Glossary of Printing & Graphic Terms P to W
Glossary of Printing & Graphic Terms
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This glossary includes all the technical and business terms in printing.
Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.
Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also called correction marks.
Round device used to calculate percent that an original image must by reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size. Also called percentage wheel, proportion dial, proportion wheel and scaling wheel.
Paper made in weights, colors and surfaces suited to books, magazines, catalogs and free-standing inserts.
Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.
(1) Sheet folded twice, making pages one-fourth the size of the original sheet. A quarto makes an 8-page signature. (2) Book made from quarto sheets, traditionally measuring about 9' x 12'.
Printing using small sheetfed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper.
Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.
Stationery or other forms of stock having a strong percentage content of "cotton rags."
Technique of putting ink colors next to each other in the same ink fountain and oscillating the ink rollers to make the colors merge where they touch, producing a rainbow effect.
Raster Image Processor
Device that translates page description commands into bitmapped information for an output device such as a laser printer or imagesetter.
Mechanicals made in two page spreads as readers would see the pages, as compared to printer spread.
500 sheets of paper.
New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
Products, such as fabrics, illustrations and photographic prints, viewed by light reflected from them, as compared to transparent copy. Also called reflex copy.
To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.
Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.
Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels having inked areas higher than noninked areas. Relief printing includes block printing, flexography and letter press.
Ability of a device, such as an imagesetter, to produce film or plates that yield images in register.
General term for xerography, diazo and other methods of copying used by designers, engineers, architects or for general office use.
Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.
An image, such as the GATF Star Target, that permits evaluation of resolution on film, proofs or plates.
Type, graphic or illustration reproduced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the underlying color or paper to show through and form the image. The image 'reverses out' of the ink color. Also called knockout and liftout.
Abbreviation for red, green, blue, the additive color primaries.
Copy that reads correctly in the language in which it is written. Also describes a photo whose orientation looks like the original scene, as compared to a flopped image.
Printing press which passes the substrate between two rotating cylinders when making an impression.
Round Back Bind
To casebind with a rounded (convex) spine, as compared to flat back bind.
Mask on a mechanical, made with rubylith, that creates a window on film shot from the mechanical.
Line used as a graphic element to separate or organize copy.
Map or drawing given by a printer to a stripper showing how a printing job must be imposed using a specific press and sheet size. Also called press layout, printer's layout and ruleout.
To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch. Also called pamphlet stitch, saddle wire and stitch bind.
Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.
To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing.
Electronic device used to scan an image.
To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.
Angles at which screens intersect with the horizontal line of the press sheet. The common screen angles for separations are black 45 degree, magenta 75 degree, yellow 90 degree and cyan 105 degree.
Refers to the percentage of ink coverage that a screen tint allows to print. Also called screen percentage.
Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.
Number of rows or lines of dots per inch or centimeter in a screen for making a screen tint or halftone. Also called line count, ruling, screen frequency, screen size and screen value.
Color created by dots instead of solid ink coverage. Also called Benday, fill pattern, screen tone, shading, tint and tone.
Placing signatures or inserts in magazines or catalogs according to demographic or geographic guidelines.
Usually in the book arena, a publication not having a cover stock. A publication only using text stock throughout.
A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently.
Art with elements that print in the base color on one surface and elements that print in other colors on other surfaces. Also called preseparated art.
Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding qimages of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film.
Printing method whose image carriers are woven fabric, plastic or metal that allow ink to pass through some portions and block ink from passing through other portions. Serigraphic printing includes screen and mimeograph.
Business using imagesetters to make high resolution printouts of files prepared on microcomputers. Also called output house and prep service.
Undesirable transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the underside of another as they lie in the delivery stack of a press. Also called offset.
Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and high-lights.
Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.
Technique of printing one side of a sheet with one set of plates, then the other side of the sheet with a set of different plates. Also called work and back.
Allowance, made during paste-up or stripping, to compensate for creep. Creep is the problem; shingling is the solution. Also called stair stepping and progressive margins.
To bind by stapling through sheets along, one edge, as compared to saddle stitch. Also called cleat stitch and side wire.
Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine or other publication.
Compound mixed with paper or fabric to make it stiffer and less able to absorb moisture.
Separate sheets (stock) independent from the original run positioned between the "printed run" for a variety of reasons.
Halftones dots with halos.
Any area of the sheet receiving 100 percent ink coverage, as compared to a screen tint.
Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment.
Printer whose equipment, supplies, work flow and marketing is targeted to a particular category of products.
Complete and precise written description of features of a printing job such as type size and leading, paper grade and quantity, printing or binding method. Abbreviated specs.
Instrument used to measure the index of refraction of color.
Highlight area with no printable dots, thus no detail, as compared to a diffuse highlight. Also called catchlight and dropout highlight.
Back or binding edge of a publication
To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind.
Technique of putting ink colors next to each other in the same ink fountain and printing them off the same plate.
(1) Different images, such as advertisements, printed in different editions of a publication. (2) Printing of a book that has some copies bound one way and other copies bound another way.
Paper that, due to mistakes or accidents, must be thrown away instead of delivered printed to the customer, as compared to waste.
Spot Color or Varnish
One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet.
(1) Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit. (2) Technique of slightly enlarging the size of an image to accomplish a hairline trap with another image. Also called fatty.
