Call us: 0794 65 22112


Jargon busters


Abrasion Resistance = A material’s ability to resist deterioration or destruction by rubbing. Alternative term: rub resistance.
Absorbency = A material’s ability to take up liquids or vapors (e.g., water).
Accordion Fold = A pair or more of parallel folds forming alternating peaks and valleys. The result resembles an accordion bellows. Alternative term: fanfold.
Acetate Base = A transparent clear or coloured plastic film used to create overlays. Also used as a stripping base.
Achromatic = No colour or hue. (Black and white or grey.)
Acid-Free Paper = A paper containing no acidity or acid producing chemicals.
Acrobat = Software from Adobe used to convert files into PDF format.
Acrylic Ink = A polymer ink with exceptional flexibility and durability; suitable for exterior applications.
Actual Size = The size of an image at 100% without any enlargement or reduction.
Acutance = The sharpness of a printed shape’s edge against its background.
Additive Colour Process = A method of creating a colour image by mixing red, green, and blue lights (e.g. a colour computer monitor).
Additive Primaries = The colours red, green, and blue. See also: additive colour process , subtractive primaries.
Additives/Modifiers = Substances added to ink that promote abrasion resistance, blocking resistance, pinholing resistance, adhesion, slip, and film flexibility.
Adhesion = Sticking two surfaces together by chemical or mechanical means.
Against The Grain = At right angles to direction of paper grain. ‘SHORT’ Grain
Aliasing = Jagged edges that occur due to low resolution in an image.
Alignment = Positioning type characters along a horizontal line. See also; justification.
American National Standards Institute (Ansi) = The principal institution responsible for the development of technology standards. ANSI works with the International Organization for Standards.
Analog = Like an image composed of black, white and all shades of gray, an analog electrical signal is can be on, off, or everything in between. See also: digital.
Aniline Printing = Other term: flexography.
Anti-Aliasing = The process of averaging between pixels of different colours. In practice, the result is a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged or ‘stair-step’ appearance. Generally, this is done by software which smoothes the edges by adding pixels between the jagged edges or stair-steps. See also: dithering.
Antique Finish = Paper with an off white cream colour or rough texture.
Array Processor = A special high speed computer capable of performing the large, complex calculations required to process images.
Art Board = Artboards represent the regions that can contain printable artwork.
Art Paper = A paper coated with fine clay to produce a smooth, hard surface. Often used for printing halftones.
Assembling = Gathering all the component pages of a book or manual and ordering them in correct sequence for binding. See also: collate; gathering; inserting.
Author’s Corrections = Changed and additions in copy after it has been typeset.



Back Margin = The space between the edge of the text matter and the fold edge. Alternative terms: binding margin, gutter margin.
Back Matter = The material printed at the back of a book (e.g., agenda, appendix, bibliography, glossary, index, etc). Alternative term: end matter.
Back Printing = Printing on the underside of transparent paper or film. Alternative terms: reverse printing; second-surface printing.
Back Up = Printing the second side of a sheet already printed on one side.
Backbone = The part of a book connecting the front cover to the back cover. Alternative term: spine. See also: rounding and backing.
Background = The area appearing behind the main subject or upon which the main subject is placed.
Backing = See rounding and backing.
Backlining = The material that strengthens the back of a book after it’s been rounded and backed (e.g., paper, muslin, etc.).
Back-Trap = mottle Blotchy spots or streaks in an overprinted ink.
Backup = Creating an archive copy of digital information as insurance in the event the original information is lost or damaged.
Backward Broadside = A page on which the text is printed sideways.
Bad Break = Awkward visual composition resulting from ending a page with a single word; ending a page with a hyphenated word; ending a page with the first line of a paragraph; using a hyphenated line of text in the first line of a page; or dividing a word incorrectly. See also: orphan; widow.
Banding = “1. Method of packaging printed pieces of paper using rubber or paper bands.
2. Stripes or lines across a print, due to speed, ink coverage or roller pwer.”
Base Material = See face material Alternative terms: body stock; face stock.
Beziér Curve = In vector graphics, curved lines created by establishing two endpoints. The line can be easily modified by adding, removing or changing points. See vector.
Bind = To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue. or by other means.
Bindery = The finishing department of a print firm specialising in finishing printed products.
Binding = In printing, binding includes a variety of methods of fastening together printed pages. Common methods include stapling, saddle stitch, acco, cerlox, coil.
Binding Margin = The space between the text matter and the fold edge. Alternative terms: back margin, gutter margin.
Bit = The smallest unit of data in a computer system. All data is stored as a 0 or 1. Each 0 or 1 is a bit. Eight bits equal a byte. 1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte (KB). 1024 Kb = 1 Megabyte (MB). 1024 Mb = 1 Gigabyte (GB).
Bitmap = An image that is digitally produced using dots rather than a mathematical formula. See also: line art; object oriented; raster; vectors.
Bitmap Font = A digital image of a font that is fixed in size.
Black = Theoretically speaking, black is the absence of any reflection – all light is absorbed. For CMYK printing purposes, black is the fourth colour represented by K. No combination of ink will create a “true black” although to most observer’s eye there wouldn’t be much difference.
Blanket = The rubber mat on a printing press that transfers ink from the plate to paper.
Bleed = Printing an image past where the final print will be trimmed, which allows colour to extend all the way to the edges of the final trimmed print. Usualy 3-5mm but can be 5-10mm for some processes.
Blind Embossing = An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.
Bmp File = The file extension .bmp indicated a Windows Bitmap graphic.
Board = Substrate thicker than paper, i.e. Carton board.
Body Stock = “1. The paper on which coatings are laid down to create coated printing papers.
2. Any material such as paper suitable for converting into sheet goods. Alternative terms: base material; face material; face stock.”
Bond & Carbon = Business form with paper and carbon paper.
Bond Paper = Strong durable paper grade used for letterheads and business forms.
Breakacross = A continuous image that covers two facing pages without any visible gutter. Other terms: crossover; reader’s spread. See also: spread.
Brightness = The brilliance or reflectance of paper.
Bureau = Company that offers repro or print output services.
Burn = Exposing film or a printing plate to high intensity light or placing an image on a printing plate by light.
Business Paper = A general category of paper used for everyday business purposes (e.g., copy paper, bond letterhead paper, etc.).
Butt = Joining images without overlapping.
Byte = A standard unit of measure. 8 bits = 1 byte. Each 8-bit byte represents an alphanumeric character. 1024 bytes = 1 kilobyte (Kb). 1024 Kb = 1 Megabyte (Mb). 1024 Mb = 1 Gigabyte (Gb).



