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Glossary of Terms







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



OAGV:  Overall gloss varnish.
OADV:   Overall dull varnish.
Offsetting:   Using an intermediate surface used to transfer ink. Also, an unpleasant happening when the images of freshly printed sheets transfer images to each other.
Offset paper:   Term for uncoated book paper.
Ok sheet:   Final approved color inking sheet before production begins.
Opacity:   The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through. (The thicker/heavier the paper the higher the cost.)
Outline halftone:   Removing the background of a picture or silhouetting an image in a picture.
Overlay:   The transparent cover sheet on artwork often used for instructions.
Overrun or overs:   Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. (Printing trade terms allow for + - 10 % to represent a completed order.)



Page count:   Total number of pages in a book including blanks.
Pattern carbon:   Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers in certain areas.
Perfect bind:   A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a telephone book, Microsoft software manual, or Country Living Magazine.
Perfecting press:   A sheet fed printing press that prints both sides of a sheet in one pass.
PDF:   Portable Document Format (Adobe) - compressed data in standard format for cross platform viewing.
Pica:   Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch.
Picking:   Printers nightmare that occurs as the surface of a sheet lifts off during printing. Generally a paper manufactures quality control problem.
Pin register:   A standard used to fit film to film and film to plates and plates to press to assure the proper registration of printer colors.
Plate gap:   Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the press.
PMS:   Abbreviation for the Pantone Color Matching System.
PMT:   Abbreviation for photomechanical transfer or position prints.
Point:   For paper, a unit of thickness equaling 1/1000 inch. for typesetting, a unit of height equaling 1/72 inch.
PostScript:   The computer language most recognized by printing devices.
Press number:   A method of numbering business forms or tickets.
Pressure-sensitive paper:   Paper with self sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet.
Process blue:   The blue or cyan color in process printing.
Process colors:   Cyan (blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), black (process black).





Ream:   Five hundred sheets of paper.
Recto:   Right-hand page of an open book.
Reflective copy:   Copy that is not transparent.
Register:   To position print in the proper position in relation to the edge of the sheet and to other printing on the same sheet.
Register marks:   Cross-hair lines or marks on film, plates, and paper that guide strippers, platemakers, pressmen, and bindery personnel in processing a print order from start to finish.
Reverse:   The opposite of what you see. Printing the background of an image. For example; type your name on a piece of paper. The reverse of this would be a black piece of paper with a white name.
Rip film:   A method of making printing negatives from PostScript files created by desktop publishing.



Saddle stitch:   Binding a booklet or magazine with staples in the seam where it folds.
Score:   A crease put on paper to help it fold better.
Screen angles:   Frequently a desktop publishers nightmare. The angles at which halftone, duo tones, tri tones, and color separation printing films are placed to make them look right.
Self-cover:   Using the same paper as the text for the cover.
SGV:  Spot gloss varnish.
SDV:   Spot dull varnish.
Shadow:   The darkest areas of a photograph.
Show-through:   Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet.
Side guide:   The mechanical register unit on a printing press that positions a sheet from the side.
Side stitch:   Binding by stapling along one side of a sheet.
Signature:   A sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publication.
Silhouette halftone:   Or silo; an outline halftone.
Skid:   A pallet used for a pile of cut sheets.
Specifications:   A precise description of a print order.
Spine:   The binding edge of a book or publication.
Split fountain:   Putting more than one ink in a printing fountain to achieve special color affects.
Spoilage:   Planned paper waste for all printing operations.
Spot varnish:   Varnish used to highlight a specific part of a page.
Step-and-repeat:   A procedure for placing the same image on plates in multiple places.
Stet:   A proof mark meaning let the original copy stand.
Stock:   The material to be printed.
Stripping:   The positioning of film on a flat prior to platemaking.
Stripped flats:   Complete collection of project negative films on flats ready for platemaking.
Substance weight:   A term of basis weight when referring to bond papers.
Substrate:   Any surface on which printing is done.



Text paper:   Grades of uncoated paper with textured surfaces.
Tints:   A shade of a single color or combined colors.
Tissue overlay:   Usually a thin transparent paper placed over artwork for protection & used for marking color breaks & printer instructions.
Transparency:   A positive photographic slide on film allowing light to pass through.
Transparent ink:   A printing ink that does not conceal the color under it.
Trapping:   The ability to print one ink over the other.
Trim marks:   Similar to crop or register marks & show where to trim the printed sheet.
Trim size:   The final size of one page after the last trim is made.

Under-run:   Production of fewer copies than ordered. See over run.
Up:   Printing two or three up means printing multiple copies of the same image on the same sheet.
UV coating:  Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Environmentally friendly


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Belmont Printing Company

46 Brighton Street

Belmont, Massachusetts 02478

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