

  • Drill

    The actual drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.

  • Drop Folio

    Page number printed at foot of page.

  • Drop Shadow

    A shadow image placed strategically behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.

  • Dry Mount

    Pasting with heat sensitive adhesives.

  • Ductor Roller

    The roller between the inking and the dampening rollers.

  • Dull Finish

    Any matte finished paper.

  • Dummy

    A term used to describe the preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product; also called a comp.

  • Dummy Model

    Resembling finished piece in every respect except that the pages and cover are blank, used by the designer as a final check on the appearance and +feel+ of the book as a guide for the size and position of elements on the jacket.

  • Duotone

    Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.

  • Duplex Paper

    Paper which has a different color or finish on each side.

  • Dutch

    Any deckle edged paper, originally produced in the Netherlands. Reference, deckle edge

  • Dye-Based Ink

    Any ink that acquires its color by the use of aniline pigments or dyes. Reference, aniline

  • Eggshell Finish

    The finish of paper surface that resembles an eggshell achieved by omitting the calendar process. Reference, calendar rolls.

  • Electronic Composition

    The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter with graphic elements in page layout form in digital format for reproduction by printing.

  • Elliptical Dot

    Halftone screens in which the dots are actually elongated to produce improved middle tones.

  • Em

    A unit of measurement equaling 12 points or 4.5mm.

  • Embossed

    A method of paper finishing whereby a pattern is pressed into the paper when it is dry.

  • Embossing

    To raise in relief a design or letters already printed on card stock or heavy paper by an uninked block or die. In rubber and plastic plate making the process is usually done by heat.

  • Enamel

    A term that describes a glossy coating on paper.

  • Endsheet

    Attaching the final sheet of a signature of a book to the binding.

  • English Finish

    A grade of uncoated book paper with a smooth uniform surface.

  • Engraving

    A printing process whereby images such as copy or art are etched onto a plate. When ink is applied, these etched areas act as small wells to hold the ink; paper is forced against this die and the ink is lifted out of the etched areas creating raised images on the paper.

  • Estimate

    The form used by the printer to calculate the project for the print buyer. This form contains the basic parameters of the project including size, quantity, colors, bleeds, photos etc.

  • Estimator

    One who computes or approximates the cost of work to be done on which quotation may be based.

  • Etch

    The process of producing an image on a plate by the use of acid.

  • Expanded Type

    Type with width greater than normal producing a rectangular effect.

  • F&G

    A term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering.

  • Fan Fold

    Paper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel.

  • Fat Face

    Type that is quite varied in its use of very thin and very wide strokes.

  • Felt

    A cloth conveyor belt that receives papers from the Fourdrinier wire and delivers it to the drier.

  • Filling In

    A fault in printing where the ink fills in the fine line or halftone dot areas.

  • Finish

    The surface quality of paper.

  • Fit

    The registration of items within a given page.

  • Flush Cover

    A bound book or booklet etc. having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text.

  • Flushed Pigment

    The results of combining a wet ink pigment with a varnish and having the wet pigment mix or transfer over to the varnish.

  • Fogging Back

    Lowering density of an image in a specific area usually to make type more legible while still letting image show through.

  • Foils

    Papers that have a surface resembling metal.

  • Fold Marks

    Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.

  • Folder

    Machine used to fold signatures down into sections.

  • Folio or Page Number

    Number of page at top or bottom either centered, flushed left or flushed right often with running headline.

  • Font

    The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.

  • Form Rollers

    The rollers that come into direct contact with the plate of a printing press.

  • Forwarding

    In Binding, the process between folding sheets and casing in, such as rounding and backing, putting on headbands, reinforcing backs, etc.

  • Free sheet

    Any paper that is free from wood pulp impurities.

  • French Fold(er)

    Folder with printing on one side so that when folded once in each direction, the printing on outside of the folds.

  • Fringe

    A halo that appears around halftone dots.

  • Fuzz

    A term for the fibers that project from the paper surface.

  • Galley Proof

    A proof of text copy before it is pasted into position for printing.

  • Gang

    Group of frames or impositions in the same forme of different jobs arranged and positioned to be printed together.

  • Ganging

    The bundling of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.

  • Gather

    To assemble or collect sections into single copies of complete books for binding.

  • Gathering

    Assembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence; collating.

  • Ghosting

    Marring a print by the placement of an image of work printed on the reverse side which has interfered with its drying so that differences in the trapping frame colors or glass variations are apparent.

  • Gilding

    Sticking on gold leaf to edges of books with a liquid agent and made permanent with burnishing tools.

  • Glassine

    A strong transparent paper.

