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Glossary Of Terms

We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process. To help you gain a better understanding of what’s happening to your project, we’ve compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry.

  • Accordion Fold

    A type of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion affect.

  • Additive Colors

    In photographic reproduction, the primary colors red, green, and blue are mixed to form all other colors.

  • Album Paper

    A wood pulp paper with an antique finish used for the pages of photo albums.

  • Alignment

    The condition of type and/or art materials when leveled on a horizontal or vertical line.

  • Alley

    The term for a random row of white space within a segment of a copy.

  • American Paper Institute

    An organization affiliated with the American Forest and Paper Association. API regulates and catalogs information and statistics concerning paper, paperboard, and wood pulp.

  • Antique Finish

    Paper with a rough surface used for books and cover stock.

  • Apron

    The white area of or illustrations at the margins that forms a foldout.

  • Aqueous Plate

    Water-soluble plate coatings, a less toxic and more environmentally friendly alternative to other plate coatings.

  • Art Paper

    Evenly coated paper with a fine clay compound that creates a hard, smooth surface on one or both sides of the sheet.

  • Art-Lined Envelope

    An envelope lined with an extra fine paper, which can be either colored or patterned.

  • Artwork

    All materials and images prepared for graphic reproduction including: illustrations, ornamentations, photos, charts, etc.

  • Ascender

    Any part of a lower case letter that rises above the main body of the letter. Examples include: “d”, “b”, and “h.”

  • Author's Alterations (AA's)

    Changes made after the composition stage of a printing job in which the customer is responsible for all additional layout-related charges.

  • Autochrome paper

    Coated papers considered a superior medium for color printing jobs.

  • Azure

    A light blue color commonly used in textured “woven” and “laid” papers.

  • Back Lining

    The adherence of a material (either paper or cloth) to the back of a book before it is bound. See also: case binding.

  • Back Slant

    Any typeface tilting to the left or backwards direction (opposite of italic type).

  • Backbone

    The portion of a binding that connects the front of a book with the back of a book; also called “back.”

  • Banker's Flap Envelope

    An envelop with rounded flap edges. See also wallet flap.

  • Banner

    A primary headline that usually spans the entire width of a page.

  • Barrier Coat

    A coating applied onto the non-printed side of a sheet of paper that adds to the opacity of that paper.

  • Bas Relief

    A three-dimensional impression where the central image is positioned slightly out from the flat background. See also: blind emboss.

  • Base Line

    A term used to describe the imaginary horizontal line on which text (capital letters, lower case letters, punctuation marks, etc.) is positioned.

  • Basic Size

    A term referring to the standard size specific to paper stock brands. Actual size varies according to brand.

  • Basis Weight / Basic Weight

    A term referring to the weight in pounds, of a ream of paper (500 sheets) when cut to the standard size for that particular grade of paper.

  • BF

    An abbreviation for boldface used to determine when boldface will appear in a copy.

  • Bible Paper

    A thin, strong, and opaque paper used in the creation of Bibles and books.

  • Binder's Board

    Heavy paperboard with a cloth covering used in the process of hardback bookbinding.

  • Binding

    Various methods used to secure or fasten folded sections together and/or to a cover in order to form single copies of a book.

  • Blanket

    A fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber used in the offset press process to transfer plate impressions to paper.

  • Blanket To Blanket Press

    An offset printing method using two blanket cylinders, which a sheet of paper is passed through and then printed on both sides.

  • Bleed

    An area of extra ink that crosses the trim line of paper, most commonly used in the die-cut process and in full color projects requiring cutting.

  • Blind Emboss

    A design or bas-relief impression made without using inks or metal foils.

  • Blind Embossing

    Embossed forms that are not inked or gold-leafed.

  • Blind Folio

    Multi-paged project where page numbers are not printed on the page.

  • Blistering

    Paper contains approximately 5% moisture, and occasionally in cases of excess moisture, when paper is passed through a high-heat drying chamber, the moisture within the paper boils causing a bubble or blistering effect.

  • Blocking

    The adhesion of one coated sheet of paper to another that causes tears or coating particles to shed away from the paper surface..

  • Blow-up

    Any enlargement of photos, copies, or line art.

  • Body

    1)The main shank or portion of letter characters
    other than the ascenders and descanters.

    2)A term used to define the thickness or
    viscosity of printer’s ink.

  • Body Size

    The point size of a particular type character.

