Glossary of Printing Terms

A Sizes A series of sheet sizes expressed in millimeters and used throughout the world except North America. Also known as ISO sizes because they were established by the International Standards Organization.
A4 Paper  ISO 216 – Paper Size 210x297mm used for letterhead.
AB Split A random sampling technique widely used for direct mail promotional tests. It divides a list of names into two equal groups on an every other name basis. One group of names is then used as the control group, and the other as the test panel.
Abrasion Marks Streaks or scratches on a photographic print or film caused by the developer. Can be partially wiped away by alcohol.
Abrasion Resistance The resistance to scratching of a surface of paper by other paper surfaces or other materials.
Abrasiveness The property of a substance that wears or scratches other surfaces.
Absorbancy The ability of a porous material that causes it to take in liquids or vapors.
Absorption The penetration of one substance into another.
Accordion Fold A type of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.
Acetate A transparent or translucent plastic sheet material of a variety of colors, used as a basis for artwork and overlays.
Achromatic Colors without saturated hues; black, white and grey. Achromatic means literally “without color”.
Acid Free Paper Acid free paper is paper that if infused in water yields a neutral or basic pH. It can be made from any cellulose fiber as long as the active acid pulp is eliminated during processing. It is also lignin and sulfur free.
Acid Resist 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 a sensitized surface.
Actinic Rays Light (typically UV) exposure that affects chemical changes in paper.
Actual Weight Basis weight of specific paper as measured, which may differ +/- 5% from weight advertised.
Additive Color Additive color is color created by mixing light of two or more different colors. Red, green, and blue are the additive primary colors normally used in additive color system.
Additive Primaries Red, green and blue light that produce white light when mixed. Compare with subtractive primaries.
Aerate 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.
Against the Grain At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain.
Air Dried Paper Paper dried by passing through a hot-air chamber during manufacture to make its surface hard and slightly rough.
Airbrush Pen shaped tool that sprays a fine mist of ink or paint to retouch photos and create continuous tone illustrations.
Allocation Amount of a brand or grade of paper that a mill tells a merchant it may have to supply all customers until a specific date.
Alteration Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator or printer.
Amalgamate To combine two or more orders into one for the purpose of achieving higher quantities and lower unit prices.
Anodized Plate An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use.
ANSI American National Standards Institute, Inc. is the U.S. Standards body which verifies requirements for due process, consensus, and other criteria for approval have been met by standards developers.
Anti-Offset Powder Fine powder lightly sprayed over the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave the press.
Antique Paper Roughest finish offered on offset paper.
Apparent Dot Area The percent dot area, as measured and calculated with a graphic arts densitometer, using the Murray-Davies equation.
Apparent Dot Gain In graphic arts, the difference between apparent dot area of the films, as measured with a transmission densitometer, and the apparent dot area of the proof or printed sheet, as measured with a reflection densitometer.
Aqueous Coating Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath.
Archival Paper Acid free paper manufactured to last for centuries.
Artifact A visible defect in an image, usually caused by limitations in the input or output process (hardware or software).
Artwork All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing.
Authors Alterations At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided.
Back Up (1) To print on the second side of a sheet already printed on one side. (2) To adjust an image on one side of a sheet so that it aligns back-to-back with an image on the other side.
Backing Material The material placed under, or behind, a sample when measured with a densitometer. ANSI specifications require a black backing be used to reduce measurement variability, especially when paper is printed on both sides.
Banding A visible stepping of shades in a gradient.
Base Art Copy pasted up on the mounting board of a mechanical, as compared to overlay art.
Base Negative Negative made by photographing base art.
Base Stock Underlying paper to which mills apply coatings to make paper.
Basic Size The standard size of sheets of paper used to calculate basis weight in the United States and Canada.
Basis Weight In the United States and Canada, the weight, in pounds, of paper cut to the basic size.
Bezier Curves In object oriented illustration programs, a curve whose shape is defined by mathematical formula.
Bible Paper Highly opaque, thin paper with a basis weight between 14 lb. and 30 lb. used for bibles, dictionaries, etc.
Bind The joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue or other means.
Bindery Usually a department within a printing company responsible for collating, folding, and trimming various printing projects.
Bit The smallest unit of information in a computer, representing one of two conditions, on or off.
Bitmapped An image formed by a grid of pixels. The computer assigns a value to each pixel, from one bit of information (black or white), to as much as 24 bits per pixel for full color images.
Blade Coating Method used to apply coatings to ensure uniform distribution.
 Blank Board ranging from 15 to 48 pts. coated or uncoated, used for signs and posters.
Blanket Rubber-coated pad, mounted on a cylinder of an offset press, that receives the inked image from the plate and transfers it to the surface to be printed.
Bleed Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.
Blind Folio A page number not printed on the page.
Blind Image Image debossed, embossed or stamped, but not printed with ink or foil.
 Blocking Sticking together of printed sheets causing damage when the surfaces are separated.
Blow-Up An enlargement, usually used with graphic images or photographs.
Blueline Prepress photographic proof made from stripped negatives where all colors show as blue images on white paper.
Blurb A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket.
Board Paper General term for paper over 110# index, 80# cover, or 200gsm that is commonly used for products such as file folders, displays and post cards. Also called paperboard.
Body The main text of work not including the headlines.
Body Stock Alternate term for Base stock.
Boiler Plate Blocks of repetitive type used and copied over and over again.
Bond Paper Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing, and photocopying.
Book Block Folded signatures gathered, sewn and trimmed, but not yet covered.
Book Paper Category of paper suitable for books, magazines, catalogs, advertising and general printing needs.
Border The decorative design or rule surrounding matter a page.
Bounce (1) A repeating registration problem in the printing stage of production. (2) Customer unhappy with the results of a printing project and refuses to accept the project.
 Brightness Characteristic of paper referring to how much light it reflects. When expressed with a numeral, it refers to percent of light reflected under conditions accepted as industry standards.
Bristol Paper General term referring to paper 6 points or thicker with basis weight between 90# and 200# (200-500gsm).
Broadside The term used to indicate work printed on one of a large sheet of paper.
Broke Paper spoiled or discarded during manufacture or conversion, usually turned back into furnish.
Broken Carton Carton of paper from which some of the sheets have been sold.
Bromide A photographic print created on bromide paper.
Bronzing The effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing and using a metallic powder.
Build a Color To overlap two or more screen tints to create a new color.
Bulk Thickness of paper (not related to weight) when expressed as a bulking number of pages per inch (ppi).
Bulking Dummy Dummy assembled from unprinted paper specified for a job to reveal how thick a product will be when printed and bound.
Bulking Number Number of sheets in a one-inch stack.
Bullet A dot or similar marking to emphasize text.
Burst Perfect Bind To bind by forcing glue into notches along spines of gathered signatures before affixing a paper cover.
Butt Register Register where ink colors meet precisely without overlapping or allowing space between, as compared to lap register.
Buy Out To subcontract for a service that is closely related to the business of the organization.
