ADMC Glossary


4-Colour-process The process of combining four basic Colours to create a printed Colour picture or Colours composed from the basic four Colours.
A4 Paper ISO paper size 210 x 297mm used for Letterhead.
Accordion fold Folding paper by bending each fold in the opposite direction of the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.
Acetate A transparent sheet placed over originals or artwork, allowing the designer to write instructions or indicate a second Colour for placement.
Acid Resist An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching.
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.
Additive Colour Colour produced by light falling onto a surface, as compared to subtractive Colour. The additive primary Colours are red, green and blue.
Against the Grain Running a sheet of paper through a printing press at right angles to the grain direction of the paper, as opposed to with the grain. This is usually suboptimal for both press operation and registration of the 4 Colour process inks. Sometimes called cross grain.
Airbrush A compressed air tool that sprays a fine mist of paint or ink, used in illustration and photo retouching.
Alteration Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author’s alteration and customer’s alteration.
Anodized Plate An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use.
Anti-aliasing The process of averaging between pixels of different Colours. This results is a smoother, more blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged appearance.
Anti-offset Powder Fine powder lightly sprayed over the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave a press. Also called dust, offset powder, powder and spray powder.
Antique Paper Roughest finish offered on offset paper.
Aqueous Coating This clear coating is used to protect your printed pieces. It provides a high-gloss surface that deters dirt and fingerprints. Aqueous coating improves the durability of postcards as they go through the mail, and protects business cards as they ride around in people’s pockets. It also looks beautiful on brochures, catalogue covers, and stand-alone flyers.
Art board Alternate term for mechanical art.
Artwork All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.
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) 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.
Author’s corrections Also known as “”AC’s””. Changed and additions in copy after it has been typeset.
Back Up (1) To print on the second side of a sheet already printed on one side. (2) To adjust an image on one side of a sheet so that it aligns back-to-back with an image on the other side.
Back slant Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.
Balloon In an illustration, any line that encircles copy or dialogue.
Banding Method of packaging printed pieces of paper using rubber or paper bands.
Base Art Copy pasted up on the mounting board of a mechanical, as compared to overlay art. Also called base mechanical.
Base line The imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points, etc.
Base Negative Negative made by photographing base art.
Basic Size The standard size of sheets of paper used to calculate basis weight in the United States and Canada.
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.
Bible paper A thin but strong paper (opaque), used for bibles and books.
Bind To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue. or by other means.
Bindery A business or department within a printing company that does the cutting, folding, collating, drilling and other finishing operations used on printing projects.
Blank Category of paperboard ranging in thickness from 15 to 48 points.
Blanket Rubber-coated pad, mounted on a cylinder of an offset press, that receives the inked image from the plate and transfers it to the surface to be printed.
Bleed Printing that extends up to or beyond the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.
Blind emboss A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.
Blind embossing An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.
Blind Folio A page number not printed on the page. (In the book arena, a blank page traditionally does not print a page number.)
Blind Image Image debossed, embossed or stamped, but not printed with ink or foil.
Blocking When ink or coating causes printed sheets of paper in a pile to stick together, causing damage when they are separated. This is normally caused by not enough anti-offset powder or too much ink, and usually ruins the printed job.
Blow-Up An enlargement, usually used with graphic images or photographs
Blue-line A blue photographic proof used to check position of all image elements.
Blurb A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket.
Board Alternate term for mechanical.
Board Paper General term for paper over 200 gsm that is commonly used for products such as file folders, displays and post cards. Also called paperboard.
Body The main text of work not including the headlines.
Boiler Plate Blocks of repetitive type used and copied over and over again.
Bond A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that is erasable and somewhat rigid.
Bond & carbon Business form with paper and carbon paper.
Bond paper Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also called business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper and writing paper.
Book Block Folded signatures gathered, sewn and trimmed, but not yet covered.
Book Paper Category of paper suitable for books, magazines, catalogues, advertising and general printing needs. Book paper is divided into uncoated paper (also called offset paper), coated paper (also called art paper, enamel paper, gloss paper and slick paper) and text paper.
Border The decorative design or rule surrounding matter on a page.
Bounce Inconsistent positioning of the printed image on the sheets of paper as they travel through a printing press.
Break for Colour Also known as a Colour break. To separate mechanically or by software the parts to be printed in different Colours.
Brightness The brilliance or reflectance of paper.
Bristol A board paper of various thicknesses having a smooth finish and used for printing or drawing.
Bristol Paper General term referring to paper 6 points or thicker with basis weight between 200-500 gsm. Used for products such as index cards, file folders and displays.
Broadside The term used to indicate work printed on one of a large sheet of paper.
Broken Carton Carton of paper from which some of the sheets have been sold.
Bromide A photographic print created on bromide paper.
Bronzing The effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing and using a metallic powder.
Build a Colour To overlap two or more screen tints to create a new Colour. Such an overlap is called a build, Colour build, stacked screen build or tint build.
Bulk A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.
Bulk pack Boxing printed product without wrapping or banding.
Bullet A boldface square or dot used before a sentence to emphasize its importance.
Burn Exposing a printing plate to high intensity light or placing an image on a printing plate by light.
Burst Perfect Bind To bind by forcing glue into notches along the spines of gathered signatures before affixing a paper cover. Also called burst bind, notch bind and slotted bind.
Butt Joining images without overlapping.
Butt fit Printed Colours that overlap one row of dots so they appear to butt.
Butt Register Register where ink Colours meet precisely without overlapping or allowing space between, as compared to lap register. Also called butt fit and kiss register.
Buy Out To subcontract for a service that is closely related to the business of the organization. Also called farm out. Work that is bought out or farmed out is sometimes called outwork or referred to as being out of house.
C1S and C2S Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.
Calender To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between rollers during manufacturing.
Caliper (1) Thickness of paper or other substrate expressed in thousandths of a millimetre (microns) or pages per centimetre (ppc). (2) Device on a sheet fed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
Camera Service Business using a process camera to make photostats, halftones, plates and other elements for printing. Also called prep service and trade camera service.
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 Pressure sensitive writing paper that does not use carbon.
Carbonless Paper Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.
Carton Selling unit of paper weighing approximately 150 pounds (60 kilos). A carton can contain anywhere from 500 to 5,000 sheets, depending on the size of sheets and their basis weight.
Case Covers and spine that, as a unit, enclose the pages of a casebound book.
Case bind A type of binding used in making hard cover books using glue.
Cast coated A paper that is coated and then pressure dried using a polished roller that imparts an enamel like hard gloss finish.
Cast-coated Paper High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet.
Catalogue Paper Coated paper rated #4 or #5 with basis weight from 35# to 50# (50 to 75 gsm) commonly used for catalogues and magazines.
Centre spread The two pages that face each other in the centre of a book or publication.
Chain Dot (1) Alternate term for elliptical dot, so called because midtone dots touch at two points, so look like links in a chain. (2) Generic term for any midtone dots whose corners touch.
Chain Lines (1) Widely spaced lines in laid paper. (2) Blemishes on printed images caused by tracking.