  • Gloss Ink

    Quick drying oil based inks with low penetration qualities, used on coated stock.

  • Goldenrod

    An orange colored paper with gridlines, used to assemble materials for exposure for platemaking.

  • Graduated Screen

    An area of image where halftone dots range continuously from one density to another.

  • Grain

    Direction of fibers in a sheet of paper governing paper properties such as increased size changes with relative humidity, across the grain, and better folding properties along the grain.

  • Grained Paper

    A paper embossed to resemble various textures, such as leather, alligator, wood, etc.

  • Gravure

    An intaglio or recessed printing process. The recessed areas are like wells that form the image as paper passes through.

  • Gripper

    A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process.

  • Gripper Edge

    The grippers of the printing press move the paper through the press by holding onto the leading edge of the sheet; this edge is the gripper edge.

  • Groundwood

    Low cost papers such as newsprint made by the mechanical pulping process as opposed to chemical pulping and refining.

  • Gumming

    The application of gum arabic to the non printing areas of a plate.

  • Gutter

    Space between pages in the printing frame of a book, or inside margin towards the back or binding edge. The blank space or margin between the type page and the binding of a book.

  • Hairline register

    Printing registration that lies within the range of plus or minus one half row of dots. It is the thinnest of the standard printers' rules.

  • Halftone

    Tone graduated image composed of varying sized dots or lines, with equidistant centers.

  • Halftone Paper

    A high finish paper that is ideal for halftone printing.

  • Hard Dot

    The effect in a photograph where a dot has such a small degree of halation that the dot shows quite sharp.

  • Head Margin

    That space which lies between the top of the printed copy and the trimmed edge.

  • Hickies

    Imperfections in presswork due to dirt on press, trapping errors, etc.

  • High Bulk Paper

    Paper stock that is comparatively thick in relation to its basis weight.

  • High Key Halftone

    A halftone that is made utilizing only the highlight tones down through the middle tones.

  • Highlight Dot

    The highest density of a halftone image.

  • Highlights

    The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots.

  • House Sheet

    This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in his shop.

  • IBC

    Inside back cover.

  • IFC

    Inside front cover.

  • Image Area

    That portion of the printing plate that carries the ink and prints on paper.

  • Image Setter

    High resolution, large format device for producing film from electronically generated page layouts.

  • Imposition

    Arrangement of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet, and the pages are in proper order when the sheets are folded.

  • Impression

    Product resulting from one cycle of printing machine. The pressure of the image carrier, whether it be the type, plate or blanket, when it contacts the paper.

  • Index Bristol

    A relatively thick paper stock; basis size---25 1/2 x 30 1/2.

  • Indicia

    Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes to replace the stamp.

  • Industrial Papers

    A term used to denote papers such as janitorial, sanitary or heavy packing papers.

  • Ink Fountain

    The device which stores and meters ink to the inking rollers.

  • Ink Holdout

    A quality of paper to be resistant to ink absorption, allowing the ink to dry on the paper surface.

  • Ink Setting

    The inertial resistance to flow that occurs to ink as soon as it is printed.

  • Inkometer

    A device used to measure the tack of ink.

  • Inserts

    Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

  • Interleaves

    Extra blank pages inserted loosely into book after printing.

  • Iridescent Paper

    A coated stock finished in mother-of-pearl.

  • Italic

    Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.

  • Jacket

    The paper cover sometimes called the "dust cover" of a hardbound book.

  • Job Number

    A number assigned to a printing project used for record keeping and job tracking. Also used to retrieve old jobs for reprints or reworking by customer.

  • Jog

    To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming.

  • Jogger

    Vibrating, sloping platform that evens up the edges of stacks of paper.

  • Kerning

    The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.

  • Key Plate

    The printing plate that is used as a guide for the other plates in the color printing process; it usually has the most detail.

  • Keyline

    Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations etc.

  • Kiss Impression

    A delicate printed impression, just heavy enough to be seen.

  • Kraft

    A coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.

  • Lacquer

    A clear gloss coating applied to printed material for strength, appearance and protection.

  • Laid Finish

    A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.

  • Laser Engraving

    A paper cutting technique whereby laser technology is utilized to cut away certain unmasked areas of the paper. The cutting is a result of the exposure of the paper to the laser ray, which actually evaporates the paper.

  • Lay Edge

    Edge of a sheet of paper being fed into a printing press.

  • Layout

    A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, roughs, thumbnails etc., of the final printed piece before it goes to print.

  • Leaders

    The dots or dashes used in type to guide the eye from one set of type to the next.

  • Leading

    Space between lines of type; the distance in points between one baseline and the next.