Cache = A temporary storage location that exists at several different levels. There is disk cache and memory cache – meaning that frequently used data is cached instead of written to the disk (permanent storage) or memory. Disk cache or memory cache is lost when a computer is shut down. Browsers often cache web pages – meaning that they store a copy of the page on the local computer since it is faster to retrieve the page from cache than from the web server.
Cad (Computer Aided Design) = The production of designs and drawings for architectural, engineering and scientific applications using one of several software packages.
Calendering = Making paper smooth by pressing it between highly polished metal rollers.
Calibration = Process of setting a computer peripheral to a specific, measurable standard or returning a peripheral to the standard. Colour calibration for monitors, for example, ensures that a particular value always displays the same read on screen. Calibrated peripherals generally have to be recalibrated after a period of time.
Calibration Bars = A strip of tones printed on paper or film and used for quality control.
Caliper = The measure of a paper’s thickness, usually in thousandths of an inch (referred to as “mils” or “points”).
Calligraphy = A distinctive style of artistic handwriting created by using special pen nibs that allow a calligrapher to vary the thickness of a letter’s line elements. The art flourished from the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries.
Callout = A quotation, often surrounded by a box, that uses large text to set it apart from the rest of the page. The effect is to draw attention to the page contents.
Camera-Ready Copy = The final image composition of line art, photographs, text and other graphic elements laid out in the size, position, and colour they will be when reproduced on film or paper. Camera-ready copy is created manually with a pasteup board. Other Term: camera-ready art.
Cap Height = A measurement from the bottom of a capital letter to it’s top.
Caps = Capital or uppercase letters.
Caps, Small = Capital or uppercase letters that are about the same height as the lowercase version of the font.
Carbonless = Pressure sensitive writing paper that does not use carbon.
Case Bind = A type of binding used in making hard cover books using glue. Other Term: edition binding.
Cast Coated = Coated paper with a high gloss reflective finish.
Center Spread = The two pages that face each other in the center of a book or publication.
China Clay = A white clay used to coat papers or as an ink additive. Other term: kaolin.
Choke = A process that creates a thinner image of the subject without changing its position or shape. The result is similar to removing a thin line from the subject’s outline. A choke allows the background colour to slightly overlap the subject thereby preventing any unwanted white space between the two areas. See also: bleed; registration; spread; trapping.
Clip Art = Graphic images, designs, and artwork in digital form that can be copied and pasted into a digital document or image. Clip art can be obtained on CD or as a download from the Web with pricing that ranges from free to pay.
Cmyk (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (or Key) are the four inks used in four colour process printing, as opposed to RGB colour schemes. A CMYK colour is expressed as a set of four numbers, each representing a certain amount of each ink. CMYK 14 93 100 5 represents a particular red.
Coated Paper Stock = Paper with a layer added to one or both sides (clay coated with a smooth finish). Coated paper can change the way ink adheres to the paper and change the look of the print. Coatings are normally defined as hard glossy, semi-glossy or matte.
Collate = Assembling the pages of a document in correct order. See also: assembling; gathering; inserting.
Colour Bar = Specialy designed blocks of ink on the sheet, used to measure print quality.
Colour Correction = To adjust, change or otherwise alter or manipulate a colour image. Examples include changing a CMYK image to RGB or vice versa, retouching, adjusting colour balance, colour saturation, contrast, etc.
Colour Matching System = A system of formulated ink colours used for communicating colour.
Colour Scanner = An electronic device similar to a photocopier that converts a physical colour image into four separate, single colour images, one for each of the three process colours plus black. The four digital images are used to create four printing plates. When the four ink colours are combined on the printing substrate a full colour reproduction of the original is produced.
Colour Separation = See ‘Seperation’
Comb Bind = To plastic comb bind by inserting the comb into punched holes.
Composition = Positioning, formatting or gathering type prior to printing. See also: pagination; page makeup phototypesetting; typesetting.
Compression = See data compression.
Contact Screen = A clear film with a small dot pattern that is overlayed on film during the developing process to create a halftone from a
Continuous Tone = A photographic image containing gradient tones rather than dot patterns.
Contrast = The tonal change in colour from light to dark.
Conversion = In computer imaging, to change one file type to another. This process could be as simple as saving a file in a different format or changing a CMYK file to RGB. Some file conversions are very complicated, such as raster to vector conversions.
Copy = Text to appear in / on printed collateral
Copyfitting = Making adjustments to text size, text leading or otherwise editing the text so it fits in a given space.
Cover Paper = A heavy printing paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, etc.
Cromalin = Trade name for DuPont colour proofs. Also see Digital Proof
Crop = To cut off parts of a picture or image.
Crop Marks = Lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.
Ctp Computer To Plate = Digital imaging of printing plates.
Cut Sheet = Paper cut into standard dimensions (e.g. A3).
Cyan = One of the four process colours, CMYK, with C standing for cyan. Cyan is a predominately blue colour with some green. Cyan, together with magenta and yellow, is also one of the three subtractive primary colours. See also: process colours, subtractive primaries.
Cylinder Press = A device were the substrate to be printed is wrapped around a roller and then brought into contact with the inked plate or screen.


