Bradley Graphic Solutions, Inc's Glossary of Printing Terms (A-J)
Updated: Aug 28
Sometimes it seems every industry speaks its own unique language, and printing is no exception. Fortunately, you've found the ultimate translation guide. Here's Bradley's list of common printing and graphic-arts terms, with simple, straightforward definitions you're sure to understand.
C1S is a printing industry acronym for “coated one side.” (Likewise, C2S means “coated two sides.”) 10-point C1S refers to coatings applied to paper by the paper manufacturer, usually sizing between .008" and .018" thickness. Coatings are applied to the paper before your printer receives the paper and prints on it. Thus, it is not to be confused with various coatings your printer may apply after the printing process, such as UV or aqueous coatings, varnishes or laminates.
100# Gloss Text
A glossy paper stock, about 25% thicker and heavier than a light magazine cover. 100# gloss text is used for brochures, flyers, and self-mailers, and can be a nice cover option for catalogs, programs, and magazines.
100# Uncoated Cover
Similar to a smooth, bright-white cardstock paper (around 14pt in thickness), this bright, robust material is a good option for business cards, rack cards, bookmarks, etc.
120# Gloss Cover
A sturdy, glossy paper stock with a coated finish to make photographs and other images look gorgeous. Great for postcards, bookmarks, hang-tags, packaging, door hangers, table tents, or other heavyweight products. This stock works best when you’re using metallic inks.
24# Uncoated and 28# Uncoated
A standard paper stock used for high-end pieces or envelopes. While everyday copy paper is around 20# (referring to the weight of 500 sheets), 24# is more common for resumes and high-quality colored papers, and the (thicker) 28# stock is more common for envelopes, brochures, or two-sided printing when you want to prevent show through.
70# Uncoated Text
This ultra-premium, non-glossy white stock is a sturdy, substantial paper. It is the best type of uncoated paper for full-color printing, and is ideal for stationery, envelopes, and newsletters.
80# Dull/Matte Text
A durable, finely coated paper with a slightly coated finish that has minimal sheen. A step below gloss coating, these paper options work well for pocket folders, brochures, catalog inserts, flyers, or printing with brighter colors and crisp typography.
80# Gloss Cover
A stiff, high-sheen paper stock that’s ideal for large photo displays, promotional materials, sell sheets, catalog covers, and more.
80# Gloss Text
A pragmatic, go-to glossy paper. Text papers are typically used for the inside pages of books, brochures, annual reports, and direct mail pieces because they are thin, elegant, and affordable. The gloss veneer also makes them a good candidate for sell sheets, magazines, catalogs, and light magazine covers.
A4 is the standard paper size used worldwide (labeled based on the metric system), with the exception of countries in North America. At 8.3 X 11.7”, A4 is slightly narrower and a bit longer than the “A” size of 8.5 X 11” paper.
AA’s (Author’s Alterations)
Author's Alterations (AAs) are text or design changes ordered in a printer’s proof (by an author) after a job has already been sent to a printer for production.
The property that causes paper to absorb liquids or vapors in contact with it. Absorption is a key factor in text or image quality and may affect your decisions about types of paper, ink, or print techniques.
A document folding method that uses a series of alternating folds to create multiple panels of similar size. These parallel pleats allow publications to minimize bulk (so a piece closes compactly) but to open fully with minimal resistance.
A transparent material used to form flexible, transparent pages – available in many colors. These ultra-versatile sheets can be placed over originals or artwork (allowing a designer to write instructions on) and can be used for greeting cards, window projects, stencils, and report covers to create a beautiful stained-glass effect.
An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching.
Paper made from pulp containing little or no acid, so it is less likely to degrade with age. Acid-free paper has four times the durability (with a lifespan of 200 years) of acid-sized paper (lifespan of 40-50 years) and is thought to be more environmentally sound. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.
The primary colors of red, green, and blue that can be combined (in pairs) to create the secondary colors of cyan, magenta, and yellow, or combined in three equal amounts to produce the color white.
The number of dots per inch (DPI), spots per inch (spi), or spots per centimeter (spc). Addressability has an important bearing on print quality and high-contrast fine detail.
Against the Grain
To run a sheet of paper through the printing press perpendicular to the paper grain direction (as opposed to with the grain). This is usually suboptimal for both press operation and final ink quality.
A compressed air tool that sprays a fine mist of paint or ink. Used to correct and obtain tone or graduated tone effects, it is often used in illustration and photo retouching.
A type of acid-free paper that has enhanced brightness, whiteness, and opacity compared to acid paper.
Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator, or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications, or both. Also called AA, author alteration, and customer alteration.
AM (Amplitude Modulation) Screening
A form of traditional halftone (dot pattern) screen printing, employing dots of variable size – with equal spacing between dot centers – arranged on a grid. When viewed from a distance these dots create the illusion of a continuous tone reproduction.
Two different forms of screen printings that employ different dot arrangement to reproduce images, color tones, and shadows. Each method has different advantages and disadvantages, so you may want to discuss this topic with your printer to see which screen option is more appropriate for your job.
Analog Color Proof
An off-press color proof made from separation films or files. The technique has become antiquated with technology advances that allow color proofing in digital formats.
In flexography, a two-roll inking system featuring a smooth fountain roll that transfers inks to an etched metal or ceramic-coated metal roll, using cells of fixed size and depth that transfer the ink to the printing plate. Now also being offered with new offset lithographic presses.
An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use.
The process of smoothing out jagged edges by blending the colors of the pixels around the object to create the illusion of smoothness.
In photography, an absorbent coating applied to the back of film to prevent a halo-like blurring effect of highlights or to other bright areas in an image.
Anti-offset or Set-off Spray
A dry spray of finely powdered starch used on the printing press to prevent wet ink from transferring from the top of one sheet to the bottom of the next sheet. This also creates space for oxygen to react with the ink, which enhances the drying process.
A term describing the textured surface – usually on book and cover papers – that has a naturally rough texture. This provides a degree of surface smoothness while preserving the antique or eggshell appearance.
The roughest finish offered on offset paper. (See also: Antique Finish.)
In photography, this refers to the opening in the lens (or “lens stop”) as you press the shutter release button of a camera. The aperture you set (expressed as an f/number such as f/22) impacts the size of that hole: the larger the hole, the more light that gets in; the smaller the hole, the less light.
In photography, these color-corrected lenses focus the three colors blue, green, and red, in the same plane. This minimize color fringes and results in sharper image and more precise color accuracy.
Files used to create a design. These files include layout files (created in programs such as QuarkXpress or Adobe Creative Suite) as well as artwork files (created in Photoshop, Illustrator, and font files). Application files are usually needed by a commercial printer when he/she cannot use the PDF file created by a designer.
APR (Automatic Picture Replacement)
The automatic replacement of a low-resolution image by a high-resolution image.
Aqueous coating is a clear, fast-drying, water-based coating that is used to protect print pieces from dirt, fingerprints, and the bumps and tears of daily life. It provides a durable, yet high-gloss, satin/soft touch finish. Because it is water-based, aqueous coating is often used in packaging food, household products, brochures, catalogs, and fast-moving consumer products.
Any illustrations used to prepare a job for print including graphics, drawings, charts, etc.
The original physical materials – including photos, graphic images, text, and other components – needed to produce a printed piece. May also refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.
Any part of a lowercase letter which rises above the main body of the letter (such as in “d,” “b,” and “h”).
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
A standard means of representing text as numerical data, which includes the printable characters from a keyboard (like letters, digits, punctuation marks, and a few miscellaneous symbols). There are 95 printable characters in total.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved by embedding a virtual image into a live experience, triggering a virtual holographic-type image using digital elements, sound, GPS data, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing, marketing, and business applications in particular.
How an image on one side of a printed sheet aligns with the image on the other side.
A common and serious print quality problem in lithographic offset printing of coated papers. It is mostly caused by non-uniform ink setting, a nonuniform surface porosity, and/or incorrect ink tack sequencing in multicolor printing.
The back of a bound book connecting the two covers. Also called a spine.
Printing the reverse side of a sheet which has already been printed on one side.
Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.
In text layout, starting a page or ending a paragraph with a single word, which visually disrupts the overall flow of text and distracts the reader.
In an illustration, any line that encircles copy or dialogue.
The copy pasted on the mounting board of a mechanical (the camera-ready assembly of type, graphic, and content complete with instructions to the printer). Base art usually has the copy to be printed using black ink. Sometimes called base mechanical.
An imaginary line, under a line of type, used to align characters.
A negative made by photographing base art.
In inches, 25 x 38 for book papers, 20 x 26 for cover papers, 22-1/2 x 28-1/2 or 22-1/2 x 35 for bristols, and 25-1/2 x 30-1/2 for index.
In the United States and Canada, basis weight refers to the weight – in pounds – of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to the standard size. When writing basis weight, the word “pound” is abbreviated with the symbol “#” (e.g., 500 coated sheets of 50-pound book paper is written 50# coated).
In printing, embossing uses custom made dies to create a raised surface according to the design. Beveled dies are given beveled edges (typically 30 to 60 degrees) to allow printers to press harder into the paper and get a deeper impression while preventing paper damage.
The description of a character, symbol, or graphic by its digital outline. Used by drawing programs to define shapes or create vector graphics.
Bi-cubic downsampling assigns a weighted average value to the pixel area for image compression. Compression and downsampling can significantly reduce the size of portable document formats (or PDFs).