  • Boldface

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

  • Bond

    A grade of durable writing, printing, and typing paper that has a standard size of 17x22 inches.

  • Book

    A general classification to describe papers used to print books; its standard size is 25x38 inches. A printed work which contains more than 64 pages.

  • Book Block

    A term that applies to the end stage of bookmaking when pages are folded, gathered, and stitched but not yet cover-bound.

  • Bounce 1

    A registration problem that most commonly affects copiers; the printed image appears to bounce back and forth. A bounce usually occurs in one direction depending on how the paper passes through the copier, and is more likely to occur with heavy weight card stock.

  • Brace

    The character “{“ used to group lines and phrases.

  • Break For Color

    The term used in layout design for division or separation of art and copy elements into single color paste-up sheets.

  • Bristol Board

    A board paper of various thickness with a smooth finish used for printing and drawing.

  • Broad Fold

    A term given to paper folding when the paper is folded and the short side runs with the grain.

  • Brocade

    A heavily embossed paper.

  • Brochure

    A pamphlet that is folded and often bound in booklet form.

  • Bronzing

    A printing method in which a special ink is applied to sheets and then a powder is applied to produce a metallic effect.

  • Buckram

    A coarse cloth used in the bookbinding process.

  • Bulk

    · A term that applies to the thickness of paper
    in relation to its weight.
    · A term used to define the number of pages per
    inch of a book relative to its weight.

  • Bullet

    A boldface square or dot used to emphasize the importance of a sentence.

  • Burnishing

    The creation of a polished finish on paper requiring a stone rubbing or hand smoothing.

  • Burst Binding

    A binding technique that entails nicking the back-fold in short lengths during the folding process, which allows glue to reach individual paper leaves and create a strong bond.

  • Calendar Board

    A strong paperboard used for calendars and displays.

  • Calendar Rolls

    A series of metal rolls at the end of a paper machine that increase the smoothness and glossiness surface of paper.

  • Caliper

    A measurement of paper thickness expressed thousandths of an inch or mils.

  • Camera Ready

    A term given to a copy (inclusive of artwork) prepared for photographic reproduction.

  • Cap Line

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

  • Caps & Lower Case

    Instructions in the typesetting process that indicate the use of a capital letter to begin a sentence, and that subsequent letters will be in lower case.

  • Caps & Small Caps

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

  • Case

    The stiff covers of a hardbound book.

  • Case Binding

    Books bound using hard board (case) covers.

  • Casing In

    The process of placing in and adhering a book to its case covers.

  • Cast Coated

    A paper that is coated and pressure dried using a polished roller to impart an enamel-like, hard, gloss finish.

  • Catching Up

    A period of the printing process where non-image areas can take on ink or debris.

  • Chain Lines

    Lines that appear on laid paper as a result of the wires of the papermaking machine.

  • Chalking

    The quality of a print on paper when the paper absorbs so much ink that the image is compromised by loose pigment dust.

  • Chancery Italic

    A 13th century handwriting style that is the foundation of contemporary italic design.

  • Coated Art Paper

    Printing papers used for projects requiring special treatment of detail and shading.

  • Coated Paper

    Paper coated with clay, white pigments, and a binder. Recommended for printing because coated stock resists picking.

  • Coated Stock

    Paper that has a mineral coating applied after the papermaking process to provide a smooth finish.

  • Cold Color

    All colors that move toward the blue side of the color spectrum.

  • Collate

    Process of gathering and reproducing sheets in a specific order.

  • Collating Marks

    Black step-marks printed on the back of folded sheets used to facilitate the sequence of book signatures.

  • Colophon

    The symbol or emblem representing specific printers and publishers.

  • Color Bars

    The color test strip printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. This standard process allows pressmen to determine the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain. In combination with the Star Target (a similar system) inking problems are more identifiable.

  • Color Separating

    The separation of primary color components for printing.

  • Color Strength

    The relative amount of pigmentation in an ink.

  • Color Transparency

    A transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.

  • Column Gutter

    The space between two or more columns of type on the same page.

  • Commercial Register

    Color registration measured within plus or minus one row of dots.

  • Composition

    The assembly of characters into words, lines, and paragraphs of text, or body matter during the process of print reproduction.

  • Condensed Type

    A narrow and elongated typeface.

  • Continuous Tone

    An image comprised of non-discernable picture elements that give the appearance of a continuous spectrum of gray tones or values.

  • Contrast

    The degree of tonal separation or gradation within the black and white range.