Dark Spot = An area containing a greater amount of pigment due to a “pooling” effect created by a depression in the substrate.
Dash = A horizontal line used as a type character. Dashes are characterized by weight, design, width of image and allotted space, and vertical position. (e.g., the em and en dashes).
Data Compression = A technique to shrink or reduce the size of a data file so it takes up less storage space and is faster to move electronically. Compression is accomplished by removing “blank” spaces and repetitive data and using a mathematical formula to replace them. A compressed file is decompressed before it is used. Other Term: compression.
Data File = Line art, photographs, text and other graphic elements that are maintained as an electronic group.
Dead Matter = Typeset text or graphics that will not be reused.
Debossing = Pressing an image or texture into a substrate. See also: embossing.
Decompress = To take a digitally compressed data file and return it to it’s original state.
Default = A setting that is automatically chosen if the user doesn’t select a particular option. The default printer, for example.
Definition = The sharpness or clarity of an image. The resolution of a digital image.
Degradee = “Fade” in French. A halftone image where the dot size gradually changes from small to large. See also: vignette.
Delete = A mark made by a proofreader. The material so marked will be removed or excised.
Delta E = The term Delta E or ∆E is used to describe color differences in the CIELAB color space. The term stems from the greek letter delta which is used in science to denote difference. The E stands Empfindung, a german wording meaning feeling. Put them together and you get different feeling.
Demand Printing = Printing only the amount of material that is needed immediately, rather than printing and storing large quantities from which small quantities are drawn from time to time. Demand printing frequently uses digital printing presses. The higher cost of printing on demand is offset by the savings resulting from eliminated storage and waste costs since large quantities do not need to be stored and out of date stock thrown away. An added benefit of demand printing is the ability to make changes in the printed material more frequently. Other Term: on-demand printing.
Densitometer = A quality control devise to measure the density of printing ink.
Density = The degree of colour or darkness of an image or photograph.
Desaturated Colour = A colour that appears too light, faded, or whitewashed.
Device Or Printer Driver = Software that tells the computer how to communicate with a peripheral device, such as a printer.
Die = Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.
Die Cutting = Curing images in or out of paper. Complex shapes such as packaging is die cut.
Digital = Data expressed as a series of bits (on/off signals) that are interpreted by a computer and software. See also: analog.
Digital Colour Printing = The electronic transfer of a colour image to paper – generally using a digital original.
Digital Imaging = The process of image capture, manipulation and final image form, accomplished by electronic systems.
Digital Proof = Colour accurate digiatal proof generated to a printers specification allowing approval of colour before print production. Also called Cromalin or GMG.
Dithering = 1. The process of averaging between pixels of different colours. In practice, the result is a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged or ‘stair-step’ appearance. See also: anti-aliasing.
2. A printing method used by ink jet and other nonimpact printers where colours are produced by mixing coloured dots in a more randomised visual pattern.”
Document Management = A system to store, catalog, search, retrieve and index digital document files.
Dot = An element of halftones.
Dot Gain = A condition where the size of a halftone dot is increased during the printing process, difference in size between the dot on film v substrate. Frequently caused by ink spreading due to low viscosity or by paper absorbtion. Other terms: dot spread; ink spread.
Dot Spread = See: dot gain; ink spread.
Dots Per Inch (Dpi) = Measures the quality of a printed image. Assuming that the size of the print stays the same, a higher dpi produces a higher the quality since there is more detail. If an image is enlarged, quality suffers since each pixel must be enlarged to fill a larger area. See resolution.
Download = The retrieval of data from a different computer. Data can be downloaded from a central network server or a web site to a local machine.
Draw-Down = A sample of ink and paper used to evaluate ink colours.
Driver = Software that tells the computer how to communicate with a peripheral device, such as a printer.
Dropout = See knockout.
Drum Scanner = A high-end scanner with a rotating drum that the original is mounted to. As the drum spins, light from the image is captured and the image is recorded in a series of fine lines.
Dry Offset = A printing method where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with a rubber surface which in turn transfers the ink to the material to be printed. This process eliminates the use of water as required in the lithographic process. A similar technique is used with rubber stamps. Other terms: indirect letterpress; letterset; relief offset. See also: letterpress.
Dtp Desk Top Publishing = page content produced on a Mac or PC, using spesialist publishing software, Indesign / Quark.
Dummy = A rough layout of a printed piece showing position and finished size.
Duotone = A halftone picture made up of two printed colours.
Duplex = To print on both sides of a page.
Durability = Indicates how well a particular material holds up to standard wear and tear.
Dye Sublimation = A photographic looking colour print created by heating dyes on the substrate instead of using inks. Often used for proofing.


Edge Gilding = The utilization of gold leaf to coat page borders.
Edge Staining = Using various pigment(s) on a document, pamphlet or book’s finished edge.
Edit = To alter information in form or substance.
Edition Binding = See case binding.
Eggshell Finish = A rough textured paper.
Electrostatic = Scientifically, an electrostatic field exists between particles that have a different electric charge. In printing, an image is placed on a drum, creating a positive charge. Negatively-charged toner is attracted onto the drum. The toner is then transferred to positively-charged paper and fused to the paper by heat.
Em Dash = A line the width of a font’s uppercase m.
Emboss = Producing a raised surface on a substrate. A die is used to press a pattern or image into the material.
Emulsion = Light sensitive coating found on printing plates and film.
En Dash = A line the width of a font’s uppercase n.
End Matter = The appendix, agenda, glossary, index, and bibliography and other material’s printed at the rear of a book. Other Term: back matter.
Engraving = Using an acid or other chemical to form an elevated image on a printing plate or cylinder. See also: letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
Eps (Encapsulated Postscript) = EPS translates graphics and text into a code which the printer can read and print. EPS files hold both low-resolution view files and high-resolution PostScript image descriptions.


Face = See typeface.
Face Margin = See trim margin.
Face Material = Materials that can be used as the substrate for pressure sensitive labels (e.g., film, paper, foil, etc.). The face material is attached to a support sheet from which it is peeled when used. Alternative terms: base material; body stock; face stock.
Fading = The loss of image quality — generally in colour density — over time, often due to exposure to sunlight.
Family = The group of typeface variations within a specific design (e.g., Helvetica Regular, Helvetica Italic, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Bold Italic, etc.).
Fanfold = See: accordion fold.
Feathering = An imprecise, fuzzy, or rough edge on a printed image. Feathering can be caused by non-uniform ink coverage, unsuitable ink, uneven printing plate contact, or too much ink. See also: edge acuity.
Felt Side = The top of the paper web formed in the papermaking machine. The opposite of the wire side. The felt side is generally smoother and the preferred side for printing. See also: wire side.
Fiber Puffing = A rough texture on the surface of a coated, groundwood fiber paper created during the drying process.
Fiery = A line of postscript RIPs made by EFI.
File = A collection of text, graphical, image, sound or other information stored and accessed digitally.
File Format = The structure in which digital information is stored, including appropriate headers. Most programs have a proprietary file format. For example, Microsoft Word files are saved as .doc, a format slightly different than WordPerfect’s file format. A program’s proprietary file format is called its “native format.” Many programs can open other file formats — Word can open a WordPerfect document, for example — although all the formatting may not display perfectly. There are may graphic file formats:.bmp, .eps, .psd, .tif, .jpg, etc.
Film Assembly = The process of aligning, mounting, and securing individual films to one carrier sheet in preparation for platemaking. Also known as imposition; stripping.
Finishing = Finishing services are often performed on printed pieces to complete a production job. These services include binding, folding, trimming, mounting, laminating and more.
Firewall = A method of separating a company’s network from the rest of the world. It keeps internal traffic inside the firewall and external traffic outside the firewall. Firewalls can often complicate the process of transferring files or e-mail.
Fit = See ‘Register’
Flatbed Scanner = A scanner with a horizontal piece of glass onto which the original is placed and an image is made by the array, which moves past the original.
Flexography = A printing method using flexible plates where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. Rapidly drying inks are normally used with this process. Other term: aniline printing. See also: letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
Flood = To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.
Foil = A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing.
Foil Emboss = Foil stamping and embossing a image on paper with a die.
Font = A complete collection of letters, numbers and other characters in a particular typeface and size. For example, Arial and Helvetica are typeface families. Bold, Italic and narrow are possible typefaces. Each combination of typeface and size is a particular font. Arial Narrow 10pt is a font. Fonts are either bitmapped fonts or scalable fonts. Bitmapped fonts are fully generated ahead of time, meaning that a complete font set would include every character in each point size in each typeface. Scalable fonts are generated in any point size on the fly, so a complete font set would include every character in every typeface in one point size. Scalable fonts are also called outline fonts. The most popular outline fonts today are TrueType, Adobe’s Type1, and the new cross-platform OpenType format.
Format = Identifies the size of a printer, media, or graphic, based on the width of media roll, the printer’s print area, or the dimensions of a graphic. Small Format, Large Format (Wide Format).
Four Colour Process = The process of combining four basic colours to create a printed colour picture or colours composed from the basic four colours. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black
French Fold = Two folds at right angles to each other.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) = Technically, FTP is a language used to move files, however the term commonly refers to the process of sending a file via FTP or to an FTP site. FTP is used as opposed to HTTP, which is the language used to write web pages. The ‘ftp’ or ‘http’ that precedes a web address tells a web browser which language it should use when processing the request.
Full Bleed = A term that describes a printing process where the ink is placed past the edge of where the document will be trimmed so that the image extends to the edge of the paper. Printers generally cannot print to the edge of a piece of paper, since some portion of the paper is gripped by rollers that move the paper through the printer. To print a full bleed letter size page, the image is printed on a larger sheet of paper and trimmed to final size.
Fuming Gloss = See chemical ghosting.


