Glossary of Printing & Graphic Terms J to P
Glossary of Printing & Graphic Terms
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This glossary includes all the technical and business terms in printing.
Job Lot Paper
Paper that didn't meet specifications when produced, has been discontinued, or for other reasons is no longer considered first quality.
A number assigned to a specific printing project in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping.
Form used by service bureaus, separators and printers to specify production schedule of a job and the materials it needs. Also called docket, production order and work order.
A vibration machine with a slopping platform to even-up stacks of printed materials.
Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing. Hence the 'K' in CMYK.
(1) The screw that controls ink flow from the ink fountain of a printing press. (2) To relate loose pieces of copy to their positions on a layout or mechanical using a system of numbers or letters. (3) Alternate term for the color black, as in 'key plate.'
Lines on a mechanical or negative showing the exact size, shape and location of photographs or other graphic elements. Also called holding lines.
Key Negative or Plate
Negative or plate that prints the most detail, thus whose image guides the register of images from other plates. Also called key printer.
Kiss Die Cut
To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper. Also called face cut.
Lightest possible impression that will transfer ink to a Substrate.
Strong paper used for wrapping and to make grocery bags and large envelopes.
Finish on bond or text paper on which grids of parallel lines simulate the surface of handmade paper. Laid lines are close together and run against the grain; chain lines are farther apart and run with the grain.
A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing color, providing a glossy (or lens) effect.
Artist style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)
Register where ink colors overlap slightly, as compared to butt register.
Bond paper made especially smooth and dry to run well through laser printers.
Ink that will not fade or blister as the paper on which it is printed is used in a laser printer.
Lay Flat Bind
Method of perfect binding that allows a publication to lie fully open. (Also known as Lay Flat Perfect Binding.)
The edge of a sheet of paper feeding into a press.
A sample of the original providing (showing) position of printed work (direction, instructions) needed and desired.
Amount of space between lines of type.
One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.
Strong, smooth bond paper used for keeping business records. Also called record paper.
Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope. Also called barrel fold and wrap around fold.
Directions about a specific matter (illustrations) and how to use. In regard to maps and tables, an explanation of signs (symbols) used.
Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.
Book paper with basis weight less than 40# (60 gsm).
Substance in trees that holds cellulose fibers together. Free sheet has most lignin removed; groundwood paper contains lignin.
Any high-contrast image, including type, as compared to continuous-tone copy. Also called line art and line work.
Negative made from line copy.
Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.
Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose nonimage areas repel ink. Nonimage areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.
Area on a mechanical within which images will print. Also called safe area.
A company, partnership or corporate creation (design) that denotes a unique entity. A possible combination of letters and art work to create a "sole" entity symbol of that specific unit.
Binding method allowing insertion and removal of pages in a publication (e.g., trim-4-drill-3).
Proof of a halftone or color separation that is not assembled with other elements from a page, as compared to composite proof. Also called first proof, random proof, scatter proof and show-color proof.
Lens built into a small stand. Used to inspect copy, film, proofs, plates and printing. Also called glass and linen tester.
Low Key Photo
Photo whose most important details appear in the shadows.
Machine Glazed (MG)
Paper holding a high-gloss finish only on one side.
One of the four process colors.
(1) All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or bindery job, as compared to production run. Also called setup. (2) Paper used in the makeready process at any stage in production. Makeready paper is part of waste or spoilage.
Order for paper that a mill makes to the customer's specifications, as compared to a mill order or stock order.
Die that applies pressure during embossing or debossing. Also called force card.
An author's original form of work (hand written, typed or on disk) submitted for publication.
Imprinted space around the edge of the printed material.
Instructions written usually on a "dummy."
To prevent light from reaching part of an image, therefore isolating the remaining part. Also called knock out.
Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press.
A form of a four-color-process proofing system.
Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
Camera-ready assembly of type, graphic and other copy complete with instructions to the printer. A hard mechanical consists of paper and/or acetate, is made using paste-up techniques, and may also be called an artboard, board or paste-up. A soft mechanical, also called an electronic mechanical, exists as a file of type and other images assembled using a computer.
To bind using a comb, coil, ring binder, post or any other technique not requiring gluing, sewing or stitching.
Color breaks made on the mechanical using a separate overlay for each color to be printed.
Lines or patterns formed with dots creating artwork for reproduction.
Ink containing powdered metal or pigments that simulate metal.
Paper coated with a thin film of plastic or pigment whose color and gloss simulate metal.
In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows.
Mil 1/1000 Inch
The thickness of plastic films as printing substrates are expressed in mils.
Phenomenon of droplets of ink being thrown off the roller train. Also called flying ink.
A reproduction of the original printed matter and possibly containing instructions or direction.
Mostly used over phone lines, a device that converts electronic stored information from point a. to point b.
Undesirable pattern resulting when halftones and screen tints are made with improperly aligned screens, or when a pattern in a photo, such as a plaid, interfaces with a halftone dot pattern.
Paper size (7' x 10') and envelope shape often used for personal stationery.
Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also called sinkage. A mottled image may be called mealy.
A specific type of glue used for books binding and personal pads needing strength.
Printing in more than one ink color (but not four-color process). Also called polychrome printing.
Weight of 1,000 sheets of paper in any specific size.
Very light brown color of paper. May also be called antique, cream, ivory, off-white or mellow white.
Signatures assembled inside one another in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to gathered. Also called inset.
Gray with no hue or cast.
Paper used in printing newspapers. Considered low quality and "a short life use."
