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Glossary of Printing & Graphic Terms A to D

Published Time:2015-11-03 Original Source:Glossary of Printing & Graphic Terms

Glossary of Printing & Graphic Terms

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This glossary includes all the technical and business terms in the printing.

A

Acetate

A transparent sheet placed over originals or artwork, allowing the designer to write instructions andor indicate a second color for placement.

Acid-free Paper

Papermade from pulp containing little or no acid so it resists deterioration from age. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.

Acid Resist

An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching.

Additive Color

Color produced by light falling onto a surface, as compared to subtractive color. The additive primary colors are red, green and blue.

A4 Paper

ISO paper size 210 x 297mm used for Letterhead.

Against the Grain

At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. Also called across the grain and cross grain. See also Grain Direction.

Airbrush

Pen-shaped tool that sprays a fine mist of ink or paint to retouch photos and create continuous-tone illustrations.

Alteration

Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author alteration and customer alteration.

Anodized Plate

An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use.

Anti-offset Powder

Fine powder lightly sprayed over the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave a press. Also called dust, offset powder, powder and spray powder.

Antique Paper

Roughest finish offered on offset paper.

Aqueous Coating

Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath.

Artwork

All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.

Author's Alterations (AA's)

At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided. AA's are considered an additional cost to the client usually.

B

Back Up

(1) To print on the second side of a sheet already printed on one side. (2) To adjust an image on one side of a sheet so that it aligns back-to-back with an image on the other side.

Base Art

Copy pasted up on the mounting board of a mechanical, as compared to overlay art. Also called base mechanical.

Base Negative

Negative made by photographing base art.

Basic Size

The standard size of sheets of paper used to calculate basis weight in the United States and Canada.

Basis Weight

In the United States and Canada, the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to the basic size. Also called ream weight and substance weight (sub weight). In countries using ISO paper sizes, the weight, in grams, of one square meter of paper. Also called grammage and ream weight.

Bind

Usually in the book arena, but not exclusively, the joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue or other means.

Bindery

Usually a department within a printing company responsible for collating, folding and trimming various printing projects.

Blank

Category of paperboard ranging in thickness from 15 to 48 points.

Blanket

Rubber-coated pad, mounted on a cylinder of an offset press, that receives the inked image from the plate and transfers it to the surface to be printed.

Bleed

Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.

Blind Folio

A page number not printed on the page. (In the book arena, a blank page traditionally does not print a page number.)

Blind Image

Image debossed, embossed or stamped, but not printed with ink or foil.

Blocking

Sticking together of printed sheets causing damage when the surfaces are separated.

Blow-Up

An enlargement, usually used with raphic images or photographs

Blueline

Prepress photographic proof made from stripped negatives where all colors show as blue images on white paper. Because 'blueline' is a generic term for proofs made from a variety of materials having identical purposes and similar appearances, it may also be called a blackprint, blue, blueprint, brownline, brownprint, diazo, dyeline, ozalid, position proof, silverprint, Dylux and VanDyke.

Blurb

A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket.

Board Paper

General term for paper over 110# index, 80# cover or 200 gsm that is commonly used for products such as file folders, displays and post cards. Also called paperboard.

Body

The main text of work not including the headlines.

Boiler Plate

Blocks of repetitive type used and copied over and over again.

Bond paper

Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also called business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper and writing paper.

Book Block

Folded signatures gathered, sewn and trimmed, but not yet covered.

Book Paper

Category of paper suitable for books, magazines, catalogs, advertising and general printing needs. Book paper is divided into uncoated paper (also called offset paper), coated paper (also called art paper, enamel paper, gloss paper and slick paper) and text paper.

Border

The decorative design or rule surrounding matter on a page.

Bounce

(1) a repeating registration problem in the printing stage of production. (2) Customer unhappy with the results of a printing project and refuses to accept the project.

Bristol Paper

General term referring to paper 6 points or thicker with basis weight between 90# and 200# (200-500 gsm). Used for products such as index cards, file folders and displays.

Broadside

The term used to indicate work printed on one of a large sheet of paper.

Bromide

A photographic print created on bromide paper.

Broken Carton

Carton of paper from which some of the sheets have been sold. Also called less carton.

Bronzing

The effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing and using a metallic powder.

Build a Color

To overlap two or more screen tints to create a new color. Such an overlap is called a build, color build, stacked screen build or tint build.

Bulk

Thickness of paper relative to its basic weight.

Bullet

A dot or similar marking to emphasize text.