Galley Proof = Text copy before it is put into a layout. Usually single columns of type, serving as preliminary proofs.
Gamut = The range of colours that can be captured or represented by a device. When a colour is outside a device’s gamut, the device uses a different colour to express that colour. See dithering.
Gang = Getting the most out of a printing press by using the maximum sheet size to print multiple images or jobs on the same sheet. A way to save money. Also known as gang printing, gang run, or gang up.
Gatefold = A four page insert to a book that is larger than the existing page dimensions, having a fold at the outer edge that serves as a hinge, allowing two sheets to fold out from the center to the edge. Also known as a foldout.
Gathering = Assembling all the signatures in order. See also: assembling; collate; inserting.
Ghosting = Vapors from drying ink on one side of a press sheet interact chemically with the dry ink densities printed on a sheet in contact or on the reverse side of the same sheet creating unintended faint images. More often than not this problem is a function of graphical design. It is hard to tell when or where ghosting will occur. Sometimes you can see the problem developing immediately after printing the sheet, other times the problem occurs while drying. However the problem occurs it is costly to fix, if it can be fixed. Occasionally it can be eliminated by changing the colour sequence, the inks, the paper, changing to a press with a drier, printing the problem area in a separate pass through the press or changing the racking (reducing the number of sheets on the drying racks). Since it is a function of graphical design, the buyer pays for the increased cost.
Gif (Graphic Interchange Format) = An image format type .gif generated specifically for computer use. Its resolution is usually very low (72 dpi, or that of your computer screen), making it undesirable for printing purposes.
Gigabyte = One thousand megabytes or one billion bytes of computer data.
Gigo = Garbage in, garbage out. A computer industry slang term that implies the quality of a copy is only as good as the quality of the original. SISO is the politicaly incorrect version.
Gilding = The application of gold or metallic leaf to a book’s trim edges.
Glazed = Paper with a surface sheen or polish applied during or after manufacture by calendering, drying, plating, or drying.
Gloss = The “shinyness” of a material as measured by the amount of light reflected from its surface.
GMG = See Digital Proof
Grain = The direction in which the paper / board fiber lie.
Grain Direction = In the production of bound materials, the grain direction of all papers used must run parallel to the backbone to prevent cracking and insure a durable spline.
Grain-Long = “Grain-long” is the grain direction paralleling the longer dimension of the sheet.
Grain-Short = “Grain-short” paper has fibers paralleling the short dimension of the sheet.
Gravure = A printing method that uses ink-filled depressions in a cylinder to deposit ink on a substrate, forming an image. The small depressions, known as “cells”, are etched into the cylinder to form the image. Ink is flooded onto the cylinder and then removed by a blade scraping the cylinder surface. Only the ink in the etched depressions remains and is transferred to the substrate on contact. See also: rotogravure.
Gray Scale = A film strip used in combination with original photography to check focus, provide print contrast, time development, measure density ranges, balance colour, etc. Also, gray wedge; neutral wedge, or step tablet or wedge.
Grayscale = An image containing a range of gray levels as opposed to only pure black and pure white.
Grippers = The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.
GUI (Graphical User Interface) = Abbreviation for Graphical User Interface, a computer operating or control system that enables graphics for the operator to command the computer with a mouse or stylus.
Gutter Margin = The space between the text matter and fold edge next to it. Alternative terms: back margin, binding margin.


Hairline Register = The precision of alignment between colours meant to touch on a printed piece. The comparison standard is a gap of no more than 0.003 inches or 0.08 mm.
Halftone = Using small dots or thin lines to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size (or line width) and the number of dots (or lines) per square inch or centimeter (e.g., newspaper photographs).
Halftone Step Scale = An image used to test the accuracy of printing process. The image is composed of a sequence of uniform tints, each with progressively larger dots. In practice, the test is printed within the trim margin of the sheet or on a film flat. Other Term: step wedge; gray scale; step tablet.
Hard Copy = The output of a computer printer, or typed text sent for typesetting.
Hickey = Reoccurring unplanned spots that appear in the printed image from dust, lint, dried ink.
Highlight = The lightest areas in a picture or halftone.
Hinge = See joint.
Holdout = The degree to which a substrate does not absorb an ink.
Hue = A particular shade of colour determined by the primary light waves reflected from a surface.
Hyphenation = The process of dividing a word between syllables when the word must be split between to lines of text.


Illustrations = Line art, photos, and other graphic images used in printed material.
Image = Line art, paintings, sketches, photos, and other visual representations of a subject matter.
Image Area = Portion of paper on which ink can appear.
Image Assembly = Aggregating the film negatives or film positives to create a film negative. The result is used to produce a printing plate. Other Term: stripping. See also film image assembly; imposition.
Imagesetter = The equipment used to produce a high resolution image on paper, film and other substrates. See also: PostScript; raster image processor; typsetting, digital; vectors.
Imposition = Collecting and positioning page elements so that when printed and folded the page elements are in proper alignment. Other Term: image assembly. See also: film image assembly; stripping.
Impression = Putting an image on paper.
Improof = Low resolution colour proof used to check content.
Inch = An optical device containing a precision ruler used to observe very small details. See also: linen tester; magnifier.
Indexed Colour = A colour system that defines a palate of colours to be used in a specific image. Often this makes images small and manageable.
Indirect Letterpress = See dry offset. letterset; relief offset.
Ink Duct = The reservoir on a printing press that hold the ink.
Ink Spread = See: dot gain; dot spread.
Inkjet Printer / Plotter = A printer that applies colour by spraying ink onto the page. As opposed to continuous tone colour.
Inserting = “1. Nesting signatures inside each other in proper order.
2. In publishing, binding a separately printed page into the book or publication. See also: assembling; collate; gathering.”
Intaglio = An incised, etched, carved or sunken image. In printing, an intaglio is created on the surface of plates or cylinders. The etched areas hold ink, the non-etched areas remain ink free. When the inked plate or cylinder is then applied to the substrate to be printed, the ink adheres and is transferred to the substrate reproducing the original image.
Italic = A type style in which the letters are slanted 8 to 20 degrees from the vertical. Italics are often used for special emphsis. See also: oblique.


