Like any industry, ours uses terms that may be unfamiliar to you. This will help
you make sense of these terms.
- abrasion resistance
A material's ability to resist deterioration or destruction by rubbing. Alternative
term: rub resistance.
A material's ability to take up liquids or vapors (e.g., water).
- accordion fold
A pair or more of parallel folds forming alternating peaks and valleys. The result
resembles an accordion bellows. Alternative term: fanfold.
- acetate base
A transparent clear or colored plastic film used to create overlays. Also used as
a stripping base.
No color or hue. (Black and white or grey.)
- acid-free paper
A paper containing no acidity or acid producing chemicals.
- acrylic ink
A polymer ink with exceptional flexibility and durability; suitable for exterior
The sharpness of a printed shape's edge against its background.
- additive color process
A method of creating a color image by mixing red, green, and blue lights (e.g. a
color computer monitor).
- additive primaries
The colors red, green, and blue. See also: additive color process , subtractive
Substances added to ink that promote abrasion resistance, blocking resistance, pinholing
resistance, adhesion, slip, and film flexibility.
Sticking two surfaces together by chemical or mechanical means.
Positioning type characters along a horizontal line. See also; justification.
Like an image composed of black, white and all shades of gray, an analog electrical
signal is can be on, off, or everything in between. See also: digital.
- aniline printing
Other term: flexography.
The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. In practice, the result
is a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly
jagged or 'stair-step' appearance. See also: dithering.
- antique finish
Paper with an off white cream color or rough texture.
- array processor
A special high speed computer capable of performing the large, complex calculations
required to process images.
- art paper
A paper coated with fine clay to produce a smooth, hard surface. Often used for
Gathering all the component pages of a book or manual and ordering them in correct
sequence for binding. See also: collate; gathering; inserting.
Photographic film or other materials that produce a visually equivalent image to
the original. A photocopy produces a similar effect.
- back margin
The space between the edge of the text matter and the fold edge. Alternative terms:
binding margin, gutter margin.
- back matter
The material printed at the back of a book (e.g., agenda, appendix, bibliography,
glossary, index, etc). Alternative term: end matter.
- back printing
Printing on the underside of transparent paper or film. Alternative terms: reverse
printing; second-surface printing.
The part of a book connecting the front cover to the back cover. Alternative term:
spine. See also: rounding and backing.
The area appearing behind the main subject or upon which the main subject is placed.
See rounding and backing.
The material that strengthens the back of a book after it's been rounded and backed
(e.g., paper, muslin, etc.).
mottle Blotchy spots or streaks in an overprinted ink.
Creating an archive copy of digital information as insurance in the event the original
information is lost or damaged.
- backward broadside
A page on which the text is printed sideways.
- bad break
Awkward visual composition resulting from ending a page with a single word; ending
a page with a hyphenated word; ending a page with the first line of a paragraph;
using a hyphenated line of text in the first line of a page; or dividing a word
incorrectly. See also: orphan; widow.
- base material
See face material Alternative terms: body stock; face stock.
- binding margin
The space between the text matter and the fold edge. Alternative terms: back margin,
An image that is digitally produced using dots rather than a mathematical formula.
See also: line art; object oriented; raster; vectors.
1. Used when an image is meant to extend completely to the edge of the finished
sheet. Printing a color beyond the trim edge of a sheet to ensure that there is
no white space at the edge after the substrate on which the image is printed is
trimmed to finish size. See also: extended color; full bleed.
2. Adding a small border of the same color to an image detail so the color overlaps
a different, adjacent color. The intention is to ensure that no white space is visible
where the two colors meet even if there are slight variations in registration (x
y positioning) of the two colors. See also: choke; registration; spread; trapping.
1. A proof made on special paper producing a blue on white print when exposed to
a negative overlay. The paper used has been treated with iron. See also: brownprint;
silverprint; Van dyke.
2. A blue colored print created from an offset printing plate and used in the production
3. A line or image created with special blue ink that is not reproduced in photographic
negatives or positives. Often used for positioning notes or instructions.
- body stock
1. The paper on which coatings are laid down to create coated printing papers.
2. Any material such as paper suitable for converting into sheet goods. Alternative
terms: base material; face material; face stock.
A continuous image that covers two facing pages without any visible gutter. Other
terms: crossover; reader's spread. See also: spread.
A heavy paper used for printing. The paper's thickness can range from 6 points or
A brown colored print made by contacting a negative on a special sensitized paper.
The paper used has been treated with silver and iron. Not to be confused with sepia
prints or black colored photographs. See also: blueline; silverprint; Van dyke.
- business paper
A general category of paper used for everyday business purposes (e.g., copy paper,
bond letterhead paper, etc.).