Chalking Deterioration of a printed image caused by ink that absorbs into paper too fast or has long exposure to sun, and wind making printed images look dusty. Also called crocking.
Check Copy (1) Production copy of a publication verified by the customer as printed, finished and bound correctly. (2) One set of gathered book signatures approved by the customer as ready for binding.
Choke Technique of slightly reducing the size of an image to create a hairline trap or to outline. Also called shrink and skinny.
Chrome Strength of a Colour as compared to how close it seems to neutral grey. Also called depth, intensity, purity and saturation.
Clip art Graphic images, designs, and artwork in digital form that can be used in a digital document.
Close Up A mark used to indicate closing space between characters or words. Usually used in proofing stages.
CMYK Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process Colours.
Coarse Screen Halftone screen with ruling of 65, 85 or 100 lines per inch (26, 34 or 40 lines centimetre).
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.
Coated stock Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.
Coil Binding Where a metal or plastic wire is spiralled through holes punched along the side of a stack of paper. Commonly used for reports, proposals and manuals. Documents bound with coil have the ability to lay flat and can rotate 360 degrees. Also called spiral binding.
Cold Colour Any colour that is toward the blue side of the colour spectrum.
Collate A finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order.
Collating Marks Mostly in the book arena, specific marks on the back of signatures indicating exact position in the collating stage.
Colophon A printers’ or publishers’ identifying symbol or emblem.
Colour balance The relative amounts of process colours used to reproduce an image, either digitally or when printed on a press.
Colour bars A colour test strip that is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It helps a press operator to monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration and dot gain. It can also include a Star Target, which is designed to detect inking and press problems.
Colour Blanks Press sheets printed with photos or illustrations, but without type. Also called shells.
Colour Break In multicolour printing, the point, line or space at which one ink colour stops and another begins. Also called break for colour.
Colour Cast Unwanted colour affecting an entire image or portion of an image.
Colour Correct To adjust the relationship among the process colours to achieve desirable colours.
Colour correction Using a computer to adjust, change or manipulate a colour image, such as retouching, adjusting colour balance, colour saturation, contrast, etc.
Colour Curves Instructions in computer software that allow users to change or correct colours.
Colour Electronic Prepress System Computer, scanner, printer and other hardware and software designed for image assembly, Colour correction, retouching and output onto proofing materials, film or printing plates. Abbreviated CEPS.
Colour filter Filters uses in making Colour separations, red, blue, green.
Colour gamut The entire range of hues possible to reproduce on a specific system, such as a computer screen, or four-Colour printing press.
Colour Key Brand name for an overlay colour proof. Sometimes used as a generic term for any overlay colour proof.
Colour matching system A system of formulated ink colours used for communicating colour.
Colour Model Way of categorizing and describing the infinite array of colours found in nature.
Colour separating The processes of separating the primary colour components (CMYK) for printing.
Colour Separation (1) Technique of using a camera, scanner or computer to divide continuous-tone colour images into four halftone negatives. (2) The product resulting from colour separating and subsequent four-colour process printing. Also called separation.
Colour separations The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colours.
Colour Sequence The order in which process inks are printed on a printing press. Also called the colour rotation or laydown sequence.
Colour Shift Change in image colour resulting from changes in register, ink densities or dot gain during four-colour process printing.
Colour transparency Transparent film containing a positive photographic colour image.
Comb Bind To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper.
Comb Binding Binding a stack of paper together by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb into holes punched along one of the edges. Commonly used for catalogues, reports and manuals.
Commercial Printer Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books and magazines. Also called job printer because each job is different.
Complementary Flat(s) The second or additional flat(s) used when making composite film or for two or more burns on one printing plate.
Composite Art Mechanical on which copy for reproduction in all colours appears on only one surface, not separated onto overlays. Composite art has a tissue overlay with instructions that indicate colour breaks.
Composite Film Film made by combining images from two or more pieces of working film onto one film for making one plate.
Composite Proof Proof of colour separations in position with graphics and type. Also called final proof, imposition proof and stripping proof.
Composition (1) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. (2) In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics and other elements on the page.
Comprehensive Dummy Simulation of a printed piece complete with type, graphics and Colours. Also called Colour comprehensive and comp.
Condensed type A narrow, elongated typeface.
Condition To keep paper in the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that its moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom. Also called cure, mature and season.
Contact Platemaker Device with lights, timing mechanism and vacuum frame used to make contact prints, duplicate film, proofs and plates. Also called platemaker and vacuum frame.
Continuous-tone Copy All photographs and those illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones. Abbreviated contone.
Contrast The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.
Converter Business that makes products such as boxes, bags, envelopes and displays.
Copy All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product.
Copy board Surface or frame on a process camera that holds copy in position to be photographed.
Cover Thick paper that protects a publication and advertises its title. Parts of covers are often described as follows: Cover 1=outside front; Cover 2=inside front; Cover 3=inside back, Cover 4=outside back.
Cover paper A heavy printing paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, etc.
Coverage The extent to which printing ink covers the surface of a printed sheet. Ink coverage is frequently expressed as light, medium or heavy.
Crash Coarse cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to increase strength of binding. Also called gauze, mull and scrim.
Crash number Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set.
Creep Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages. Also called feathering, outpush, push out and thrust.
Crimping Puncture marks holding business forms together.
Cromalin Trade name for DuPont Colour proofs.
Crop To cut off parts of a picture or image.
Crop marks Small printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.
Crossover Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.
Cure To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent setoff.
Customer Service Representative Employee of a printer, service bureau, separator or other business who coordinates projects and keeps customers informed. Abbreviated CSR.
Cut Sizes Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.
Cut off Circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore also the length of the printed sheet that the press cuts from the roll of paper.
Cutting Die Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.
Cutting Machine A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing.
CWT Abbreviation for hundredweight using the Roman numeral C=100.
Cyan A shade of blue used in four-Colour process printing. The C in CMYK. Also referred to as process blue.
Dampening An essential part of the offset printing process whereby rollers distribute a solution to the plate that covers the non-printing area of the plate, repelling ink in those areas. Some newer presses use a waterless ink technology that does not use dampening.
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.
Deboss To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface. Also called tool.
Deckle Edge Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut. Also called feather edge.
Densitometer Instrument used to measure density. Reflection densitometers measure light reflected from paper and other surfaces; transmission densitometers measure light transmitted through film and other materials.
Density (1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding Colour, the relative ability of a Colour to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers.
Density Range Difference between the darkest and lightest areas of copy. Also called contrast ratio, copy range and tonal range.
Descender A term that describes that portion of lower case letters that extends below the main body of the letter, as in “”p””.
Desktop Publishing Technique of using a personal computer to design images and pages, and assemble type and graphics, then using a laser printer or imagesetter to output the assembled pages onto paper, film or printing plate. Abbreviated DTP.
Device Independent Colours Hules identified by wavelength or by their place in systems such as developed by CIE. ‘Device independent’ means a Colour can be described and specified without regard to whether it is reproduced using ink, projected light, photographic chemistry or any other method.
