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Glossary of Graphic Arts Terms







4-color process - Technique of printing that uses the four process colors of ink to simulate color photographs or illustrations.

A.S.T.M. - American Society for Testing Materials

Abrasion Resistance - The ability of ink or paper to withstand rubbing and scuffing.

Abrasion test - A test designed to determine the ability to withstand the effects of rubbing or scuffing.

Absorption - In paper, the property which causes it to take up liquid or vapors in contact with it. In optics, the partial suppression of light through a transparent or translucent material.

Accordion fold - Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.

Acetate - An overlay or strike sheet made with cellulose acetate plastic.

Acid-Free Paper - Paper manufactured with a controlled pH that is neutral or slightly alkaline.

Acrylic - A general chemical term of a particular family or thermoplastic resins based on acrylic acid and its derivatives. Most water-base coatings are made from acrylic polymers.

Acrylic Adhesive - These adhesives usually have high temperature resistance, high-grade UV resistance and great permanent bond strength.

Additives - Any ingredients, other than pulp, added to paper during the manufacturing process. Paper additives may include clay fillers, dies, organic materials, sizing or other chemicals.

Adhere - To bond; to cause two surfaces to be held together by adhesion.

Adhesion - The state in which two surfaces are held together by interfacial forces; measure of the strength with which one material sticks to another.

Adhesive Binding - Applying a glue or another, usually hot-melt substance, along the backbone edges of assembled, printed sheets. The book or magazine cover is applied directly on top of the tacky adhesive. (Alternative term - perfect binding)

Adjustable die - Made in a fashion so as to allow various size and shapes to be cut with a single die.

Adjustment wheel - To vary or control the function.

Against the Grain - Folding paper at right angles to the grain.

Agate line - A standard of measurement for depth of columns of advertising space. Fourteen agate lines make one column inch.

Age resistance or Shelf life - The resistance to deterioration by oxygen and ozone in the air, by heat and light, or by internal chemical action.

Agent - Alternate term for Artist's representative.

Air knife - A method of coating paperboard in which a nozzle the width of the paper machine distributes air to remove excess moisture and smooth the surface.<br>

Airbrush - In artwork, a small pressure gun shaped like a pencil that sprays watercolor pigment. Used to correct and obtain tone or graduated tone effects. In plate-making, used with an abrasive-like pumice to remove spots or other unwanted areas. In electronic imaging, a retouching technique.

Alkali - Chemical agent, generally soluble in water, capable of neutralizing acids. Usually caustics; pH of 7 is neutral, up to 14 indicates degree of alkalinity base.

Alley - Space between columns of type on a page.

All-Rag Paper - Paper made from a pulp made of rags or short cotton fibers.

All-steel die - Made totally from steel.

Alteration - Change in copy or specifications made after production has begun.

Alterations - In composition, changes made in the copy after it has been set in type. Same word applied to changes in a die.

Amberlith (Brand Name) - A red or orange material for preparing art and dummies. Transparent to the eye but appears opaque to light sensitive materials.

Analine - See Flexographic Printing

Angle of Slip - The maximum angle before sliding that a weighted sled wrapped with paperboard can be tilted.

Anilox system - The application system commonly employed in flexograhic presses consisting of an elastomer-covered fountain roller running in the ink pan, adjustable against a contacting engraved metering roll, the two as a unit adjustable to the printing place roll, elastomer design roll or plain elastomer coating roll as the case may be. Coating is flooded into the engraved cells of the metering roll, excess doctored off by the wiping or squeezing action of the fountain roll or a doctor blade and that which remains beneath the surface of the metering roll is transferred to the printing plate.

Anodized Grommets - Non-tarnishing metal rings.

Anti-offset or set-off spray - In printing, dry spray of finely powdered starch used on press to prevent wet ink from transferring from the top of one sheet to the bottom of the next sheet.

Antioxidant - A substance which prevents or reduces the rate of oxidation due to exposure of the material to air or oxygen.

Antique finish - A term describing the surface, usually on book and cover papers, that has a natural rough finish.

Anti-Skid coating - A generally clear resin coating formulated and applied to large flexible packaging to retard slippage during the stacking and handling. Also referred to as non-skid and commonly used on beverage carriers and multi-wall bags.

Anvil - The press plate against which the die cuts.

Apochromatic - In photography, color-corrected lenses which focus the three colors, blue, green and red, in the same plane.

Applicator roll - Coating roll, print roll, tint roll, lacquer or varnish roll.

Aqueous Coating - A water-based coating applied on an offset press, as a final step in printing. Aqueous coating gives a dull, matte or gloss finish, and like varnish or UV coatings, protects the surface of the printed piece.

Art - All illustration copy used in preparing a job for printing.

Art bag - Contains all supplied or reproduced materials pertaining to a particular job in-house.

Art-board - All drawings, painting, photographs, special ruling, hand lettering, etc., supplied by customer or provided by art department.

Artist's representative - Person who handles marketing and other business matters for designers, illustrators, and photographers.

Artwork - Images, including type and photos, prepared for printing.

Ascend-er - That part of the letter which rises above the main body, as in "b".

ASCII - Acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a standard code used to help interface digital equipment.

Assembling - Collecting individual sheets or signatures in a complete set with pages in proper sequence and alignment. Assembling takes place prior to binding. (Alternative terms - collating, gathering, inserting)

Author's corrections - Also know as "AC's". Changed and additions in copy after it has been typeset.

Automatic press - Other than manually tripped or operated.


Back edge - The left-hand edge of a recto, or right hand edge of a verso. This is normally the binding edge.

Back lining - A paper or fabric adhering to the backbone or spine in a hard cover book.

Back Split - Process where the fabricator slits the release liner for easy removal from the PSA by hand.

Back up - To print on the second side of a sheet already printed on one side. Such printing is called a backup.

Backbone - The exposed part of a bound volume when shelved. Also called spine and shelf back.

Backing roll - Cylinder used to support the web as a process is being applied to the opposite side. Some processes are: brush polishing, coating, and calendaring.

Backing up - Printing the reverse side of a sheet already printed on one side.


Back-trapping - See Piling.

Bad break - In composition, the setting of a hyphenated line as the first line of a page. Also, starting a page with a "widow".

Baloney Slitting - The common method of slitting pressure sensitive tapes, producing rolls per step or per cycle. Also referred to as lathe slitting, lever or single-knife cutting. This process features quick-setup and economical per-slit cost.

Baltic die boards - Die lumber, usually birch, from the area of the Baltic Sea.

Banding - Method of packaging printed pieces using paper, rubber, or fiberglass bands.

Bank - One successive row of staggered tabs from first to last position.

Barrier coating - A coating film that prevents or limits the passage of substances such as: oil, grease, water, or oxygen.

Base - Often used in referring to a full strength ink or toner. Generally refers to the major ingredient used in a clear lacquer, varnish or ink. May refer to either the solvent or binder system. A cylinder before it is engraved. Base film before addition of coating.

Base negative - Negative made from copy pasted to mounting board, not overlays.

Basic size - The one standard size of each grade of paper used to calculate basis weight.

Basis Weight - Weight in pounds of 500 sheets (a ream) of paper cut to a given standard size (this is called the basis size, and varies depending on the grade of paper).

Baud rate - Number of bits of information transmitted per second from one digital device to another.

Bearers - In photoengraving, the dead metal left on a plate to protect the printing surface when molding in composition, type-high slugs locked up inside a chase to protect the printing surface when molding. In presses, the flat surfaces or rings at the ends of cylinders that come in contact with each other during printing (on American presses), and serve as a basis for smoothing out printing thickness. Also die-cutting presses.

Beater-Dyed - The process of using paper pulp, dyed to a match color, to create colored paper.

Beers Box - A pop-up style box that folds flat.

Beersplex Box - A combination of a Beers box and a simplex box construction.

Bend - Other than straight, to any degree or angle, fold, break, bend, etc.

Benday - Alternate term for Screen tint.

Bender - A bench tool used to form cutting or creasing rule.

Bending dies - Small dies that insert in a bender to produce desired shapes.

Bending rules - The process of curving the cutting rule in forming dies to the shape and dimensions desired.

Bending, Die steels - The process of curving the steel in freehand forming dies to shape dimensions desired.

Bevels - To form a sloping or slanting edge, container, part, or rules.

Bi metal plate - In lithography, a plate used for long runs in which the printing image base is usually copper and the non-printing area is aluminum, stainless steel, or chromium.

Bind - To fasten sheets or signatures and adhere covers with glue, wire, thread, or by other means.

Binder - The adhesive components of an ink, normally supplied by the resin formulation; the ink vehicle. In paper, an adhesive component used to cement inert filler, such as clay, to the sheet or to affix short fibers firmly (securely) to paper or board stock.

Binder - A book-like device used to hold a quantity of sheets, commonly loose-leaf paper. Binders can either be temporary or permanent, the former allowing the easy removal and insertion of sheets, the latter not.

Binder's board - Very stiff paper board used to make covers of case bound books.

Bindery - All work with press sheets other than the actual printing: cutting, jogging (the process of handing press sheets for form a neater, more even stack of sheets), collating, folding, and stitching.

Binding slip - A sheet of instructions sent to the bindery with each volume, specifying the binding requirements for that particular volume.

Binding - Binding and finishing are activities performed on printed material after printing.

Bit - In computers, the basic unit of digital information; contraction of Binary digit.

Bit map - In computer imaging, the electronic representative of a page, indicating the positions of every possible spot (zero or one).

Black liquor - The spent chemicals obtained from the kraft chemical pulping process.

Black Printer - The plate during the prepress printing process that is used with the cyan, magenta and yellow printers to enhance the contrast and to emphasize the neutral tones and detail in the final reproduction shadow areas.

Black-and-white - Originals or reproductions in single color, as distinguished from multi-color.

Blank - Any die cut, scored, and corner cut section of box board in the flat to be formed into a rigid box or part thereof. Also, a folding carton after cutting and scoring but before folding and gluing.

Blanket cylinder - Cylinder of a press on which the blanket is mounted.

Blanket - The thick rubber mat on a printing press that transfers ink from the plate to paper.

Blanking die - This die type is covered here because it employs a form of steel rule, although it is used to convert metal. Normally, the die is made of two parts: the top (female) section, of steel rule set into dense material, sometimes maple plywood; the bottom section (male), a hardened plate which mates with the inside line of the top section to form a shearing effect on the materials being cut. This die is also known as a shearing die, stamping die or metal blanking die.

Bleach manila lined news - Clean, white top liner containing some ground wood on chipboard, news bottom liner.

Bleaching - The process of chemically treating pulp fibers to reduce or remove coloring matter so that the whiteness or brightness of the pulp is increased.

Bleed - A printed color or image that runs off the trimmed edge of the paper, achieved by printing a larger area and trimming off the excess. The bleed also refers to the area that will later be trimmed.

Blind emboss - To emboss without added ink or foil the embossed image.

Blind Embossing - Creating a relief impression (pressing artwork onto a surface) without adding ink, foil or other color. The blind emboss is visible because of the shadow it casts through a raised image, and in some cases because of a change in the surface texture of the area.

Blind image - In lithography, an image that has lost its ink receptivity and fails to print.

Blistering - A defect caused by the development of air pockets in the paperboard, caused by drying too suddenly on the drying cylinders, or poor ply adhesion in multiply board.

Block die - Series of blocks of wood that are cut on a table saw to exact sizes to conform to a pattern. The rule is inserted between these blocks and are held firm within a metal frame with wedges or quoins.

Blocking - An undesired adhesion between touching layers of material such as might occur under moderate pressure and/or temperature in storage or use; to the extent that damage to at least one surface is visible upon their separation.

Blow up - To enlarge photographically. Such an enlargement is called a blowup.

Blue line - Final proof from printer to verify graphic positioning, color breaks, pagination, and type positioning.

Blushing - A milky, foggy or flat appearance in an ink or coating due to precipitation or incompatibility of one of the ingredients. Most often caused by excessive moisture condensations.

Board - A heavy weight, thick sheet of paper or other fiber substances, usually of a thickness of .0006&quot; or over. The distinction between board and paper is not definite.

Board Caliper - Refers to the weight of the board.

Board paper - Grade of paper commonly used for file folders, display, and post cards.

Board, cylinder - Any type of fiberboard or box board made on a cylinder machine. Has a characteristic grain direction.

Board - Alternate term for Mechanical.

Body - In ink making, a term referring to the viscosity, or consistency, of an ink (e.g., an ink with too much body is stiff).

Body Copy - Text or graphics printed other than on tab extensions (i.e. the "body" of the sheet).

Body type - A type used for the main part or text of a printed piece, as distinguished from the heading.

Bold-face type - A name given to type that is heavier than the text type with which it is used.

Bond carbon - Business form with paper and carbon paper.

Bond paper - A grade of writing or printing paper where strengths, durability, and permanence are essential requirements; used for letterheads, business forms, etc.

Bonding - The natural chemical and physical mechanism by which individual fibers adhere to each other.

Book paper - A general term for coated and uncoated papers. The basic size is 25 x 38.

Bookbinder - Alternate term for Trade bindery.

Box - A complete paper box, including base and lid, or one piece.


Box board - Paperboard of sufficient caliper and test to be used in the manufacturer of paperboard boxes.


Braceless die  - Varying interpretations of this term. 


Break for color - In artwork and composition, to separate the parts to be printed in different colors. 

Break for color - Also known as a color break. To separate mechanically or by software the parts to be printed in different colors.

Breaking strength - The ability of a material to resist rupture by tension. (See also bursting strength)

Bridge - Small areas left uncut in a jig die for purpose of holding the die together.

Bridger - A bench tool used to remove metal from the steel rule, to pass over the bridge.

Brightness - In photography, light reflected by the copy. In paper, the reflectance or brilliance of the paper.

Brilliancy - The intensity, chroma, brightness or apparent strength of a color to the eye.

Bristol - Type of board paper used for post cards, business cards, and other heavy-use products.

Brittle paper - A weakened condition of paper due to deterioration caused by acid, which may cause darkening of the paper.

Broadside - Any printed advertising circular.

Brochure- A pamphlet bound in booklet form.

Broke - Pulp recovered from paperboard trimmings, damaged paperboard, or off spec product anywhere in the manufacturing process.

Broken carton - Less than one full carton of paper.

Broker - Agent who supplies printing from many printing companies.

Bronzing - Printing with a sizing ink, then applying bronze powder while still wet to produce a metallic luster.

Brown stock - Brown pulp from the chemical pulping process.

Buckle Folder - A device used in the folding phrase of binding and finishing, which uses a set of plates (collectively called a folder plate) to force a sheet to buckle slightly, allowing it to be pulled through a set of folding rollers.

Buckling - The phenomenon when PSA tape ripples and causes an opening or gaps between layers in the manufacturing process.

Buckram - A heavy-weave cotton base fabric which is pyroxylin-filled and used for constructing covers.

Bulk pack - To pack printed pieces in boxes without prior wrapping in bundles.

Bulk - Thickness of paper, expressed in thousandths of an inch or the he number of pages per inch for a given basis weight (PPI).
Bump exposure - In photography, an exposure in halftone photography, especially with contact screens, in which the screen is removed for a short time. It increases highlight contrast and drops out the dots in the whites.

Burn- In plate-making, a common term used for a plate exposure.  In photography, to give extra exposure to a specific area of a print. 

Burnish - To smooth and seal by rubbing elements. adhered to a mechanical.

Burst perfect bind - To bind by forcing glue into notches in spines of signatures, and then adhering a paper cover.

Bursting strength- Resistance of paper to rupture under pressure, as indicated in pounds per square inch on a Mullen or "pop" tester.

Butt fit - Ink colors overlapped only a hairline so they appear perfectly butted.

Butt Splice - A splice made by joining tape end-to-end without a space nor any overlapping. A thin single coated tape centered on both sides usually assembles the splice.

Butt to rule - Any subject matter that is to fit directly against a printing rule.

Butt - To join without overlapping or space between.

Butt-Cutting - Die cutting process where a kiss cut is performed, but no matrix is created. The parts are directly next to each other. Products are usually square or rectangular shaped on a roll or pad.

Buyout - Subcontracted service.

Byte - In computers, a unit of digital information, equivalent to one character or 8 to 32 bits.


C print - Color photographic print made from a negative on Kodak C Print paper.

C1S - Paper coated on one side.

C2S - Paper coated on both sides.

CAD/CAM - An acronym for Computer Assisted Design/Computer Assisted Makeup or Manufacturing.

Cady tester - A machine used to test the bursting strength of paper, paperboard or fiberboard. (See mullen and bursting strength)

Calendar rolls - A set or stack or horizontal cast-iron rolls at the end of a paper machine. The paper is passed between the rolls to increase the smoothness and gloss of its surface.

Calendared paper - Paper with a smooth finish produced by its being passed through the calendar of a papermaking machine.

