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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 V W X
  • Abrasion Resistance

    The resistance to scratching of a surface of paper by other paper surfaces or other materials.

  • Absorbency

    The ability of a material to take up moisture

  • 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 affect.

  • Acetate

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

  • Acrylic

    A water-soluble polymer used in paints to make them dry both tough and flexible. Also can refer to clear rigid plastic sheets such as Plexiglas.

  • Additive Colors

    In photographic reproduction, the primary colors of red, green and blue which are mixed to form all other colors.

  • Airbrush

    A compressed air tool that dispenses a fine mist of paint or ink; used in illustration and photo retouching.

  • 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.

  • Amberlith

    Red-orange acetate used for masking mechanicals when photographing for plates. The amberlith area appears black to the camera, and prints clear on the resulting film.

  • Art Work

    Any materials or images that are prepared for graphic reproduction.

  • 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".

  • Assembled negative

    Film negatives consisting of line and halftone copy which are used to make plates for printing.

  • Author's Alterations (AA's)

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    The support onto which printing plates is fixed.

  • Base Film

    The foundation material onto which the film positives are stripped for making printing plates. Reference, photomechanical.

  • Base Line

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

  • 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.

  • Binder's Board

    A heavy paperboard with a cloth covering that is used for hardback binding of books.

  • Binding

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

  • Blanket

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

  • 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 Embossing

    Embossed forms that are not inked, or gold leafed.

  • Blue-Line

    Photographic proof made from flats for checking accuracy, layout and imposition before plates are made. Also known as a dylux.

  • 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.

  • Boiler Plate

    Repetitive blocks of type that are picked up and included routinely without recreating them.

  • Boldface

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Break For Color

    In layout design, the term for dividing or separating the art and copy elements into single color paste-up sheets.

  • Bristol Board

    A board paper of various thickness; having a smooth finish and used for printing and drawing.

  • Brocade

    A heavily embossed paper.

  • Brochure

    A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.

  • Bronzing

    A printing method whereby special ink is applied to sheets and then a powder is applied producing a metallic effect.

  • Brownline Proof

    A photographic proof made by exposing a flat to UV light creating a brown image on a white background. Also referred to as silverprint.

  • Bulk

    A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.

  • 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.

  • Burn

    A term used in plate making to describe the amount of plate exposure time.

  • Burnish

    A term used for the process of "rubbing down" lines and dots on a printing plate, which darkens those rubbed areas.

  • Burnishing

    Creating a polished finish on paper by rubbing with stone or hand smoothing a surface.

  • 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.

  • Cameo

    A dull coated paper, which is particularly useful in reproducing halftones and engravings.

  • Camera Ready

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

  • Canvas Board

    A paperboard with a surface of simulated canvas, used for painting.

  • 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.

  • Cast Coated

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

  • CMYK

    CMYK (or sometimes YMCK) is a subtractive color model used in color printing. This color model is based on mixing pigments of the following colors in order to make other colors: C=Cyan, M=Magenta, Y=Yellow, K=Key (black)

  • Coarse Screen

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

  • Coated (Paper)

    Paper coated with clay, white pigments and a binder. Better for printing because there is less picking.

  • Coated Stock

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

  • Collate

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

  • 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 Calibration

    A process by which the input (digital Camera, Scanner) Monitor, and Output (printer) are matched to use the same or similar color palette. This insures that the image as seen on the monitor has the same range of colors as the image that is printed, and any adjustments made to the color of the image in the computer are accurately represented when the image is printed.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Deckle Edge

    The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.

  • Delete

    An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

  • 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.

  • Density

    The lay of paper fibers relative to tightness or looseness which affects the bulk, the absorbency and the finish of the paper.

  • 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.

  • Digital Photo Retouching

    Repairing or altering specific elements of a photographic print, digital photograph, or transparency with artistic computer imaging techniques.

  • Digital Printing

    a broad term that includes any reproduction technology that receives electronic files and uses spots (or dots) for replication. Ink, toner, inkjet, or any other dye- or pigmented-based transfer system may be used.

  • Digital Proof

    Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed.

  • Dimensional stability

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

  • Direct Screen Halftone

    A color separation process using a halftone negative made by direct contact with the halftone screen.

  • Direct to Plate

    digital files are sent to a plate making machine where a laser burns the image on to a polyester or aluminum plate, this saves time by eliminating the need to produce film negatives, sometimes the plates are imaged on the press.

  • Display Type

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

  • 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.