Diazo A light sensitive coating used on printing plates.
Die Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.
Die Cut To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.
Die Cutting 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.
Diffusion Transfer Chemical process of reproducing line copy and making halftone positives ready for paste-up.
Digital Dot Dot created by a computer and printed out by a laser printer or imagesetter. Digital dots are uniform in size, as compared to halftone dots that vary in size.
Digital Proof Colour separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to Colour photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed with ink.
Digital Proofing Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or ink-jet.
Direct Digital Colour Proof Colour proof made by a laser, ink jet printer or other computer-controlled device without needing to make separation films first. Abbreviated DDCP.
Dithering The process of averaging between pixels of different Colours. This results in a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a jagged or ‘stair-step’ appearance. Also a method used on ink jet printers where Colours are produced by mixing Coloured dots in a randomized pattern.
Dog Ear A letter fold at the side of one of the creases, an indentation occurs.
Dot The smallest individual element of a halftone. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made many dots.
Dot Gain Phenomenon of halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing detail and lowering contrast. Also called dot growth, dot spread and press gain.
Dot Size Relative size of halftone dots as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used. There is no unit of measurement to express dot size. Dots are too large, too small or correct only in comparison to what the viewer finds attractive.
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.
Double Black Duotone Duotone printed from two halftones, one shot for highlights and the other shot for midtones and shadows.
Double Bump To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.
Double Burn To expose film or a plate twice to different negatives and thus create a composite image.
Double Density A method of recording electronically (disk, CD, floppy) using a modified frequency to allow more data storage.
Double Dot Halftone Halftone double burned onto one plate from two halftones, one shot for shadows, the second shot for midtones and highlights.
Doubling Printing defect appearing as blurring or shadowing of the image. Doubling may be caused by problems with paper, cylinder alignment, blanket pressures or dirty cylinders.
DPI Considered as “”dots per square inch,”” a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.
Drawdown Sample of inks specified for a job applied to the substrate specified for a job. Also called pulldown.
Drill The drilling of holes into paper for ring binding.
Drop shadow A shadow image placed offset behind an image to create the effect of the image lifting off the page.
Dropout Halftone dots or fine lines eliminated from highlights by overexposure during camera work.
Drop-out Portions of artwork that do not print.
Dropout Halftone Halftone in which contrast has been increased by eliminating dots from highlights.
Dry Back Phenomenon of printed ink Colours becoming less dense as the ink dries.
Dry Offset Using metal plates in the printing process, which are etched to .15mm (.0006 in) creating a right reading plate, printed on the offset blanket transferring to paper without the use of water.
Dry Trap To print over dry ink, as compared to wet trap.
Dual-purpose Bond Paper Bond paper suitable for printing by either lithography (offset) or xerography (photocopy). Abbreviated DP bond paper.
Dull Finish Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.
Dummy A rough layout of a printed piece showing position and finished size. Also called a mock up, prototype or printed sample.
Duotone Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.
Duplex Paper Thick paper made by pasting highlights together two thinner sheets, usually of different Colours. Also called double-faced paper and two-tone paper.
Duplicator Offset press made for quick printing.
Dye sublimation A photographic looking Colour print created by heating dyes on a substrate instead of using inks. Often used for proofing.
Dylux Brand name for photographic paper used to make blue line proofs. Often used as alternate term for blueline.
Electronic Front End (Electronic Composition) General term referring to a prepress system based on computers.
Electronic Image Assembly Assembly of a composite image from portions of other images and/or other page elements using a computer.
Electronic Mechanical Mechanical exclusively in electronic files.
Electronic Proof A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the Colour separation negatives and passed through electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.
Electronic Publishing (1) Publishing by printing with device, such as a photocopy machine or ink jet printer, driven by a computer that can change the image instantly from one copy to the next. (2) Publishing via output on fax, computer bulletin board or other electronic medium, as compared to output on paper.
Embossing The moulding and reshaping of paper by the use of special metal dies and heat, counter dies and pressure, to produce a raised image on the paper surface.
Emulsion Casting of light-sensitive chemicals on papers, films, printing plates and stencils.
Enamel Another term for gloss coated paper.
Encapsulated PostScript file Computer file containing both images and PostScript commands. Abbreviated EPS file.
End Sheet Sheet that attaches the inside pages of a case bound book to its cover. Also called pastedown or end papers.
English Finish Smooth finish on uncoated book paper; smoother than eggshell, rougher than smooth.
Engraving Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.
EP Abbreviation for envelope.
EPS Encapsulated Post Script, a known file format usually used to transfer post script information from one program to another.
Equivalent Paper Paper that is not the brand specified, but looks, prints and may cost the same. . Also called comparable stock.
Estimate Price that states what a job will probably cost. Also called bid, quotation and tender.
Estimator The individual performing or creating the “”estimate.
Etch To use chemicals to carve an image into metal, glass or film.
Eurobind A patented method of binding perfect bound books so they will open and lay flatter.
Face Edge of a bound publication opposite the spine. Also called foredge. Also, an abbreviation for typeface referring to a family of a general style.
Facsimile transmission The process of converting graphic images into electronic signals.
Fake Duotone Halftone in one ink Colour printed over screen tint of a second ink Colour. Also called dummy duotone, dougraph, duplex halftone, false duotone, flat tint halftone and halftone with screen.
Fast Colour Inks Inks with Colours that retain their density and resist fading as the product is used and washed.
Feeding Unit Component of a printing press that moves paper into the register unit.
Felt Finish Soft woven pattern in text paper.
Felt side The smoother side of a sheet in the paper. The wire side is the rougher side of the paper. The difference happens in the papermaking process. The differences are eliminated when papers are gloss or matte coated.
Fifth Colour Ink Colour used in addition to the four needed by four-Colour process.
Film Gauge Thickness of film. The most common gauge for graphic arts film is 0.004 inch (0.1 mm).
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 centimetre) 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.
Fit Refers to ability of film to be registered during stripping and assembly. Good fit means that all images register to other film for the same job.
Fixed Costs Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs.
Flat An assembly of negatives taped to masking materials for platemaking.
Flat Colour (1) Any Colour created by printing only one ink, as compared to a Colour created by printing four-Colour process. Also called block Colour and spot Colour. (2) Colour that seems weak or lifeless.
Flat Plan (Flats) Diagram of the flats for a publication showing imposition and indicating Colours.
Flat Size Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.
Flexography A printing method using flexible plates where the image to be printed is higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then contact the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the material. Fast drying inks are usually used in this process. Common uses are the printing of cans and bottles and other non-flat items.
Flood To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.
Flop The reverse side of an image.
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.
Fogging Back Used in making type more legible by lowering density of an image, while allowing the image to show through.
Foil A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing.
Foil Embossing Stamping a thin sheet of metallic foil onto a sheet of paper and then embossing a pattern under it, creating a three dimensional raised area, usually text or an image.
Foil Stamping Impressing metallic foil onto paper with a heated die.
Fold Marks With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges.
Folder A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials.
Foldout Gatefold sheet bound into a publication, often used for a map or chart. Also called gatefold and pullout.
