Every industry has it’s own lingo, and the printing industry is definitely no exception. We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process. So, to better communicate to you what’s happening with your project, we’ve compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry.
The resistance to scratching of a surface of paper by other paper surfaces or other materials.
The ability of a material to take up moisture
A type of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.
A transparent or translucent plastic sheet material of a variety of colors, used as a basis for artwork and overlays.
The non-colors… black, white and gray.
An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching designs thereon. Bichromated solutions employed in photoengraving as sensitizers provide acid resist through the action of light on sensitized surface.
A water-soluble polymer used in paints to make them dry both tough and flexible.
Light exposure that affects chemical changes in paper.
In photographic reproduction, the primary colors of red, green and blue which are mixed to form all other colors.
This refers to a manual process whereby an air stream is blown onto paper sheets to create a riffling effect that separates the sheets as they are fed to the printing press.
A type size of 5 1/2 points. Reference, agate line.
In newspaper classifieds, a measurement denoting 1/4 inch depth by one column width. 14 agate lines = one column inch.
Large white areas in a design layout.
A compressed air tool that dispenses a fine mist of paint or ink; used in illustration and photo retouching.
A hand operated printing press made of iron.
A wood pulp paper with an antique finish used for pages of photo albums.
A surface plate used in the lithography process; it has a photosensitive coating.
A coated paper used in photography; the coating is made of albumen (egg whites) and ammonium chloride.
The condition of type and or art materials as they level up on a horizontal or vertical line.
Also called reflex blue. A pigment used in carbon black inks and varnishes to improve luster.
A term for a random, coincidental path or a row of white space within a segment of copy.
The measured length (in points) of the lowercase alphabet of a certain size and series of type.
Red-orange acetate used for masking mechanicals when photographing for plates. The amberlith area appears black to the camera, and prints clear on the resulting film.
American Paper Institute
An organization that correlates all paper related information.
In “web-fed” printing (printing on rolls of paper as opposed to single sheets), an angle bar is a metal bar that is used to turn paper between two components of the press.
Oil-based solvent (quick drying) used in the preparation process of dyes and inks.
A technique of paper making which hardens the surface by passing the paper through a bath of animal glue or gelatin.
In lithography, a plate manufactured with a barrier of aluminum oxide, which prevents chemical reactions that break down the plate; it provides optimum press performance.
An eleventh century Italian script typeface.
A handmade paper (53 x 31 inches), largest known handmade paper.
Paper with a rough, sized surface used for book and cover stock.
An antioxidant agent used to prevent inks from skinning over in the can.
The white area of text (or illustrations) at the margins which form a foldout.
A printing process that uses the recessed areas of the plate; ideal for graded and even tones.
The hand application of color, through stencils onto a printed picture.
Water soluble plate coatings, which are less toxic and less polluting.
A light source produced by the passing of electric current between two electrodes; used in the production of plates in photolithography.
Those elements of letters that branch out from the stem of a letter, such as: “K” and “Y”.
A symbol shaped like an arrowhead that is used in illustration to direct a leader line. Reference, leader line
A paper evenly coated with a fine clay compound, which creates a hard smooth surface on one or both sides.
Any materials or images that are prepared for graphic reproduction.
An envelope that is lined with an extra fine paper; can be colored or patterned.
All illustrated material, ornamentation, photos and charts etc., that is prepared for reproduction.
As To Press
In gravure printing, (recessed areas of plate hold ink), a term used for proofs showing the final position of color images.
A number set by the American Standards Assoc., which is placed on film stock to allow calculation of the length and “F” number of an exposure. Reference, “F” numbers.
Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in “d”, “b” and “h”.
Film negatives consisting of line and halftone copy which are used to make plates for printing.
In illustration, a term used to describe a view of a drawing in its assembled or whole format.
Author’s Alterations (AA’s)
Changes made after composition stage where customer is responsible for additional charges.
Coated papers that are regarded as exceptional for multi-colored printing jobs.
A printing method whereby the image is hand drawn or etched directly onto lithography plates or stones.
Any photo materials which provide positive images without a negative.
The light blue color used in the nomenclature of “laid” and “wove” papers.
The fixing of a material, either paper or cloth, to the back of a book before it is bound. Reference: case binding.
A term referring to the margin which lies closest to the back of the book.
Back Step Collation
The collation of book signatures according to reference marks which are printed on the back fold of each section.
Back To Back
Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.
That portion of the binding, which connects the front of the book with the back of the book; also called “back”.
That portion of a photograph or line art drawing that appears furthest from the eye; the surface upon which the main image is superimposed.
Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.
Marks printed on signatures that indicate where the final fold will occur. When gathering and initial folding is completed, these marks appear as a stepped sequence.
A term given to the procedure of drying coatings onto papers.
A term used to describe the aesthetic or harmony of elements, whether they are photos, art or copy, within a layout or design.
In an illustration, any line which encircles copy, or dialogue.
A thin uncoated stock used for making carbon copies.
Banker’s Flap Envelope
Also called wallet flap; the wallet flap has more rounded flap edges.