  • DPI

    Abbreviation of dots per inch, which indicates the resolution of images. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution. A metric used to measure print and screen resolution. A common resolution for laser printers is 600 dots per inch. This means 600 dots across and 600 dots down, so there are 360,000 dots per square inch.

  • Drill

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Dye-Based Ink

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

  • 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.

  • Electronic Proof

    A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the color separation negatives; the paper is passed through the electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.

  • 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.

  • Emulsion

    A light sensitive substance used as a coating for film; made from a silver halide compound. This side should face the lens when the film is exposed.

  • Enamel

    A term that describes a very high gloss coating on paper. The most familiar brand name for such a coating is KromeKote.

  • 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.

  • EPS

    (Encapsulated PostScript) File format used to transfer PostScript image information from one program to another.

  • 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.

  • Expanded Type

    Type with width greater than normal producing a rectangular effect.

  • Exposure

    That stage of the photographic process where the image is produced on the light sensitive coating.

  • Extender

    A white pigment added to a colored pigment to reduce its intensity and improve its working qualities.

  • Fan Fold

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

  • Felt

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

  • Felt Finish

    The smoother side of paper, usually a soft weave pattern used for book papers.

  • Felt Side

    It is the top side of the sheet in the paper making process that does not lie on the Fourdrinier wire.

  • Film Separations

    Four pieces of film (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) that when combined create a full-color template that is used by the printer to create the images in your printed piece.

  • Finish

    The surface quality of paper.

  • Finish (Paper)

    Dull - (low gloss) also matte or matte gloss.

  • Fit

    The registration of items within a given page.

  • Flat

    In lithography, the assembly of photographic negatives or positives on vinyl acetate for exposure in vacuum frame in contact with sensitized metal press plate.

  • 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.

  • Four Color Process

    Printing in full color using four color separation negatives - yellow, magenta, cyan and black. When blended, these four colors reproduce only a small portion of all the colors found in nature, but they can reproduce the widest range with the fewest inks when printing.

  • French Fold(er)

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

  • Galley

    (old) flat oblong tray into which composed type matter is put and kept until made up into pages in the forme. Also a similar tray on a slug composing machine which receives the slugs as they are ejected. Also a long column of composed text matter

  • 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.

  • Gatorboard

    A rugged, durable board that comes in varying thicknesses and resists dents and punctures because unlike Foamboard, it's surfaces are a tough plastic rather than paper.

  • 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.

  • Ghosting

    Image which appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print due to local blanket depressions from previous image areas on a letterpress rotary machine as well as on an offset press.

  • Gigo

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Screen

    A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.

  • Hard Dot

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Indicia

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

  • Inserts

    Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

  • Integral Proof

    A proof made by exposing each of the four-color separations to an emulsion layer of primary colors. These emulsion sheets are stacked in register with a white sheet of paper in the background. Types of integral proofs are cromalin, matchprint, ektaflex, and spactraproof.

  • Interleaves

    Extra blank pages inserted loosely into book after printing.

  • Italic

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

  • 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.

  • Jogger

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

  • JPEG

    A standardized image compression mechanism. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the original name of the committee that wrote the standard. JPEG is designed for compressing either full-color or gray-scale images.

  • Kerning

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

  • Keyline

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Machine Coated

    Paper that has had a coating applied to either one or two of its sides during the papermaking process.

  • Machine Direction

    An alternate term for grain direction.

  • Machine Finish

    A paper finish that results from the interaction of the paper with the Fourdrinier process as opposed to post machine embossing. Reference, Fourdrinier

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mechanical

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

  • 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.

  • Mottle

    A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.

  • Native File

    The working copy of the file written in the native format. You must have the application to open and alter this file.

  • 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.

  • OBC

    Outside back cover.

  • OFC

    Outside front cover.

  • Off-shore Paper

    Any papers made outside the US and Canada.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Pantone

    A standard set of colors, with each color specified by a number. The Pantone colors can be further broken down into a color separation used by professional printers to calibrate color reproduction.

  • Paperboard

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

  • 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-up

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

  • PDF

    (Portable Document Format) A file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDFs can be read by any computer without platform conflicts.

  • 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.

  • Photomechanical

    The platemaking process where plates are coated with photosensitive coatings and exposed to photo negatives or positives.

  • Photostat

    A photographic print creating an image using photography and electrostatic processes; also called a stat.

  • Pica

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

  • Picking (2)

    An occurrence in printing whereby the tack of ink pulls fibers or coating off the paper surface, leaving spots on the printed surface.

  • Pinholing

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

  • Plastic Comb

    A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the side closest the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.

