Printing Industry Terms

A : B : C : D : E : F : G : H : I : J : K : L : M : N : O : P : Q : R : S : T : U : V : W


A :: (return to index)

Acetate: A transparent sheet that can be printed on or placed over originals or artwork. Also can be used for covers when binding printed material.
Against the Grain: At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. You should never fold against the grain as it causes the paper to crack.
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.

B :: (return to index)

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.
Bind: fastening or holding together with either wire, glue or other means; there are four basic binding techniques for printed pieces.
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 Emboss/Deboss: Image debossed, embossed or stamped, but not printed with ink or foil.
Blow-Up: An enlargement, usually used with graphic images or photographs
Blueline: Prepress photographic proof made from stripped negatives where all colors show as blue images on white paper.
Blurb: A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket.
Bond Paper: Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying.
Border: The decorative design or rule surrounding matter on a page.
Bristol Paper: General term referring to paper 6 points or thicker. Used for products such as index cards, file folders and displays.
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.
Bullet: A dot or similar marking to emphasize text.
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.

C :: (return to index)

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 sheet-fed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
Carbonless Paper: Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing, without the need for a carbon sheet in between.
CMYK: Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.
Coated Paper: Paper with a coating of clay and/or other substances that improve 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.
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.
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).
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.
Contrast: The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.
Cover Paper (or Cover Stock): Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.
Crop Marks: Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks and tic marks.
Cutting Die: Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.
Cyan: One of the four process colors.

D :: (return to index)

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.
Die: Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.
Die Cut: To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.
DPI: Considered as “dots per square inch,” a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.
Drawdown: Sample of inks specified for a job applied to the substrate specified for a job. Also called pulldown.
Drill: In the printing arena, to drill a whole in a printed matter (as used in 3-hole punch).
Dull Finish: Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.
Dummy: Simulation of the final product. Also called mockup or comp.
Duotone: Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.

E :: (return to index)

Emboss: To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface. Also called cameo and tool.
Emulsion: Casting of light-sensitive chemicals on papers, films, printing plates and stencils.
Engraving: Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.
EPS: Encapsulated Post Script, a known file format usually used to transfer post script information from one program to another.
Etch: To use chemicals to carve an image into metal, glass or film.

F :: (return to index)

Fast Color Inks: Inks with colors that retain their density and resist fading as the product is used and washed.
Fifth Color: Ink color used in addition to the four needed by four-color process.
Film Laminate: Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection or increased gloss.
Finished Size: Size of product after finishing (i.e., folding, is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.
Fixed Costs: Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs.
Flat Color: (1) Any color created by printing only one ink, as compared to a color created by printing four-color process. Also called block color and spot color. (2) Color that seems weak or lifeless.
Flat Size: Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.
Flexography: Method of printing on a web press using rubber or plastic plates with raised images. Also called Aniline printing because Flexographic inks originally used Aniline dyes. Abbreviated flexo.
Flood Coat: To print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish. flooding with ink is also called painting the sheet.
Flush Cover: Cover trimmed to the same size as inside pages, as compared to overhang cover. Also called cut flush
Foil Emboss: To foil stamp and emboss an image. Also called heat stamp.
Foil Stamp: Method of printing that releases foil from its backing when stamped with the heated die. Also called block print, hot foil stamp and stamp.
Folder: A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials.
Fold Marks: With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges.
Foldout: Gatefold sheet bound into a publication, often used for a map or chart. Also called gatefold and pullout.
Folio (page number): The actual page number in a publication.
Form: Each side of a signature. Also spelled forme.
Format: Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product.
For Position Only (FPO): Refers to inexpensive copies of photos or art used on mechanical to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction.
Four-color Process Printing: Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full- color images. Also called color process printing, full-color printing and process printing.
French Fold: A printed sheet, printed one side only, folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.
Full-range Halftone: Halftone ranging from 0 percent coverage in its highlights to 100 percent coverage in its shadows.
Full-scale Black: Black separation made to have dots throughout the entire tonal range of the image, as compared to half-scale black and skeleton black. Also called full-range black.