Folio (page number) The actual page number in a publication.
Font The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.
For Position Only Refers to inexpensive copies of photos or art used on mechanical to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction. Abbreviated FPO.
Form Each side of a signature. Also spelled forme.
Form bond Lightweight bond, easy to perforate, made for business forms. Also called register bond.
Form Roller(s) Roller(s) that come in contact with the printing plate, bringing it ink or water.
Format Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product.
Forwarding In the case book arena, the binding process which involves folding, rounding, backing, headbanding and reinforcing.
Fountain Trough or container, on a printing press, that holds fluids such as ink, varnish or water. Also called duct.
Fountain Solution Mixture of water and chemicals that dampens a printing plate to prevent ink from adhering to the non-image area. Also called dampener solution.
Four-Colour Process Printing Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full-Colour images. Also called Colour process printing, full Colour printing, CMYK and process printing.
Free sheet Any paper that is free from wood pulp impurities.
French fold Two folds at right angles to each other.
Full-range Halftone Halftone ranging from 0 per cent coverage in its highlights to 100 per cent coverage in its shadows.
Full-scale Black Black separation made to have dots throughout the entire tonal range of the image, as compared to half-scale black and skeleton black. Also called full-range black.
Galley proof Text copy before it is put into a mechanical layout or desktop layout.
Gang (1) To halftone or separate more than one image in only one exposure. (2) To reproduce two or more different printed products simultaneously on one sheet of paper during one press run. Also referred to as Gang Printing.
Gate fold A three or four panel fold where the two outside panels fold inward to meet in the centre. In an open gate fold, there are three panels, the bottom of which is twice the size of the folded panels. In a closed gatefold, there are four panels of roughly equal size where the outer panels are folded inward together.
Gathered Signatures assembled next to each other in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to nested. Also called stacked.
Generation Stages of reproduction from original copy. A first generation reproduction yields the best quality.
Ghost bars A quality control method used to reduce ghosted image created by heat or chemical contamination.
Ghost Halftone Normal halftone whose density has been reduced to produce a very faint image.
Ghosting A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended. More often than not this problem is a function of graphical design. It is hard to tell when or where ghosting will occur. Sometimes you can see the problem developing immediately after printing the sheet, other times the problem occurs while drying. However when the problem occurs, it is costly to fix, if it can be fixed. Occasionally it can be eliminated by changing the Colour sequence, the inks, the paper, changing to a press with a drier, printing the problem area in a separate pass through the press or changing the racking (reducing the number of sheets on the drying racks). Since it is a function of graphical design, the buyer pays for the increased cost.
Gilding Mostly in the book arena, gold leafing the edges of a book.
Gloss A shiny surface that reflects light.
Gloss Ink Ink used and printed on coated stock (mostly lithography and letterpress) such as the ink will dry without penetration.
Grade General term used to distinguish between or among printing papers, but whose specific meaning depends on context. Grade can refer to the category, class, rating, finish or brand of paper.
Graduated Screen Tint Screen tint that changes densities gradually and smoothly, not in distinct steps. Also called degrade, gradient, ramped screen and vignette.
Grain Paper fibers lie in a similar direction in a sheet of paper. This direction is called the grain. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.
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.
Grammage Basis weight of paper in grams per square meter (gsm).
Graphic Arts The crafts, industries and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.
Graphic Arts Film Film whose emulsion yields high contrast images suitable for reproduction by a printing press, as compared to continuous-tone film. Also called litho film and repro film.
Graphic Design Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink Colours and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message.
Graphics Visual elements that supplement type to make printed messages more clear or interesting.
Gravure Method of printing using metal cylinders etched with millions of tiny wells that hold ink.
Grey Balance Printed cyan, magenta and yellow halftone dots that accurately, reproduce a neutral grey image.
Grey Component Replacement Technique of replacing grey tones in the yellow, cyan and magenta films, made while Colour separating, with black ink. Abbreviated GCR. Also called achromatic Colour removal.
Grey Levels Number of distinct grey tones that can be reproduced by a computer.
Grey Scale Strip of grey values ranging from white to black. Used by process camera and scanner operators to calibrate exposure times for film and plates. Also called step wedge.
Grind Edge Alternate term for binding edge when referring to perfect bound products.
Grindoff Approximately 1/8 inch (3 mm) along the spine that is ground off gathered signatures before perfect binding.
Gripper A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through a printing press.
Gripper Edge Edge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheet fed press, thus going first through the press. Also called feeding edge and leading edge.
Grippers The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.
Groundwood Paper Newsprint and other inexpensive paper made from pulp created when wood chips are ground mechanically rather than refined chemically.
GSM The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square meter).
Gutter Referring to books, the inside margins between two facing pages, along the binding edges.
Hairline A very thin line or gap about the width of a hair.
Half-scale Black Black separation made to have dots only in the shadows and midtones, as compared to full-scale black and skeleton black.
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 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.
Halo Effect Faint shadow sometimes surrounding halftone dots printed. Also called halation. The halo itself is also called a fringe.
Hard copy The output of a computer printer, or typed text sent for typesetting.
Hard Dots Halftone dots with no halos or soft edges, as compared to soft dots.
Hard Mechanical Mechanical consisting of paper and/or acetate and made using paste-up techniques, as compared to electronic mechanical.
Head(er) At the top of a page, the margin.
Head-to-tail Imposition with heads (tops) of pages facing tails (bottoms) of other pages.
Heat-set Web Web press equipped with an oven to dry ink, thus able to print coated paper.
Hickey The effect that occurs when a speck of dust or debris (frequently dried ink) adheres to the printing plate and creates a spot or imperfection in the printing.
High-bulk paper A paper made thicker than its standard basis weight.
High-fidelity Colour Colour reproduced using six, eight or twelve separations, as compared to four-Colour process.
High-key Photo Photo whose most important details appear in the highlights.
Highlights Lightest portions of a photograph or halftone, as compared to midtones and shadows.
Hinged Cover Perfect bound cover scored 1/8 inch (3mm) from the spine so it folds at the hinge instead of, along the edge of the spine.
HLS Abbreviation for hue, lightness, saturation, one of the Colour-control options often found in software, for design and page assembly. Also called HVS.
Hot melt An adhesive used in some binding processes, which requires heat for application.
Hot Spot Printing defect caused when a piece of dirt or an air bubble caused incomplete draw-down during contact platemaking, leaving an area of weak ink coverage or visible dot gain.
House sheet This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in their shop.
Hue A specific Colour such as yellow or green.
Image area Portion of paper on which ink can appear.
Imagesetter Laser output device using photosensitive paper or film.
Imposition The correct sequential arrangement of pages that are to be printed, along with all the margins in proper alignment, before producing the plates for printing.
Impression Putting an image on paper.
Impression Cylinder Cylinder, on a press, that pushes paper against the plate or blanket, thus forming the image. Also called impression roller.
Imprint To print new copy on a previously printed sheet, such as imprinting an employee’s name on business cards. Also called overprint.