Flaw in a photograph or halftone that looks like a drop of oil or water.
In the book binding process, a stage where air is expelled from it's contents at the sewing stage.
Web press without a drying oven, thus not able to print on coated paper. Also called cold-set web and open web.
Printing using lasers, ions, ink jets or heat to transfer images to paper.
Light blue that does not record on graphic arts film, therefore may be used to preprint layout grids and write instructions on mechanicals. Also called blue pencil, drop-out blue, fade-out blue and nonrepro blue.
Printing on products such as coasters, pencils, balloons, golf balls and ashtrays, known as advertising specialties or premiums.
Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
(1) Characteristic of paper or other substrate that prevents printing on one side from showing through the other side. (2) Characteristic of ink that prevents the substrate from showing through.
A specific lightweight type (kind) of paper usually used in the past for air mail. Seldom used today (in the typewriter era).
(1) Not transparent. (2) To cover flaws in negative with tape or opaquing paint. Also called block out and spot.
Open Prepress Interface
Hardware and software that link desktop publishing systems with color electronic prepress systems.
Form (side of a press sheet) containing images for the first and last pages of the folded signature (its outside pages) as compared to inner form.
Halftone in which background has been removed or replaced to isolate or silhouette the main image. Also called knockout halftone and silhouette halftone.
Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. Acetate overlays are used to separate colors by having some type or art on them instead of on the mounting board. Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.
Color proof consisting of polyester sheets laid on top of each other with their image in register, as compared to integral proof. Each sheet represents the image to be printed in one color. Also called celluloid proof and layered proof.
To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint. Also called surprint.
Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies in the printing industry. Advance questions avoid blind knowledge.
One side of a leaf in a publication.
Total number of pages that a publication has. Also called extent.
Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.
In the book arena, the numbering of pages.
Sheet printed with ink edge to edge, as compared to spot color. The painted sheet refers to the final product, not the press sheet, and means that 100 percent coverage results from bleeds off all four sides.
One page of a brochure, such as one panel of a rack brochure. One panel is on one side of the paper. A letter-folded sheet has six panels, not three.
A printing plate made of strong and durable paper in the short run offset arena (cost effective with short runs).
Method of folding. Two parallel folds to a sheet will produce 6 panels.
Any sheet larger than 11' x 17' or A3.
Chipboard with another paper pasted to it.
To paste copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, to overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical. The mechanical produced is often called a paste-up.
Proofreader mark meaning printer error and showing a mistake by a typesetter, prepress service or printer as compared to an error by the customer.
To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also called adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind, patent bind, perfecting bind, soft bind and soft cover. See also Burst Perfect Bind.
Press capable of printing both sides of the paper during a single pass. Also called duplex press and perfector.
On a "dummy" marking where the perforation is to occur.
Taking place on a press or a binder machine, creating a line of small dotted wholes for the purpose of tearing-off a part of a printed matter (usually straight lines, vertical or horizontal).
A unit of measure in the printing industry. A pica is approximately 0.166 in. There are 12 points to a pica.
Engraving done using photochemistry.
Brand name for a diffusion transfer process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones. Often used as alternate term for photostat. Abbreviated PMT.
Brand name for a diffusion transfer process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones. Often used as alternate term for PMT.
Phenomenon of ink pulling bits of coating or fiber away from the surface of paper as it travels through the press, thus leaving unprinted spots in the image area.
Artwork, used in a previous job, to be incorporated in a current job.
Small holes (unwanted) in printed areas because of a variety of reasons.
Technique of registering separations, flats and printing plates by using small holes, all of equal diameter, at the edges of both flats and plates.
Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device. Also called pel.
Printing method whose image carriers are level surfaces with inked areas separated from noninked areas by chemical means. Planographic printing includes lithography, offset lithography and spirit duplicating.
Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.
(1) In quick printing, a process camera that makes plates automatically from mechanicals. (2) In commercial lithography, a machine with a vacuum frame used to expose plates through film.
Stripped negatives or positives fully prepared for platemaking.
Color that the customer considers satisfactory even though it may not precisely match original samples, scenes or objects.
Obsolete reference to Pantone Matching System. The correct trade name of the colors in the Pantone Matching System is Pantone colors, not PMS Colors.
Abbreviation for photomechanical transfer.
(1) Regarding paper, a unit of thickness equating 1/1000 inch. (2) Regarding type, a unit of measure equaling 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).
An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.)
Photocopy or PMT of a photo or illustration made to size and affixed to a mechanical.
Film that prevents light from passing through images, as compared to negative film that allows light to pass through. Also called knockout film.
To bind using a screw and post inserted through a hole in a pile of loose sheets.
Camera work, color separations, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called preparation.
Any color proof made using ink jet, toner, dyes or overlays, as compared to a press proof printed using ink. Also called dry proof and off-press proof.
To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting.
Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job. Also called strike off and trial proof.
(1) Amount of time that one printing job spends on press, including time required for makeready. (2) Time of day at which a printing job goes on press.
Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.
Usually in the book arena, consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.
Mechanicals made so they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads.
Any process that transfers to paper or another substrate an image from an original such as a film negative or positive, electronic memory, stencil, die or plate.
Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.
Assembly of fountain, rollers and cylinders that will print one ink color. Also called color station, deck, ink station, printer, station and tower.
Camera used to photograph mechanicals and other camera-ready copy. Also called copy, camera and graphic arts camera. A small, simple process camera may be called a stat camera.
Process Color (Inks)
The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to makeready.
Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press..