The primary headline usually spanning the entire width of a page.
A device with two sets of thin metal doors (horizontal and vertical) placed before a light source to control the direction of light.
A coating that is applied onto the non-printing side of paper to add to the opacity of that paper. Reference, opacity.
A coated stock (barium sulfate compound) used for text impressions on typesetting machines.
A three dimensional impression is which the image stands just slightly out from the flat background. References, blind emboss.
The support onto which printing plates is fixed.
The foundation material onto which the film positives are stripped for making printing plates. Reference, photomechanical.
This is a term used to describe the imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points etc.
This term refers to a standard size of paper stock; even though the required size may be smaller or larger.
Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.
A design school in Germany where the Sans Serif font was originated.
The adjusting of spacing of type in order to correct the justification.
The steel flat table of a cylinder printing press upon which the type sits during the printing process.
A recycled paperboard product used for making folding cartons.
An abbreviation for boldface, used to determine where boldface copy is to be used. Reference, boldface.
A thin but strong paper (opaque), used for Bibles and books.
A plate which is used in long print runs; the printing image is copper or brass, and the non-printing area is aluminum or stainless steel.
A heavy paperboard with a cloth covering that is used for hardback binding of books.
Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book.
The etching process in photoengraving requires the application of an acid; the length of time this acid is left to etch out an image is referred to as its bite. The more bites, the deeper the etched area.
An old style of typeface used in Germany in the 15th century, also referred to as Old English (US) and Gothic (UK).
Also referred to as black patch; a piece of masking material which is used in layout to mask an area leaving a window into which another element can be stripped.
Black Photo Paper
A black paper used to protect photosensitive materials.
Refers to the film portion of the color separation process that prints black; increases the contrast of neutral tones.
Darkening a portion of a sheet of paper due to the excessive pressure of the calendar roll. Reference, calendar.
On offset presses a fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber to transfer the impression from the plate onto the paper.
Blanket To Blanket Press
A printing method in which there are two blanket cylinders through which a sheet of paper is passed and printed on both sides.
Extra ink area that crosses trim line, used to allow for variations that occur when the reproduction is trimmed or die-cut.
A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.
Embossed forms that are not inked, or gold leafed.
Page number not printed on page.
A problem that arises in the lithography process when an image loses its ink receptivity and fails to print.
Although seemingly dry, paper does contain approximately 5% moisture. In cases where there is excessive moisture, and the paper is passed through a high heat-drying chamber, the moisture within the paper actually boils and causes a bubble or blistering effect.
Illustrations or line art etched onto zinc or copper plates and used in letterpress printing.
To sketch the primary areas and points of reference of an illustration in preparation for going to final design or production.
The resistance of coated papers to blocking. Reference, blocking.
The adhesion of one coated sheet to another, causing paper tears or particles of the coating to shed away from the paper surface.
To mask a section of an art layout before reproduction.
Any enlargement of photos, copies or line art.
Photographic proof made from flats for checking accuracy, layout and imposition before plates are made. Also known as a dylux.
The main shank or portion of the letter character other than the ascenders and descenders. Also: A term used to define the thickness or viscosity of printer’s ink.
The point size of a particular type character.
Repetitive blocks of type that are picked up and included routinely without recreating them.
Any type that has a heavier black stroke that makes it more conspicuous.
The edges of folded sheets of paper, which are trimmed off in the final stages of production.
A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that has a standard size of 17×22 inches.
A general classification to describe papers used to print books; its standard size is 25×38 inches. A printed work which contains more than 64 pages.
A term given the unfinished stage of bookmaking when the pages are folded, gathered and stitched-in but not yet cover bound.
A registration problem, usually on copiers, where the image appears to bounce back and forth. A bounce usually occurs in one direction depending on how the paper is passing through the machine. This is usually accented by card stock (especially if it’s over the machine’s spec). When a customer refuses a job for whatever reason.
A pressure sensitive color film that is used to prepare color art.
Box Cover Paper
A lightweight paper used expressly for covering paper boxes.
Box Enamel Paper
A glossy coated paper used to cover paper boxes.
A coated paper used on the inside of boxes, which are used for food.
A character ” }” used to group lines, or phrases.
Break For Color
In layout design, the term for dividing or separating the art and copy elements into single color paste-up sheets.
A board paper of various thickness; having a smooth finish and used for printing and drawing.
A term given to the fold whereby paper is folded with the short side running with the grain.
A heavily embossed paper.
A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.
A printing method whereby special ink is applied to sheets and then a powder is applied producing a metallic effect.
A photographic proof made by exposing a flat to UV light creating a brown image on a white background. Also referred to as silverprint.
A portion of the binding machinery with rollers that fold the paper.
A coarse sized cloth used in the bookbinding process.
A term used to define the number of pages per inch of a book relative to its given basis weight.
A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.
A boldface square or dot used before a sentence to emphasize its importance.
A process used in halftone photography that entails the temporary removal of the screen during exposure. This increases the highlight contrast and diminishes the dots in the whites.
A term used in plate making to describe the amount of plate exposure time.
