Glossary

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

A

Acetate
A transparent sheet placed over originals or artwork, allowing the designer to write instructions and\or indicate a second color for placement.
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 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.
Artwork
All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.
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.

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B

Bind
The joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue or other means.
Bindery
A department within a printing company responsible for collating, folding and trimming various printing projects.
Bleed
Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.
Body
The main text of work not including the headlines.
Bond Paper
Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also called business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper and writing paper.

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C

C1S and C2S
Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.
Camera-ready copy
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.
Carbonless Paper
Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.
CMYK
Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.
Coated Paper
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.
Collate
To organize printed matter in a specific order as requested.
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.
Color Correct
To adjust the relationship among the process colors to achieve desirable colors.
Color Curves
Instructions in computer software that allow users to change or correct colors. Also called HLS and HVS tables.
Color Gamut
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.
Cerlox/Comb Bind
To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper. Also called CERLOX bind and GBC bind
Coverage
Extent to which ink covers the surface of a substrate. Ink coverage is usually expressed as light, medium or heavy.
Cover Paper
Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.
Creep
Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages. Also called feathering, outpush, push out and thrust. See also Shingling.
Crop Marks
Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks and tic marks.
Cutting Machine
A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing.
Cutting Die
Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.
Cyan
One of the four process colors. Also known as process blue.

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D

Data Compression
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.
Die
Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.
Die Cut
To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.
Digital Proofing
Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or ink-jet.
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.
Dog Ear
When a letter fold at the side of one of the crease happens, an indentation occurs.
Dots-per-inch
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.
DPI
Considered as "dots per square inch," a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.
Drill
In the printing arena, to drill a whole in a printed matter.
Dual-purpose Bond Paper
Bond paper suitable for printing by either lithography (offset) or xerography (photocopy). Abbreviated DP bond paper.
Dull Finish
Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.
Dummy
Simulation of the final product. Also called mockup.
Duotone
Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.

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E

Emboss
To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface. Also called cameo and tool.
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file
Computer file containing both images and PostScript commands. Abbreviated EPS file.
Estimate
Price that states what a job will probably cost. Also called bid, quotation and tender.

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F

Film Laminate
Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection or increased gloss.
Fine Papers
Papers made specifically for writing or commercial printing, as compared to coarse papers and industrial papers. Also called cultural papers and graphic papers.
Fine Screen
Screen with ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimeter) or more.
Finish
(1) Surface characteristics of paper. (2) General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post press operations.
Finished Size
Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.
Fixed Costs
Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs.
Flat Size
Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.
Flush Cover
Cover trimmed to the same size as inside pages, as compared to overhang cover. Also called cut flush.
Flyleaf
Leaf, at the front and back of a casebound book that is the one side of the end paper not glued to the case.
Foil Emboss
To foil stamp and emboss an image. Also called heat stamp.
Foil 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.
Folder
A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials.
Fold Marks
With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges.
Foldout
Gatefold sheet bound into a publication, often used for a map or chart. Also called gatefold and pullout.
Format
Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product.
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.
French Fold
A printed sheet, printed one side only, folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.
FSC Paper
Paper carrying a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification was produced using sustainable and responsible forest management practices as defined by the Forest Stewardship Council organization.

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G

Gate Fold
A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.
Ghosting
(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.
Gloss
Consider the light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g., paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish).
Grain Direction
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.
Graphic Design
Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colors and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message.
Graphics
Visual elements that supplement type to make printed messages more clear or interesting.
Gray Balance
Printed cyan, magenta and yellow halftone dots that accurately, reproduce a neutral gray image.
Gripper Edge
Edge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheetfed press, thus going first through the press. Also called feeding edge and leading edge.
Gutter
In the book arena, the inside margins toward the back or the binding edges.

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H

Hairline (Rule)
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.
Halftone
(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.
Halftone Screen
Piece of film or glass containing a grid of lines that breaks light into dots. Also called contact screen and screen.
Head-to-tail
Imposition with heads (tops) of pages facing tails (bottoms) of other pages.
House Sheet
Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a variety of printing jobs. Also called floor sheet.
Hue
A specific color such as yellow or green.

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I

Image Area
The actual area on the printed matter that is not restricted to ink coverage.
Imposition
Arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.
Impression
Referring to an ink color, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit.
Ink Jet Printing
Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles. Also called jet printing.
Inserts
Within a publication, an additional item positioned into the publication loose (not bound in).
Interleaves
Printed pages loosely inserted in a publication.
ISBN
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.

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J

Job Number
A number assigned to a specific printing project in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping. Also Called Req number
Job Requisition
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.
Jogger
A vibration machine with a slopping platform to even-up stacks of printed materials.

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K

K
Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing. Hence the 'K' in CMYK.
Kraft Paper
Strong paper used for wrapping and to make grocery bags and large envelopes.

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L

Laminate
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.
Landscape
Artist style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)
Layout
A sample of the original providing (showing) position of printed work (direction, instructions) needed and desired.
Leaf
One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.
Ledger Paper
Strong, smooth bond paper used for keeping business records. Also called record paper.
Letter fold
Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope. Also called barrel fold and wrap around fold.
Letter Paper
In North America, 8 1/2' x 11' sheets. In Europe, A4 sheets.
Linen Finish
Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.
Lithography
Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose nonimage areas repel ink. Non-image areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.
Looseleaf
Binding method allowing insertion and removal of pages in a publication (e.g., trim-4-drill-3).
Loupe
Lens built into a small stand. Used to inspect copy, film, proofs, plates and printing. Also called glass and linen tester.

