GLOSSARY OF PRINTING TERMS
Acetate: Thin, flexible sheet of transparent plastic used to make overlays.
Against the Grain: At right angles to the grain direction of paper.
AA (Author’s Alteration): Change in copy or specifications made after production has begun.
Back Up: To print on the second side of a sheet already printed on one side.
Banding: Method of packaging printed pieces using paper, rubber, or fiberglass bands.
Basis Weight: Weight in pounds of a ream of paper cut to the basic size for its grade.
Bind: To fasten sheets or signatures and adhere covers with glue, wire, thread, or by other means.
Bindery: Print shop department or separate business that does trimming, folding, binding, and other finishing tasks.
Bond Paper: Grade of paper commonly used for writing, printing, and photocopying.
Brightness: Characteristic of paper referring to how much light it reflects.
Bristol: Type of board paper used for post cards, business cards, and other heavy-use products.
Broken Carton: Less than one full carton of paper.
Bulk Pack: To pack printed pieces in boxes without prior wrapping in bundles.
C1S: Paper coated on one side.
C2S: Paper coated on both sides.
Caliper: Thickness of paper, expressed in thousandths of an inch.
Cast Coated: Coated paper with a surface similar to that of a glossy photograph.
Chipboard: Inexpensive, single-ply cardboard, usually brown or gray.
CMYK: Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black process colors or inks.
Collate: To assemble sheets into proper sequence.
Color Correct: To retouch or enhance color separation negatives.
Copy: For an editor or typesetter, all written material. For a graphic designer or printer, everything that will be printed: art, photographs, and graphics as well as words.
Cover Paper: Grade of paper made for covers and post cards.
Creep: Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages.
Crop: To eliminate portions of an illustration or photograph so the remainder is more clear, interesting, or able to fit the layout.
Crop Marks: Lines near the edges of an image showing portions to be eliminated.
Crossover: Image that continues from one page of a publication across the gutter to the opposite page.
Cyan: one of the four process colors; also known as process blue.
Data Conversion: To change digital information from its original code so that it can be recorded by an electronic memory using a different code.
Deckle Edge: Feathered edge on specially-made sheets of text and cover paper.
Direct Mail: Mail designed to motivate readers to respond directly to senders with a purchase, donation, or other action.
Drill: To bore holes in paper so sheets fit over posts of loose-leaf binders.
Dummy: Preliminary drawing or layout showing visual elements. Also a simulation of a printed piece using paper specified for a job.
Estimate: Price that states what a job will probably cost based on initial specifications from customer.
Film Laminate: Thin sheet of plastic adhered to printed paper for protection.
Final Count: Number of printed pieces delivered and charged for.
Finish: Surface characteristic of paper.
Finishing: Inclusive term sometimes used for all bindery operations.
Finish Size: Size of printed product after production is complete.
Format: Size, shape, and overall style of a layout or printed piece.
4-Color Process: Technique of printing that uses the four process colors of ink to simulate color photographs or illustrations.
Gloss: Characteristic of paper, ink, or varnish that reflects relatively large amounts of light.
Grain: The direction in which fibers are aligned.
Grain Long or Grain Short: Paper whose fibers parallel the long or short dimension of the sheet.
Graphic Arts: The crafts, industries, and professions related to designing and printing messages.
Gutter: Space between columns of type where pages meet at the binding.
Hickey: Donut-shaped spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage.
House Sheet: General-use paper ordered in large quantities and kept in stock by a printer.
Imprint: To print additional copy on a previously printed sheet.
Index Paper: Light weight board paper for writing and easy erasure.
Indicia: Postal permit information printed on objects to be mailed and accepted by USPS in lieu of stamps.
Job Ticket: Alternate term for Work order.
Jog: To straighten or align sheets of paper in a stack.
Kiss Die Cut: To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper.
Kraft Paper: Strong paper, usually brown, used for wrapping and to make bags.
Kromekote: Champion Paper Company trade name for a high-gloss, cast-coated paper.
Laid Finish: Grid of parallel lines on paper simulating surface of handmade paper.
Laminate: To bond plastic film to paper, or to glue paper to chipboard or corrugated cardboard.
Layout: Sketch or drawing of a design for a proposed printed piece showing position, size, and color of copy.
Lettershop: Alternate term for Mailing service.
Logo: Assembly of type and art into a distinctive symbol unique to an organization, business, or product.
Long Grain: Alternate term for Grain long (paper).
Loupe: Alternate term for Graphic arts magnifier.
Magenta: One of the four process colors; also known as process red.
Mailing Service: Business specializing in addressing and mailing large quantities of printed pieces.
Make-Ready: All activities required to set up a press before production begins. Also refers to paper used in the process.
Margin: Space forming border of a page or sheet.
Matte Finish: Slightly dull finish on coated, lightly calendared paper.
Micrometer: Instrument used to measure thickness of paper.
