Printing Vocab

Term Definition
4C Printing Printing process using 4 ink colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) to print full color
AAs Author Alterations: Any change made by the customer to previously provided artwork or specs
Acid-free Paper Neutral pH (7) paper; used for fine art prints, limited edition printing and archiving
Adobe® Creative Cloud Subscription-based access to the Creative Suite, including InDesign®, Photoshop®, Illustrator® and more
Antique Finish Uncoated paper stock with a natural, rough appearance
Aqueous Coating A water-based protective coating
B2B Business-to-Business: Goods and services marketed to businesses
B2C Business-to-Consumer: Goods and services marketed to consumers
Back Up The direction of artwork for two-sided printing
Bind Any method of securing and joining together paper sheets
Bindery Production-based department whose expertise is finishing printed pieces
Bitmap Pixels on a grid to create an image, resolution dependent
Blanket A rubber-coated pad used to transfer images from the cylinder to the printing surface
Bleed Printing that extends beyond the edge of the sheet before printing
Bleedthrough Imperfection caused by heavy ink coverage that shows through the other side of a printed sheet; also called showthrough
Blind Deboss Stamping any image or text into paper surface to produce a depressed effect, without the use of ink
Blind Emboss Stamping any image or text into paper wrong-side to produce a raised impression, without the use of ink
Blind Package Ship directly from second-party vendor without identifying the second-party
Blister Pack Preformed plastic forms for small goods, sealed with paper board or aluminum backing
Brand Symbols, words and ideas used to define a business strategy, often used to market
Brightness Light reflecting property of paper when measured under a specially calibrated blue light
Buckslip Loose slip of paper placed into another publication; also called an insert
Burst Perfect Bind The process of gluing complete signatures into a notched spine
C1S Coated One Side: Paper that has coating on just one side of the sheet
C2S Coated Two Sides: Paper that has coating on both sides of the sheet
Caliper Measurement of the thickness of paper stock
Camera-Ready A general term for a document that is ready for print
Carton Cardboard box used for shipping
Case Bind Binding signatures into a hard-case cover; also called hard cover
Chipboard Paperboard made from recycled paper
CMYK Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black: the four colors in four-color process printing
Coated Paper Compounds coated on paper that improves upon its quality; common coatings include gloss and matte
Collating To assemble pages in a predetermined order
Color Balance Adjustment of process colors to create accurate color simulation
Color Cast Imperfection caused by ink and/or color on text and/or images
Color Control Bar Squares of color printed in the trim area used to evaluate color quality; also called color bars
Color Correct Adjustment of CMYK levels to achieve desired color accuracy; also called balance
Color Correct Proof Simulation of a printed piece's color and/or impo
Color Curves Broad color changes made to CMYK levels to output correct printed color
Comb Binding Bindery method using plastic spines with teeth set into rectangular punched holes
Copy Text; also called body copy
Cover Outside pages of a publication
Cover Paper Sturdier, thicker paper stock; often used for book cover application
Cover Wrap The front and back covers plus the spine of a perfect-bound book
Coverage Extent to which ink covers the printed surface
Creep Location adjustment of inner pages in a saddle-stitched signature due to the extension (or creep) past the outer pages
Crop Marks Small lines outside of the trim area that provide cutting directions
Crossover Images or text that continues over a gutter
CS Adobe Creative Suite: A series of programs used for web, print and media design
Cure Time allowed for inks and coatings to dry to ensure adhesion
Cyan Cyan puts the C in CMYK
Deboss Stamping any image or text into paper surface to produce a depressed effect
Die Tool used to cut, score, stamp, emboss or deboss
Die Cut The process of using a shaped tool to make cut-outs
Digital Printing Large-scale laser or inkjet printers used for on-demand, short run printing
Direct Mail Bulk postal mail marketing campaigns
DPI Dots Per Inch: Printing term for the quantification of dot density in an image
Drill Cut any size hole(s) into printed matter
Dry Trap Printing over dry, cured ink
Dull Stock Flat-finish paper coating, also called matte or satin
Dummy Mock-up of a finished piece
Emboss Stamping any image or text into paper's wrong-side to produce a raised impression using heat and/or pressure
End Sheet Paper mounted inside case-bound books that is used to attach inside pages
EPS Encapsulated Post Script: A file format for images that will be placed in another document for printing
Estimate Rough price calculation of a job and its specific details; also called a bid or quote
Face Side of a bound piece that is opposite the spine
Feeding Unit Printing press part that moves paper sheets into the press
Felt Finish Paper stock with a woven pattern
Finish Description of a paper's surface
