Glossary of Print Terms
A type of fold where the piece is folded inward at one end and then folded inward again one or more times. It is as if you are rolling the piece up.
A sheet which has been printed on only one side then folded twice in right angles to form a W-shaped four page uncut section. We are able to fold up to 4 panels (8 page max). 5 panel (10 pages) + will be sending out to get folded. Accordion folds are usually 100lb book papers. Such as, brochures and catalogue.
It is used to protect and enhance the printed piece. Aqueous coating is applied to all 100lb gloss book and 100lb gloss cover.
Printing the reverse side if a sheet was already printed on one side.
A series of vertical bars and spaces that represent any numerical series, most often a correct ZIP Code for the delivery address on a mail piece. The barcode facilitates automated processing by barcode readers and scanners. A barcode also can be used to convey information for delivery confirmation and signature confirmation services. Barcodes that may be used for postal processing are POSTNET and UCC/EAN Code 128.
The finishing department, which performs operations on the printed product after it has been printed. The bindery operations are as follows: Folding, Binding, Stitching, Scoring, Perforation, Die Cutting, & Envelope Converting.
Different methods used to secure loose pages in a book is called binding. Saddle stitch is an example of binding.
Here are additional binding-related terms and definitions:
Finished Size — Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.
Perfect Bind — 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.
Spiral Bind — To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind.
UV Coating — Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.
Varnish — Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.
A rubber-surfaced fabric that is clamped around a cylinder from which an image is transferred onto paper.
Printed colors that extend past the edge of a page. To cut the job to its actual size the processor has to make sure the job gets printed with 1/8 of an inch bleed some jobs may require more than that.
A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket.
An outline around graphics, text or edge of a sheet.
Refers to the percent of light reflected back from a sheet of paper as measured by a light meter reading. Contrast is reduced and highlights are not as strong when paper with a lower brightness is used for a printed piece. Here at 4over, depending on paper brand the papers have different brightness grades, for example Tango has 91 brightness, Balboa ha 90 brightness.
Standard Mail or Third Class Mail. Quantities of mail processed for mailing at reduced postage rates. Preparation includes presorting and placing into containers by Zip Code.
Paper coated on one side.
Paper coated on both sides.
The thickness of paper, in thousandths of an inch (millimeters).
Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type, commonly used in most roman typefaces.
Also called cover stock. Mostly heavyweight papers are called cards stock. The thickness of card stock is indicated with point sizes such as 14pt, 16pt.
The address to which a carrier delivers mail. In common usage, carrier route includes city routes, rural routes, highway contact routes, post office box sections, and general delivery units.
The primary colors used in 4-color printing. CMYK are used to reproduce full color on the printed sheet. CMYK also called PROCESS COLOR C: Cyan (Blue) M: Magenta (Red) Y: Yellow K: Key (Black)
The mixture of clay materials that are applied to paper to improve the smoothness of the paper's surface and improve ink holdout during the printing process. Examples are Aqueous coating (AQ) and UV coating. UV coating adds a gloss finish to the product and also improves the vibrancy of the printed colors. Spot-UV can be applied to selected portions of the piece, while keeping the rest a matte finish.
In binding, the gathering of sheets and signatures in order.
Any method used to improve color.
An image, created by using color inks. Showing what the final printed product will look like. Color proofs within 4 over are called Epson proofs and are an 80%-85% match with the final product.
4:4 (4 over 4) - 2 sided full color on front and on back 4:1 (4 over 1) - 2 sided full color on front, black on back 4:0 (4 over 0) - 1 sided full color on front 5:0 (5 over 0) - 1 sided full color + silver/metallic on front 5:1 (5 over 1) - 2 sided full color + silver/metallic on front, black on back 4:5 (4 over 5) - 2 sided full color on front and full color + silver/metallic on back 5:4 (5 over 4) - 2 sided full color + silver/metallic on front and full color on back 5:5 (5 over 5) - 2 sided full color + silver/metallic on front and on back
Numbering a form or a series of printed material where the number changes sequentially from one to another. Example, if the first one has number 201, the second will get 202; the third would be 203 and so on.
The tonal gradation between the highlights, middle tones, and shadows in an original or reproduction.