Calendaring - The process of finishing a sheet of dry paper by pressing it between a set of chilled metal rollers, generally at the end of a paper-making machine. The paper passes through these rollers to increase the smoothness and gloss of its surface.

Caliper - The thickness of a single sheet of paper (or plastic) under specific conditions. The measurement is made with a micrometer, expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points).

Camera service - Business using a process camera to make PMTS, halftone negatives, printing plates, etc.

Camera-ready - Copy which is ready for photography.

Camera-ready artwork - Artwork (an image or text) ready for photography.

Camera-ready copy - Mechanical, photographs, and art fully prepared to be photographed for plate-making according to the technical requirements of either quick or commercial printing.

Caps and small caps - Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type, commonly used in most roman type faces.

Carbon-less - Pressure sensitive writing paper that does not use carbon.

Cardboard - General term for stiff, bulky paper such as index, tag, or Bristol.

Carload - A truck load of paper weighing 40,000 pounds.

Carrier - Double-coated tapes have a thin "carrier" of film to which one or two types of PSA adhesive is coated to each side.

Carton - Folding paper box.

Case - In bookbinding, the covers of a hard-bound book.

Case bind - To bind by gluing signatures to a case made of binder's board covered with fabric, plastic, or leather, yielding hard cover books.

Casing-in - The process of putting a volume that has received all of the binding or rebinding operations, into its cover or case.

Cast coated - Coated paper dried under pressure against a polished cylinder to produce a high-gloss enamel finish.

Catalyst - A substance which alters (initiates or accelerates) the velocity of a reaction between two or more substances without changing itself in chemical composition.

Catching up - In lithography, a term which indicates that the non-image areas of a press plate are taking ink or scumming.

Caustic - Alkaline having a corrosive action.

CCD - Acronym for Charge Couple Device. An electronic scanning device used in imaging systems.

CD-ROM - Acronym for Compact Disc-Read-Only Memory. A CD-ROM drive uses the CD format as a computer storage medium.

Cell - In gravure printing, the small etched depression (representing one halftone dot) in the surface of the gravure cylinder that carries the ink.

Center marks - Lines on a mechanical, negative, plate, or press sheet indicating the center of a layout.

Center spread - The two center pages of a signature.

CEPS - Abbreviation for color electronic prepress systems, a high-end, computer-based system that is used to color correct scanned images and assemble image elements into final pages.

Chalking - In printing, a term which refers to improper drying of ink. Pigment dusts off because the vehicle has been absorbed too rapidly into the paper.

Character generation - The production of typographic images using font master data. Generated to screens or output devices.

Chase - A rectangular metal frame in which type and plates are locked up for letterpress. A metal frame holds a block type die together under pressure.

Checking - A defect resulting from excessive decurling.

Chemical pulp - In papermaking, treatment of ground wood chips with chemicals to remove impurities such as lignin, resins and gums. There are two types, sulfite and sulfate.

Chemistry - In photography and platemaking, a term used to describe the composition of processing solutions.

Child Proof Stitches - A method of stitches in which they are turned in down the center spread.

Chipboard - Paperboard used in making rigid boxes. Made in varying densities according to desired smoothness from reclaimed paper fibre to give high stiffness and internal strength for scoring.

Chokes and spreads - Overlap of overprinting images to avoid color or white fringes or borders around image detail. Called trapping in digital imaging systems.

Chopper knives - Steel rule in a die to cut up scrap in smaller pieces.

Choppers - Cutting rule in dies for the purpose of cutting the waste into smaller pieces to facilitate self-stripping and to make smaller pieces of waste to accommodate the waste removal system.

Chroma - The optical measurement of color saturation and/or intensity.

Chromalin proof - A 4-color proofing system. It is made with four process color toners, plus layers of photo polymer. Laminated into 1 piece, Chromalin is a DuPont trade name.

Chrome - Alternate term for Transparency.

Circular screen - A circular-shaped halftone screen which enables the camera operator to obtain halftones without disturbing the copy.

Clarification - The removal of suspended solids by settling process solutions.

Clay coated box board - A one side coated board (white) with good fold and scoring quality used for rigid and folding boxes. Coating provides satisfactory printing surface, a smooth flexible sheet for good bend at score line.

Cleat bind - Alternate term for Side stitch.

Clicker block - Anvil surface of wood to cut against.

Clicker pad - Disposable anvil surface of various materials.

Clicker press - Generic term now referring to all swing arm diecutting presses used in much of the soft goods converting areas.

Cling - Tendency of adjacent materials to adhere to each other, as in blocking, except that the surfaces can be separated without any visible damage. A slight noise, referred as kiss noise, may occur upon separation.

Clip art - High-contrast drawings printed on white, glossy paper and made to be cut out and pasted to a mechanical.

Closed loop system - In printing, a completely automatic control system.

Closed time - Time the glue joint is under compression while the adhesive is setting.

CMYK - Acronym for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black–subtractive primary colors. Printing colors for process color reproduction.

Coarse screen - Screen with ruling of less than 133 lines per inch.

Coated Paper - Paper with a surface treated with clay or some other pigment and adhesive material to improve the surface in terms of printing quality. The coated finish may be dull, matte or gloss. Coated papers are generally available in white or natural (off-white).

Coating - In plate-making, the light-sensitive polymer or mixture applied to a metal plate. In printing, an emulsion, varnish or lacquer over a printed surface to protect it.

Coating, heat seal - A coating applied to a substrate capable of sealing to another material by heat and dwell time.

Coating, thermoplastic - A material applied to a substrate which is heat seal-able.

Cobb test - A method of measuring the water receptivity of sized paperboard by determining the weight of liquid absorbed into the surface over a specified period of time.

Cockling - A rippling effect given to the surface of a sheet of paper which has not been properly dried. Moisture pickup of the sheet can also cause the cockling or wavy edge.

Cohesion - The attractive force that internally binds a material.

Cold color - In printing, a color with a bluish cast.

Cold set adhesive - A liquid adhesive, used in carton forming, which when applied dewaters through the substrate, dries, and bonds to the substrate.

Collate - A finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order.

Collateral - Ad agency term for printed pieces, such as brochures and annual reports, that are not directly involved in advertising.

Collating Marks - In printing, a set of numbered symbols that are printed on the folded edge of press signatures as a means of indicating the proper collating or gathering sequence.

Collation - Gathering of individual tabs into sequentially ordered sets.

Collotype - Method of printing continuous tones using a plate coated with gelatin.

Color balance - The correct combination of cyan, magenta and yellow to (1) reproduce a photograph without a color cast, (2) produce a neutral gray, or (3) reproduce the colors in the original scene or object.

Color bar - A series of solid rectangles on a film which are shot on each plate. These are used to set and control ink densities on press.

Color break - In multicolor printing, the point or line at which one ink color stops and another begins.

Color Control Bars - A film test printed or exposed onto a film or substrate to produce an assortment of measurable color and gray patches that are used to measure and control the printing process.

Color correct - To retouch or enhance color separation negatives.

Color correction - The process, in four-color separations, of adjusting the color values to achieve a more pleasing or accurate image.

Color density - Optical density (or hue saturation) of a particular color.

Color filter - A sheet of dyed glass, gelatin or plastic, or dyed gelatin cemented between glass plates, used in photography to absorb certain colors and transmit others. The filters used for color separation are blue, green and red.

Color Key - 3M trade name for overlay color proof.

Color Matching Systems - A method of specifying a specific, standard color by means of numbered color samples available in swatchbooks. Pantone and Toyo are two commonly used color matching systems.

Color process - Alternate term for 4-color process printing.

Color proofs - See off-press proofs, progressive proofs.

Color separations - The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colors.

Color swatch - Sample of an ink color.

Color transparency - A full-color photographic positive on transparent film. Also called a chrome.

Color wheel - Diagrammatic arrangement of primary and secondary colors used as a visual aid in determining relationship and harmony among colors.

Colored stitches - Colored stitching is a stitch with colored wire.

Comb bind - To bind by inserting teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes in a stack of paper.

Combination jig/block die - Contains both jigsawed areas and block sawed.

Combination plate - In photoengraving, halftone and line work combined on one plate; etched for both halftones and line depth.

Commercial artist - Artist whose work is planned for reproduction by printing.

Commercial register - Color printing on which the miss-register allowable is within ± one row of dots.

Common impression cylinder press - In flexography, letter-press and lithography, a press with a number of printing units around a large impression cylinder.

Comp - Short for Comprehensive dummy.

Composite - A single negative made from a series of exposures on 1 piece of film.

Composite film - Graphic arts negative made by combining two or more images.

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

Comprehensive dummy - A detailed dummy or sketch of a design, intended to give a client or the printer a clear sense of how the finished publication will or should look when reproduced. Desktop publishing systems can easily create comps using low-resolution black and white or color printers. Every job submitted for printing must be accompanied with a color-broken comprehensive clearly indicating color breaks.

Computerized composition - Unjustified type is produced on a keyboard and subsequently run through a computer which makes line-end, hyphenation and other typographical decisions. Sometimes, a computer-produced second tape is then used as input for photo-setting (or line-casting) equipment.

Condensed type - A narrow or slender type face.

Conditioning - Exposure of paperboard to accurately controlled and specified atmospheric conditions, so that its moisture content reaches equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere.

Conductivity - A property of fountain solutions that must be controlled along with pH.

Conglomerate die - A die utilizing more than one die type in it to allow for greater wear resistance, etc. at a given point. This die type is usually employed in the plastics trades for trimming contoured, vacuum-formed parts.

Consignment memo - Alternate term for photographer's Delivery memo.

Consistency - Property of a material which is evidenced by its resistance to flow. The general body characteristics of an ink, for example, viscosity; uniformity mostly used to describe the rheological property of an ink, such as "thick", "thin" and "buttery". In paper making, percentage, by weight, of fiber in pulp slurry.

Contact - A photographic conversion of a positive to a negative or vice versa.

Contact print - A photographic print made from a negative or positive in contact with sensitized paper, film or printing plate.

Contact screen - A halftone screen on film having a dot structure of graded density, used in vacuum contact with the photographic film to produce halftone.

Contact sheet - Alternate term for Proof sheet.

Container board - The fabricated material from which containers are manufactured. A general term applied both to solid fibreboard and corrugated fibreboard.

Continuous-tone copy - Illustrations, photographs or computer files that contain gradient tones from black to white or light to dark.

Contract Proof - A color proof that represents an agreement between the printer and the client regarding exactly how the printed product will appear.

Contrast - The tonal graduation between the highlights, middle tones and shadows in an original or reproduction.

Converter - Business that combines printed sheets with other materials to make boxes, displays, etc.

Co-polymer - Polymer produced from a combination of two or more monomers. See Polymer.

Copy - Any furnished material (typewritten manuscript, pictures, artwork, etc..) to be used in the production of printing.

Copy preparation - In typesetting, marking up manuscript and specifying type. In pasteup and printing, making mechanicals and writing instructions to ensure proper placement and handling of copy.

Copyboard - A frame that holds original copy while it is being photographed on the camera.

Copyfitting - In composition, the calculation of how much space a given amount of copy will take up in a given size and typeface. Also, the adjusting of the type size to make it fit in a given amount of space.

Copyright - Ownership of creative work by the writer, photographer, or artist who made it.

Copywriter - Person who writes copy for advertising.

Corner marks - Lines on a mechanical, negative, plate, or press sheet showing the corners of a page or finished piece.

Corrosion - Deterioration of a material by chemical action, usually as a result of galvanic, acid or alkali action of oxidation.

Corrugated board, double wall - A container board consisting of two fluted members and three liners combined in the following sequence: facing (liner), fluted member, center liner, fluted member, facing (liner).

Corrugated board, double-faced - A container board consisting of a fluted inner member glued between two facings or liners. Used in making corrugated fibreboard boxes and products.

Corrugated board, single-faced - A container board consisting of a fluted member glued to one facing permitting free bending in one direction. Used for wrapping and cushioning.

Corrugated medium - The container board, usually .009 inch thick, used as the fluted member of corrugated fibreboard.

Corrugated - Characteristic of board for boxes made by sandwiching fluted kraft paper between sheets of paper or cardboard.

Cotton content paper - Paper made from cotton fibers rather than wood pulp.

Counter - The press board or other kind of cardboard that is glued into the outside of the jacket into which scores are cut.

Cover paper - A general term applied to a great variety of papers used for the outside covers of catalogs, brochures, booklets, and similar pieces.

Crash number - Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set.

Crash printing - Letterpress printing on carbon or carbonless forms so image prints simultaneously on all sheets in the set.

Crawling - That property of a coating or ink in which the wetting of the surface is very poor, causing the film to contract into drops, leaving a discontinuous covering.

Creasibility - Physical property paperboard that allows a carton to be folded along the score or crease line.

Creasing rules - The rules that crease the sheet. They may be of varying widths to best suit the thickness of the stock being creased.

Creep - In offset, the forward movement of a blanket during printing. Can also apply to the movement of the packing under the plate or blanket during printing.

Crimping - Puncture marks holding business forms together.

Crinkle - Wrinkly/wad film severely to determine ink flexibility.

Cromalin - DuPont trade name for integral color proof.

Crop - To eliminate portions of the copy, usually on a photograph or plate, indicated on the originals by cropmarks.

Crop marks - Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.

Cross direction - In paper, the direction across the grain. Paper is weaker and more sensitive to changes in relative humidity in the cross direction than the grain direction.

Crossline screen (glass screen) - In halftone photography, a grid pattern with opaque lines crossing each other at right angles, thus forming transparent squares or "screen apertures".

Crosslinkers - Additive used to complete a chemical reaction; used in paperboard, also with coatings, ink, etc.

Crossmarks - See register marks.

Crossover - Two page spread where image crosses over both pages.

Crystallization - A condition in which a dried ink film repels a subsequent ink or coating which must be printed on to it. This word has an entirely different meaning in chemistry.

C.T.P. - Acronym for computer-to-plate.

Curl - The tendency of a sheet of paper to roll into the form of a cylinder. It is caused by the inequality in water content or stress levels between the two sides of the paper. Wet Curl is the result of application of water to the paper surface, as in lithographic printing. Atmospheric (Dry) Curl is the result of the exchange of water vapor between paper and air of higher or lower relative humidity. Mechanical Curl is the result of mechanical stresses on the paper, other than that of swelling or shrinkage, due to moisture.

Curtain coater - A machine that creates a vertical "curtain" of liquid coating material. A constant stream that falls from a coating head. Board passing under the curtain will be covered by the coating. The amount of coating to be applied is regulated by the thickness of the curtain and speed at which the board passes through it.

Curved die boards - Used for rotary dies, usually hard-wood plywood.

Curved plate - In letterpress, an electrotype or stereotype which is precurved to fit the cylinder of a rotary press.

Curved rotary rule - Used vertically on a curved die board cutting corrugated. Furnished 45° or 90°, relative to shaft center lines.

Custom Embroidery - See Embroidery.

Cut - In letterpress, a photoengraving of any kind. Number of tab positions in a bank (example - 1/5 cut = 5 tabs of equal size completing a bank.

Cut creaser - A machine used in production of folding cartons. It uses steel rule dies with sharp knives to cut through the board: dull knives to crease board along fold lines.

Cut flush - The cover is trimmed after binding so that its edges are even with the edges of the leaves.

Cut stock - Paper distributor term for paper 11 x 17 or smaller.

Cut-AWL saw - A commercial machine that is commonly used in the production of rotary dies. A curved base is used in this application.

Cutoff - The circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore also the length of the sheet the press will cut from the roll of paper.

Cut-score - In die-cutting, a sharp-edged knife, usually several thousandths of an inch lower than the cutting rules in a die, made to cut part way into the paper or board for folding purposes. Cutting knives or rule that cut only partially through the stock for purposes of bending. Used only where creases are not desired.

Cutter - A term used to describe a bench tool used to cut steel rule.

Cutting die - Term covering total family of numerous types of "cutting dies".

Cutting head - Generic form of numerous definitions.

Cutting knives - The sharp, steel rule that cuts the sheets of material. This rule is usually hardened, whereas a softer rule is needed for curves.

Cutting scores - Cutting the scores in the counter into which the creasing rules must register to make the proper creases for folding.

CWT - Paper distributor abbreviation for 100 pounds.

Cyan - Hue of a subtractive primary and a 4-color process ink. It reflects or transmits blue and green light and absorbs red light.

Cylinder - In flexography, for no particular reason, most rollers in the printing presses are called rolls with the exception of that upon which the rubber plates are mounted, and the one which receives the impression, and these are usually referred to as cylinders, e.g.: plate cylinders or impression cylinder.

Cylinder gap - In printing presses, the gap or space in the cylinders of a press where the mechanism for plate (or blanket), clamps and gripper (sheetfed) is housed.

Cylinder liner - Container board made on cylinder machines from blends of virgin pulp and paper fibers reworked from various grades of paper stock. The sheet is formed on a series of rotating cylinders.

Cylinder press - A rotary printing press utilizing curved plates.



Dampener fountain - Alternate term for Water fountain on a press.

