To help you understand more of our business we have here a quick reference guide to some of the terms
used in the print industry in general.
An International Standards Organisation range of sizes of paper.
The extent to which a paper will take up and hold a liquid.
The first stage of drying of an ink when printed.
Paper which does not contain any free acid.
Very light paper made with strength and good surface for purposes of postage costs. Produced in white, off white or pale blue usually
Original illustrative copy or layout ready for reproduction at pre-press stage.
An International Standards Organisation range of paper sizes.
To print on the reverse side of a printed sheet.
Solid, compressed stack of pulp or paper sheets.
Pulp obtained by chemical means from the stems of bamboo.
Methods of securing the leaves of a book or brochure. Mechanical binding methods include Plastic Comb Binding, Ring Binding and
metal clasps. Bookbinding methods include Saddle-Stitched, GST,
Side Stitched, Section Sewn, Section Sewn and Perfect Binding.
Blade Coated Paper
Paper coated by a process in which the freshly applied wet coating is smoothed and the excess removed by a thin, flexible metal
The cylinder on a lithographic printing machine which is covered with a rubber blanket that conveys the image from a plate to a
A chemical treatment used to whiten, brighten and improve the pulp.
The part of an image that extends beyond the Trim Marks on a page.
A logo, text or design which has been relief stamped into a sheet of paper or board which no ink has been used.
Paper weight beyond a certain weight usually over 170gsm.
A black and white proof on photographic paper.
The substance, feel and thickness of a paper.
Paper which seems to be thick in relation to its weight.
The pressure necessary to rupture a paper when fixed horizontally between two clamps.
A thin woodfree or part mechanical paper coated on one side with colouring agent of carbon in say, wax. It is transferred to a sheet of
paper underneath when pressure is applied.
Slightly rough coated or uncoated paper.
A registered trade mark of Agfa. An accurate colour proof that is made from imaged film using a powder instead of ink.
Material coated on one or both sides with a mixture of china clay and latex to fill up surface pits and improve the printing surface. A
variety of coating methods exists including roll coating, blade
coating, air-knife coating and brush coating, or combinations of these types.
Division of colour into basic elements eg CMYK or flat pantone by a process of scanning or page make-up from a computer. Separate
plates are needed for each colour.
An indentation made buy a machine in thick paper to prevent cracking.
Small lines that show the document edge essential for register and trim.
A shade of blue used in four-colour printing.
The process of applying water to the lithographic plate on a lithographic printing machine.
The roller on a printing press which applies the moisture directly to the printing plate.
Printing or stamping in which dies are used to depress an image below the surface of paper, board, cloth or leather.
The measure of tonal values
A digital precision instrument used to measure the quantitative colours or density in colour work.
To cut paper, card or board to a particular size and design with a metal die, for packaging and display work.
The basic element of halftone.
An aberration when during the making of halftone film or plates, the dots become slightly enlarged. A dot gain scale is included on proofs
to check this occurrence.
Double Page Spread
Two facing pages of a publication.
Coating paper or board twice on one side or both sides
A shadow behind an image or type to help bring the image forward and stand out.
The ink reservoir in a printing machine.
The prototype of a brochure or book in the correct size, layout and sometimes paper.
A photograph printed using two colours.
Relief printing or stamping in which dies are used to raise an image above the surface of paper, board, cloth or leather.
The light sensitive coating of a photographic material such a film.
A fully sealed polyester or polypropylene film to both surfaces of a sheet to enhance its durability.
Equipment for feeding and positioning paper sheets in printing presses.
Transparent material made of plastic acetate with a light-sensitive emulsion for recording an image.
A photographic image on film in which the highlights and shadows are reversed.
A black image on a background of clear film.
The surface characteristics given to paper by mechanical means.
The alignment and registration of individual images or plates within a page.
A chemical used in a photographic process to make an image permanent.
A method of Letterpress printing from flexible rubber or polymer plates.
Ink that has bright and luminous colour because of the phosphorous chemicals in it.
Fluorescent Paper and Board
A white base paper or board coated with a mixture of fluorescent pigments and binders. The coating is activated by ultraviolet light,
usually natural light.
Four Colour process
A method of printing in full colour by colour separation producing four colour plates for printing in cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
A sheet of paper that has been printed on one side only and then folded twice to form an uncut four-page section.
A paper fold in which both sides are folded across the middle of the sheet in overlapping layers.
Placing the sections of a book in the correct order for binding.
An image which appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print due to local blanket depressions from previous image areas.
Gloss refers to the reflectivity of paper or of the printed matter on it.
The smooth transition from one tone or colour to another, or the range of values between black and white.
The pattern of fibres in a manufactured sheet.
On printing presses these are fingers that keep the sheet in place and carry it during the impression.
The edge, which is caught by the grippers as a sheet of paper, is fed into a press.
GSM, grams per square metre, grammage
Unit of measurement used to measure paper weight (and so thickness) in printing.
A machine used to cut or trim a large number of sheets of paper accurately.
A perforation line across the form which does not cross the full dimension.
Process by which continuous tone is simulated by a pattern of dots of varying size.
This is a colour system that uses a set of six colour set of inks, made up of a modified four-colour set plus orange and green. The
objective of hexachrome is to improve the printed colour gamut. Using hexachrome allows about ninety per cent of PantoneÕs special
A spot on a printed sheet caused by dust, lint or ink imperfections. It is particularly noticeable on solids or halftones.
Impose or Imposition
To arrange pages so that when the sheet is folded the text will read continuously.
A cylinder of a printing press which supports one surface of the sheet or web while the other surface receives its printed image from the
The fountain supplying the ink to the printing press.
A defect associated with matt coated papers, in which parts of a dry ink film are removed by friction or pressure.
A printing machine roller that carries ink from the fountain to the plate.
High quality board made in white or colours with a bright, clear appearance particularly used for invitations and other quality printed
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The adjustment on one or two edges of a pile of sheets so that they can be cut squarely.
To protect paper or card and give it a matt or gloss surface by applying a transparent plastic coating through heat or pressure.
Printing or writing paper with a ribbed appearance.
The edges of a sheet which are placed flush with the side and marks on a printing press to ensure that the sheet will be held properly by
the grippers and have uniform margins when printed.
Overall design of a piece of printed work.
Imitation linen texture on a paper surface.
Printing from a dampened, flat surface using greasy ink based on the principle of the mutual repulsion of oil and water.
A proof of the job from the printing press.
The name of the shade of red from the standard four colour printing inks.
Paper produced from manilla hemp but now produced from softwood kraft pulp.
Paper with strongly stained fibres to give the paper a marbling effect.
A clay coated printing paper with a dull finish.
A printing ink, which produces an effect of gold, silver, bronze or copper.
A Printing fault where halftones appear as patterns of dots.
The amount of moisture in paper. It is expressed as a percentage of its weight. Typically, a moisture content of around 7-8% is
recommended for printing on paper.
An image made up of varying tones in one colour (also duotone).
The appearance of irregular spots or blotches in a printed area that should be even in colour.
No Carbon Required. Another term used by carbonless paper.
Film that has been exposed and processed to fix a reverse tone or image.
The low grade paper used for printing newspapers.
Printing a unique number on a job (i.e. tickets).
A method of lithography by which the image is not printed direct from the plate but offset first onto a rubber covered cylinder, the
blanket that performs the printing operation.
Description of non-transparency in printing papers.
A process in which low resolution files are replaced automatically by high resolution files
at pre-press stage.
Any matter or image intended for reproduction.
Printing over an already printed area.
The term given to numbering the pages of a book.
Pantone matching system
A registered trade name, system of colour matching used in computer software, paper and inks.
Printing the second side of a sheet simultaneously (backing up).
Print perforation is to make broken slotted cuts or rules so the matter can be torn
in the correct place.
A sheet of metal with a design which an impression is printed.
On a printing press, the cylinder that supports the inked plate.
A machine where the printing plate is produced directly from data without the need for film.
A registered trade mark of Adobe Inc., It is a page description language which describes the content and layout of a page.
In the printing of a job, the total number of copies produced in one printing.
The printing inks Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.
The basic material used in papermaking, broken down mechanically or chemically.
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Raster Image Processing. Making the dots that make up a halftone from a page description language such as postscript.
The correct alignment of plates with the margins in order, IT is also the correct positioning one colour over another colour in colour
The efficiency of a computer graphic in reproducing fine detail.
Methods of altering the image on a computer or physical artwork, photography to change or alter an image.
500 sheets of paper of the same size, quality and grammage.
