Accordion fold: Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.
Against the grain: At right angles to direction of paper grain.
Agate line: A standard of measurement for depth of column of advertising space. There are 5.5 agate lines per column centimetre (14 per inch)
Airbrush: A small pressure gun shaped like a pencil that sprays watercolour pigment by means of compressed air.
Air knife coating: Method of coating paper in which the coating mixture is applied by a metal roller and distributed by a flat jet of air from a slot in a metal blade extending across the machine. The air removes excess coating and smooths the surface.
Alteration: Change in copy of specifications after production has begun.
Antique finish: A term describing the surface, usually on book and cover papers, that has a natural rough finish.
Artboard: Alternate term for mechanical art.
Ascender: That part of the letter which rises above the main body as in “b”.
Back lining: A paper or fabric adhering to the backbone or spine in a hard cover book.
Back up: Printing the second side of a sheet already printed on one side.
Bad break: In composition, the setting of a hyphenated line as the first line of a page. Also, incorrect word division.
Banding: Method of packaging printed pieces of paper using rubber or paper bands.
Base: In composition, all the metal below the shoulder of a piece of type In letterpress, the metal or wood block on which printing plates are mounted to make them type high.
Basis weight: Weight in pounds of a ream of paper cut to the basic size for its grade.
Bearer: In photoengraving, The dead metal left on a plate to protect the printing surface while moulding. In composition, type high slugs locked up in a chase to protect the printing surface. In presses, the surface to surface ends of cylinders that come in contact with each other.
Benday: A method of laying a screen (dots, lines and other textures) on artwork or plates to obtain various tones and shadings.
Bimetal plate: In lithography, a plate in which the printing image base is copper or brass and the non-printing area is aluminium, stainless steel or chromium.
Bind: To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue. or by other means.
Binders’ board: A paper board generally used in the making the cover
Bindery: The finishing department of a print shop or firm specialising in finishing printed products.
Bite: In photoengraving, the various stages of standard etching accomplished through the action of acid ,the depth increasing after each bite.
Blanket: The 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.
Blueline: A blue photographic proof used to check position of all image elements.
Board: Alternate term for mechanical.
Bond & carbon: Business form with paper and carbon paper.
Bond paper: Strong durable paper grade used for letterheads and business forms.
Break for colour: Also known as a colour break. To separate mechanically or by software the parts to be printed in different colours.
Brightness: The brilliance or reflectance of paper.
Bulk: Thickness of paper stock in thousandths of an inch or number of pages per inch.
Bulk pack: Boxing printed product without wrapping or banding.
Burn: Exposing a printing plate to high intensity light or placing an image on a printing plate by light.
Butt: Joining images without overlapping.
Butt fit: Printed colours that overlap one row of dots so they appear to butt.
Calliper: Paper thickness in thousandths of an inch.
Camera-ready copy: Print ready mechanical art.
Carload: A truck load of paper weighing 40000 pounds.
Case bind: A type of binding used in making hard cover books using glue.
Cast coated: Coated paper with a high gloss reflective finish.
Cellosheen: A thin laminate coating that is available in matt or gloss.
Chrome: A term for a transparency.
Coated paper: A clay coated printing paper with a smooth finish.
Collate: A finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order.
Colour bar: A quality control term regarding the spots of ink colour on the tail of a sheet.
Colour correction: Methods of improving colour separations.
Colour filter: Filters uses in making colour separations, red, blue, green.
Colour key: Colour proofs in layers of acetate:
Colour matching system: A system of formulated ink colours used for communicating colour.
Colour separations: The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colours.
Comb bind: To plastic comb bind by inserting the comb into punched holes.
Composite film: Combining two or more images on one or more pieces of film.
Continuous-tone copy: Illustrations, photographs or computer files that contain gradient tones from black to white or light to dark.
Contrast: The tonal change in colour from light to dark.
Copy: All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product.
Cover paper: A heavy printing paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, etc.
Crash number: Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set.
Crimping: Puncture marks holding business forms together.
