Accordion fold:
Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.

Against the Grain:
At right angles to direction of paper grain. Also known as Across the Grain.

Change in specifications after production has begun.

Accordion fold:
Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.

Author’s corrections:
Also known as “Author’s Alterations”. Change in specifications after production has begun.


Back up:
Printing the second side of a press sheet already printed on one side.

Method of packaging printed pieces of paper using rubber or paper bands.

To fasten sheets with wire, thread, glue, or some other means.

The thick rubber mat on a printing press that transfers ink from the plate to the substrate (paper).

Printed image that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming.

Blind embossing:
An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.

Bond paper:
Strong durable paper grade typically used for letterhead, business forms, or other office documents.

The brilliance, reflectance, or relative whiteness of paper.

Bulk pack:
Boxing printed product without wrapping or banding.

Exposing a printing plate to high intensity light or placing an image on a printing plate by light.


Pressure sensitive paper, typically used for business forms, that does not use carbon.

Camera-ready copy:
Print-ready mechanical art.

Case bind:
A type of binding used in making hard cover books.

Coated paper:
A clay-coated printing paper with a smooth finish.

A finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order..

Colour bar:
A quality control mechanism using bands or strips of ink colour on the tail of a press sheet.

Colour correction:
Methods of improving colour fidelity and/or quality of colour reproduction.

Colour separations:
The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer-generated art for printing by separating into the four primary process printing colours, which are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

Comb bind:
A binding system that uses a plastic comb inserted into specially punched holes.

The tonal change or dynamic range in colour from light to dark.

All furnished material or data used in the production of a printed product.

Crash number:
Numbering paper by imaging on the first sheet which is then transferred to all parts of the printed set.

To cut off parts of a picture or image.

Crop marks:
Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.

Printing across the gutter or from one page to the facing page of a publication.

One of four standard process colours. Cyan is a shade of blue.

A quality control device that measures the density of printing ink.

An optical measure of colour or darkness of colourant (ink) relative to the substrate (paper) in a printed image.

Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.

Die cutting:
Cutting shapes in or out of a sheet of paper by means of a die.

An element of halftones. Using a loupe or magnifying glass, you will see that printed images are composed of many small dots.

Dot gain:
A term used to explain the difference in printed dot size between the imaged dot on a printing plate and the printed dot on a press sheet.

Double burn:
Exposing a printing plate to multiple images.

A rough layout of a printed piece showing position and finished size.

A halftone image made up of two printed colours.

Pressing an image into paper so that it will create a raised relief.

The light-sensitive coating found on printing plates.

Facsimile (FAX):
The process of converting graphic images into electronic signals for transmission over phone lines.

A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing.

Foil emboss:
Foil stamping and embossing an image onto paper using a die.

Foil stamping:
Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper.

Four-colour process:
The process of combining four basic subtractive primary colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create a printed colour picture or colours composed from the basic four colours.

French fold:
Two folds at right angles to each other.

Optimizing the use a printing press by using the maximum sheet size to print multiple customer jobs on the same sheet. This spreads the cost of plate making and make-ready between multiple customers, and helps save money.

A shiny appearance that reflects light, usually describes the surface characteristic of a printing paper, or a coating that is applied during the printing process.

The direction in which the paper fibers lie.

The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.

A very thin printed line or gap measuring about 1/100 inch.

The process of converting a continuous tone image to dots for printing, or a term for the converted image itself.

Hard copy:
The output of a computer printer, or typed text.

An image artifact composed of multiple undesirable spots that appear in the printed image from dust, lint, dried ink, dirt, or other contamination.

Image area:
Portion of a press sheet on which ink can appear..

Positioning printed pages so they will fold in the proper order. Today, this is achieved by use of imposition software.

The process of putting an image on paper.

Imaging onto a previously printed image.

Ink fountain:
The reservoir on a printing press that holds the ink.

Lines on mechanical art that show position of photographs or illustrations.

Kiss cut:
To die cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing.

Knock out:
The portion of an image that does not print.

Laid finish:
A surface characteristic of paper that mimics the feel of handmade paper.

To cover with a polymer film, or to bond or glue one surface to another.

Lines per inch:
The number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone image.

A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, proof, or printing plate.

Process red, one of the subtractive primary colours in process colour reproduction.

All the activities required to prepare a press for a print run.

Matte finish
A duller appearance than gloss that reflects light, usually describes the surface characteristic of a printing paper, or a coating that is applied during the printing process.

Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.

An image artifact that occurs when screen angles interfere with each other, and cause undesirable patterns.

The image on a printing plate that makes the white areas of originals black and black areas white.