Byte A unit of measure equal to eight bits of digital information.
C1S Coated one side.
C2S Coated two sides.
Cabinet Collection of unprinted samples from many mills and organized by a merchant representing them.
Calender To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between rollers during manufacturing.
Calibration Setting equipment to a standard measure for predictable results.
Calibration Bars On a negative, proof, or printed piece, a strip of color/tonal values used to check quality.
Caliper (1) Thickness of paper or other substrate expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), pages per inch (ppi), thousandths of a millimeter (microns) or pages per centimeter (ppc). (2) Device on a sheetfed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
Camera Service Business using a process camera to make photostats, halftones, plates and other elements for printing. Also called prep service and trade camera service.
Camera-Ready Copy Mechanicals, photographs and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used.
Carbonless Paper Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.
Carload Selling unit of paper that may weigh anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 pounds (9,090 to 45,454 kilos) depending on which mill or merchant uses the term.
Carton Selling unit of paper weighing approximately 150 pounds (60 kilos). A carton can contain anywhere from 500 to 5,000 sheets depending on the size of sheets and their basis weight.
Case Covers and spine that, as a unit, enclose the pages of a casebound book.
Case Bind To bind using glue to hold signatures to a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather.
Cast-Coated Paper High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet.
Catalog Paper Coated paper rated #4 or #5 with the basis weight from 35# to 50# (50 to 75gsm) commonly used for catalogs and magazines.
Chain Dot (1) Alternate term for elliptical dot, so called because midtone dots touch at two points, so look like links in a chain. (2) Generic term for any midtone dots who corners touch.
Chain Lines (1) Widely spaced lines in laid paper. (2) Blemishes on printed images caused by tracking.
Chalking Deterioration of a printed image caused by ink that absorbs into paper too fast or has long exposure to sun and wind making printed images look dusty.
Check Copy (1) Production copy of a publication verified by the customer as printed, finished and bound correctly. (2) One set of gathered book signatures approved by the customer as ready for binding.
Chemical Pulp Pulp made by digesting wood chips to separate fibers and remove lignin.
Choke Technique of slightly reducing the size of an image to create a hairline trap or to outline.
Chrome Strength of a color as compared to how close it seems to neutral gray.
Close Up A mark used to indicate closing space between characters or words. Usually used in proofing stages.
CMYK Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The subtractive primaries, or process colors, used in color printing. Black (Key) is added to enhance color and contrast.
Coarse Screen Halftone Screen with ruling of 65, 85 or 100 lines per inch. (26,34, or 40 lines per centimeter).
Coated Paper Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories consisting of cast, gloss, dull and matte.
Cockle Finish Slightly puckered surface on bond achieved by passing the paper through an air dryer during manufacture.
Collate To organize printed matter in a specific order as requested.
Collating Marks Mostly in the book arena, specific marks on the back of signatures indicating exact position in the collating stage.
Color A sensory, visual experience, characterized by the attributes of hue, lightness and chroma.
Color Balance Refers to amounts of process colors that simulate the colors of the original scene or photograph.
Color Blanks Press sheets printed with photos or illustrations, but without type.
Color Break In multicolor printing, the point, line or space at which one ink color stops and another begins. Also called break for color.
Color Cast Unwanted color affecting an entire image or portion of an image.
Color Control Bar Strip of small blocks of color on a proof or press sheet to help evaluate features such as density and dot gain.
Color Correct To adjust the relationship among the process colors to achieve desirable colors.
Color Curves Instructions in computer software that allows users to change or correct colors.
Color Electronic Prepress System Computer, scanner, printer, and other hardware and software designed for image assembly, color correction, retouching and output onto proofing materials, film or printing plates.
Color Gamut The entire range of hues possible to reproduce using a specific device, such as a computer screen, or system, such as four-color process printing.
Color Key Brand name for an overlay color proof. Sometimes used as a generic term for any overlay color proof.
Color Model Way of categorizing and describing the array of colors found in nature.
Color Proof A representation of what the final printed job will look like.
Color Separation (1) Technique of using a camera scanner or computer to divide continuous-tone color images into four halftone negatives. (2) The product resulting from color separating and subsequent four-color process printing.
Color Sequence Order in which inks are printed.
Color Shift Change in image color resulting from changes in register, ink densities or dot gain during four-color process printing.
Color Transparency Film (transparent) used as art to perform color separations.
Colorimeter A photo-electric device that measures reflectance, has an instrument response known as the standard observer, as defined by CIE, and calculates and displays colorimetric data.
Comb Bind To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper.
Commercial Printer Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books and magazines.
Commodity Rating for inexpensive, basic-quality paper.
Complementary Flat The second or additional flats used when making composite film or for two or more burns on one printing plate.
Composite Art Mechanical on which copy for reproduction in all colors appears on only one surface, not separated onto overlays. Composite art has a tissue overlay with instructions that indicate color breaks.
Composite Film Film made by combining images from two or more pieces of working film onto one film for making one plate.
Composite Proof Proof of color separations in position with graphics and type.
Composition (1) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. (2) In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics and other elements on the page.
Comprehensive Dummy Simulation of a printed piece compete with type, graphics, and colors.
Condition To keep paper on the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that it’s moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom.
Contact Platemaker Device with lights, timing mechanism and vacuum frame used to make contact prints, duplicate film, proofs and plates.
Continuous Tone Copy All photographs and those illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones.
Contrast The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.
Converter Business that makes products such as boxes, bags, envelopes and displays.
Copyboard Surface or frame on a process camera that holds copy in position to be photographed.
Cotton Fiber Paper Paper made from cotton fibers rather than, or in addition to, tree fibers.
Cover Thick paper that protects a publication and advertises its title. Parts of covers are often described as follows: Cover 1=outside front; Cover 2=inside front; Cover 3=inside back; Cover 4=outside back.
Cover Paper Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.
Coverage Extent to which ink covers the surface of a substrate. Ink coverage us usually expressed as light, medium or heavy.
Crash Coarse cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to increase strength of binding.
Creep Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond the outer pages.
Cromalin A color proofing system that uses powdered pigments instead of ink.
Crop Marks Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced.
Crossover Type of art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page.
Cure To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent setoff.
Customer Service Representative Employee of a printer, service bureau, separator or other business who coordinates projects and keeps customers informed.
Cut Sizes Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.
Cut Stock Paper cut to 8 1/2″ x 11″, 8 1/2″ x 14″, or 11″ x 17″ for office machines and small presses.
Cutoff Circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore also the length of the printed sheet that the press cuts from the roll of paper.
Cutting Die Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.
Cutting Machine A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing.
CWT Abbreviation for hundred weight: 100 pounds.
 Cyan One of the four process colors.
Dandy Roll Wire mesh drum that presses watermarks and surface patterns into paper while still on the fourdrinier wire and 90% water.
Data Compression Technique of reducing the amount of storage required to hold a digital file and allow it to be processed or transmitted more quickly.
Deboss To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface.