To eliminate portions of an image, usually a photograph.
Lines printed in the margin of sheet that indicates to the cutter and bindery where the finished product should be trimmed.
A specific shape like star, oval, circle, etc (any designs that cannot be done by a straight cut) which is cut by a metal blade.
Printing by plateless imaging systems that are imaged by digital data from prepress systems. Includes toner, inkjet, and other processes.
Another name for advertising mail sent to targeted markets. It can be any mail class, but it is usually Standard Mail.
The smallest digital imaging or screening element.
A defect in which dots print larger than they should, causing darker tones or stronger colors than expected.
A measurement of resolution of input, output and display devices. 300 DPI means that when printed, each square inch of your image will contain 90,000 pixels (dots), the higher the DPI (the more pixels per inch) the more crisp the printed image will be. Our electronic (digital files) have to have a resolution of at least 300 DPI. Anything less than that is considered as low resolution and may appear blurry when printed.
Single gate fold, with an additional fold on the center.
A type of fold where the piece is folded in half and then folded in half again. The folds are parallel to each other. Also known as a quarter fold.
Portions of originals that do not reproduce.
Simulation of the final product. Also called mockup.
A process of imprinting an image by applying pressure to the back side of a material to change the surface, giving it a three dimensional or raised effect. Embossing can be referred to as raised lettering.
The section on a machine that separates the sheets and feeds them to printing or finishing area in position for printing or certain finishings.
Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection or increased gloss.
The size of a printed product after all production operations has been completed.
An operation to a document after it has been printed. The finishing operations could include bindery work such as, folding, trimming, binding, die cutting, inserting or any post press process that must be completed.
Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs.
The size of a printed product after printing and trimming but before any finishing operations that affect its size, such as folding.
The process of bending printed sheets in a specific area. Folding is one of our popular bindery jobs.
A sheet which has been printed on one side only and then folded twice at right angles to form a four page uncut section.
Printing that goes to the edge of all four sides of the page.
When both sides of an oversize page fold into the gutter in overlapping layers.
A faint image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended. Gas ghosts occur when the previously printed image appears as a subtle "ghost" within the image of the side of the sheet after the second pass through the press. This type of chemical ghosting is caused by a variation in predicted ink drying times.
A coating on paper that provides a higher reflection of light, which results in a shiny appearance. Gloss coatings reduce ink absorption, which allows excellent contrast and color definition.
Paper with a gloss finish, usually used for higher quality printing. Examples are 100lb gloss book, and 100lb gloss cover.
A strip of paper containing gray tones ranging from white to black. So gray scale refers to black and white printed material.
The leading edge of paper as it passes through a printing press.
Unprintable blank edge of paper on which gripper bears. Usually .375" to .5" on most machines.
Metal finger like clamps that grab the paper to pull it through the press as the sheet is being printed.
The blank space between facing pages of a book or between adjacent columns of type or stamps in a sheet.
The thinnest possible line or space that is visible.
Folded in half.
A sheet is folded in half and then tri-folded.
Printing on the front and back of a sheet is setup so that the top of both sides is printed at the same end of the sheet. You would turn the sheet like the page of a book to read the reverse side.
Printing on the front and back of a sheet so that the tops of each side are printed at opposite ends from each other. The top of one side is opposite the bottom of the other. You would turn the sheet over from top to bottom to read the reverse side. Also referred to as head-to-tail or tumble.
A spot on a printed sheet that appears as a small white circle with ink in the center, caused by particles such as dirt, dust, or bits of paper.
The printing of new copy on a piece that is already printed. Examples of imprinting are ink-jetting addresses on postcards after the actual card has been printed.
When a production process for a printed product is done within a facility and is not sent to an outsider, also referred to as in plant.
A printing technology in which liquid ink is sprayed through tiny nozzles onto the paper in a pattern of dots, forming the image on the paper. Jobs with AQ or UV coating cannot be ink jet printer.
A letter, card, or similar item placed inside another mail piece (host piece).
A number assigned to a published work and usually found either on the title page or the back of the title page. Considered an International Standard Book Number.
A unique number assigned to a job by a buyer or manufacturer. The number allows the job to be tracked throughout production.