Making paper smooth by pressing it between highly polished metal rollers.
- calibration bars
A strip of tones printed on paper or film and used for quality control.
The measure of a paper's thickness, usually in thousandths of an inch (referred
to as "mils" or "points").
A distinctive style of artistic handwriting created by using special pen nibs that
allow a calligrapher to vary the thickness of a letter's line elements. The art
flourished from the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries.
A quotation, often surrounded by a box, that uses large text to set it apart from
the rest of the page. The effect is to draw attention to the page contents.
- camera-ready copy
The final image composition of line art, photographs, text and other graphic elements
laid out in the size, position, and color they will be when reproduced on film or
paper. Camera-ready copy can be created digitally with a computer system or manually
with a pasteup board. Other Term: camera-ready art.
- cap height
A measurement from the bottom of a capital letter to it's top.
Capital or uppercase letters.
- caps, small
Capital or uppercase letters that are about the same height as the lowercase version
of the font.
- case binding
Creating hardcover books by gluing cover material to a stiff, board-like substrate
which is then attached to the book's endpapers. Other Term: edition binding.
- center spread
The two pages that face each other in the center of a book or publication.
- China clay
A white clay used to coat papers or as an ink additive. Other term: kaolin.
A photographic process that creates a thinner image of the subject without changing
its position or shape. The result is similar to removing a thin line from the subject's
outline. A choke allows the background color to slightly overlap the subject thereby
preventing any unwanted white space between the two areas. See also: bleed; registration;
- clip art
Graphic images, designs, and artwork in digital form that can be copied and pasted
into a digital document or image. Clip art can be obtained on diskette, CD-ROM,
or as a download from the Web with pricing that ranges from free to pay.
Assembling the pages of a document in correct order. See also: assembling; gathering;
Positioning, formatting or gathering type prior to printing. See also: pagination;
page makeup phototypesetting; typesetting.
See data compression.
- contact negative
A photographic image with tones that are the reverse of the original. White is black
and black is white for example. A contact negative is created by placing a film
positive against unexposed film in a vacuum frame and exposing it to light.
- contact positive
A photographic image with tones that are the same as the original. White is white
and black is black for example. A contact positive is created by placing a film
negative against unexposed film in a vacuum frame and exposing it to light.
- contact screen
A clear film with a small dot pattern that is overlayed on film during the developing
process to create a halftone from a continuous-tone image. See also: halftone screen
Making adjustments to text size, text leading or otherwise editing the text so it
fits in a given space.
- crossline screen
A halftone screen created on plate glass. The screen is in the form of an opaque
grid of lines that frame transparent squares. See also: halftone screen.
- cut sheet
Paper cut into standard dimensions (e.g., 8.5x11 in., A3, etc.).
One of the four process colors, CMYK, with C standing for cyan. Cyan is a predominately
blue color with some green. Cyan, together with magenta and yellow, is also one
of the three subtractive primary colors. See also: process colors, subtractive primaries.
- cylinder press
A device were the substrate to be printed is wrapped around a roller and then brought
into contact with the inked plate or screen.
- dark spot
An area containing a greater amount of pigment due to a "pooling" effect created
by a depression in the substrate.
A horizontal line used as a type character. Dashes are characterized by weight,
design, width of image and allotted space, and vertical position. (e.g., the em
and en dashes).
- data compression
A technique to shrink or reduce the size of a data file so it takes up less storage
space and is faster to move electronically. Compression is accomplished by removing
"blank" spaces and repetitive data and using a mathematical formula to replace them.
The LAUNCH! Web Helper automatically compresses files for transfer. A compressed
file is decompressed before it is used. Other Term: compression.
- data conversion
Changing digital data from one format to another so it can be used in another software
application or printed on a specific output device. (e.g., CMYK to RGB, TIF to GIF,
MS Word to Postscript, etc.).
- data file
Line art, photographs, text and other graphic elements that are maintained as an
- dead matter
Typeset text or graphics that will not be reused.
Pressing an image or texture into a substrate. See also: embossing.
To take a digitally compressed data file and return it to it's original state.
The sharpness or clarity of an image. The resolution of a digital image.
"Fade" in French. A halftone image where the dot size gradually changes from small
to large. See also: vignette.
A mark made by a proofreader. The material so marked will be removed or excised.
- demand printing
Printing only the amount of material that is needed immediately, rather than printing
and storing large quantities from which small quantities are drawn from time to
time. Demand printing frequently uses digital printing presses. The higher cost
of printing on demand is offset by the savings resulting from eliminated storage
and waste costs since large quantities do not need to be stored and out of date
stock thrown away. An added benefit of demand printing is the ability to make changes
in the printed material more frequently. Other Term: on-demand printing.