Offsetting: :
Using an intermediate surface to transfer ink. Also, an undesirable printing artifact that occurs when the images on freshly-printed press sheets transfer ink to each other.

Offset paper:
Term for uncoated text weight paper.

OK sheet:
Final approved color inking sheet before production begins.

A measure of image show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper, the less show-through.

Overrun or Overs:
Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. Printing trade terms usually allow for +/ – 10 % of the originally specified quantity to comprise a completed order.

Pattern carbon:
Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers a written image in certain areas.

Perfect bind:
A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover, similar to a telephone book, software manual, or paperback novel.

Perfecting press
A sheet-fed printing press that prints both sides of a press sheet in one pass.

Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch.

An undesirable printing artifact that occurs as the surface of a press sheet comes off during printing. This problem typically occurs as a result of a paper manufacturing defect.

Pin register:
A system used to fit plates to press to ensure the proper registration of printed colours.

Plate gap:
Also known as gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the press sheet as it passes through the press.

The abbreviated name of the Pantone Colour Matching System.

An industry standard computer language developed by Adobe Systems used in imaging and printing devices. The basic language used in the PDF (Portable Document Format) workflow.

Pressure-sensitive paper:
Paper or polymer material with self sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet.

Process blue:
Cyan, one of the subtractive primary colours used in process colour reproduction.

Process colors:
The subtractive primary colours used in four-colour process printing cyan (process blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), and black (process black).

A sealed package of pre-cut paper, usually containing 500 sheets.

Right-hand page of an open book.

To position printed elements in the proper position in relation to the edge of the press sheet and to other elements and/or colours on the same press sheet.

Register marks:
Cross-hair lines or marks on plates and paper that help guide plate makers, pressmen, and bindery personnel make correct decisions on how to manufacture printed products.

The opposite of what you see. The reverse of this document would be a black piece of paper with a white name. See Negative.

An abbreviation for Raster Image Processor, a device which processes PostScript files into bitmap images. Frequently used to drive plate makers and digital presses.

Saddle stitch:
Binding a booklet or magazine with staples in the seam where it folds

Device used to convert hard copy analog images into digital images. Scanners are most likely colour scanners, but some specialised monochrome scanners are still used for scanning black and white images.

A crease that is made onto a printed sheet that allows for improved quality of folding.

A publication (booklet or magazine) that uses the same weight paper as the text (inner pages) for the cover.

The darkest areas of a photographic image.

Printed image on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet. See Opacity.

Side guide:
The mechanical device on a printing press that positions a press sheet a certain distance from the side of the paper path.

Side stitch:
Binding by stapling along one edge of a collection of pages.

A process whereby the subject of a photographic image is removed from the background, typically done in the Adobe Photoshop program.

A pallet used for storage or transport of a large pile of cut paper sheets.

A set of data and information used in the manufacturing of a printed product.

The binding edge of a book, booklet, or other publication.

Split fountain:
Putting more than one colour of ink in a printing fountain to achieve special color effects.

Waste that occurs as a result of the manufacturing process. Spoilage may be planned or unplanned spoilage. Unplanned spoilage typically results from poor planning or from manufacturing errors.

Spot varnish:
A coating that highlights a specific part of the printed sheet. Not to be confused with a Flood Varnish.

Term for foil stamping.

A process by which the same image is positioned on printing plates in multiple locations.

The material or substrate used for printing, usually paper.

Any surface on which images are printed.

A shade of a single colour or combined colours.

Transparent ink:
A printing ink that does not conceal the colour under it. Process colour inks are transparent inks.

Trim marks:
Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed press sheet.

Trim size:
The final size of a printed image after the last trim is made.

Production of fewer copies than ordered. See Overs.

A pallet used for storage or transport of a large pile of cut paper sheets.

UV coating:
Liquid polymer that is bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

A clear coating applied to printed images that improves durability and appearance.

Vignette Halftone:
A halftone whose background gradually fades to white.

Removing printing ink from a press, washing the rollers and blanket. Certain press operations require multiple wash-ups to avoid ink and chemical contamination.

A form of spoilage. See Spoilage.

A distinctive image or mark created in paper at the time of manufacture that can be easily seen by holding the paper up to a light.

A large roll of printing paper.

Web press:
A type of press that prints from rolls of paper.

Wire-O binding:
A method of wire binding along that will allow the book to lay flat using double loops.

With the grain:
Feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.

Work and Tumble:
Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from the gripper edge to the tail edge to print the second side using the same side guides and plate for the second side.

Work and Turn:
Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from left to right using the same side guides and plate for the second side.

Wove paper:
A paper having a uniform unlined surface with a smooth finish.

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