A term used for the process of “rubbing down” lines and dots on a printing plate, which darkens those rubbed areas.
Creating a polished finish on paper by rubbing with stone or hand smoothing a surface.
A binding technique that entails nicking the backfold in short lengths during the folding process, which allows glue to reach each individual leaf and create a strong bond.
A strong paper used to wrap electrical cables.
A pigment made from cadmium sulfide and cadmium selenide.
A strong paperboard used for calendars and displays.
A series of metal rolls at the end of a paper machine; when the paper is passed between these rolls it increases its smoothness and glossy surface.
The measurement of thickness of paper expressed in thousandths of an inch or mils.
A dull coated paper, which is particularly useful in reproducing halftones and engravings.
A term given to any copy, artwork etc., that is prepared for photographic reproduction.
A paperboard with a surface of simulated canvas, used for painting.
An imaginary horizontal line running across the tops of capital letters.
Caps & Lower Case
Instructions in the typesetting process that indicate the use of a capital letter to start a sentence and the rest of the letters in lower case.
Caps & Small Caps
Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type.
A pigment made of elemental carbon and ash.
A color printing process utilizing pigmented gelatin coatings on paper, which become the resist for etching gravure plates or cylinders.
A chemical pulp paper (calcium carbonate), used mostly for the printing of magazines.
A rough finished paper used for wrapping.
The stiff covers of a hardbound book.
Books bound using hard board (case) covers.
A milk byproduct used as an adhesive in making coated papers.
The process of placing in and adhering a book to its case covers.
A paper that is coated and then pressure dried using a polished roller which imparts an enamel like hard gloss finish.
A term to describe that period of the printing process where the non-image areas can take on ink or debris.
Lines that appear on laid paper as a result of the wires of the papermaking machine.
A term used to describe the quality of print on paper where the absorption of the paper is so great that it breaks up the ink image creating loose pigment dust.
A 13th century handwriting style which is the roots of italic design.
(old) Frame of steel, or cast or wrought iron, in which images are locked up for printing.
An aluminum silica compound used in gravure and screen printing inks. Also called kaolin.
The resulting ink pigment attained from the mixture of chrome yellow and iron blue.
A lead chromate yellow ink pigment.
A screen that utilizes a concentric circle pattern as opposed to dots used for halftones and to allow the platemaker to set exact screen angles.
A strong, easily folded boxboard with clay coating used for making folding boxes.
Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.
Paper coated with clay, white pigments and a binder. Better for printing because there is less picking.
Coated Art Paper
Printing papers used for printing projects that require a special treatment of detail and shading.
Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.
Any color that moves toward the blue side in the color spectrum.
A variety of inks that are in solid form originally but are melted in a hot press and then solidify when they contact paper.
To gather sheets or signatures together in their correct order. (see Gather)
Black step-marks printed on the back of folded sheets, to facilitate collating and checking of the sequence of book signatures.
Black step-marks printed on the back of folded sheets, to facilitate collating and checking of the sequence of book signatures.
A printers or publishers identifying symbol or emblem.
This term refers to a color test strip, which is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It is a standardized (GATF-Graphic Arts Technical Foundation) process which allows a pressman to determine the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain. It also includes the Star Target, which is a similar system designed to detect inking problems.
The processes of separating the primary color components for printing.
A term referring to the relative amount of pigmentation in an ink.
Transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.
Space between two or more columns of type on one page.
Color registration measured within plus or minus one row of dots.
The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter for reproduction by printing.
A narrow, elongated type face.
A print made from contact of a sensitive surface to a negative or positive photograph.
A halftone screen made on film of graded density, and used in a vacuum contact with the film.
Image made of non-discernable picture elements which give appearance of continuous spectrum of grey values or tones.
The degree of tonal separation or gradation in the range from black to white.
Taking a picture with the camera lens facing the light source.
Refers to any typewritten material, art, photos etc., to be used for the printing process.
A board upon which the copy is pasted for the purpose of photographing.
Marks on a final printed sheet that indicate the trim lines or register indicators.
A term describing a general type of papers used for the covers of books, pamphlets etc.
When the rubber blanket on a cylinder moves forward due to contact with the plate or paper. Result of added thickness of folded sheets being behind one another in a folded signature. Outer edges of sheets creep away from back most fold as more folded sheets are inserted inside the middle.
To eliminate a portion of the art or copy as indicated by crop marks.
Markings at edges of original or on guide sheet to indicate the area desired in reproduction with negative or plate trimmed (cropped) at the markings.
Elements that cross page boundaries and land on two consecutive pages (usually rules).
Marks of fine lines, which intersect to indicate accurate alignment of art elements.
A term used to describe the effect of ink from an image, rule or line art on one printed page, which carries over to another page of a bound work.
Not lying flat and tending to form into cylindrical or wavy shapes. A term to describe the differences of either side of a sheet relative to coatings, absorbency etc.; the concave side is the curl side.
A term used in web press printing to describe the point at which a sheet of paper is cut from the roll; usually this dimension is equal to the circumference of the cylinder.