A thin, but strong, opaque paper opaque used for bibles and books.
In lithography, a plate used for long runs in which the printing image base is usually copper and the non-printing area is aluminum, stainless steel, or chromium.
In print, the joining of pages together (through comb binding, spiral binding, saddle stiching, etc.).
In print, the sector responsible for collating, folding, trimming, and binding projects. A bindery may be a department within a printing company or a separate business.
In computers, the basic unit of digital information; a contraction of Binary digit. A number of bits is called a byte.
Bit depth refers to the color information stored in an image. The higher the bit depth of an image, the more colors it can store. The simplest image, a 1-bit image, can only show two colors, while a 24-bit image can display over 16 million colors. As the bit depth increases, the file size of the image also increases because more color information has to be stored for each pixel in the image. Bit depth may also refer to the number of bits of tonal range capability of the spots of an output device or printer.
In computer imaging, the electronic representation of a page, indicating the position of every possible spot (zero or one). Bitmap (or raster) images are stored as a series of tiny dots called pixels, which is a very small square that is assigned a color then arranged in a pattern with other pixels to form the image.
A printing plate that only uses black ink. A print advertisement only using a black plate is less expensive that one using color.
In printing, originals or reproductions in single color, as distinguished from multicolor. Sometimes called monochrome, abbreviated B/W.
Category of paperboard (a material similar to paper, but stronger and more rigid) ranging in thickness from 15 to 48 points.
In offset printing, a rubber-coated pad, mounted on a cylinder or an offset press, that receives the inked image from the plate and then transfers it to the surface to be printed. Some digital printers use an offsetting blanket or transfer unit.
An extra amount of printed image that extends to the edge of a sheet or page (beyond the trim edge).
In printing, embossing uses custom made dies to create a raised surface according to the design. Blind embossing refers to a design that is stamped without metallic leaf or ink, giving a bas-relief effect. One way to make blind embossing stand out even more is to use textured paper, since the area around the embossing will be pressed smooth, thus creating more contrast.
A page number not printed on the page. (In the book arena, a blank page traditionally does not print with a page number.)
In lithography, an image that has lost its ink receptivity and fails to print. In print, an image debossed, embossed, or stamped, but not delineated by any color of ink or foil.
When ink or liquid coating causes printed sheets or paper roll sections to stick together. Blocking can cause images to smudge from one page to the next or sheets to damaged when they are separated.
An image enlargement.
A step in the analog printing process that allows films to be exposed to light sensitive paper then folded and bound. Relating to photography, prepress proofs are made from stripped negatives where all colors show as blue images on white paper. Because “blueline” is a generic term for proofs made from a variety of materials with similar appearances, it may also be called a blackprint, blue, blueprint, brownline, brownprint, diazo, dyeline, ozalid, position proof, silverprint, Dylux or VanDyke.
A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket. May also refer to a description of a person (such as a writer or speaker) appearing as part of an article by that individual.
A general term for paper over 110# index, 80# cover or 200 gsm. Board paper (or paperboard) is commonly used for products such as file folders, displays and postcards.
In design, the main text of work not including the headlines. In printing or inkmaking, a term referring to the viscosity or fluid consistency of an ink (e.g., an ink with too much body is described as stiff).
A typeface (or font) used for the main part or text of a printed piece, as distinguished from the headings.
Something generic that can be re-used with minimal adaption. In print or design, this refers to blocks of repetitive type used and copied over and over again.
A name given to type that is heavier, darker, or thicker than the standard text type (e.g. plain or regular style) that is being used.
A grade of durable writing, printing, and typing paper that is erasable and somewhat rigid.
A category of paper commonly used for writing, printing, and photocopying. Also called business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper, and writing paper.
A group of folded pages (without cover, endpapers, or binding) that are bound and trimmed for the assembly of a book or pamphlet.
A category of paper suitable for books, magazines, catalogs, advertising, and general printing needs. Book paper is categorized as uncoated paper (also called offset paper), coated paper (also called art paper, enamel paper, gloss paper, and slick paper), and text paper.
1. Inconsistent positioning of the printed image on the sheets of paper as they travel through a printing press.
2. A repeating registration (or paper alignment) problem in the printing stage of production.
Bpi (Bits per inch)
An acronym referring to Bits per inch, or how densely information is packed on a storage medium. In printing, the acronym Dpi refers to how many dots can be printed in one square inch of paper, while the acronym Ppi refers to the number of pixels per inch (and refers to a quality of a photo that has been captured by a camera). The more pixels or dots per inch, the finer the detail in the print will be and the sharper it will look.
Bps (Bits per second)
An acronym referring to Bits per second. This unit is used to measure data transfer rates based on “Decimal multiples of bits.” The symbol for bit per second is bps or b/s or bit/s.
Break for Color
In artwork and composition, to separate the parts to be printed into different colors.
A characteristic of photography, paper, or ink referring to how much light (or brilliance) the photo subject, paper, or ink reflects.
A board paper of various thicknesses (from 6 points or thicker with base weight between 90# and 200#) that has a smooth finish. Used for printing and drawing, including materials such as index cards, file folders, and displays.
In book printing, a sheet printed as one page. In commercial printing this term refers to work printed on an oversize sheet (which is sometimes folded once to produce four pages).
This refers to a carton which has been opened with some items taken out. In print, it indicates a carton of paper from which some of the sheets have been sold. Also called a less carton.
A photographic print created on bromide paper (which is a fast printing paper coated with an emulsion of silver bromide: used mostly for enlargements).
One of the oldest print finishing processes, bronzing describes the effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing and using a metallic powder. The technique is still used today to produce unique, high-quality labels and packaging.
Build a Color
To overlap two or more screen tints to create a new color. Such an overlap is called a build, color build, stacked screen build, or tint build.
The degree of thickness of paper relative to its basic weight. In book printing, the number of pages per inch for a given basis weight.
The degree of thickness of paper relative to its basic weight. In book printing, the number of pages per inch for a given basis weight.
Burnishing is a condition that occurs when dulling particles are flattened by scraping or when the spaces between them are moistened by oil from fingers during handling. In both cases, a smoother surface is the result, which appears glossy (or lighter in tone) in the affected areas.
Burst Perfect Bind
To bind by forcing glue into notches along the spines of gathered/folded pages before affixing a paper cover. Also called burst bind, notch bind, and slotted bind.
A term referring to the precise meeting of ink colors – without overlapping or allowing space in between – as compared to lap register (where ink colors overlap slightly). Also called butt fit and kiss register.
To subcontract for a service that is closely related to the business of the organization. Work that is bought out or farmed out is sometimes called outwork or referred to as being “out of house.” Also called farm out.
In computers, a unit of digital information, equivalent to one character or 8 to 32 bits, 64 bits, etc. A bit is the basic unit of digital information; a number of bits is a byte.
C1S and C2S
A printing industry acronym for “coated one side” or “coated two sides.” These terms refer to coatings applied to paper by the paper manufacturer (usually between .008" and .018" thickness), and are applied to the paper before your printer receives the paper and prints on it. Thus, it is not to be confused with various coatings your printer may apply after the printing process, such as UV or aqueous coatings, varnishes or laminates.
CAD (Computer-Aided Drafting or Design)
In graphics, the production of drawings and plans for architecture and engineering systems. CAD systems are specialized workstations or very high-performance personal computers that employ CAD software packages and input devices such as graphic tablets and scanners.
A cast-iron roll that is part of a series of metal rolls at the end of a paper machine. When the paper is passed between these rolls they increase its smoothness and the glossiness of the surface. The amount of pressure controls the degree of smoothness of the paper. Most papers other than antique finished papers are calendared. The type of finish that is achieved using calendaring is called an eggshell finish, vellum finish, or English finish.
1. The thickness of paper or other printing surface, expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), pages per inch (ppi), thousandths of a millimeter (microns), or pages per centimeter (ppc).
2. The device on a sheetfed press that detects double sheets, or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
1. A common term used in the commercial printing industry, meaning a document is from a technical standpoint ready to “go to press,” or be printed.
2. Copy that is ready to be photographed.
Caps and Small Caps
Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type, commonly used in most Roman typefaces.
Carbonless copy paper has micro-encapsulated dye or ink on the back side of the top sheet, as well as a clay coating on the front side of the bottom sheet. When pressure is applied (from writing or impact printing), the dye capsules rupture and react with the clay to form a permanent mark duplicating the markings (elements like images, writing, or typing) made to the top sheet. In the span of seconds, intermediary layers act as multipart stationery, adding flexibility and convenience to any business exchange!
Selling a unit of paper that may weigh anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 pounds (9,090 to 45, 454 kilos), depending on which mill or merchant uses the term. Abbreviated CL.
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.
The covers of a hardbound book.
A binding method in which the hard board book case (cover) is made separately from the textblock and later attached to it.
Coated paper dried under pressure against a polished, hot, metal drum to produce a high-gloss enamel finish.
A holographic effect that uses a flexographic printing press to press a laminated casting film to a wet UV coating or varnish, creating a film that can be rolled up and reused (approximately 10-20 times) to create unique packaging or labels with holographic, high gloss, matte, and iridescent effects.
Coated paper rated #4 or #5 with basis weight from 35# to 50# (50 to 75 gsm); commonly used for catalogs and magazines.
CCD (Charge Coupled Device)
A semiconductor light-sensitive electronic device that emits an electrical signal proportional to the amount of light striking it. Used in scanners and video cameras.
CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read Only Memory)
In digital prepress, a laser-encoded optical storage disk that can store 650 mega-bytes to more than one gigabyte of data (on a disk about the size of a traditional 51/4-inch floppy disk).
A small etched or engraved depression (e.g. very fine dimples) in a gravure cylinder or an anilox roll that carries the ink to a flexographic printing plate. The number, size, and geometry of the anilox cells vary and will determine the amount of ink that the anilox roll delivers to the plate.
In printing, anilox is a method used to provide a measured amount of ink to a flexographic printing plate. Cell volume is measure of a cell's capacity to carry ink; calculated as theoretical volume or liquid volume.
Cells Per Inch (Cpi)
The number of cells per inch on a flexo anilox or gravure cylinder.
The pair of pages facing each other at the center of a magazine or newspaper, printed and made up as a single unit.
CEPS (Color Electronic Prepress System)
A high-end, computer-based system (including scanner, printer and other hardware) and software designed for image assembly, color correction, retouching, and output onto proofing materials, film, or printing plates.
Alternate term for elliptical dots; where midtone dots (from a photo or illustration) touch and look like links in a chain.
The more widely spaced lines created in the thickness of laid paper, and visible as brighter lines as viewed by transmitted light. Chain lines appear on laid paper as a result of the wires of the papermaking machine.
The deterioration of a printed image caused by the improper drying of ink (because it was absorbed too quickly or had long exposure to sun and wind, which caused the pigment to dust off). Sometimes called crocking.
A term used to describe the production copy of a print publication that has been verified by the customer for final print runs.
A type of paper pulp produced by treating groundwood chips with chemicals to removed impurities like lignin, resigns, and gums.
The term used to describe the composition and processing solutions that involve the reactions between photons, photographic film, and developing solution to make photo prints.
Chokes and Spreads
In prepress and multi-color printing, a trapping technique that adjusts the size of an image and the opening in which it will be inserted. A choke is a photographic enlargement of the background color in which a second image will print. This has the effect of reducing the size of – or “choking” – the hole in which a foreground object will be printed. A spread is the slight photographic enlargement—or “spreading”—of the image that will print within the choked image. This combination of reducing the opening and enlarging the image creates a slight overlap when the images ultimately print, eliminating unwanted white spaces or gaps between the two images.
The strength of a color as compared to how close it seems to neutral gray. This is also referred to as depth, intensity, purity, and saturation.
CIE Color Spaces
Three-dimensional color mapping systems (such as CIELab) that are used to plot three color attributes (X, Y, Z) in order to numerically specify a measured color and accurately reproduce that it in print and digital displays.
An acronym for the Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press, and Postpress. CIP4 is a global, non-profit standards association that sets protocols and automates workflows in printing.
A proofreading mark used to indicate that a space needs to be “closed” between words or characters.
Closed Loop System
An automatic control system in which an operation, process, or mechanism can adjust itself and is regulated by feedback. In printing, a densitometer in a digital printer may provide feedback data for color adjustment.
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key/Black)
The subtractive process colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow) used in CMYK color printing. Black (K) is added to enhance color and contrast. The CMYK color model is also used to describe the printing process itself, because CMYK refers to the four ink plates used in some color printing presses.
Co-mail is the process of mixing different-sized catalogs and publications from multiple sources to produce sorted and bundled packages that are as USPS delivery-friendly as possible.
Co-palletization (or co-pal) is when the mailing company takes mail trays that have been addressed and sorted and combines them on the same pallet with trays of direct mail from multiple customers to create full pallets. This qualifies mail for greater postal discounts and allows mail to ship faster and with better tracking.
A halftone screen – commonly used in newsprint – typically with a ruling of 65, 85, or 100 lines per inch.
Paper having a surface coating that produces a smooth finish. Coated papers are best suited for high quality printing tasks. Paper may be gloss coated, dull-coated, machine-coated, or cast-coated.
Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.
An emulsion, varnish, or lacquer applied over a print surface to protect it and make it appear more professional. Some coatings can be applied to precise points on the page and others are flooded across the entire sheet. Each combination of coatings, tints, and textures can be used to adjust the level of protection or achieve different visual effects.
Coil binding – or spiral binding – uses a piece of spiraled plastic or wire to hold the finished book together. Coil binding allows books to be laid flat when opened, or even folded over onto itself. This is a wonderful binding option for reports, instruction manuals, cookbooks, calendars, and other items that need both flexibility and the ability to stay open.
Any color that is toward the blue side of the color spectrum. Cool colors (green, blue, and violet) tend to recede in space and typically make a space (or design) seem larger.
To gather or arrange pages in a proper sequence. In bookbinding, collating refers to verifying the correct order of pages.
A screenless printing process – employing a glass plate with a gelatin surface – that carries the image to be reproduced via litho-graphic presses.
A distinctive emblem used to identify books and others works produced by a printer or publisher.
In photography and image processing, color balance is the global adjustment of the intensities of the colors (typically cyan, magenta, and yellow). An important goal of this adjustment is to render specific colors – particularly neutral colors – correctly, or to produce a natural gray.
A color bar (or color control strips or proofing bars) are essentially test targets printed in the trim area of a press sheet. Color bars help press operators monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to print placement, ink density, and dot gain.
Sometimes called “shells,” color blanks are press sheets printed with photos or illustrations, but without any type.
In multicolor printing, a color break is the position, line or area where one ink color stops and another begins.
A color bar (or color control strips, color guides, or standard offset color bars) are essentially test targets printed in the trim area of a press sheet. Color control bars help press operators monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to print placement, ink density, and dot gain.
Color Control Bar
A color bar (or color control strips, color guides, or standard offset color bars) are essentially test targets printed in the trim area of a press sheet. Color control bars help press operators monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to print placement, ink density, and dot gain.
Any method such as masking, dot-etching, re-etching, and scanning; used to improve color.
Instructions in computer software that allow users to change or correct colors. Just as you can make a plethora of adjustments to luminance (light) values, you have the same control over color to adjust highlights, mid-tones, and darks of any of the three-color channels (red, green, and blue), or to remove one of these color channels entirely.
Color Electronic Prepress System
In digital prepress, CEPS is a high-end, computer-based system that is used to color correct scanner images and assemble image elements into the highest-quality final pages.
A sheet of dyed glass, gelatin or plastic, or dyed gelatin cemented between glass plates. Used in photography to absorb certain colors and transmit others. The filters used for color separation are red, green, and blue (RGB).
Color gamut is defined as the entire range of hues which a particular device (or system) can produce or record, such as on a computer screen, or via a four-color printing press.
A type of post-film proof that represents color images less accurately than a die sublimation or contact proof. Color keys are created by overlaying a series of translucent films on one another to represent the printed piece.
A system of hardware, software, and procedures that are calibrated to best ensure color accuracy and repeatability throughout the design and production process.
A color model is an abstract mathematical model describing the way colors can be represented as numbers, typically as twenty or thirty values or color components. When this model is associated with a precise description of how the components are to be interpreted (viewing conditions, etc.), the resulting set of colors is called “color space.”
A visual impression of the expected final print reproduction, produced on a printing surface with inks, pigments, or dyes. Many color proofing systems exist to ensure the accuracy of everything from screen angles and dot shapes to the precise color of a proof.
The process of separating color originals into the primary printing color components – in negative or positive form – using red, green, and blue filters. Today, color separation is totally electronic.
In the 4-color print process (CMYK) or any multi-color printing, different inks are laid down in sequence in order to build the final image. The order that inks are laid down can significantly alter the final printed result. Ink sequence can also impact whether the job runs successfully or fails on press. Also called the color rotation or laydown sequence.
In four-color printing, color shift refers to the change in image color that can occur after a change in register, ink density, or dot gain, which can deter the final print quality and permit loss in total color gamut.
The use of transparent film to perform color separations. In design software, adjusting color transparency can permit underlying objects to shine through, allow overlaid text to be more legible, or to create a unique tint by mixing colors.The use of transparent film to perform color separations. In design software, adjusting color transparency can permit underlying objects to shine through, allow overlaid text to be more legible, or to create a unique tint by mixing colors.
A tri-stimulus (three-filtered) device that uses red, green, and blue filters to mimic the way humans perceive color.
Comb binding (sometimes referred to as cerlox or surelox binding) is one of many ways to bind pages together into a book. This method uses round plastic spines with 19 rings (for US Letter size) or 21 rings (for A4 size) and a hole puncher that makes rectangular holes.
Commercial printing refers to the collection of services, which include bulk printing along with binding, composition, layout designing, and press productions. A commercial printer is used to produce phone books, magazines, labels, catalogs, brochures, business forms, promotional and training manuals, etc. Also called a job printer.
Refers to color printing on which the misregister allowable is within ± one row of halftone dots.
Commingling is a process by which mailings from more than one company are combined to meet USPS discount minimums (for quantity) for mailings to targeted neighborhoods.
Common Impression Cylinder Press
In offset printing, this refers to an impression cylinder that contacts more than one rubber-surfaced fabric. These presses transfer an image to a plate and then to the paper.
The second or additional flat used when combining images from two or more pieces for a burn on one printing plate.
A print made from a number of individual plates, combining all colors onto one surface (rather than separating them into onto overlays). Composite art has a tissue overlay with instructions that indicate color breaks.
The assembly of typographic elements, graphics, or other page elements into pages ready for printing.