- desaturated color
A color that appears too light, faded, or whitewashed.
The on/off signals that represent information within computerized systems. See also:
1. The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. In practice, the
result is a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than
a distinctly jagged or 'stair-step' appearance. See also: anti-aliasing.
2. A printing method used by ink jet and other nonimpact printers where colors are
produced by mixing colored dots in a more randomized visual pattern.
- dot gain
A condition where the size of a halftone dot is increased during the printing process.
Frequently caused by ink spreading due to low viscosity or by paper absorption.
Other terms: dot spread; ink spread.
- dot spread
See: dot gain; ink spread.
- dry offset
A printing method where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas.
The inked areas are then placed in contact with a rubber surface which in turn transfers
the ink to the material to be printed. This process eliminates the use of water
as required in the lithographic process. A similar technique is used with rubber
stamps. Other terms: indirect letterpress; letterset; relief offset. See also: letterpress.
A two color print created from a one color image. Two halftones are created and
each printed in a different color. Typically one of the two colors is black. Other
- dye sublimation
A photographic looking color print created by heating dyes on the substrate instead
of using inks. Often used for proofing.
A trademark for Du Pont's photosensitive polymer paper. A dry color proof is created
using this paper.
- edge acuity
The degree to which the edge of an image appears sharp and precise, not fuzzy. Uniform
ink coverage will positively affect an image's edge acuity.
- edge gilding
The utilization of gold leaf to coat page borders.
- edge staining
Using various pigment(s) on a document, pamphlet or book’s finished edge.
To alter information in form or substance.
The quantity produced during a print run. Often applied to signed fine-art prints
of a limited run.
- edition binding
See case binding.
- eggshell finish
A rough textured paper.
- electron beam coating
A clear coating that dries when exposed to an electron radiation. Electron beam
coatings are generally glossy when cured and very durable.
- electronic color correction
Using a computer system to adjust, change or otherwise alter or manipulate a color
image. Examples include changing a CMYK image to RGB or vice-versa, retouching,
adjusting color balance, color saturation, contrast, etc.
- electronic color scanner
An electronic device similar to a photocopier that converts a physical color image
into four separate, single color images, one for each of the three process colors
plus black. The four digital images are used to create four printing plates. When
the four ink colors are combined on the printing substrate a full color reproduction
of the original is produced.
- electronic composition
Using a computer system to copyfit and paginate a printing project. The finished
project is output on paper or film on an imagesetter.
- em dash
A line the width of a font's uppercase m.
Producing a raised surface on a substrate. When deliberately created, a metal die
is used to press a pattern or image into the material. Sometimes embossing is an
unintended and unwanted effect created when the wet ink is pulled up from the surface
of the substrate as the printing plate is lifted away. See waffling.
- en dash
A line the width of a font's uppercase n.
- end matter
The appendix, agenda, glossary, index, and bibliography and other material's printed
at the rear of a book. Other Term: back matter.
Using an acid or other chemical to form an elevated image on a printing plate or
cylinder. See also: letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
- extended color
Used when an image is meant to extend completely to the edge of the finished sheet.
Printing a color beyond the trim edge of a sheet to ensure that there is no white
space at the edge after the substrate on which the image is printed is trimmed to
finish size. See also: bleed; full bleed.
- face margin
See trim margin.
- face material
Materials that can be used as the substrate for pressure sensitive labels (e.g.,
film, paper, foil, etc.). The face material is attached to a support sheet from
which it is peeled when used. Alternative terms: base material; body stock; face
- face stock
See face material.
The group of typeface variations within a specific design (e.g., Helvetica Regular,
Helvetica Italic, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Bold Italic, etc.).
See: accordion fold.
An imprecise, fuzzy, or rough edge on a printed image. Feathering can be caused
by non-uniform ink coverage, unsuitable ink, uneven printing plate contact, or too
much ink. See also: edge acuity.
- felt side
The top of the paper web formed in the papermaking machine. The opposite of the
wire side. The felt side is generally smoother and the preferred side for printing.
See also: wire side.
- fiber puffing
A rough texture on the surface of a coated, groundwood fiber paper created during
the drying process.
A collection of text, graphical, image, sound or other information stored and accessed
- film assembly
See film image assembly. See also: imposition; stripping.
- film image assembly
The process of aligning, mounting, and securing individual films to one carrier
sheet in preparation for platemaking. Also known as imposition; stripping.
A printing method using flexible plates where the areas to be inked are higher than
the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material
to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. Rapidly
drying inks are normally used with this process. Other term: aniline printing. See
also: letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
- full bleed
Used when an image is meant to extend completely to all four edges of the finished
sheet. Printing the image beyond the trim edge of a sheet to ensure that there is
no white space at the edge after the substrate on which the image is printed is
trimmed to finish size. See also: extended color; bleed.
- fuming gloss
See chemical ghosting.
1. Unaltered phototypesetter output, usually single columns of type on photographic
paper, serving as preliminary proofs.
2. Final image or typeset copy output directly to film or photographic paper.
3. Initially, a long, shallow tray for storing and proofing handset type.
A grouping of forms arranged to print together with a single impression. Also known
as gang printing, gang run, or gang up.
A four page insert to a book that is larger than the existing page dimensions, having
a fold at the outer edge that serves as a hinge, allowing two sheets to fold out
from the center to the edge. Also known as a foldout.
Assembling all the signatures in order. See also: assembling; collate; inserting.
One thousand megabytes or one billion bytes of computer data.
The application of gold or metallic leaf to a book’s trim edges.
An opaque smooth paper used primarily for candy wrappers and dust jackets. Formerly
used in book production for the separation of text pages from graphic pages.
Paper with a surface sheen or polish applied during or after manufacture by calendering,
drying, plating, or drying.
The "shininess" of a material as measured by the amount of light reflected from
its surface. Alternative term: specular gloss.
Also known as gloss ghosting. A condition occurring during sheetfed printing when
inks containing drying oils are used in production. Vapors from drying ink on one
side of a press sheet interact chemically with the dry ink densities printed on
a sheet in contact or on the reverse side of the same sheet creating unintended
- grain direction
The alignment of pulp fibers in the direction of web travel during the production
“Grain-long” is the grain direction paralleling the longer dimension of the sheet.
“grain-short” paper has fibers paralleling the short dimension of the sheet.
In the production of bound materials, the grain direction of all papers used must
run parallel to the backbone to prevent cracking and insure a durable spline.
See grain direction.
See grain direction.
A printing method that uses ink-filled depressions in a cylinder to deposit ink
on a substrate, forming an image. The small depressions, known as "cells", are etched
into the cylinder to form the image. Ink is flooded onto the cylinder and then removed
by a blade scraping the cylinder surface. Only the ink in the etched depressions
remains and is transferred to the substrate on contact. See also: rotogravure.
- gray scale
1. Graduated neutral tones used in printing to reflect color differentiation.
2. A film strip used in combination with original photography to check focus, provide
print contrast, time development, measure density ranges, balance color, etc. Also,
gray wedge; neutral wedge, or step tablet or wedge.
- gray wedge
See gray scale.
- groundwood free
See: wood free.
- gutter margin
The space between the text matter and fold edge next to it. Alternative terms: back
margin, binding margin.
- hairline register
The precision of alignment between colors meant to touch on a printed piece. The
comparison standard is a gap of no more than 0.003 inches or 0.08 mm.
1. Using small dots or thin lines to produce the impression of a continuous-tone
image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size (or line width) and the number
of dots (or lines) per square inch or centimeter (e.g., newspaper photographs).
2. The method and plate material used to create the image. The greater the number
of dots or lines per inch the higher the resulting image resolution.
- halftone mottle
A blotchy appearance in halftone tints instead of an even, consistent appearance.
- halftone screen
A transparent material containing an opaque pattern of dots or lines. The screen
is placed between a photosensitive material and a continuous -tone image to create
a halftone image. The greater the number of dots or lines per inch the higher the
resulting image resolution. See also: halftone contact screen; crossline screen.
- halftone step scale
An image used to test the accuracy of printing process. The image is composed of
a sequence of uniform tints, each with progressively larger dots. In practice, the
test is printed within the trim margin of the sheet or on a film flat. Other Term:
step wedge; gray scale; step tablet.
- halftone tint
A halftone composed of a single dot size (or line width) and frequency. The result
creates the appearance of a single color or tone. See also: screen tint; tint.
The degree to which a substrate does not absorb an ink.
A particular shade of color determined by the primary light waves reflected from
The process of dividing a word between syllables when the word must be split between
to lines of text.
Pictures used to symbolize an idea. (e.g., using "?" to represent "Need help?" or
"Have a question?")
1. The use of light on a subject.
2. The medieval art of decorating book pages with colorful ornamental figures or
applying gold leaf to the edges of books.
Line art, photos, and other graphic images used in printed material.
Line art, paintings, sketches, photos, and other visual representations of a subject
- image assembly
Aggregating the film negatives or film positives to create a film negative. The
result is used to produce a printing plate. Other Term: stripping. See also film
image assembly; imposition.
The equipment used to produce a high resolution image on paper, film and other substrates.
See also: PostScript; raster image processor; typesetting, digital; vectors.