Finished Size W"xH" dimension of a piece after all production
Flat Imposition proof used for print production
Flat Size W"xH" dimension of a piece after trimming, but before folding
Flood Covering a printed sheet entirely with ink and/or coatings
Foil Emboss Combination of foil stamping and embossing
Foil Stamp Application of metallic film-backed foil with a heated die-cut
Folder Finishing equipment used to create folds
Folio Page number
Font A series of uniquely designed characters including numbers, letters and symbols
FPO For Position Only: Designation indicating a proof or placeholder content
French Fold Half-fold vertically followed by a horizontal half fold
FSC Forest Stewardship Council: A non-profit organization that promotes responsible management of forests
FTP File Transfer Protocol: Network used to transfer documents
Fugitive Glue Low-tack, removable adhesive; also called booger glue
Fulfillment Processing and delivering orders from a warehouse to a customer
G7® Color calibration certification for printers
Gang Run Printing two or more pieces on the same press sheet
Ghosting Imperfection caused by heavy-coverage ink and/or coatings transferring where it should not be
GIF Graphics Interchange Format: A file format for online use only
Gilding Gold-leaf on the edges of printed material
Gloss Finish Shiny coating applied to a press sheet
Gloss Stock Shiny-finish paper coating
Glyph A symbolic character, for example Æ, ©, ∑, ï
Gray Scale An image with color information that has been converted to gray
Gripper Edge Side of the paper that first feeds through a sheetfed press
Gutter The binding edge, or center, of a printed piece
Hairline Thin lines (less than .25 pt or .003") that do not print well
Hickey An imperfection on a printed piece
HSB Hue, Saturation, Balance: Color space for graphics and illustrations
Imposition The arrangement of pages for proper collation; also called impo
Imprint To print again on a previously printed sheet
Inserts Loose slip of paper placed into another publication; also called a buck slip
ISBN International Standard Book Number: A unique number assigned to publications
Job Number A unique number assigned to each project for internal tracking
Job Ticket An order for a printed piece, includes all details and instructions
Jog Straighten paper sheets by tapping on a flat surface
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group: A universal file format for images
K Abbreviation for black in CMYK
Kerning Adjustment of space between characters
Kiss Die Cut A shaped cut that does not completely remove the cut-out
Knockout Printing around an image or type's shape that will allow the substrate to show and form the image; also called reverse
Laminate Transparent plastic sheets that are applied via heat/pressure/adhesive to protect printed matter
Landing Page Front page of a website used for online marketing
Lay Flat Bind Method of perfecting binding that allows a book to completely lie flat when open
Leading Adjustment of space between lines of type
Letterfold Two folds that create 3 equally sized panels
Letterpress Printing method of relief printing with raised metal type using a printing press
Live Area Printable area on a document for any copy or image that should not be cut off; usually .1875" from the trim
Lo-Res Flat A printed proof indicating layout and specs, not to be used for color accuracy
Loupe Magnifying glass used to examine printed matter
Mail Permit Certified paid permission to mail
Make Ready The process of preparing a press to print
Margin Space surrounding the content of a page
Matte Finish Flat coating applied to a press sheet
Matte Stock Flat-finish paper coating, also called dull or satin
Metallic Ink Special ink with small metallic particles or pigments that create a metal-like shine
Microfold Multiple folds to make a printed piece small or any fold made to a small printed piece; finished size as small as 2"x2"
Mill Factory that produces paper
Misting Imperfection caused by small ink blots being thrown off of printing rollers
Native Files Any editable, working file from a software program
NCOA National Change of Address: US Postal Service's registry of people who have moved and/or changed address
Offset Paper Uncoated, light-weight paper
Offset Printing Printing method in which ink transfer from a plate to a blanket to the paper
Opacity Ink that does not allow visibility of the paper or printed backside of a sheet
Over Run Copies printed in excess of print order; industry standard is 10%
Overprint 1. Printing ink over previously printed ink; 2. An effect in design software that will be removed during preflight
Overprint Varnish Printing spot varnish over previously printed ink
Pagination Numbering of pages
Panel One side of one section of a folded piece; also called a page
Pantone A system for matching printing color standards; also called PMS
Paper Weight Term for describing paper density
PCW Post-Consumer Waste: Amount of recycled content in paper stock
PDF Portable Document Format: A universal file format viewable on most platforms; recommended for high resolution printing
PDF Proof Digital simulation of a printed piece
Perfect Bind The process of gluing pages into a spine
Perforating Straight dotted cut lines created on press to allow easier tear-off
Pica Basic unit of measurement in typography; 6 picas/inch