A comprehensive dummy from a commercial printing company simulates the final printed piece (with type, graphics, and colors). It includes the client's images and text and is formatted in accordance with instructions given when the first dummy was prepared by the graphic artist and reviewed by the client. The comp may be backed up, folded, scored or perforated if the final piece will have these features. Also called color comprehensive and comp.
Computer-to-plate (CTP or C2P) is an imaging technology which helps to transfer a digital image – generated in a computer – directly to a printing plate. Before CTP, the technology used was computer-to-film (CTF), where the image output was passed to a photographic film, and the output film was then used to make the printing plate. CTP lowers costs and shortens the amount of time needed to get a job on the press.
Type whose width has been reduced without affecting its height. Condensed type appears tall and tightly spaced.
To store paper in the pressroom for several hours or days before a print run so that the moisture level and temperature of the paper is equal to that of the pressroom.
A property of fountain solutions that must be controlled along with pH.
A machine with lights, timing device, and vacuum frame used to make contact prints or duplicate film, proofs, and plates.
All photographs and illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones. An example of a continuous tone image is a photograph or a color transparency. Abbreviated contone.
An abbreviation for continuous tone.
A color proof of a print job; an agreement between the printer and the customer about how the printed product will look.
Any difference between visual items, such as the point size of text, the thickness of lines, the dark vs. light shades of colors, etc. In printing, contrast refers to the degree of perceptible difference between a duplicate and its original.
Converts are companies that specialize in modifying or combining raw materials such as polyesters, adhesives, silicone, adhesive tapes, foams, plastics, felts, rubbers, or liners and metals to create new products. In print, converters are known for making products such as boxes, bags, envelopes and displays.
Any client-supplied material (digital files, typed content, artwork, etc.) to be used in the print production.
The directions and preparation involved in arranging and sizing all client-supplied material (e.g. illustrations, text, etc.) to be photographed or electronically processed for reproduction.
1. The surface or frame on a process camera that holds the copy in position for photographing.
2. The backing on which the original to be reproduced is positioned in front of the camera in photoengraving.
An error to be corrected (discovered after printing), and a supplemental sheet containing the correction. Plural is corrigenda.
A term applied to papers mostly used for the covers of catalogs, brochures, booklets, pamphlets, etc. Also used for business cards and postcards.
A term used in printing to express how much ink is on a sheet. A page with light coverage might just have a small amount of text on it, while a page with heavy coverage indicates a large section of page covered in ink. Usually expressed in percentages.
Thick cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to create a more robust binding.
The shifting position of a page as paper is folded, inserted, or bound during the finishing process. The amount of creep will vary depending on the number and thickness of the sheets and must be compensated for during layout and imposition. Sometimes called “push out.”
Any mark that clearly shows where material should be cut off, typically after an image has been produced, once it has been printed. Also called cut marks and tick marks.
The direction perpendicular to the grain direction of a paper. Paper is weaker and more sensitive to changes in relative humidity in the cross direction than the grain direction.
Marks on the register (the fitting of two or more printing images on the same paper in exact alignment with each other).
A type or art across two facing pages (in a book or magazine) that “crosses” the gutter and continues on the opposite page. Also called a bridge, gutter bleed, or gutter jump.
CSR (Customer Service Rep)
The print professional you will work with once you’ve given a job to a printer.
Abbreviation for computer-to-plate imaging technology which helps to transfer a digital image generated in a computer directly to a printing plate. Before CTP, the technology used was computer-to-film (CTF), where the image output was passed to a photographic film, and the output film was then used to make the printing plate. This process lowers costs and shortens the amount of time needed to get a job on the press.
The process of drying inks, varnishes, or other print coatings. Curing ensures good adhesion and prevents unwanted transfer of ink from one printed sheet to another.
The distortion of a print product due to the absorption of moisture, or the differences in structure or coatings from one side to the other.
Paper sizes used during casual or commercial printing.
The circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, based on the length of the printed sheet or the length of the repeat pattern on roll to roll presses.
A sharp-edged knife used during die cutting (a process in which you use a machine to mass-produce cut-out shapes). A cutscore is made to cut partway into the paper or board to aid in folding and to reduce paper cracking.
A tool that cuts out your custom packaging shape, built as a base with molded blades sticking out of it. Usually this is a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.
A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing.
An abbreviation for hundredweight using the Roman numeral C=100. Often used to calculate freight charges.
A break in the circumference of an offset press plate cylinder, blanket cylinder, impression cylinder, or transfer cylinder in which the mechanism for the plate, clamps, and grippers is housed. The cylinder gap on the plate cylinder also allows the inking system to renew itself between printed sheets.
In offset printing, the water-based fountain solution applied to the printing plate. This repels ink from in non-image areas of the plate.
In off-set lithographic printing, the mechanism for transferring a water-based fountain solution to the printing plate as a means of making non-image areas ink repellent (so that the oil-based ink does not collect in unwanted areas of the printing plate).
The process of reducing the amount of storage required to store or transmit a digital file. The greater the compression, the less detail can be encoded in a file, and the more detail is lost when a file is covered.
DCS (Desktop Color Separation)
A data file defined to assist in printing process color separation using desktop color systems. Five files are created: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black image data, then compiled for a fifth file color preview to ensure perfect color blend for the final product.
Debossing and embossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. A debossed pattern is pressed into the paper so it lies below the surface.
A removable wooden frame or “fence” used in manual paper making; can also refer to the width of a wet sheet as it comes off the wire of a paper machine. Deckle edge paper is an industrially produced paper with rough cut or distressed edges (as used in the book trade).
The raw end of handmade or machine-made paper. It appears as a rough, frayed edge. Many artists and crafters like to keep this look as an artistic embellishment, but the deckle edge is typically cut off when manufactured paper is sold.
A photoelectric instrument used by printers and photographers to measure the density of images, colors, or viscosity of inks on the base material on which something will be printed.
1. The measure of darkness, blackening, or “strength” of an image in terms of its ability to disperse or absorb light (e.g. opacity), as measured by a densitometer.
2. The number of dots per unit area given by display devices (such as monitors) or output devices (such as laser printers or imagesetters).
Density is the measure of darkness or “strength” of an image in terms of its opacity. The density range is the difference (or contrast) between the darkest and lightest areas of copy. Also called tonal range or copy range.
The portion of a lowercase letter that extends below the main body, as in “q.”
The use of the computer and software to create visual displays of ideas and information. Desktop publishing documents may be for desktop or commercial printing, or for electronic distribution (including PDF, slideshows, email newsletters, electronic books, etc.).
The features of a computer program or system that allows different output devices to display the same file. Device-independent colors are hues identified by wavelength that can be accurately reproduced across several mediums (e.g. ink, projected light, photographic chemistry, etc.).
Any metal plate or block etched with a design, lettering, or pattern used to stamp or press these designs into a printed material. Used in embossing, debossing, die-stamping, scoring, foil stamping, etc.
A cold forming process that involves the production of either a machine-etched or a hand-engraved steel die or copperplate, which is then mounted onto the moving arm of a large die stamping press where it is inked. Given the unbeatable finish and fine detail of die stamping, it is a natural choice when printing elegant crests, symbols, or intricate type for business cards, letterheads, etc. Sometimes called ‘engraved,’ ‘copperplate,’ or ‘intaglio’ printing.
A process of using sharp steel rules to mass-produce cut-out shapes for labels, cartons, packaging, etc. There are several different types of die cutting processes available today, including flatbed die cutting, rotary die cutting, and digital die cutting.
In photography or photocopying, a chemical process of reproducing a master copy on a receiver sheet.
Digital Asset Management (DAM)
A segment of the content management market focused on the systematic cataloging and management of digital media (text, images, video, and audio), and the devices needed to store, retrieve, or use this media. Also referred to as Media Asset Management.
Digital Color Proof
A color proof produced from digital data without needing to make separate color films first. Sometimes abbreviated DCP or referred to as Direct Digital Color Proof.
A dot created by a computer and printed out by a laser printer or imagesetter. Tiny, uniformly-sized dots are displayed in patterned grids to make up larger words or images. The more pixels (or dots) per inch, the finer the detail in the print will be and the sharper it will look.
1. A form of technology that allows handwriting and drawings to be added electronically to documents and be displayed on a computer monitor.
2. In digital printing, imaging material used in plateless printing systems, including the (powdered) toner mixture used for tone printing inks.
High speed or spark discharge plates that record images directly on plate to transfer digital data from a prepress system to materials like paper, polyester, or aluminum plates.
A method of plateless printing that sends a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. This can refer to small-run jobs like desktop publishing to large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers. Digital printing has a higher cost per page but allows for on-demand printing, shorter turnaround times, or the use or variable data for each print run. Also referred to as electronic printing.
Any hardware device that receives analog information such as sound or light, and records it digitally (in binary form). Usually, this information is stored in a file on a computing device. This transfer process is called digitization.
A measure of the extent to which a paper, film, or print product will resist a change in size as a result of a change in moisture content, relative humility, or the application of a compressing force, as during printing. Polyester-based films are more dimensionally stable than acetate bases, but glass is more stable than polyester.
Direct Digital Color Proof (DDCP)
A color proof – made by a computer-controlled output device – that can be produced without making color separation films first.
Type that is set larger than the main body text, such as headings.
Distribute and Print
To distribute a print job to printers around the country so it can be printed locally or mailed more cost-effectively.