Collecting and positioning page elements so that when printed and folded the page
elements are in proper alignment. Other Term: image assembly. See also: film image
- indirect letterpress
See dry offset. letterset; relief offset.
- ink spread
See: dot gain; dot spread.
1. Nesting signatures inside each other in proper order.
2. In publishing, binding a separately printed page into the book or publication.
See also: assembling; collate; gathering.
An incised, etched, carved or sunken image. In printing, an intaglio is created
on the surface of plates or cylinders. The etched areas hold ink, the non-etched
areas remain ink free. When the inked plate or cylinder is then applied to the substrate
to be printed, the ink adheres and is transferred to the substrate reproducing the
A type style in which the letters are slanted 8 to 20 degrees from the vertical.
Italics are often used for special emphasiscontinuous . See also: oblique.
The cover surrounding a completed casebound book.
- jet black
A reference to the degree of an ink's or material's blackness.
- job jacket
The documentation detailing the production requirements of an order. Besides specifications,
the documentation may include photographs, electronic media containing files, etc.
That bendable, hinge-like part of casebook where the cover and spine meet. Other
Adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line
of text from end to end. See also: alignment; flush right; flush left; ragged right;
ragged left; word spacing.
- justification, vertical
Adjusting the point size of text, or the vertical spacing between lines or elements
of type, to fill a given vertical space. See also: alignment; flush right; flush
left; ragged right; ragged left; word spacing.
Burlap fibers. Used to produce strong and durable paper.
- K and N ink absorbency test
A test comparing the ability of different papers to absorb an ink. The various papers
to be tested are overlapped and the ink is thickly applied to the samples for a
given time. At the end of the time, the ink is wiped off and the relative ink absorption
- K film
1. The wood pulp created by the sulfate process.
2. Paper made from pulp created by the sulfate process.
See China clay.
The process of changing the horizontal dimension of a type character, or the white
space around the character to achieve a visual effect. Other Term: mortise. See
also: spacing; word spacing.
The reference guide or template, usually printed in black, used to place the color
elements and for stripping film. Other Term: key flat. See also: keyline.
- key flat
A translucent or transparent instructional sheet that is used to show where various
effects, colors, etc. are to appear. See also: key.
White type on a black or dark background. Other terms: reverse; dropout.
A brownish paper made from unbleached sulfate wood pulp. Kraft paper is commonly
used for corrugated board, grocery bags and commercial wrapping paper.
A solvent-based solution containing modifying agents that gives a glossy, durable
finish when applied to a substrate.
- letter fold
Folding a printed piece horizontally at least twice, in the same vertical direction,
thereby capturing the first fold in the second. The same effect is achieved by rolling
the sheet horizontally into a tube shape and flattening the tube by creasing the
two horizontal edges.
A printing method where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas.
The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring
the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. A similar technique is used with
rubber stamps. See also: Flexography; relief plate; relief printing.
See dry offset.
- line art
A drawing rendered in only 100% black and 100% white, with no gray areas. (e.g.,
black lines drawn on white substrate or a vector graphic produced by a computer
drawing, CAD, or illustration application.) See also: bitmap; object-oriented; raster;
- linen tester
A magnifying lens mounted in a small frame that, when placed on the material to
be viewed, stands at a height equal to the focal length of the lens. Able to be
folded into a small, flat package that easily fits in a pocket, the linen tester
is often used in quality control to view small details of an image. See also: loupe;
An technique were the printing plate's image area is specially treated to accept
only ink and the nonimage area is specially treated to only accept water. See also:
dry offset; gravure; offset gravure; offset printing.
- live matter
Refers to the type characters of piece to be printed.
An optical device containing a precision ruler used to observe very small details.
See also: linen tester; magnifier.
A term applied to letters of the alphabet that are not capitalized.
- machine direction
The direction the paper web moved through the papermaking machine. The paper's grain
direction is the same as the machine direction. See also: grain direction.
One of the four process colors, CMYK, with M standing for magenta. Magenta is a
predominately red color with some blue. Magenta, together with cyan and yellow,
is also one of the three subtractive primary colors. See also: process colors, subtractive
An optical device used to observe very small details. Used for quality control.
See also: linen tester; loupe.
- mean line
- mesh marks
A pattern of crosshatching visible in the dried ink of a screen printed piece. The
condition may be caused by high viscosity ink that does not spread out properly
or by the ink being pulled away as the screen is lifted off the printed surface.
Those tones falling between halftone shadows and halftone highlights. Other Term:
middletones. See also: quartertone.
- multicolor press
two or more self contained single color printing presses that are joined sequentially
to produce multiple colors on a sheet of paper in a single pass.
A registered tradename of Du Pont's clear polyester film. This durable film is used
for stripping and outputting architectural and CAD drawings.