G :: (return to index)

Gang: To reproduce two or more different printed products simultaneously on one sheet of paper during one press run. Also called combination run.
Gate Fold: A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.
Gilding: Mostly in the book arena; gold leafing the edges of a book.
Gloss: The light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g., paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish).
Gloss Ink: Ink used and printed on coated stock (mostly litho and letterpress) such as the ink will dry without penetration.
Grain Long Paper: Paper whose fibers run parallel to the long dimension of the sheet. Also called long grain paper and narrow web paper.
Grain Short Paper: Paper whose fibers run parallel to the short dimension of the sheet. Also called short grain paper and wide web paper.
Graphic Arts: The crafts, industries and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.
Graphic Design: Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colors and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message.
Graphics: Visual elements that supplement type to make printed messages more clear or interesting.
Gray Balance: Printed cyan, magenta and yellow halftone dots that accurately reproduce a neutral gray image.
Gray Scale: Strip of gray values ranging from white to black.
Gutter: In the book arena, the inside margins toward the back or the binding edges.

H :: (return to index)

Halftone: (1) To photograph or scan a continuous tone image to convert the image into halftone dots. (2) A photograph or continuous-tone illustration that has been halftoned and appears on film, paper, printing plate or the final printed product.
Halftone Screen: Piece of film or glass containing a grid of lines that breaks light into dots. Also called contact screen and screen.
Hickey: Spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage, caused by dirt on the plate or blanket. Also called bulls eye and fish eye.
High-fidelity Color: Color reproduced using six, eight or twelve separations, as compared to four-color process.
Highlights: Lightest portions of a photograph or halftone, as compared to midtones and shadows.
Hinged Cover: Perfect bound cover scored 1/8 inch (3mm) from the spine so it folds at the hinge instead of along the edge of the spine.
House Sheet: Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a variety of printing jobs. Also called floor sheet.
Hue: A specific color such as yellow or green.

I :: (return to index)

Image Area: The actual area on the printed matter that is not restricted to ink coverage.
Imagesetter: Laser output device using photosensitive paper or film.
Imposition: Arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.
Impression: (1) Referring to an ink color, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit. (2) Referring to speed of a press, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through the press.
Imprint: To print new copy on a previously printed sheet, such as imprinting an employee’s name on business cards. Also called surprint.
Inch: The thickness of plastic films as printing substrates are expressed in mils.
Ink Holdout: Characteristic of paper that prevents it from absorbing ink, thus allowing ink to dry on the surface of the paper. Also called holdout.
Ink Jet Printing: Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles. Also called jet printing.
In-Plant Printer: Department of an agency, business or association that does printing for a parent organization. Also called captive printer and in-house printer.
Inserts: Within a publication, an additional item positioned into the publication loose (not bound in).
Integral Proof: Color proof of separations shown on one piece of proofing paper, as compared to an overlay proof. Also called composition proof, laminate proof, plastic proof and single-sheet proof.

J :: (return to index)

Job Number (One Source Sales Order number, or E#): A number assigned to a specific printing project in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping.
Job Ticket: 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.

K :: (return to index)

K: Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing. Hence the ‘K’ in CMYK.
Kiss Die Cut: To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper. Also called face cut.
Kraft Paper: Strong paper used for wrapping and to make grocery bags and large envelopes.

L :: (return to index)

Laid Finish: 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.
Laminate: 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.
Landscape: Artist style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)
Laser Bond: Bond paper made especially smooth and dry to run well through laser printers.
Layout: A sample of the original providing (showing) position of printed work (direction, instructions) needed and desired.
Leading: Amount of space between lines of type.
Leaf: One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.
Letter fold: Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope. Also called barrel fold and wraparound fold.
Letter Paper: In North America, 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets. In Europe, A4 sheets.
Legend: Directions about a specific matter (illustrations) and how to use. In regard to maps and tables, an explanation of signs (symbols) used.
Letterpress: Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.
Lightweight Paper: Book paper with basis weight less than 40# (60 gsm).
Linen Finish: Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.
Lithography: Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non-image areas repel ink. Non-image areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.
Live Area: Area on a mechanical within which images will print. Also called safe area.
Logo (Logotype): A company, partnership or corporate creation (design) that denotes a unique entity. A possible combination of letters and artwork to create a “sole” entity symbol of that specific unit.
Looseleaf: Binding method allowing insertion and removal of pages in a publication (e.g., trim-4-drill-3).
Loupe: Lens built into a small stand. Used to inspect copy, film, proofs, plates and printing. Also called glass and linen tester.