Printing a page so that when positioned for reading the width is greater than the height.
A transparent screen which has been etched with fine lines. It is used to convert a picture or photograph into a halftone dot pattern so that can be printed.
A sequence required for some Enhanced Carrier Route and carrier route rates in which mail pieces are arranged by ZIP+4 codes in the order in which the carrier serves the route. The mail pieces are sequenced in delivery order.
1. The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and specifications prior to printing. This includes adjusting the in feed, grippers and guides, adjusting ink for proper coverage, registering copy, and matching the printed piece with the proof to be sure everything is correct. Also referred to as set up.2. The paper used while making all the necessary adjustments before printing the actual run. Also referred to as set up.
The non-printed areas around the image area of a page.
A coated paper finish that is flat, not shiny like a gloss, but still keeps much of the ink from being absorbed by the paper and produces an excellent image. Matte/ Dull finish are applied to all 14pt jobs and 16pt jobs unless it is Spot UV.
The spotty or uneven appearance of printing, especially noticed in solid areas.
A film generally used to cover tabs for improved stability. Mylar can be clear or colored.
Optical Character Recognition. An electronic means of scanning an image and converting it to editable text.
The transfer of an inked image from a plate to a blanket cylinder, which in turn transfers the image to the printing material as it passes between the blanket, and the impression cylinder and pressure is applied. Also referred to as offset lithography.
An envelope with an opening along its short dimension.
An envelope with an opening along its longest dimension.
When an image is not printing in the exact location that it is suppose to. When printing more than one color, if the colors do not line up properly, they are out of register.
Sending information from a computer to a printing device to produce a printed page is called output.
Printing an image over an area that has already been printed. In printing process colors, one process color is printed over another creating a secondary color, which is a combination of two primary colors.
The quantity of items produced over the quantity that was originally ordered. Also referred to as any paper spoiled in the process of printing. Overage policy varies in the printing industry. Advance questions avoid blind knowledge.
A registered name for an ink color matching system used to compare, match and identify specific colors.
Paper-related terms and definitions:
Acid-free Paper — Papermade from pulp containing little or no acid so it resists deterioration from age. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.
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 sheetfed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
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.
The direction in which the fibers line up during the manufacturing process. It is easier to fold, bend, or tear the paper along the same direction of the fibers. Cut sheet laser printers generally use long grain paper in which the grain runs parallel to the long side of the paper, resulting in better performance through the laser printer.
The process of printing both sides of a sheet of paper in the same pass through the press.
Printing presses that can print on the front and the back of the paper in one pass through the press.
Creating a series of holes so that the paper can be torn more easily along the line that is formed. Postage stamps and tear-off cards are common products that require perforation.
The smallest unit of a digitized image created by a digital device, such as a computer, camera, or scanner. Pixel is short for "picture element." The more pixels per inch the better the resolution.
A metal or paper light-sensitive sheet that holds an image that has been photographically produced. During the printing process, the image area picks up ink, which is then transferred to a blanket and then to paper.
A printing problem in which the white areas in between halftone dots are closing up due to an oversaturation of ink.
Payment for delivery service that is affixed or imprinted to a mail piece, usually in the form of a postage stamp, permit imprint, or meter stamp.
Pre-press-related terms and definitions:
Alteration — Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the printer and a proof has been produced. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author alteration and customer alteration. There is typically a charge for customer alterations after a press proof has been produced so it’s best if you review your files thoroughly prior to sending them to a printer to make sure they are accurate and avoid costly changes/reprints.
Crop Marks — thin lines placed at the corners of an image, page or artwork layout to indicate where the paper should be trimmed after printing.
Crossover — Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.
Digital Proofing — Preparing a sample of printed output on a computer printer before the job is printed on a commercial press. Often, the term digital proof can also be used when a printer sends you a digital file of the artwork prepared for printing through email rather than printing a proof.
DPI — Considered as "dots per square inch," a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.
Imposition — One of the fundamental steps in the prepress printing process. It consists of the arrangement of the printed product's pages on the printer's sheet in order to obtain faster printing, simplify binding and reduce paper waste.
