Print jargon
Useful printing terminology

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

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

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

Thickness of paper relative to its basic weight.

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

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.

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

Colour Cast
Unwanted colour affecting an entire image or portion of an image.

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

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

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

Cut Sizes
Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.

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.

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.

Simulation of the final product. Also called mockup.

Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.

To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface. Also called cameo and tool.

Encapsulated Post Script, a known file format usually used to transfer post script information from one programme to another.

Foil Emboss
To foil stamp and emboss an image. Also called heat stamp.

Size, style, shape, layout or organisation of a layout or printed product.

Four-colour Process Printing
Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full-colour images. Also called colour process printing, full colour printing and process printing.

Gloss Paper
Shiny, reflective paper stock.

Gloss Ink
Ink used and printed on coated stock (mostly litho and letterpress) to enable the ink to dry without penetration, leaving it glossy.

The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square metre).

In the book arena, the inside margins toward the back or the binding edges.Inserts
Within a publication, an additional item positioned into the publication loose (not bound in).

A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to, usually, a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use. Usually accents existing colour, providing a glossy (or lens) effect.

Offset Printing
Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

Perf Marks
On a "dummy", marking where the perforation is to occur.

Obsolete reference to Pantone Matching System. The correct trade name of the colours in the Pantone Matching System is Pantone colours, not PMS Colours.

Press Check
Event at which make-ready sheets from the press are examined before authorising full production to begin.

Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.

Register Marks
Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.

Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.

Satin Finish
Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.

Uncoated Paper
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.

UV Coating
Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

Virgin Paper
Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.

Web 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).

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