  • Copy

    Any typewritten material, artwork, photograph, or image used in the printing process.

  • Copyboard

    A board used in the process of photographing copies.

  • Corner Marks

    Marks on a final printed sheet indicating trim lines and register.

  • Cover

    A general term that refers to common paper stocks used for the covers of books and pamphlets.

  • Cracking

    The failure of a laminate to properly adhere to the encapsulated material.

  • Creep

    Process in which the rubber blanket on a cylinder moves forward due to contact with either the plate or paper, as a result of the increased addition of folded sheets in during the folded signature process. The outer edges of folded sheets creep away from the back-most fold as additional folded sheets are inserted to the middle.

  • Crop

    The elimination of a portion of artwork or image using crop marks.

  • Crop Mark

    Markings at the edges of original pieces or on guide sheets that indicate the areas desired for inclusion and exclusion in the reproduction process.

  • Crossmarks

    The marking of fine and intersecting lines to indicate the accurate alignment of artwork.

  • Crossover

    A term used to describe the effect of ink from the image of one printed page when it carries over to another page within a bound book.

  • Curl

    A term used to describe the differences between either side of a paper sheet relative to coatings and absorbency. Curling prevents the paper sheet from lying flat and generally forms cylindrical or wavy shapes. The concave side of a paper sheet is the curl side.

  • Cut-off

    A term used in web press printing to describe the point at which a sheet of paper is cut from the roll. Generally this dimension is equal to that the circumference of the cylinder.

  • Cutter

    A machine used for accurately cutting a stack of paper to desired dimensions and occasionally used for creasing.

  • Cutting Die

    Sharp edged device (generally made of steel) used to cut paper, cardboard, and other materials on a printing press.

  • Cyan

    A shade of blue used in the four-color offset process that reflects blue and green while absorbing red.

  • Cylinder Gap

    The gap in the cylinders of a press where the grippers or bland clamps are located.

  • Dampening

    An essential part of the printing process in which cloth-covered rubber rollers distribute a dampening solution to the press plate.

  • Dandy Roll

    Occurs during the paper making process when paper is still 90% water and is passed over a wire mesh cylinder (the dandy roll). The dandy roll imparts surface textures on the paper.

  • Deckle Edge

    The rough or feathered edge of untrimmed paper.

  • Deep Etching

    The etching or removal of any unwanted areas of a plate to create more air or white space on the finished product.

  • Delete

    An instruction given to remove an element from layout.

  • Demy

    A term that describes a standard size printing paper measuring 17.5x22.5 inches.

  • Densitometer

    An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control color density.

  • Descender

    A term used to describe the portion of lower case letters extending below the main body of a letter. For example, “p.”

  • Diazo

    A light sensitive coal-tar product used as a coating on sensitized plates and overly proofs.

  • Die

    Design, letters, or shapes cut into metal (usually brass) pieces used for impressing book covers and embossing.

  • Die Cutting

    A method using sharp, steel-ruled stamps or rollers to cut shapes (labels, boxes, images) either post press or in line. The process of cutting paper in specific shapes and designs utilizes a wooden die or block wherein steel rules are positioned in the shape of the desired pattern.

  • Die Stamping

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

  • Digital Proof

    A process preceding color printing, color separation data is digitally stored to create a picture of the final product prior to project production.

  • Diploma

    A fine paper made specifically for printing diplomas, certificates, and other high quality documents.

  • Display Type

    Type that stands out from the rest the type on a document to attract the attention of readers

  • Distribution Rollers

    The rubber coated roller responsible for the distribution of ink from the fountain to the ink drum.

  • Dog Ear

    Generally occurs when a document is folded into a fold (like a letter fold). Sometimes at the side of the creases an indentation resembling a small inverted triangle forms.

  • Dot

    The smallest component of a halftone.

  • Dot Gain

    Refers to the printing of dots at larger sizes than normal, a consequence of darkening halftone images due to ink absorption in paper.

  • Draw-down

    Refers to the printing of dots at larger sizes than normal, a consequence of darkening halftone images due to ink absorption in paper.

  • Drier

    A term referring to ink additives used to expedite the drying process.

  • Drill

    The drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.

  • Drop Folio

    Page numbers printed at the foot of a page.

  • Drop Shadow

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

  • Dry Mount

    The process of adhering paper to sturdy materials (foamcore, gatorboard, sintra) using heat sensitive adhesives.