  • 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.

  • PMT

    Photomechanical transfer.

  • Point

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

  • Polypropylene

    A tough, lightweight rigid plastic made by the polymerization of high-purity propylene gas in the presence of an organometallic catalyst at relatively low pressures and temperatures. Ideal substrate for temporary use banners.

  • Positive

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

  • PostScript File

    A file created by printing a page layout to a disk file rather than printing directly to a PostScript laser printer. This allows the user to transport the file to another location and download it to a PostScript laser printer.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Progressive Proofs

    Any proofs made from the separate plates of a multi-plate-printing project.

  • Proof

    Impression from composed type or blocks, taken for checking and correction, from a lithographic plate to check accuracy of layout, type matter, tone and color reproduction.

  • Pull For Position

    Guide sheet for the positioning of type, blocks, etc.

  • 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.

  • RC Paper

    Resin coated white paper with a photo-sensitive coating. Used in the production of "camera ready" art. Can be either imaged directly in an imagesetter or created by light exposure on paper through a film negative. In either case, the finished product is a high resolution black image on a white sheet.

  • Readers Pairs

    Two consecutive pages as they appear in printed piece.

  • Ream

    500 sheets of paper.

  • 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.

  • Resolution

    A measurement of the output quality of an image, usually in terms of samples, pixels, dots, or lines per inch. The terminology varies according to the intended output device. DPI (dots per inch) refers to print resolution. Often images are referred to as high resolution (hi-res) or low resolution (low-res). High resolution would be an image intended for print, generally having 300 samples per inch or more. Low resolution refers to images only intended for screen display, generally having 100 pixels per inch or less.

  • RGB

    The RGB color model utilizes the additive model in which red, green, and blue light are combined in various ways to create other colors. The very idea for the model itself and the abbreviation "RGB" come from the three primary colors in additive light models.

  • Right Angle Fold

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

  • Roll To Roll

    A web press printing process where the roll of paper is printed and stored on a roll to be shipped.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Sintra

    An expanded PVC (plastic) board that is very durable and easy to shape. Popular for exhibits that will be shipped often, Sintra resists bent corners and warping.

  • 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

    Small area printed in a second color.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Strip-In

    To add an element, such as copy that is shot separately, and then stripped into place on a goldenrod flat.

  • Stripping

    Originally, the removal of the photographic emulsion with its image from individual negatives and combining them in position on a glass plate. Now the use of stripfilm materials, and the cutting, attachment, and other operations for assembling. The positioning of positives and negatives on the flat before proceeding to platemaking.

  • Styrene

    Typically used in injection molding, this common form of plastic is available in a wide variety of extrusions, sheets, and strips. It is a very durable substrate to mount images to and it comes in a variety of thicknesses.

  • Subtractive Color

    Commonly called the CMYK color model. White is produced when subtracting the primaries red, yellow and blue. Cyan, magenta and yellow pigments or dyes are used in printing presses to approximate these primaries, and black is added to compensate for chemical impurities, creating richer blacks and deeper shadow tones. In newer inkjet printers Cyan Light and Yellow Light are also added to add color to the highlights less than 20%. The color gamut of CMYK systems is generally very narrow compared to RGB. See also Additive Color.

  • Super Calendaring

    A machine procedure that produces a high finished paper surface that is extremely smooth and exceptional for printing.

  • Synthetic Papers

    Any petroleum based waterproof papers with a high tensile strength.

  • Tensile Strength

    A paper's ability to withstand pressure.

  • 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.

  • TIFF

    (Tagged Image File Format) A widely used file format for storing gray scale and color images.

  • Tint

    A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.

  • Tooth

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

  • 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.

  • Vacuum Frame

    Also called a contact frame; used in the platemaking process to hold materials in tight contact during exposure.

  • 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.

  • Velour Paper

    A term given to papers that are coated with an adhesive and then flock dusted.

  • Velox

    A photographic print which is made from a negative.

  • 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.

  • Watermark

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

  • Web

    The roll of paper that is used in web or rotary printing.

  • Wet Trapping

    The ability of an ink film to accept subsequent ink films.

  • 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 Side

    That side of the paper which lies on the wire screen side of the papermaking machine.

  • 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.

  • Writing Paper

    Another name for bond paper.

  • Xerographic Paper

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




Image Works Inc. : Digital Color Printing
7921 Industrial Village Rd. • Greensboro, NC 27409-9691
Phone: (336) 668-3338 • Fax: (336) 668-3839
E-mail: ripping4@imageworksinc.net