Glossary of Terms

Artwork - An original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing.

Bind - The joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue, coils or other means.

Bindery - The department within a printing company responsible for folding, collating and trimming various printing products.

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 of paper to be printed.

Bleed - Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming. (Keep in mind if you choose to use a bleed, artwork must be oversized.)

Bond Paper - Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also called business and writing paper.

Carbonless Paper - Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure of pen or type.

CMYK - Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.

Coated Paper - Paper with coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink quality.

Collate - To organize printed matter in specific order as requested.

Color Balance - The amounts of process colors that simulate the colors of the original scene or photograph.

Color Sequence - Order in which inks are printed.

Comb Binding - To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of paper.

Composite Film - Film made by combining images from two or more pieces of working film onto one film for mating a plate.

Composite Proof - Proof of color separations in position with graphics and type.

Contrast - The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.

Cover Paper - Thick paper usually used for business cards, posters, menus, folders and book covers.

Crop Marks - Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks.

Cutting Machine - A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes.

Cyan - One of the four process colors, also known as blue.

Die - Device for cutting, scoring, stamping and embossing.

Die Cutter - A machine that cuts irregular shapes in paper, such as door hangers.

Drill - In the terms of printing, to drill a hole in a printed document.

Dull finish - Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte.

Dummy - Simulation of the final product, also called a mock up.

Emboss - To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface.

Engraving - Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.

EP - Abbreviation for envelope.

Estimate - Price that states what a job will probably cost, also called a bid, quotation and tender.

Film Laminate - Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection or an increased gloss finish.

Finished Size - Size of printing product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.

Flat Size - Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to the finish size.

Foil Emboss - To foil stamp and emboss and image.

Folder - A bindery machine used to fold printed materials.

Format - Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a lay out or printed product.

Four-color Process Printing - Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full-color images.

Gate Fold - A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.

Gloss Paper - Paper that reflects light and has a smooth, shiny finish.

Grain Direction - Predominant direction in which fibers in paper become aligned during manufacturing.

Gray Balance - Printed cyan, magenta and yellow halftone dots that accurately reproduce a neutral gray image.

Gray Scale - Strip of gray values ranging from white to black.

Gripper Edge - Edge of a sheet of paper held by grippers on a sheetfed press, going first through the press. Also called feeding edge and leading edge.

Gutter - In the printing area, the inside margins to be trimmed out using a cutter.

Impression Cylinder - A cylinder on a press that pushes paper against the plate or blanket and therefore forming the image.

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 - The reservoir on a printing press that holds ink.

Insert - An additional item positioned into the product loosely, not bound.

Laminate - A thin transparent plastic sheet applied to usually thick paper, providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and providing a glossy finish.

Landscape - An art design in which the width is greater than the height.

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, also called record paper.

Legal Paper - Paper this is 8 1/2 x 14 in size.

Letter Fold - Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit in a business envelope, also called a tri-fold.

Letter Paper - Paper that is 8 1/2 x 11 in size.

Linen Finish - Embossed finish on paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.

Magenta - One of the four process colors.

Matte Finish - Flat (not glossy) finish on coated printing paper.

Offset Printing - Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

Parent Sheet - Any sheet lager than 11 x 17.

Perforating - Creating a line of small dotted wholes for the purpose of tearing off a part of the document.

Plate - A piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.

Platemaker - A process camera that makes plates automatically from mechanicals.

Plate-ready Film - Stripped negative or positives fully prepared for platemaking.

Portrait - An art design in which the height is greater than the width.

Prepress - Graphic work, camera work, color separations, platemaking and other prepress functions preformed by the printer.

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, usually used to reduce setup costs.

Press Time - The amount of time that one job spend on a printing press.

Price Break - Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.

Printing Plate - Surface carrying an image to be printed.

Process Color Inks - The colors used for four-color process printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Proof - Test sheet to reveal errors or flaws.

Quotation - Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.

Ream - 500 sheets of paper.

Recycled Paper - New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.

Register - To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the sheet.

Saddle Stitch - To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine.

Score - To compress a straight line on paper so it folds more accurately where desired.

Side Stitch - To bind by stapling through sheets along one edge, as compared to saddle stitch.

Signature - A printed sheet folded at least once to become part of a book, magazine, or publication.

Slip Sheets - Separate sheets of paper, independent from the original run positioned between the printed run for a variety of reasons, such as separating sets of books.

Specifications - Complete and precise description of features of a printing job such as paper type, size and grade, job quantity and printing or binding method.

Spiral Bind - To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes, also called coil bind.

Step and Repeat - A prepress technique of exposing an image in a precise, multiple pattern.

Template - A standard layout. Uncoated Paper - Paper that has not been coated with clay, also known as offset paper.

Up - A term used to indicate multiple copies of one image printed in one impression on a single sheet. For example "two up" means printing the image twice on one sheet of paper. This technique is usually used to reduce costs.

Vellum Finish - A somewhat rough, toothy finish.

Watermark - A translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing.