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Glossary of Terms






Glossary of Terms


This glossary contains printing terms that may be of interest as well as help to you in completing your next project.


Accordion fold:   Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.
Against the grain:   At right angles to direction of paper grain.
Alteration:   Change in copy of specifications after production has begun.
Author's corrections:   Also know as "AC's". Changes or additions to copy after it has been typeset.


Back up:   Printing the second side of a sheet.
Banding:   Packaging printed materials using rubber or paper bands.
Basis weight:   Weight in pounds of a ream of paper cut to the basic size for its grade.
Bind:   To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue. or other means.
Bindery:   The department where the flat printed sheet is transformed into the final format.
Blanket:   The thick rubber mat on a printing press that transfers ink from the plate to paper.
Bleed:   Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet after trimming.
Blind embossing:   An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.
Blueline:   Blue photographic proof used to check position of all image elements.
Bond & carbon:   Business form with paper and carbon paper.
Bond paper:   Strong durable paper grade used for letterheads and business forms.
Brightness:   The brilliance of paper. Higher numbers are brighter white.
Bulk:   Thickness of paper stock in thousandths of an inch or number of pages per inch.
Bulk pack:   Boxing printed product without wrapping or banding.
Burn:   Exposing a printing plate to high intensity light or placing an image on a printing plate by light.
Butt:   Joining images without overlapping.
Butt fit:   Printed colors that overlap one row of dots so they appear to butt.



Carbonless:   Pressure sensitive writing paper that does not use carbon.
Caliper:   Paper thickness in thousandths of an inch.
Camera-ready copy:   Print ready mechanical art.
Cast coated:   Coated paper with a high gloss reflective finish.
Chrome:   A term for a transparency.
Coated paper:   A clay coated paper with a hard, smooth finish.
Collate:   A bindery term for arranging paper in a precise order.
Color bar:   A quality control term regarding the spots of ink color on the tail of a sheet.
Color break:   Separate mechanically or by software, the parts to be printed in different colors.
Color correction:   Methods of improving color separations.
Color key:   Color proofs in layers of acetate.
Color matching system:   A system of formulated ink colors used for communicating color.
Color separations:   The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colors (CYMK).
Composite color:   Combining all images, type, and design elements on one or more pieces of film directly from the page layout program.
Continuous-tone copy:   Illustrations, photographs or computer files that contain gradient tones from black to white or light to dark.
Contrast:   The tonal change in color from light to dark.
Copy:   All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product.
Cover stock:   A heavy paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, business cards, etc.
Crash number:   Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set.
Crimping:   Puncture marks holding business forms together.
Cromalin:   Trade name for DuPont color proofs.
Crop:   To cut off parts of a picture or image.
Crop marks:   Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.
Crossover:   Printing across the gutter or from one page to the facing page of a publication.
Cyan:   One of four standard process colors - Blue.




Densitometer:   A quality control, measurement device to measure the density of printing ink.
Density:   The degree of color or darkness of an image or photograph.
Die:   Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.
Die cutting:   Cutting images in or out of paper.
Digital color:   Combining all images, type, and design elements on a color proof sheet directly from the page layout program.
Dot:   An element of halftones. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made many dots.
Dot gain or spread:   The difference in size between the dot on film v. paper.
Double burn:   Exposing a plate to multiple images.
Draw-down:   A sample of ink and paper used to evaluate ink colors.
Drop-out:   Portions of artwork that do not print.
Dummy:   A rough layout of a printed piece showing position and finished size.
Duotone:   A halftone picture made up of two printed colors.
Dylux:   Photographic paper made by DuPont used for blueline proofing of a job. Shows all elements in blue. Usually used for 1 or 2 color printing only.



Emboss:   Pressing an image into paper so that it will create a raised relief.
Emulsion:   Light sensitive coating found on printing plates and film.
Eurobind:   A patented method of binding perfect bound books so they will open and lay flatter.

Flat:   An assembly of negatives taped to masking materials for platemaking.
Flood:   To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.
Flop:   The reverse side of an image.
Foil:   A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing.
Foil emboss:   Foil stamping and embossing a image on paper with a die.
Foil stamping:   Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper.
4-color-process:   The process of combining 4 basic colors to create a printed color picture or other colors composed from the basic 4 colors.
French fold:   Two folds at right angles to each other.
Fugitive glue:   Soft, pliable, transparent glue strip approximately 1/8" wide used to seal self mailers to post office standards.



Galley proof:   Text copy before it is put into a mechanical layout or desktop layout.
Gang:   Getting the most out of a printing press by using the maximum sheet size to print multiple images or jobs on the same sheet. A way to save money.
Gate fold:   A page that folds into the gutter creating a page when open about twice the orignal size.
GBC bind:   To plastic comb bind by inserting the comb into punched holes.
Generation:   Stages of reproduction from original copy. A first generation reproduction yields the best quality.
Ghosting:   A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended.
Gloss:   A shiny look, highly reflective of light.
Glue bind:   A rubberized coating of glue on the edges of stacked pages.
Grain:   Predominant direction of the fibers in a sheet of paper.
Grippers:   The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.
Gutter:   Blank space where 2 pages meet at the binding or the space between columns of type




Hairline:   A very thin line or gap about the width of a hair or 1/100 inch.
Halftone:   Converting a continuous tone to dots for printing.
Hard copy:   The output of a computer printer, or typed text sent for typesetting.
Hickey:   Reoccurring unplanned spots that appear in the printed image from dust, lint, dried ink.
High-bulk paper:   A paper made thicker than its standard basis weight.
Highlight:   The lightest areas in a picture or halftone.

Image area:   Portion of paper on which ink can appear.
Imposition:   Positioning printed pages so they will fold in the proper order.
Impression:   Pressure of printing surface to the paper.
Imprint:   Adding copy to a previously printed page.
Indicia:   Postal information place on a printed product.
Ink holdout:   Characteristic of paper to keep ink on the surface and not bleed or spread throughout the fibers. Results in sharper and finer image quality.
Ink fountain:   The reservoir on a printing press that hold the ink.



Jog:   To straighten or align a pile of papers by vibration.
Justify:   Lines of type that align on left and right sides.



Keylines:   Lines on mechanical art that show position of photographs or illustrations.
Kiss die cut:   To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing.
Knock out:   To mask out an image.



Laid finish:   Simulating the surface of handmade paper.
Laminate:   To cover with film, to bond or glue one surface to another.
Line art:   High contrast black & white copy not requiring a halftone.
Lines per inch:   The number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone.
Loose color:   A collection of color images from the print project shouwn outside of the page layout.
Loupe:   A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film.



Magenta:   Process red, one of the four basic colors in process color.
Makeready:   All activities reading a press for printing.
Mask:   Blocking light from reaching parts of a printing plate.
Matchprint:   Trade name for 3M integral color proof.
Matte finish:   Dull paper or ink finish.
Mechanical:   Camera ready art all contained on one board.
Mechanical separation:   Color breaks as overlays for each color to be printed.
Micrometer:   Instrument used to measure the thickness of paper.
Middle tones:   The tones in a photograph that are approx. half as dark as the shadow area.
Moire:   When screen angles are incorrect odd patterns are created in photographs.



Negative:   The image on film that makes the white areas of originals black and black areas white.
Non-reproducing blue:   A blue color the camera cannot see. Used in marking up artwork.




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