M :: (return to index)

Magenta: One of the four process colors.
Make ready: (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 make ready process at any stage in production. Make ready paper is part of waste or spoilage.
Male Die: Die that applies pressure during embossing or debossing. Also called force card.
Margin: Imprinted space around the edge of the printed material.
Master (aka hard copy): Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press.
Match Print: A form of a four-color-process proofing system.
Matte Finish: Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
Mechanical: 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.
Metallic Ink : Ink containing powdered metal or pigments that simulate metal and cannot be reproduced using CMYK process.
Metallic Paper: Paper coated with a thin film of plastic or pigment whose color and gloss simulate metal.
Midtones: 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.
Mock Up: A reproduction of the original printed matter and possibly containing instructions or direction.
Moire: 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.
Mottle: Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also called sinkage. A mottled image may be called mealy.
Multicolor Printing: Printing in more than one ink color (but not four-color process). Also called polychrome printing.
M Weight: Weight of 1,000 sheets of paper in any specific size.

N :: (return to index)

Neutral Gray: Gray with no hue or cast.
News Print: Paper used in printing newspapers. Considered low quality and “a short life use.”
Non-Impact Printing: Printing using lasers, ions, ink jets or heat to transfer images to paper.
Novelty Printing: Printing on products such as coasters, pencils, balloons, golf balls and ashtrays, known as advertising specialties, promotional items or premiums.

O :: (return to index)

Offset Printing: Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
Opacity: (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.
Opaque: (1) Not transparent. (2) To cover flaws in negative with tape or opaquing paint. Also called block out and spot.
Overprint: To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint. Also called surprint.
Over Run: Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies in the printing industry. Advance questions avoid blind knowledge.

P :: (return to index)

Page: One side of a leaf in a publication.
Page Count: Total number of pages that a publication has. Also called extent.
Page Proof: Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.
Pagination: In the book arena, the numbering of pages.
Painted Sheet: 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.
Panel: 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.
Parallel Fold: Method of folding. Two parallel folds to a sheet will produce 6 panels.
Perfect Bind: To bind sheets that have been ground or trimmed at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also referred to as book binding.
Perf Marks: A dotted line on a “dummy” or proof, marking where the perforation is to occur.
Perforating: 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).
Pica: A unit of measure in the printing industry. A pica is approximately 0.166 inch. There are 12 points to a pica.
Pickup Art: Artwork, used in a previous job, to be incorporated in a current job.
Pinholing: Small holes (unwanted) in printed areas for a variety of reasons.
Pixel: Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device. Also called pel.
Pleasing Color: Color that the customer considers satisfactory even though it may not precisely match original samples, scenes or objects.
PMS: reference to Pantone Matching System. Point: (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).
Portrait: An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.)
Positive Film: Film that prevents light from passing through images, as compared to negative film that allows light to pass through. Also called knockout film.
Prepress: 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.
Prepress Proof: 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.
Press Check: Event at which make ready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
Press Proof: Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job. Also called strike off and trial proof.
Press Time: (1) Amount of time that one printing job spends on press, including time required for make ready. (2) Time of day at which a printing job goes on press.
Price Break: Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.
Printer Pairs: Usually in the book arena, consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.
Printer Spreads: Mechanicals made so they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads.
Printing: 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.
Printing 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.
Process Color (Inks): The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Production Run: Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to make ready.
Proof: Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.
Proofreader Marks: Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also called correction marks.
Proportion Scale: 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.

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Quality: Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.
Quotation: Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.