  • Dry Offset

    A process in which a metal plate is etched to a depth of 0.15mm making a right-reading relief plate. The plate is then printed directly onto the offset blanket and then onto paper without the use of water.

  • Ductor Roller

    The roller between the inking and dampening rollers.

  • Dull Finish

    Any paper with a matte finish.

  • Dummy

    The preliminary assembly of copy and art elements that will be ultimately reproduced to form the finished product. See also Comp.

  • Dummy Model

    A model that resembles the final product in every respect except the pages and cover remain blank. Designers use the dummy model as a final check on the appearance and feel of a book, and as a guide for the size and position of images and text on the jacket.

  • Duotone

    A color reproduction made from a monochrome original composed of a key-plate usually printed in dark color for detail and a second plate printed in light, flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction is generated from one-color photos.

  • Duplex Paper

    A paper with a different color or finish on each side.

  • Dutch

    Deckle edged papers originally produced in the Netherlands.

  • Dye-Based Ink

    Ink that acquires color through aniline pigments or dyes.

  • Eggshell Finish

    A paper finish wherein the surface resembles and eggshell. Eggshell finishes are achieved by omitting the calendar process.

  • Electronic Composition

    The semblance of characters into words, lines, and paragraphs of text or body with graphic elements into a digital page layout format used for reproduction in the printing process.

  • Elliptical Dot

    Halftone screens in which the dots are elongated to produce improved middle tones.

  • Em

    A unit of measurement equaling 12 points or 4.5mm.

  • Embossed

    A method of paper finishing that involves pressing a pattern into dry paper.

  • Embossing

    A process in which a design or letters already printed on card stock are raised using an inked black or die. In rubber and plastic plate making the process generally requires heat.

  • Emulsion

    A light-sensitive substance made from a silver halide compound used as a coating for film.

  • Enamel

    A term referring to glossy paper coatings.

  • Endsheet

    One of final steps in bookbinding in which the final sheet of a signature book is attached.

  • English Finish

    A grade of uncoated book paper with a smooth and uniform surface.

  • Engraving

    A printing process that involves the etching of artwork or images onto a plate. When ink is applied the etched areas act as small wells and hold the ink. When paper is forced against this type of die the ink is lifted out of the etched areas and creates raised images on the paper.

  • Estimate

    A form commonly used by printers to calculate project costs for print buyers. Estimating involves the basic elements of the product and including: size, quantity, colors, bleeds, and labor.

  • Etching

    Process of producing an image on a plate using acid.

  • Even Smalls

    The use of smaller sized capitals at the beginning of a sentence without the use of larger sized capitals.

  • Expanded Type

    Type with a greater width than standard type that produces a rectangular effect.

  • Extender

    When a white pigment is added to a colored pigment in order to reduce color intensity and improve working quality.

  • F&G

    A term used in the bindery process that refers to folding and gathering. F&G is sometimes combined with stitching.

  • Fan Fold

    Paper folding that resembles the style of an accordion or fan; folds are placed at alternate, parallel directions.

  • Felt

    A cloth conveyor belt that receives paper from the Fourdrinier wire and delivers it to the drier.

  • Felt Finish

    The smoother side of paper, usually a soft weave pattern used for book paper stock.

  • Felt Side

    The top edge of a sheet that does not lie on the Fourdrinier wire during the papermaking process.

  • Filling In

    An error in the offset printing process that occurs when ink fills in the fine line of halftone dot areas.

  • Finish

    The surface quality of paper.

  • Fit

    The registration of images within a given page.

  • Flush Cover

    Process in which the cover page is trimmed to the same size as interior text pages.

  • Fogging Back

    When the density of an image is lowered in a specific area (without compromising the presence the image) in order to increase legibility of type in relation to background.

  • Foils

    Papers with a surface resembling metal.

  • Fold Marks

    Markings at the top edges of a page that show where folds should occur.

  • Folder

    Machine used to fold signature booklets into sections.

  • Folio

    A page number positioned at the top or bottom, either center, flush-left, or flush-right. See also page number.

  • Font

    The characters that comprise a complete typeface and size.

  • Form Rollers

    The rollers that come into direct contact with the plate of an offset printing press.

  • Fourdrinier

    A machine with a copper wire screen used during the paper making process that receives the pulp that will be turned into paper.

  • Free sheet

    Paper that is free of wood pulp impurities.

  • French Fold

    Fold in which the printing is on one side of the paper sheet so that when each end is folded the printing remains on the outside of the folds.