Jacket = The cover surrounding a completed casebound book.
JDF (Job Definition Format) = The Job Definition Format (JDF) is an industry specification for exchanging product specifications using an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based file format. Basicaly a file containing all lifecycle information about the product from start to finish.
Joint = That bendable, hinge-like part of casebook where the cover and spine meet. Other Term: hinge.
Jpeg = A graphic file .jpg format created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, hence the name. Usually used for compressing full-colour or grayscale images. Usually used for screen display rather than printing.
Justification = Adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line of text from end to end. See also: alignment; flush right; flush left; ranged right; ranged left; word spacing.
Justification, Vertical = Adjusting the point size of text, or the vertical spacing between lines or elements of type, to fill a given vertical space. See also: alignment; flush right; flush left; ranged right; ranged left; word spacing.
Jute = Burlap fibers. Used to produce strong and durable paper.


Kaolin = See China clay.
Kerning = The process of changing the horizontal dimension of a type character, or the white space around the character to achieve a visual effect. Other Term: mortise. See also: spacing; word spacing.
Key = The reference guide or template, usually printed in black, used to place the colour elements and for stripping film. Other Term: key flat. See also: keyline.
Key Flat = See key.
Keylines = Lines on artwork.
Kiss Die Cut = To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing.
Knock Out = To mask out an image.
Knockout = White type on a black or dark background. Other terms: reverse; dropout.
Kraft = A brownish paper made from unbleached sulfate wood pulp. Kraft paper is commonly used for corrugated board, grocery bags and commercial wrapping paper.


Lacquer = A solvent-based solution containing modifying agents that gives a glossy, durable finish when applied to a substrate.
Laminate = The application of one of various types of film to a print using a hot or cold process. Often this makes the print more durable and can even help make a print water resistant. Laminates come in various thicknesses and finishes – some are glossy and some are matte and some prevent UV exposure.
Large Format (Wide Format) = At Dominion Blue, a printer, media, or print 14″ or greater in width.
Laser Printer = A copying machine that uses the electrostatic printing process. The image is sent to the printer and a laser beam “draws” the image on a selenium-coated drum using electrical charges. After the drum is charged, it is rolled in toner. The toner adheres to the charged image on the drum. The toner is transferred onto a piece of paper and fused to the paper with heat and pressure. After the document is printed, the electrical charge is removed from the drum and the excess toner is collected.
Legal Size = A standard US paper size – 8.5″ X 14″
Letter Fold = Folding a printed piece horizontally at least twice, in the same vertical direction, thereby capturing the first fold in the second. The same effect is achieved by rolling the sheet horizontally into a tube shape and flattening the tube by creasing the two horizontal edges.
Letter Size = A standard US paper size – 8.5″ X 11″.
Letterpress = A printing method where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. A similar technique is used with rubber stamps. See also: Flexography; relief plate; relief printing.
Line Art / Drawing = A drawing rendered in only 100% black and 100% white, with no gray areas. (e.g., black lines drawn on white substrate or a vector graphic produced by a computer drawing, CAD, or illustration application.) See also: bitmap; object-oriented; raster; vectors.
Line Copy = High contrast copy not requiring a halftone.
Linen Tester = A magnifying lens mounted in a small frame that, when placed on the material to be viewed, stands at a height equal to the focal length of the lens. The linen tester is often used in quality control to view small details of an image. See also: loupe; magnifier, Inch.
Lines Per Inch (Lpi) = The number of lines or rows of halftone dots in a linear inch. Generally, the lower the LPI the lower quality of the image.
Lithography = An technique were the printing plate’s image area is specially treated to accept only ink and the nonimage area is specially treated to only accept water. See also: dry offset; gravure; offset gravure; offset printing.
Loupe = An optical device containing a precision ruler used to observe very small details. See also: linen tester; magnifier.
Lowercase = A term applied to letters of the alphabet that are not capitalized.
Lupe = See loupe.


Machine Direction = The direction the paper web moved through the papermaking machine. The paper’s grain direction is the same as the machine direction. See also: grain direction.
Magenta = One of the four process colours, CMYK, with M standing for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red colour with some blue. Magenta, together with cyan and yellow, is also one of the three subtractive primary colours. See also: process colours, subtractive primaries.
Magnifier = An optical device used to observe very small details. Used for quality control. See also: linen tester; loupe, Inch.
Makeready = All the activities required to prepare a press for printing.
Mask = Blocking light from reaching parts of a printing plate.
Matchprint = Trade name for 3M integral colour proof.
Matte Finish = Dull paper, varnish or ink finish.
Mean Line = See x-line.
Mechanical = See pasteup.
Media/Medium = The materials to be printed on. It can be anything from bond paper to copper and wood vellum.
Megabyte = Approximately one million bytes. Commonly written as MB and spoken as a “meg”.
Mesh Marks = A pattern of crosshatching visible in the dried ink of a screen printed piece. The condition may be caused by high viscosity ink that does not spread out properly or by the ink being pulled away as the screen is lifted off the printed surface.
Micrometer = Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.
Midtone = Those tones falling between halftone shadows and halftone highlights. Other Term: middletones. See also: quartertone.
Moire = Occurs when screen angles are wrong causing odd patterns.
Monitor Calibration = The process of bringing a monitor to a set standard. The process involves the colour, saturation and brightness of the monitor and makes sure that the image displayed on the screen will be as close as possible to the image printed out of the printer.
Monochrome = Technically a “single colour” In reprographics, it usually refers to a black and white image as opposed to a colour one.
Mortise = See kerning.
Mylar = A registered tradename of Du Pont’s clear polyester film. This durable film is used for stripping and outputting architectural and CAD drawings.