Indicia An image and/or text pre-printed on mailing envelopes in place of a stamp.
Ink Balance Relationship of the densities and dot gains of process inks to each other and to a standard density of neutral grey
Ink fountain The reservoir on a printing press that hold the ink.
Ink Holdout Characteristic of paper that prevents it from absorbing ink, thus allowing ink to dry on the surface of the paper. Also called holdout.
Ink Jet Printing Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles. Also called jet printing.
Inner Form Form (side of the press sheet) whose images all appear inside the folded signature, as compared to outer form.
In-Plant Printer Department of an agency, business or association that does printing for a parent organization. Also called captive printer and in-house printer.
Insert A piece of printed material that is inserted into another piece of printed material, such as a magazine or catalogue.
Intaglio Printing Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels, having inked areas lower than non-inked areas. Gravure and engraving are the most common forms of intaglio. Also called recess printing.
Integral Proof Colour proof of separations shown on one piece of proofing paper, as compared to an overlay proof. Also called composition proof, laminate proof, plastic proof and single-sheet proof.
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.
Italic Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.
Jacket Or dust jacket. The paper cover sometimes called the “”dust cover”” of a hardbound book.
Job Lot Paper Paper that didn’t meet specifications when produced, has been discontinued, or for other reasons is no longer considered first quality.
Job Number A number assigned to a specific printing project in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping.
Job Ticket 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.
Jog To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming or binding.
Jogger A vibration machine with a slopping platform to even-up stacks of printed materials.
Justification Adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line of text from end to end. Sometimes referred to as word spacing.
K Abbreviation for black in four-Colour process printing. Hence the ‘K’ in CMYK.
Kerning The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.
Key (1) The screw that controls ink flow from the ink fountain of a printing press. (2) To relate loose pieces of copy to their positions on a layout or mechanical using a system of numbers or letters. (3) Alternate term for the Colour black, as in ‘key plate.’
Key Negative or Plate Negative or plate that prints the most detail, thus whose image guides the register of images from other plates. Also called key printer.
Keylines Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations, etc.
Kiss Die Cut To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper. Also called face cut.
Kiss Impression Lightest possible impression that will transfer ink to a Substrate.
Knock out To mask out an image.
Kraft A coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.
Kraft Paper Strong paper used for wrapping and to make grocery bags and large envelopes.
Laid Finish Finish on bond or text paper on which grids of parallel lines simulate the surface of handmade paper. Laid lines are close together and run against the grain; chain lines are farther apart and run with the grain.
Laminate A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use. It can have a matte, gloss or satin surface.
Landscape Artist style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)
Lap Register Register where ink Colours overlap slightly, as compared to butt register.
Laser Bond Bond paper made especially smooth and dry to run well through laser printers.
Laser-imprintable Ink Ink that will not fade or blister as the paper on which it is printed is used in a laser printer.
Lay Edge The edge of a sheet of paper feeding into a press.
Lay Flat Bind Method of perfect binding that allows a publication to lie fully open. (Also known as Lay Flat Perfect Binding.)
Layout A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., of a final printed piece.
Leading Space between lines of type. The distance in points between one baseline and the next.
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.
Legend Directions about a specific matter (illustrations) and how to use. In regard to maps and tables, an explanation of signs (symbols) used.
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.
Letterpress Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.
Letterspacing The addition of space between typeset letters.
Lightweight Paper Book paper with basis weight less than 40# (60 gsm).
Lignin Substance in trees that holds cellulose fibers together. Free sheet has most lignin removed; groundwood paper contains lignin.
Line Copy Any high-contrast image, including type, as compared to continuous-tone copy. Also called line art and line work.
Line Negative Negative made from line copy.
Linen A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.
Linen Finish Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.
Lines per inch The number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone.
Lithography Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non-image 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.
Live Area Area on a mechanical within which images will print. Also called safe area.
Logo (Logotype) A company, partnership or corporate creation (design) that denotes a unique entity. A possible combination of letters and art work to create a “”sole”” entity symbol of that specific unit.
Loose Proof Proof of a halftone or Colour separation that is not assembled with other elements from a page, as compared to composite proof. Also called first proof, random proof, scatter proof and show-Colour proof.
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.
Low Key Photo Photo whose most important details appear in the shadows.
M weight The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.
Machine Glazed (MG) Paper holding a high-gloss finish only on one side.
Magenta One of the four process Colours, or CMYK, the M is for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red Colour with some blue. Magenta, cyan and yellow are also the three subtractive primary Colours.
Magnetic black Black ink containing iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition used for check printing.
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.
Making Order Order for paper that a mill makes to the customer’s specifications, as compared to a mill order or stock order.
Male Die Die that applies pressure during embossing or debossing. Also called force card.
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.
Marginal words Call outs for directions on various parts of a business form.
Mark-Up Instructions written usually on a “”dummy.
Mask To prevent light from reaching part of an image or plate, therefore isolating the remaining part. Also called knock out.
Master Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press.
Match Print A form of a four-Colour-process proofing system.
Matte Finish Flat (not glossy) finish on coated printing paper. A Dull surface.
Mechanical Camera-ready assembly of type, graphic and other copy complete with instructions to the printer. A hard mechanical consists of paper and/or acetate, is made using paste-up techniques, and may also be called an art board, board or paste-up. A soft mechanical, also called an electronic mechanical, exists as a file of type and other images assembled using a computer.
Mechanical Bind To bind using a comb, coil, ring binder, post or any other technique not requiring gluing, sewing or stitching.
Mechanical Separation Colour breaks made on the mechanical using a separate overlay for each Colour to be printed.
Mechanical Tint Lines or patterns formed with dots creating artwork for reproduction.
Metallic Ink Ink that looks metallic when printed. Made with powdered metal or pigments that look metallic. The most common Colours used are gold and silver.
Metallic Paper Paper coated with a thin film of plastic or pigment whose Colour and gloss simulate metal.
Micrometer Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.
Middle tones The tones in a photograph that are approximately half as dark as the shadow area.
Midtones In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows.
Misting Phenomenon of droplets of ink being thrown off the roller train. Also called flying ink.
Mock Up A reproduction of the original printed matter and possibly containing instructions or direction.
Modem Mostly used over phone lines, a device that converts electronic stored information from point a. to point b.
Moiré 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.
Mottle A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.
Mull A specific type of glue used for books binding and personal pads needing strength.
Multicolour Printing Printing in more than one ink Colour (but not four-colour process). Also called polychrome printing.
Natural Colour Very light brown colour of paper. May also be called antique, cream, ivory, off-white or mellow white.
Negative The image on film that makes the white areas of originals black and black areas white.
Nested Signatures assembled inside one another in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to gathered. Also called inset.
Neutral Grey Grey with no hue or cast.
News Print Paper used in printing newspapers. Considered low quality and “”a short life use.
Newsprint A light, low-cost unbleached paper made especially for newspaper printing.
Newton Ring Flaw in a photograph or halftone that looks like a drop of oil or water.
Nipping In the book binding process, a stage where air is expelled from its contents at the sewing stage.