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M

Magenta
One of the four process colors.
Makeready
(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.
Manuscript (MS)
An author's original form of work (hand written, typed or on disk) submitted for publication.
Margin
Imprinted space around the edge of the printed material.
Mark-Up
Instructions written usually on a "dummy."
Mask
To prevent light from reaching part of an image, therefore isolating the remaining part. Also called knock out.
Master
Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press.
Matte Finish
Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
Metallic Ink
Ink containing powdered metal or pigments that simulate metal.
Midtones
In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows.
Mock Up
A reproduction of the original printed matter possibly containing instructions or direction.
Modem
Mostly used over phone lines, a device that converts electronic stored information from point a to point b.
Moire
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.
Monarch
Paper size (7' x 10') and envelope shape often used for personal stationery.
M Weight
Weight of 1,000 sheets of paper in any specific size.

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N

Natural Color
Very light brown color of paper. May also be called antique, cream, ivory, off-white or mellow white.
Neutral Gray
Gray with no hue or cast.
News Print
Paper used in printing newspapers. Considered low quality and "a short life use."

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O

Offset Printing
Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
Opacity
(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.
Opaque
(1) Not transparent. (2) To cover flaws in negative with tape or opaquing paint. Also called block out and spot.
Over Run
Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies in the printing industry.

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P

Page
One side of a leaf in a publication.
Page Count
Total number of pages that a publication has. Also called extent.
Page Proof
Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.
Panel
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.
Pantone Colors
Trade name of the colors in the Pantone Matching System. Industry standard used for colors.
Parallel Fold
Method of folding. Two parallel folds to a sheet will produce 6 panels.
Paste-up
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.
PE
Proofreader mark meaning printer error and showing a mistake by a typesetter, prepress service or printer as compared to an error by the customer.
Perfect Bind
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.
Perf Marks
On a "dummy" marking where the perforation is to occur.
Perforating
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).
Pica
A unit of measure in the printing industry. A pica is approximately 0.166 in. There are 12 points to a pica.
Plate
Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.
Platemaker
(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.
PMS
Abbreviation for Pantone Matching System.
Portrait
An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.)
Prepress
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.
Preprint
To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting.
Price Break
Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.
Printer Spreads
Mechanicals made so they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads.
Printing
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.
Process Color (Inks)
The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Production Run
Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to makeready.
Proof
Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.
Proofreader Marks
Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also called correction marks.
Proportion Scale
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.
Publishing Paper
Paper made in weights, colors and surfaces suited to books, magazines, catalogs and free-standing inserts.

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Q

Quick Printing
Printing using small sheetfed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper.
Quotation
Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.

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R

Rag Paper
Stationery or other forms of stock having a strong percentage content of cotton rags.
Ream
500 sheets of paper.
Recycled Paper
New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
Register
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.
Register Marks
Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.
Resolution
Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.
Resolution Target
An image, such as the GATF Star Target, that permits evaluation of resolution on film, proofs or plates.
Reverse
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.
RGB
Abbreviation for red, green, blue, the additive color primaries.
Rule
Line used as a graphic element to separate or organize copy.

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S

Saddle Stitch
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.
Satin Finish
Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.
Scale
To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing.
Scanner
Electronic device used to scan an image.
Score
To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.
Screen Printing
Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.
Self Cover
Usually in the book arena, a publication not having a cover stock. A publication only using text stock throughout.
Self Mailer
A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently.
Separated Art
Art with elements that print in the base color on one surface and elements that print in other colors on other surfaces. Also called pre-separated art.
Separations
Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding images of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film.
Shade
Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint.
Shadows
Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and high-lights.
Side Stitch
To bind by stapling through sheets along one edge, as compared to saddle stitch. Also called cleat stitch and side wire.
Signature
Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine or other publication.
Slip Sheets
Separate sheets (stock) independent from the original run positioned between the "printed run" for a variety of reasons.
Solid
Any area of the sheet receiving 100 percent ink coverage, as compared to a screen tint.
Specifications
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.
Spine
Back or binding edge of a publication
Spiral Bind
To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind.
Split Run
(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.
Spoilage
Paper that, due to mistakes or accidents, must be thrown away instead of delivered printed to the customer, as compared to waste.
Spread
(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.
Stock Paper
Popular sizes, weights and colors of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant's warehouse.
Substrate
Any surface or material on which printing is done.
SWOP
Abbreviation for specifications for web offset publications, specifications recommended for web printing of publications.

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T

Tabloid
11” x 17” sheet of paper
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. Abbreviated TIFF.
Template
Concerning a printing project's basic details in regard to its dimensions. A standard layout.
Text Paper
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.
Tip In
Usually in the book arena, adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process (separate insertion).
Transparency
Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through. Also called chrome, color transparency and tranny.
Trim Size
The size of the printed material in its finished stage (e.g., the finished trim size is 5 1/2 x 8 1/2).

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U

Uncoated Paper
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.
Up
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.
UV Coating
Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

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V

Value
The shade (darkness) or tint (lightness) of a color. Also called brightness, lightness, shade and tone.
Varnish
Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.
Vellum Finish
Somewhat rough, toothy finish.
Vignette
Decorative design or illustration fade to white.
Virgin Paper
Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.

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W

Waste
Unusable paper or paper damage during normal makeready, printing or binding operations, as compared to spoilage.
Watermark
Translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing by slight embossing from a dandy roll while paper is still approximately 90 percent water.
Window
(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.
With the Grain
Parallel to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to against the grain. See also Grain Direction.

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