0-9, A, B, C, D, E. F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, X, Y, Z
4/0 – Four Colors, (Full Color) printing on the front side, no printing on the backside.
4/1 – Four Colors (Full Color) printing on the front side, one color printing on the backside.
4/4 – Four colors (Full Color) on the front side, four colors (full color) printing on the backside.
Back to Top
Accordion Fold – Two or more parallel folds that open like an accordion.
Aqueous Coating – Clear coating that is used to protect printed pieces. Provides a high-gloss surface that deters dirt and fingerprints. Aqueous coating improves the durability of postcards as they go through the mail, and protects business cards as they ride around in people’s pockets.
Artwork – The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text and other components needed to produce a printed piece. Can also now refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press.
Back to Top
Back-Up – How an image on one side of a printed sheet aligns with the image on the other side.
Base Line – The imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points, etc.
Basis Weight – Weight in pounds of a predetermined number of sheets of paper having a specific size for a specific type of paper
Basic Size – Standard, predetermined size for a particular type of paper.
Bind – To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue, or by other means.
Bindery – Finishing department of a print shop or firm specializing in finishing printed products.
Blanket – Thick rubber mat on a printing press that transfers ink from the plate to paper.
Bleed – Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet after trimming.
Blind Embossing – An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.
Bond Paper – Strong durable uncoated paper grade used for letterheads and business forms.
Book Paper – Types of paper usually used for printing books.
Bounce – Inconsistent positioning of the printed image on the sheets of paper as they travel through a printing press.
Brightness – The brilliance or reflectance of paper.
Bristol – A board paper of various thicknesses having a smooth finish, used for printing or drawing.
Bullet – A boldface square or dot used before a sentence to emphasize its importance.
Butt – Joining images without overlapping.
Butt Fit – Printed colors that overlap one row of dots so they appear to butt.
CB – Coated Back
CFB – Coated Front and Back
C1S – paper stock coated on one side.
C2S – paper stock coated on both sides.
Caliper – Measurement of the thickness of paper, measured in thousandths of an inch or mils.
Carbonless – Paper that is coated with chemicals to produce copies without carbon in-between the sheets. (also referred to as NCR paper)
Card Stock – a stiff rigid paper used for postcards, manual covers or table tents.
Case Binding – Books bound using hard board (case) covers.
Cast Coated – Coated paper with a high gloss reflective finish.
Center Spread – The two pages that face each other in the center of a book or publication.
Chipboard– Inexpensive, single-ply cardboard, usually brown or gray.
CMYK – Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black), the process colors.
Coated Paper – A clay coated printing paper with a smooth finish.
Coil Binding – Where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes punched along the side of a stack of paper. Commonly used for reports, proposals and manuals. Documents bound with coil have the ability to lay flat and can rotate 360 degrees. Also called spiral binding.
Collate – Finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order
Color Balance – The relative amounts of process colors used to reproduce an image, either digitally or when printed on a press.
Color Bar – A quality control area on a press sheet used to measure and monitor ink density.
Color Cast – Unwanted color tone or overall color shading distorting the normal color balance of an image.
Color Correction – Methods of improving color separations.
Color Gamut – The entire range of hues possible to reproduce on a specific system, such as a computer screen, or four-color printing press.
Color Matching System – A system of formulated ink colors used for communicating color.
Color Separating – The processes of separating the primary color components (CMYK) for printing.
Color Sequence – The order in which process inks are printed on a printing press. Also called the color rotation or laydown sequence.
Condensed Type – A narrow, elongated typeface.
Contrast – The tonal change in color from light to dark.
Copy – All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product.
Composition – the process of setting type and arranging it on the page
Cover Paper/Stock – A heavy printing paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, etc.
Coverage – The extent to which printing ink covers the surface of a printed sheet. Ink coverage is frequently expressed as light, medium or heavy.
Crop – To cut off parts of a picture or image.
Crop Marks – Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.
Crossover – Printing across the gutter or from one page to the facing page of a publication.
Cutting Die – sharp edged devise usually made of steel rule, to cut paper, cardboard, etc. on printing press.