Nonheatset Web Web press without a drying oven, thus not able to print on coated paper. Also called cold-set web and open web.
Nonimpact Printing Printing using lasers, ions, ink jets or heat to transfer images to paper.
Non-reproducing blue Light blue that does not record on graphic arts film, therefore may be used to preprint layout grids and write instructions on mechanicals. Also called blue pencil, drop-out blue, fade-out blue and non-repro blue.
Novelty Printing Printing on products such as coasters, pencils, balloons, golf balls and ashtrays, known as advertising specialties or premiums.
Offset An erroneous variation of the word “”setoff””. Ink that is unintentionally transferred from a printed sheet to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile when printed.
Offset paper A term for sometimes used for uncoated book paper.
Offset printing The most commonly used printing method, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.
Offsetting Using an intermediate surface used to transfer ink. Also, an unpleasant happening when the images of freshly printed sheets transfer images to each other.
Ok sheet Final approved Colour inking sheet before production begins.
Onion Skin A light bond paper used for typing and used with carbon paper because of its thinness.
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.
Opaque ink Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.
Open Prepress Interface Hardware and software that link desktop publishing systems with Colour electronic prepress systems.
Outer form Form (side of a press sheet) containing images for the first and last pages of the folded signature (its outside pages) as compared to inner form.
Outline Halftone Halftone in which background has been removed or replaced to isolate or silhouette the main image. Also called knockout halftone and silhouette halftone.
Over Run Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies in the printing industry. Advance questions avoid blind knowledge.
Overlay Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. Acetate overlays are used to separate Colours by having some type or art on them instead of on the mounting board. Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.
Overlay Proof Colour proof consisting of polyester sheets laid on top of each other with their image in register, as compared to integral proof. Each sheet represents the image to be printed in one Colour. Also called celluloid proof and layered proof.
Overprint To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint. Also called surprint.
Overprinting Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.
Overrun or overs Quantities of sheets printed over the requested number of copies.
Page One side of a leaf in a publication.
Page count Total number of pages in a book including blanks.
Page Proof Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.
Pagination The numbering of individual pages in a multi-page document
Painted Sheet Sheet printed with ink edge to edge, as compared to spot Colour. The painted sheet refers to the final product, not the press sheet, and means that 100 per cent coverage results from bleeds off all four sides.
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.
Paper Plate A printing plate made of strong and durable paper in the short run offset arena (cost effective with short runs).
Parallel Fold Method of folding. Two parallel folds to a sheet will produce 6 panels.
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.
Pasteboard Chipboard with another paper pasted to it.
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.
Pattern carbon Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers in certain areas.
PE Proof reader mark meaning printer error and showing a mistake by a typesetter, prepress service or printer as compared to an error by the customer.
Perf Marks On a “”dummy”” marking where the perforation is to occur.
Perfect Bind To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue.
Perfecting press A printing press that prints on both sides of a sheet in a single pass through the press.
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).
Photoengraving Engraving done using photochemistry.
Photomechanical Transfer Brand name for a diffusion transfer process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones. Often used as alternate term for photostat. Abbreviated PMT.
Photostat Brand name for a diffusion transfer process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones. Often used as alternate term for PMT.
Pica A typesetting unit of measurement equalling 1/6th of an inch or approximately 0.166 in. There are 12 points to a pica.
Picking Phenomenon of ink pulling bits of coating or fiber away from the surface of paper as it travels through the press, thus leaving unprinted spots in the image area.
Pickup Art Artwork, used in a previous job, to be incorporated in a current job.
Pin Register Technique of registering separations, flats and printing plates by using small holes, all of equal diameter, at the edges of both flats and plates.
Pinholing Small holes (unwanted) in printed areas because of a variety of reasons.
Pixel Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device. Also called pel.
Planographic Printing Printing method whose image carriers are level surfaces with inked areas separated from non-inked areas by chemical means. Planographic printing includes lithography, offset lithography and spirit duplicating.
Plastic comb A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.
Plate Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.
Plate gap Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the 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.
Plate-ready Film Stripped negatives or positives fully prepared for platemaking.
Pleasing Colour Colour that the customer considers satisfactory even though it may not precisely match original samples, scenes or objects.
PMS Obsolete reference to Pantone Matching System. The correct trade name of the Colours in the Pantone Matching System is Pantone Colours, not PMS Colours.
PMT Abbreviated name for photomechanical transfer. Often used to make position prints.
Point (1) Regarding paper, a unit of thickness equating 1/1000 inch. (2) Regarding type, a unit of measure equalling 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).
Portrait An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.)
Position Stat Photocopy or PMT of a photo or illustration made to size and affixed to a mechanical.
Positive Film Film that prevents light from passing through images, as compared to negative film that allows light to pass through. Also called knockout film.
Post Bind To bind using a screw and post inserted through a hole in a pile of loose sheets.
PostScript A trade name of Adobe Systems, Inc. for its page description language. This language translates a digital file from an application into a language a compatible printer or other device can use to create its output.
PPI Pages per inch or pixels per inch.
Premium Any paper that is considered better than grade #1 by its manufacturer.
Prepress Camera work, Colour separations, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called preparation.
Prepress Proof Any Colour proof made using ink jet, toner, dyes or overlays, as compared to a press proof printed using ink. Also called dry proof and off-press proof.
Preprint To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting.
Press Check Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
Press number A method of numbering manufacturing business forms or tickets.
Press Proof Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job. Also called strike off and trial proof.
Press Time (1) Amount of time that one printing job spends on press, including time required for makeready. (2) Time of day at which a printing job goes on press.
Pressure-sensitive Self-adhesive paper covered by a backing sheet.
Pressure-sensitive paper Paper material with self-sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet.
Price Break Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.
Printer Pairs Usually in the book arena, consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.
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.
Printing Plate Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.
Printing Unit Assembly of fountain, rollers and cylinders that will print one ink Colour. Also called Colour station, deck, ink station, printer, station and tower.
Process blue The blue or cyan Colour in process printing.
Process Camera Camera used to photograph mechanicals and other camera-ready copy. Also called copy, camera and graphic arts camera. A small, simple process camera may be called a stat camera.
Process Colour (Inks) The Colours used for four-Colour process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Process printing A system where a Colour image is separated into different Colour values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original Colour image.
Production Run Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to makeready.
Progressive proofs Any proofs made from the separate Colours of a multi-Colour printing project.
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.
Proof reader Marks Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also called correction marks.
Proportion Scale Round device used to calculate per cent that an original image must be 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, Colours and surfaces suited to books, magazines, catalogues and free-standing inserts.
Quality Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.
Quark Short for QuarkXPress, one of the primary computer applications used in graphic design.
Quarto (1) Sheet folded twice, making pages one-fourth the size of the original sheet. A quarto makes an 8-page signature. (2) Book made from quarto sheets, traditionally measuring about 9′ x 12′.
Quick Printing Printing using small sheet fed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper.
Quotation Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.
Rag paper Papers with a complete or partial content of cotton fibers. Stationery or other forms of stock having a strong percentage content of “”cotton rags.
Ragged left Type that is justified to the right margin and the line lengths vary on the left.