Page — one side of a sheet of paper in a collection of sheets bound together, especially as a book, magazine, or newspaper. Example: When you turn a page in a book you are holding 2 pages and 1 sheet of paper.
Preflight — The process of checking files and verifying all aspects of a print job are correct before preparing them to print.
Page Count — Total number of pages that a book, booklet or publication has.
Pre-Press — Once a client sends us their completed artwork file, including items being set up for automation or online, it goes to our prepress department. There, we check the files for all necessary functions, quality, sizing and finishing. We then prepare the files to finish appropriately for the machine(s) the product is being produced on. This includes imposing the artwork with the correct number of prints on the press sheets, accounting for gutters, tick marks, margins etc. Our prepress team ensures they set the files up to produce the optimal output in the most cost-effective manner for our customers. Our prepress department can also help with typesetting, variable data, some alterations, scanning, color management and file troubleshooting. The prepress department does not do any editing, grammar or spell checking.
Scanning — The process of converting a document or photo into digital form. Scanning is typically done for either storage or reproduction copies of the original.
Sheet Count — The number sheets of paper it takes to create a product. May be helpful to include an illustration for sheet vs page count:
Authorization required to mail without affixing postage. A postage imprint, also referred to as an indicia (The imprinted area in the upper right corner of the mail piece that indicates postage payment), is used instead. An advance payment is made to the post office and postage payment is deducted from that deposit.
We offer different kinds of presentation folders, Inner pocket with round cut corner: (1 or 2, left & right pockets are optional) Inner pocket with straight cut corner: (1 or 2, left & right pockets are optional) Business card slit, left or right is also optional.
The process by which a mailer groups mail by ZIP Code so that it is sorted to the finest extent required by the standards for the rate claimed.
Machine used to print batches.
Here are additional press-related terms and definitions:
Bleed — Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.
CMYK — Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.
Color Break — In multicolor printing, the point, line or space at which one ink color stops and another begins.
Ghosting — (1) Phenomenon of a faint image appearing on a printed sheet where it was not intended to appear. Chemical ghosting refers to the transfer of the faint image from the front of one sheet to the back of another sheet. Mechanical ghosting refers to the faint image appearing as a repeat of an image on the same side of the sheet. (2) Phenomenon of printed image appearing too light because of ink starvation.
Pleasing Color — Color that the customer considers satisfactory even though it may not precisely match original samples, scenes or objects.
PMS — Obsolete reference to Pantone Matching System. The correct trade name of the colors in the Pantone Matching System is Pantone colors, not PMS Colors.
Press Check — Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
Process Color (Inks) — The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Shingling — Allowance, made during paste-up or stripping, to compensate for creep. Creep is the problem; shingling is the solution.
Signature — Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine or other publication.
Soy-based Inks — Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment.
Printed sheets from the press that are pulled once all the make-ready has been completed. The sheets are checked for quality and accuracy before authorization is given to go ahead with the full production run.
A proof that is produced on the press using the inks and paper specified for that order.
The total quantity of pieces printed during one printing.
The machinery that makes up an offset press, including an inking system, a rubber blanket and an impression cylinder. One press unit prints one color. Offset sheetfed presses can have between one and twelve press units.
The order quantity level at which the price of the paper or printed material goes down.
The department in charge of making customers' files "print ready".
Checking a proof for errors or discrepancies from the original copy.
A copy of the artwork representing the finished product. It is used for review and approval.
Drilling of holes through a stack of paper.
A price, given by the printer or distributor, based on the specifications supplied for that product.
The printed marks used to align color separations for printing so that each color registers with each other.
The measurement of output quality expressed in pixels (dots) per inch on a computer monitor or dots per inch on printed media
The additive primary colors, red, green and blue, used to display color in video monitors. Printing with a file in RGB color mode will produce a washed out appearance.
The turning or positioning of text or an image at different degrees of orientation on a page.
Using a machine to die cut the corners of forms, cards and books to create a rounded corner.
The method of binding the pages of a section where the folded pages are stitched through the fold from the outside, using a wire staple (stapling).
Samples of a completed job (a small quantity of the actual job).
A crease applied, in a straight line, to a sheet of paper to allow it to fold easier and more accurately.
A cover printed on the same paper as the text.