An intentionally applied form of noise used to randomize quantization error and prevent large-scale patterns such as color banding in images. Dithering techniques make different colors for adjacent dots or pixels to give an illusion of a third color, or by adding shades of gray to a project. Also referred to as halftoning.
In gravure printing, a knife-edged blade pressed against the engraved printing cylinder to wipe away excess ink and to produce fine, detailed images.
Part of a sheet of paper (commonly a corner) which has been folded over. This is a printing defect that can be caused by mechanical problems on the press or folding machine.
DOS (Disk Operation System)
Short for disk operating system, DOS refers to the original operating system developed by Microsoft for IBM, sometimes also referred to as MS-DOS (Microsoft disk operating system). Today DOS refers to a set of programs that instructs a disk-based computer system to manage resources and operate exterior components.
The smallest individual element of a halftone. Dots per inch (Dpi) is a measure of image quality.
A phenomenon that causes printed material to reveal darker tones (or stronger colors) than intended. This happens when a plate is exposed and light scatters, or when ink is improperly transferred from a printing plate to the transfer unit and print materials.
The relative size of dots used in halftone (dot pattern) printing, as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used.
Dots Per Inch (DPI)
A measure of how many dots can be printed in one square inch of paper. The more pixels or dots per inch, the finer the detail in the print will be and the sharper it will look.
Double Black Duotone
In printing, the means of increasing contrast of printed images by printing with two specially-prepared black halftone plates (one for highlights and one for midtones and shadows). Also called double-black halftone printing.
To print a single image darker by sending a sheet through the press twice (so that the same color prints again). This process may be needed when extremely dense solid areas are required.
Combining images of two or more films into a single film to create a single composite image. May also refer to artwork in which overlays are shot as separate negatives then burned together to make the printing plate.
A method of recording electronic data, using a modified frequency so more storage is created (about twice the capacity of the prior format).
Double Dot Halftone
The reprographic technique used to simulate continuous-tone imagery through the use of dots burned onto one printing plate from two originals (one shot for shadows, the second for midtones and highlights). A double halftone reproduces much greater contrast than a conventional halftone. Also called a double halftone.
A printing defect characterized by a faint duplicate of a printed impression out of alignment with the solid image, or flawed double impressions created during die-stamping or foil stamping.
In computer networks, download means to receive data from a remote system, typically from a server such as a web server, an FTP server, an email server, or other similar system. This contrasts with uploading, where data is sent to a remote server. A download is a file offered for downloading or that has been downloaded, or the process of receiving such a file.
Acronym for Dots Per Inch; a measure of how many dots can be printed in one square inch of paper. The more pixels or dots per inch, the finer the detail in the print will be and the sharper it will look.
A term that is used to describe an ink chemist's method of roughly determining color shade. In commercial printing, a drawdown is a sample spread of ink that your print provider presses onto a paper. For offset printed jobs, the drawdown is the best way to see exactly how the ink will look on a given paper. There are machines that will create the drawdown, but many shops actually hand roll the ink onto the paper.
The process of drilling holes in press sheets, books, or bound projects, often to facilitate mechanical binding. Also known as punching.
Portions of originals that do not reproduce, especially colored lines or background areas (often intentionally). White type on a colored background is called a drop-out. This term may also refer to halftone dots or fine lines eliminated from highlights (by overexposure) during camera work.
To increase contrast in halftone printing by eliminating dots from highlights. Can also refer to any halftone photographed as line art, with black and white but no shades of gray.
A hybrid of letterpress printing and offset lithography that uses etched metal plates (mounted to plate cylinders), which transfer ink to a rubber-coated pad (a blanket) before this image is transferred to the final surface to be printed. Useful for printing on rough or irregular surfaces, such as aluminum cans. Also called letterset printing.
In four-color process color printing, the ability to successfully lay wet ink film on top (previously printed) dry ink.
A decrease in the gloss or color intensity of ink during drying. Dryback can be avoided by ensuring the paper’s absorbency allows the proper amount of time for ink drying.
A substance added during commercial printing to harden the heatset ink by evaporating a solvent ingredient into it. This hastens drying.
An acronym for Desktop Publishing (the use of the computer and software to create visual displays of ideas and information).
Dual Purpose Bond Paper
Bond paper is commonly used for writing, printing, and photocopying. Dual purpose bond paper is suitable for printing by both offset printers or photocopiers.
A semi-gloss finish on coated paper that is slightly smoother than matte (but less glossy than gloss). Also called suede finish, velvet finish, or velour finish.
A preliminary mockup (created prior to production) showing the size, shape, form, and general style of a project as it may appear in a final print run.
1. A black-and-white image reproduced using two halftone negatives.
2. A term for a two-color halftone reproduction originating from a one-color photograph. Here two films are made by changing the screen angle for each and one plate is made for each film. This allows for maximum contrast and emphasizing different tonal values in the original.
A print setting that allows printing of a sheet of paper. Print devices without this capability can only print on a single side of paper, sometimes called single-sided printing or simplex printing. Also referred to as “perfecting.”
Thick paper made by pasting highlights together from two thinner sheets, usually displaying a different color or finish on each side. Also called double-faced paper and two-tone paper.
A small printing press (typically capable of printing sheets no larger than 11 X 17) used in offset lithography for quick, single-color, short-run print jobs.
A photographic looking color print created by imprinting heated dyes on a surface (rather than using ink). Many dye-sublimation printers are used to produce photographic prints, ID cards, clothing, plastics, and more.
A brand name for photographic paper used as a proofing medium in the print industry (used for evaluating page layouts, text, photos, and other illustrations). Sometimes called blueline.
Density difference (e.g. color depth or possible pixel values) for a digital image. Describes the number of possible colors or gray shades that can be included in a particular image. 8-bit images can represent as many as 256 colors; 24-bit image can represent approximately 16 million colors. In design software, using a high dynamic range setting allows you to portray a much greater range of tonal detail than a given camera could capture in a single photo.
Electronic Image Assembly
In prepress, the digital composition of an image created from portions of other images and/or page elements.
A method of plateless printing that sends a digital-based image directly to a variety of media (without the use of traditional ink, water, chemistry, or plates). This can refer to small-run jobs like desktop publishing to large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers. Electronic printing has a higher cost per page but allows for on-demand printing, shorter turnaround times, or the use or variable data for each print run. Also referred to as digital printing.
A prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the color separation negatives and passed through electronically charged pigment toners. Also known as a soft proof, electronic proofs are generated for any file that will be printed (interior pages, book covers, packaging, etc.). Electronic proofs are not intended to be accurate for color.
The distribution of digital text, images, and video. Electronic publishing includes pieces printed manually (from a copy machine or ink printer) and also for online publications, fax machines, or digital media such as CDs and DVDs.
A type of dry photocopying method used to create copies of a picture using an electrostatic charge and toners, as in copiers and digital printers.
Elongated or oval halftone dots that improve the progression of tones (particularly in middle tones and fading or blended illustrations); used to minimize the midtone jump and improve print quality at the point where dots are large enough to connect.
A unit in the field of typography where a unit of measurement is exactly as wide and high as the point size being set. For example, one em in a 16-point typeface is 16 points. Therefore, this unit is the same for all typefaces at a given point size. For example, the em dash and em space are each one em wide.
A coded tag at the end of the image file data that allows a Color Management Module to translate the color data correctly from one profile or color space to another.
In the trade printing area, embossing finish refers to raising parts of paper or cardboard for extra texture and emphasis. This dimensional print finish adds additional depth to the embossed elements, to create tactile shadows and highlights in a design. Embossed finish adds a tactile, unique feeling and dimension to your design, so it resembles wood, cloth, leather, or some other textured pattern.
Embossing and debossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the surface of the material but might protrude somewhat on the reverse side.
EME (Electromechanical Engraver)
In gravure printing, EME is a machine used to make printing cylinders that can transfer an image to the surface of the printing cylinder for reproduction on a printing surface (e.g. plastic, film, or foils).
The colloidal suspension of one liquid in another. In photography, an emulsion is any light-sensitive coating used to form reproductions of an image on papers, films, stencils, and printing plates. This is the basis of photography.
Emulsion Down/Emulsion Up
Emulsion refers to the light-sensitive coating used to form reproductions of an image on papers, films, stencils, and printing plates. Emulsion up (EU) refers to film where the image is tipped toward the viewer; emulsion down (ED) is film that faces away from the viewer.
A unit in the field of typography where a unit of measurement is half the width of an em. By definition, it is equivalent to half of the height of the font (e.g. in 16 point type it is 8 points). As its name suggests, it is also traditionally the width of an uppercase letter “N”. The en dash (–) and en space ( ) are each one en wide. In English, the en dash is commonly used for inclusive ranges (e.g., “pages 12–17” or “August 7, 1988 – November 26, 2005”), and increasingly used to replace the long dash (“—”, also called an em dash or en rule). Also called ‘nut.’
A term applied to a coated paper, or another term for gloss coated paper.
A sheet that attaches the inside pages of a case bound book to its cover. Also referred to as pastedown.
A grade of coated book paper that has a smoother, more uniform surface than machine finish. English Finish is smoother than eggshell but rougher than smooth.
A printmaking method, engraving is done with a sharp tool (called a burin) used to scratch lines into a hard surface such as metal or wood. In modern printing, engraving refers to the process in which artwork is chemically etched onto a copper plate which can be inked and pressed onto paper, (creating a slightly raised impression for the image).