A book binding style where the spine is thicker than the book body resulting in
a profile resembling a nail.
A photographic plate or film where the image's color, black and white, or continuous
tone areas are reversed from the original (e.g., black is white, white is black).
Paper created specifically for newspapers, it is composed of mechanical or groundwood
A color without hue (e.g., black or white or shades of gray).
- neutral wedge
See gray scale.
- nonimage area
The areas of an image that are not printed. During the printing process, the nonimage
area does not receive ink.
- nonprocess printing
Using an ink of the same color as the specified color, rather than achieving the
specified color by overlapping process colors. See also: process colors.
- nonrepro blue
A special blue color used to make notations on an image's non-printing white areas.
This blue color and the white background are indistinguishable to photographic film,
with the result being that these notations are not captured as an image by the film.
In practice, a pen with nonrepro blue ink is used to show the location of crop marks,
etc. on a pasteup board.
Sequentially printed numbers.
Used to describe an image created by the use of a mathematical equation using x-y
coordinates rather than a bitmap image (created using dots). An object-oriented
image can be printed at any size without a loss of resolution. In contrast, a bitmap
image will loose resolution when printed at larger sizes. See also: bitmap; line
art; raster; vectors.
Literally, "at an angle" or "slanted". A Roman font that has been electronically
altered to produce an italic effect.
A naturally occurring yellowish pigment composed of iron and clay.
- off-contact printing
A special screen printing technique that positions the printing stencil at a minimal
distance above the substrate during the ink application process. As the ink is applied
by the squeegee, the stencil is depressed into momentary contact with the substrate.
An erroneous variation of the word "setoff". Ink that is unintentionally transferred
from the printed substrate to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked
in a pile. See also: setoff.
- offset gravure
An indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a gravure cylinder to a
rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final substrate. See also:
gravure, offset printing.
- offset lithography
An indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a specially treated printing
plate cylinder to a rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final
substrate. The printing plate's image area accepts only ink and the nonimage area
only accepts water. See also: dry offset; gravure; lithography; offset gravure.
- offset printing
An indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a printing plate cylinder
to a rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final substrate. See
also: gravure, offset gravure.
- on-demand printing
See demand printing.
Printing in the direction of a sheet's long or short edge. Printing parallel to
the sheet's long edge is called landscape. Printing in the direction of the sheet's
short edge is called portrait.
A single line of text at the bottom or top of a page or column. The text is either
the first line or the last line of a paragraph, respectively. See also: bad break;
Producing more paper or output than ordered. Many organizations have a standard
on what is considered an acceptable amount of underrun or overrun. See underrun.
Applying too much color on top of another in the process printing method. See also:
hairline register; trapping.
- page description language
(PDL) The format used to describe the position of elements within a page elements
as well as the page's relative position within a document. The output device then
translates the format into a reproduction of the original image. Other Term: page
descriptor. See also: imagesetter; PostScript; raster image processors; vectors.
- page descriptor
See page description language.
- page makeup
1. Using a computer application to create a single or multi-page document, including
the positioning of type, line art, photographs, etc. The document is then output
to an imaging device.
2. Manually pasting the elements of a single or multi-page document to a board.
Referred to as camera ready, this paste-up board is then photographed to create
film negatives or positives. See also: pagination.
1. The page makeup process for a multiple page document.
2. The process of numbering or creating individual pages. See also: page makeup.
Manually pasting the type, photographs, line art, and other elements of an image
to a board. Referred to as camera ready, this paste-up board is then photographed
to create film negatives or positives. Alternative terms: mechanical; photomechanical.
A device that outputs exposed photosensitive film or other materials. The phototypesetter
uses electronic signals from a typesetting computer to expose the photosensitive
material. Also a reference to the person operating the device. See also: typesetter.
Creating a printing plate that is completely prepared for use on the press. The
process starts with a blank plate, which is then exposed to the image film, developed,
and sensitized (if needed).
- point size
The height of a typeface. A point equals 0.0138 inches. Other Term: type size. See
A tradename of Adobe Systems, Inc. for its page description language. This language
translates a digital image file from a word processing application, for example,
into a language a compatible printer or other device can use to create its output.
See also: imagesetter; page description language; raster; raster image processor;
- process colors
The three subtractive primary colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow) plus black. a.k.a.,
- pull sheets
Random sheets removed from the stack of output and used for quality control.
The fibrous cellulose produced by mechanical or chemical means that is used for
- quarter binding
Using one material for a book's front and back covers and a different material for
its spine (e.g., cloth covers with leather spine).
A quarter on a visual tone value. See also: midtone.
Folding a paper into four leaves, thus forming eight pages. This method can be used
to form brochures or booklets.