Machine for accurately cutting stacks of paper to desired dimensions…can also be used to crease. Also trims out final bound books’ top size (soft cover).
Sharp edged device, usually made of steel, to cut paper, cardboard, etc., on a printing press.
A shade of blue used in the four-color process; it reflects blue and green and absorbs red.
The gap in the cylinders of a press where the grippers or blanket clamps is housed.
A dampening system for printing presses which utilizes more alcohol (25%) and less water; this greatly reduces the amount of paper that is spoiled.
An essential part of the printing process whereby cloth covered rubber rollers distributes the dampening solution to the plate.
During the paper making process while the paper is still 90% water, it passes over a wire mesh cylinder (dandy roll), which imparts surface textures on the paper such as wove or laid. This is also the stage where the watermark is put onto the paper.
The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.
The etching or removal of any unwanted areas of a plate to create more air or white space on the finished product.
An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.
A term that describes a standard sized printing paper measuring 17.5 x 22.5 in.
An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of color.
The lay of paper fibers relative to tightness or looseness which affects the bulk, the absorbency and the finish of the paper.
The degree of tone, weight of darkness or color within a photo or reproduction; measurable by the densitometer. Reference, densitometer.
A term that describes that portion of lower case letters which extends below the main body of the letter, as in “p”.
A light sensitive coal tar product used as a coating on presensitized plates, as well as overlay proofs.
Design, letters or shapes, cut into metal (mostly brass) for stamping book covers or embossing. An engraved stamp used for impressing an image or design.
A method of using sharp steel ruled stamps or rollers to cut various shapes i.e. labels, boxes, image shapes, either post press or in line. The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.
An intaglio process for printing from images engraved into copper or steel plates.
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.
The qualities of paper to stabilize its original size when undergoing pressure or exposed to moisture.
A fine paper made specifically for the printing of diplomas, certificates and documents.
Direct Screen Halftone
A color separation process using a halftone negative made by direct contact with the halftone screen.
Any type that stands out from the rest of the type on a page which attracts attention of the reader.
In the printing process, the rubber coated rollers responsible for the distribution of ink from the fountain to the ink drum.
A term in gravure printing which refers to the knife-edge that runs along the printing cylinder; its function is to wipe the excess ink away from the non-printing areas.
Occurs when you fold into a fold (such as a letter fold). At the side of one of the creases you get an indentation. It may look like a small inverted triangle.
The smallest individual element of a halftone.
Darkening of halftone image due to ink absorption in paper causing halftone dots to enlarge. Terms to describe the occurrence whereby dots are printing larger than they should.
A method used by ink makers to determine the color, quality and tone of ink. It entails the drawing of a spatula over a drop of ink, spreading it flat over the paper.
A term that describes any additives to ink which encourages the drying process.
The actual drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.
Page number printed at foot of page.
A shadow image placed strategically behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.
Pasting with heat sensitive adhesives.
Process in which a metal plate is etched to a depth of 0.15 mm (0.006 in), making a right-reading relief plate, printed on the offset blanket and then to the paper without the use of water.
The roller between the inking and the dampening rollers.
Any matte finished paper.
A term used to describe the preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product; also called a comp.
Resembling finished piece in every respect except that the pages and cover are blank, used by the designer as a final check on the appearance and +feel+ of the book as a guide for the size and position of elements on the jacket.
Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.
Paper which has a different color or finish on each side.
Any deckle edged paper, originally produced in the Netherlands. Reference, deckle edge
Any ink that acquires its color by the use of aniline pigments or dyes. Reference, aniline.
The finish of paper surface that resembles an eggshell achieved by omitting the calendar process. Reference, calendar rolls.
The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter with graphic elements in page layout form in digital format for reproduction by printing.
A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the color separation negatives; the paper is passed through the electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.
Halftone screens in which the dots are actually elongated to produce improved middle tones.
A unit of measurement equaling 12 points or 4.5mm.
A method of paper finishing whereby a pattern is pressed into the paper when it is dry.
To raise in relief a design or letters already printed on card stock or heavy paper by an uninked block or die. In rubber and plastic plate making the process is usually done by heat.
A light sensitive substance used as a coating for film; made from a silver halide compound. This side should face the lens when the film is exposed.
A term that describes a glossy coating on paper.
Attaching the final sheet of a signature of a book to the binding.
A grade of uncoated book paper with a smooth uniform surface.
A printing process whereby images such as copy or art are etched onto a plate. When ink is applied, these etched areas act as small wells to hold the ink; paper is forced against this die and the ink is lifted out of the etched areas creating raised images on the paper.
The form used by the printer to calculate the project for the print buyer. This form contains the basic parameters of the project including size, quantity, colors, bleeds, photos etc.
One who computes or approximates the cost of work to be done on which quotation may be based.
The process of producing an image on a plate by the use of acid.
The use of smaller sized capitals at the beginning of a sentence without the use of larger sized caps.
Type with width greater than normal producing a rectangular effect.
That stage of the photographic process where the image is produced on the light sensitive coating.
A white pigment added to a colored pigment to reduce its intensity and improve its working qualities.
A term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering.