Cyan – The C in CMYK A shade of blue used in four-color process printing. Also referred to as process blue.
Deboss – To press an image into paper with a die so it extends below the surface. The opposite of emboss where the image is raised above the paper surface.
Deckle Edge – The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.
Density – The degree of color or darkness of an image or photograph.
Descender – A term that describes that portion of lower case letters that extends below the main body of the letter, as in “p”.
Desktop Publishing – Creating materials to be printed using a personal computer, as opposed to taking non-electronic documents to a commercial printing company to be prepared for printing.
Die – Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.
Die Cutting – Cutting images in or out of paper.
Digital Proof – Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed with ink.
Dot – An element of halftones. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made of many dots.
Dot Gain – A term used to describe when dots are printing larger than they should.
Drill – The drilling of holes into paper for ring binding.
Drop Shadow – A shadow image placed offset behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.
Dull Finish – A semi-gloss finish on paper that is less glossy than gloss and more than matte paper.
Dummy – The preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product also called a comp.
Duplexing – The ability of a press or digital copier to print on both sides of a sheet without having to manually turn the sheet over.
Duotone – A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.
Emboss – Pressing an image into paper so that it will create a raised relief.
Embossed paper – a paper surface textured in one of a variety of patterns by passing the paper through engraved steel rolls.
Engraving – method of printing using a plate, with an image carved into it.
EPS – Encapsulated Post Script. A standard file format used to transfer postscript-formatting information between applications.
Estimate – a price provided to a customer, based on the specifications outlined on the estimate form; it is normally set prior to the entry of an order and prices may change if the order specifications are not the same as the estimate specifications
Felt Side – The smoother side of a sheet in the paper.
Finish – The surface quality of a paper.
Finish Size – size of printed product after production is complete.
Finishing – the bindery process performed after the document has been copied or printed.
Flood: To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.
Foil – Then metal sheet that is applied to paper using the foil stamping process. Frequently gold colored, available in many colors.
Foil emboss – Foil stamping and embossing an image on paper with a die.
Foil Stamping – Impressing metallic foil onto paper with a heated die.
Font – The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.
Format – size, shape and overall style of layout or printed piece.
Four-color-process – The process of combining four basic colors to create a printed color picture or colors composed from the basic four colors.
French fold – Two folds at right angles to each other.
Fulfillment – The process of taking an order and executing it by making it ready for delivery to its intended customer. It may involve warehouse pickup, packaging, labeling, etc.
Gang – Getting the most out of a printing press by using the maximum sheet size to print multiple images or jobs on the same sheet. A way to save money
Gate Fold – A three or four panel fold where the two outside panels fold inward to meet in the center. In an open gate fold, there are three panels, the bottom of which is twice the size of the folded panels. In a closed gatefold, there are four panels of roughly equal size where the outer panels are folded inward together.
Gathering – Assembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence.
Gloss – A shiny look reflecting light.
Glossy – photographic print made on glossy paper.
Grain – Direction paper fibers lie in a similar direction in a sheet of paper. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.
Graphic Design – the use of graphic elements and text to communicate an idea or concept.
Grippers – The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.
Gripper Edge – The side of a piece of paper held by the gripper fingers as it passes through a printing press. Nothing can be printed in this area.
Gutter – A blank space or margin between components on a printed piece or press sheet.
Halftone – Converting a continuous tone to dots for printing.
Hard Copy – The output of a computer printer, or typed text sent for typesetting.
Hickey – Reoccurring unplanned spots that appear in the printed image from dust, lint, and dried ink.
Head–to–Head – printing on both sides of a sheet where the top of each page is placed at the same end.
Image Area – Portion of paper on which ink can appear.
Imposition – Positioning printed pages so they will fold in the proper order.
Impression – Putting an image on paper.
Imprint – Adding copy to a previously printed page.
Index Paper – lightweight board paper for writing and easy erasure
Indicia – Postal information place on a printed product.
Inserts – extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.
Italic – Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.
Justification – Adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line of text from end to end. Sometimes referred to as word spacing.