Dampening solution - Alternate term for Fountain solution.

Dampening system - In lithography, the mechanism on a press for transferring dampening solution to the plate during printing.

Dandy roll - In papermaking, a wire cylinder on papermaking machines that makes woven or laid effects on the texture, as well as the watermark itself. Used in the manufacture of better grades of business and book papers.

Data conversion - To change digital information from its original code so that it can be recorded by an electronic memory using a different code.

DDES - Acronym for Digital Date Exchange Specifications.

Deboss - To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface.

Deckle - In paper-making, the width of the wet sheet as it comes off the wire of a paper machine.

Deckle Edge - The wavy, feathery edge of a sheet of paper created during manufacture.

Decurling - The elimination of roll set (machine direction) curl by mechanical counteraction of stresses, often with the assistance of a decurling device.

Deep-etch - In offset-lithography, a positive-working plate used for long runs where the inked areas are slightly recessed below the surface.

Deflection - Deviation from a straight line under load. Fountain roll pressure against the anilox roll causes both to bend or bow slightly. Excessive bending of both or either one will result in uneven ink metering and subsequent nonuniform printing.

Defoamers - Chemicals added to a solution to prevent the formation of foam.

Delete - Removing unwanted images by way of honing, opaquing, taping out.

Delivery memo - Form sent by photographers and stock photo services to clients for signature to verify receipt of photos and agreement to contract terms.

Densitometer - An instrument used to measure the optical density of ink on paper. Used to insure consistent color and coverage within a press run and from press run to press run.

Density - The degree of darkness (light absorption or opacity) of a photographic image.

Density range - Expression of contrast between darkest and lightest areas of copy.

Depth (of a book) - The measurement of the book at its thickest point, including the covers.

Depth of field - Photographer term for relative sharpness of features in an image regardless of their distance from the camera when photographed.

Dermatitis - In lithography, a skin disease, characterized by an itching rash or swelling caused by photographic developers, chromium compounds and solvents.

Descender - That part of the letter which extends below the main body, as in "p".

Desensitize - In lithographic plate-making, chemical treatment to make non-image areas of a plate repellent to ink. In photography, an agent for decreasing color sensitivity of photographic emulsion to facilitate development under comparatively bright light.

Design brief - Written description of how a printed piece is intended to look and the requirements for reproducing it.

Developer - In photography, the chemical agent and process used to render photographic images visible after exposure to light. In lithographic platemaking, the material used to remove the unexposed coating.

Diazo - Light-sensitive coating on paper or film for making contact prints of technical drawings.

Die - The form that contains the rules which are surrounded and held in place with wood. Those cutting tools to die-cut a specific part or parts.

Die classes - Cutting die types. These may be combined to form hybrid types of dies; these may be used successfully on more than one type of press. Most are made for one type of press. The best known types of dies, along with their variously known names are: forged die, steel rule die, flex die, machine die, mallet die, conglomerate die, and blanking die.

Die Cutting - Fabricating process to make any shape or geometric pattern, design, square, rectangle, circle, etc. through the use of steel rule dies, rotary or circular dies, thermal and clicker dies, as well as machined compound and progressive die tooling.

Die cylinder - In rotary die cutting, the rotating shaft that holds the die.

Die steel - (a) The strip steel used in making forged dies. (b) The strip used in making flex dies. (c) The flat ground stock used in making some machine dies.

Die stock - Same as die steel.

Die board - Used as the carrier for steel rule in cutting dies, usually hardwood plywood.

Diecut - A finishing operation involving the use of sharp steel rules or knives to cut a specific pattern into a substrate or to cut the substrate itself into a specific pattern. Diecutting is used to create pop-up books and games, and to cut flat printed sheets.

Die-cutting - The process of using sharp steel rules to cut special shapes for labels, boxes and containers from printed sheets. Die-cutting can be done on either flatbed or rotary presses. Rotary die-cutting is usually done in line with the printing.

Die-cutting press - Machine that holds the die, blanks or cuts the material into piece parts.

Die-cutting surface - Area to be die cut.

Die-making - The process of forming or manufacturing a cutting die. The action of manufacturing any of the die classes; to make a cutting die for converting purposes.

Dies bending - Male and female bending dies used to accomplish desired angle or curves when bending rule.

Die-stamping - An intaglio process for the production of letterheads, cards, etc., printing from lettering or other designs engraved into copper or steel.

Diffusion sheet - Frosted mylar used for dual purpose of flaring dots as an aid to registration and duping spreads and shrinks.

Digital color proof - An off-press color proof produced from digital data without the need for separation films.

Digital plates - Printing plates that can be exposed by lasers or other high energy sources driven by digital data in a platesetter.

Digital printing - Printing by plateless imaging systems that are imaged by digital data from prepress systems.

Digitized typesetting - In typographic imaging, the creation of typographic characters and symbols by the arrangements of black-and-white spots called pixels or pels.

Digitizer - A computer peripheral device that converts an analog signal (images or sound) into a digital signal.

Dilatent - Having the property of increasing in viscosity with increase in shear. Dilatent fluids are solid or highly viscous when stirred, and fluid when undisturbed. The condition can occur in flexo inks but is normally considered highly undesirable and one to be avoided through formulation.

Dimensional stability - Ability to maintain size; resistance of paper or film to dimensional change with change in moisture content or relative humidity.

Direct mail - Mail designed to motivate readers to respond directly to senders with a purchase, donation, or other action.

Direct screen halftone - In color separation, a halftone negative made by direct exposure from the original on an enlarger or by contact through a halftone screen.

Dispersion - A uniform distribution of solid particles in a vehicle by mixing or milling.

Display type - In composition, type set larger than the text.

Distributing rollers - Rubber covered rollers which convey ink from the fountain onto the ink drum of a printing press.

Doctor Blade - In rotogravure printing, a thin-edged, flexible metal blade fitted on a rotogravure press that scrapes the excess ink from the surface of the engraved printing cylinder prior to printing.

Dog-ear - a corner of a page turned down to mark your place. In folding, 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. In binding process, an oversized, unfolded corner in a publication caused when a sheet in a pile of paper having a corner turned under is trimmed in the guillotine. After trimming, the corner of the defective sheet extends beyond the trim size of the sheet when the folded corner is then unfolded.

Dodge - To block light from selected areas while making a photographic print.

Dot - The individual element of a halftone.

Dot etching - In photography, chemically reducing halftone dots to vary the amount of color to be printed. Dot etching on negatives increases color; dot etching on positives reduces color.

Dot Gain - The tendency of the dots in screened images to print larger than they are on the film or the printing plate.

Dot Loss - Disappearance or reduction of a dot, either during exposure, development, or on the press.

Dot - An element of halftones. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made many dots.

Dots Per Inch (DPI) - A resolution measurement for printers meaning the number of dots in a screened image that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch measure. Generally, the more dots per inch, the greater the detail in the image.

Double bum - To expose a plate or proof to two negatives to create a composite image.

Double bump - To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.

Double burn - Exposing a plate to multiple images.

Double dot halftone - In lithography, two halftone negatives combined into one printing plate, having greater tonal range than a conventional halftone. One negative reproduces the highlights and shadows; the other reproduces middletones. This should not be confused with duotones, or printing with two black plates.

Double-Coated - Tape consisting of a carrier with PSA adhesives coated to both surfaces and usually supplied wound on a silicone release liner.

Double-double facet - In steel rule, a centered cutting edge with a 2 star bevel on each side.

Draw down - Sample of specified ink and paper, used to evaluate color.

Drier - In inkmaking, chemicals used in inks to accelerate oxidation which makes the inks harder.

Drill - To bore holes in paper so sheets fit over posts of loose-leaf binders.

Drop out - To eliminate halftone dots or fine lines due to overexposure during camera work or platemaking. The lost copy is said to have dropped out.

Dropout halftone - Halftone in which the highlight areas contain no dots.

Dry gum paper - Label paper with glue that can be activated by water.

Dry strength - Strength of paperboard at standard conditions.

Dry-back - The change in print density, color, or finish of an ink film as it dries, generally attributed to a decrease in gloss.

Dryer - The auxiliary unit of printing press through which the printed substrate travels and is dried.

Dry-up - See catching up.

Dull finish - Characteristic of paper that reflects relatively little light.

Dull ink or varnish. Alternate term for Matte ink or varnish.

Dummy - A preliminary layout showing the position of illustrations and text as they are to appear in final reproduction. A set of blank pages made up in advance to show the size, shape, form and general style of a piece of printing.

Dummy - An unprinted mock-up of a to-be-printed piece, using the same materials as the final piece.

Duotone - A two-color halftone reproduction from a monochrome original and requiring two halftone negatives at proper screen angles. One image is usually in black ink and the other in color.

Dupe - To create an identical duplicate of an original piece of film.

Duplex paper - Paper having a different color or finish on each side.

Duplicating film - A film for making positives from positives, and negatives from negatives. In color reproduction, a special film used for making duplicates to film or paper transparencies.

Duplicator paper - A smooth, hard-surface paper made for use on spirit duplicators.

Duplicator - Small offset press using paper 12 x 18 or smaller (not to be confused with spirit duplicator).

Dusting - Offset press blanket whitening which may occur predominantly in early press units as an accumulation of fiber or coating dust on the press blanket.

DX - Double burn, can also mean any one of several additional exposures two times.

Dye Transfer - A full-color print made on specially coated paper from reflective art or transparency.

Dylux - DuPont trade name for photographic paper used to make blueline proofs.

Dynamic range - Density difference between highlights and shadows of scanned subjects.


Edition bind - Alternate term for Case bind.

Elasticity - The property of substance which enables it to return to its original size or shape after being stretched or deformed.

Electronic dot generation (EDG) - A method of producing halftones electronically on scanners and prepress systems.

Electronic image assembly - Assembly of new image from portions of existing images or elements using a computer.

Electronic memory - Disk, magnetic tape, or other memory device that holds digital information.

Electronic page assembly - Assembly and manipulation of type, graphics, and other visual elements on a computer screen.

Electronic publishing - Publishing by printing with a computer-controlled photocopy machine.

Electronic retouching - Using a computer to enhance or correct a scanned photograph.

Electro-photography - Image transfer systems used in copiers to produce images using electrostatic forces. Electrofax uses a zinc oxide coating: Xerography uses a selenium surface.

Electrotype - Duplicate relief plate used for letterpress printing.

Elliptical dot - In halftone photography, elongated dots which give improved graduation of tones particularly in middle tones and vignettes–also called chain dots.

EM - In composition, the square of a type body. So named because the letter "m" in early fonts was usually cast on a square body.

Emboss - The process of creating raised letters or shapes on paper using a metal or plastic die. An embossed surface will have a textured feeling.

Embossed finish - Paper with a raised or depressed surface resembling wood, cloth, leather or other pattern.

Embossing - Impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface; either overprinting or on blank paper (called blind embossing).

Embossing Die - Engraved or cast.

Embroidery - Decorative needlework, used to customize ribbon or bags.

Emulsion to emulsion - To contact printing of photographic films or film to plates, emulsion is exposed to a light source.

Emulsion - Light sensitive coating found on printing plates and film.

EN - One-half the width of an em.

Enamel - A term applied to a coated paper or to a coating material on a paper.

Enamel paper - Alternate term for Coated paper with gloss finish.

End papers - The sheets which attach the text block to the covers.

English Finish - A grade of book paper with a smoother, more uniform surface than machine finish.

Engraver - Person who makes a plate for engraving. Also may refer to trade camera service.

Engraving - A general term normally applied to any pattern which has been cut in or incised in a surface by hand, mechanical or etching processes.

Envelope die - All steel die to cut envelope.

Estimate - Price that states what a job will probably cost based on initial specifications from customer.

Etch - Using chemicals or tools, to carve away metal leaving an image or carve an image into metal. Also, alternate term for Fountain solution.

Euro-bind - A patented method of binding perfect bound books so they will open and lay flatter. See Ota-bind.

Evaporation - The changing from the liquid to the gaseous or vapor state, as the solvent leaves the printed ink film.

Exposure - The step in photographic processes during which light produces the image on the light-sensitive coating.

Exposure time - Time required for light to record an image while striking light-sensitive emulsion.

Extended type - A type whose width is greater than normal.

Extenders - Any material added to an ink to reduce its color strength and/or velocity.

Extrusion - The production of a continuous sheet or film (or other shapes not connected with flexography) by forcing hot thermoplastic material through a dye or orifice.

Extrusion coating - A process whereby paper stock is coated by extrusion, normally plastic such as polyethylene; extrusion laminating.


F Stops - Fixed sizes for setting lens apertures.

Fabricator Converter - One who modifies products to enhance their value and final usage.

Face - The printing surface is a piece of type.

Facsimile - The exact reproduction of a letter, document or signature. Sometime abbreviated as "facsim" or "fax".

Fadeometer - An instrument used to measure the fading properties of inks and other pigmented coatings.

Fake duotone - Halftone in one ink color printed over screen tint of a second ink color.

Fanout - In printing, distortion of paper on the press due to waviness in the paper caused by absorption of moisture at the edges of the paper, particularly across the grain.

Fast film - Film that requires relatively little light to record an image.

Feeder - In printing presses, the section that separates the sheets and feeds them in position for printing.

Felt side - The smoother side of the paper for printing. The top side of the sheet in paper manufacturing.

Fiberboard - The general term applied to fabricated material used in container manufacture. May be of either corrugated or solid construction.

Filler - A substance added to the pulp stock to occupy the spaces between fibers.

Film - A photographic emulsion coated on a flexible translucent or transparent plastic base.

Film coat - Paper with a very thin coating.

Film gauge - A number indicative of the thickness of films.

Film laminate - Thin sheet of plastic adhered to printed paper for protection.

Film processor - Photographic developer machine which also fixes, rinses, and dries line and halftone film.

Film rip - See Rip film.

Filter - Colored glass or gelatin used to reduce or eliminate specific colors from light before it strikes film or paper.

Final count - Number of printed pieces delivered and charged for.

Fine screen - Screen with ruling of more than 150 lines per inch.

Finish size - Size of printed product after production is complete.

Finish, dry - A finish on paper or paperboard that has not been dampened or steamed before going through the calender rolls.

Finish, matte - A dull finish; flat.

Finish, satin - A type of dull finish, somewhat finer and glossier than matte.

Finish, super calendar - A smooth high finish applied to paper by running it through a calender stack, providing a better printing surface, finer than a calender finish.

Finish - A general term for the surface characteristics of paper or board. The finish of a surface may affect its printability. Coated papers are generally available with either a matte, dull or gloss surface. Uncoated papers are available in a wider variety of finishes, for example: Felt is a finish that simulates the soft surface appearance of felt fabric; Groove is a textured finish with shallow or parallel grooves; Laid is a traditional paper finish with a translucent pattern of lines running both parallel to and across the grain; Linen is a finish that simulates the texture of linen fabric; and Vellum is the most popular finish for uncoated paper and is a smooth finish with a few irregularities.

Finishing - Any of a variety of processes performed to document or publication after printing. Finishing can include cutting, trimming, folding and binding, as well as decorative operations as embossing, foil stamping, and laminating.

Finnish die boards - Die lumber from Finland-usually die birch.

Fish Eyes - Small but visual deformations on the PSA surface caused by the air entrapment between the PSA and the material it is coated on. This is necessarily a quality defect and usually diminishes over time.

Fitting rule - Process of fabricating the rule, length, shape, etc. into the die.

Fixer - A chemical solution which removes the unexposed silver salts in an emulsion without affecting the metallic silver which has been deposited by the developer. This renders the photographic image permanent.

Fixing - Chemical action following development to remove unexposed silver halide, to make the image stable and insensitive to further exposure.

Flash exposure - In halftone photography, the supplementary exposure given to strengthen the dots in the shadow areas of negatives.

Flash point - The lowest temperature at which a substance can be ignited under standard test conditions.

Flat back - A book that is at right angles with the sides; opposed to the usual round back.

Flat Color - Generally refers to solid colors or tints rather than process colors.

Flat die - Fabricated flat for cutting of flat materials on reciprocating presses (flat).

Flat etching - The chemical reduction of the silver deposit in a continuous-tone of halftone plate, brought about by placing it in a tray containing an etching solution.

Flat - in photography, characteristic of an image that lacks contrast. In printing, an assembly of negatives taped to masking material and ready for platemaking.

Flex die - This die type is an outgrowth of steel rule. However, it utilizes the making processes of forged dies and, in conjunction with modern hydraulic presses, is taking over much of the work done previously only by forged dies. Diemakers can attain a good degree of skill within a short time. The basic die material is totally prefinished and needs only bending and welding to finished form. This die type is known also as swedish die, light-weight die and cutting rule die. Many of the misnomers attached to forged dies are also attached to the type.

Flex die steel - Pre-sharpened edge hardened die steel that can be cold formed. Generally 6-8 point thickness.