Paper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel.
Type that is quite varied in its use of very thin and very wide strokes.
A cloth conveyor belt that receives papers from the Fourdrinier wire and delivers it to the drier.
The smoother side of paper, usually a soft weave pattern used for book papers.
It is the top side of the sheet in the paper making process that does not lie on the Fourdrinier wire.
A fault in printing where the ink fills in the fine line or halftone dot areas.
Also called wash coat; any thinly coated paper stock.
The surface quality of paper.
Dull – (low gloss) also matte or matte gloss.
A symbol used in printing to indicate the index; seen as a pointing finger on a hand “+”.
The registration of items within a given page.
A term given to the lowest temperature of ignitibility of vapors given off by a substance.
In lithography, the assembly of photographic negatives or positives on vinyl acetate for exposure in vacuum frame in contact with sensitized metal press plate.
Paper that is patterned by sizing, and than coated with powders of wool or cotton, (flock).
Also called liquid ink; ink with a low viscosity.
A bound book or booklet etc. having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text.
The results of combining a wet ink pigment with a varnish and having the wet pigment mix or transfer over to the varnish.
Lowering density of an image in a specific area usually to make type more legible while still letting image show through.
Papers that have a surface resembling metal.
Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.
Machine used to fold signatures down into sections.
Folio or Page Number
Number of page at top or bottom either centered, flushed left or flushed right often with running headline.
The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.
The rollers that come into direct contact with the plate of a printing press.
(old) type matter or type and block with its accompanying spacing material secured in the forme called a chase.
In Binding, the process between folding sheets and casing in, such as rounding and backing, putting on headbands, reinforcing backs, etc.
A machine with a copper wire screen that receives the pulp slurry in the paper making process which will become the final paper sheet.
Any paper that is free from wood pulp impurities.
Folder with printing on one side so that when folded once in each direction, the printing on outside of the folds.
A halo that appears around halftone dots.
Colors that lose tone and permanency when exposed to light.
The slurry mixture of fibers, water, chemicals and pigments, that is delivered to the Fourdrinier machine in the paper making process.
A term for the fibers that project from the paper surface.
(old) flat oblong tray into which composed type matter is put and kept until made up into pages in the forme. Also a similar tray on a slug composing machine which receives the slugs as they are ejected. Also a long column of composed text matter
A proof of text copy before it is pasted into position for printing.
Old term for compositor.
Group of frames or impositions in the same forme of different jobs arranged and positioned to be printed together.
The bundling of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.
To assemble or collect sections into single copies of complete books for binding.
Assembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence; collating.
Image which appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print due to local blanket depressions from previous image areas on a letterpress rotary machine as well as on an offset press.
Marring a print by the placement of an image of work printed on the reverse side which has interfered with its drying so that differences in the trapping frame colors or glass variations are apparent.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Sticking on gold leaf to edges of books with a liquid agent and made permanent with burnishing tools.
A strong transparent paper.
Quick drying oil based inks with low penetration qualities, used on coated stock.
A carved as opposed to scripted typeface.
An orange colored paper with gridlines, used to assemble materials for exposure for platemaking.
An area of image where halftone dots range continuously from one density to another.
Direction of fibers in a sheet of paper governing paper properties such as increased size changes with relative humidity, across the grain, and better folding properties along the grain.
A paper embossed to resemble various textures, such as leather, alligator, wood, etc.
An intaglio or recessed printing process. The recessed areas are like wells that form the image as paper passes through.
A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process.
The grippers of the printing press move the paper through the press by holding onto the leading edge of the sheet; this edge is the gripper edge.
Low cost papers such as newsprint made by the mechanical pulping process as opposed to chemical pulping and refining.
The application of gum arabic to the non printing areas of a plate.
Space between pages in the printing frame of a book, or inside margin towards the back or binding edge. The blank space or margin between the type page and the binding of a book.
Printing registration that lies within the range of plus or minus one half row of dots. It is the thinnest of the standard printers’ rules.
Tone graduated image composed of varying sized dots or lines, with equidistant centers.
A high finish paper that is ideal for halftone printing.
A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.
The effect in a photograph where a dot has such a small degree of halation that the dot shows quite sharp.
That space which lies between the top of the printed copy and the trimmed edge.
Imperfections in presswork due to dirt on press, trapping errors, etc.
High Bulk Paper
Paper stock that is comparatively thick in relation to its basis weight.
High Key Halftone
A halftone that is made utilizing only the highlight tones down through the middle tones.
The highest density of a halftone image.
The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots.
That space on the spine of a case bound book between the block of the book and the case binding.
An adhesive used in the binding process, which requires heat for application.
This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in his shop.
Inside back cover.
Inside front cover.
That portion of the printing plate that carries the ink and prints on paper.
High resolution, large format device for producing film from electronically generated page layouts.
Arrangement of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet, and the pages are in proper order when the sheets are folded.
Product resulting from one cycle of printing machine. The pressure of the image carrier, whether it be the type, plate or blanket, when it contacts the paper.
A relatively thick paper stock; basis size—25 1/2 x 30 1/2.
Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes to replace the stamp.
A term used to denote papers such as janitorial, sanitary or heavy packing papers.
The device which stores and meters ink to the inking rollers.
A quality of paper to be resistant to ink absorption, allowing the ink to dry on the paper surface.
Any threads or filaments which protrude from the main printed letter body of long inks, as seen in newsprint.
The inertial resistance to flow that occurs to ink as soon as it is printed.
A device used to measure the tack of ink.
Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.
A proof made by exposing each of the four-color separations to an emulsion layer of primary colors. These emulsion sheets are stacked in register with a white sheet of paper in the background. Types of integral proofs are cromalin, matchprint, ektaflex, and spactraproof.
Extra blank pages inserted loosely into book after printing.
A coated stock finished in mother-of-pearl.
Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.
The paper cover sometimes called the “dust cover” of a hardbound book.
A number assigned to a printing project used for record keeping and job tracking. Also used to retrieve old jobs for reprints or reworking by customer.
To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming.
Vibrating, sloping platform that evens up the edges of stacks of paper.
The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.
The printing plate that is used as a guide for the other plates in the color printing process; it usually has the most detail.
The use of symbols, usually letters, to code copy that will appear on a dummy.
Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations etc.
A delicate printed impression, just heavy enough to be seen.
A coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.
A clear gloss coating applied to printed material for strength, appearance and protection.
A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.
A paper cutting technique whereby laser technology is utilized to cut away certain unmasked areas of the paper. The cutting is a result of the exposure of the paper to the laser ray, which actually evaporates the paper.
Edge of a sheet of paper being fed into a printing press.
A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, roughs, thumbnails etc., of the final printed piece before it goes to print.
The dots or dashes used in type to guide the eye from one set of type to the next.
Space between lines of type; the distance in points between one baseline and the next.
One of a number of folds (each containing two pages) which comprises a book or manuscript.
A metal die, either (flat, or embossed), created from the image or copy, which is then heated to a specific temperature which allows the transfer of a film of pigmented polyester to the paper.
A stiff heavy business paper generally used for keeping records.
The optimum length of a filament of ink.
Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces to create the image.
The addition of space between typeset letters.
Any copy that can be reproduced without the use of halftone screens.
A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.
A paper that is coated with a special water-resistant material which is able to withstand the lithographic process.
The process of printing that utilizes flat inked surfaces to create the printed images.
A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.
The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.
Paper that has had a coating applied to either one or two of its sides during the papermaking process.
An alternate term for grain direction.
A paper finish that results from the interaction of the paper with the Fourdrinier process as opposed to post machine embossing. Reference, Fourdrinier
Black pigments containing black iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition.
Process of adjusting final plate on the press to fine tune or modify plate surface.
Imprinted space around edge of page.
To write up instructions, as on a dummy.
The blocking out of a portion of the printing plate during the exposure process.
A photo negative or positive used in the color separation process to color correct. Reference, PRINTING, mask.
Photographic proof made from all color flats and form composite proof showing color quality as well as accuracy, layout, and imposition before plates are made.
A coated paper finish that goes through minimal calendaring. Reference, calendaring.
The width of type as measured in picas. Reference, picas.
A term used to describe finished artwork that is camera ready for reproduction, including all type, photos, illustrations etc.
Metropolitan Service Area
A group of ZIP codes usually in close proximity defining a large metropolitan area (e.g. New York City or Los Angeles).
Commonly taken as the area between highlight and shadow area of a subject’s face in halftone image.
An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.
A cotton fabric used on the dampening rollers of a printing press.
An ink pigment made from precipitating lead molybdate, lead sulfate and lead chromate.
A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.
Coarse muslin glue placed on the back of book or pads for strengthening.
A specific test of tensile paper strength; an important factor if web presses are used for printing.
A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood; also called cream, off-white or ivory.
Film that contains the same images as the original print, except that all colors and shades are reversed. Reference, positive.
A light, low cost groundwood paper made especially for newspapers. Reference, groundwood.
When the basis weight of paper differs from the actual weight, the term nominal weight is used.
OA Of Register
When two sheet passes on a press are misaligned.
Outside back cover.
A term used to describe printed books, catalogs etc., that are bound on their shorter side; also referred to as album bound.
Outside front cover.
Any papers made outside the US and Canada.
The most commonly used printing method, whereby the printed material does not receive the ink directly from the printing plate but from an intermediary cylinder called a blanket which receives the ink from the plate and transfers it to the paper.
A complex offset process involving multiple transfers between the gravure plate, the plate cylinder and a solid rubber plate.
Indirect printing method in which the inked image on the press-plate is first printed onto a rubber blanket, then in turn offsets the inked impression on to the sheet of paper.
A term for uncoated book paper.
A light bond paper used for typing and used with carbon paper because of its thinness.
Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.
A quality of paper that allows relatively little light to pass through.
Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.
Any light sensitive surfaces that are not sensitive to red.
Surplus of copies printed.
A cover of a book that extends over the trimmed signatures it contains.
