Products & Services
Printing Terms Glossary
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ISO standard paper size 210 x 297mm or 8.3 x 11.7". The common paper size used outside the US in place of 8.5 x 11.
Against the Grain
Running a sheet of paper through a printing press at right angles to the grain direction of the paper, as opposed to with the grain. This is usually suboptimal for both press operation and registration of the 4 colour process inks. Sometimes called cross grain.
The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text and other components needed to produce a printed piece. Can also now refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.
Any element that extends up to or past the edge of a printed page.
A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.
When ink or coating causes printed sheets of paper in a pile to stick together, causing damage when they are separated. This is normally caused by not enough anti-offset powder or too much ink, and usually ruins the printed job.
A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.
PaperPaper that is chemically treated to transfer the impression from the first page to the subsequent pages.
The two pages that face each other in the centre of a book or publication.
Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.
Change in the perceived colour of elements on a printed piece caused by changes or irregularities in ink densities, dot gain, or colour register during a four-colour printing press run.
Transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.
The extent to which printing ink covers the surface of a printed sheet. Ink coverage is frequently expressed as light, medium or heavy.
To reduce the size of an image.
Small printed lines around the edges of a printed piece indicating where it is to be cut out of the sheet. Sometimes referred to as cut marks.
Colour separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to colour photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed with ink.
The drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.
A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the colour separation negatives and passed through electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.
The molding and reshaping of paper by the use of special metal dies and heat, counter dies and pressure, to produce a raised image on the paper surface.
Another term for gloss coated paper.
Encapsulated Post Script. A standard file format used to transfer postscript formatting information between applications.
An ink colour added to a printed piece in addition to the standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black used in 4 colour process printing. Usually a Pantone spot colour or custom formulated ink. Requires an extra run through the press on a four colour press adding to the cost. Some presses have five units to accommodate fifth colours or clear coatings.
Then metal sheet that is applied to paper using the foil stamping process. Frequently gold coloured, but available in many colours.
Stamping a thin sheet of metallic foil onto a sheet of paper and then embossing a pattern under it, creating a three dimensional raised area, usually text or an image.
Impressing metallic foil onto paper with a heated die.
The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.
The combining of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.
A three or four panel fold where the two outside panels fold inward to meet in the centre. In an open gate fold, there are three panels, the bottom of which is twice the size of the folded panels. In a closed gatefold, there are four panels of roughly equal size where the outer panels are folded inward together.
Assembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence.
Also known as gloss ghosting. A condition occurring during the printing process when vapors from drying ink on one side of a press sheet interact chemically with dry ink or blank paper on sheets in contact with or on the reverse side of the same sheet creating unintended faint images.
Paper fibers lie in a similar direction in a sheet of paper. This direction is called the grain. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.
A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through a printing press.
The side of a piece of paper held by the gripper fingers as it passes through a printing press. Nothing can be printed in this area.
A blank space or margin between components on a printed piece or press sheet.
Using small dots to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size and the number of dots per square inch.
That portion of a printing plate that carries ink and prints on paper.
The correct sequential arrangement of pages that are to be printed, along with all the margins in proper alignment, before producing the plates for printing.
An image and/or text pre-printed on mailing envelopes in place of a stamp.
Ink Dry Back
When printed ink colours become lighter or less dense after they have dried on the paper.
A piece of printed material that is inserted into another piece of printed material, such as a magazine or catalog.
Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.
Or dust jacket. The paper cover sometimes called the "dust cover" of a hardbound book.
To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming or binding.
Adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line of text from end to end. Sometimes referred to as word spacing.
The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.
Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations, etc.
A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.
LaminationApplying thin transparent plastic sheets to both sides of a sheet of paper, providing scuff resistance, waterproofing and extended use.
A document layout where the width is greater than the height. (the opposite of Portrait)
A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., of a final printed piece.
Space between lines of type. The distance in points between one baseline and the next.
Printing that utilises inked raised surfaces, usually type, to create the image.
The addition of space between typeset letters.
Line copyAny copy that can be reproduced without the use of a halftone screen.
A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.
LithographyThe process of printing that utilises flat or curved inked surfaces to create the printed images.
A personalised type or design symbol for a company or product.
A small magnifier used to observe the details on a printed sheet.
