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Glossary Of Terms

Glossary Of Terms

We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process. To help you gain a better understanding of what’s happening to your project, we’ve compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry. A B C D E F G H I J K L M O P R S T V W
  • 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.

  • Achromatic

    The non-colors... black, white and gray.

  • Air

    Large white areas in a design layout.

  • Alignment

    The condition of type and or art materials as they level up on a horizontal or vertical line.

  • Alley

    A term for a random, coincidental path or a row of white space within a segment of copy.

  • Aqua Tint

    A printing process that uses the recessed areas of the plate; ideal for graded and even tones.

  • Arms

    Those elements of letters that branch out from the stem of a letter, such as: "K" and "Y".

  • Art Work

    Any materials or images that are prepared for graphic reproduction.

  • Art-Lined Envelope

    An envelope that is lined with an extra fine paper; can be colored or patterned.

  • Artwork

    All illustrated material, ornamentation, photos and charts etc., that is prepared for reproduction.

  • Ascender

    Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in "d", "b" and "h".

  • Back To Back

    Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.

  • Background

    That portion of a photograph or line art drawing that appears furthest from the eye; the surface upon which the main image is superimposed.

  • Balance

    A term used to describe the aesthetic or harmony of elements, whether they are photos, art or copy, within a layout or design.

  • Base Line

    This is a term used to describe the imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points etc.

  • Binding

    Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book.

  • Bleed

    Extra ink area that crosses trim line, used to allow for variations that occur when the reproduction is trimmed or die-cut.

  • Blind Embossing

    Embossed forms that are not inked, or gold leafed.

  • Blind Folio

    Page number not printed on page.

  • Blow-up

    Any enlargement of photos, copies or line art.

  • Body

    The main shank or portion of the letter character other than the ascenders and descenders. Also: A term used to define the thickness or viscosity of printer's ink.

  • Body Size

    The point size of a particular type character.

  • Boldface

    Any type that has a heavier black stroke that makes it more conspicuous.

  • Brace

    A character " }" used to group lines, or phrases.

  • Broad Fold

    A term given to the fold whereby paper is folded with the short side running with the grain.

  • Brocade

    A heavily embossed paper.

  • Brochure

    A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.

  • Bullet

    A boldface square or dot used before a sentence to emphasize its importance.

  • Camera Ready

    A term given to any copy, artwork etc., that is prepared for photographic reproduction.

  • Cap Line

    An imaginary horizontal line running across the tops of capital letters.

  • Caps & Lower Case

    Instructions in the typesetting process that indicate the use of a capital letter to start a sentence and the rest of the letters in lower case.

  • Caps & Small Caps

    Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type.

  • Coated Stock

    Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.

  • Cold Color

    Any color that moves toward the blue side in the color spectrum.

  • Collate

    To gather sheets or signatures together in their correct order. (see Gather)

  • Color Bars

    This term refers to a color test strip, which is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It is a standardized (GATF-Graphic Arts Technical Foundation) process which allows a pressman to determine the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain. It also includes the Star Target, which is a similar system designed to detect inking problems.

  • Color Separating

    The processes of separating the primary color components for printing.

  • Column Gutter

    Space between two or more columns of type on one page.

  • Composition

    The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter for reproduction by printing.

  • Condensed Type

    A narrow, elongated type face.

  • Contrast

    The degree of tonal separation or gradation in the range from black to white.

  • Copy

    Refers to any typewritten material, art, photos etc., to be used for the printing process.

  • Corner Marks

    Marks on a final printed sheet that indicate the trim lines or register indicators.

  • Cover

    A term describing a general type of papers used for the covers of books, pamphlets etc.

  • Crop

    To eliminate a portion of the art or copy as indicated by crop marks.

  • Crop Mark

    Markings at edges of original or on guide sheet to indicate the area desired in reproduction with negative or plate trimmed (cropped) at the markings.

  • Cross-over

    Elements that cross page boundaries and land on two consecutive pages (usually rules).