  • Fringe

    Colors that lose tone and permanency when exposed to light.

  • Fugitive inks

    Colors that lose tone and permanency when exposed to light.

  • Fuzz

    Fibers that project from the paper surface.

  • Gang

    A grouping of frames or impositions from different jobs with the same format that can be positioned to print together.

  • Ganging

    Bundling two or more printing projects on the same sheet of paper.

  • Gather

    To assemble different sections of complete books into single copies for binding.

  • Gathering

    Process of assembling sheets of paper and signatures into the proper sequence. See also Collating.

  • Ghosting

    Occurs when an image appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print. Ghosting is a consequence of localized blanket depressions from previous image areas, and occasionally effects letterpress rotary machines and offset printing presses.

  • Gigo

    Literally “garbage in, garbage out.” When the project originals are in bad shape, subsequent copies will be in similar if not worse condition. For problem projects it is always best to check with the printer prior to printing a job.

  • Gilding

    When a liquid agent is used to adhere gold leaf edges to books. The gold leaf affect is made permanent with burnishing tools.

  • Glassine

    A strong transparent paper.

  • Gloss Ink

    Quick drying oil based inks with low penetration qualities, used on coated stock.

  • Goldenrod

    An orange colored paper with gridlines, used to assemble materials for exposure for platemaking.

  • Graduated Screen

    The area of an image where halftone dots range continuously from one density to another.

  • Grain

    Direction of paper sheet fibers that control paper properties.

  • Grained Paper

    A paper embossed to resemble a variety of textures. For example: leather, alligator skin, wood.

  • Gripper

    A series of metal fingers used to secure paper sheets throughout the printing process.

  • Gripper Edge

    The grippers of the printing press that secure the leading edge of paper sheets.

  • Gumming

    Application of gum Arabic to the non-printing side of a plate.

  • Gutter

    · The inside margin or space between pages
    towards the binding edge of a book.

    · The blank space or margin between the type
    page and binding of a book.

  • Hairline register

    Printing registration located between the range of plus or minus one-half row of dots, the thinnest of standard rules.

  • Halftone

    Tone-graduated image composed of dots or lines of various sizes sharing equidistant centers.

  • Hard Dot

    Specific to photographs in which a dot has such a small degree of halation the sharpness of the dot increases.

  • Head Margin

    The space between the top of the printed copy and the trimmed edge.

  • Hickies

    Imperfections in presswork caused by dirt and trapping errors.

  • High Bulk Paper

    Paper stock that is comparatively thick in relation to its basis weight.

  • Highlight Dot

    The highest density of a halftone image.

  • Highlights

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

  • Hollow

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

  • House Sheet

    Paper regularly stocked by a printer.

  • IBC

    Inside back cover.

  • IFC

    Inside front cover.

  • Image Area

    The specific area on a printing plate that carries ink and prints on paper.

  • Image Setter

    High resolution, large format device for producing film from electronically generated page layouts.

  • Imposition

    Arrangement of pages on a press sheet in a manner that ensures pages are in proper order prior to folding.

  • Impression

    · The printed product resulting from a full
    cycle through a printing machine.

    · The pressure of the image carrier (type,
    plate, blanket) when it contacts the paper.

  • Index Bristol

    A thick paper stock with a basis size of 25.5x30.5

  • Indicia

    Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes as an alternative to using postage stamps.

  • Ink Fountain

    A device that stores and meters ink to inking rollers.

  • Ink Holdout

    A type of paper resistant to ink absorption in which ink then dries on the surface of paper.

  • Ink Mist

    Threads or filaments protruding from the main printed letter body as seen in newsprint.

  • Ink Setting

    Resistance to flow occurring after ink has been printed.

  • Inserts

    Printed pages inserted into printing projects.

  • Interleaves

    Blank pages inserted into a book after printing.

  • Italic

    Forward slanting type indicative of particular emphasis.

  • Jacket

    The paper or “dust cover” of a hardbound book.

  • Job Number

    The number assigned to a printing project used for record keeping, job tracking, and re-ordering.

  • Jog

    High-speed vibration of finished pages used to ensure uniform alignment prior to the cutting process.

  • Jogger

    Sloping platform used in the jogging process.

  • Kerning

    Narrowing of space between two letters in order to create more space on the page.

  • Key Plate

    The most detailed printing plate used as a guide for other plates in the color printing process.

  • Keying

    The use of symbols that will appear on the dummy and are used to code a copy.