Kerning – The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.
Keylines – Lines on mechanical art that show position of photographs or illustrations.
Kiss Die cut – To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing.
Kitting – Process in which individually separate but related items are grouped, packaged, and supplied together as one unit. The supplier then creates a customized kit that is assembled and shipped as one unit.
Knock out – To mask out an image.
Kraft – Coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.
Laminate – a thin transparent plastic coating applied to paper or board to provide protection and give it a glossy finish.
Landscape – A document layout where the width is greater than the height.
Layout – A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., of a final printed piece.
Leading – Space between lines of type. The distance in points between one baseline and the next.
Leaf – a sheet in a book. Two pages. The front and back together of a page is called a “leaf”.
Letterpress – Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces, usually type, to create the image.
Letter Spacing – Space between typeset letters.
Light Weight Paper – book grade paper of basis weight 40# or less with high opacity for its weight.
Line copy – High contrast copy not requiring a halftone.
Linen – Paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.
Logotype – A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.
Loupe – A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film.
M Weight – The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.
Magenta – The M of CMYK, One of the four process colors, M is for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red color with some blue.
Make Ready: All activities required to prepare a press for printing.
Matte Finish: Dull paper or ink finish.
Metallic Ink – Ink that looks metallic when printed. Made with powdered metal or pigments that look metallic and print opaque.
Middle Tones – The tones in a photograph that are approximately half as dark as the shadow area.
Mock-up – a rough visual of a publication or design.
Moiré – An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.
Mottle – A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.
Natural – A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood, also called cream, off-white or ivory.
Numbering – putting a sequential number on each copy.
Offset – a method in which the plate or cylinder transfers an ink image to an offset or transfer roller, which then transfers the image to stock.
Offset Printing – The most commonly used printing method, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.
Offset paper – uncoated book paper.
Opacity – The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through. (The thicker/heavier the paper the higher the cost.)
Opaque – relates to the show-through of the printed image from the opposite side of the sheet or the sheet under it.
Opaque Ink – Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.
Overprinting – Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.
Overrun – Quantities of sheets printed over the requested number of copies.
PMS color – pantone-matching system – an international system used to mix inks to standard colors used by printers.
Pad – to bind by applying glue along one edge of a stack of sheets.
Page count – total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers
Page proofs – a proof output to plain paper before the entire job is printed.
Pagination – The numbering of individual pages in a multi-page document
Parchment – A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.
Perfect Bind – A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a telephone book, Microsoft software manual, or Country Living Magazine
Perforating – punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.
Pica: Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch.
Picking: Printers nightmare that occurs as the surface of a sheet lifts off during printing. Generally a paper manufactures quality control problem.
Plate Gap – Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the press.
PMS – The abbreviation of the Pantone Color Matching System.
Point – For paper, a unit of thickness equaling 1/1000 inch. for typesetting, a unit of height equaling 1/72 inch
Portrait – A document layout in which the height is greater than the width. (the opposite of Landscape)
PostScript – The computer language most recognized by printing devices.
Prepress – the processes performed on a printing order prior to its going to the press to be printed.
Premium – Any paper that is considered better than grade #1 by its manufacturer.
Press Check – When a client visits a printing company to view actual printed sheets of their project before a full production press run is started.
Printing Estimates: Printing estimates are also known as spec bids or budgeting bids or budgeting estimates.
Printing Quote: A printing price based on final art or digital files, price good for 10 days, and shall be subject to review thereafter.
Process Colors: Cyan (blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), black (process black).
Process Printing: A system where a color image is separated into different color values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens or digitally with a software program and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press,
reproducing the original color image.
Proof (press) – Actual press sheets to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate
Quote or Quotation A price estimate to produce a specific printed piece, frequently with custom attributes not priceable in standard online pricing tools.
Rag Paper – Papers with a complete or partial content of cotton fibers.
Ragged Left – Right-justified type that is uneven on the left.
Ragged Right – Left-justified type that is uneven on the right.
Ream – 500 sheets of paper.
Register – To position print in the proper position in relation to the edge of the sheet and to other printing on the same sheet.