Pixel Smallest controllable dot composing a digital image
Plate Thin metal sheet used to reproduce artwork
Platemaker Equipment used to produce printing plates
PMS Pantone Matching System: A system for matching printing color standards
Post Bind Binding method using screw and posts insert into a drilled hole
Pound Term for describing paper density, for example 80 lb.; also called weight
PPI Pixels Per Inch: Design term for the quantification of dot density in an image
Preflight The process of in-depth reviewing of files before printing
Prepress Department responsible for preflighting, imposition, proofing and platemaking
Preprint Printed sheets that will later be used for imprinting
Press Check Examination of press proof by client to check for print quality
Press Proof Test print run on a press
Proof A visual simulation or test print of a print project; available as a PDF, lo-res flat or color correct
PURL Persistent Uniform Resource Locate: personalized web pages created for each individual recipient
QR Code Quick Response Code: Mobile bar codes embedded with information
Rasterized A resolution-based graphic or image; cannot be re-sized without affecting the resolution
RGB Red Green Blue: the three colors in digital output for screens and monitors
Register Marks Crosshairs used to align overlapping colors
Registration Lining up various plates to create a composite printed image
Reprint An exact re-run of a previously printed piece
Resolution Definition and sharpness of any image; defined as low (under 150) or high (over 300)
Retail-Ready Ability to be sold directly to a consumer
Rich Black Mixture of 3 or more CMYK colors to create a solid black color when printed
Roll Fold Four or more panels folded inward over one another, as if to roll the piece up
Saddle Stitch Bindery method using staples along the spine
Sans Serif A font style without serifs
Satin Finish Flat-finish paper coating, also called matte or dull
Score Crease created for ease of folding
Self-Cover Printed project created with one paper stock throughout
Self-Mailer Any printed piece capable of being mailed without the need of an envelope
Serif A font style with small flourish lines accenting the ends of letters
Sheetfed Press Any printing press that prints on individual sheets of paper
Shrink-Wrap Heat-sealed protective plastic film
Signature Printed sheet that will be folded and trimmed to become part of a publication; must be divisible by 4; also called sig
Skid A pallet used for shipment
Skin Pack Goods placed on a paper board backer and heat-sealed with thin, clear plastic
Slip Sheets Blank paper inserted between printed pieces
Soy-based Inks Vegetable oil-based dyed liquid ink, instead of petroleum-based
Specifications Written description of all print details including paper, ink, coating, finished size, bindery, mail and shipping
Spine Binding edge
Spiral Bind Bindery method using looped wire or plastic inserted into drilled holes
Spot Color 1) A single color printed in addition to 4C process; 2) Ink applied to precision areas
Spot Varnish Varnish applied to precision areas
Spray Powder A medium used to separate printed sheets; allows air to naturally dry the printing ink
Spread Two pages that face each other across the gutter
Step and Repeat Creating multiple repeating patterns on a page or impo using one image
Stock Refers to any type of paper
Substrate Material that is printed on
Tab Clear seals used to close print pieces for mail; also called a wafer seal
TIFF Tagged Image File Format: Used solely for pixel-based images
Tip On Inserting and/or adhering a loose sheet to another printed piece
Trap Prepress method for accounting for misregistration by overlapping page elements
Trim Size W"xH" finished size after printing and cutting
Uncoated Paper Paper stock that has no additives covering the surface
Up The number of images printed per sheet; expressed as 3 up, 4 up, etc.
UV Coating A liquid protective coating that is cured using ultraviolet light
UV Ink CMYK or spot ink printed and then cured using ultraviolet light
Value Darkness or lightness of a color
Varnish An oil-based protective coating
Vector A graphic where size is independent from its resolution, can be infinitely scaled
Vellum Finish Paper stock with a slightly rough finish; highly absorbent
Vellum Paper Paper stock that is thin and translucent; non-absorbent
VOC Volatile Organic Compounds: Gas emission from petroleum-based liquids
Wafer Seal Clear tabs used to close print pieces for mail; also called a tab
Watermark A translucent, but visible mark that appears in paper stock; usually only visible when held up to a light source
Web Press Printing method in which ink is printed directly onto a roll of paper
Wet Trap Printing over wet, uncured ink
Window A die-cut hole in a printed piece or envelope
Wire-Binding Bindery method using metal wire double loops inserted into drilled holes
Wireframe A website's basic layout used for design
Wove Paper stock with a fine texture
Wrong Reading A backwards, reverse image
Z Fold Alternating left and right folds; also called zig fold
ZIP File Compressing a document or folder to reduce its size for transmission

Ready to order?
It’s so easy!

Order Online
Call (888) 593-1080
or E-mail Us

Contact us today for your free,
no-obligation quote!
Or request a free sample kit

Back to Top