  • Keyline

    Lines drawn on artwork indicating exact placement, shape, and size of all variables (halftones, illustrations, type) involved in copy format.

  • Kiss Impression

    A coarse and unbleached paper used for printing industrial products.

  • Laid Finish

    A paper with parallel lines with a handmade look.

  • Laser Engraving

    A paper cutting technique involving laser technology. A laser is used to cut away (evaporate) unmasked areas of paper.

  • Lay Edge

    Edge of the paper sheet fed into the printing press.

  • Layout

    A rendition of the final printed piece created prior to the printing a project.

  • Leading

    · The space between lines of type.

    · The distance in points between one baseline
    and the next.

  • Leaf

    One unit of folds containing two pages that comprise a book or manuscript.

  • Leaf Stamping

    A metal die (flat or embossed) created from an image or copy that is heated in order to transfer the film of pigmented polyester to paper.

  • Ledger Paper

    A stiff and heavy paper used for keeping records.

  • Length

    The optimum length of a filament of ink.

  • Letter-spacing

    The addition of space between typeset letters.

  • Letterpress

    A print process involving the use of raised ink surfaces to create an image.

  • Line Copy

    The process of copy reproduction without halftone screens.

  • Linen

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

  • Lithocoated Paper

    A paper coated with water-resistant material in order to withstand the lithographic process.

  • Lithography

    Print process involving the use of flat ink surfaces to create an image.

  • Logotype

    A personalized type or symbol created for a specific company or product.

  • M Weight

    The weight of 1000 sheets of a specific size of paper.

  • Machine Coated

    Paper that receives a coating on one or both sides during the papermaking process.

  • Machine Direction

    Grain direction.

  • Magnetic Black

    Black pigments containing black iron oxides used for magnetic ink character recognition.

  • Make Ready

    Process involving final plate adjustment on the printing press.

  • Margin

    Space around the edge of a paper copy.

  • Mark-up

    Process of writing instructions for use on a dummy.

  • Matte Finish

    A coated paper finish involving a minimal amount of calendaring.

  • Measure

    The width of type measured in picas.

  • Mechanical

    A term used to describe finished camera-ready artwork

  • Metropolitan Service Area

    A group of zip codes within close proximately that define a large metropolitan area (New York, Boston, etc.).

  • Midtone Dot

    The space in a halftone image between the highlight and shadow area of a subject’s face.

  • Moiré

    An undesirable halftone pattern produced by incorrect angles of overprinted halftone screens.

  • Mottle

    A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.

  • Natural

    A term referring to papers with a color similar to wood. Common color variations include: cream, off-white, and ivory.

  • Nominal Weight

    When the basis weight of a paper differs from the actual weight.

  • OA Of Register

    When two sheet-passes on a press are misaligned.

  • OBC

    Outside back cover.

  • Oblong Bound

    A term used to describe printed books, catalogs, etc., bound on the shorter side. Also called album bound.

  • OFC

    Outside front cover.

  • Offset

    The most common type of printing methods. In the offset process paper sheets do not receive the ink directly from the printing plate, rather from an intermediary cylinder (blanket) that transfers ink from the plate onto paper.

  • Offset Lithography

    Printing method in which the inked image on the press-plate is initially printed on a rubber blanket that transfers the inked impression to paper.

  • Offset Paper

    A term for uncoated book paper.

  • Onionskin

    A light-weight bond paper used in carbon paper printing.

  • Opacity

    Paper characteristic used to describe the ability of paper stocks to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.

  • Opaque

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

  • Opaque Ink

    Ink able to cover all ink under itself.

  • Over Run

    Surplus of printed copies.

  • Overhang Cover

    A book cover that extends over interior trimmed signatures.

  • Overprinting

    Printing done on top of an area that has been previously printed on.

  • Overset

    Type set in excess of allotted space.

  • Page

    One side of a leaf.

  • Page Makeup

    The assemblage of all the necessary elements required to complete a page.

  • Page Proofs

    Proofs made up from pages.

  • Paperboard

    Any paper with a thickness (caliper) of 12 points (.3mm) or more.

  • Papeterie

    A high-grade soft paper used for personal stationery because it accepts handwriting well.

  • Parchment

    A hard, finished paper resembling the texture of animal skin, and used for documents requiring handwriting.

  • Parent Sheet

    A sheet that is larger than the cut stock of the same paper.

  • Paste-up

    Preparation of positive materials into a layout for the process of photographing to film negatives.