A continuous length of paper wound on a core, irrespective of diameter, width or weight.
Ability of paper or board to reflect light, a measure of gloss.
The accurate positioning of images on a sheet using tick register marks.
A set of fine line crosses or other suitable devices added to original artwork to provide reference points for accurate subsequent multi-
colour printing or finishing.
Printing method using a raised image, e.g. letterpress or flexography.
Pre-press camera work, scanning and film make-up.
Reversed Out Printing.
White text reversed out of a background of solid colour.
Reverse Side Printing
Printing on the underside of a sheet of paper, e.g. conditions.
The ability of a paper or board to perform on a printing press without problems.
Saddle Stitch or Wire
A method of stitching brochures in which they are opened over a saddle shaped support and stitched through the back.
Term used to classify a wide range of typefaces as those which are devoid of finishing strokes of characters.
A smooth finished paper with a sheen to the surface.
A crease made in paper or card so that folding will not damage it.
A screen is a thin transparent film onto which is printed a very fine matrix. A screen enables a continuous tone image such as a
photograph or transparency, which cannot be reproduced by most printing process, to be broken down into tiny dots which can be
printed and which from a normal viewing distance give the illusion of continuous tone.
Screens are also used to print tints of solid colours by altering the size or spacing of the dots. Screens can are referred to in terms of DPI
(dots per inch) or dots per centimetre and the finer the screen, the better the quality of reproduction. Newspapers use coarse screens of
around 85 DPI and magazines use around 150 DPI and can go up to 400 DPI.
The number of lines per inch (or centimetre) on a halftone or tint screen, equal to the number of dots per inch on the printed image.
A sheet folded to create four or more book pages.
Short stroke at the ends of stems, arms and tails of characters.
Term for the unwanted transfer of printing ink from a printed sheet to a surface facing it.
A single sheet of paper.
A printing press into which sheets are fed.
A perforated line running down the sides of a form, usually about 12mm from each side to remove sprocket hole margins.
A colour that is printed not using four colour printing, but printed using self-coloured inks such as Pantone.
Stochastic Screening (Frequency Modulated)
Unlike conventional the screen is made up of dots which are randomly distributed to create a tonal change illusion. The greater the
number of dots located within a specific area the darker the tone. The dots are usually smaller than conventional screening so the
definition tends to be better.
A colour specimen.
The process in which new printed sheets are dusted with a resin powder, which forms a surface when, fused with heat.
An index where the divisions or chapters are cut into the edge of the publication.
The effect of the mixture of white to a solid colour or the effect achieved by breaking up colour into a percentage using dots, which
allow white paper to show through.
Marks incorporated on a printed sheet, which indicate where the paper is to be cut or trimmed.
Two up, three up, etc
Printing where one or many images are printed on the same side of a sheet.
The design and layout of type.
A machine printed varnish, hardened by ultra-violet light.
A transparent solution mixed with ink or printed over ink to produce a glossy surface finish.
Used mainly for certificates. The paper is tough and strong and has a good quality appearance.
Paper or board pulp fibre which is being used for the first time and not recycled fibre.
A distinctive design incorporated into paper during manufacture which is visible when viewed under a light or a contrasting background.
A continuous roll of paper.
A printing press with paper supplied by a web rather than single sheets.
A mechanical binding which uses a series of double wire loops formed from a single continuous wire running along its length.
A paper which contains no mechanical wood pulp. In practice it usually contains a small percentage of mechanical fibre.
Work and Tumble
To print one side of a sheet and turn it from front to back to print the second side, keeping the same alignment of the side edges on the
Work and Turn
When both sides of a sheets is set on one plate. After one side of the sheet has been printed it is turned over end for end and backed up
from the same plate.
Work and Twist
To print the same plate twice on the same side of a sheet turning the sheet through 360 degrees between print runs.
This is made on a roll of closely woven, finely textured wire, and leaves no marks on the surface of the paper.
The mean height of lower case letters, such as c, e, o and of course x.
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Sorry there are no entries for Z.
This is by no means a full list of printing terms, for instance there are different methods of printing which have their own terms and
words to desribe the print process. Digital Printing has many terms which also encompass other technical terms used in the computer
industry, these number in the hundreds; thefore we could not list them all.
We wil be happy to answer any question that you may have about the industry so please do not hesitate to ask.
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