R :: (return to index)

Rag Paper: Stationery or other forms of stock having a strong percentage content of “cotton rags.”
Raster Image Processor: Device that translates page description commands into bitmapped information for an output device such as a laser printer or imagesetter.
Reader Spread: Mechanicals made in two-page spreads as readers would see the pages, as compared to printer spread.
Ream: 500 sheets of paper.
Recycled Paper: New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
Reflective Copy: Products, such as fabrics, illustrations and photographic prints, viewed by light reflected from them, as compared to transparent copy. Also called reflex copy.
Register: 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.
Register Marks: Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.
Relief Printing: 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.
Reprographics: General term for xerography, diazo and other methods of copying used by designers, engineers, architects or for general office use.
Resolution: Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.
Reverse: 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. Also called knockout and liftout.
RGB: Abbreviation for red, green, blue; the additive color primaries.
Right Reading: 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.

S :: (return to index)

Saddle Stitch: 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.
Satin Finish: Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.
Scale: To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve the correct size for printing.
Scanner: Electronic device used to scan an image.
Score: To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.
Screen Angles: 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.
Screen Printing: Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.
Screen Tint: Color created by dots instead of solid ink coverage. Also called Benday, fill pattern, screen tone, shading, tint and tone.
Self Cover: Usually in the book arena, a publication not having a cover stock. A publication using only text stock throughout.
Self Mailer: A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently.
Separated Art: 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.
Separations: Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding images of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film.
Shade: Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint.
Shadows: Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and highlights.
Side Stitch: To bind by stapling through sheets along, one edge, as compared to saddle stitch. Also called cleat stitch and side wire.
Signature: Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine or other publication.
Size: Compound mixed with paper or fabric to make it stiffer and less able to absorb moisture.
Slip Sheets: Separate sheets (stock) independent from the original run positioned between the “printed run” for a variety of reasons.
Soy-based Inks: Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment.
Specifications (Specs): 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.
Spine: Back or binding edge of a publication
Spiral Bind: To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind.
Spot Color or Varnish: One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet.
Spread: (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.
Subtractive Color: 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.
Supercalendered Paper: Paper calendered using alternating chrome and fiber rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet. Abbreviated SC paper.

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Tabloid: Using a broadsheet as a measure, one half of a broadsheet.
Tag: Grade of dense, strong paper used for products such as badges and file folders.
Tagged Image File Format (TIFF): Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. Abbreviated TIFF.
Text Paper: 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.
Thermography: Method of printing using colorless resin powder that takes on the color of underlying ink. Also called raised printing.
Thumbnails: Initial ideas jotted on virtually anything in regard to initial concept of a future project.
Tint: Screening or adding white to a solid color for results of lightening that specific color.
Transparency: Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through. Also called chrome, color transparency and tranny. Often abbreviated TX.
Trap: 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.
Trim Size: The size of the printed material in its finished stage (e.g., the finished trim size is 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 ).

U :: (return to index)

Uncoated stock: Paper that has not been coated. There are varying degrees of quality with the highest being writing, text and cover papers.
Unsharp masking: Technique of adjusting dot size to make a halftone or separation appear in better focus. Also called edge enhancement and peaking.
Up: 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.
UV inks: In printing, solventless inks that are cured by UV radiation. They are used extensively in screen printing, narrow web letterpress and flexographic printing.

V :: (return to index)

Value: The shade (darkness) or tint (lightness) of a color. Also called brightness, lightness, shade and tone.
Variable data: Data or input information that changes within a given document. Opposite of static.
Varnish: Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.
Vellum finish: In papermaking, a toothy finish which is relatively absorbent for fast ink penetration.
Vignette: An illustration in which the background fades gradually away until it blends into the unprinted paper.
Viscosity: In printing inks, a broad term encompassing the properties of tack and flow.

W :: (return to index)

Web press: A press which prints on a roll 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-page) and full (also called 16-page).
Wet trap: To print wet ink or varnish over previously printed wet ink, as compared to dry trap.
Wire-o binding: A continuous double series of wire loops run through punched slots along the binding side of a booklet.
With the grain: Folding or feeding paper into a press with the grain of the paper parallel to the blade of the folder or the axis of the impression cylinder.
Work-and-turn: To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn it over from left to right and print the second side.