- The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and specifications prior to printing. This includes adjusting the in feed, grippers and guides, adjusting ink for proper coverage, registering copy, and matching the printed piece with the proof to be sure everything is correct. Also referred to as set up.
- The paper used while making all the necessary adjustments before printing the actual run. Also referred to as set up.
To print one side of paper with one set of plates, then the sheet is turned over and printed on the other side with another set of plates using same gripper and side guide.
A method of wrapping packages or products with a plastic film and then applying heat so that the wrap fits tight to the product. Shrink-wrapping is used to package a product in specific quantities and is also used for protection purposes. It also adds some stability to the product when storing
A wooden platform used to hold stacks of paper or cartons. Used to store or ship materials or finished products.
A paperboard jacket that fits over the four sides (top, bottom, and two parallel sides) of a letter tray in order to keep the mail inside the tray from falling out.
Cutting paper by the use of a cutting wheel. Paper may be split into smaller sheets or a web of paper may be split into narrower rolls.
Book binding that consists of a spiral wire or plastic that is wound through holes. Also referred to as coil binding.
Coating paper only in specific areas as opposed to all over coating. In a Spot UV job the job gets a UV coating in only specific areas and does not get any AQ coating in any other places. Spot UV can be referred to as spot varnish.
Printing with one or more solid colors, generally black ink is used with the addition of other colors. It is used to add highlight and add color to a printed product without having to print with four-color process.
The procedure of taking a page and setting it on a press sheet multiple times using a program.
Images are converted digitally into screens made up of very small dots which are equal in size, but of variable spacing. The variable dot pattern eliminates many of the moiré patterns and allows for more than four colors to be used to represent an image. This is the primary aspect of high-fidelity printing.
- To assemble and combine film or negatives to produce the final film for plate making. This process is now done electronically by many companies, bypassing the manual process altogether.
- In reference to labels it is the removal of the matrix or waste material from around a pressure sensitive label after it has been die cut.
A booklet containing samples of paper or ink colors.
A preset model that acts as a structure for setting up a similar product.
A computer capability to make graphics and images transparent so that underlying graphics and images show through. This does not work well when using pantone colors. These should be converted to CMYK.
A fold where a three panel piece has both side sections folded inward, one on top of the other each section is approximately 1/3 the length of the piece. Also known as a C-fold or letter-fold.
- The process of cutting the product to its finished size. The excess that is cut off is also referred to as the trim.
- Combining various roll sizes to be slit from a full width roll from the paper machine so that an acceptable percentage of the salable width will be used.
The accumulated time between receipt of an order and completion of the finished product.
The process of converting text into type used for printing.
Ultra Violet. The part of the spectrum where the wavelength of light is shorter than the wavelength of visible light.
A liquid coating applied to the printed piece, which is then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. This coating is used to provide a protective coating to the printed image.
A thin, liquid protective coating, either matte or glossy, that is applied to the product. It adds protection and enhances the appearance of the product. It can be applied as an all over coating or it can be applied as a spot coating.
The provider of a product or service. Also referred to as supplier.
A large printing machine that prints on continuous rolls of paper or other substrates. High-speed commercial web presses use wide rolls of paper for newspapers, books, calendars and other printed products.
An envelope with a die cut opening that is intended to have information show through from the piece inside the envelope.
A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and the sheet is turned from front to rear so that you are using the opposite edge as the gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.
A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and then the sheet is turned over so that you are using the same gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.
A paper fold represented by back and forth folds into three panels.
Zipping is a way to compress electronic files a compressed file is considered "zipped."
A system of 5-digit codes that identifies the individual post office or metropolitan area delivery station associated with an address. ZIP+4 are an enhanced code consisting of the 5-digit ZIP Code and four additional digits that identify a specific range of delivery addresses.
A nine digit numeric code composed of two parts: (a) the initial code: the first five digits that identify the sectional center facility and delivery area associated with the address, followed by a hyphen; and (b) the four-digit expanded code: the first two additional digits designate the sector (a geographic area) and the last two digits designate the segment (a building, floor, etc.)
A nine-digit POSTNET barcode consisting of 52 vertical bars. Also see Postal Numeric Encoding Technique.