  • Perf Marks

    Markings indicating perforation placement.

  • Perfect

    A term used to describe the binding process where a flexible adhesive is applied to hold signatures together.

  • Perfect Binding

    Binding process in which the backs of sections are removed, roughened, glued together, and then rung in a cover.

  • Perfecting

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

  • Perforating

    A process that involves punching small holes or slits into a sheet of paper or other stock to facilitate tearing along a desired line.

  • Pica

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

  • Picking

    · The lifting of a paper surface that occurs
    when the tack of the ink is stronger than the
    surface strength of the paper.

    · The appearance of spots that occurs when the
    tack of the ink pulls fibers or coating off
    the paper surface.

  • Piling

    A build up of pigment or paper coatings on the plate, blankets, or rollers.

  • Pin Register

    Use of metal pins fitted into preset holes in copy sheets to ensure proper registration.

  • Pin-holing

    The failure of printed ink to form a completely continuous film, which results in visible small holes within the printed area.

  • Plastic Comb

    The failure of printed ink to form a completely continuous film, which results in visible small holes within the printed area.

  • Plate Cylinder

    The part of a printing press on which the plate is mounted.

  • Plate Making

    The process of creating a printing-plate from an electronic image including: preparation of the plate surface, sensitizing, exposing through the flat, developing or processing, and finishing.

  • Plate Setter

    High resolution, large format device used to produce plates from electronically generated page layouts.

  • Point

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

  • Ppi

    Pixels per inch.

  • Press Proof

    Press sheet that shows image, tone values, tone colors, and the imposition of the frame or press-plate.

  • Primary Colors

    In the printing industry, there are four primary colors: cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, black.

  • Printability

    The degree to which paper captures quality printed images.

  • Printers Pairs

    The degree to which paper captures quality printed images.

  • Process Inks

    Inks used in the print process, generally in a set of four colors made up of yellow, magenta, cyan, and black. Each ink color is printed over the other (in the same order as listed above) to obtain a colored print with the desired hues, whites, blacks, and grays.

  • Process Printing

    Printing from two or more halftones to produce intermediate colors and shades.

  • Progressive Proofs

    Proof generated from separate plates of a multi-plate printing project.

  • Pull For Position

    Guide sheet used to position type, blocks, etc.

  • Rag paper

    Paper with a complete or partial fiber content.

  • Ragged Left

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

  • Ragged Right

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

  • Railroad Board

    A thick, coated paper, generally waterproofed, often used to create signs.

  • Readers Pairs

    Two consecutive pages as they appear in the printed piece.

  • Ream

    500 sheets of paper.

  • Recto

    The odd numbered pages (right side) of books.

  • Register

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

  • Register Marks

    Cross-marks and symbols used in layout to ensure proper image registration.

  • Right Angle Fold

    Folds that are at 90 degree angles from on another.

  • Rubine

    A pigment that is redder than true magenta.

  • Run-Around

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

  • Runability

    How well a specific type of paper runs on a printing press.

  • Running Head

    A title that appears at the top of all pages in a book or pages in the chapter of a book.

  • Saddle Stitching

    A type of stitching in which wire staples pass through the spine of a booklet from the outside and are clinched in the center of the interior. Saddle Stitching is only used with single folded sections (two or more sections can be inset to form a single section).

  • Satin Finish

    A smooth, delicately embossed, finished paper with sheen.

  • Scaling

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

  • Score

    Bindery process in which Impressions or cuts are made in flat material to facilitate bending, tearing, and folding.

  • Screen Angles

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

  • Screen Ruling

    A measurement equal to the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.

  • Scum

    Unwanted ink marks in the non-image area of a copy.

  • Self Cover

    A cover made out the same paper stock as the interior sheets of a booklet.

  • Shadow Dot

    The lowest density of a halftone image.

  • Sharpen

    The process of decreasing the dot size of a halftone in order to decrease the strength of a color.

  • Sheet Wise

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

  • Show Through

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

  • Side Guide

    Guides on the sides of a sheet-fed press used to position the sheet sideways as it moves towards the front guides.

  • Side Stitching

    A type of stitching in which wire staples pass through an inset pile of sections or leaves and clinched on the underside.

  • Signature (Section)

    Printed sheet comprised of any given number of pages in a book. Pages are placed in a specific order so that once folded and bound will form a complete section.

  • Silhouette halftone

    A halftone with the background screen removed.