Nailhead = A book binding style where the spine is thicker than the book body resulting in a profile resembling a nail.
Native Files = The original file still in the original application format. A native file can still be opened and edited.
Negative = A photographic image with tones that are the reverse of the original. White is black and black is white for example. A contact negative is created by placing a film positive against unexposed film in a vacuum frame and exposing it to light.
Neutral = A colour without hue (e.g., black or white or shades of gray).
Newsprint = Paper created specifically for newspapers, it is composed of mechanical or groundwood pulp.
Non-Image Area = The areas of an image that are not printed. During the printing process, the nonimage area does not receive ink.
Non-Process Printing = Using an ink of the same colour as the specified colour, rather than achieving the specified colour by overlapping process colours. See also: process colours.
Novajet = Encad’s series of wide-format thermal ink jet printers.
Numbering = Sequentially printed numbers.


Object = In reprographics, an object is a graphic or picture that is inserted into a file. A scanned image or placed logo can be an object.
Object-Oriented = Used to describe an image created by the use of a mathematical equation using x-y coordinates rather than a bitmap image (created using dots). An object-oriented image can be printed at any size without a loss of resolution. In contrast, a bitmap image will loose resolution when printed at larger sizes. See also: bitmap; line art; raster; vectors.
Oblique = Literally, “at an angle” or “slanted”. A Roman font that has been electronically altered to produce an italic effect.
Ochre = A naturally occurring yellowish pigment composed of iron and clay.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) = Technology enabling printed text to be scanned and saved as an editable text file.
ODC (On-Demand Colour) = Refers to short-run colour printing. Includes ink jet, electrostatic and direct-to-press printing. Our colour imaging department provides On-Demand Colour.
Off-Contact Printing = A special screen printing technique that positions the printing stencil at a minimal distance above the substrate during the ink application process. As the ink is applied by the squeegee, the stencil is depressed into momentary contact with the substrate.
Offset = An erroneous variation of the word “setoff”. Ink that is unintentionally transferred from the printed substrate to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile. See also: setoff.
Offset Gravure = An indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a gravure cylinder to a rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final substrate. See also: gravure, offset printing.
Offset Lithography = An indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a specially treated printing plate cylinder to a rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final substrate. The printing plate’s image area accepts only ink and the nonimage area only accepts water. See also: dry offset; gravure; lithography; offset gravure.
Offset Printing = Printing process that makes a print by transferring ink from a plate to a rotating blanket that make direct contact with the media.
Offsetting = Using an intermediate surface used to transfer ink. Also, an unpleasant happening when the images of freshly printed sheets transfer images to each other.
On-Demand Printing = See demand printing.
Opacity = The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through. (The thicker/heavier the paper the higher the cost.)
Orientation = Printing in the direction of a sheet’s long or short edge. Printing parallel to the sheet’s long edge is called landscape. Printing in the direction of the sheet’s short edge is called portrait.
Orphan = A single line of text at the bottom or top of a page or column. The text is either the first line or the last line of a paragraph, respectively. See also: bad break; widow.
Overlay = The transparent cover sheet on artwork often used for instructions.
Overprinting = Printing one ink over another. Commonly used in trapping.
Overrun Or Overs = Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. (Printing trade terms allow for + – 10 % to represent a completed order.)
Overtrapping = Applying too much colour on top of another in the process printing method. See also: hairline register; trapping.
Ozalid = “Ozalid” proofs are most often used in England, other European, Hong Kong, Korean, and Singapore by printers as the proofing means comparable to Dylux, or Blueline proof. See also Improof.


Page Count = Total number of pages in a book including blanks.
Page Description Language (PDL) = The format used to describe the position of elements within a page elements as well as the page’s relative position within a document. The output device then translates the format into a reproduction of the original image. Other Term: page descriptor. See also: imagesetter; PostScript; raster image processors; vectors.
Page Descriptor = See page description language.
Page Format European = “The standardised page sizes used across the industry:
A0 841 × 1189 mm
A1 594 × 841 mm
A2 420 × 594 mm
A3 297 × 420 mm
A4 210 × 297 mm
A5 148.5 × 210 mm
A6 105 × 148.5 mm
A7 74 × 105 mm
A8 52 × 74 mm
A9 37 × 52 mm
A10 26 × 37 mm”
Page Format Us = “The standardised page sizes used across the industry:
A3 = 11.69″” x 16.54″” or 297 x 420 mm
A4 = 8.25″” x 11.75″” or 210 x 29 mm
A5 = 5.83″” x 8.25″” or 148 x 210 mm
B5 = 6.93″” x 9.84″” or 176 x 250 mm
Executive (Monarch) = 7.25″” x 10.5″” or 184 x 267 mm
Legal = 8.5″” x 14″” or 216 x 356 mm
Letter = 8.5″” x 11″” or 216 x 279 mm
Magazine – Broad = 10″” x 12″” or 254 x 305 mm
Magazine – Narrow = 8.125″” x 10.875″” or 206 x 276 mm
Magazine – Standard = 8.375″” x 10.875″” or 213 x 276 mm
Magazine – Wide = 9″” x 10.875″” or 229 x 276 mm
Periodical = 10.25″” x 13″” or 260 x 330 mm
Tabloid = 11″” x 17″” or 279 x 432 mm”
Page Layout = The process of setting up artwork and text in pages. Also refers to software packages specializing in the process of page layout.
Page Makeup (Analogue) = Manually pasting the elements of a single or multi-page document to a board. Referred to as camera ready, this paste-up board is then photographed to create film negatives or positives. See also: pagination.
Page Makeup (Digital) = Using a computer application to create a single or multi-page document, including the positioning of type, line art, photographs, etc. The document is then output to an imaging device.
Pagination = The assignment of page numbers, either manually or electronically, in a document.
Pantone = A colour matching system for print and computer applications. The system represents about 3,000 colours that are referred to by number.
Pasteup = Manually pasting the type, photographs, line art, and other elements of an image to a board. Referred to as camera ready, this paste-up board is then photographed to create film negatives or positives. Alternative terms: mechanical; photomechanical.
PDF (Portable Document File) = Adobe Portable Document Format. Format allowing files to be displayed and printed in any platform without access to linked images or fonts.
Perfect Bind =  A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a telephone book, Microsoft software manual, or Country Living Magazine.
Perfecting Press =  A sheet fed printing press that prints both sides of a sheet in one pass.
Photomechanical = See pasteup.
Phototypesetter = A device that outputs exposed photosensitive film or other materials. The phototypsetter uses electronic signals from a typsetting computer to expose the photosensitive material. Also a reference to the person operating the device. See also: typesetter.
Pica = Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch.
Picking = Printers nightmare that occurs as the surface of a sheet lifts off during printing. Generally a paper manufactures quality control problem.
Pict = Picture file format. Developed by Apple Computer, Inc. for use on Macintosh computers. The PICT format is adequate for storing and displaying data at 72 dpi, using the Macintosh screen, but is not sophisticated enough for higher-quality work such as printing.
Pin Register = A standard used to fit film to film and film to plates and plates to press to assure the proper registration of printer colours.
Pixel = The smallest distinguishable part of any image. Closely related to resolution, which determines how many pixels are in an image. The actual size of a pixel is screen-dependent, and varies according to the size of the screen and the resolution being used.
Plate Gap = Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the press.
Platemaking = Creating a printing plate that is completely prepared for use on the press. The process starts with a blank plate, which is then exposed to the image film, developed, and sensitized (if needed).
Platform = Proprietary computer system. May be Windows, Macintosh, Unix or Linux.
Plotter = A printer, usually wide-format, that prints vector graphics.
PMS = The abbreviated name of the Pantone colour Matching System.
PMT= Abbreviated name for photomechanical transfer. Often used to make position prints.
Point = For paper, a unit of thickness equaling 1/1000 inch. for typesetting, a unit of height equaling 1/72 inch.
Point Of Purchase (Pop) Display = Sign or display setup close to the actual retail product being sold.
Point Size = The height of a typeface. A point equals 0.0138 inches. Other Term: type size. See unit set.
Portrait Or Portrait Mode = The image is vertical – taller than it is wide.
Positive = A photographic image with tones that are the same as the original. White is white and black is black for example. A contact positive is created by placing a film negative against unexposed film in a vacuum frame and exposing it to light.
Postscript = A page definition language (PDL) developed by Adobe Systems. When a page of text and/or graphics is saved as a PostScript file, the page is stored as a set of instructions specifying the measurements, typefaces, and graphic shapes that make up the page. It is a device-independent format. This is the computer language most recognised by printing devices. A postscript file has the extension “.ps”.
PPD File PostScript Printer Description file = A file that contains information on screen angle, resolution, page size and device-specific information for a file to be printed on a particular postscript printer.
PPI = A measure of screen resolution indicating the number of pixels on the horizontal axis by pixels on the vertical axis — 800 x 600.
Preflighting = The process of checking a print job for problems such as missing graphics or fonts before it is sent to print. Several applications offer preflighting tools. Usually preflighting includes checking linked files and fonts.
Pressure-Sensitive Paper = Paper material with self sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet.
Print On Demand (Pod) = Printing documents as needed. As opposed to offset printing, where documents are printed in large quantities and stored until needed.
Printer Driver = Software that allows the computer to communicate with the printer. See PPD file.
Process Colour = In four colour process printing, the primary process ink colours are cyan, magenta, yellow plus black. These four colours are used to create a full colour range. a.k.a., CMYK
Profile = A digital measurement that describes the difference between the colour that a device scans, displays, or prints and the actual colour of an image.
Pull Sheets = Random sheets removed from the stack of output and used for quality control.
Pulp = The fibrous cellulose produced by mechanical or chemical means that is used for making paper.