Mike: To measure the thickness of a sheet of paper using a micrometer.
Mill Swatch: Paper sample book provided by a mill.
Mockup: Alternate term for Dummy.
One-Off Proof: Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results, and record how a printing job is intended to appear.
Opacity: Characteristic of paper that helps prevent printing on one side from showing on the other.
Opaque: Not transparent. Also, a verb meaning to cover flaws in negatives with paint or tape. Also, the paint used for this purpose.
Overprint: To print over a previously printed image.
Overrun: The number of pieces that were printed in excess of the quantity specified.
Overs: Printed pieces in an overrun.
Pad: To bind by applying glue along one edge of a stack of sheets.
Page Count: Total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers.
Pages Per Inch: Number of pages per inch of thickness of a bound publication. Each sheet has two pages.
Pallet: Wooden platform used as a base for loading and moving paper and printed products.
Paper Dummy: Unprinted sample of a proposed printed piece trimmed, folded, and, if necessary, bound using paper specified for the job.
Parchment: Paper that simulates writing surfaces made from animal skins.
Parent Sheet: Paper distributor term for sheet 17 x 22 or larger.
Pixel: Short for picture element, referring to a part of a dot made by a scanner or other digital device.
PMS: Abbreviation for PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, a check standard trademark for color reproduction and color reproduction materials owned by Pantone, Inc.
Point: In paper, unit of thickness equaling 1/1000 inch. In typesetting, unit of height equaling 1/72 inch.
PPI: Short for pages per inch.
Prepress: Alternate term for Preparation.
Press Check: Event at which test sheets are examined before production run is authorized to begin.
Price Break: Quantity level at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.
Process Blue: Alternate term for Cyan.
Process Colors: The colors needed for 4-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan, and black.
Process Inks: Inks in the four process colors.
Process Red: Alternate term for Magenta.
Proof: Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results, and record how a printing job is intended to appear.
Proof OK: Customer signature approving a proof and authorizing the job to advance to the next stage.
Proofread: To examine copy or a proof for errors in writing or composition.
Quotation: Printer's offer to print a job for a specific price calculated from specifications and dummies provided by customer.
Ream: Typically 250 or 500 sheets of paper.
Register: To position printing in proper relation to edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.
Register Marks: Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and negatives.
Retouch: To enhance a photo or correct its flaws.
Reverse: Type or other image reproduced by printing the background rather than the image itself, allowing the underlying color of paper or previously printed ink to show in the shape of the image.
Right Reading: Copy reading correctly (normally) from left to right.
Rule: Line used for graphic effect.
Run: Total number of copies ordered or printed.
Saddle Stitch: To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine.
Scale: To identify the percent by which images should be enlarged or reduced.
Score: To compress paper along a line so it will fold more easily.
Self-Cover: Publication made entirely from the same paper so that cover is printed simultaneously with inside pages.
Self-Mailer: Printed piece designed to be mailed without an envelope (typically folded and affixed with the appropriate number of tabs or wafer seals, per USPS requirements).
Show Through: Printing on one side of paper that can be seen on the other side.
Shrink Wrap: Method of tightly wrapping packages or products in plastic film.
Signature: Sheet of printed pages which, when folded, become part of a publication.
Slip Sheet: Blank sheet placed between newly-made printed products to prevent set off or scuffing during handling and shipping.
Solid: Any area of the sheet that has received 100% ink coverage Specifications: Complete and precise descriptions of paper, ink, binding, quantity, and other features of a printing job.
Spine: Binding edge of a signature or publication.
Spiral Bind: To bind using a spiral of wire or plastic looped through holes.
Spoilage: Paper wasted during make ready, printing, or bindery operations.
Stationery: Letterhead, envelopes, business cards, note cards, and other printed materials for business correspondence.
Stock: Paper or other substrate.
Swatch Book: Book with small samples of paper or ink colors.
Tag: Board grade paper used for products such as tags and file folders.
Text Paper: Grade of paper characterized by textured surfaces.
Tissue: Thin, translucent paper used for overlays.
Toner: Powder forming the image in photocopy.
Trim Marks: Lines on a mechanical, negative, plate, or press sheet showing where to cut edges off of paper or cut paper apart after printing.
Trim Size: Size of the printed product after last trim is made.
Turnaround Time: Amount of time needed to complete a job or one stage of it.
Uncoated Paper: Paper that is not clay coated.
Underrun: Production run of fewer copies than the amount specified.
Up: Printing two up or three up means printing the identical piece twice or three times on one sheet of paper in one impression.
Vellum Finish: Relatively rough finish on uncoated paper.
Wire-O: Trade name for method of mechanical binding using double loops of wire.
With the Grain: Parallel to the grain direction of paper.
Work Order: Form used by printing companies to specify and schedule production of jobs and record the time, materials, and supplies that each job requires to complete.
Wove Finish: Relatively smooth finish on paper achieved by moderate calendaring.