A transparent sheet placed over artwork, in register with the work it covers; this is used to call out other color components of the work, instructions or corrections.
A process of proof making whereby the color separations are individually exposed to light sensitive film. This film is then set in registration with a piece of white paper in the background.
Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.
Type that is set in excess of the allotted space.
One side of a leaf.
The assemblage of all the necessary elements required to complete a page.
Proofs made up from pages.
Films or other photographic materials that are sensitive to all colors.
Any paper with a thickness (caliper) of 12 points (.3mm) or more.
A high-grade soft paper used for personal stationery because it accepts handwriting well.
A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin; used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.
A sheet that is larger than the cut stock of the same paper.
Any of a variety of compounds used in enhancing the drying properties of printing inks.
An ink having a high level of viscosity.
Preparation of positive materials into a layout for photographing to film negatives.
Markings usually dotted lines at edges showing where perforations should occur.
A term used to describe the binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.
Binding process where backs of sections are cut off, roughened and glued together, and rung in a cover.
Printing both sides of the paper (or other material) on the same pass through the printing machine.
A printing press that prints on both sides of the page in a single pass.
Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.
A blue red pigment used mostly in news inks; not a good ink for lithographers as it bleeds in alcohol and water.
Making printing plates by exposure of line and halftone negatives on sensitized metal, converting the image into an acid resist, and etching the print to the relief required for letterpress printing.
The platemaking process where plates are coated with photosensitive coatings and exposed to photo negatives or positives.
A photographic print creating an image using photography and electrostatic processes; also called a stat.
The main pigment in the manufacture of cyan ink.
Standard of measurement, 1/6 inch. 1 pica = 12 points 72 points = 1 inch
When the tack of ink is stronger than the surface strength of the paper, some lifting of the paper surface occurs; this is referred to as picking.
An occurrence in printing whereby the tack of ink pulls fibers or coating off the paper surface, leaving spots on the printed surface.
A build up of pigment or paper coatings onto the plate, blankets or rollers.
Using metal pins fitted into preset holes of copy sheets, films, plates and presses that will assure the proper registration.
Failure of printed ink to form a completely continuous film, visible in the form of small holes in the printed areas.
A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the side closest the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.
An ink additive that adds flexibility, softness and adhesion.
Reproduction of type or cuts in metal, plastic, rubber, or other material, to form a plate bearing a relief, planographic or intaglio printing surface.
The cylinder on a printing press on which the plate is mounted.
Any bond, cover or bristol stock with an extremely smooth finish achieved by calendaring.
Making a printing plate from a film or flat including preparation of the plate surface, sensitizing, exposing through the flat, developing or processing, and finishing.
A measurement unit equal to 1/72 of an inch. 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch.
Film that contains an image with the same tonal values as the original; opposite of a negative.
Pixels per inch.
Any paper that is considered better than #1 by its manufacturer.
A plate that has been treated with light sensitive coatings by the manufacturer.
Actual press sheet to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.
In printing the four primary colors are cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black.
The quality of papers to show reproduced printed images.
Two consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.
Printing inks, usually in sets of four colors. The most frequent combination is yellow, magenta, cyan, and black, which are printed, one over another in that order, to obtain a colored print with the desired hues, whites, blacks, and grays.
A high quality specialty lens made for line art, halftone and color photography.
Printing from two or more half tones to produce intermediate colors and shades.
Any proofs made from the separate plates of a multi-plate-printing project.
Impression from composed type or blocks, taken for checking and correction, from a lithographic plate to check accuracy of layout, type matter, tone and color reproduction.
Pull For Position
Guide sheet for the positioning of type, blocks, etc.
Papers with a complete or partial content of cotton fibers.
The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.
The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.
A thick, coated paper used for signs; usually waterproof.
Two consecutive pages as they appear in printed piece.
500 sheets of paper.
The odd numbered pages (right hand side) of books.
Red Lake “C”
A common pigment for paste and liquid red inks.
Any substance that softens and reduces the tack of ink.
The master roll of paper as it comes off the papermaking machine. It is in its original width and is then cut into smaller rolls.
The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.
Any crossmarks or other symbols used on layout to assure proper registration.
Right Angle Fold
A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.
Roll To Roll
A web press printing process where the roll of paper is printed and stored on a roll to be shipped.
That stage of printed ink where the maximum dryness is achieved, and the ink will not smudge.
A pigment somewhat redder than true magenta.
A term given to copy that accommodates the lines of a picture or other image or copy.
A term used to describe how well a paper runs on a printing press.
A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections, either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section.
A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.
A smooth delicately embossed finished paper with sheen.
The enlargement or reduction of an image or copy to fit a specific area.
Impressions or cuts in flat material to facilitate bending or tearing.
The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moire patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45deg, magenta 75deg, yellow 90deg, and cyan 105deg.
A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.
A photo print made by using a halftone negative; also called a velox.
Unwanted ink marks in the non-image area.
A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal sheets.
The lowest density of a halftone image.
To decrease the dot size of the halftone which in turn decreases the color strength.
The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the page over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.
Ink that is smooth and creamy but does not flow freely.