  • Slitting

    A cutting process in which printed sheets are cut by the wheels of a printing press.

  • Smoothness

    A characteristic of paper defined by the quality of levelness, which allows pressure consistency in printing and ensures uniformity of print.

  • Spine

    Back edge of a book.

  • Spiral Bind

    A binding method utilizing a spiral piece made of wire or plastic that is inserted into drilled holes to secure pages.

  • Spot Color

    Small area printed in a second color.

  • Spread

    An image that is larger than the original image and used to accommodate ink and trapping. See also trapping.

  • Stabbing

    A binding method utilizing wire staples which simultaneously enter a series of pages from the front and back (neither staple is long enough to penetrate the front or back).

  • Stability

    A paper characteristic concerning the ability to maintain original size when exposed to changes in pressure and moisture.

  • Stagger Cutting

    The process of cutting many sheets from the same parent sheet so that smaller sheets have different grain directions. See also Dutch or Bastard Cutting.

  • Star Target

    A quality control image established by The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation that appears in addition to the Color Bar to help pressmen detect irregularities in the ink spread. See also Color Bar.

  • Static Neutralizer

    A printing press component that minimizes the amount of static build up on paper during the print process.

  • Stet

    A symbol used by proofreaders to indicate a copy marked for correction should be left as it was.

  • Stock

    A term for unprinted paper or other printing material.

  • Stumping

    Process of impressing book covers, etc., using hot die, brass types, or blocks. See also Blocking. See also Blocking.

  • Super Calendaring

    A procedure used in the papermaking process in which the finished surface of paper is made extremely smooth for superior printing quality.

  • Synthetic Papers

    Petroleum based waterproof papers containing a high tensile strength.

  • Tack

    The adhesive quality of inks.

  • Tag

    A dense, strong paper stock.

  • Tensile Strength

    A paper's ability to withstand pressure.

  • Text

    A high quality printing paper.

  • Thermography

    A type of printing process in which ink is applied to paper and lightly dusted with a resinous powder while still wet. Paper is then passed through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.

  • Ticket Envelope

    Envelopes generally used for theater tickets.

  • Tint

    A halftone screen containing dots of equal size.

  • Tooth

    The rough surface-finish of papers like vellum or antique.

  • Transparent

    Type of inks that do not block out colored inks they are printed over, but rather blend to create intermediate colors.

  • Trapping

    The process of printing wet ink over printed ink that is either wet or dry.

  • Trim Marks

    Marks placed on a sheet to indicate where pages should be cut.

  • Two-sidedness

    The difference in feel and appearance between two sides of the same sheet of paper. In the papermaking process every sheet is exposed to a felt and wire side that accounts for this difference.

  • Up

    A term used to describe how many similar images can be produced on a larger sheet. Banking images expedites the printing process and decreases waste.

  • Upright

    A term given to books bound on the longer dimension.

  • Varnish

    A clear, shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces; a primary component of the ink vehicle. See also vehicle.

  • Vellum

    A rough, bulky paper-finish with a significant degree of tooth.

  • Velour Paper

    Papers coated with an adhesive and then flock dusted.

  • Verso

    A term referring to left-hand or even-numbered pages of a book.

  • Vignette

    A photo or illustration in which tones fade gradually and blend into the print surface.

  • W&T

    Abbreviation for work and turn.

  • Washup

    The procedure of cleaning particular inks from all components of the printing press (e.g. rollers, plate, ink fountain).

  • Watermark

    A translucent logo embossed during a stage in papermaking when the paper slurry is on the dandy roll. See also Dandy Roll.

  • Web

    Roll of paper used in web or rotary printing.

  • Web Press

    A cylinder printing machine in which paper is fed from a continuous reel.

  • Wedding Paper

    A soft, thick paper able to withstand the embossing process.

  • Widow

    · A single word, or piece of a sentence at the
    end of a paragraph, which extends onto the
    next page and stands alone.

    · The last sentence of a paragraph containing
    only one or two short words.

  • Wire Side

    The side of the sheet that lies on the wire screen side of a papermaking machine.

  • Wire Stitching

    Bindery process of fastening sheets, signatures, or sections together with wire staples. See also Saddle-Stitching, Side-Stitching, Stabbing, Stapling.

  • Wove

    A smooth paper made on a finely textured wire that gives paper a gentle, patterned finish.

  • Writing Paper

    Bond paper.

  • Xerographic Paper

    Papers made specifically for use in copy machines and printers.