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 S T V W
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Art Work

    Any materials or images that are prepared for graphic reproduction.

  • Art-Lined Envelope

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

  • Back Margin

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

  • Back To Back

    Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.

  • 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.

  • Balance

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

  • Bank Paper

    A thin uncoated stock used for making carbon copies.

  • Banner

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

  • 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.

  • Bleed

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

  • Blow-up

    Any enlargement of photos, copies or line art.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Broad Fold

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

  • Brochure

    A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.

  • Bulk

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

  • Bulk

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

  • 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.

  • Caps & Small Caps

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

  • Carbon Tissue

    A color printing process utilizing pigmented gelatin coatings on paper, which become the resist for etching gravure plates or cylinders.

  • 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.

  • Color Separating

    The processes of separating the primary color components for printing.

  • 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.

  • Cover

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

  • Crop

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

  • Crop Marks

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

  • 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).

  • Cyan

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

  • Delete

    An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

  • Density

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

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Exposure

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

  • Fan Fold

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

  • Finish

    The surface quality of paper.

  • 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.

  • Ganging

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Highlights

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

  • IBC

    Inside back cover.

  • IFC

    Inside front cover.

  • 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.

  • Indicia

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

  • Inserts

    Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

  • 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.

  • Kerning

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

  • Layout

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Margin

    Imprinted space around edge of page.

  • Matte Finish

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

  • Natural

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

  • OBC

    Outside back cover.

  • OFC

    Outside front cover.

  • 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.

  • Parchment

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

  • Perf Marks

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

  • 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.

  • Perforating

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

  • Pica

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

  • Point

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sharpen

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

  • 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

  • Step And Repeat

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

  • Stock

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

  • 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.

  • Transparent

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

  • Trim Marks

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

  • Vellum

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

  • Watermark

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