  • Crossover

    A term used to describe the effect of ink from an image, rule or line art on one printed page, which carries over to another page of a bound work.

  • Cutter

    Machine for accurately cutting stacks of paper to desired dimensions...can also be used to crease. Also trims out final bound books' top size (soft cover).

  • Cutting Die

    Sharp edged device, usually made of steel, to cut paper, cardboard, etc., on a printing press.

  • Cyan

    A shade of blue used in the four-color process; it reflects blue and green and absorbs red.

  • Delete

    An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

  • Descender

    A term that describes that portion of lower case letters which extends below the main body of the letter, as in "p".

  • Die

    Design, letters or shapes, cut into metal (mostly brass) for stamping book covers or embossing. An engraved stamp used for impressing an image or design.

  • Die Cutting

    A method of using sharp steel ruled stamps or rollers to cut various shapes i.e. labels, boxes, image shapes, either post press or in line. The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.

  • Die Stamping

    An intaglio process for printing from images engraved into copper or steel plates.

  • Display Type

    Any type that stands out from the rest of the type on a page which attracts attention of the reader.

  • Dog Ear

    Occurs when you fold into a fold (such as a letter fold). At the side of one of the creases you get an indentation. It may look like a small inverted triangle.

  • Drop Folio

    Page number printed at foot of page.

  • Drop Shadow

    A shadow image placed strategically behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.

  • Dull Finish

    Any matte finished paper.

  • Dummy

    A term used to describe the preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product; also called a comp.

  • Duotone

    Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.

  • Embossing

    To raise in relief a design or letters already printed on card stock or heavy paper by an uninked block or die. In rubber and plastic plate making the process is usually done by heat.

  • Enamel

    A term that describes a glossy coating on paper.

  • Estimate

    The form used by the printer to calculate the project for the print buyer. This form contains the basic parameters of the project including size, quantity, colors, bleeds, photos etc.

  • Expanded Type

    Type with width greater than normal producing a rectangular effect.

  • Fan Fold

    Paper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel.

  • Fat Face

    Type that is quite varied in its use of very thin and very wide strokes.

  • Finish

    The surface quality of paper.

  • Finish (Paper)

    Dull - (low gloss) also matte or matte gloss.

  • Foils

    Papers that have a surface resembling metal.

  • Fold Marks

    Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.

  • Folder

    Machine used to fold signatures down into sections.

  • Folio or Page Number

    Number of page at top or bottom either centered, flushed left or flushed right often with running headline.

  • Font

    The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.

  • Ghosting

    Marring a print by the placement of an image of work printed on the reverse side which has interfered with its drying so that differences in the trapping frame colors or glass variations are apparent.

  • Gilding

    Sticking on gold leaf to edges of books with a liquid agent and made permanent with burnishing tools.

  • Gutter

    Space between pages in the printing frame of a book, or inside margin towards the back or binding edge. The blank space or margin between the type page and the binding of a book.

  • Highlights

    The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots.

  • IBC

    Inside back cover.

  • IFC

    Inside front cover.

  • Imposition

    Arrangement of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet, and the pages are in proper order when the sheets are folded.

  • Indicia

    Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes to replace the stamp.

  • Inserts

    Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

  • Italic

    Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.

  • Job Number

    A number assigned to a printing project used for record keeping and job tracking. Also used to retrieve old jobs for reprints or reworking by customer.

  • Kerning

    The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.

  • Key Plate

    The printing plate that is used as a guide for the other plates in the color printing process; it usually has the most detail.

  • Layout

    A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, roughs, thumbnails etc., of the final printed piece before it goes to print.

  • Leaders

    The dots or dashes used in type to guide the eye from one set of type to the next.

  • Leading

    Space between lines of type; the distance in points between one baseline and the next.

  • Letterpress

    Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces to create the image.

  • Letterspacing

    The addition of space between typeset letters.

  • Linen

    A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.

  • Logotype

    A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.