One of the four process colours, or CMYK, the M is for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red colour with some blue. Magenta, cyan and yellow are also the three subtractive primary colours.
Black ink containing iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition used for check printing.
Paper that is used in the press set-up process before the printing run actually starts. Or the process of setting up press or bindery equipment to produce a specific product, including setting paper size, ink density, image alignment, fold sizes, etc., in preparation for the actual production run.
A coated paper finish that goes through minimal calendaring.
Ink that looks metallic when printed. Made with powdered metal or pigments that look metallic. The most common colours used are gold and silver.
A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.
A term to describe papers that have a colour similar to that of wood, also called cream, off-white or ivory.
A light, low-cost unbleached paper made especially for newspaper printing.
An erroneous variation of the word "setoff". Ink that is unintentionally transferred from a printed sheet to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile when printed.
The most commonly used printing method, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.
A term for sometimes used for uncoated book paper.
A light bond paper used for typing and used with carbon paper because of its thinness.
Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.
Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.
A process of proof-making whereby the colour separations are individually exposed to light sensitive film. This film is then set in registration with a piece of white paper in the background.
Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.
Quantities of sheets printed over the requested number of copies.
The total number of pages in a book, magazine or publication. Sometimes referred to as the extent.
The numbering of individual pages in a multi-page document.
A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.
Parent sheetA sheet that is larger than the cut stock of the same paper.
A binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.
A printing press that prints on both sides of a sheet in a single pass through the press.
A typesetting unit of measurement equaling 1/6th of an inch.
PickingAn occurrence in printing whereby the tack of ink pulls fibers or coating off the paper surface, leaving spots on the printed surface.
A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.
The abbreviation of the Pantone Color Matching System.
PointA measurement unit equal to 1/72 of an inch. 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch.
A document layout in which the height is greater than the width. (the opposite of Landscape)
A tradename of Adobe Systems, Inc. for its page description language. This language translates a digital file from an application into a language a compatible printer or other device can use to create its output.
Pages per inch or pixels per inch.
Any paper that is considered better than grade #1 by its manufacturer.
When a client visits a printing company to view actual printed sheets of their project before a full production press run is started.
Printed sample made on the press that a project will be printed on to show exactly how it will actually print using the paper, ink and plates to be used for the final press run.
Self-adhesive paper covered by a backing sheet.
A system where a colour image is separated into different colour values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens or digitally with a software program and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original colour image.
Any proofs made from the separate colours of a multi-colour printing project.
Short for QuarkXPress, one of the primary computer applications used in graphic design.
Quote or Quotation
A price estimate to produce a specific printed piece, frequently with custom attributes not priceable in standard online pricing tools.
500 sheets of paper.
The arrangement of two or more printed images in exact alignment with each other.
Any crossmarks or other symbols used on a press sheet to assure proper registration.
The colour space of Red, Green and Blue. These are the primary colours of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. An RGB computer file must be translated into the CMYK (the primary colours of pigment) colour space in order to be printed on a printing press.
Using multiple ink colours in addition to black to produce a deep, dark black colour. Common CMYK values used are 30% Cyan, 20% Magenta, 20% Yellow and 100% Black.
Right angle fold
A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.
A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.
The binding of booklets or other printed materials by stapling the pages on the folded spine.
A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.
To crease paper with a metal rule for the purpose of making folding easier.
The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moiré patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45º, magenta 75º, yellow 90º, and cyan 105º.
A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.
A printed area of colour created by dots of a certain screen percentage instead of using a layer of solid ink. Frequently used to create a coloured area on the sheet, or tint the entire sheet instead of using coloured paper.
Unwanted deposits of ink in the non-image area of a printed piece.
A cover that is the same paper stock as the internal sheets.
To decrease the dot size of a halftone, which in turn decreases the colour strength.
The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the sheet over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.
When the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side, a frequent problem with thin papers.
Side guideThe guides on the sides of a printing press that consistently positions the sheet sideways as it is fed through the press.
The stapling of sheets or signatures on the side closest to the spine.
A printed sheet with multiple pages on it that is folded so that the pages are in their proper numbered sequence, as in a book.
That quality of paper defined by its levelness that allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.
Inks made with soy oils instead of petroleum as the base. They are considered to be more environmentally friendly, a standard component of green printing.