Flexographic printing - Printing from a raised surface, generally rubber plates. Limited to line, solid, or Ben Day printing. Rotary type printing using a very fluid solvent or aqua ink. This was formerly called the aniline process.

Flexography - A method of direct rotary printing using resilient raised image printing plates, affixed to variable repeat plate cylinders, inked by a roll or doctor-blade-wiped engraved metal roll, carrying fluid or paste-type inks to virtually any substrate.

Flood - To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.

Flop - To reproduce a photograph or illustration so that its image faces opposite from the original.

Flow - The property of a coating to level out as it is applied.

Fluidity - The ability of material to flow. The ease of flow of a material. In terms of viscosity; the greater the viscosity the less the fluidity.

Flush - The lining up of image or copy to the left or right with another image or copy.

Flush cover - A cover that has been trimmed the same size as the inside text pages.

Flush left (or right) - In composition, type set to line up at the left (or right).

Flush paragraph - A paragraph with no indentation.

Flute - The wave-shaped formation of the center component of corrugated fibreboard. Flutes most commonly used are the A-flute (approx. 36 flutes per lineal foot);      B-flute (approx. 51 flutes per lineal foot); and C-flute (approx. 42 flutes per lineal foot). The less common E-flute has 90 flutes per lineal foot.

Flying paster - In web printing, an automatic pasting device that splices a new web of paper onto an expiring roll, without stopping the press.

Fog - In photography, density in the non-image areas.

Fogging/Ghosting - A fog or haze-like deposit from a PSA to another substrate visible after removal of PSA.

Foil Embossing - A finishing operation combining embossing (the stamping or pressing of images or pattern onto a substrate) with foil stamping (the application of a layer of foil in a particular design or pattern to a substrate).

Foil Stamping - The use of a thin sheet of metal, plastic or other material (clear or opaque) which is “stamped” onto the paper surface. Foil stamping can be combined with embossing or debossing.

Foil - A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing.

Fold Sewn - When the signatures are sewn through their folds, each signature attached to the next.

Folded Handles - Flat paper handles that fold down onto the top of a bag.

Folding - An operation performed - commonly after printing and cutting - to fold a press sheet into a signature, map, pamphlet, etc...

Folding Carton - A container of varying size and shape made from bending grades of paperboard or small flute corrugated board, which is typically printed, cut and creased, folded and glued, and delivered flat to the customer, where it is filled with the product for distribution to retail outlets.

Folio - The printing term for pagination: the system of numbering pages.

Font - In composition, a complete assortment of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc. of a given size and design.

Foot - The bottom of a page, book or column.

Fore edge - The front or outer edge of a book.

Forged die - A cutting die made from steel which is heat-treated, welded, ground and filed in proper dimensions of the parts it is to cut.

Form - In offset, the assembly of pages and other images for printing. In letterpress, type and other matter locked in a chase for printing.

Form rollers - The rollers, either inking or dampening, which directly contact the plate on a printing press.

Form - One side of a press sheet.

Format - The size, style, type page, margins, printing requirements, etc., of a printed piece.

Formula pricing - Printing prices based on standard papers, formats, ink colors, and quantities.

Fountain Roller - On a printing press, the roller that revolves in the ink fountain and meters out the proper amount of ink to the distributing rollers.

Fountain solution - In lithography, a solution of water, a natural or synthetic gum and other chemicals used to dampen the plate and keep non-printing area from accepting ink.

Fountain - Reservoir for ink or water on a press.

Four-Color process - Printing process in which all colors may be produced by using primary colors, magenta, yellow and cyan, with the addition of black.

Fourdrinier - A machine to make paper, particularly Kraft paper.

FPM - Abbreviation for feet per minute; a measure of surface speed.

Free sheet - Paper made from cooked wood fibers mixed with chemicals and washed free of impurities.

French fold - Two folds at right angles to each other.

Fugitive Glue - Glue produced that lack permanence; temporary removable glue.

Full-bleed - Image printing beyond the trim marks _ " on all sides.

Fully saturated - Photographer term for rich color.

Furnish - The mixture of various materials that are blended in a stock solution from which paperboard is made.

Furniture - In lockup, wood or metal blocks used to fill the blank spaces in a form.

Fuzz - Fibers projecting from the surface of a sheet of paper.


Galley - A shallow metal tray used to hold type.

Galley proof - A proof taken of type standing in a galley, before being made up into pages.

Gamma - A measure of contrast in photographic images.

Gang Printing - The running of any number of different jobs on the same sheet. After printing, the sheet is cut and the cost is pro-rated.

Gang - To reproduce two or more printed pieces or multiple copies of the same piece simultaneously on one sheet of paper. Also, to halftone or separate more than one image in only one exposure.

Gapping - When two layers or more of material become separated from each other causing an opening or openings.

Gatefold - In folding, a four-page insert or configuration of foldout. A large page is folded with two parallel folds to produce a center spread revealed by opening two folded flaps.

Gather - To assemble signatures into the proper sequence for binding.

GBC binding - General Binding Corporation trade name for plastic comb binding.

Gear streaks - In printing, parallel streaks appearing across the printed sheet at same interval as gear teeth on the cylinder.

Generation - A first generation image is the original; second generation is made from the original; third generation is made from the second generation. Print on this page is fourth generation: type (first), negative (second), plate (third), print (fourth).

Ghost bars - A quality control method used to reduce ghosted image created by heat or chemical contamination.

Ghost halftone -Halftone that has been screened to produce a very faint image.

Ghosting - A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended. More often than not this problem is a function of graphical design. It is hard to tell when or where ghosting will occur. Sometimes you can see the problem developing immediately after printing the sheet, other times the problem occurs while drying. However the problem occurs it is costly to fix, if it can be fixed. Occasionally it can be eliminated by changing the color sequence, the inks, the paper, changing to a press with a drier, printing the problem area in a separate pass through the press or changing the racking (reducing the number of sheets on the drying racks). Since it is a function of graphical design, the buyer pays for the increased cost.

Gigabyte (GB) - One billion bytes.

Glassine Pad - A semi-clear plastic pad.

Gloss meter - An instrument used to measure the gloss intensity of a surface.

Gloss - Characteristic of paper, ink, or varnish that reflects relatively large amounts of light.

Glossy - Photographic print made on glossy paper.

Glue joint - Area where an adhesive joins two parts of a carton.

Glueability - Carton integrity evaluated in terms of glue joint strength.

Goldenrod Paper - In offset lithography, a specially coated masking paper of yellow or orange color used by strippers to assemble and position negatives for exposure onto plates.

Goldenrod - Alternate term for Flat.

Grade - One of seven major categories of paper: bond, uncoated book, coated book, text, cover, board, and specialty.

Grain long or grain short - Paper whose fibers parallel the long or short dimension of the sheet.

Grain - The direction in which most fibers lie in a sheet of paper. The direction of the grain is important for strength and fold quality. A sheet folded with the grain folds easily. in photography, crystals that make up emulsion on film.

Graining - In lithography, subjecting the surface of metal plates to the action of abrasives. Greater water-retention and adhesion of coating is imparted to an otherwise non-porous surface.

Graphic arts film - Film whose emulsion responds to light on an all-or-nothing principle to yield high contrast images.

Graphic arts magnifier - Lens, mounted in a small stand, used to inspect copy, negatives, and printing.

Graphic arts - The crafts, industries, and professions related to designing and printing messages.

Graphic designer - Professional who conceives of the design for, plans how to produce, and may coordinate production of a printed piece.

Graphics - Art and other visual elements used to make messages more clear.

Gravure - A printing method based on intaglio printing, in which the image area is etched below the surface of the printing place. The gravure plate or cylinder is immersed in ink and then wiped clean with a doctor blade, leaving ink only in the etched areas. There are two basic gravure presses - rotogravure, which prints from cylinders onto a web of paper; and sheet-fed, which prints from flat plates curved around the cylinder of the press onto individual sheets.

Gray balance - The dot values or densities of cyan, magenta and yellow that produce a neutral gray.

Gray level - The number of gray values that can be distinguished by a color separation filter–usually 2? or 256.

Gray scale - A strip of standard gray tones, ranging from white to black, placed at the side of original copy during photography to measure tonal range and contrast (gamma) obtained.

Grind - A relative measurement of particle size in inks to determine coarse or undispersed pigment.

Gripper edge - The leading edge of paper as it passes through a printing press. Also, the front edge of a lithographic or wrap-around plate that is secured to front clamp of plate cylinder.

Gripper Margin - Unprintable blank edge of paper on which grippers bear, usually 1/2 or less.

Gripper - A row of clips that hold the paper as it travels through the press. Leaving “gripper space” requires that an area of the paper (approximately 3/8”) not be printed along the leading edge in a sheet-fed press.

Grommet - A metal or plastic ring used to reinforce holes.

Groundwood paper - Newsprint and other inexpensive papers made from pulp created by grinding wood mechanically.

Groundwood Pulp - A mechanically-prepared wood pulp used in the manufacture of newsprint and publication papers.

Gum arabic - In offset lithography, used in platemaking and on press to desensitize the non-printing areas of plates.

Gumming - In platemaking, the process of applying a thin coating of gum to the non-printing areas of a lithographic plate.

Gusset - Expandable portion of a bag, file folder, or envelope.

Gutter - The blank space or inner margin, from printing area to binding.

Gutter margin - The margin space available along the binding edge.


Hairline register - Register within ± ¸ row of dots.

Hairline - Very thin line or gap about the width of a hair: 1/100 inch.

Halation - In photography, a blurred effect, resembling a halo, usually occurring in highlight areas or around objects.

Half web - Web press whose width and cutoff allow printing eight 8 1/2 x 11 pages on one press sheet.

Halftone - The reproduction of continuous-tone images, through a screening process, which converts the image into dots of various sizes and equal spacing between centers.

Halftone dots - Dots that by their varying sizes create the illusion of shading or a continuous-tone image.

Halftone photography - The process of converting photographs into halftone dots for printing.

Halftone screen - Piece of film containing a grid of lines that breaks light into dots as it passes through.

Halo Effect - The piling up of ink at the edges of the printed letters and halftone dots, especially in letterpress printing.

Hammer die - Same as mallet die.

Hand Fan - The material is fan glued by hand. Used for items less than 1/2" or greater than 2".

Hand feed - To feed material (sheets) by hand.

Hand made sample - Fabricated by hand as "pilot model".

Handwork - Any work done by hand; patching, tooling, outlining, etc.

Hard bind - Alternate term for Case bind.

Hard copy - The permanent visual records of the output of a computer or printer. Also, the material sent to a typesetter in typed form, for conversion into typeset material.

Hard cover - Bound with a case of binder's board.

Hard dot - See soft dot.

Hard proof - A proof on paper or other substrate as distinguished from a soft proof which is an image on a VDT screen.

Hardening - Heat treatment of bent and welded forged dies; heat treatment of soft, bent steel rule.

Hardness - Referring to the range of tempering available in finished forged dies, pre-finished flex die steel and in selected steel rules.

Hardware - Computer and peripherals as distinguished from software which is a program for operating hardware.

Head - The top of a page or book, film, photo, etc.

Head margin - The white space above first line of a page.

Head stops - Adjustable posts on register unit of a press that properly position leading edge of a sheet.

Heat Activated - Thermo-plastic adhesive film is usually heated so bonding can be accomplished before it cools back to room temperature.

Heat plate - Surface for thermo-setting.

Heat-set - Process of drying ink on paper by use of heater and gas ovens.

Heat-set web - Web press equipped with oven to make ink dry faster, thus able to print coated paper.

Height (of a book) - The vertical dimension of a book as it sits upright on its tail.

Height of cutting knives - No standard height–varies generally from .918" to 2.000".

Hickey - A defect, or spot appearing in the printed piece. Hickies are caused by dust, lint or bits of ink skin and show up as specks surrounded by a halo effect.

High contrast - Few or no tonal gradations between dark and light areas.

High die - Die made higher than standard cutting rule heights. A forged heat treated die, also referred to as a dinker or walker die, normally over the height of 1-1/4" made of 1/8" through ¼" thick steel.

High folio - All pages falling behind the centerspread of a form.

High-bulk paper - Paper made relatively thick in proportion to its basis weight.

Highlight - The lightest or whitest parts in a photograph represented in a halftone reproduction by the smallest dots or the absence of dots.

Hinge - A paper or cloth stub or guard that permits the free turning of an insert, leaf, section, or map.

Holding fee - Charge made to clients who keep photograph longer than agreed to.

Holdout - In printing, a property of coated paper with low ink absorption which allows ink to set on the surface with high gloss. Papers with too much holdout cause problems with set-off.

Honing - A mechanical method used to remove unwanted image areas from plate by rubbing image away with an abrasive material.

Hot melt adhesive - A solid adhesive used in carton forming, which when heated to its application temperature becomes liquid. After application, the adhesive quickly cools and bonds to the substrate.

Hot metal composition - Cast metal type set either by hand or in a linecasting machine.

Hot Stamping - Using pressure and heat to melt foil onto a surface in a desired shape (such as the shape of an image). This can be combined with embossing to create a sculptured effect. This effect does not always work with all papers because they may prevent foil from sticking to certain papers.

Hot-melt Glue - Hot-melt glue are used in traditional perfecting binding.

House sheet - General-use paper ordered in large quantities and kept in stock by a printer.

Hue - In color, the main attribute of a color which distinguishes it from other colors.

Hydraulic press - Force or action derived from hydraulic cylinders.

Hydrophilic - Water receptive.

Hydrophobic - Water repellent.

Hypo - An abbreviation for sodium thiosulfate, or sodium hyposulfite, a chemical used to fix the image on a photographic film after it has been developed.


I.D. - Inside diameter.

Idiot tape - In computerized photo-setting, raw, unhyphenated, unjustified paper or magnetic tape.

Illustration - A pictorial representation of a drawing, logo, symbol, figure, diagram, etc., to be reproduced as a printed image.

Image - The area of a plate which prints or reproduces.

Image area - Portion of a negative or plate corresponding to inking on paper; portion of paper on which ink appears.

Image assembly - Alternate term for Stripping.

Imagesetter - In computer imaging, a device that outputs type, line art and photos in position.

Imposition - The laying out of pages in a press form so that they will be in the correct order after the printed sheet is folded.

Impression - In printing, the pressure of type, plate or blanket as it comes in contact with the paper.

Impression cylinder - In printing, the cylinder on a printing press against which the paper picks up the impressions from the inked plate in direct printing, or the blanket in offset printing.

Imprint - Added printing to previously printed copy such as version changes, requiring an additional unit or pass on the press.

Independent single facer - A machine that fastens fluted corrugated medium to a single sheet of linerboard.

Index paper - Light weight board paper for writing and easy erasure.

Indicia - Postal permit information printed on objects to be mailed and accepted by USPS in lieu of stamps.

Infrared light - Refers to infrared rays, the longer wave length below the red in the spectrum; used as source of heat.

In-house - On the premises.

Ink fountain - In printing presses, the device which stores and supplies ink to the inking rollers.

Ink Holdout - A characteristic of paper that keeps the ink on the surface, preventing it from being absorbed into the paper’s fibers and minimizing dot spread (similar to dot gain), resulting in a sharp, clean printed image. Coated papers generally have good ink holdout.

Ink jet - Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles.

Ink mist - Flying filaments or threads formed by long inks like newspaper ink.

Inkjetting - A type of non-impact printing process, used most frequently in computer output devices, that utilizes tiny droplets of highly fluid ink that are given an electric charge. During printing, these droplets are sprayed in a continuous fashion towards the substrate.

Inkometer - An instrument for measuring the tack of printing inks.

In-plant printer - Department of an agency, business, or association that does printing for the parent organization.

Insert die - A cutting die with removable portions and sometimes other portions that can be substituted for this removed piece to change the cutting or scoring configuration.

Insert - In bindery and finishing, an insert is one printed signatures that has another signature wrapped around it. Insert also refers to any preprinted page or set of pages that are placed into seperately printed publication. Examples of inserts are advertising supplements, maps or foldouts.

Intaglio - An engraved or etched design which is below the surface as cells in an anilox roll or gravure cylinder.

Integral proof - Color proof of separation negatives exposed in register on one piece of proofing paper.

Interface - To link two or more electronic devices so they can function as one unit.

International Standards Organization (ISO) - The publisher of International Standards. ISO is a federation of national standards bodies which promotes the development of standardization in all fields except electrical and electrical engineering.

Internegative - Negative made from a transparency for the purpose of making photographic prints.

IR coating - Liquid laminate coating bonded and cured with infrared light.

ISBN - International Standard Book Number assigned by the book's publisher using a system administered by the R. R. Bowker Company in New York City.

ISSN - International Standard Serial Number assigned by the Library of Congress in Washington DC to magazines, newsletters, and other serials requesting it.

Italic - The style of letters that slant, in distinction from upright, or roman, letters. Used for emphasis within the text.


Jig die or Jigged die - Solid piece of plywood where the pattern is cut with a jigsaw blade and the steel rule is inserted into this cut.