A problem that occurs when the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side.
The guides on the sides of the sheet fed press that position the sheet sideways as the paper is led towards the front guides.
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the pile of sections or leaves gathered upon each other and are clinched on the underside.
Printed sheet (or its flat) that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.
A halftone with the background screen removed.
Reference, brownline proof.
A term to describe the process of cutting of printed sheets by the cutting wheels of a printing press.
That quality of paper defined by its levelness which allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.
An excessively large halo around a dot in a photograph that causes a fringe that diminishes the dot intensity.
Back edge of a book.
A binding whereby a wire or plastic is spiraled through holes punched along the binding side.
Small area printed in a second color.
A film image that is larger than the original image to accommodate ink trapping. Reference, trapping
To bind a series of pages with wire staples such that staples enter from the front and back simultaneously, neither side being long enough to exit the opposite side.
The quality of paper to maintain its original size when it undergoes pressure and moisture changes.
A process of cutting many sheets from the same parent sheet in which the smaller sheets have different grain directions; also called dutch or bastard cutting.
The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, GATF has established various quality control images; the star target appears along with the color bar and helps the pressman detect any irregularity in the ink spread. Reference, Color Bars
A device on a printing press that minimizes the amount of static build up on paper as it passes through the press.
Step And Repeat
A process of generating multiple exposures by taking an image and stepping it according to a predetermined layout.
A proofreader’s symbol that is usually written in the copy margin, that indicates that the copy, which was marked for correction, should be left as it was.
A term for unprinted paper or other material to be printed.
To add an element, such as copy that is shot separately, and then stripped into place on a goldenrod flat.
Originally, the removal of the photographic emulsion with its image from individual negatives and combining them in position on a glass plate. Now the use of stripfilm materials, and the cutting, attachment, and other operations for assembling. The positioning of positives and negatives on the flat before proceeding to platemaking.
Stumping Or Blocking
Impressing book covers, etc., by means of hot die, brass types or blocks.
A machine procedure that produces a high finished paper surface that is extremely smooth and exceptional for printing.
Any petroleum based waterproof papers with a high tensile strength.
The adhesive quality of inks.
A dense, strong paper stock.
A paper’s ability to withstand pressure.
A high quality printing paper.
A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and while the ink is still wet, it is lightly dusted with a resinous powder. The paper then passes through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.
A slower drier that dries the ink throughout without forming a hard crust.
Envelopes used mostly for theater tickets, with no other particular usage.
A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.
A bright white pigment (opaque) used for printing on metal and flexible packaging.
A red pigment with poor bleed resistance.
The rough surfaced finish of papers such as vellum or antique.
Inks that do not block out the colored inks that they print over, but instead blend with them to create intermediate colors.
The process of printing wet ink over printed ink which may be wet or dry.
Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.
Twin Wire Machine
Fourdrinier papermaking machines with two wires, instead of a wire and felt side. This assures higher quality when two sides are used for printing.
The difference in feel and appearance of either side of a sheet of paper due to the papermaking process having a felt and wire side.
Papers that are not smoothed by going through the calendaring process.
A term used to describe how many similar sheets can be produced on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.
A term given to books bound on the longer dimension.
Also called a contact frame; used in the platemaking process to hold materials in tight contact during exposure.
A clear shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces. The primary component of the ink vehicle. Reference, vehicle.
A combination of varnish, waxes, dryers etc., that contain the pigment of inks and control the flow, the drying and the adhesion of the pigments to the printed surface.
A finish of paper that is rough, bulky and has a degree of tooth.
A term given to papers that are coated with an adhesive and then flock dusted.
A photographic print which is made from a negative.
A term given to the left-hand or even-numbered pages of a book.
Fade to white or small decorative design or illustration. A photo or illustration etc., in which the tones fade gradually away until they blend with the surface they are printed on.
An abbreviation for work and back. Reference, sheetwise.
An abbreviation for work and turn.
A term given to the occurrence of plate deterioration of the image area during the printing process; usually occurs on long runs.
The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from all of the printing elements (rollers, plate, ink fountain etc.) of a press.
A translucent logo that is embossed during the papermaking process while the paper slurry is on the dandy roll. Reference, dandy roll
The roll of paper that is used in web or rotary printing.
A tear in a web roll during the printing process.
Cylinder printing machine in which the paper is fed from a continuous reel, as opposed to sheet fed.
The term given to the tension or pull exerted by the web press on the web roll.
A soft paper that is thick and holds up well under embossing.
The ability of an ink film to accept subsequent ink films.
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.
Wipe On Plate
A plate on which is wiped a light sensitive coating by a coating device; usually the first step in this type of platemaking.
That side of the paper which lies on the wire screen side of the papermaking machine.
Wire Stitching Or Stapling
To fasten together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples. 3 methods… saddle stitching, side stitching, and stabbing.
A smooth paper made on finely textured wire that gives the paper a gentle patterned finish.
The unevenly dried surface of printed inks.
Another name for bond paper.
Papers made to reproduce well in copy machines and laser printers.
The actual amount of force needed to start an ink flowing.