Deckle Edge Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut.
Densitometer A photoelectric device that measures transmitted or reflected light to calculate and display density values. The density values are used to adjust exposures for photographic applications and ink levels when printing.
Density (1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding color, the relative ability of a color to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers.
Density Range Difference between the darkest and lightest areas of copy.
Desktop Color Separation A color file format which creates five PostScript files for each color image: C, M, Y, K, and a data file about the image.
Desktop Publishing Technique of using a personal computer to design images and pages, and assemble type and graphics. Then using a laser printer or imagesetter to output the assembled pages onto paper, film, or printing plate.
Device Independent Color Colors that can be described and specified without regard to whether it is reproduced using ink, projected light, photographic chemistry or any other method.
Die Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.
Die Cut To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.
Diffusion Transfer Chemical process of reproducing line copy and making halftone positives ready for paste-up.
Digital Dot Dot created by a computer and printed out by a laser printer or imagesetter. Digital dots are uniform in size, as compared to halftone dots that vary in size.
Digital Proofing Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or inkjet.
Dimensional Stability Ability of paper to retain its size despite the influence of moisture or pressure.
Direct Digital Color Proof Color proof made by a laser, inkjet printer or other computer controlled device without needing to make separation films first.
Direct Order Paper order filled from inventory at a mill rather than a merchant.
Dog Ear A letter fold at the side of one of the creases, as indentation occurs.
Dot Gain Phenomenon of halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing detail and lowering contrast.
Dot Size Relative size of halftone dots as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used. There is no unit of measurement to express dot size. Dots are too large, too small or correct only in comparison to what the viewer finds attractive.
Dots Per Inch Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors.
Double Black Duotone Duotone printed from two halftones, one shot for highlights and the other shot for midtones and shadows.
Double Bump To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.
Double Burn To expose film or a plate twice to different negatives and thus create a composite image.
Double Density A method of recording electronically (disk, CD, floppy) using a modified frequency to allow more data storage.
Double Dot Halftone Halftone double burned onto one plate from two halftones, one shot for shadows, the second shot for midtones and highlights.
Doubling Printing defect appearing as blurring or shadowing of the image. Doubling may be caused by problems with paper, cylinder alignment, blanket pressures, or dirty cylinders.
DPI Considered as “dots per square inch” a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and computer monitors/devices.
Drawdown Sample of inks specified for a job applied to the substrate specified for a job.
Drill To drill a hole in printed matter.
Dropout Halftone dots or fine lines eliminated from highlights by overexposure during camera work.
Dropout Halftone Halftone in which contrast has been increased by eliminating dots from highlights.
Dry Back Phenomenon of printed ink colors becoming less dense as the ink dries.
Dry Offset Using metal plates in the printing process, which are etched to .15mm (.0006 in) creating a right reading plate, printed on the offset blanket transferring to paper without the use of water.
Dry Trap To print over dry ink, as compared to wet trap.
Dual Purpose Bond Paper Bond paper suitable for printing by either lithography (offset) or xerography (photocopy).
Dull Finish Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte.
Dummy Simulation of the final product.
Duotone Black and white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.
Duplex Paper Thick paper made by pasting together two thinner sheets, usually of different colors.
Duplicator Offset press made for quick printing.
Dylux Brand name for photographic paper used to make blue line proofs. Often used as alternate term for blueline.
Eggshell Finish Finish simulating the surface of an egg – smoother than antique, rougher than machine finish.
Electronic Front End General term referring to a prepress system based on computers.
Electronic Image Assembly Assembly of a composite image from portions of other images and/or page elements using a computer.
Electronic Mechanical Mechanical exclusively in electronic files.
Electronic Publishing (1) Publishing by printing with device, such as a photocopy machine or ink jet printer, driven by a computer that can change the image instantly from one copy to the next. (2) Publishing via output on fax, website or other electronic media as compared to output on paper.
Emboss To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface.
Embossed Finish Surface pattern pressed into dry paper and having a name such as linen, pebble, or canvas.
Emulsion Casting of light sensitive chemicals on papers, films, printing plates and stencils.
Emulsion Down Film whose emulsion side faces down when ready to make a plate or stencil.
Emulsion Up Film whose emulsion side faces up when ready to make a plate or stencil.
Enamel Paper Glossy coated paper.
 Encapsulated Postscript A known file format usually used to transfer postscript information from one program to another.
End Sheet Sheet that attaches the inside pages of a case bound book to its cover.
English Finish Smooth finish on uncoated book paper; smoother than eggshell, rougher than smooth.
Engraving Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.
EP Abbreviation for envelope.
Equivalent Paper Paper that is not the brand specified, but looks, prints and may cost the same.
Estimate Price that states what a job will probably cost.
Estimator The individual performing or creating an estimate.
Etch To use chemicals to carve an image into metal, glass or film.
Face Edge of a bound publication opposite the spine.
Fake Duotone Halftone in one ink color printed over screen tint of a second ink color.
Fast Color Inks Inks with colors that retain their density and resist fading as the product is used and washed.
Feeding Unit Component of a printing press that moves paper into the register unit.
Felt Finish Soft woven pattern in text paper.
Felt Side Side of the paper what was not in contact with the Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to wire side.
Fifth Color Ink color used in addition to the four needed by the four color process.
Film Coat Paper with very thin coating; may also be called wash coat.
Film Gauge Thickness of film. The most common gauge for graphic arts film is 0.0004 inch (0.1 mm).
Film Laminate Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection or increased gloss.
Fine Paper Papers made specifically for writing or commercial printing, as compared to coarse papers and industrial papers.
Fine Screen Screen with ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimeter) or more.
Finish (1) Surface characteristics of paper. (2) General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post press operations.
Finished Size Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size.
Fit Refers to ability of film to be registered during stripping and assembly. Good fit means that all images register to other film for the same job.
Fixed Costs Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copywriting, photography and design are fixed costs.
Flat Color (1) Any color created by printing only one ink, as compared to a color created by printing four color process. (2) Color that seems weak or lifeless.
Flat Plan Diagram of the flats for a publication showing imposition and indicating colors.
Flat Size Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.
Flexography Method of printing on a web press using rubber or plastic plates with raised images.
Flood To print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish.
Flush Cover Cover trimmed to the same size as inside pages, as compared to overhang cover.
Flyleaf Leaf, at the front and back of a casebound book that is the one side of the end paper not glued to the case.
Fogging Back Used in making type more legible by lowering density of an image, while allowing the image to show through.
Foil Emboss To foil stamp and emboss an image.
Foil Papers Papers with surfaces that seem metallic.
Fold Marks With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges.
Folder A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials.
Foldout Gatefold sheet bound into a publication, often used for a map or chart.
Folio The actual page number in a publication.
For Position Only Refers to inexpensive copies of photos or art used on mechanical to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction.
Forest Stewardship Council An independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the worlds forests.
Form Each side of a signature.
Form Bond Lightweight bond, easy to perforate, made for business forms.