5% (1/20) of a paper ream. The quantity varies from 24 sheets (coarse papers), to
25 sheets (fine papers).
- ragged left
See flush right.
- ragged right
See flush left.
- reader's spread
An open book's right page. See also verso.
- registration marks
Other Term: register marks.
- relief offset
See dry offset.
- relief plate
A printing plate where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas.
See also: flexography; letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
- relief printing
A method of printing where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing
areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed,
transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. See also: flexography;
letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
Creating an exact duplicate of an original using a photographic method.
Ink that is unintentionally transferred from the printed substrate to the back of
the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile. See also: offset.
A photographic print with having a brown color. The paper used has been treated
with silver chloride. See also: blueline; brownprint; Van dyke.
All the colors of the rainbow created by passing sunlight or white light through
a prism. See visible spectrum; white light.
- specular gloss
1. An image that covers two pages that face each other in a book or publication.
Other terms: crossover; reader's spread. See also: breakacross.
2. Moving the edges of a line image outward a little to overlap a color. Other term:
fatty. See also; bleed; choke; registration; trapping.
- step tablet
See gray scale.
- step wedge
See halftone step scale.
The material on which printed images or coatings are applied (e.g., cloth; film;
foil; paper; etc.).
Overlapping one color over a different, adjacent color (without creating a third
color). The intention is to ensure that no white space is visible where the two
colors meet even if there are slight variations in registration (x-y positioning)
of the two colors. See also: bleed; choke; registration; spread.
- type size
See point size.
- ultraviolet inks
Ink that cures when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Other Term: UV ink.
A light brown paper produced from unbleached pulp.
A paper without a mineral coating.
The cyan, magenta, or yellow used in dark tones. A process printing term.
A photosensitive material that has received too little light resulting in a dark
print lacking detail.
Producing less paper or output than ordered. Many organizations have a standard
on what is considered an acceptable amount of underrun or overrun. See overrun.
The color of an ink or film due to light reflecting through it from the substrate.
(e.g., The substrate may make the ink color appear lighter or darker, or offshade.).
The unwanted appearance of white space between two adjacent colors. An inadequate
or insufficient amount of applied trapping. See trapping.
- unit set
1. The height of a typeface measured in units rather than points. See also: point
2. A multilayer form containing a carbon paper leaf or a NCR layer.
- unjustified text
See flush left; justification; quad left; ragged right.
Capital letters of the alphabet, or those characters created by pressing the computer
keyboard "shift" key in combination with another key. See also: lowercase.
A software application used for maintenance or other routine chores (e.g. the LAUNCH!
- UV inks
See ultraviolet ink.
- Van dyke
A quality control "proof" print produced on photographic paper from a negative.
This is done prior to creating the lithographic printing plate, and provides customers
with a way to check color registration, layout, etc. prior to printing. See also:
blueline; brownprint; silverprint.
- variable printing
A process often used to create personalized letters or billing statements where
standard text and images are combined with changeable data unique to each recipient
(e.g., name, address, etc.). A form of mass customization that uses a standard template
into which unique data is inserted on a page by page basis.
1. A solvent based resin coating applied to paper for appearance enhancement and
2. A major ink ingredient.
- vector file
A digital file containing a vector image. Other Term: spline. See vectors.
A mathematical equation using x-y coordinates to describe an image and its position
on a page. The vector image is typically created with an illustration application
on a personal computer. The file is then fed as a PostScript or other page descriptor
language to a raster image processor that translates the information into a format
appropriate for the imagesetter output device. See also: bitmap; imagesetter; line
art; object-oriented; page description language; PostScript; raster; raster image
- vegetable parchment
A paper with a high wet strength and grease resistance.
A fine, smooth, off-white material used for printing. Originally produced from calfskin.
An Eastman Kodak tradename for a photographic paper used for contact printing from
a halftone negative. A Velox print eliminates the need for subsequent stripping
The opposite side (e.g., a page's back side, a book's back cover, etc.). See also:
- view file
A low resolution image displayed on a monitor or proof prior to creating the finished,
high resolution print.
An image where a color gradually fades into the nonprinting areas. See also: degradee.
- vignetted dots
Dots that gradually fade from edge to center.
- virgin fiber
A material used to make paper that has not been recycled from previous paper or
- visible spectrum
All colors visible to the unaided human eye. See spectrum; white light.
A measure of a liquid's resistance to flowing. Used as a product specification for
coatings, inks, glues, etc.
- warm color
A red tone rather than a blue tone. Orange, red, and yellow are generally considered
to be "warm" colors.
- wash drawing
A black and gray watercolor with black line art which will be reproduced as a halftone.