Ragged right Type that is justified to the left margin and the line lengths vary on the right.
Rainbow Fountain Technique of putting ink Colours next to each other in the same ink fountain and oscillating the ink rollers to make the Colours merge where they touch, producing a rainbow effect.
Raster Image Processor Device that translates page description commands into bitmapped information for an output device such as a laser printer or imagesetter.
Reader Spread Mechanicals made in two page spreads as readers would see the pages, as compared to printer spread.
Ream 500 sheets of paper.
Recto Right-hand page of an open book.
Recycled Paper New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
Reflective Copy Products, such as fabrics, illustrations and photographic prints, viewed by light reflected from them, as compared to transparent copy. Also called reflex copy.
Register The arrangement of two or more printed images in exact alignment with each other and in relation to the edge of the sheet.
Register Marks Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called cross marks and position marks.
Relief Printing Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels having inked areas higher than non-inked areas. Relief printing includes block printing, flexography and letter press.
Repeatability Ability of a device, such as an imagesetter, to produce film or plates that yield images in register.
Reprographics General term for xerography, diazo and other methods of copying used by designers, engineers, architects or for general office use.
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 Colour or paper to show through and form the image. The image ‘reverses out’ of the ink Colour. Also called knockout and liftout.
RGB The Colour space of Red, Green and Blue. These are the primary Colours of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. An RGB computer file must be translated into the CMYK (the primary Colours of pigment) Colour space in order to be printed on a printing press.
Right angle fold A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.
Right Reading Copy that reads correctly in the language in which it is written. Also describes a photo whose orientation looks like the original scene, as compared to a flopped image.
Rip film A method of making printing negatives from PostScript files created by desktop publishing.
Rotary Press Printing press which passes the substrate between two rotating cylinders when making an impression.
Round Back Bind To casebind with a rounded (convex) spine, as compared to flat back bind.
Ruby Window Mask on a mechanical, made with rubylith, which creates a window on film shot from the mechanical.
Rule Line used as a graphic element to separate or organise copy.
Ruleup Map or drawing given by a printer to a stripper showing how a printing job must be imposed using a specific press and sheet size. Also called press layout, printer’s layout and ruleout.
Running head A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.
Saddle stitch The binding of booklets or other printed materials by stapling the pages on the folded spine.
Safety paper A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.
Satin Finish Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.
Scale To identify the per cent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing.
Scanner Device used to make Colour separations, halftones, duo tones and tri tones. Also a device used to scan art, pictures or drawings in desktop publishing.
Score To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.
Scoring To crease paper with a metal rule for the purpose of making folding easier.
Screen Angles The placement of halftone screens at angles which intersect with the horizontal line of the press sheet to avoid unwanted moiré patterns. The commonly used angles are black 45§, magenta 75§, yellow 90§, and cyan 105§.
Screen Density Refers to the percentage of ink coverage that a screen tint allows to print. Also called screen percentage.
Screen Printing Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.
Screen Ruling Number of rows or lines of dots per inch or centimetre in a screen for making a screen tint or halftone. Also called line count, ruling, screen frequency, screen size and screen value.
Screen Tint Colour created by dots instead of solid ink coverage. Also called Benday, fill pattern, screen tone, shading, tint and tone.
Scum Unwanted deposits of ink in the non-image area of a printed piece.
Selective Binding Placing signatures or inserts in magazines or catalogues according to demographic or geographic guidelines.
Self cover A cover that is the same paper stock as the internal sheets.
Self Mailer A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently.
Self-cover Using the same paper as the text for the cover.
Separated Art Art with elements that print in the base Colour on one surface and elements that print in other Colours on other surfaces. Also called pre-separated art.
Separations Usually in the four-Colour process arena, separate film holding images of one specific Colour per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS Colours through film.
Serigraphic Printing Printing method whose image carriers are woven fabric, plastic or metal that allow ink to pass through some portions and block ink from passing through other portions. Serigraphic printing includes screen and mimeograph.
Service Bureau Business using imagesetters to make high resolution printouts of files prepared on microcomputers. Also called output house and prep service.
Setoff Undesirable transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the underside of another as they lie in the delivery stack of a press. Also called offset.
Shade Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint.
Shadow The darkest areas of a photograph.
Shadows Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and high-lights.
Sharpen To decrease the dot size of a halftone, which in turn decreases the colour strength.
Sheet fed Press Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.
Sheet wise Technique of printing one side of a sheet with one set of plates, then the other side of the sheet with a set of different plates. Also called work and back.
Shingling Allowance, made during paste-up or stripping, to compensate for creep. Creep is the problem; shingling is the solution. Also called stair stepping and progressive margins.
Show-through Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet.
Side guide The guides on the sides of a printing press that consistently positions the sheet sideways as it is fed through the press.
Side stitch To bind by stapling through sheets along, one edge, as compared to saddle stitch. Also called cleat stitch and side wire.
Signature A sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publication.
Silhouette halftone A term used for an outline halftone.
Size Compound mixed with paper or fabric to make it stiffer and less able to absorb moisture.
Skid A pallet used for a pile of cut sheets.
Slip Sheets Separate sheets (stock) independent from the original run positioned between the “”printed run”” for a variety of reasons.
Smoothness That quality of paper defined by its levelness that allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.
Soft Dots Halftones dots with halos.
Solid Any area of the sheet receiving 100 per cent ink coverage, as compared to a screen tint.
Soy Inks Inks made with soy oils instead of petroleum as the base. They are considered to be more environmentally friendly, a standard component of green printing.
Soy-based Inks Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment.
Specially Printer Printer whose equipment, supplies, work flow and marketing is targeted to a particular category of products.
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.
Spectrophotometer Instrument used to measure the index of refraction of Colour.
Specular Highlight Highlight area with no printable dots, thus no detail, as compared to a diffuse highlight. Also called catch light and dropout highlight.
Spine The binding edge of a book or publication.
Spiral bind A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiralled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.
Split Fountain Technique of putting ink Colours next to each other in the same ink fountain and printing them off the same plate. Split fountains keep edges of Colours distinct, as compared to rainbow fountains that blend edges.
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.
Spot Colour or Varnish One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet.
Spot varnish Varnish used to highlight a specific part of the printed sheet.
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.
Stamping Term for foil stamping.
Standard Viewing Conditions Background of 60 per cent neutral grey and light that measures 5000 degrees Kelvin the Colour of daylight on a bright day. Also called lighting standards.
Stat Short for photostat, therefore a general term for an inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone.
Statistical Process Control Method used by printers to ensure quality and delivery times specified by customers. Abbreviated SPC.
Step-and-repeat A procedure for placing the same image on plates in multiple places.
Stet A proof mark meaning let the original copy stand.
Stock The material to be printed.
Stock Order Order for paper that a mill or merchant sends to a printer from inventory at a warehouse, as compared to a mill order.
Stocking Paper Popular sizes, weights and Colours of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant’s warehouse.
String Score Score created by pressing a string against paper, as compared to scoring using a metal edge.