Quarter Binding = Using one material for a book’s front and back covers and a different material for its spine (e.g., cloth covers with leather spine).
Quartertone = A quarter on a visual tone value. See also: midtone.
Quarto = Folding a paper into four leaves, thus forming eight pages. This method can be used to form brochures or booklets.
Quire = 5% (1/20) of a paper ream. The quantity varies from 24 sheets (coarse papers), to 25 sheets (fine papers).


Range = “Type that is justified to the right margin and the line lengths vary on the left.
Type that is justified to the left margin and the line lengths vary on the right. ”
Ranged Left = See flush right.
Ranged Right = See flush left.
Raster Image = An image displayed as a series of lines of dots. As opposed to vector image.
Raster Image Processor (RIP) = The hardware engine which converts data which has been stored in a computer to information a printer can understand. The software that drives the RIP often includes features for colour calibrating resizing and various print utilities.
Rasterisation = Converting images from vector to raster.
Reader’s Spread = See spread.
Ream = Five hundred sheets of paper.
Recto = Right-hand page of an open book. See also verso.
Reflective = In printing, reflective refers to duplicating a hardcopy original by reflecting light off them. As opposed to digital printing or shining light through a translucent original (like the diazo/blueline process).
Reflective Copy = Copy that is not transparent.
Register = To position print in the proper position in relation to the edge of the sheet and to other printing on the same sheet.
Register Marks = Cross-hair lines or marks on film, plates, and paper that guide strippers, platemakers, pressmen, and bindery personnel in processing a print order from start to finish.
Registration Marks = See: register marks.
Relief Offset = See dry offset.
Relief Plate = A printing plate where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. See also: flexography; letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
Relief Printing = A method of printing where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. See also: flexography; letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.
Rendering = The Interpretation of an document, image, or other file so that it can be displayed on a computer.
Reproduction = Creating an exact duplicate of an original using a photographic method.
Resolution = A measure of the quality of an image. Print resolution is generally expressed as dpi (the number of pixels per inch, i.e. 300 dpi) and screen resolution is usually expresses as ppi (pixels on the horizontal axis by pixels on the vertical axis, i.e. 800 x 600).
Retouching (Air Brushing) = Altering artwork or output to correct faults or enhance the image.
Reverse = The opposite of what you see. Printing the background of an image. For example; type your name on a piece of paper. The reverse of this would be a black piece of paper with a white name. See knockout.
RGB = Red, Green, Blue. The primary colours, called “additive” colours, used by colour monitor displays, TVs and some colour output devices. The combination and intensities of these three colours can represent the whole spectrum.
RIP = Device for converting from PostScript files created by desktop publishing to drive CTP or digital proofers.