- wash marks
An uneven or lighter density on a print's leading edge created when the printing
plate has too much water. Other Term: water streaks.
- water finish
A gloss created on paper by applying water to the paper web as it passes through
rollers that "iron" and compress the paper fibers.
- water streaks
See: wash marks.
- water-based ink
An ink that uses water as the drying agent rather than a solvent.
Artwork created by applying translucent water soluble paint or dyes to a paper substrate.
A highly absorbent paper.
- waterless printing
See lithography (waterless).
A translucent mark or image that is pressed into fine paper during the papermaking
process and which is visible when the paper is held up to a light.
- wavy-edged paper
Paper with wrinkled or wavy edges caused by water damage.
A machine that melts and applies a thin coating of adhesive wax to a paper. Once
often used to create camera ready artwork, this process has been largely replaced
by computerized film, paper, or plate devices.
A roll of paper or other material that is fed by rollers through a printing or converting
process. Also see: sheetfed press.
- web offset
A continuous band of substrate fed from a wound roll through an offset printing
- web press
A rotary press that prints on a continuous web, or ribbon, of paper fed from a roll
and threaded through the press. See also: sheetfed press.
A printing press that uses a web, not cut sheets. See also: sheetfed.
- wedding paper
An elegant, refined paper with minimum glare.
See: basis weight.
- weight (character)
A description of typographic forms or variations (e.g., light, regular, bold, extra
An individual etched gravure pit.
- wet printing
Printing on ink that is still wet with a second or different color. See also: trapping.
- wet rub
A measure of a material's resistance to rubbing while it is wet. See: abrasion resistance.
- wet strength
A measure of a wet paper's resistance to pulling or bursting.
- wet trapping
Overlapping an ink that is still wet with a second or different color. See also:
See wet trapping.
- wet-strength paper
A water and tear resistant paper that when wet retains a minimum of 15% of it's
dry tensil strength.
- wetting up
A screen printing term referring to placing ink in the screen and distributing it
evenly with the squeegee in preparation for production.
- what-you-see-is what-you-get (WYSIWYG)
Used when a computer application shows an image's position, size, elements, etc.
on screen as it will be printed.
A combination of all the color wave lengths. A color visually equivalent to natural
sunlight. See also: white light.
- white light
Natural sunlight or light created by combining equal portions of each light wavelength
from 400 to 700 nm. See spectrum; visible spectrum.
- white space
That part of an image that is free of text or images.
A word, partial word or short line of text at the end of a paragraph, or a single
line of text at the top of a page. See also: bad break; orphan.
- wire stitch
See: saddle stitch.
- wood cut
A printing method that uses a carved wood block or surface as the printing plate.
The non-image areas are carved away, and ink is applied to the remaining raised
areas. Other Term: wood engraving.
- wood engraving
See: wood cut.
- wood free
Paper made without groundwood or mechanical pulp. Other Term: groundwood free.
- wood type
Letters carved into blocks of wood. See also: wood cut.
- word processor
A software application used to create text documents (e.g., Microsoft Word).
- word wrap
The process by which a computer application automatically moves a word to the next
line down when the available line space for text has been used up. This occurs without
the person using the application pressing the "return" key. This feature can also
create problems for those printing someone else's file, since the words may also
automatically "shift" when opened on a machine other than the one that created the
document. As a result, some words may move to a location that is unacceptable to
the original document's creator. This is why printers request all the image and
font files together with a document, or, as an alternative, a PostScript or PDF
A point on the horizontal axis of a grid, scale, or page dimension. Other term:
x-axis. See also: y-coordinate.
An imaging method that electrostatically charges ink toner particles, which are
attracted to areas of the paper that have been given an electrical charge. The dry
toner is then heat fused to the paper, forming an image. This is the basis of almost
all office copy machines.
The height of a type character that has no ascenders or descenders (e.g., a, c,
e, m, o, x, and z.). Typically the height of x and z are used as representatives
of a type face family's x-height. Other term: z-height.
The horizontal line that would indicate the top of non-ascender, lowercase letters
such as a, c, e, m, o, p, x, y, and z. Other term: mean line.
- x-y coordinates
A mathematical description of an element's position on a page.
A point on the vertical axis of a grid, scale, or page dimension. Other term: y-axis.
See also: x-coordinate.
One of the four process colors, CMYK, with Y standing for yellow. Yellow, together
with cyan and magenta, is also one of the three subtractive primary colors. See
also: process colors, subtractive primaries.
- zinc oxide
A white, opaque inorganic compound often used in ink, paint, coatings and ointments.
- zinc yellow
A zinc chromate pigment which is yellow in appearance.
- zip sorting
To sort, group, and bundle mail by zip code.