Register Marks – Cross-hair lines or marks on film, plates, and paper that guide strippers, plate makers, pressmen, and bindery personnel in processing a print order from start to finish.
Resolution: Ability of a device to record or reproduce a sharp image.
RGB – The color space of Red, Green and Blue. These are the primary colors of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. An RGB computer file must be translated into the CMYK (the primary colors of pigment) color space in order to be printed on a printing press.
Right Angle Fold – A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.
Rule – Line used as a graphic element to separate or organize copy.
Running Head – A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.
Saddle Stitch – Binding a booklet or magazine with staples in the seam where it folds.
Score – A crease put on paper to help it fold better.
Screen Font: Font produced to appear on a computer monitor, but not on a printer.
Screen Ruling – A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.
Scum – Unwanted deposits of ink in the non-image area of a printed piece.
Self Cover – A cover that is the same paper stock as the internal sheets.
Self-Mailer – printed piece designed to be mailed without an envelope.
Shadow – The darkest areas of a photograph.
Sharpen – To decrease the dot size of a halftone, which in turn decreases the color strength.
Sheetwise – The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the sheet over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.
Show-Through: Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet.
Side Guide: The mechanical register unit on a printing press that positions a sheet from the side.
Side Stitch: Binding by stapling along one side of a sheet.
Signature – a section of a book made by folding a printed sheet so that the pages follow in correct order. (Standard signatures are 8, 16 & 32)
Smoothness – Quality of paper defined by its levelness that allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.
Specifications (specs): A precise description of a print order.
Spine: The binding edge of a book or publication.
Spiral Bind – A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.
Spot Color: Any color created by printing only one ink. Also called flat color. See Pantone®.
Spot Varnish: Varnish used to highlight a specific part of the printed sheet.
Stamping – foil stamping.
Step-and-Repeat – procedure for placing the same image on plates in multiple places.
Stock – unprinted paper.
Substance weight: basis weight when referring to bond papers.
Substrate: Any surface on which printing is done.
Synthetic Papers – Any non-wood or cloth paper, usually petroleum (plastic) based.
Tag –board grade paper used for products such as tags and file folders.
Text – the written or printed material that forms the main body of a publication.
Text paper – lighter that cover stock but heavier than writing grade.
Trim – the cutting of the finished product to the correct size.
Tints: A shade of a single color or combined colors.
Tracking: Adjusting space between all letters to make them fit.
Typeface: Font identified by a name such as Helvetica or Times.
Type Style: Characteristic such as bold, italic or roman.
Trapping: The ability to print one ink over the other.
Trim Marks: Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed sheet.
Trim size: The final size of one printed image after the last trim is made.
Turnaround Time – amount of time needed to complete a job
Uncoated Paper – paper that is not clay coated
Up – A term used to describe how many similar pieces can be printed on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.
UV Coating – A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to printed material. Applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light.
Variable Data Printing – Is a form of on-demand printing in which elements (such as text, graphics, photographs, etc.) can be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the press, using information from a database. For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter.
Varnish – A clear coating added to printed material as a protective layer for improved scuff resistance and usually higher gloss.
Vellum – A finish of paper, somewhat bulky and slightly rough.
Warm color – A color with a reddish tone rather than a blue tone. Browns, oranges, reds, and yellows are generally considered to be “warm” colors.
Watermark – A translucent mark or image that is embossed during the papermaking process, or printed onto paper, which is visible when the paper is held up to the light.
Widow – A single word or two left at the end of a paragraph, or a part of a sentence ending a paragraph, which loops over to the next page and stands alone. Also, the last sentence of a paragraph, which contains only one or two short words.
With the Grain:Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.
Work and Tumble: Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from the gripper to the tail to print the second side using the same side guide and plate for the second side.
Work and Turn: Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from left to right using the same side guides and plate for the second side.
Wove – Smooth paper with a gentle patterned finish.
Writing Paper – Another name for bond paper.
Yellow – The Y of CMYK, One of the four process colors of ink. The Y is for yellow.
Zip file – Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the Internet.