Strip To assemble images on film for platemaking. Stripping involves correcting flaws in film, assembling pieces of film into flats and ensuring that film and flats register correctly. Also called film assembly and image assembly.
Stripping The positioning of film on a flat prior to platemaking.
Stumping (Blocking) In the book arena, hot die, foil or other means in creating an image on a case bound book.
Substance Weight Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers. Also called sub weight.
Substrate Any surface or material on which printing is done.
Subtractive Colour Colour produced by light reflected from a surface, as compared to additive Colour. Subtractive Colour includes hues in Colour photos and Colours created by inks on paper.
Subtractive Primary Colour Yellow, magenta and cyan. In the graphic arts, these are known as process Colours because, along with black, they are the inks Colours used in Colour-process printing.
Super calendaring A machine procedure that produces a very smooth paper surface that is exceptional for printing.
Supercalendered Paper Paper calendared using alternating chrome and fiber rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet. Abbreviated SC paper.
Surprint Taking an already printed matter and re-printing again on the same.
Swash Book A book in a variety of forms, indicating specific stock in specific Colours in a specific thickness.
SWOP Abbreviation for specifications for web offset publications, specifications recommended for web printing of publications.
Synthetic papers Any non-wood or cloth paper, usually petroleum (plastic) based.
Tabloid Using a broadsheet as a measure, one half of a broadsheet.
Tag Grade of dense, strong paper used for products such as badges and file folders.
Tagged Image File Format Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. Abbreviated TIFF.
Target Ink Densities Densities of the four process inks as recommended for various printing processes and grades of paper.
Template Concerning a printing project’s basic details in regard to its dimensions. A standard layout.
Text Paper A high quality light weight printing paper.
Thermography A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and, while the ink is still wet, 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.
Thumbnails Initial ideas jotted on virtually anything in regard to initial concept of a future project.
Tint Screening or adding white to a solid Colour for results of lightening that specific Colour.
Tip In Usually in the book arena, adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process (separate insertion).
Tissue overlay Usually a thin transparent paper placed over artwork for protection uses for marking Colour breaks and other printer instructions.
Tone Compression Reduction in the tonal range from original scene to printed reproduction.
Total Area Coverage Total of the dot percentages of the process Colours in the final film. Abbreviated for TAC. Also called density of tone, maximum density, shadow saturation, total dot density and total ink coverage.
Touch Plate Plate that accents or prints a Colour that four-Colour process printing cannot reproduce well enough or at all. Also called kiss plate.
Trade Shop Service bureau, printer or bindery working primarily for other graphic arts professionals, not for the general public.
Transfer tape A peel and stick tape used in business forms.
Transparency Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through. Also called chrome, Colour transparency and tranny. Often abbreviated TX.
Transparent copy A film that light must pass through for it to be seen or reproduced.
Transparent ink A printing ink that does not conceal the Colour under it.
Trap To print one ink over another or to print a coating, such as varnish, over an ink. The first liquid traps the second liquid.
Trapping The overlapping of one Colour over a different, adjacent Colour to ensure that no white space is visible where the two Colours meet, especially when there are slight variations in the registration of the two Colours during the printing process. Or the process of printing wet ink over wet or dry previously printed ink.
Trim marks Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed sheet.
Trim Size The size of the printed material in its finished stage.
Typo A spelling mistake in printed material resulting from a mistake in typing or setting type.
Uncoated Paper Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.
Under Colour Addition Technique of making Colour separations that increases the amount of cyan, magenta or yellow ink in shadow areas. Abbreviated UCA.
Under Colour Removal Technique of making Colour separations such that the amount of cyan, magenta and yellow ink is reduced in midtone and shadow areas while the amount of black is increased. Abbreviated UCR.
Under-run Production of fewer copies than ordered.
Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) A system to protect unique work from reproducing without knowledge from the originator. To qualify, one must register their work and publish a (c) indicating registration.
Unsharp Masking Technique of adjusting dot size to make a halftone or separation appear sharper (in better focus) than the original photo or the first proof. Also called edge enhancement and peaking.
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.
Value The shade (darkness) or tint (lightness) of a Colour. Also called brightness, lightness, shade and tone.
Variable Data Printing Is a form of on-demand printing in which elements (such as text, graphics, photographs, etc?) can be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the press, using information from a database. For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter.
Varnish A clear coating added to printed material as a protective layer for improved scuff resistance and usually higher gloss.
Vellum A finish of paper that is somewhat bulky and is slightly rough.
Vellum Finish Somewhat rough, toothy finish.
Velox Brand name for high-contrast photographic paper.
Verso The left hand page of an open book.
Viewing Booth Small area or room that is set up for proper viewing of transparencies, Colour separations or press sheets. Also called Colour booth.
Vignette A photo or illustration, in which the tones fade gradually away until they blend with the background they are printed on.
Vignette Halftone Halftone whose background gradually and smoothly fades away. Also called degrade.
Virgin Paper Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.
VOC Abbreviation for volatile organic compounds, petroleum substances used as the vehicles for many printing inks.
Warm Colour A Colour with a reddish tone rather than a blue tone. Browns, oranges, reds, and yellows are generally considered to be “”warm”” Colours.
Wash-Up Removing printing ink from a press, washing the rollers and blanket. Certain ink Colours require multiple wash-ups to avoid ink and chemical contamination.
Waste Unusable paper or paper damage during normal makeready, printing or binding operations, as compared to spoilage.
Watermark A distinctive translucent mark created in paper at the time of manufacture that can be easily seen by holding the paper up to a light. It is created during manufacturing by slight embossing while paper is still approximately 90 per cent water.
Web A roll of printing paper.
Web Break Split of the paper as it travels through a web press, causing operators to rethread the press.
Web Gain Unacceptable stretching of paper as it passes through the press.
Web press A printing press that prints on rolls of paper passed through the press in one continuous piece, as opposed to individual sheets of paper.
Wet Trap To print ink or varnish over wet ink, as compared to dry trap.
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.
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.
Wire O A bindery trade name for mechanical binding using double loops of wire through a hole.
Wire Side Side of the paper that rests against The Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to felt side.
Wire-O binding A method of wire binding books along the binding edge that will allow the book to lay flat using double loops. See Wire O.
With the grain Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.
Woodfree Paper Made with chemical pulp only. Paper usually classified as calendared or supercalendered.
Work and tumble Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from the gripper to the tail to print the second side using the same side guide and plate for the second side.
Work and Turn A printing production format that has the front and back of a printed piece on one side of the paper, which is then printed the same on the back side, producing two copies of the piece.
Working Film Intermediate film that will be copied to make final film after all corrections are made. Also called build-ups.
Wove Paper manufactured without visible wire marks, usually a fine textured paper.
Writing paper Another name for bond paper.
Wrong Reading An image that is backwards when compared to the original. Also called flopped and reverse reading.
Xerographic paper Papers made to reproduce well in copy machines.
Yellow One of the four process Colours of ink, or CMYK. The Y is for yellow.
Zip file Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the internet.
Yellow One of the four process Colours of ink, or CMYK. The Y is for yellow.
Zip file Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the internet.