Jig saw - A reciprocating saw used to make "jigged" cutting dies.

Jigging - The art of jig-sawing.

Job shop - Commercial printing company.

Job ticket - Comprehensive job information form containing all pertinent job requirements including size, run, paper, color, etc.

Jog - To straighten or align sheets of paper in a stack.

Joint - The part of the cover which forms the hinge, between the board and the shoulder of the volume.

Joint manufacturer's construction - The "joint" is that part of box where box manufacture joins body of box together by taping, stitching, gluing, etc.

Journal - In binding, a title which is usually made up of several issues or numbers. Also known as periodicals, magazines or serials.

Justify - In composition, to space out lines uniformly to the correct length.


Kerning - The spacing of a certain combination of letters in typography where each character overlaps into some of the space of the other character for an improved appearance. It is provided with typesetting and desktop publishing systems.

Key plate - In color printing, the plate used as a guide for the register of other colors. It normally contains the most detail.

Key - To code separate pieces of copy to a layout or mechanical using a system of numbers or letters.

Keyboard - The input device to input information directly into a typesetter, computer, workstation or, as a stand-alone unit, to record it on paper or magnetic tape.

Keyline - In artwork, an outline drawing of finished art to indicate the exact shape, position and size for such elements as half-tones, line sketches, etc.

Keys - Screws on an ink fountain that control ink flow.

Kicker - Additional colors used as an overprint on a black background to enhance the richness. Frequently utilizing a stayback on additional colors. Usually 30% or 40% blue.

Kill fee - Charge made by writers and photographers for work done on assignment, then not used.

Kilobyte (KB) - 1,000 bytes.

Kiss contact (Kiss impression) - The lightest possible impression which will transfer the film of ink from the transfer roll to the plate and from the plate to the material being printed.

Kiss Cutting - Die cutting process where the die strike depth is controlled down to the release liner, but not through it. For example, pressure sensitive labels in roll form. The usable product is left on the roll and the matrix is removed.

Knife-edged die - Ground sharp.

Knifing - The function of cutting, notching, bending, and inserting the rule into the die board.

Knock out - To mask out an image.

Knockout - A reverse image on printing background leaving that area white on paper.

Knockout film - Alternate term for Masking material such as Rubylith.

Kraft - A paper or board containing unbleached wood pulp (brown in color) made by the sulfate process.

Kraft paper - A high strength paper made of sulphate fibre pulp. An alkaline process of pulp manufacture. Made on a fourdrinier machine from virgin pine fibers.

Kromekote - Champion Paper Company trade name for a high-gloss, cast-coated paper.


Lacquer - A clear coating, usually glossy, applied to a printed sheet for protection or appearance.

Laid finish - Simulating the surface of handmade paper.

Laid paper - Paper with a pattern of a parallel lines at equal distances giving a ribbed effect.

Laminate - To cover with film, to bond or glue one surface to another.

Laminated wood - A plywood used in making steel rule dies. It is made of different ply thoroughly seasoned and glued together, usually with the grain of the different ply at right angles to prevent warping and shrinking.

Laminating - Joining of two or more layers of materials using pressure-sensitive adhesive products. The process involves nip or compression of the layers, usually through a set of rollers with controlled pressure and speed.

Lamination - Technically, the bonding of two sheets, either of the same or of differing materials. Generally meaning the application of a thin plastic film to a printed sheet for protection or appearance, creating a hard, glossy surface that is impervious to stains.

Lap - Excess paper located on the high or low folio used for binding and saddle stitching. Usually carries sig ID.

Lap Glue - Lap glue is a generic term to describe hot-melt or cold glue which is applied in the perfect binding process inside the front and back cover, near the spine, to produce a hinge effect on the covers.

Large-format camera - Camera that makes negatives 4 x 5 or larger.

Laser die-making - To fabricate die boards automatically with laser machine.

Laser printing - Method of photocopying using a laser beam to charge the drum.

Layer Board - A paper board used to separate layers of candy in a box.

Layflat Binding - the term is widely used-and often confusingly. Lay-flat binding goes back to 1980 when a publisher in Finland decided to attack the problem of "mouse-trapping" in perfect-bound paper back books. This is the familiar tendency of paperbacks to snap shut unless you "break the spine"-which of course, weakens it. The original lay-flat process-OTABIND, available at Bindagraphics-remains the best, and as a patented process, enjoys legal protection: a publisher, printer or binder not licensed by OTABIND can face legal action if they use the term in marketing their imitation process.

Layflat - See Euro-bind.

Layout - The drawing or sketch of a proposed printed piece. In plate-making, a sheet indicating the settings for a step-and-repeat machine.

LCB - Limited circulation bind.

Lead - In composition, a thin strip of metal used for spacing between line of type.

Lead edge - The long horizontal piece of straight rule which is the first to cut into the material as it goes through the letterpress.

Leaders - In composition, rows of dashes or dots used to guide the eye across the page. Used in tabular work, programs, table of contents, etc.

Leading edge - Edge of a sheet of paper that enters the press first, also known as the Gripper edge.

Leaves - Pages of a book.

Ledger paper - A grade of business paper generally used for keeping records. It is subjected to appreciable wear and requires a high degree of durability and permanence.

Legible - Characteristic of copy having sufficient contrast with the paper on which it appears and determined by such features as typeface, size, leading, and quality of printing.

Letterpress - A relief printing method which uses plates that raise the printing areas above the non-pronting areas. Rollers are used to apply ink to only the raised areas, and the inked image is transferred directly to the paper or similar surface.

Letterset (dry offset) - The printing process which uses a blanket (like conventional offset) for transferring the image from plate to paper. Unlike lithography, it uses a relief plate and requires no dampening system.

Lettershop - Alternate term for Mailing service.

Letterspacing - The placing of additional space between each letter of a word.

Library - Film file storage room where worked up film and sample books are recorded and organized for future use.

Library binding - A standard of binding which is normally higher than publisher's binding, edition binding, library edition, and others not in accordance with this standard.

Light table - Translucent glass surface lit from below, used by production artists and strippers.

Light weight paper - Book grade paper of basis weight 40# or less with high opacity for its weight.

Lightness - The attribute of an object by which the object appears to reflect more or less of the incident light.

Lignon - A natural glue which holds wood fibers together.

Limited prep - Preparing journal volumes before being sent to the bookbindery (by collating, removing unwanted covers or ads, checking for foldouts and placing pages in desired order).

Line art - Copy to be reproduced consisting of solid colored images.

Line conversion screen - Piece of film containing line patterns that break light into those patterns as it passes through.

Line copy - Type, rules, clip art, and other images that are high contrast.

Line negative - High contrast negative usually made from line copy.

Linen tester - Alternate term for Graphic arts magnifier.

Lines Per Inch (LPI) - Literally, the number of lines in an inch used as a method of measurement for the resolution of an image. The greater the number of lines per inch, the higher the resolution and the sharper and greater the detail in the image. The term “Dots per Inch” or “dpi” is becoming more common. The numerical values of “Lines per Inch” and “Dots per Inch” are not interchangeable.

Lineshot - Line art to be shot (converted into a negative piece of film) on camera and stripped in, includes basic artboards, separate mechanically, line illustrations and overlays.

Linotype - Mergenthaler trade name for machine that sets lines of metal type.

Linting - An accumulation of fiber particles from the paperboard surface and/or edges.

Liquid laminate - Plastic applied to paper as a liquid, then bonded and cured into a hard, glossy finish.

Lithography (Litho, Offset) - Any process in which the printing is done from a flat plane (planographic) surface, e.g. a surface without indentations or raised portions: normally by offset, involving transferring the printing from plate to blanket.

Live area - Alternate term for Image area.

Live matter - Any printing image.

Lock up - In letterpress, to position a form in a chase for printing. Procedure of securing the wooden blocks in a die under pressure within the metal chase.

Logo - Assembly of type and art into a distinctive symbol unique to an organization, business, or product.

Logotype (or logo) - The name of a company or product in a special design used as a trademark in advertising.

Logotype - A name, symbol or trademark for a company, recognizable as representing only that company. Also referred to as a logo.

Long grain - Alternate term for Grain long (paper).

Long ink - An ink that has good flow on ink rollers of a press. If the ink is too long, it breaks up into filaments on the press, and causes flying as on a newspaper press.

Loop - A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film.

Loop stitch - To saddle stitch with staples that are also loops which slip over rings of binders.

Loop stitching - Loop stitching allows a booklet to be saddle stitched and inserted into a loose-leaf binder without drilling.

Loose proof - Proof of one color separation.

Loose-leaf Binding - A means of mechanical binding in which pages are bound together by means of inserting the metal rings or poles of a three-hole binder into drilled or punched holes along the binding edge of the pages.

Low folio - All pages falling in front of the center spread of a form.

Lower case - The small letters in type, as distinguished from the capital letters


M - Abbreviation for a quantity of 1000.

Machine coated - Paper which is coated one-or-two sides on a paper machine.

Machine die - Is commonly used in conjunction with a specifically designed press manufactured by concerns like Freeman, Western Supplies, etc. The die performs several functions, often in two stroke positions, in the machine. Usually, it re-trims, creases, perforates and sometime folds leather cloth parts and pockets and cuffs for clothing. Usually, the die is a patented form and requires a high degree of skill to make, utilizing a complete machine shop with metal-working equipment. A patent type of die used with specific machines, which may perform cutting, creasing, embossing and perforating in one stage.

Machine direction - Same as grain direction in paper.

Machine Finish - An uncoated paper with a smooth but not glossy finish.

Machine, cylinder - A type of paper and board making machine in which the web is formed by revolving wire-covered cylinders partially immersed in a vat of furnish (pulp and water). The web is built up to desired thickness by carrying the web on a felt over successive cylinders. The furnish in each cylinder vat may be varied to provide desired characteristics in the finished sheet.

Machine, fourdrinier - A type of paper and paperboard making machine on which the web is formed by depositing pulp furnish on a moving endless wire screen. The screen shakes as it travels, thus causing the pulp fibres to criss-cross and mat. Water is removed by gravity and suction. Caliper or basis weight of the paper or board is determined by the consistency and rate of feed of the furnish, and the length and travel of the screen.

Magenta - Hue of a subtractive primary and a 4-color process ink. It reflects or transmits blue and red light and absorbs green light.

Magenta screen - A dyed contact screen, used for making halftones.

Magnetic storage - Any disc, film, tape, drum or core that is used to store digital information.

Mailing service - Business specializing in addressing and mailing large quantities of printed pieces.

Makeover - In platemaking, a plate which is remade.

Make-ready - All activities required to set up a press before production begins. Also refers to paper used in the process.

Makeup - In composition, the arrangement of lines of type and illustrations into pages or sections of proper length.

Making order - Order for custom-made paper.

Mallet - A special hammer made of lead, leather, plastic, etc., to drive steel rule into a cutting die.

Mallet Die - Dies are still made to be hit with a mallet or maul. Even the ASTM (American Society of Technical Management) decrees that certain rubber testing samples be cut with a highly precise forged die as a uniform procedure. Since most of the companies involved in testing the rubber may have little or no need for die-cutting presses, such dies are attached to a solid steel stock which is both a handle and a striking stock. The end of the stock is stuck with a maul and the die cuts the rubber, giving the user a sample of material which can be used in a tensile tester, for instance. Other uses for mallet dies are for smaller shops making leather goods and for other labor-intensive trades which will not die-cut in any other form. These dies are also known as hand dies and chopping dies, since they are often used against a wooden cutting block, the same as a butcher would use. A simple form of cutting die is held in one hand while the other uses a maul to strike the top post of the die to cut the part.

Manila paper - Strong, buff-colored paper used to make envelopes and file folders.

Manual Press - Hand operated.

Maple - Often used in die boards. Usually white maple hardwood from Northern areas.

Maple block - Similar to "butcher block"; normally end grain.

Margin - The space on a page outside the printed text area.. The four margins are commonly designated as: 1) head or top; 2) fore edge, outer or outside; 3) tail or bottom; 4) back, inner, inside or gutter.

Mask - In color separation photography, an intermediate photographic negative or positive used in color correction. In offset lithography, opaque material used to protect open or selected areas of a printing plate during exposure.

Mask out - To cover selected copy or art so it will not appear on a negative or plate.

Masking material - Opaque material, often film, used in pasteup to outline photographs or in platemaking to withhold light from non-image areas.

Master - Paper or plastic offset printing plate. Also, paper plate for spirit duplicating.

Matchprint - Trade name for 3M integral color proof.

Matrix - The pattern or arrangement of removed material to allow for a pre-spaced concept of die cut parts. Also referred to as the skeleton, weed or waste.

Matte Film - Film used to produce a flat, non-glossy look.

Matte finish - Dull paper finish without gloss or luster.

Matte ink or varnish - Ink or varnish that appears dull when dry.

Matte print - Photoprint having a dull finish.

Mean - The arithmetic average of a group of numbers.

Measure - In composition, the width of type, usually expressed in picas.

Mechanical - A term for a camera-ready pasteup of artwork. It includes type, photos, line art, etc., all on one piece of artboard.

Mechanical artist - Alternate term for Production artist.

Mechanical Binding - Mechanical binding is a means of fastening sheets of paper together using metal or plastic attachments inserted through punched or drilled holes in the paper. Mechanical binding is the process of binding a book using methods such as cerlox, spiral wire, wire-o or plasticoil binding.

Mechanical press - Delivering a force by mechanical means.

Mechanical pulp - In papermaking, groundwork pulp produced by mechanically grinding logs or wood chips. It is used mainly for newsprint and as an ingredient of base stock for lower grade publication papers.

Mechanical separation - Mechanical prepared using a separate overlay for each color to be printed.

Mechanical swing arm press - Like clicker press.

Media conversion - Alternate term for Data conversion from one digital coding to another.

Medium format camera - Camera that makes 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 negatives.

Medium screen - Screen with ruling of 133 or 150 lines per inch.

Megabyte (MB) - One million bytes.

Memory - The willingness of material to return to its original size or shape after being stretched or distorted.

Menu - In electronic publishing, a method for selecting alternative functions displayed as a list on a workstation screen. Selection via mouse, key or sequence of keys.

Metal blanking die - Having a male and female section, with shearing action.

Metallic Inks - Inks containing metallic bronze or aluminum powders in a varnish base which produce the appearance of gold, silver, copper or bronze.

Metric system - A decimal system adopted by most countries for solid, liquid and distance measurements.

Mezzo-tint - The line conversion of a continuous tone photograph to imitate an etched pattern.

Micrometer - Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.

Middle tones - Tones in a photograph or illustration about half as dark as its shadow areas and represented by dots between 30% and 70% of full size.

Migration - The process when materials from one substrate slowly move to another substrate. When die cutting soft adhesive the matrix usually needs to be removed before the PSA migrates back and rejoins itself in the areas it was previously cut.

Mic - To measure the thickness of a sheet of paper using a micrometer.

Mil - A unit of measure used to define paperboard thickness. One thousandth of an inch.

Mill swatch - Paper sample book provided by a mill.

Mimeograph bond - Highly absorbent paper made for the mimeograph method of printing.

Mimeograph paper - A paper with the toothy, absorbent surface required for mimeographing.

Mimeograph - Method of printing using a plastic stencil mounted on a rotating drum containing ink.

Miniature Folding - Miniature folding is commonly defined as any folding job with a panel size smaller than 2".

Miter - To trim the ends of rule so that the cutting edge or bevels come together flush at a corner joint.

Mock up - Alternate term for Dummy.

Model release - Contract authorizing commercial use of a photograph that includes image of a recognizable person or private property.

Modem - (Modulator/DeModulator) A device that converts computer data into high-frequency signals or vice versa, for transmission over phone lines.

Moire - Undesirable pattern in halftones and screen tints made with improperly aligned screens.

Moisture content - The water content of paper, usually defined in weight percent.

Molleton - In offset-lithography, a thick cotton fabric similar to flannel used on the dampening rollers of a press.

Monitor - A video screen on a workstation.

Monograph - A separate treatise or thesis on a single subject.

Montage - In artwork, several photographs combined to form a composite illustration.

Mortise - Trapping (overlapping) of two subjects along three or more sides.

Mottle - Spotty, uneven ink coverage especially noticeable in large solids.

Mounting board - Any thick, smooth piece of board paper used to paste up copy or mount photographs.

Mounting material - The carrier sheet for printing. Most pronounced in solid areas.

Mouse - A hand-held device that moves the cursor on a workstation by moving the device on a flat surface.

Mullen - Also stated as "pop" is the bursting film made by DuPont specially suited for stripping positives because of its mechanical strength and dimensional stability. Commonly used for die "strike sheets" or "overlays".

Mullen tester - A machine for testing the bursting strength of paper.

Multi-color printing - Printing done in more than one ink color.

Music bind - A binding style used for music which allows the material to open fully and lie flat.

Mylar - In offset preparation, a polyester film specially suited for stripping positives because of its mechanical strengths and dimensional stability. DuPont trade name for polyester film.