Burst Perfect Bind

To bind by forcing glue into notches along the spines of gathered signatures before affixing a paper cover. Also called burst bind, notch bind and slotted bind.

Butt Register

Register where ink colors meet precisely without overlapping or allowing space between, as compared to lap register. Also called butt fit and kiss register.

Buy Out

To subcontract for a service that is closely related to the business of the organization. Also called farm out. Work that is bought out or farmed out is sometimes called outwork or referred to as being out of house.

C

C1S and C2S

Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.

Calender

To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between rollers during manufacturing.

Caliper

(1) Thickness of paper or other substrate expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), pages per inch (ppi), thousandths of a millimeter (microns) or pages per centimeter (ppc). (2) Device on a sheetfed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.

Camera-ready Copy

Mechanicals, photographs and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used. Also called finished art and reproduction copy.

Camera Service

Business using a process camera to make photostats, halftones, plates and other elements for printing. Also called prep service and trade camera service.

Carbonless Paper

Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.

Carload

Selling unit of paper that may weigh anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 pounds (9,090 to 45, 454 kilos), depending on which mill or merchant uses the term. Abbreviated CL.

Carton

Selling unit of paper weighing approximately 150 pounds (60 kilos). A carton can contain anywhere from 500 to 5,000 sheets, depending on the size of sheets and their basis weight.

Case

Covers and spine that, as a unit, enclose the pages of a casebound book.

Case Bind

To bind using glue to hold signatures to a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather. Also called cloth bind, edition bind, hard bind and hard cover.

Cast-coated Paper

High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet.

Catalog Paper

Coated paper rated #4 or #5 with basis weight from 35# to 50# (50 to 75 gsm) commonly used for catalogs and magazines.

Chain Dot

(1) Alternate term for elliptical dot, so called because midtone dots touch at two points, so look like links in a chain. (2) Generic term for any midtone dots whose corners touch.

Chain Lines

(1) Widely spaced lines in laid paper. (2) Blemishes on printed images caused by tracking.

Chalking

Deterioration of a printed image caused by ink that absorbs into paper too fast or has long exposure to sun, and wind making printed images look dusty. Also called crocking.

Check Copy

(1) Production copy of a publication verified by the customer as printed, finished and bound correctly. (2) One set of gathered book signatures approved by the customer as ready for binding.

Choke

Technique of slightly reducing the size of an image to create a hairline trap or to outline. Also called shrink and skinny.

Chrome

Strength of a color as compared to how close it seems to neutral gray. Also called depth, intensity, purity and saturation.

Close Up

A mark used to indicate closing space between characters or words. Usually used in proofing stages.

CMYK

Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.

Coarse Screen

Halftone screen with ruling of 65, 85 or 100 lines per inch (26, 34 or 40 lines centimeter).

Coated Paper

Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories cast, gloss, dull and matte.

Collate

To organize printed matter in a specific order as requested.

Collating Marks

Mostly in the book arena, specific marks on the back of signatures indicating exact position in the collating stage.

Color Balance

Refers to amounts of process colors that simulate the colors of the original scene or photograph.

Color Blanks

Press sheets printed with photos or illustrations, but without type. Also called shells.

Color Break

In multicolor printing, the point, line or space at which one ink color stops and another begins. Also called break for color.

Color Cast

Unwanted color affecting an entire image or portion of an image.

Color Control Bar

Strip of small blocks of color on a proof or press sheet to help evaluate features such as density and dot gain. Also called color bar, color guide and standard offset color bar.

Color Correct

To adjust the relationship among the process colors to achieve desirable colors.

Color Curves

Instructions in computer software that allow users to change or correct colors. Also called HLS and HVS tables.

Color Electronic Prepress System

Computer, scanner, printer and other hardware and software designed for image assembly, color correction, retouching and output onto proofing materials, film or printing plates. Abbreviated CEPS.

Color Gamut

The entire range of hues possible to reproduce using a specific device, such as a computer screen, or system, such as four-color process printing.

Color Key

Brand name for an overlay color proof. Sometimes used as a generic term for any overlay color proof.

Color Model

Way of categorizing and describing the infinite array of colors found in nature.

Color Separation

(1) Technique of using a camera, scanner or computer to divide continuous-tone color images into four halftone negatives. (2) The product resulting from color separating and subsequent four-color process printing. Also called separation.

Color Sequence

Order in which inks are printed. Also called laydown sequence and rotation.

Color Shift

Change in image color resulting from changes in register, ink densities or dot gain during four-color process printing.