Form Roller Roller that comes in contact with the printing plate, bringing it ink and water.
Format Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product.
Formation Characteristic of paper referring to the distribution of fibres perceived when light passes through the sheet; good formation means fibers appear uniform; poor formation means they appear in clumps.
Forwarding In the case book arena, the binding process which involves folding, rounding, backing, headbanding and reinforcing.
Fountain Trough or container, on a printing press, that holds fluids such as ink, varnish or water.
Fountain Solution Mixture of water and chemicals that dampens a printing plate to prevent ink from adhering to the non-image area.
Four Color Process Printing Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan, and yellow to simulate full color images.
Fourdrinier Wire Screen on a papermaking machine that catches furnish and carries it while it begins to form into paper.
Free Sheet Paper made from cooked wood fibers mixed with chemicals and washed free of impurities, as compared to groundwood paper.
French Fold A sheet, printed one side only, folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.
Full Range Halftone Halftone ranging from 0 percent coverage in its highlights to 100 percent coverage in its shadows.
Full Scale Black Black separation made to have dots throughout the entire tonal range of the image, as compared to half scale black and skeleton black.
Furnish Mixture of fibres, water, dyes, and chemicals poured onto the fourdrinier wire.
Galley Proof Proof of type from any source, whether metal or photo type.
Gang (1) To halftone or separate more than one image in only one exposure. (2) To reproduce two or more different printed products simultaneously on one sheet of paper during one press run.
Gate Fold A sheet where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.
 Gathered Signatures assembled next to each other in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to nested.
Ghost Halftone Normal halftone whose density has been reduced to produce a very faint image.
 Ghosting (1) Phenomenon of a faint image appearing on a printed sheet where it was not intended to appear. Chemical ghosting refers to the transfer of the faint image from front of one sheet to the back of another sheet. Mechanical ghosting refers to the faint image appearing as a repeat of an image on the same side of the sheet. (2) Phenomenon of printed image appearing too light because of ink starvation.
 GIF A method of encoding images. This method compresses its data using the LZW compression technique.
Gilding Mostly in the book arena, gold leafing the edges of a book.
Glassine Glossy, translucent paper.
Gloss The light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g. paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish).
Gloss Ink Ink used and printed on coated stock (mostly litho and letterpress) such as the ink will dry without penetration.
Gradation A smooth transition between black and white, one color and another, or color and no-color.
Grade  (1) General term used to distinguish between or among printing papers, but whose specific meaning depends on context. Grade can refer to the category, class, rating, finish or brand of paper. (2) One of the major categories of paper such as bond, uncoated book, coated book, text, cover, bristol, and board.
Graduated Screen Tint Screen tint that changes densities gradually and smoothly, not in distinct steps.
Grain Direction Predominant direction in which fibers in paper become aligned during manufacturing.
 Grain Long Paper Paper whose fibers run parallel to the long dimension of the sheet.
Grain Short Paper Paper whose fibers run parallel to the short dimension of the sheet.
Grammage Basis weight of paper in grams per square meter (gsm).
Graphic Arts The crafts, industries, and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.
Graphic Arts Film Film whose emulsion yields high contrast images suitable for reproduction by a printing press, as compared to continuous tone film.
Graphic Designer Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colors and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual image.
Graphics Visual elements that supplement type to make printed messages more clear and interesting.
Gravure Method of printing using metal cylinders etched with millions of tiny wells that hold ink.
Gray Balance Printed cyan, magenta, and yellow halftone dots that accurately reproduce a neutral gray image.
Gray Component Replacement Technique of replacing gray tones in the yellow, cyan and magenta films, made while color separating, with black ink.
Gray Levels Number of distinct gray tones that can be reproduced by a computer.
Gray Scale Strip of gray values ranging from white to black. Used by process camera and scanner operators to calibrate exposure times for film and plates.
Grind Edge Alternate term for binding edge when referring to perfect bound products.
Grindoff Approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) along the spine that is ground off gathers signatures before perfect binding.
Gripper Edge Edge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheetfed press, thus going first through the press.
Groundwood Paper Newsprint and other inexpensive paper made from pulp created when wood chips are ground mechanically rather than refined chemically.
GSM The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square meter).
Gummed Paper Paper with adhesive coatings, dry gums are activated by moisture, pressure-sensitive gums by peeling away from a  waxed backing, and heat-sensitive gums by applying heat.
Gutter The inside margins toward the back of the binding edges.
Hairline A very small space, thin line or close register.
Half Scale Black Black separation made to have dots only in the shadows and midtones, as compared to full scale black and skeleton black.
Halftone (1) To photograph or scan a continuous tone image to convert the image into halftone dots. (2) A photograph or continuous tone illustration that has been halftoned and appears on film, paper, printing plate or the final printed product.
Halftone Screen Piece of film or glass containing a grid of lines that breaks light into dots.
Halo Effect Faint shadow that sometimes surrounds the halftone dots printed. The halo itself is also called a fringe.
Hard Dots Halftone dots with no halos or soft edges, as compared to soft dots.
Hard Mechanical Mechanical consisting of paper and/or acetate and made using paste up techniques, as compared to electronic mechanical.
Head to Tail Imposition wth heads (tops) of pages facing tails (bottoms) of other pages.
Header The margin at the top of a page.
Heat Set Web Web press equipped with an oven to dry ink, thus able to print coated paper.
Hickey Spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage, caused by dirt on the plate or blanket.
 High Bulk Paper Stock made relatively thick in proportion to its basis weight.
High Fidelity Color Color reproduced using six, eight or twelve separations, as compared to four color process.
High Key Photo Photo whose most important details appear in the highlights.
Highlights Lightest portions of a photograph or halftone, as compared to midtones and shadows.
Hinged Cover Perfect bound cover scored 1/8 inch (3mm) from the spine so it folds at the hinge, instead of along the edge of the spine.
HLS Abbreviation for hue, lightness, saturation, one of the color control options often found in software, for design and page assembly.
Hot Spot Printing defect caused when a piece of dirt or an air bubble caused incomplete draw down during contact platemaking, leaving an area of weak ink coverage or visible dot gain.
 House Sheet Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a variety of printing jobs.
Hue The attribute of color perception by which an object is judged to be red, blue, green, purple, etc.
Image Area The actual area on the printed matter that is not restricted to ink coverage.
Imagesetter Laser output device using photosensitive paper or film.
Imposition Arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear on proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.
Impression Referring to an ink color or speed of press, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit.
Impression Cylinder Cylinder on a press that pushes paper against the plate or blanket, thus forming the image.
Imprint To print new copy on a previously printed sheet, such as imprinting an employee’s name on business cards.
In Plant Printer Department of an agency, business or association that does printing for a parent organization.
Industrial Papers Sanitary, janitorial, and heavy-duty packaging papers.
Ink Balance Relationship of the densities and dot gains of process inks to each other and to a standard density of neutral gray.
Ink Fountain Reservoir on a printing press that holds ink.