Cromalin: Trade name for DuPont colour proofs.
Crop: To cut off parts of a picture or image.
Crop marks: 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.
Cyan: One of four standard process colours. The blue colour.
Density: The degree of colour or darkness of an image or photograph.
Diazo: A light sensitive coating used on printing plates.
Die: Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.
Die cutting: Curing images in or out of paper.
Ding bats: Often used to curse in print or to hi-lite a point.
Dot: An element of half-tones. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made many dots.
Dot gain or spread: A term used to explain the difference in size between the dot on film v paper.
Double burn: Exposing a plate to multiple images.
Draw-down: A sample of ink and paper used to evaluate ink colours.
Drop-out: Portions of artwork that do not print.
Dummy: A rough layout of a printed piece showing position and finished size.
Duotone: A half-tone picture made up of two printed colours.
Dylux: Photographic paper made by DuPont and used for bluelines.
Emulsion: Light sensitive coating found on printing plates and film.
Eurobind: A patented method of binding perfect bound books so they will open and lay flatter.
Flat: An assembly of negatives taped to masking materials for plate making.
Flood: To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.
Flop: The reverse side of an image.
Foil: A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing.
Foil emboss: Foil stamping and embossing an image on paper with a die.
Foil stamping: Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper. 4 colour process: The process of combining four basic colours to create a printed colour picture or colours composed from the basic four colours.
French fold: Two folds at right angles to each other.
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.
Generation: Stages of reproduction from original copy. A first generation reproduction yields the best quality.
Ghost bars: A quality control method used to reduce ghosted image created by heat or chemical contamination.
Ghosting: A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended. More often than not this problem is a function of graphical design. It is hard to tell when or where ghosting will occur. Sometimes you can see the problem developing immediately after printing the sheet, other times the problem occurs while drying. However the problem occurs it is costly to fix, if it can be fixed. Occasionally it can be eliminated by changing the colour sequence, the inks, the paper, changing to a press with a drier, printing the problem area in a separate pass through the press or changing the racking (reducing the number of sheets on the drying racks). Since it is a function of graphical design, the buyer pays for the increased cost.
Gloss: A shiny look reflecting light.
Grain: The direction in which the paper fibre lie.
Grippers: The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.
Half-tone: 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, dried ink.
High-bulk paper: A paper made thicker than its standard basis weight.
Highlight: The lightest areas in a picture or half-tone.
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.
Indicia: Postal information place on a printed product.
Ink fountain: The reservoir on a printing press that hold the ink.
Kiss die cut: To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing.
Knock out: To mask out an image.
Laminate: To cover with film, to bond or glue one surface to another.
Lay flat: See Eurobind.
Line copy: High contrast copy not requiring a half-tone.
Lines per inch: The number of rows of dots per inch in a half-tone.
Loupe: A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film. Magenta: Process red, one of the basic colours in process colour.
Marginal words: Call outs for directions on various parts of a business form.
Mask: Blocking light from reaching parts of a printing plate.
Matchprint: Trade name for 3M integral colour proof.
Matte finish: Dull paper or ink finish.
Mechanical: Camera ready art all contained on one board.
Mechanical separation: Mechanical art overlay for each colour to be printed.
Micrometer: Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.
Middle tones: The tones in a photograph that are approximately half as dark as the shadow area.
Moire: Occurs when screen angles are wrong causing odd patterns in photographs.
Non-reproducing blue: A blue colour the camera cannot see. Used in marking up artwork.
Offset paper: Term for uncoated book paper.
Ok sheet: Final approved colour inking sheet before production begins.
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.)
Outline half-tone: Removing the background of a picture or silhouetting an image in a picture.
Overlay: The transparent cover sheet on artwork often used for instructions.
Overrun or overs: Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. (Printing trade terms allow for + – 10 % to represent a completed order.)
Pattern carbon: Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers in certain areas.
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. Perfecting press: A sheet fed printing press that prints both sides of a sheet in one pass.
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.