Color Transparency

Film (transparent) used as art to perform color separations.

Comb Bind

To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper. Also called plastic bind and GBC bind (a brand name).

Commercial Printer

Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books and magazines. Also called job printer because each job is different.

Complementary Flat(s)

The second or additional flat(s) used when making composite film or for two or more burns on one printing plate.

Composite Art

Mechanical on which copy for reproduction in all colors appears on only one surface, not separated onto overlays. Composite art has a tissue overlay with instructions that indicate color breaks.

Composite Film

Film made by combining images from two or more pieces of working film onto one film for making one plate.

Composite Proof

Proof of color separations in position with graphics and type. Also called final proof, imposition proof and stripping proof.

Composition

(1) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. (2) In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics and other elements on the page.

Comprehensive Dummy

Simulation of a printed piece complete with type, graphics and colors. Also called color comprehensive and comp.

Condition

To keep paper in the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that its moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom. Also called cure, mature and season.

Contact Platemaker

Device with lights, timing mechanism and vacuum frame used to make contact prints, duplicate film, proofs and plates. Also called platemaker and vacuum frame.

Continuous-tone Copy

All photographs and those illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones. Abbreviated contone.

Contrast

The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.

Converter

Business that makes products such as boxes, bags, envelopes and displays.

Copyboard

Surface or frame on a process camera that holds copy in position to be photographed.

Cover

Thick paper that protects a publication and advertises its title. Parts of covers are often described as follows: Cover 1=outside front; Cover 2=inside front; Cover 3=inside back, Cover 4=outside back.

Coverage

Extent to which ink covers the surface of a substrate. Ink coverage is usually expressed as light, medium or heavy.

Cover Paper

Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.

Crash

Coarse cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to increase strength of binding. Also called gauze, mull and scrim.

Creep

Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages. Also called feathering, outpush, push out and thrust. See also Shingling.

Crop Marks

Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks and tic marks.

Crossover

Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.

Cure

To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent setoff.

Customer Service Representative

Employee of a printer, service bureau, separator or other business who coordinates projects and keeps customers informed. Abbreviated CSR.

Cutoff

Circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore also the length of the printed sheet that the press cuts from the roll of paper.

Cut Sizes

Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.

Cutting Machine

A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing.

Cutting Die

Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.

CWT

Abbreviation for hundredweight using the Roman numeral C=100.

Cyan

One of the four process colors. Also known as process blue.

D

Data Compression

Technique of reducing the amount of storage required to hold a digital file to reduce the disk space the file requires and allow it to be processed or transmitted more quickly.

Deboss

To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface. Also called tool.

Deckle Edge

Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut. Also called feather edge.

Densitometer

Instrument used to measure density. Reflection densitometers measure light reflected from paper and other surfaces; transmission densitometers measure light transmitted through film and other materials.

Density

(1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding color, the relative ability of a color to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers.

Density Range

Difference between the darkest and lightest areas of copy. Also called contrast ratio, copy range and tonal range.

Desktop Publishing

Technique of using a personal computer to design images and pages, and assemble type and graphics, then using a laser printer or imagesetter to output the assembled pages onto paper, film or printing plate. Abbreviated DTP.

Device Independent Colors

Hules identified by wavelength or by their place in systems such as developed by CIE. 'Device independent' means a color can be described and specified without regard to whether it is reproduced using ink, projected light, photographic chemistry or any other method.

Die

Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.

Die Cut

To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.

Digital Proofing

Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or ink-jet.

Diffusion Transfer

Chemical process of reproducing line copy and making halftone positives ready for paste-up.

Digital Dot

Dot created by a computer and printed out by a laser printer or imagesetter. Digital dots are uniform in size, as compared to halftone dots that vary in size.

Direct Digital Color Proof

Color proof made by a laser, ink jet printer or other computer-controlled device without needing to make separation films first. Abbreviated DDCP.

Dog Ear

A letter fold at the side of one of the creases, an indentation occurs.

Dot Gain

Phenomenon of halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing detail and lowering contrast. Also called dot growth, dot spread and press gain.

Dot Size

Relative size of halftone dots as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used. There is no unit of measurement to express dot size. Dots are too large, too small or correct only in comparison to what the viewer finds attractive.

Dots-per-inch

Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors. Abbreviated DPI. Also called dot pitch.

Double Black Duotone

Duotone printed from two halftones, one shot for highlights and the other shot for midtones and shadows.

Double Bump

To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.

Double Burn

To expose film or a plate twice to different negatives and thus create a composite image.

Double Density