Ink Holdout Characteristic of paper that prevents it from absorbing ink, thus allowing ink to dry on the surface of the paper.
Ink Jet Printing Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer controlled nozzles.
Inner Form Form (side of the press sheet) whose images all appear inside the folded signature, as compared to outer form.
Inserts Within a publication, an additional item positioned into the publication loose (not bound in).
Intaglio Printing Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels, having inked areas lower than non-inked areas. Gravure and engraving are the most common forms of intaglio.
Integral Proof Color proof of separations shown on one piece of proofing paper, as compared to an overlay proof.
Interleaves Printed pages loosely inserted in a publication.
ISBN A number assigned to a published work and usually found either on the title page or the back of the title page.
ISO 216 ISO 216 specifies international standard (ISO) paper sizes used in most countries in the world today, with the United States and Canada the main exceptions. The standard defines the “A” and “B” series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size. Two supplementary standards, ISO 217 and ISO 269, define related paper sizes; the ISO 269 “C” series is commonly listed alongside the A and B sizes.
Job Lot Merchant Merchant selling paper (usually under generic names) that did not meet specifications to carry mill’s brand name.
Job Lot Paper Paper that didn’t meet specifications when produced, has been discontinued, or for other reasons is no longer considered first quality.
Job Number A number assigned to a specific printing project in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping.
Job Ticket Form used by service bureaus, separators and printers to specify production schedule of a job and the materials it needs.
Jogger A vibration machine with a slopping platform to even up stacks of printed materials.
JPEG A 24-bit per pixel color image format with excellent compression for most kind of images.
Junior Carton Case of five, eight, or ten reams of cut sizes.
K Abbreviation for black in four color process printing. Hence the “K” in CMYK.
Key (1) The screw that controls ink flow from the ink fountain of a printing press. (2) To relate loose pieces of copy to their positions on a layout for mechanical using a system of numbers or letters. (3) Alternate term for the color black.
Key Negative Negative or plate that prints the most detail, thus whose image guides the register of images from other plates.
Keylines Lines on a mechanical or negative showing the exact size, shape and location of photographs or other graphic elements.
Kilobyte A measure of digital information, equal to 1024 bytes.
Kiss Die Cut To die cut the top layer, but not the backing later, of self adhesive paper.
Kiss Impression Lightest possible impression that will transfer ink to a substrate.
Kraft Paper Strong paper used for wrapping and to make grocery bags and large envelopes.
Laid Finish Finish on bond or text paper on which grids of parallel lines simulate the surface of handmade paper. Laid lines are close together and run against the grain; chain lines are farther apart and run with the grain.
Laminate A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied usually to a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use. It usually accents existing color, providing a glossy (or lens) effect.
 Landscape Artist style in which the width of the graphics is greater than the height.
Lap Register Register where ink colors overlap slightly, as compared to butt register.
Laser Bond Bond paper made especially smooth and dry to run well through laser printers.
 Laser Imprintable Ink Ink that will not fade or blister as the paper on which it is printed is used in a laser printer.
Lay Edge The edge of a sheet of paper feeding into a press.
Lay Flat Bind Method of perfect binding that allows a publication to lie fully open.
Layout A sample of the original providing position of printed work needed.
Leading Amount of space between lines of type.
Leaf One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.
Ledger Paper Strong, smooth bond paper used for keeping business records.
Legend Directions about a specific illustration and how to use. In regard to maps and tables, an explanation of symbols used.
Letter Fold Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope.
Letter Paper In North America letter paper are 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets. In Europe letter paper are A4 sheets.
Letterpress Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas.
Lightweight Paper Book paper with basis weight less than 40# (60gsm).
Lignin Substance in trees that holds cellulose fibers together. Free sheet has most lignin removed. Groundwood paper contains lignin.
Line Copy Any high contrast image, including type, as compared to continuous tone copy.
 Line Negative Negative made from line copy.
Linen Finish Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.
Lithography Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non-image areas repel ink. Non-image areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.
 Live Area Area on a mechanical within which images will print.
 Logo A company, partnership or corporate design that denotes a unique entity. A possible combination of letters and art work to create a sole entity symbol of that specific unit.
Loose Proof Proof of a halftone or color separation that is not assembled with other elements from a page, as compared to composite proof.
Looseleaf Binding method allowing insertion and removal of pages in a publication.
Loupe Lens built into a small stand. Used to inspect copy, film, proofs, plates and printing.
 Low Key Photo Photo whose most important details appear in the shadows.
LPI A measure of the frequency of a halftone screen (usually ranging from 55-200).
M Weight Weight of 1000 sheets of paper in any specific size.
Machine Finish General term referring to finish produced by fourdrinier machine as compared to embossed finishes produced off machine.
Machine Glazed Paper holding a high gloss finish only on one side.
Magenta One of the four process colors.
Makeready (1) All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or bindery job, as compared to production run. (2) Paper used in the makeready process at any stage in production. Makeready paper is part of waste or spoilage.
Making Order Order for paper that a mill makes to the customer’s specifications, as compared to a mill order or stock order.
Male Die Die that applies pressure during embossing or debossing.
Manuscript An author’s original form of work submitted for publication.
Margin Unprinted space around the edge of the printed material.
Mark Up Instructions written usually on a dummy.
Mask To prevent light from reaching part of an image, therefore isolating the remaining part.
Master Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press.
Match Print A form of a four color process proofing system.
Matte Finish Flat finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
Mechanical Camera ready assembly of type, graphic and other copy complete with instructions to the printer. A hard mechanical consists of paper and/or acetate, is made using paste up techniques. A soft mechanical exists as a file of type and other images assembled using a computer.
Mechanical Bind To bind using a comb, coil, ring binder, post or any other technique not requiring gluing, sewing or stitching.
Mechanical Pulp Groundwood pulp made by grinding trees into fibres without removing lignin.
Mechanical Separation Color breaks made on the mechanical using a separate overlay for each color to be printed.
Megabyte A unit of measure of stored data equaling 1024 kilobytes, or 1,048,576 bytes.
Merchant Brand Brand name assigned by a merchant, not a mill.
Metallic Ink Paper coated with a thin film of plastic or pigment whose color and gloss simulate metal.
Midtones In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows.
Mil The thickness of plastic films as printing substrates are expressed in mils. 1 Mil = 1/1000 of an inch.
Mill Brand Brand name assigned by a mill.
Mill Order Order placed with the mill before paper is made to ensure supply.
Mini Skid Skid holding approximately 1,200 pounds.
Misting Phenomenon of droplets of ink being thrown off the roller train.
Mock Up A reproduction of original printed matter and possibly containing instructions.
Moire Undesirable pattern resulting when halftones and screen tints are made with improperly aligned screens, or when a pattern in a photo such as a plaid interfaces with a halftone dot pattern.
Monarch Paper size (7″ x 10″) and envelope shape often used for personal stationary.
Monitor Calibration The process of correcting the color rendition settings of a monitor to match desired colors of printed output.
Monochrome A black and white display monitor, with no grayscale values.