A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiralled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.
A term for unprinted paper.
A machine procedure that produces a very smooth paper surface that is exceptional for printing.
Any non-wood or cloth paper, usually petroleum (plastic) based.
A high quality light weight printing paper.
A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and, while the ink is still wet, is lightly dusted with a resinous powder. The paper then passes through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.
A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots, or a diluted variation of a full strength colour.
The overlapping of one colour over a different, adjacent colour to ensure that no white space is visible where the two colours meet, especially when there are slight variations in the registration of the two colours during the printing process. Or the process of printing wet ink over wet or dry previously printed ink.
Marks placed on the printed sheet to indicate where cuts should be made.
The final size of a printed piece after being cut from the sheet of paper that it was printed on.
A spelling mistake in printed material resulting from a mistake in typing or setting type.
Under colour removal
The removing of cyan, magenta, or yellow from a heavily coloured image to limit the total amount of ink being applied to that image to avoid potential production problems.
A term used to describe how many similar pieces can be printed on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.
A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to printed material. It is applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light.
Variable Data Printing
Is a form of on-demand printing in which elements (such as text, graphics, photographs, etc) can be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the press, using information from a database. For example, a set of personalised letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter.
A clear coating added to printed material as a protective layer for improved scuff resistance and usually higher gloss.
VellumA finish of paper that is somewhat bulky and is slightly rough.
A photo or illustration, in which the tones fade gradually away until they blend with the background they are printed on.
A colour with a reddish tone rather than a blue tone. Browns, oranges, reds, and yellows are generally considered to be "warm" colours.
The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from the unit of a printing press.
A translucent mark or image that is embossed during the papermaking process, or printed onto paper, which is visible when the paper is held up to the light.
A printing press that prints on rolls of paper passed through the press in one continuous piece, as opposed to individual sheets of paper.
A single word or two left at the end of a paragraph, or a part of a sentence ending a paragraph, which loops over to the next page and stands alone. Also, the last sentence of a paragraph, which contains only one or two short words.
Work and Turn
A printing production format that has the front and back of a printed piece on one side of the paper, that is then printed the same on the back side, producing two copies of the piece.
A smooth paper with a gentle patterned finish.
Another name for bond paper.
Papers made to reproduce well in copy machines.
One of the four process colours of ink, or CMYK. The Y is for yellow.
Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the internet.
80# Gloss Text
Standard glossy paper stock, about as thick as a light magazine cover. The shiny finish provides an excellent opaque base for rich process coloir printing. This is our most popular stock for: Brochures, Catalog Inserts, Flyers, Posters, etc.
100# Gloss Text
Similar to the 80# gloss text, but 25% thicker and heavier, for a piece that feels more substantial. Standard Uses: Brochures, Information Sheets, Self-mailers, etc.
80# Dull/matte text
This stock is finely coated with a non-gloss finish. It provides an excellent opaque base for easy to read, crisp typography. Standard Uses: Brochures, Catalog Inserts, and Flyers, etc.
80# Gloss Cover
As a "cover" stock, this paper is stiff, about like a postcard or baseball card. This stock is coated with a glossy finish, making photographs and other images look beautiful. Standard uses: durable, heavy-weight Brochures, Catalog Covers, Product Spec Sheets.
100# Uncoated Cover
An option for business cards, rack cards and bookmarks. This bright white smooth #1 grade cover stock is 14pt in thickness and matches the 70# text-weight stock we use for letterhead and envelopes.
120# Gloss Cover
We offer this high-quality, thick 14pt stock on all of our card products. The glossy, coated finish makes photographs and other images look beautiful. Consider adding aqueous coating to your four colour sides for added protection and shine.
70# Uncoated Text
We use 70# Lustre for stationery and envelopes and 70# Cougar Opaque Offset on calendars and newsletters. These uncoated (non-glossy) white stocks are guaranteed safe for desktop laser printing. Many common stationery stocks are not appropriate for 4-colour printing, so we have selected these for best results. Feels thick and substantial in your hands.
24# Uncoated and 28# Uncoated
This is a standard stock commonly used for envelopes, also called White Wove. The 28# is thicker and heavier than the 24#.
10-point C1SA bristol stock, gloss coated on the outside and uncoated on the inside. Used for Greeting Cards.
Questions and Answers
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