  • Leaf

    One of a number of folds (each containing two pages) which comprises a book or manuscript.

  • Leaf Stamping

    A metal die, either (flat, or embossed), created from the image or copy, which is then heated to a specific temperature which allows the transfer of a film of pigmented polyester to the paper.

  • Ledger Paper

    A stiff heavy business paper generally used for keeping records.

  • Letterpress

    Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces to create the image.

  • Letterspacing

    The addition of space between typeset letters.

  • Line Copy

    Any copy that can be reproduced without the use of halftone screens.

  • Linen

    A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.

  • Lithocoated Paper

    A paper that is coated with a special water-resistant material which is able to withstand the lithographic process.

  • Lithography

    The process of printing that utilizes flat inked surfaces to create the printed images.

  • Logotype

    A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.

  • M weight

    The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.

  • Magnetic Black

    Black pigments containing black iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition.

  • Make Ready

    Process of adjusting final plate on the press to fine tune or modify plate surface.

  • Margin

    Imprinted space around edge of page.

  • Mark-up

    To write up instructions, as on a dummy.

  • Mask (1)

    The blocking out of a portion of the printing plate during the exposure process.

  • Mask (2)

    A photo negative or positive used in the color separation process to color correct. Reference, PRINTING, mask.

  • Match Print

    Photographic proof made from all color flats and form composite proof showing color quality as well as accuracy, layout, and imposition before plates are made.

  • Matte Finish

    A coated paper finish that goes through minimal calendaring. Reference, calendaring.

  • Measure

    The width of type as measured in picas. Reference, picas.

  • Mechanical

    A term used to describe finished artwork that is camera ready for reproduction, including all type, photos, illustrations etc.

  • Metropolitan Service Area

    A group of ZIP codes usually in close proximity defining a large metropolitan area (e.g. New York City or Los Angeles).

  • Midtone Dot

    Commonly taken as the area between highlight and shadow area of a subject's face in halftone image.

  • Moire

    An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.

  • Molybdate Orange

    An ink pigment made from precipitating lead molybdate, lead sulfate and lead chromate.

  • Mottle

    A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.

  • Natural

    A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood; also called cream, off-white or ivory.

  • Negative

    Film that contains the same images as the original print, except that all colors and shades are reversed. Reference, positive.

  • Newsprint

    A light, low cost groundwood paper made especially for newspapers. Reference, groundwood.

  • Nominal Weight

    When the basis weight of paper differs from the actual weight, the term nominal weight is used.

  • OA Of Register

    When two sheet passes on a press are misaligned.

  • OBC

    Outside back cover.

  • Oblong

    A term used to describe printed books, catalogs etc., that are bound on their shorter side; also referred to as album bound.

  • OFC

    Outside front cover.

  • Offset

    The most commonly used printing method, whereby the printed material does not receive the ink directly from the printing plate but from an intermediary cylinder called a blanket which receives the ink from the plate and transfers it to the paper.

  • Offset Gravure

    A complex offset process involving multiple transfers between the gravure plate, the plate cylinder and a solid rubber plate.

  • Offset Lithography

    Indirect printing method in which the inked image on the press-plate is first printed onto a rubber blanket, then in turn offsets the inked impression on to the sheet of paper.

  • Offset Paper

    A term for uncoated book paper.

  • Onionskin

    A light bond paper used for typing and used with carbon paper because of its thinness.

  • Opacity

    Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.

  • Opaque

    A quality of paper that allows relatively little light to pass through.

  • Opaque Ink

    Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.

  • Over Run

    Surplus of copies printed.

  • Overhang Cover

    A cover of a book that extends over the trimmed signatures it contains.

  • Overlay

    A transparent sheet placed over artwork, in register with the work it covers; this is used to call out other color components of the work, instructions or corrections.

  • Overlay Proof

    A process of proof making whereby the color separations are individually exposed to light sensitive film. This film is then set in registration with a piece of white paper in the background.

  • Overprinting

    Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.

  • Overset

    Type that is set in excess of the allotted space.

  • Page

    One side of a leaf.

  • Page Makeup

    The assemblage of all the necessary elements required to complete a page.

  • Page Proofs

    Proofs made up from pages.

  • Paperboard

    Any paper with a thickness (caliper) of 12 points (.3mm) or more.

  • Papeterie

    A high-grade soft paper used for personal stationery because it accepts handwriting well.

  • Parchment

    A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin; used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.

  • Parent Sheet

    A sheet that is larger than the cut stock of the same paper.

  • Paste Ink

    An ink having a high level of viscosity.

  • Paste-up

    Preparation of positive materials into a layout for photographing to film negatives.

  • Peeling

    Delamination.