Standard Viewing Conditions
Background of 60 percent neutral gray and light that measures 5000 degrees Kelvin the color of daylight on a bright day. Also called lighting standards.
Short for photostat, therefore a general term for an inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone.
Statistical Process Control
Method used by printers to ensure quality and delivery times specified by customers. Abbreviated SPC.
Step and Repeat
Prepress technique of exposing an image in a precise, multiple pattern to create a flat or plate. Images are said to be stepped across the film or plate.
Popular sizes, weights and colors of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant's warehouse.
Order for paper that a mill or merchant sends to a printer from inventory at a warehouse, as compared to a mill order.
Score created by pressing a string against paper, as compared to scoring using a metal edge.
To assemble images on film for platemaking. Stripping involves correcting flaws in film, assembling pieces of film into flats and ensuring that film and flats register correctly. Also called film assembly and image assembly.
Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers. Also called sub weight.
In the book arena, hot die, foil or other means in creating an image on a case bound book.
Any surface or material on which printing is done.
Color produced by light reflected from a surface, as compared to additive color. Subtractive color includes hues in color photos and colors created by inks on paper.
Subtractive Primary Color
Yellow, magenta and cyan. In the graphic arts, these are known as process colors because, along with black, they are the inks colors used in color-process printing.
Paper calendered using alternating chrome and fiber rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet. Abbreviated SC paper.
Taking an already printed matter and re-printing again on the same.
A book in a variety of forms, indicating specific stock in specific colors in a specific thickness.
Abbreviation for specifications for web offset publications, specifications recommended for web printing of publications.
Using a broadsheet as a measure, one half of a broadsheet.
Grade of dense, strong paper used for products such as badges and file folders.
Tagged Image File Format
Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. Abbreviated TIFF.
Target Ink Densities
Densities of the four process inks as recommended for various printing processes and grades of paper. See also Total Area Coverage.
Concerning a printing project's basic details in regard to its dimensions. A standard layout.
Designation for printing papers with textured surfaces such as laid or linen. Some mills also use 'text' to refer to any paper they consider top-of-the-line, whether or not its surface has a texture.
Method of printing using colorless resin powder that takes on the color of underlying ink. Also called raised printing.
Initial ideas jotted on virtually anything in regard to initial concept of a future project.
Screening or adding white to a solid color for results of lightening that specific color.
Usually in the book arena, adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process (separate insertion).
Reduction in the tonal range from original scene to printed reproduction.
Total Area Coverage
Total of the dot percentages of the process colors in the final film. Abbreviated for TAC. Also called density of tone, maximum density, shadow saturation, total dot density and total ink coverage.
Plate that accents or prints a color that four-color process printing cannot reproduce well enough or at all. Also called kiss plate.
Service bureau, printer or bindery working primarily for other graphic arts professionals, not for the general public.
Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through. Also called chrome, color transparency and tranny. Often abbreviated TX.
To print one ink over another or to print a coating, such as varnish, over an ink. The first liquid traps the second liquid. See also Dry Traps and Wet Traps.
The size of the printed material in its finished stage (e.g., the finished trim size is 5 12 x 8 12).
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.
Technique of making color separations that increases the amount of cyan, magenta or yellow ink in shadow areas. Abbreviated UCA.
Technique of making color separations such that the amount of cyan, magenta and yellow ink is reduced in midtone and shadow areas while the amount of black is increased. Abbreviated UCR.
Universal Copyright Convention (UCC)
A system to protect unique work from reproducing without knowledge from the originator. To qualify, one must register their work and publish a (c) indicating registration.
Technique of adjusting dot size to make a halftone or separation appear sharper (in better focus) than the original photo or the first proof. Also called edge enhancement and peaking.
Term to indicate multiple copies of one image printed in one impression on a single sheet. "Two up" or "three up" means printing the identical piece twice or three times on each sheet.
Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.
The shade (darkness) or tint (lightness) of a color. Also called brightness, lightness, shade and tone.
Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.
Somewhat rough, toothy finish.
Brand name for high-contrast photographic paper.
Small area or room that is set up for proper viewing of transparencies, color separations or press sheets. Also called color booth. See also Standard Viewing Conditions.
Decorative design or illustration fade to white.
Halftone whose background gradually and smoothly fades away. Also called degrade.
Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.
Abbreviation for volatile organic compounds, petroleum substances used as the vehicles for many printing inks.
To clean ink and fountain solutions from rollers, fountains, screens, and other press components.
Unusable paper or paper damage during normal makeready, printing or binding operations, as compared to spoilage.
Translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing by slight embossing from a dandy roll while paper is still approximately 90 percent water.
Unacceptable stretching of paper as it passes through the press.
Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel-fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages).
To print ink or varnish over wet ink, as compared to dry trap.
(1) In a printed product, a die-cut hole revealing an image on the sheet behind it. (2) On a mechanical, an area that has been marked for placement of a piece of artwork.
Side of the paper that rests against The Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to felt side.
With the Grain
Parallel to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to against the grain. See also Grain Direction.
Made with chemical pulp only. Paper usually classified as calendered or supercalendered.
Intermediate film that will be copied to make final film after all corrections are made. Also called buildups.
Paper manufactured without visible wire marks, usually a fine textured paper.
An image that is backwards when compared to the original. Also called flopped and reverse reading.