Negative space - Alternate term for White space.

Negative - Characteristic of an image on film or paper in which blacks in the original subject are white or clear and whites in the original are black or opaque. Also, piece of film on which negative image appears.

New case - When the existing binding is retained, sewing on new end-sheets and casing into a new cover. Also new case-end sheets only.

Newsprint - Paper made mostly from ground-wood pulp and small amounts of chemical pulp; used for printing newspapers.

Newton rings - Rainbow effect seen when film to film or film to plate are in tight contact under a glass surface such as a vacuum frame.

Nicking die - Nicks that are put into cutting knives to produce occasional breaks in a continuous line of cutting so that there will be enough stock left uncut to hold the sheet together for delivery purposes.

Non-image area - Portion of mechanical, negative, or plate that will not print.

Non-reproducing blue - Light blue color that does not record on graphic arts film, therefore may be used to write instructions on mechanicals.

Nonvolatile - That portion of a material which does not evaporate at ordinary temperatures.

Notch Binding - The gouging of grooves (commonly 1/4" wide) in the spine of a book block to facilitate the penetration of adhesive during subsequent perfect binding.

Notcher - A bench tool used to make a bridge or notch in steel rule. Synonymous with Bridger.

Notches - Indentations in the bottom of rotary cutting rule to facilitate curving of the rule to conform with the die cylinder.

Notching - Cutting out a section on the back edge of rule to fit over a bridge left in the die-board. Bridging sometime used interchangeably.

Novelty printing - Printing on products such as pencils, balloons, and ashtrays.


O.D. - outside diameter.

Oblong - In binding, a booklet or catalog bound on the shorter dimension.

OCR - Acronym for Optical Character Reader; a device that allows a computer to read printed or written information.

Off loading - Relieving the intensive amount of data processing associated with a specific application (i.e. graphics) from the CPU, by performing those calculations in a dedicated or specialized processor.

Off-press proofs - Proofs made by photomechanical or digital means in less time and at lower cost than press proofs.

Offset - See set-off.

Offset lithography - Printing process which utilizes a planographic plate and oil base ink. Water rolled on the plate moistens the non-printing area repelling the ink so that it adheres only to the image area. Ink is then transferred (offset) to a rubber blanket which, in turn, transfers the ink to the material being printed.

Offset paper - Alternate term often used for Uncoated book paper

Offset powder - Fine powder sprayed on freshly printed sheets to prevent transfer of wet ink as they accumulate in the delivery stack.

Offset printing - Method of lithographic printing that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket, then from the blanket to paper.

Offset - 1. An indirect printing method in which ink is applied to the raised areas of a printing plate, then transferred to a blank rubber plate (a “blanket”) which then transfers the final image to the paper of similar surface. 2. The ink smudges created when wet ink transfers from one printed sheet onto the next sheet in a stack.

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.

OK sheet - Final approved color inking sheet before production begins.

Oleophillic - Oil receptive.

Oleophobic - Oil repellant.

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.)

Opalescent Finish - A pearlized finish.

Opaque ink - An ink that conceals all color beneath it.

Opaque - Non-transparent; not allowing light to pass through. May refer to paper or printing inks.

Open die - Having open cavity.

Open web - Web press without a drying oven. thus unable to print on coated paper.

Optical brightener - A chemical added to paper or coating during their manufacture to improve the brightness or whiteness.

Orthochromatic - Photographic surfaces insensitive to red but sensitive to ultraviolet, blue, green, and yellow rays.

Otabind - The original lay-flat process-OTABIND, available at Bindagraphics-remains the best, and as a patented process, enjoys legal protection: a publisher, printer or binder not licensed by OTABIND can face legal action if they use the term in marketing their imitation process.

Outline halftone - Halftone in which background has been removed to isolate or silhouette an image.

Overall Print - Covering an entire surface with ink.

Overhand cover - A cover larger in size than the pages it encloses.

Overlay - In artwork, a transparent covering over the copy where color break, instructions or corrections are marked. Also, transparent or translucent prints which, when placed on the other, form a composite picture.

Overlay proof - An off-set press color produced with four dyed or pigmented overlay films.

Overprint - To print over a previously printed image.

Overrun or overs - Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. (Printing trade terms allow for + - 10 % to represent a completed order.)

Overs - Printed pieces in an overrun.

Overset - In composition, type in excess of space needs in publications.

Oversewn - Groups of pages are sewn together with the needles set at an angle, so that each new group is sewn onto the previous one..

Oversized Stitching - The maximum loop for saddle stitching is 19" (with 20" backbone length). Specialties has 8 stations with oversized saddle stitcher.

Ozalid - A name of a company that markets diazo process products and equipment that makes diazo blueline prints used primarily in the US by engineering and architectural firms. However diazo or "Ozalid" proofs are most often used in England, other European, Hong Kong, Korean, and Singapore by printers as the proofing means comparable to our Dylux, or Blueline proof.



Packaging, flexible - Packaging using such films as foils, transparent films, paper, flexible sheeting, etc. to form a container such as a bag. The sheets that are carried on the cylinder under the jacket. They are approximately .012 thick.

Packing - In printing presses, paper used to underlay the image or impression cylinder in letterpress, or the plate or blanket in lithography, to get proper squeeze or pressure for printing.

Pad - To bind by applying glue along one edge of a stack of sheets.

Padding Glue - A flexible adhesive used in padding.

Padding - A finishing operation in which a flexible adhesive - called padding glue - is applied to one edge of a stack of sheets. When the adhesive is dry, sheets can be torn off individually. (also used to create notepads)

Page count - Total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers.

Pages per inch (PPI) - Number of pages per inch of thickness of a bound publication. Each sheet has two pages.

Pagination - Assembly of type with other line copy into page format. When done by hand, this is makeup or pasteup; when done electronically, it is computer aided pagination (CAP).

Palette - The collection of colors or shades available to a graphic system or program.

Pallet - Wooden platform used as a base for loading and moving paper and printed products.

Pam-bind - A prefabricated board cover with a clear plastic front and cloth hinge, inside which materials (up to 1/4" thick) are stapled or sewn.

Pancake Wound - The typical form of a roll of tape where each layer is directly on top of the next one. Also referred to as planetary wound.

Panchromatic - Photographic film sensitive to all visible colors.

Pantone Matching System (PMS) - A color matching system used to print colors according to a specific system of color identification known as the Pantone colors.

Paper distributor - Merchant selling paper wholesale to printers and other buyers of large quantities.

Paper dummy - Unprinted sample of a proposed printed piece trimmed, folded, and, if necessary, bound using paper specified for the job.

Paper Grades - Categories of paper based on such characteristics as size, weight and grain.

Paper master - A paper printing plate used on an offset-duplicator. The image is made by hand drawing, typewriter or electro photography.

Paperback - A book with a flexible paper cover, usually adhesive bound.

Paperboard - Paper with a thickness greater than .012 inches or 12 points.

Parchment - Paper that simulates writing surfaces made from animal skins.

Parent sheet - Paper distributor term for sheet 17 x 22 or larger.

Paste bind - To bind by adhering sheets with glue along the fold of the spine.

Paste drier - In inkmaking, a type of drier, usually a combination of drying compounds.

Paste up - To adhere copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, overlays so it is assembled into a camera ready mechanical.

Paste-down - That half of the lining paper which is pasted to the inner face of the cover.

Pasteup - The process of pasting up. Also, alternate term for Mechanical.

Patch proof - Add-on patch of corrected material onto completed blueline or color key.

Patent Base - In letterpress, a slotted metal base on which unmounted electrotypes are secured for printing.

Pattern - Sample or other reference to follow.

Pattern carbon - Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers in certain areas.

Pattern or Zone Coating - During the manufacturing process many PSA adhesives can be produced or "voided out" in specific "lanes" or zones in the direction of the unwind. Usually done to achieve an extended liner. Converters offer many creative options regarding such with any tape.

Pebbling - A process of embossing paper after printing to give a uniform ripple or pebbled effect.

Percentage wheel - Alternate term often used for Proportional scale.

Perfect Binding - A type of binding in which signatures are bound together with adhesive. This is used to eliminate the thread-sewing method of bookbinding.

Perfect bound - A style of binding in which all pages are cut and roughed up at the back or binding edge and held together by adhesive.

Perfecting press - A printing press that prints both sides of the paper in one pass through the press.

Perforating rule - A cutting rule that produces perforations.

Perforating - Any operation that punches tiny slits or holes in a sheet of paper or other substrate. Perforating is performed using perforating dies. Materials are perforated either to allow a portion to be easily removed (such as an order form or coupon), or to allow air to escape from folded signatures, which helps prevent wrinkling.

Perforations - Intermittent cuts in paper to facilitate folding or tearing.

pH Value - A number used for expressing the acidity or alkalinity of solutions. A value of 7 is neutral in a scale ranging from 0 to 14. Solutions with values below 7 are acid, above 7 are alkaline.

Photo typesetting - The method of setting type photographically.

Photocopy - Method of printing that transfers images electrostatically and creates them on paper with powder bonded by heat.

Photomechanical - Pertaining to any platemaking process using photographic negative or positives exposed onto plates or cylinders covered with photosensitive coatings.

Photopolymers - Generic name for a mixture of materials that can change physical properties on exposure to ultraviolet or visible light. With image-wise exposure they are used intensively as offpress proofing materials and printing plates.

Photosensitive - Characteristic of paper, film, and printing plates coated with light-sensitive chemicals.

Photostat - Process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones. Often used as alternate term for PMT.

PI - Type mixed, and in an unstable condition.

Pica - A typographic unit of measurement - 12 points = 1 pica, 6 picas = 1 inch.

Pick up - Stripped up film stored in library to be picked up and used again with or without changes.

Picking - Printers nightmare that occurs as the surface of a sheet lifts off during printing. Generally a paper manufactures quality control problem.

Pigment - In printing inks, the fine solid particles used to give color, transparency or opacity.

Piling - In printing, the building up or caking of ink on rollers, plate or blanket; will not transfer readily. Also, the accumulation of paper dust or coating on the blanket of offset press.

Pin register - The use of accurately positioned holes and special pins on copy, film, plates and presses to insure proper register of its colors.

Pinholes - Tiny holes in the emulsion of negatives or printing plates.

Pinholing - Failure of a printed ink or coating to form a completely continuous film.

Pixel - In electronic imaging, a basic unit of digital imaging.

Plastic Comb Binding - A means of mechanical binding in which the pages are bound together by means of a plastic comb. This comb consists of a plastic strip off which extend a series of curved plastic prongs, which are inserted into drilled or punched holes along the binding edge of the pages.

Plasticizer Migration - When Plasticizers are omitted from a substrate and attack the PSA bonded to it. The PSA usually "softens" to the point of bond failure.

Plasticizer - A chemical substance added to plastic, foam, and other substrates to enhance flexibility.

Plate - A photographic emulsion coated on a rigid aluminum base used for reproduction of image on press.

Plate cylinder - The cylinder of a press on which the plate is mounted.

Plate finish - A smooth, hard finish of paper achieved calendering.

Plate gap - Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the press.

Plate - See Printing plate.

Plated die - Having a plated finish.

Platemaker - In quick printing, process camera that makes plates automatically after photographing mechanicals. In commercial printing, machine used to expose plates from flats.

Platen press - Jaw type, with two reciprocating platens, for printing or die cutting.

Plate-ready film - Alternate term for Flat.

Platform - A box with a base inside.

Pleasing color - Color that is satisfactory even though it doesn't match original samples, scenes, or objects.

Plugged up - Undesirable characteristic of printing when ink fills in around halftone dots, causing loss of shadow detail.

Plugging - Filling or bridging of halftone, type or fine reverses by too much ink or undercutting.

PMS (Pantone Matching System) - Color formula guide used in the creation of colors out of process screen combinations or matched on the press with a separate unit.

PMT - Abbreviation for photomechanical transfer, a Kodak trade name for a process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones.

Pocket-volume - A book whose cover is made with an inside pocket to house loose or unbound items.

Point - One thousandth of an inch. A unit of thickness measurement for paperboard. Measurement used to describe the width of a diecutting rule, 1 pt = 0.014 inch.

Polymer - A compound formed by the linking of simple molecules having functional groups that permit their combination to proceed to higher molecular weights under suitable conditions.

Poor trapping - In printing, the condition in wet printing in letterpress and lithography when less ink transfers to previously printed ink than to unprinted paper. Also called under-trapping.

Porosity - The property of paper that allows the permeation of air, an important factor in ink penetration.

Portfolio - Collection of best work by an artist, photographer, or designer for showing during meetings with prospective clients.

Position (tab) - Sequential location of a special tab in a bank.

Position proof - Color proof for checking position, layout and/or color breakout of image elements.

Position stat - Photocopy or PMT made to size and pasted to a mechanical showing how to crop, scale, and position loose art or photos.

Positive - In photography, film containing an image on which the dark and light values are the same as the original. The reverse of negative.

PostScript - A sophisticated page description language, widely used in desktop publishing that is used for printing high-quality text and graphics on laser printers and other high-resolution printing devices. When an application program equipped with a PostScript printer drive is used, the program generates the PostScript code that goes to the printer. For most users, PostScript is invisible and automatic.

PPI - Short for pages per inch.

Preparation - Camera work, stripping, platemaking, and other activities by a trade camera service or printer before press work begins. Also called prep.

Pre-press proofs - See off-press proofs.

Prepress - Alternate term for Preparation.

Preprint - To print work in advance to be ready for inserting or imprinting.

Presensitized plate - In photomechanics, a metal or paper plate that has been precoated with a light-sensitive coating.

Press - A machine which performs the mechanical action of diecutting or printing.

Press arm - Feeds sheet or delivers sheet.

Press base - Base casting.

Press bed - Holds dies or plates.

Press check - Event at which test sheets are examined before production run is authorized to begin.

Press cylinder - Cylinder against which you diecut or print.

Press head - Platen (upper) which you print or diecut against.

Press number - A method of numbering manufacturing business forms or tickets.

Press plate - Jacket under which makeready is positioned.

Press Proof - A test printing of a few sheets, using the actual materials as a final proof prior to printing the entire job.

Press run - A complete production of form signatures through the press for binding to meet all customer requirements of quality and count.

Press set-up - Often called makeready.

Press sheet - One sheet as it comes off the press.

Pressure Sensitive - Adhesive tapes that stick to a variety of surfaces with little(hand) pressure applied. These tapes are usually tacky or "sticky" at room temperature and do not need activation by heat, water, or added solvents.

Pressure-sensitive paper - Material with an adhesive coating, protected by a backing sheet until used, which will stick without moistening.

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

Primary colors - In printing inks, yellow, magenta (process red) and cyan (process blue). In light, red, green and blue.

Prime coat - A coating applied to the surface of a substrate to effect or increase the adhesion of subsequent coatings.

Print quality - A term describing the visual impression of a printed piece. In paper, the properties of the paper that affect its appearance and the quality of reproduction.

Printer - In printing trade, person who owns or manages print shop or runs printing press. In 4-color process printing, one of the separation negatives.

Printer-slotter - A machine used for printing and slotting corrugated or solid fibre boxes. It usually consists of one or two color units plus slotting and creasing knives. Printing is usually done with rubber plates.

Printing Plate - Also known as a plate, this is a surface that has been treated to carry an impression. Printing plates may be metal, rubber, synthetic rubber or plastic.

Printing trade customs - See Trade customs.

Printing - Any process that repeatedly transfers an image from a plate, die, negative, stencil, or electronic memory.

Process blue - Alternate term for Cyan.

Process camera - Graphic arts camera used to photograph mechanicals and other camera-ready copy.

Process Color - The four basic colors (CMYK, or cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) used to create specific colors through various combinations of the four.

Process inks - Inks in the four process colors.

Process lens - A highly corrected photographic lens for line, halftone and color photography.

Process printing - The printing from a series of two or more halftone plates to produce intermediate colors and shades.

Process red - Alternate term for Magenta.

Production artist - Person who does pasteup.

Prog boards - An assembly of progressive proofs, cromalins and other color guides into a single board used at press for color match and reference.

Prog - Short for Progressive proof.

Program - In computers, sequence of instructions for a computer. Same as software.

Progressive proofs (progs) - Proofs made from the separate plates in color process work, showing the sequence of printing and the result after each additional color has been applied.

Proof - A test image produced prior to printing. A test cut from the die.

Proof OK - Customer signature approving a proof and authorizing the job to advance to the next stage.

Proof sheet - Photographer term for sheet of images made by contact printing negatives.

Proof - Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results, and record how a printing job is intended to appear.

Proofread - To examine copy or a proof for errors in writing or composition.

Proportional scale - Device used to calculate percent that an original image must be reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size.

Prototype - First in series of development.

Psychrometer - A wet-and-dry bulb type of hygrometer. Considered the most accurate of the instruments practical for industrial plant use for determining relative humidity.