Mottle Spotty, uneven ink absorption.
Mull A specific type of glue used for book binding and personal pads needing strength.
Mullen Test Test for bursting strength, especially important with regard to web papers.
Multicolor Printing Printing in more than one ink color (but not four color process).
Natural Color Very light brown color of paper.
NCOA National Change of Address is a registry of people who move or otherwise change their address in the United States. It is maintained by the USPS and access to it is sold to firms that engage in direct mail. NCOA access is required in order to obtain bulk mail rates.
Nested Signatures assembled inside one another in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to gathered.
Neutral Gray Gray with no hue or cast.
News Print Paper used in printing newspapers. Considered low quality and a short life use.
Newton Ring Flaw in a photograph or halftone that looks like a drop of oil or water.
Nipping In the bookbinding process, a stage where air is expelled from it’s contents at the sewing stage.
Nominal Weight Basis weight of specific paper as advertised or specified, which may differ from actual weight.
Non-Heatset Web Web press without a drying oven, thus not able to print on coated paper.
Non-Impact Printing Printing using lasers, ions, inkjets or heat to transfer images to paper.
Non-Reproducing Blue Light blue that does not record on graphic arts film, therefore may be used to preprint layout grids and write instructions on mechanicals.
Novelty Printing Printing on products such as coasters, pencils, balloons, golf balls, etc.
Object Oriented A type of artwork that defines images mathematically rather than as pixels in a bitmap.
Offset Printing Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
Offshore Sheet Paper made overseas, not in Canada or the United States.
Onion Skin A specific lightweight type of paper usually used in the past for air mail. Seldom used today.
Opacity (1) Characteristic of paper or other substrate that prevents printing on one side from showing through the other side. (2) Characteristic of ink that prevents the substrate from showing through.
Opaque (1) Not transparent. (2) To cover flaws in negative with tape or opaquing paint.
Open Prepress Interface Hardware and software that link desktop publishing systems with color electronic prepress systems.
Outer Form Form (side from a press sheet) containing images for the first and last pages of the folded signature (its outside pages) as compared to inner form.
Outline Halftone Halftone in which the background has been removed or replaced to isolate or silhouette the main image.
Over Run Additional printed matter beyond the amount ordered.
Overlay Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. Acetate overlays are used to separate colors by having some type or art on them instead of the mounting board. Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.
Overlay Proof Color proof consisting of polyester sheets laid on top of each other with their image in register, as compared to integral proof. Each sheet represents the image to be printed in one color.
Overprint To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint.
Packing Schedule Chart or table showing sizes, weights, number of sheets, etc. in cartons, skids, and other units of shipment.
Page One side of a leaf in a publication.
Page Count Total number of pages that a publication has.
Page Proof Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.
Pagination In the book arena, the numbering of pages.
Painted Sheet Sheet printed with ink edge to edge, as compared to spot color. The painted sheet refers to the final product, not the press sheet, and means that 100 percent coverage results from bleeds off all four sides.
Pallet Alternate term for Skid.
Panel One page of a brochure, such as one panel of a rack brochure. One panel is on one side of the paper. A letter folded sheet has 6 panels for example.
Paper Plate Printing plate made of strong and durable paper used in an offset press. It is cost effective with short runs.
Paperboard Paper with a caliper of 12 pts. (0.3 mm) or more.
Papeterie Soft, high-grade paper that accepts handwriting well, packaged in small quantities to sell as social stationery; may also refer to a store selling such paper.
Parallel Fold Method of folding. Two parallel folds to a sheet will produce 6 panels.
Parchment Finish Surface of very hard paper that simulates animal skin prepared as a writing surface.
Parent Sheet Any sheet larger than 11″ x 17″ or A3.
Paste Up To paste copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, to overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical. The mechanical produced is often called a paste up.
Pasteboard Chipboard with another paper pasted to it.
PE Proofreader mark meaning printer error and showing a mistake by a typesetter, prepress service or printer as compared to an error by the customer.
Perf Marks On a dummy, marking where a perforation is to occur.
Perfect Bind To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. AKA adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind, patent bind, perfecting bind, soft bind and soft cover.
Perfecting Press Press capable of printing both sides of the paper during a single pass.
Perforating Taking place on a press or binder machine, creating a line of small dotted holes for the purpose of tearing-off a part of printed matter.
Photoengraving Engraving done using photochemistry.
Photomechanical Transfer Brand name for a diffusion transfer process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones.
Photostat An inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone.
Picking Phenomenon of ink pulling bits of coating or fiber away from the surface of paper as it travels through the press, thus leaving unprinted spots in the image area.
Pickup Art Artwork, used in a previous job, to be incorporated in a current job.
Piling Phenomenon of uneven ink or water coverage on press caused by accumulated dirt or materials from extensive picking, leaving uneven ink coverage.
Pin Register Technique of registering separations, flats and printing plates by using small holes, all of equal diameter, at the edges of both flats and plates.
Pinholing Small unwanted holes in printed areas caused by a variety of reasons.
Pixel Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device.
Planographic Printing Printing method whose image carriers are level surfaces with inked areas by chemical means. Planographic printing includes lithography, offset lithography and spirit duplicating.
Plate Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.
Plate Finish Very smooth finish on bond, cover, and bristols similar to supercalendered finish on book or cover.
Plate Ready Film Stripped negatives or positives fully prepared for platemaking.
Platemaker (1) In quick printing, a process camera that makes plates automatically from mechanicals. (2) In commercial lithography, a machine with a vacuum frame used to expose plates through film.
Pleasing Color Color that the customer considers satisfactory even though it may not precisely match original samples, scenes or objects.
PMS Acronym for Pantone Matching System.
Point (1) Regarding paper, a unit of thickness equating 1/1000 inch. (2) Regarding type, a unit of measure equaling 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).
Portrait An art design in which the height is greater than the width.
Position Stat Photocopy or PMT of a photo or illustration made to size and affixed to a mechanical.
Positive Film Film that prevents light from passing through images, as compared to negative film that allows light to pass through.
Post Bind To bind using a screw and post inserted through a hole in a pile of loose sheets.
PPI A measure of the amount of image information density. 2: Pages-per-inch measure of bulk.
Prepress Camera work, color separations, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or service bureau prior to printing.
Prepress Proof Any color proof made using ink jet, toner, dyes or overlays, as compared to a press proof printed using ink.
Preprint To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting.
Press Check Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
 Press Proof Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job.
Press Time (1) Amount of time that one printing job spends on a press, including time required for makeready. (2) Time of day which a printing job goes to press.
Price Break Quantity at which unit costs of paper or printing drops.
Printability Subjective term referring to how well paper reproduces an image.
Printer Pairs Usually in the book arena, consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.
Printer Spreads Mechanicals made so they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads.
Printing Any process that transfers to paper or other substrate and image from and original such as a film negative or positive, electronic memory, stencil, die or plate.
Printing Plate Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.
Printing Unit Assembly of fountain, rollers and cylinders that will print one ink color.
Process Camera Camera used to photograph mechanicals and other camera ready copy.
Process Colors The colors used for four color process printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
 Production Run Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to makeready.
Proof Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaw, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.
Proofreader Marks Standard symbols and abbreviation used to mark up manuscripts and proofs.
Proportion Scale Round device used to calculate percent that an original image must be reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size.
Publishing Paper Paper made in weights, colors and surfaces suited to books, magazines, catalogs and free standing inserts.
Pulp Fibers separated, bleached, and dried into thick, flat sheets ready to ship, store, or mix with fluids to become furnish.
Quality A subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.
Quarto (1) Sheet folded twice, making pages 1/4 the size of the original sheet. A quarto makes an 8 page signature. (2) Book made from quarto sheets, traditionally measuring about 9″ x 12″.
Quick Printing Printing using small sheetfed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper.
Quotation Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.


Rag Paper Stationery or other forms of stock having a strong percentage content of “cotton rags”.
Railroad Board Thick, coated, usually waterproof stock for signs, cards, etc.
Rainbow Fountain Technique of putting ink colors next to each other in the same ink fountain and oscillating the ink rollers to make the colors merge where they touch, producing a rainbow effect.
Raster Image Processor Device that translates page description commands into bitmapped information for an output device such as a laser printer or imagesetter.
Rasterization Converting mathematical and digital information into a series of dots by an imagesetter for the production of negative or positive film.
Reader Spread Mechanicals made in two page spreads as readers would see the pages, as compared to printer spread.
Ream 500 sheets of paper.
Recycled Paper New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
Reel Roll of paper wound directly off the paper making machine, thus measuring its full width. The master foil from which smaller rolls are cut.
Reflection Densitometer An instrument that measures the amount of incident light that is reflected from the surface of a substrate, such as ink on paper.
Reflective Art Opaque artwork prepared so that it may be photographed or input into a computer by scanning.
Reflective Copy Products, such as fabrics, illustrations and photographic prints, viewed by light reflected from them, as compared to transparent copy.
Register To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.
Register Marks Cross hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register.
Relief Printing Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels having inked areas higher than non-inked areas. Relief printing includes block printing, flexography and letterpress.
Repeatability Ability of a device, such as an imagesetter, to produce film or plates that yield images in register.
Reprographics General term for xerography, diazo and other methods of copying used by designers, engineers, architects or for general office use.
Resolution Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.
Resolution Target An image, such as the GATF Star Target, that permits evaluation of resolution on film, proofs or plates.
Reverse Type, graphic or illustration reproduced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the underlying color or paper to show through and form the image. The image “reverses out” of the ink color.
RGB Abbreviation for red, green, blue, the additive color primaries.
Right Reading (1) Copy that reads correctly in the language in which it is written. (2) A photo whose orientation looks like the original scene, as compared to a flopped image.
RIP Raster image processor. Part of an output device that rasterizes information so that it may be imaged onto film or paper.
Rosette The pattern created when color halftone screens are placed on conventional screen angles.
Rotary Press Printing press which passes the substrate between two rotating cylinders when making an impression.
Round Back Bind To case bind with a rounded spine, as compared to flat back bind.
Ruby Window Mask on a mechanical, made with rubylith, that creates a window on film shot from the mechanical.
Rule Line used as a graphic element to separate or organize copy.
Ruleup Map or drawing given by a printer to a stripper showing how a printing job must be imposed using a specific press and sheet size.
Runnability Subjective term referring to how well paper handles on press.
Saddle Stitch To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch.
Safety Paper Paper made to expose erasure or prevent duplication or tampering.
Satin Finish Alternative term for dull finish on coated paper.
Saturation The attribute of color perception that expresses the degree of departure from the gray of the same lightness.
Scale To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing.
Scanner Electronic device used to scan an image.
Score To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately.
Screen Angles Angles at which screens intersect with the horizontal line of the press sheet. The common screen angles for separations are black 45 degrees, magenta 75 degrees, yellow 90 degrees and cyan 105 degrees.
Screen Density Refers to the percentage of ink coverage that a screen tint allows to print.
Screen Frequency The number of lines or dots per inch in a halftone screen.
Screen Printing Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.
Screen Ruling Number of rows or lines of dots per inch or centimeter in a screen for making a screen tint or halftone.
Screen Tint Color created by dots instead of solid ink coverage.
Selective Binding Placing signatures or inserts in magazines or catalogs according to demographic or geographic guidelines.
Self Cover (1) Usually in the book arena, a publication not having a cover stock. (2) A publication using only text stock throughout.
Self Mailer A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item cable of travel in the mailing arena independently.
Separated Art Art with elements that print in the base color on one surface and elements that print in other colors on other surfaces.
Separations Usually in the four color process arena, separate film holding images of one specific color per piece of film. Black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. Specific PMS colors can also be separated through film.
Serigraphic Printing Printing method whose image carriers are woven fabric, plastic or metal that allow ink to pass through some portions and block ink from passing through other portions. Serigraphic printing includes screen printing and mimeograph.
Service Bureau Business using imagesetters to make high resolution printouts of files prepared on microcomputers.
Setoff Undesirable transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the underside of another as they lie in the delivery stack of a press.
Shade Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint.
Shadows Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and highlights.
Sheet One piece of paper.
Sheetfed Press Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.
Sheetwise Technique of printing one side of a sheet with one set of plates, then the other side of the sheet with a set of different plates.
Sheffield Test A test for smoothness.
Shingling Allowance, made during paste up or stripping, to compensate for creep. Creep is the problem; shingling is the solution.
Show Through Printing on one side of a sheet visible from the other side.
Side Stitch To bind by stapling through sheets along one edge, as compared to saddle stitch.
Signature Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine, or other publication.
Size Compound mixed with paper or fabric to make it stiffer and less able to absorb moisture.
Skid Shipping and selling unit of approximately 2500 pounds of sheets. Also refers to the wooden platform used as a base for holding and transporting paper.
Slip Sheets Separate sheets independent from the original run positioned between the “printed run” for a variety of reasons.
Smoothness Levelness of paper resulting in uniform, consistent pressure during printing.
SNAP Specifications for non-heatset advertising printing.
Soft Dots Halftone dots with halos.
Solid Any area of the sheet receiving 100 percent ink coverage, as compared to screen tint.
Soy Based Inks Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment.
SPC Statistical Process Control.
Specialty Printer Printer whose equipment, supplies, workflow, and marketing is targeted to a particular category of products.
Specifications Complete and precise written description of features of a printing job such as type size and leading, paper grade and quantity, printing or binding method.
Spectrodensitometer A spectrally-based densitometer that combines the functions of a spectrophotometer, colorimeter, and densitometer
Specular Highlights Highlight area with no printable dots, thus no detail, as compared to a diffuse highlight.
Spine Back or binding edge of a publication.
Spiral Bind To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes.
Split Fountain Technique of putting ink colors next to each other in the same ink fountain and printing them off the same plate. Split fountains keep edges of colors distinct, as compared to rainbow fountains that blend edges.