  • Perf Marks

    Markings usually dotted lines at edges showing where perforations should occur.

  • Perfect

    A term used to describe the binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.

  • Perfect Binding

    Binding process where backs of sections are cut off, roughened and glued together, and rung in a cover.

  • Perfecting

    Printing both sides of the paper (or other material) on the same pass through the printing machine.

  • Perfecting Press

    A printing press that prints on both sides of the page in a single pass.

  • Perforating

    Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.

  • Phthalocyanine

    The main pigment in the manufacture of cyan ink.

  • Pica

    Standard of measurement, 1/6 inch. 1 pica = 12 points 72 points = 1 inch

  • Pin Register

    Using metal pins fitted into preset holes of copy sheets, films, plates and presses that will assure the proper registration.

  • Pinholing

    Failure of printed ink to form a completely continuous film, visible in the form of small holes in the printed areas.

  • Plate

    Reproduction of type or cuts in metal, plastic, rubber, or other material, to form a plate bearing a relief, planographic or intaglio printing surface.

  • Plate Cylinder

    The cylinder on a printing press on which the plate is mounted.

  • Plate Finish

    Any bond, cover or bristol stock with an extremely smooth finish achieved by calendaring.

  • Platemaking

    Making a printing plate from a film or flat including preparation of the plate surface, sensitizing, exposing through the flat, developing or processing, and finishing.

  • Point

    A measurement unit equal to 1/72 of an inch. 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch.

  • Positive

    Film that contains an image with the same tonal values as the original; opposite of a negative.

  • Ppi

    Pixels per inch.

  • Premium

    Any paper that is considered better than #1 by its manufacturer.

  • Press-Proof

    Actual press sheet to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.

  • Primary Colors

    In printing the four primary colors are cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black.

  • Printability

    The quality of papers to show reproduced printed images.

  • Printers Pairs

    Two consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.

  • Process Inks

    Printing inks, usually in sets of four colors. The most frequent combination is yellow, magenta, cyan, and black, which are printed, one over another in that order, to obtain a colored print with the desired hues, whites, blacks, and grays.

  • Process Printing

    Printing from two or more half tones to produce intermediate colors and shades.

  • Rag paper

    Papers with a complete or partial content of cotton fibers.

  • Ragged Left

    The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.

  • Ragged Right

    The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.

  • Railroad Board

    A thick, coated paper used for signs; usually waterproof.

  • Readers Pairs

    Two consecutive pages as they appear in printed piece.

  • Ream

    500 sheets of paper.

  • Recto

    The odd numbered pages (right hand side) of books.

  • Reducer

    Any substance that softens and reduces the tack of ink.

  • Register

    The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.

  • Register Marks

    Any crossmarks or other symbols used on layout to assure proper registration.

  • Right Angle Fold

    A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

  • Rub Proof

    That stage of printed ink where the maximum dryness is achieved, and the ink will not smudge.

  • Rubine

    A pigment somewhat redder than true magenta.

  • Run-Around

    A term given to copy that accommodates the lines of a picture or other image or copy.

  • Runability

    A term used to describe how well a paper runs on a printing press.

  • Running Head

    A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.

  • Saddle Stitching

    Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections, either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section.

  • Safety Paper

    A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.

  • Satin Finish

    A smooth delicately embossed finished paper with sheen.

  • Scaling

    The enlargement or reduction of an image or copy to fit a specific area.

  • Score

    Impressions or cuts in flat material to facilitate bending or tearing.

  • Screen Angles

    The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moire patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45deg, magenta 75deg, yellow 90deg, and cyan 105deg.

  • Screen Ruling

    A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.

  • Screened Print

    A photo print made by using a halftone negative; also called a velox.

  • Scum

    Unwanted ink marks in the non-image area.

  • Self Cover

    A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal sheets.

  • Shadow Dot

    The lowest density of a halftone image.

  • Sharpen

    To decrease the dot size of the halftone which in turn decreases the color strength.

  • Sheetwise

    The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the page over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.

  • Show Through

    A problem that occurs when the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side.

  • Side Guide

    The guides on the sides of the sheet fed press that position the sheet sideways as the paper is led towards the front guides.

  • Side Stitching

    Stitching where the wire staples pass through the pile of sections or leaves gathered upon each other and are clinched on the underside.

  • Signature (Section)

    Printed sheet (or its flat) that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.

  • Silhouette halftone

    A halftone with the background screen removed.

  • Slitting

    A term to describe the process of cutting of printed sheets by the cutting wheels of a printing press.

  • Smoothness

    That quality of paper defined by its levelness which allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.