Publish - To produce and sell or otherwise make available printed communication to the public.

Pull Slip - The instruction sheet to pull a complete bindable serial unit produced on Innopac.

Pulp - Mixture of wood and/or cotton fibers, chemicals, and water from which mills make paper.

Punching - To punch or shear.

Punching die - To punch holes.

Punching press - Press for punching or holes.

PUR Glue - Polyurethane-reactive hot-melt glue which is more flexible than older types of glues and is used as layflat adhesive binding. PUR glue is considered to be the most flexible and durable bookbinding glues on the market. They yield products that lie flatter and require less backbone preparation than other glues.

PVA Glue - PVA glue is applied cold; once dried, the resins pentrate deep into the structure of the paper stock, forming a solid bond.


Quad - In composition, blank-spacing material less than type high used to fill outlines.

Quality control - In printing, the process of taking random samples during the run to check the consistency of quality.

Quarter-bind - Covers constructed of binders board with buckram covering only the spine and 1/8th of each cover, cut flush.

Quick printer - Printer whose business attitude emphasizes basic quality, small presses, and fast service.

Quoin - In letterpress, a steel wedge-sharpened or expanding device used in lockup.

Quotation - Printer's offer to print a job for a specific price calculated from specifications and dummies provided by customer.


R print - Color photographic print made from transparency without using internegative.

R.S.C. - A corrugated box with outer flaps that meet. Inner flaps do not meet unless length and width happen to be the same. Abbreviation for regular slotted container.

Ragged left - Type that is justified to the right margin and the line lengths vary on the left.

Ragged right - Type that is justified to the left margin and the line lengths vary on the right.

Railroad board - Heavy board paper used for posters and signs.

Raised printing - Alternate term for Thermography.

RC paper - Resin-coated paper for typesetting and PMTs that, when properly processed, will not yellow.

Readable -  Characteristic of messages that are written and edited and set in type selected and composed to make them easy to understand.

Ream - Five hundred sheets of paper.

Rebind - The existing binding is removed, fan glued and cased into a new cover.

Re-case - The existing text block is cased back into its original cover.

Recto - The right-hand page of an open book, usually bearing the odd page number.

Reducers - In printing inks, varnishes, solvents, oily or greasy compounds used to reduce the consistency for printing. In photography, chemicals used to reduce the density of negative or positive images or the size of halftone dots (dot etching).

Reflection copy - In photography, illustrative copy that is viewed and must be photographed by light reflected from its surface. Examples are photographs, dye-transfer prints, etc.

Register - In printing, fitting of two or more printing images in exact alignment with each other.

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.

Register - To position printing in proper relation to edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.

Registration - The alignment of two or more printed images so the resulting image is sharp.

Relative humidity (RH) - The amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere expressed as a percentage of the maximum that could be present at the same temperature.

Release coating - Thin coating of material (usually silicone) applied to a release paper or film. Enables PSA to be unwound from itself and/or the PSA to be removed from the release liner for lamination to a substrate.

Reproduction proof - In composition, the proof of type form for purpose of photographic reproduction.

Reprographics - General term for xerography, diazo, and other methods of copying used by designers, engineers, and architects.

Reprography - Copying and duplicating

Resin - Organic solids or liquids of high molecular weight, primarily used as binders, in inks and coatings.

Resolution - The size and quantity of dots that make up a printed page, a computer screen, or a scanned image.

Retouch - To enhance a photo or correct its flaws.

Reverse - A subject in which the background prints in the color of the ink used and the type matter or image is unprinted.

Reverse angle doctor blade - In flexography, similar to doctor blade in gravure except used with much lighter pressure and a reverse angle on the anilox roll.

Reverse Plate - A printing plate in which the tonal values are exactly opposite from the original art. A reverse plate is made from a film positive instead of a film negative.

Reverse printing - Printing of solid background behind tab or body copy with actual copy appearing in colour of unprinted paper.

Reverse Type - Type that drops out of the background color and appears the color of the paper.

Rewind Slitting - The method is for producing multiple cuts per cycle. This has a longer set-up time than baloney slitting. The process actually rewinds the material layer by layer across a set of pre-spaced knives and spacers, onto a rewind shaft that is set with pre-slit cores and spacers, with each individual slit roll wound on individual tension-controlled cores.

RGB - Abbreviation for red, green, and blue, the three colors used in cameras.

Right reading - Copy reading correctly (normally) from left to right.

Right-angle fold - In binding, a term used for two or more folds that are at 90° angles to each other.

Rights - Conditions and terms of licensing agreement between copyright owner and client.

Rigid Box - A hard, non-collapsible box, also known as a set-up box.

Rip film - A method of making printing negatives from PostScript files created by desktop publishing.

Roll coating - The process of applying a material to the surface of paper or board with a roller and subsequent smoothing of that coating by reverse rollers.

Roll set curl - Deformation caused by the tendency of paperboard to conform to the curvature of the roll or cored on which it is wound.

Roller stripping - In lithography, a term denoting that the ink does not adhere to the metal ink rollers on a press.

Roll-Out - Ink put down by hand roller on poly or paper for testing or sampling purposes to determine color or other characteristics.

Rosette - A cluster resembling the petals on a rose, created by the overlapping of the dots that make up the four-color process images.

Rotagravure printing - An intaglio process of rotary printing from tiny etched cells in a copper covered roller surfaces. Often overchromed for longer wear. Does fine printing along with half-tones and gradations of tones. Uses solvent type, fast drying inks.

Rotary die - A curved cutting die, used in a rotary die cutter.

Rotary die cutter - A machine that cuts and scores with rotating (rotary) dies. Principal benefits are speed and long die life.

Rotary layout machine - A rotary cutter without feed, printing or other sections, used to test rotary dies.

Rotary proofing machine - A rotary cuter without feed, printing or other sections, used to test rotary dies and provide samples.

Rotary rule description - This rule is described as : (1) Serrated, non-serrated, scattered, or scalloped. (2) Side bevel or center. (3) Curved or straight. In case of curved rule, the pitch circle and circumference is specified. (4) Notched or not-notched. (5) Thickness in points. (6) Height of the rule.

Rotary wood description - Description as a (1) Number of plys. (2) Thickness. (3) Length. (4) Inside diameter.

Rotogravure - Gravure printing using a web press.

Rough layout - Simple sketch giving general idea of size and placement of type and art.

Roughness - A relative lack of smoothness to the paperboard surface.

Rounding - Shaping the book back to be convex.

Routing - In letterpress, the cutting away of the not-printing areas of a plate.

Rub - Abrasion caused from friction between two moving surfaces.

Rub score - In rotary dies, the rubber places along scoring rule.

Rubber ejection - Rubber used to eject the finished product from the die.

Rubber slot - A special rubber used for ejection in the parts of steel rule die that cut the slots in a box.

Rubber stripping - In rotary dies, the rubber used to eject scraps.

Rubbering or corking a die - Glue process or strips of cork or rubber along both sides of the cutting knives for the purpose of ejecting the material being cut off the die after cutting.

Rub-proof - In printing, an ink that has reached maximum dryness and does not mar with normal abrasion.

Rubylith - A stable base, clear material, coated with a thin coating which peels away. Used for cutting masks in artwork operations.

Rule 41 - A rule in the Uniform & Consolidated Freight Classification of the rail carriers containing the construction requirement for corrugated and solid fiberboard boxes.

Rule puller - A hand tool used to remove steel rule from a cutting die.

Rule, creasing - For scoring or creasing with round edge.

Rule, cutting - For scoring with sharp edge.

Rule, other - Leads or steel spacers.

Rule, perforating - To make perforated cuts.

Rule - A line, used for a variety of typographic effects.

Rules - Line of various thickness used as ornamentation or to separate columns in tabular manner.

Rules up - Quality check performed after press run by preliminary on a line up table to determine bleeds, trim, and bindery folds by way of drawing lines on a signature indicated by job specifications.

Ruling - See Screen ruling.

Run around - In composition, the term describing a type area set in measures that are adjusted to fit around a picture or another element of the design.

Run - Total number of copies ordered or printed.

Run ability - Paper properties that affect the ability of the paper to run on the press.

Running head or foot - Title or other information at the top or bottom of every page of a publication.


Saddle stitch - A method of binding signatures by opening at the center of the fold and fastening together by means of wire staples through the fold line. The folded signatures ride on a saddle line while this type of work is being done.

Saddle wire - In binding, to fasten a booklet by wiring it through the middle fold of the sheets.

Safe-light - In photography, the special darkroom lamp used for illumination without fogging sensitize materials.

Saturation - The impregnation of paperboard with a liquid to the point of non-absorption.

Sawing block - Blocks cut with circular saw in diemaking.

SBS - Solid Bleached Sulfate.

Scale - To identify the percent by which images should be enlarged or reduced.

Scaling - Determining the proper size of an image to be reduced or enlarged.

Scaling wheel - Alternate term for Proportional scale.

Scanner - Device used to make color separations, halftones, duo tones and tri tones. Also a device used to scan art, pictures or drawings in desktop publishing.

Score - A channel pressed (or embossed) into a paper or paper board creating a hinge, allowing it to fold more easily. Scoring generally increases the strength of the folded material by compressing the paper fibers and reducing the stretch.

Scoring - Creasing or bending line that assists subsequent usage. Scoring is also a term used to describe when one or more materials are slit or cut through to assist in the tape application.

Screen - See contact screen.

Screen angles - In color reproduction, angles at which the halftone screens are placed with relation to one another, to avoid undesirable moiré patterns. A set of angles often used is: black 45°, magenta 75°, yellow 90°, cyan 105°.

Screen density - Amount of ink, expressed as percent of coverage, that a specific screen allows to print.

Screen line number - The number of ruled lines per inch on the halftone screen (133 and 150 are common examples).

Screen Printing - A printing process where a squeegee is used to force thick, opaque ink through a fine fabric mesh (the screen) onto the surface to be printed. The image is created by applying an emulsion or stencil to the screen to block out the negative (non-printing) areas.

Screen ruling - The number of rows or lines of dots per inch in a screen for tint or halftone.

Screen tint - Area of image printed with dots so ink coverage is less than 100% and simulates shading or a lighter color.

Screen value - The percentage of printing area is referred to as a certain percent tint (ex. 30% tint).

Screen - Piece of film with dots of uniform density, used to make plates that will print screen tints. See also Halftone screen.

Screened print - In photography, a print with a halftone screen made from a halftone negative or by diffusion transfer.

Scribe - To mark rule at the area where it will be notched or bent. To mark.

Scum - In offset lithography, a film of ink printing in the non-image areas of a plate where it should not print.

Section - A group of leaves of a volume, suitable for sewing, usually about 1/2" thick.

Self Cover - A cover of the same paper as inside text pages.

Self Wound or Single Wound - Often used in reference to pressure-sensitive tapes when comparing them to linered tapes. Each subsequent layer has the exposed adhesive in direct contact with the backing of the previous layer.

Self-cover - Publication made entirely from the same paper so that cover is printed simultaneously with inside pages.

Self-mailer - Printed piece designed to be mailed without an envelope.

Semi-chemical pulp - A combination of chemical and mechanical pulping with properties similar to chemical pulp.

Separation - Alternate term for Color separation.

Serif - The short cross-lines at the ends of the main strokes of many letters in some bold faces.

Serrated rule - A type of cutting rule with pointed teeth on the top that is used in rotary cutting dies for corrugated.

Set - One each of every individual tab in a job or group.

Set-off - In presswork, when the ink of a printed sheet rubs off or marks the next sheet as it is being delivered. Also called offset.

Set-up - Make ready.

Sew - To use thread to fasten signatures together at the spine of a book.

Shade - The chroma, hue, and grey value when comparing of substances of the same color.

Shadow - The darkest parts in a photograph, represented in a halftone by the largest dots.

Sharp - Characteristic of an image in clear focus.

Sharpen - To decrease in strength, as when halftone dots become smaller; opposite of "thicken" or "dot spread".

Shear - The work that results when two contiguous parts slide past each other, in a direction parallel to their plane of contact.

Shear Adhesion - The level of bond strength a PSA has to a substrate when shear force or stress is applied. For example, a PSA used to hang a picture on a wall should have good shear adhesion.

Sheen - Shininess at grazing angles.

Sheeter - Device to cut roll of paper into sheets.

Sheetfed press - Press that prints sheets of paper.

Sheetwise - To print one side of a sheet of paper with one form or plate, then turn the sheet over and print the other side with another form using the same gripper and side guide.

Shelf life - The resistance to deterioration by oxygen and ozone in the air, by heat and light or by internal chemical action. More specifically, the length of time that a container or a material therein, will remain in an acceptable condition under specified conditions or storage.

Shell cup - A device for measuring viscosity.

Shim - A thin strip used as filler.

Shimming - To fill a void with shims.

Shim-stock - Thin material used for shimming.

Shingling - Allowance made during pasteup or stripping to compensate for creep.

Short grain - Alternate term for Grain abort (paper).

Short ink - An ink that is buttery and does not flow freely.

Show-through - In printing, the undesirable condition which the printing on the reverse side of a sheet can be seen through the sheet under normal lighting conditions.

Shrink - To decrease image in strength during contacting, as when halftone dots become smaller; opposite of dot spread. A diffusion sheet is placed between light source and film to sharpen or squeeze the image during exposure. This technique is commonly used in the creation of a trap.

Shrink wrap - Method of tightly wrapping packages or products in plastic film.

Shuttle feed - A type of feeding system.

Side guides - Adjustable mechanism on register unit of a press that properly positions a sheet side to side

Side stitch - To bind by stapling through sheets along one edge.

Side-guide - On sheetfed presses, a guide on the feed board to position the sheet sideways as it feeds onto the front guides before entering the impression cylinder.

Signatures - In printing, any single press sheet on which multiple page have been imposed which, when folded and cut, forms a group of pages. Most books and other publications are printed as group of signatures, the multiple imposition allowing a significant reduction in the number of independent pressruns required to print all pages.

Silhouette halftone - A halftone with all of the background removed.

Silicone - A synthetic lubricant sometimes applied to steel rule to reduce friction in cutting.

Silk Screen - See Screen Printing.

Simplex Box - A box that folds down from the ends of the box but offers a rigid box look.

Sizing - The treatment of paper which gives it resistance to the penetration of liquids (particularly water) or vapors.

Sizing, internal - A process by which materials are added to a pulp slurry in order to enhance its resistance to liquid penetration.

Sizing, surface - A process by which materials are added to the surface of formed paper or paperboard to enhance the surface properties.

Skid - A pallet used for a pile of cut sheets.

Sliding head press - One of many type of presses.

Slip - The tendency of two adjacent surfaces to slide.

Slip sheet - Blank sheet placed between newly-made printed products to prevent setoff or scuffing during handling and shipping.

Slit score - Used in corrugated to describe a cut-score.

Slit - To cut paper using a disk or wheel.

Slitting - Cutting printed sheets or webs into two or more sections by means of cutting wheels on a press or folder.

Slot - The paper removed at the corner of a box to permit the boxes to fold. In a die, the rule that produces the slot.

Slow film - Film that requires a relatively large amount of light to record an image.

Sludge - Solids removed in the clarifying process of a pulp or paper mill.

Slug - In composition, a one-piece line of type. Also, a strip of metal, usually 6 points, used for spacing between lines.

Slur - Elongation or dot gain caused by mechanical distortion in the printing process.

Small caps - An alphabet of SMALL CAPITAL LETTERS available in most roman type faces approximately the size of the lower case letters. Used in combination with larger capital letters.

Small-format camera - Camera making negatives 35mm or smaller.

Smoothness - The surface property of a material determined by its variations from an ideal flat or plane surface. It can be measured as a function of the air flow between the material and a plane surface.

Smyth sewn - One pattern of sewn binding.

Snap - The combined effect of color intensity, holdout, and gloss resulting in brilliance or vividness.

Soft bind - Alternate term for Perfect bind.

Soft cover - Bound without a case; usually perfect bound, but also sewn and bound with a paper cover.

Soft dot - In photography, a dot is called "soft" when the halation or fringe around the dot is excessive and almost equals the area of the dot itself. Conversely, when the fringe is so slight as to be barely noticeable and the dot is very sharp, it is called "hard".

Soft ink - Descriptive of the consistency of paste inks.

Soft proof - See hard proof.

Software - See program.

Solid - Any area of the sheet that has received 100% ink coverage

Solvent - The medium used to dissolve a substance.

Solvent coating - A type of coating, applied in liquid form, which dries by evaporation.

SPC - Acronym for Statistical Process Control.

Spec sheet - Short for sheet on which specifications are written.

Special effects - General term for reproduction of photographs using techniques such as line conversion and posterization.

Specialty advertising - Printed advertising on products such as mugs, matchbooks, jewelry, and pencils.

Specialty papers - Paper distributor term for carbonless, pressure-sensitive, synthetic, and other papers made for special applications.

Specialty printer - Printer specializing in making a particular product.