Split Run (1) Different images, such as advertisements, printed in different editions of a publication. (2) Printing of a book that has some copies bound one way and other copies bound another way.
Spoilage Paper that, due to mistakes or accidents, must be thrown away instead of delivered printed to the customer, as compared to waste.
Spot Color One ink applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to a flood or painted sheet.
Spot Varnish One varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to a flood or painted sheet.
Spread (1) Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit. (2) Technique of slightly enlarging the size of an image to accomplish a hairline trap with another image.
Stability Ability of paper to resist changing size due to moisture or pressure.
Standard Viewing Conditions Background of 60 percent neutral gray and light that measures 5000 degrees kelvin , the color of daylight on a bright day.
Stationery Letterheads, envelopes, and business cards.
Statistical Process Control Method used by printers to ensure quality and delivery times specified by customers.
Step and Repeat Prepress technique of exposing an image in a precise, multiple pattern to create a flat or plate. Images are said to be stepped across the film or plate.
Stock Alternate term for paper. Also used as alternate term for Furnish.
Stock Order Order for paper that a mill or merchant sends to a printer from inventory at a warehouse, as compared to a mill order.
Stocking Merchant Distributor that keeps common papers in inventory.
Stocking Paper Popular sizes, weights and colors of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant’s warehouse.
String Score Score created by pressing a string against paper, as compared to scoring using a metal edge.
Strip To assemble images on film for platemaking. Stripping involves correcting flaws in film, assembling pieces of film into flats and ensuring that film and flats register correctly.
Stumping In the book arena, hot die, foil or other means in creating an image on a case bound book.
Substance Weight Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers.
Substrate Any surface or material on which printing is done.
Subtractive Color Color produced by light reflected from a surface, as compared to additive color. Subtractive color includes hues in color photos and colors created by inks on paper.
Subtractive Primary Color Yellow, magenta and cyan. In the graphic arts, these are known as process colors because, along with black, they are the ink colors used in four color process printing.
Sulphite Paper whose pulp was made by cooking in sulfurous acid and one of its salts.
Supercalendered Paper Paper calendered using using alternating chrome and fiber rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet.
Surprint Taking an already printed matter and reprinting again on the same.
Swatchbook A book in a variety of forms, indicating specific stock in specific colors in a specific thickness.
SWOP Specifications for Web Offset Publications.
Synthetic Paper Extruded petroleum sheets that resist tearing and will not deteriorate when wet.
Tabloid Using a broadsheet as a measure, one half of a broadsheet.
Tack Measure of ink’s ability to pull away particles from surface of paper.
Tag Grade of dense, strong paper used for products such as badges and file folders.
Tagged Image File Format Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. AKA TIFF
Target Ink Densities Densities of the four process inks as recommended for various printing processes and grades of paper.
Template Concerning a printing project’s basic details in regard to its dimensions. A standard layout.
Tensile Strength Measure of paper’s ability to withstand pressure against one side before bursting.
Text Paper Designation for printing papers with textured surfaces such as laid or linen. Some mills also use “text” to refer to any paper they consider top of the line, whether or not its surface has a texture.
Thermography Method of printing using colorless resin powder that takes on the color of underlying ink.
Thumbnails Initial ideas jotted on virtually anything in regard to initial concept of a future project.
Tint Screening or adding white to a solid color for results of lightening that specified color.
Tip In Usually in the book arena, adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process.
Tone Compression Reduction in the tonal range from original scene to printed reproduction.
Tooth Rough surface of finish such as antique or vellum.
Total Area Coverage Total of the dot percentages of the process colors in the final film.
Touch Plate Plate that accents or prints a color that four color process printing cannot reproduce well enough or at all.
Trade Shop Service bureau, printer or bindery working primarily for other graphic arts professionals, not for general public.
Transmission Densitometer An instrument that measures the amount of light that is transmitted through film from a known light source. Graphic arts transmission densitometers are programmed to calculated density and dot area of half tone film.
Transparency Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through.
Trap To print one ink over another or to print a coating, such as varnish, over an ink. The first liquid traps the second liquid.
Trapping A prepress technique which allows for slight variations in registration during the press run. A trap is created by overlapping adjacent colors in type and linework.
Trim Size The size of the printed material in its finished stage.
Tristimulus Of or relating to values giving the amounts of three colored lights, or receptors, red, green and blue.
Uncalendered Paper not smoothed by calendering.
Uncoated Paper Paper that has not been coated with clay.
Undercolor Addition Technique of making color separations that increase the amount of cyan, magenta or yellow ink in shadow areas.
Undercolor Removal Technique of making color separations that decrease the amount of cyan, magenta or yellow in midtone and shadow areas while the amount of black is increased.
Underrun Quantity less than amount specified.
Universal Copyright Convention A system to protect unique work from reproducing without knowledge of the originator. To qualify, one must register their work and publish a (c) indicating registration.
Unsharp Masking Technique of adjusting dot size to make a halftone or separation appear sharper than the original photo or the first proof.
Up Term to indicate multiple copies of one image printed in one impression on a single sheet. “Two up” or “three up” means printing the identical piece twice or three times on each sheet.
UV Coating Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.
Value The shade or tint of a color.
Varnish Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.
Vellum Finish Somewhat rough toothy finish.
Velox Brand name for high contrast photographic paper.
Viewing Booth Small area or room that is set up for proper viewing of transparencies, color separations or press sheets.
Vignette Decorative design or illustration fade to white.
Vignette Halftone Halftone whose background gradually and smoothly fades away.
Virgin Paper Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.
VOC Abbreviation for volatile organic compounds, petroleum substances used as the vehicles for many printing inks.
Wash Up To clean ink and fountain solutions from rollers, fountains, screens and other press components.
Waste Unusable paper or paper damaged during normal makeready, printing or binding operations, as compared to spoilage.
Watermark Translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing by slight embossing from a dandy roll while paper is still approximately 90 percent water.
Web Break Split of the paper as it travels through a web press, causing operators to rethread the press.
Web Gain Unacceptable stretching of paper as it passes through the press.
Web Press Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter and full.
Wedding Paper Thick, soft, glare free paper that is easy to emboss.
Wet Trap To print ink or varnish over wet ink, as compared to dry trap.
Window (1) In a printed product, a die cut hole revealing an image on the sheet behind it. (2) On a mechanical, an area that has been marked for placement of a piece of artwork.
Wire Side Side of the paper that rests against the fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to felt side.
With the Grain Parallel to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to against the grain.
Woodfree Paper Made with chemical pulp only. Paper usually classified as calendered or supercalendered.
Working Film Intermediate film that will be copied to make final film after all corrections are made.
Wove Paper manufactured without visible wire marks, usually a fine textured paper.
Wrong Reading An image that is backwards when compared to the original.
Xerographic Paper Paper made to print and run well in copy machines and laser printers.

We currently do not have any definitions for the letter Y.

We currently do not have any definitions for the letter Z.