  • Soft Dot

    An excessively large halo around a dot in a photograph that causes a fringe that diminishes the dot intensity.

  • Spine

    Back edge of a book.

  • Spiral Bind

    A binding whereby a wire or plastic is spiraled through holes punched along the binding side.

  • Spot Color

    Spot colors are specially mixed inks that come in a rainbow of colors, including some speciality inks such as metallic and flourescent. Unlike CMYK or process color which creates colors by laying down layer of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black in varying amounts on the printed page, spot colors are pre-mixed and applied individually to the printed page.

    Spot colors are specified and used in desktop publishing with emphasis on PANTONE (PMS Colors), the dominant spot color printing system in the United States. Other spot color systems include TOYO, DIC, and ANPA.

  • Spread

    A film image that is larger than the original image to accommodate ink trapping. Reference, trapping

  • Stability

    The quality of paper to maintain its original size when it undergoes pressure and moisture changes.

  • Stagger Cutting

    A process of cutting many sheets from the same parent sheet in which the smaller sheets have different grain directions; also called dutch or bastard cutting.

  • Star Target

    The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, GATF has established various quality control images; the star target appears along with the color bar and helps the pressman detect any irregularity in the ink spread. Reference, Color Bars

  • Static Neutralizer

    A device on a printing press that minimizes the amount of static build up on paper as it passes through the press.

  • Step And Repeat

    A process of generating multiple exposures by taking an image and stepping it according to a predetermined layout.

  • Stet

    A proofreader's symbol that is usually written in the copy margin, that indicates that the copy, which was marked for correction, should be left as it was.

  • Stock

    A term for unprinted paper or other material to be printed.

  • Stumping Or Blocking

    Impressing book covers, etc., by means of hot die, brass types or blocks.

  • Synthetic Papers

    Any petroleum based waterproof papers with a high tensile strength.

  • Tack

    The adhesive quality of inks.

  • Tag

    A dense, strong paper stock.

  • Tensile Strength

    A paper's ability to withstand pressure.

  • Text

    A high quality printing paper.

  • Thermography

    A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and while the ink is still wet, it is lightly dusted with a resinous powder. The paper then passes through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.

  • Tint

    A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.

  • Tooth

    The rough surfaced finish of papers such as vellum or antique.

  • Transparent

    Inks that do not block out the colored inks that they print over, but instead blend with them to create intermediate colors.

  • Trapping

    The process of printing wet ink over printed ink which may be wet or dry.

  • Trim Marks

    Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.

  • Two-sidedness

    The difference in feel and appearance of either side of a sheet of paper due to the papermaking process having a felt and wire side.

  • Uncalendared

    Papers that are not smoothed by going through the calendaring process.

  • Up

    A term used to describe how many similar sheets can be produced on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.

  • Upright

    A term given to books bound on the longer dimension.

  • Varnish

    A clear shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces. The primary component of the ink vehicle. Reference, vehicle.

  • Vellum

    A finish of paper that is rough, bulky and has a degree of tooth.

  • Verso

    A term given to the left-hand or even-numbered pages of a book.

  • Vignette

    Fade to white or small decorative design or illustration. A photo or illustration etc., in which the tones fade gradually away until they blend with the surface they are printed on.

  • W&B

    An abbreviation for work and back. Reference, sheetwise.

  • W&T

    An abbreviation for work and turn.

  • Walk-off

    A term given to the occurrence of plate deterioration of the image area during the printing process; usually occurs on long runs.

  • Washup

    The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from all of the printing elements (rollers, plate, ink fountain etc.) of a press.

  • Watermark

    A translucent logo that is embossed during the papermaking process while the paper slurry is on the dandy roll. Reference, dandy roll

  • Web Press

    Cylinder printing machine in which the paper is fed from a continuous reel, as opposed to sheet fed.

  • Web Tension

    The term given to the tension or pull exerted by the web press on the web roll.

  • Wedding Paper

    A soft paper that is thick and holds up well under embossing.

  • Widow

    A single word or two left at the end of a paragraph, or a part of a sentence ending a paragraph, which loops over to the next page and stands alone. Also, the last sentence of a paragraph which contains only one or two short words.

  • Wire Stitching Or Stapling

    To fasten together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples. 3 methods... saddle stitching, side stitching, and stabbing.

  • Wove

    A smooth paper made on finely textured wire that gives the paper a gentle patterned finish.

  • Wrinkles

    The unevenly dried surface of printed inks.

  • Writing Paper

    Another name for bond paper.

  • Xerographic Paper

    Papers made to reproduce well in copy machines and laser printers.

  • Yield Value

    The actual amount of force needed to start an ink flowing.