An abbreviation for the word envelope.
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
A file format used to transfer graphic images within compatible applications. EPS files are more-or-less self-contained, and reasonably predictable PostScript documents that describe an image or drawing and can be placed within another PostScript document. An EPS file is essentially a PostScript program, saved as a single file that includes a low-resolution preview “encapsulated.” within it, allowing some programs to display a preview on the screen, or sized without loss of quality at different resolutions.
A term used to describe respective qualities of papers that look and print the same, while not being brand specified. Sometimes called comparable stock.
An approximation of what a print job may cost, specifically based on things like paper selection, folds or binding, colors and finishes, etc.
The individual responsible for pricing an estimate for a potential print job. When working with an estimator, you may be able to request that certain elements of a job be separated from the basic printing cost; this enables you to price out extra elements (such as foil stamps, unusual binding, or various finishing options).
An acidified gum solution (used in lithographic printing) to desensitize the non-printing areas of the plate in order to carve an image into metal, glass, or a print surface; also, an acid solution added to the fountain water to help keep non-printing areas of the plate free from ink.
In contrast with condensed type, expanded type has a width greater than normal. Also referred to as extended type.
In photography, exposure is the amount of light per unit area (the image plane illuminance times the exposure time) that reaches a frame of photographic film or the surface of an electronic image sensor. Exposure is determined by shutter speed, lens aperture, and scene luminance. An “exposure” is a single shutter cycle.
The printing surface of a piece of metal type, or the opening edge of a bound publication (opposite of the spine). Face can also be used to refer to a particular plane of a computer graphics wireframe model, or as a shortened form of the term typeface.
A device used to measure the degree that an ink sample (or other pigmented coatings) will fade when exposed to light.
To produce a color piece by using one image as a key and making the other separations (or isolated individual color areas) from it manually.
The undesirable expansion (or distortion) of a sheet of paper on the press – caused either by moisture absorption or by mechanical stretching of the paper – resulting in poor registration of images.
Fast Color Inks
Highly saturated colored inks that resist fading and retain their solidity over time (especially as the products are dried, used, or washed).
The section of a printing device that separates the sheets and feeds them in position for printing.
The smoother side of the paper for printing (as compared to the wire side). Since the felt side contains more filler, it is somewhat weaker than the wire side, and is often not the preferred side for printing.
In offset printing, the fifth color is an additional spot color used to supplement the traditional colors used in process printing (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Often this may be an integral color for the corporate/brand image (such as Ferrari red or IBM blue) where consistent color matching is crucial.
A container in a computer system for storing information in electronic form, a file is a group of related information (such as text, graphics, page instructions, and picture information) that is stored on magnetic disks, in the hard drive, or on other media.
Filling In (or Filling Up)
A condition where ink saturates the area between the halftone dots or plugs up (fills in) the type.
Sheets of clear plastic bonded to a printed product so the product is totally enclosed in plastic. This adds durability (to protect from stains, tears, and moisture) and makes the colors on the printed piece appear more brilliant or glossy.
Any of a wide variety of high-quality papers used for writing or commercial printing (as compared with grainy or industrial papers). Sometimes called graphic papers or cultural papers.
A sheet of film with a ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimeter) or more.
1. A general term for the surface characteristics of paper.
2. Any variety of processes performed to a piece of printing – can include cutting, trimming, binding, folding, laminating, or distinct operations like foil stamping and debossing.
The final size of a product (or flat) after printing and trimming is complete. Also called flat size.
The proper placement of different colors on a printed sheet, or the ability of film to be perfectly aligned during assembly and stripping. Good fit means that all images align precisely to other film for the same job.
Expenses that don’t change, regardless of how many pieces are printed. Examples include photography, copyrighting, or general overhead costs for your commercial printing partner.
The assembly of film (negatives on goldenrod paper or positives on film) to a carrier sheet ready for platemaking.
A form of color printing created by printing only one ink (as compared to process color printing, in which dots of one color are overprinted on dots of one or more other colors to produce blends. May also refer to colors that appear dull or lifeless. Also called spot color.
Flat Plan (Flats)
A diagram of flats (assemblies of film for reproduction on a carrier sheet) that offer a birds-eye view of publication layouts, colors, etc.
Flat Size The final size of a product after printing and trimming is complete. Also called finished size.
An optical scanner which makes use of a flat surface for scanning documents. Pages are placed facedown on glass plate as a scan head moves beneath the glass. The scanner is capable of capturing all elements on the document and does not require movement of the document.
A form of printing that uses flexible rubber relief plates and highly volatile fast-drying inks to print on a variety of surfaces (where the image to be printed is reproduced on raised areas that are higher than the non-printing areas). Flexography is commonly used in package printing or for cans, bottles, and non-flat surfaces.
The application of fine (natural or synthetic) particles to adhesive coated surfaces. Like thermographic printing, flocking is usually done by the application of a high-voltage electric field that causes flock material to fly vertically onto a surface attaching to a previously applied glue. Often used for clothing or apparel services. The flocking process can magically transform a plain, flat surface into a rich, warm, intensely-colored, comfortable, and visually compelling texture.
Any coating that covers the entire surface of a paper sheet or other printed material. Flood coating is usually applied in liquid form such as ink or varnish. Also called painting.
Printing inks with a phosphorescent pigment that adds brightness and luminosity because they emit and reflect light (with a psychedelic effect).
A cover that has been trimmed to the same size as the inside text pages as in this book.
Flush Left (or Right)
Alignment of the left side of a page, screen, or margin (with the right-hand side ragged), which is the default style of text alignment in most cases. If text is jagged on the left and aligned on the right, it is said to be “flush right.”
A paragraph with no indention.
Flying Paster or Splicer
A device – found in the infeed section of printing presses used in web offset lithography – which splices a fresh roll of paper in place of an expiring roll, without stopping the press.
In case binding, a set of unprinted sheets of heavy paper which follow or precede endleaf papers (which secure the body of a book to its case).
FM (Frequency Modulation) Screening
A computerized method for digital screening that coverts images into very small dots of equal size and variable spacing. This halftone process (based on pseudo-random distribution of halftone dots) uses frequency modulation (FM) to change the density of dots according to the gray level desired. Also called stochastic screening.
In photography, focal length refers to the distance from the center of the lens to the image of an object at infinity. In more general terms, the focal length is a description of the lens that tells you what angle of view and magnification you can capture.
Lowering the density of an image so type layered in front of it becomes more legible.
A very thin metal sheet applied to paper during a foil stamping process. Foil is typically thinner than .006-inches and is composed of metal (like aluminum) or a shiny, tissue-like material.
To heat stamp an image (with a thin layer of shiny metallic film) before embossing a pattern under it to create a raised area of text, image, or a pattern. This dimensional print finish adds additional depth to the embossed elements, creates tactile shadows, and vibrantly highlights areas in a design.
Impressing metallic foil onto paper with a heated die. When the die is heated and pressed against the foil and print surface, the foil color is released onto the various materials for a flashy, lustrous effect.
In prepress, a set of marks added to a negative or a print piece that indicate where a fold should occur.
A bindery device used in the folding phase of binding and finishing. May also refer to a printed sheet containing one or more folds.
A printed insert designed to be bound into a larger publication, but is printed separately. The width of a foldout is wider than the other pages, and requires one or more folds for inclusion in the document.
A page number in a publication.
A font is the combination of typeface, size, weight, slope, and style to make up a printable or displayable set of characters. Font characters include letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation marks. Fonts can be held in the storage or memory of a computer, on sheets of transfer lettering, on film, or in job cases holding metal type.
For Position Only (FPO)
A written designation applied to a low-resolution or inferior-quality image that is used to indicate placement or size in design, but is not intended for use in final print runs.
Each side of a printed (folded) sheet (or an assembly of pages and images).
A lightweight category of paper often used for business forms. Sometimes called register bond.
The rollers on a printing press that come in contact with a printing plate (bringing it ink or water).
The type size, style, typeface, margins, bleed, gutters, imaging specs, printing requirements, etc. for a printed piece.
In case binding, any variety of operations in which sections of a book are stitched, fitted, glued, folded, etc., before being placed inside a cover.
The portion of a printing press (typically a metal trough) that holds fluids such as water, ink, varnish, etc.
In off-set lithographic printing, the mechanism for transferring a water-based fountain solution to the printing plate as a means of making non-image areas ink repellent (so that the oil-based ink does not collect in unwanted areas of the printing plate). Also called dampening solution.
Four-Color Process Printing (Also known as Four-Color, Process Color, or 4-C)
The use of four specific colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to reproduce color photos or illustrations. Abbreviated as CMYK, each process color is comprised of percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks; the various percentages blend to produce different hues. Often print runs occur in separate stages to lay down each color.
A device for producing paper, paperboard, and other fiberboards, consisting of a moving endless belt of wire or plastic screen that receives a mixture of pulp and water and allows excess water to drain off, forming a continuous sheet for further drying by suction, pressure, and heat. This machine was named for the brothers who invented it.
FPO (For Position Only)
In graphic design and commercial printing, FPO is an acronym indicating for position only or for placement only. An image marked FPO is a placeholder or a temporary low-resolution illustration in the final location and size on camera-ready artwork to indicate where an actual high-resolution image will be placed on the final film or plate. FPO images are commonly used when you've been supplied actual photographic prints or another type of artwork to be scanned or photographed for inclusion.