Pin register: A standard used to fit film to film and film to plates and plates to press to assure the proper registration of printer colours.
Plate gap: Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the press.
PMS: The abbreviated name of the Pantone Colour Matching System.
PMT: Abbreviated name for photo mechanical transfer. Often used to make position prints.
Point: For paper, a unit of thickness equalling 1/1000 inch. for typesetting, a unit of height equalling 1/72 inch.
PostScript: The computer language most recognised by printing devices.
Press number: A method of numbering manufacturing business forms or tickets.
Printing Bids: A printing bid is based on planned specifications, normally good for 30 days, may be subject to review and revision upon receipt.
Printing Estimates: Printing estimates are also know as spec bids or budgeting bids or budgeting estimates.
Printing Estimates: A printing estimate is based on planned, but not firm, specifications that shall subject to change and re-quote prior to submission to the printer.
Printing Quotes: A firm printing price based on final art or digital files, price good for 10 days, and shall be subject to review thereafter.
Pressure-sensitive paper: Paper material with self sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet.
Process blue: The blue or cyan colour in process printing.
Process colours: Cyan (blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), black (process black).
Ragged right: Type that is justified to the left margin and the line lengths vary on the right.
Ream: Five hundred sheets of paper.
Recto: Right-hand page of an open book.
Reflective copy: Copy that is not transparent.
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.
Reverse: The opposite of what you see. Printing the background of an image. For example; type your name on a piece of paper. The reverse of this would be a black piece of paper with a white name.
Rip film: A method of making printing negatives from PostScript files created by desktop publishing.
Scanner: Device used to make colour separations, half-tones, duo tones and tri tones. Also a device used to scan art, pictures or drawings in desktop publishing.
Score: A crease put on paper to help it fold better.
Screen angles: Frequently a desktop publishers nightmare. The angles at which half-tone, duo tones, tri tones, and colour separation printing films are placed to make them look right.
Self-cover: Using the same paper as the text for the cover.
Shadow: The darkest areas of a photograph.
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 sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publication.
Silhouette half-tone: A term used for an outline half-tone.
Skid: A pallet used for a pile of cut sheets.
Specifications: A precise description of a print order.
Spine: The binding edge of a book or publication.
Split fountain: Putting more than one ink in a printing fountain to achieve special colour affects.
Spoilage: Planned paper waste for all printing operations.
Spot varnish: Varnish used to highlight a specific part of the printed sheet.
Stamping: Term for foil stamping.
Stat: Term for inexpensive print of line copy or half-tone.
Step-and-repeat: A procedure for placing the same image on plates in multiple places.
Stet: A proof mark meaning let the original copy stand.
Stock: The material to be printed.
Stripping: The positioning of film on a flat prior to plate making.
Substance weight: A term of basis weight when referring to bond papers.
Substrate: Any surface on which printing is done.
Tints: A shade of a single colour or combined colours.
Tissue overlay: Usually a thin transparent paper placed over artwork for protection uses for marking colour breaks and other printer instructions.
Transfer tape: A peel and stick tape used in business forms.
Transparency: A positive photographic slide on film allowing light to pass through.
Transparent copy: A film that light must pass through for it to be seen or reproduced.
Transparent ink: A printing ink that does not conceal the colour under it.
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.
Up: Printing two or three up means printing multiple copies of the same image on the same sheet.
UV coating: Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Environmentally friendly.
Verso: The left hand page of an open book.
Vignette half-tone: A half-tone whose background gradually fades to white.
Waste: A term for planned spoilage.
Watermark: A distinctive design created in paper at the time of manufacture that can be easily seen by holding the paper up to a light.
Web: A roll of printing paper.
Web press: The name of a type of presses that print from rolls of paper.
Wire O: A bindery trade name for mechanical binding using double loops of wire through a hol.
Wire-O binding: A method of wire binding books along the binding edge that will allow the book to lay flat using double loops. See Wire O.
With the grain: Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.
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 paper: A paper having a uniform unlined surface with a smooth finish.