Specifications - Complete and precise descriptions of paper, ink, binding, quantity, and other features of a printing job.

Spectrum - The complete range of colors in the rainbow, from short wavelengths (blue) to long wavelengths (red).

Spine - The binding edge of a book or publication. See Backbone

Spiral bind - To bind using a spiral of wire or plastic looped through holes.

Spiral binding - A book bound with wires in spiral form inserted through holes punched along the binding side.

Spiral Wire Binding - A means of mechanical binding in which the pages are bound together by means of a wire or plastic coil threaded into drilled or punched holes along the binding edge of the pages.

Spirit duplicating - Method of printing that uses a chemical fluid to dissolve a trace of carbon from the plate to make each impression.

Split - To cut single signature issues greater than 6/8" through the fold, before oversewing or fan gluing.

Split fountain - Putting more than one ink in a printing fountain to achieve special color affects.

Spoilage - Paper, film, plates or other material lost in preliminary, printing and binding operations through damage while mechanically adjusting equipment or a waste through production of imperfect copies or reproduction.

Spot Color - A single color that does not need to be combined with any other color to be printed.

Spot UV - The application of UV coating to a portion of the paper surface, generally to achieve a contrast between a gloss, matte or uncoated surface. (Also see UV Coating.)

Spot Varnish - The application of varnish to a portion of the paper surface, generally to achieve a contrast between a gloss, matte or uncoated surface. (Also see Varnish.)

Spread - To increase an image in strength during contacting, as when half-tone dots become larger; opposite of dot shrink. A diffusion sheet is placed between light source and film to halate the image during exposure. This technique is commonly used in the creation of a stayback.

Stabilization paper - Paper for typesetting and PMTs that begins deteriorating a few weeks after use.

Staging - See stopping out.

Stamping - Can be cutting, embossing, forging, etc.

Stat camera - Small process camera.

Stat - General term for inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone.

Static neutralizer - In printing presses, an attachment designed to remove the static electricity from the paper to avoid ink set-off and trouble with feeding the paper.

Stationery - Letterhead, envelopes, cards, and other printed materials for business correspondence.

Statistical Process Control (SPC) - Regulation of a process through the use of statistical analysis to improve the consistency of a product or service.

Steel rule die - A cutting die made from steel cutting rule which is inserted into wooden board forms.

Stencil - Piece of fabric or film carrying image for screen printing or mimeograph.

Step-and-repeat - In photomechanics, the procedure of multiple exposure using the same image by stepping it in position according to a predetermined layout or program.

Stet - A proofreader's mark, written in the margin, signifying that copy marked for corrections should remain as it was.

Stiffness - Elongation corresponding to the point of a rupture. Also called strain.

Stipple - A repairing technique where dot pattern is created by hand method using a needle point on film or plates.

Stitch bind - To bind with wire staples

Stochastic screening - A digital screening process that converts images into very small dots (14-40 microns) of equal size and variable spacing. Second order screened images have variable size dots and variable spacing. Also called Frequency Modulated (FM) screening.

Stock - Paper or other material to be printed.

Stock photo - Photograph in a collection maintained for commercial purposes.

Stopping out - In photomechanics, application of opaque to photographic negatives; applications of special lacquer to protect areas in positives in dot etching; staging of halftone plates during relief etching: protecting certain areas of deep-etched plates so that no ink will be deposited on the protected areas.

Stream feeder - In printing process, a type of feeder that feeds several sheets overlapping each other toward the grippers. Also die cutting presses.

Strike sheet - See overlay.

Strike-on composition - Type set by a direct-impression method, or on typewriter composing machines. Also known as cold-type.

Strike-through - See show-through.

Stripper - Person who strips negatives.

Stripping - In offset lithography, the positioning of negatives (or positives) on a flat to compose a page or layout for platemaking.

Stripping die - A two piece to mechanically remove scrap from a die cut sheet.

Sub weight - Short for substance weight.

Substance - The weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to the standard size (17x 22) for business papers (bond, ledger, mimeograph, duplicator and manifold). e.g. 20 pounds. Similar to basis weight of other grades of paper.

Substance weight - A term of basis weight when referring to bond papers.

Substrate - The base material which is coated or printed. Paper, films, and foils are common substrates.

Sulfate pulp - Paper pulp made from wood chips cooked under pressure in a solution of caustic soda and sodium sulphide. Known as kraft.

Super-calendar - In paper-making, a calendar stack, separate from the paper-making machine, with alternate metal and resilient rolls, used to produce a high finish on paper.

Surfaces, die-cutting - Those plates against which the die edge comes in contact after passing through the material. Can be steel, urethane, wood, etc.

Surprint - In photo-mechanics, exposure from a second negative super-imposed upon a previously exposed image of the first negative.

Swatch - A sample of color to be matched such as a piece of merchandise, ink sample, wash color sample, etc.

Swatch book - Book with small samples of paper or ink colors.

Swing arm press - Such as clicker. Arm extends from rear.

Swing arm side press - Swinging arms extend from the side.

Synergistic Display Program - A comprehensive, color-coordinated, program that incorporates boxes, bags, tissue paper, ribbon, bows and finishing touches to creatively display your company’s name, logo and promotional colors.

Synthetic paper - Plastic or other petroleum-based paper.


Tab copy - Text or graphics printed on tab extensions.

Tab Mylar - Clear or colored plastic coating around tab extension.

Tack - In printing inks, the property of cohesion between particles, the separation force of ink needed for proper transfer and trapping on multicolor presses. A tacky ink has high separation forces and can cause surface picking or splitting of weak papers.

Tag - Board grade paper used for products such as tags and file folders.

Tail - The bottom portion of the backbone of a bound volume.

Take-down - In die-cutting, removing the die from the press, prior to a new set-up.

Tapes - Pieces of tape or strips of cloth attached to the covers, and to which sections are sewn to strengthen the binding.

TAPPI - Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry.

Temper - The result of a heating process intended to alter the hardness of a die which has already been subjected to heat treatment.

Tensile strength - A measurement of the resistance of a sheet to pull to the point of rupture.

Terabyte (TB) - One trillion bytes.

Test number - The body matter of a page or book, as distinguished from the headings.

Text paper - Grades of uncoated paper with textured surfaces.

Text-block - The pages of a book, sewn or adhered into one unit.

Thermography - The use of a resin powder that, when heated, fuses to an inked surface and swells to create a raised, textured image.

Thermo-mechanical pulp - In paper making, made by steaming wood chips prior to and during refining, producing a higher yield and stronger pulp than regular ground wood.

Thickness - The height of a single sheet of paperboard, measured in microns.

Thickness of scoring rule - Generally 2, 3, 4, and 6 point.

Thirty - Used in newspapers, the symbol "-30-" means the end of story.

Thumbnail sketch - Rough sketch of a design.

Tick marks - Alternate term for Crop marks.

Tinning - Method of binding by crimping a metal strip along edges of sheets.

Tint - Alternate term for Screen tint.

Tints - Various even tone areas (strengths) of a solid color.

Tip-in - Pasting a leaf (or leaves) into a bound book without using guards. Also called "tipping-in."

Tip-On - To bind a foldout or other insert into a book by means of an adhesive.

Tissue overlay - Usually a thin transparent paper placed over artwork for protection uses for marking color breaks and other printer instructions.

Tissue Paper - A very thin, lightweight paper. Also referred to as tissue.

Tissue - Thin, translucent paper used for overlays.

Tolerances - The specification of acceptable variations in register, density, dot size, plate or paper thickness, concentration of chemicals and other printing parameters.

Tonal range - Photographer term for density range.

Toner - Imaging material used in electrophotography and some off-press proofing systems. In inks, dye used to tone printing inks, especially black.

Toning - Alternate term for Scumming.

Tooth - A characteristic of paper, a slightly rough finish, which permits it to take ink readily.

Trade bindery - Business specializing in trimming, folding, binding, and other finishing operations.

Trade camera service - Alternate term for Camera service.

Trade custom - Business terms and policies followed by businesses in the same field and often codified by a trade association.

Trade shop - Printer or other service working primarily for other graphic arts professionals.

Trail edge - Long, horizontal straight piece of rule which comes out of the cut last as the material goes through the press.

Transfer key - 3M trade name for integral color proof.

Transfer tape - A peel and stick tape used in business forms.

Translite - Piece of glass or plastic lit from behind and on which a photographic image has been reproduced for display.

Transparency - Positive photographic image, usually in color, on film allowing light to pass through.

Transparent copy - In photography, illustrative copy such as color transparency or color negative through which light must pass in order for it to be seen.

Transparent ink - A printing ink which does not conceal the color beneath. Process inks are transparent so that they will blend to form other colors.

Transpose - To exchange the position of a letter, word or line with another letter, word or line.

Trap - The ability of an ink film to print over an underlying surface.

Trapping - In printing, ability to print a wet ink film over previously printed wet ink. In prepress, refers to how much overprinting colors overlap to eliminate white lines between colors in printing.

Traverse Wound - Also referred to as level winding, spool wound and reel wound. For example, sewing machine thread or fishing line. This process enables the fabricator to put extremely long lengths of custom slit material on one roll which means less roll changes and cost savings on a manufacturing line.

Trim breakers - Cutting rule in steel rule dies to cut the trim into smaller pieces.

Trim marks - Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed sheet.

Trim size - The final size of one printed image after the last trim is made.

Tri-tone - A three-color halftone reproduction from a monochrome original and requiring three halftone negatives at proper screen angles. Usually used to create sepia tone.

Tube - Any cylindrical shell open at both ends.

Turnaround time - Amount of time needed to complete a job or one stage of it.

Two-page spread - Two pages side by side either in bindery, printer or reader spreads.

Two-sheet detector - In printing presses, a device for stopping the press when more than one sheet attempts to feed into the grippers.

Type gauge - In composition, a printer's tool calibrated in picas and points used for type measurement.

Type high - 0.918 inch; the standard in letterpress.

Typography - The art of printing with type. The design, style, appearance or arrangement of matter printed from type.


Ultra-bind - Bound with an automated machine which sands, notches and fan glues. Requires a 3/8" gutter, covers must not be high gloss, foldouts must not return into the gutter, and volume must be between 1/2 - 2" thick.

Ultraviolet Light (UV) - Invisible, high energy light made up of wavelengths that are shorter than those of visible light.

Uncoated Paper - The basic paper, produced on the papermaking machine with no coating operations.

Under-color removal - Technique of making and printing color separations that minimizes amount of cyan, magenta, and yellow ink in shadow areas.

Undercut - In printing presses, the difference between the radius of the cylinder bearers and the cylinder body, to allow for plate (blanket) and packing thickness.

Under-run - Production run of fewer copies than the amount specified.

Under-run - Production of fewer copies than ordered. See over run.

Undersized Stitching - Automated saddle stitching can be as small as 3" x 3-7/8" one-up and 3" x 3" two-up. At Specialties we've stitched products as small as 1-1/2" x 2" with offline trimming.

Unit - In multi-color presses, refers to the combination of inking, plate and impression operations to print each color. A 4-color press has 4 printing units each with its own inking, plate and impression functions.

Up - In printing, two-up, etc., refers to imposition of materials to be printed on a larger size sheet to take advantage of full press capacity.

UV Coating - A thin, plastic-like coating applied to either all, or a portion (“spot UV”) of a paper surface after printing (for esthetic reasons or to protect the printed surface). The UV coating finish can be either matte or very glossy.

UV ink - Solvent-less ink that is cured by UV radiation.


Vacuum frame - In platemaking, a vacuum device for holding copy and reproduction material in contact during exposure.

Varnish - A thin coating applied after printing, used for esthetic reasons or to protect the printed surface. Varnish can be either matte or gloss and can be applied to either all of the surface or to a portion (“spot varnish”).

Vehicle - In printing inks, the fluid component which acts as a carrier for the pigment.

Vellum finish - In papermaking, a toothy finish which is relatively absorbent for fast ink penetration.

Velox - Kodak trade name for high-contrast photographic paper. Also refers to a positive made by contact printing a negative to such paper.

Verso - The left-hand page in an open book, usually bearing the even page number.

Vignette - An illustration in which the background fades gradually away until it blends into the unprinted paper.

Vignette halftone - Halftone whose background gradually fades into white.

Vinyl-bind - Treatment for paperback books. The cover is removed, reinforce and laminated. The contents are fan glued and cased into the cover.

Viscosity - The resistance of a fluid to flowing freely caused by friction of its molecules.

Volatile - Easily passing from a liquid into a gaseous state. Subject to rapid pressure at room temperature.


Walk-off - In lithography, the failure of part of an image to adhere to the metal plate during printing.

Warm color - In printing, a color which is on the reddish side.

Wash up - To clean ink from rollers, fountains, an other components of a press.

Wash up - Removing printing ink from a press, washing the rollers and blanket. Certain ink colors require multiple washups to avoid ink and chemical contamination.

Waste - A term for planned spoilage.

Water fountain - Reservoir on a press to hold fountain solution.

Water-less printing - In offset, printing on a press using special waterless plates and no dampening system.

Watermark - A distinctive design created in paper at the time of manufacture that can be easily seen by holding the paper up to a light.

Wax engraving - In letterpress platemaking, a method of engraving or impressing lines or type in wax, thereby creating a mold which can be electrotyped. Used for ruled forms.

Web - A roll of paper used in web or rotary printing.

Web break - Break in paper running through a web press, causing production to stop.

Web offset - An offset press in which the paper is fed from a roll and printed on both sides in one continuous web as opposed to sheet-fed presses.

Web Press - A printing press that prints onto a continuous sheet of paper, fed from a large roll (called a web). Web presses print much faster than sheet-fed presses.

Web tension - The amount of pull or tension applied in the direction of travel of a web of paper by the action of a web-fed press.

Web - A roll of printing paper.

Weight - See Basis weight (of paper).

Wet strength - A measure of the physical strength properties of paper when saturated with water expressed in terms of wet tensile strength, wet bursting strength etc.

Wetting agent - Chemical agent used to overcome the reluctance of a liquid to spread over the surface of a dissimilar material by reduction of the surface tension of the liquid.

White space - Designer term referring to non-image area that frames or sets off copy.

Widow - In composition, a single word in a line by itself, ending a paragraph; frowned upon in good typography.

Window - A cut out area in a carton that reveals the contents therein.

Window adhesive - An adhesive used to bond various types of window films to a carton, enabling the interior of the carton to be seen.

Window - Block of masking material on a mechanical that shows position of a photograph or other visual element. Also, an area cut out of masking material.

Wipe-on plate - In offset-lithography, a plate on which a light-sensitive coating is wiped on or applied with a coating machine.

Wire side - That side of a sheet of paper or paperboard which was formed in contact with the wire of the paper machine during the process of manufacture.

Wire-O Binding - A type of spiral binding comprising a double set of wire loops inserted into punched or drilled holes along the binding edge of a set of pages.

Wire-O - Trade name for method of mechanical binding using double loops of wire.

With the grain - Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.

Woodcut - An illustration in lines of varying thickness, cut in relief on plank-grain wood, for the purpose of making prints.

Word processor - A typewriter connected to a computerized recording medium to input, edit and output data.

Work and tumble -To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from gripper to back using the same side guide to print the second side.

Work and turn - To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from left to right and print the second side. The same gripper and plate is used for printing both sides.

Work order - Form used by printing companies to specify and schedule production of jobs and record the time, materials, and supplies that each job requires to complete.

Working film - Graphic arts negatives still loose or not composited.

Wove finish - Relatively smooth finish on paper achieved by moderate calendering.

Wove paper - Paper having uniform unlined surface and a soft, smooth finish.

Wraparound plate - In rotary letterpress, a thin, one-piece relief plate which is wrapped around the press cylinder like an offset plate. Can be used for direct or indirect (offset) printing.

Wrinkles - Creases in paper occurring during printing. In inks, the uneven surface formed during drying.

Wrong font - In proofreading, the mark "WF" indicates a letter or figure of the wrong size or face.

Wrong reading - Image that is backwards compared to the original.


Xerography - A copy process that utilizes a selenium surface and electrostatic forces to form an image. Hue of a subtractive primary and a 4-color process ink. It reflects red and green light and absorbs blue light.

X-Height - The height od the lowercase letters relative to the capitals; an important typographic concept. In the same point size, type with a greater x-height will present the illusion of being larger. For this reason, large x-heights are favored in display advertising.


Yada Yada Yada - Term used in place of etc, etc, etc...

Yankee dryer - A device that dries as it comes off the wet end of the paper making machine by pressing one side of the paper against a cylinder that seam-heats it and imparts a glazed finish at the same time.


Zahn Cup - A device for measuring viscosity.

Zinc - The metal intermediate image used to make the rubber flexographic plate.

Zinc Engravings - Line or halftone etchings made on zinc for letterpress printing. Also called zincs.

Zip Code Sorting - Presorting mail, other than first class, into zip code sequence prior to delivery to the post office. The extent of the sortint is dependent upon the class of the mail and other postal regulations.

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