A grade of paper containing little or no mechanical wood pulp. Often used in the production of office papers.
A type of fold produced by printing on only one side, then folded once vertically and once horizontally to produce an (uncut) four-page folder. Often used in advertising, French folding helps maximize space and gives the appearance that there is more content than actually exists.
Front End System
The workstation or group of workstations containing the application software for preparing pages of type and graphics.
Adhesive used to affix items to a printed piece (such as plastic or paper cards, magnets, etc.). These thin strips of gummy-like glue can easily be peeled off the surface it bonds with. Also called “booger glue.”
Using a tonal range of small printed dots (ranging from white highlights with zero percent coverage to shadows with 100 percent coverage) to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image.
Using printed dots that contain the full range of tonal gradations (from white highlights to dark shadows) so that dots are printed in every part of an image (as opposed to half-scale black, where dots are only printed in the darker portions of the image).
A version of a printed piece prepared for the purpose of editing and commentary. Once all parties have had an opportunity to review it, a final page proof can be produced. This document includes correct pagination, images, and other formatting conventions, to allow people to check it one more time for errors. Also called checker and slip proof.
In photography, a measure of the response of a given film, developer, and development regime to light. High gamma indicates high contrast.
Gang-run printing describes a printing method in which multiple printing projects are placed on a common paper sheet in an effort to reduce printing costs and paper waste. Gang runs are generally used with sheet-fed printing presses and CMYK process color jobs, which require four separate plates that are loaded into the press.
In offset printing, gapless printing uses plate or blanket cylinders without gaps. Gapless printing uses paper more efficiently and processes jobs very quickly.
A three or four panel fold where the two outside (parallel) panels fold inward to meet in the center. The folded size is wider than a standard tri-fold brochure and the opening provides a more creative design effect.
The assembling of pages together (together with the cover) as a unit. Groups of sheets (folded in half together) are sometimes called a section, a gathering, or a signature.
GCR (Gray Component Replacement)
The substitution of black for the gray component in images. In GCR, the CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) values that add to gray along the tone scale can be replaced with black ink. GCR uses less ink, and some of that ink is black, which is normally cheaper than the others.
A printing defect of offset lithography characterized by light and dark bands in solids and halftones parallel to the gripper edge of a press sheet. Gear streaks are a consequence of excessive packing, or the production of too much pressure between the plate and blanket cylinders, which causes the cylinders to slip and transfer streaks to the paper.
In imaging and photography, each successive stage of reproduction.
Halftone printing uses very small dots to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image, and a ghost halftone reduces the dot density so an image is very faint. (This allows the image to be easily overprinted with text.)
An offset printing defect characterized by the (unintended) appearance of faint replicas of printed images in undesirable places. May also occur in screen printing when an image stretches beyond the edges of the stencil or on the wrong side of the printing surface.
Pronounced “jee-clay,” this neologism (French for “sprayed ink”) refers to fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers.
In binding and finishing, a treatment in which metallic or gold coating is applied to the trimmed edge of book pages.
The quality of paper, ink, laminates, etc. that causes them to appear shiny. Materials that reflect light in parallel rays appear more glossy, while matte surfaces defuse rays in a variety of directions and appear more dull. For example gloss ink is produced by adding extra varnish or by printing on a coated paper stock that causes ink to dry quickly before it penetrates the paper.
In typography, a glyph is an elemental symbol within an agreed set of symbols, intended to represent a readable character (such as a single letter, symbol, or number from a font).
A classification of paper, defined in terms of its uses. Each grade serves a purpose: some of the most common classifications are bond, coated, text, cover, book, offset, index, label, tag, newsprint, etc. Grade accounts for a sheet’s ingredients, brightness, and opacity.
Graduated Screen Tint
The screen printing process uses fabric friendly ink to transfer a design onto a printing surface using a mesh screen. Graduated screen tints contain an infinite number of colors or greys and change color density gradually and smoothly, while halftone screen printing generally refers to greyscale images (such as photographs) or images printed with only one color of ink.
The prevalent direction in which the majority of paper fibers become aligned during manufacturing on a paper machine.
The prevalent direction in which the majority of paper fibers become aligned during manufacturing on a paper machine. Grain direction is an important factor that determine a paper’s strength and dimensional stability.
Grain Long Paper
A term for a paper which has its grain direction parallel to the longer sheet dimension, which can affect the printability, runnability, and dimensional stability of the final product. Sometimes called narrow web paper or long-grain.
Grain Short Paper
A term for a paper which has its grain direction parallel to the shorter sheet dimension, which can affect the printability, runnability, and dimensional stability of the final product.
The weight of paper expressed as grams per square meter of the paper (expressed in g/m2).
The field, crafts, or technology relating to visual communication, typesetting, printing, publishing, or other professional endeavors involving design and print.
Graphic Arts Film
Film that yields high contrast images that can be reproduced by a printing press. Sometimes called repro film or litho film.
Planning and projecting ideas or messages in a visual way, typically for an electronic or print publication.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
A system of interactive visual components for computer software. In digital imaging, a GUI system allows users to manipulate files by pointing to pictures (icons, cursors, or buttons) with a mouse or pointing device instead of typing in key commands.
Any visual element within a page (such as a photograph, symbol, layout, etc.), typically in addition to text. Graphics make messages more clear, attractive, or compelling.
Gravure printing—also known as rotogravure printing—is primarily a long-run, high-speed, high-quality printing method used to etch elements into a surface. Like engraving, gravure is a form of intaglio printing that produces fine, detailed images. It works well for CMYK printing where each color of ink is applied by its own cylinder, adding drying steps in between.
The dot values or densities of cyan, magenta, and yellow that produce a neutral gray.
Gray Component Replacement (GCR)
In four color process printing, this process replaces the gray component of cyan, magenta, and yellow halftone dots with black ink. GCR printing produces more consistent color, increases shadow detail, and is less expensive because it uses less ink and because black ink is usually cheaper. Sometimes called achromatic color removal.
Indicates the brightness of a pixel. The minimum grey level is 0. The maximum gray level depends on the digitization depth of the image. In contrast, in a grayscale or color image a pixel can take on any value between 0 and 255.
Grayscale is a group of shades without any visible color. In printing, gray scale refers to a strip of standard gray tones (in analog or digital form), ranging from white to black, placed at the side of original copy during photography to measure tonal range and contrast.
In perfect binding (where an adhesive binding is applied to the spine of gathered papers to hold them together), this refers to the binding edge of such pages.
In perfect binding (where an adhesive is applied to hold pages together), removing 1/8 inch (or 3 mm) along the inner edge the pages before binding occurs.
The edge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheetfed press, thus going first through the press. Also, the front edge of a lithographic or wraparound plate secured to the front clamp of a plate cylinder. Sometimes called a feeding edge and leading edge.
A space at the leading edge of a sheet of paper—usually three-eighths to one-half inch wide—where, on a sheetfed press, printing cannot take place. This margin is reserved for use by the grippers, or the mechanisms that carry the sheet through the press.
A space on a sheet of paper that allows for the press to physically grip the paper (or the metal fingers that clamp on the paper and control its flow as it passes through a press). Anything under the guide is outside of the printing area and effectively unprintable.
A variety of inexpensive paper (such as newsprint) manufactured using groundwood or mechanical pulp (rather than chemically refined materials). Groundwood paper is typically high in bulk, smoothness, and printability.
A mechanically prepared wood pulp used in the manufacture of newsprint and other publication grade papers.
An abbreviation for “grams per square meter.” This is a unit measuring the weight and thickness of paper, using a sample sheet cut to one square meter in size.
A gummy, water-soluble substance that can be applied to the surface of offset printing plates to prevent ink accumulation in non-printing areas. Gum arabic can also be added to the fountain water to help keep non-printing areas of the plate free from ink.
The process of applying a thin coating of gum to the non-printing areas of a lithographic plate.
The blank space, fold, or margin at which facing pages meet on a printed piece or press sheet. More space is usually required in the binding fold area
In typography, a very thin rule line, small space, thin line, etc. Usually less than one-half point wide, although this is a subjective term that varies in precise meaning.
In process color printing, the positioning of two or more printing images with the thinnest visible space or rule (within ±1/2 row of dots) so there is no color overlap.
A black printer or key color separation made to print dots only in the shadow or darker sections of an image (as opposed to graduated or full-scale black, where dots are printing across the full tone of gradations from white highlights to dark shadows).
Using small dots (arranged in a pattern or grid) to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image. This effect is achieved by varying the dot size and the number of dots per square inch. Halftone printing allows clients to print photographic or otherwise multi-tonal artwork using only one ink color, which can significantly reduce costs.
A letterpress and flexographic printing defect characterized by excess ink accumulating at the edges of printed letters and dots or by a colored region surrounded by surplus ink piles. Halos appear as a faint shadow and may sometimes be caused by excessive pressure between the plate and impression cylinders. Sometimes called halation.
A letterpress and flexographic printing defect characterized by excess ink accumulating at the edges of printed letters and dots or by a colored region surrounded by surplus ink piles. Halos appear as a faint shadow and may sometimes be caused by excessive pressure between the plate and impression cylinders. Sometimes called halation.
A copy of textual or graphic information (as from microfilm or computer storage) produced on paper in normal size for a permanent visual record. “Soft” copy refers to images displayed on screens.
Halftone dots (used in dot pattern printing) that have no soft edges, halos, or fringe (as compared to soft dots).