  • Margin

    Imprinted space around edge of page.

  • Moire

    An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.

  • Mottle

    A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.

  • OBC

    Outside back cover.

  • OFC

    Outside front cover.

  • Offset

    The most commonly used printing method, whereby the printed material does not receive the ink directly from the printing plate but from an intermediary cylinder called a blanket which receives the ink from the plate and transfers it to the paper.

  • Offset Paper

    A term for uncoated book paper.

  • Opacity

    Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.

  • Opaque

    A quality of paper that allows relatively little light to pass through.

  • Over Run

    Surplus of copies printed.

  • Overprinting

    Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.

  • Overset

    Type that is set in excess of the allotted space.

  • Perf Marks

    Markings usually dotted lines at edges showing where perforations should occur.

  • Perfect

    A term used to describe the binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.

  • Perfect Binding

    Binding process where backs of sections are cut off, roughened and glued together, and rung in a cover.

  • Perfecting

    Printing both sides of the paper (or other material) on the same pass through the printing machine.

  • Perfecting Press

    A printing press that prints on both sides of the page in a single pass.

  • Perforating

    Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.

  • Pica

    Standard of measurement, 1/6 inch. 1 pica = 12 points 72 points = 1 inch

  • Point

    A measurement unit equal to 1/72 of an inch. 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch.

  • Ppi

    Pixels per inch.

  • Press-Proof

    Actual press sheet to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.

  • Print Ready

    Digital artwork or document file that is prepared for production and does not require layout adjustment or design work.

  • Process Inks

    Printing inks, usually in sets of four colors. The most frequent combination is yellow, magenta, cyan, and black, which are printed, one over another in that order, to obtain a colored print with the desired hues, whites, blacks, and grays.

  • Ragged Left

    The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.

  • Ragged Right

    The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.

  • Readers Pairs

    Two consecutive pages as they appear in printed piece.

  • Register

    The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.

  • Register Marks

    Any crossmarks or other symbols used on layout to assure proper registration.

  • Right Angle Fold

    A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

  • Run-Around

    A term given to copy that accommodates the lines of a picture or other image or copy.

  • Saddle Stitching

    Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections, either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section.

  • Satin Finish

    A smooth delicately embossed finished paper with sheen.

  • Scaling

    The enlargement or reduction of an image or copy to fit a specific area.

  • Score

    Impressions or cuts in flat material to facilitate bending or tearing.

  • Screen Angles

    The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moire patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45deg, magenta 75deg, yellow 90deg, and cyan 105deg.

  • Self Cover

    A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal sheets.

  • Sheetwise

    The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the page over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.

  • Show Through

    A problem that occurs when the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side.

  • Signature (Section)

    Printed sheet (or its flat) that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.

  • Smoothness

    That quality of paper defined by its levelness which allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.

  • Spot Color

    Small area printed in a second color.

  • Stet

    A proofreader's symbol that is usually written in the copy margin, that indicates that the copy, which was marked for correction, should be left as it was.

  • Stock

    A term for unprinted paper or other material to be printed.

  • Text

    A high quality printing paper.

  • Ticket Envelope

    Envelopes used mostly for theater tickets, with no other particular usage.

  • Transparent

    Inks that do not block out the colored inks that they print over, but instead blend with them to create intermediate colors.

  • Trim Marks

    Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.

  • Varnish

    A clear shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces. The primary component of the ink vehicle. Reference, vehicle.

  • Vehicle

    A combination of varnish, waxes, dryers etc., that contain the pigment of inks and control the flow, the drying and the adhesion of the pigments to the printed surface.

  • Vignette

    Fade to white or small decorative design or illustration. A photo or illustration etc., in which the tones fade gradually away until they blend with the surface they are printed on.

  • Widow

    A single word or two left at the end of a paragraph, or a part of a sentence ending a paragraph, which loops over to the next page and stands alone. Also, the last sentence of a paragraph which contains only one or two short words.