In printing and typography, typesetting text by injecting molten type metal into a mold of the glyph or character which will later be used to press ink to paper. This paste-up technique was the standard technology used for mass-market printing until the arrival of phototypesetting and then electronic processes. Sometimes called hot metal or hot lead typesetting.
A physical print that closely matches what the finished print product will look like. These proofs are highly recommended for those who are printing offset for the first time, and for those who have specific color requirements.
The physical, mechanical, and electrical components of a computer system, including output devices like printers.
Blank area or whitespace margin that occurs above the first line of text (or other topmost element) on a page.
A form of two-sided printing that places the top of copy (or graphics) on the back side of a sheet so it is next to the bottom copy on the front side of the sheet. Here the page is read by turning the page over from top to bottom. Also called head-to-toe imposition.
Any text that appears at the top of the page but is not part of the body text (such as the chapter title, dates, author, etc.).
Heat Seal Coating
Water-based and solvent-based emulsions (with excellent bond strength) that can adhere to films, foil, paper, packaging, laminate coatings, etc.
A printing press equipped with an oven at the delivery end of the press. These ovens dry the ink on the paper as it runs through the press and are thus able to print on coated paper.
A spot or imperfection in printing, due to dirt on the press, dried ink kin, paper particles, etc. Most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage. Also referred to as fish eye or bull’s eye.
A large difference between light and dark in a print or image. High contrast reproductions have a light density that is greater than the original, and can result in a loss of detail in the shadows and highlights of an image.
Color reproduced using additional process inks (such as orange and green), as compared to the traditional four-color printing process. This method reproduces more of the color spectrum.
A set of colors that range from mid-tone hues to white. In general, the high key range provides upbeat options and convey a soft, harmonious look with little contrast between the light and dark areas of a piece.
A photo whose most important details occur at the lightest (or whitest) end of the color scale.
The lightest (or whitest) portions of a photograph or digital image, as compared to mid-tones and shadows.
In case binding, an adhesively bound cover with a flexible joint that allows the book to open without breaking the spine (scored 1/8 inch from the spine, so books can open more easily).
A color system (referring to hue, lightness, and saturation) found in some graphic programs to compute accurate color matching. Also called HSL, HSV, or HSB, relating to value or brilliance.
The ability of paper to prevent ink from penetrating into its surface (in contrast to ink absorbency). Coated papers with low ink absorption allow ink to set on the surface with a high gloss appearance and better image quality.
Thin plastic sheeting that includes holographic images printed on it with a laser. A single image is captured from many angles, and all angles are then printed onto the foil. The result is a picture that looks three-dimensional even though it is flat.
Horizontal Line Screen
A line screen is the measure of how many halftone lines are printed in a linear inch. The value is expressed as Lines Per Inch (LPI). This important measurement, related to the way printers reproduce photographic images, also defines the necessary resolution of an image. Today, horizontal line screens are simulated using a software filter.
Inks or binding adhesives that require heat for application.
Printing defects caused when a piece of dirt (or an air bubble) cause an incomplete reproduction of an image. In video, hot spots refer to extreme highlights caused by the reflection of light.
The standard paper kept in stock by a printer; used repeatedly, they are fitting for a variety of print jobs. Sometimes called a floor sheet.
Acronym for Hue, Saturation, Value. An alternate representation of the RGB color model (used in some graphic programs) to model the way human vision perceives color-making attributes. The HSV representation models the way different colors mix together, with the saturation dimension resembling various tints of bright colors, and the value dimension resembling the mixture of those colors with varying amounts of black or white.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
In colors, the attribute of a visible light due to which it is differentiated from or similar to the primary colors of red, green, and blue. The term is also used to refer to colors that have no added tint or shade.
In off-set printing, hydrophilic areas are non-image areas that are water receptive, so the plate does not receive or accept ink on non-printing areas. Some offset lithographic presses use a water-based dampening system, while others use printing plates on which a silicone layer repulses the unwanted ink. The opposite is hydrophobic.
In off-set printing, hydrophobic areas are the image areas that repel water, so that the plate will receive ink for the desired printing areas. Some offset lithographic presses use a water-based dampening system, while others use printing plates on which a silicone layer repulses the unwanted ink. The opposite is hydrophilic.
In online publications, hypertext refers to a word or a chunk of text that can be linked to another document or text available online. Clicking a hyperlink causes another document (or website) to be retrieved, opened, and displayed.
ICC (International Color Consortium)
The International Color Consortium (ICC) was formed in 1993 by eight vendors in order to create an open, vendor-neutral color management system which would function transparently across all operating systems and software packages. This allowed for matching of color when projects moved between applications and operating systems, producing uniformity in display or print.
Any portion of an image-carrying surface (such as a photo negative, stencil, or printing plate) which contains the image to be printed.
To assemble images on film to compose a page or layout 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 or stripping.
In digital imaging, a generic term for ultra-high resolution (large-format) computer output devices. Also called computer to film or CtF.
An imagesetter (or computer output device) capable of outputting a film flat with four, eight, or more pages in imposed position.
The arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so that – after printing, folding, and cutting – all pages will appear in the correct order.
Referring to either the printed image, the pressure necessary to transfer a printed image onto a surface, or an ink color (one impression is equivalent to one press sheet passing once through the press).
The cylinder, on a press, that pushes paper against the plate or rubber-surfaced fabric, which then forms an image. Sometimes called an impression roller.
To print new information on a previously printed piece by running it through the press again, (such as adding an address or event date to a brochure). Sometimes called surprint.
An in-house or partner print department that produces projects of a parent organization (instead of buying preprinted items from an outside source). Sometimes called captive printer.
An identifying mark used as a guideline for copy or other page elements. Can also refer to a mailing permit, an image, or text preprinted on an envelope in place of a stamp.
The quality of ink density and how it transfers from the printing plate to the print materials, especially when comparing four-color process inks to each other or to a basic grayscale.
Ink Dry Back
When printed ink colors become less vibrant or more diffused after they have dried on a printed surface.
The mechanism that stores and supplies ink to roller within a printing press.
A quality of paper that prevents ink from penetrating into its surface. Inks achieve greater levels of gloss and better image quality when they dry on a print surface, rather than being absorbed. Also called holdout.
Ink Jet Printing
A printing method that operates by propelling tiny droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles. Ink jet printers are the most common device used for non-commercial printing, due to their low cost, color options, and ease of use. Sometimes called jet printing.
In high-speed printing presses, ink mist refers to rapidly moving ink rollers that spray out flying filaments or threads of ink. This occurs more commonly when long (low tack) ink is used. Sometimes referred to as flying, spitting, spraying, and throwing.
In four-color process printing, ink substitution involves replacing one of the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, or black) colors with a similar match color. This offers a way to heighten color impact without using more costly touch plates.
Ink Train Aqueous
An aqueous coating with a thick viscosity that enables printers to work the coating with an ink knife and to prevent ink from running through the ink keys.
A plateless method of printing that produces images directly on paper (from digital data) by spraying fine droplets of ink or pigments through computer-controlled nozzle. Also referred to as jet printing.
A specialized measuring instrument used by the printing industry to measure the “tack” (adhesiveness) of an ink with the roller system of an offset press. Inks with too much tack can cause the surface of the paper to pick off and interfere with transfer on subsequent printing units and copies.
The side of press sheet whose images all appear inside the folded pages, (rather than on the outside pages of bound publication).
A printed piece (or flyer, blow-in card, etc.) prepared for insertion into a magazine, newspaper, or other printed publication.
Print and printmaking techniques where the image is engraved into a surface and this incised (or sunken) area holds the ink. This is the direct opposite of a relief print, where the parts of the matrix that make the image stand above the main surface. Sometimes called gravure or recess printing.
The assembly of typographic elements, graphics, and other page elements combined onto one page of proofing paper (instead of proofs that are separated into separate color films, then overlayed on top of each other to simulate the final product). Sometimes called composition, laminate, plastic, or single-sheet proofs.
Loosely inserting pages of non-adhering materials (called slip sheets) in between printed materials as they come off the press to prevent smudging or sticking.
ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
A 10- to 13-digit number assigned to a published work, distinguishing it from other publications or separate editions or variations of the same work (like an e-book or paperback versus hardcover version). The ISBN is usually found on the title page or the back of the title page.
Any type that slants upward to the right, used for emphasis in the text (as in, ‘these words are italicized’). Opposite of backslant type.
The decorative paper wrapper placed around a hardbound book to provide additional protection, design, or advertising capabilities. Sometimes called a dust cover or dust jacket.
JDF (Job Definition Format)
A data exchange standard or a universal electronic job ticket that contains production information relevant for print buying (like prepress, finishing, dispatch, or customer service estimates).
Job Lot Paper
Any shipment of paper that turns out to be unsuitable for a particular job.
A numeric label assigned to a specific printing project. Used for tracking, billing, etc.
A production order form used to detail the production schedule of a print job and the materials needed during the process. Sometimes called a docket or a work order.
To align sheets of paper into a compact, uniform pile. A jogger is a vibration machine with a slopping platform to even-up stacks of printed materials.
A vibrating machine which squares and neatly stacks piles of printed materials. Sometimes this is attached to the printing press.
To set type flush on both right and left margins (uniformly from left to right) by adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words so the characters fill a given line of text form end to end.
To set type flush on both right and left margins (uniformly from left to right). Used well, justified type can look clean and classy. When it’s carelessly set, justified type can make your text look distorted and hard to read.