Saddle Stitch = Binding a booklet or magazine with staples in the seam where it folds.
Saddle Stitching = A method of binding where the folded pages are stitched through the spine from the outside, using wire staples. Usually limited to 64 pages size.
Scale = The means within a program to reduce or enlarge the amount of space an image will occupy. Some programs maintain the aspect ratio between width and height whilst scaling, thereby avoiding distortion.
Scan = To convert pictures, artwork or images into digital information.
Scanner = An electronic device that scans. Scanners utilize electronic circuits to correct colour, compress the tones and enhance the detail. Types of scanners include flatbed and drum.
Score = A crease put on paper to help it fold better.
Screen Angles = Frequently a desktop publishers nightmare. The angles at which halftone, duo tones, tri tones, and colour separation printing films are placed to make them look right.
Seperation = To separate mechanically or by software the parts to be printed in different colours. Commonly used in four-colour and spot colour offset printing.
Setoff = Ink that is unintentionally transferred from the printed substrate to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile. See also: offset.
Shadow = The darkest areas of a photograph.
Show-Through = Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet.
Side Lay Or Guide = The mechanical register unit on a printing press that positions a sheet from the side.
Side Stitch = Binding by stapling along one side of a sheet.
Specifications = A precise description of a print order.
Spectrum = All the colours of the rainbow created by passing sunlight or white light through a prism. See visible spectrum; white light.
Spine = The binding edge of a book or publication.
Spline = See vectors.
Split Fountain (Split Duct) = Putting more than one ink in a printing fountain to achieve special colour affects.
Spoilage =  Planned paper waste for all printing operations.
Spot Colour = A specific colour in a design, usually designated to be printed with a specific matching ink, rather than through process CMYK printing. Used to reduce cost or when CMYK is unable to accurately represent a colour.
Spot Varnish = Varnish used to hilight a specific part of the printed sheet.
Spread = 1. An image that covers two pages that face each other in a book or publication. Other terms: crossover; reader’s spread. See also: breakacross.
2. Moving the edges of a line image outward a little to overlap a colour. See also; bleed; choke; registration; trapping.”
Step Wedge = See halftone step scale.
Step And Repeat = A procedure for placing the same or different images on plates in multiple places.
Stet = A proof mark meaning let the original copy stand.
Stock = The material to be printed.
Stripping = The positioning of film on a flat prior to platemaking.
Substrate = The material on which printed images or coatings are applied (e.g., cloth; film; foil; paper; etc.).


Term = Definition
Thumbnail = A small low-resolution version of an image, page or graphic.
Tiff (Tag Image File Format) = A document format developed by Aldus, Microsoft and leading scanner vendors as a standard for colour or grayscale graphics, including scanned images. The quality of the image is determined by its DPI. The computer file extension for the format is tif.
Tints = A shade of a single colour or combined colours.
Tissue Overlay = Usually a thin transparent paper placed over artwork for protection uses for marking colour breaks and other printer instructions.
Toner = A dry ink powder which has been electrically charged. Used in printers, fax machines and copiers. Generally, the image is translated into bit mapped charges of the opposite polarity on a special drum in the printer. The toner is attracted to the charged areas, where it is transferred to paper. The toner is then “set”, usually by heat.
Transfer Tape = A peel and stick tape used in business forms.
Translucent = Media that allows some light to shine through – for example vellum, sepia or mylar.
Transparency = A positive photographic slide on film allowing light to pass through.
Transparent Ink = A printing ink that does not conceal the colour under it.
Trapping = Printing one ink over another ink in order to eliminate problems with registration. Overlapping one colour over a different, adjacent colour (without creating a third colour). The intention is to ensure that no white space is visible where the two colours meet even if there are slight variations in registration (x-y positioning) of the two colours. See also: bleed; choke; registration; spread.
Trim Marks = Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed sheet.
Trim Size = The final size of one printed image after the last trim is made.
Turnaround = The time it takes to get a job back from a service bureau. This time is dependent on several factors including size and complexity of the job.
Twain (Technology Without An Interesting Name) = Universal standard for scanning devices.
Txt = Text-only format. Retains no formatting.
Type Size = See point size.
Typeface = Style and design of a particular alphabet.


Ultraviolet Inks = Ink that cures when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Other Term: UV ink.
Unbleached = A light brown paper produced from unbleached pulp.
Uncoated = A paper without a mineral coating.
Under-Colour = The cyan, magenta, or yellow used in dark tones. A process printing term.
Under-Exposure = A photosensitive material that has received too little light resulting in a dark print lacking detail.
Under-Run = Producing less paper or output than ordered. Many organisations have a standard on what is considered an acceptable amount of underrun or overrun. See overrun.
Under-Tone = The colour of an ink or film due to light reflecting through it from the substrate. (e.g., The substrate may make the ink colour appear lighter or darker, or offshade.).
Under-Trapping = The unwanted appearance of white space between two adjacent colours. An inadequate or insufficient amount of applied trapping. See trapping.
Unit Set = 1. The height of a typeface measured in units rather than points. See also: point size.
2. A multilayer form containing a carbon paper leaf or a NCR layer.”
Unjustified Text = See flush left; justification; quad left; ragged right.
Up = Printing two or three up means printing multiple copies of the same image on the same sheet.
Uppercase = Capital letters of the alphabet, or those characters created by pressing the computer keyboard “shift” key in combination with another key. See also: lowercase.
Utilities = A software application used for maintenance or other routine chores (e.g. the LAUNCH! Web Helper).
UV Coating = Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light – Environmentally friendly.
UV Cured Inks = Inks that are cured (dryed) and hardened using UV light. Because the UV light is usually built into the printer the ink drys immediately.
UV Inks = See ultraviolet ink.
UV Resistant = Lasts longer when exposed to sunlight and other ultraviolet rays than non UV resistant materials.


Variable Data Printing = Printing files where certain data changes from page to page while the rest of the data stays the same.
Variable Printing = A process often used to create personalized letters or billing statements where standard text and images are combined with changeable data unique to each recipient (e.g., name, address, etc.). A form of mass customization that uses a standard template into which unique data is inserted on a page by page basis.
Varnish = A clear liquid applied to printed surfaces for looks and protection. (UV coating looks better.)
Vector = Images defined by sets of straight lines, defined by the locations of the end points. As opposed to raster image. See also: bitmap; imagesetter; line art; object-oriented; page description language; PostScript; raster; raster image processor.
Vector File = A digital file containing a vector image. Other Term: spline. See vectors.
Vector To Raster Conversion = Converting images from vector to raster. See rasterization.
Vegetable Parchment = A paper with a high wet strength and grease resistance.
Vellum = A fine, smooth, off-white material used for printing. Originally produced from calfskin.
Velox = An Eastman Kodak tradename for a photographic paper used for contact printing from a halftone negative. A Velox print eliminates the need for subsequent stripping or screening.
Verso = The left hand page of an open book. The opposite side (e.g., a page’s back side, a book’s back cover, etc.). See also: recto.
View File = A low resolution image displayed on a monitor or proof prior to creating the finished, high resolution print.
Vignette = An image where a colour gradually fades from one strenght to another. See also: degradee.
Virgin Fiber = A material used to make paper that has not been recycled from previous paper or other materials.
Viscosity = A measure of a liquid’s resistance to flowing. Used as a product specification for coatings, inks, glues, etc.
Visible Spectrum = All colours visible to the unaided human eye. See spectrum; white light.


Warm Colour = A red tone rather than a blue tone. Orange, red, and yellow are generally considered to be “warm” colours.
Wash Drawing = A black and gray watercolour with black line art which will be reproduced as a halftone.
Wash Marks = An uneven or lighter density on a print’s leading edge created when the printing plate has too much water. Other Term: water streaks.
Wash-Up = Removing printing ink from a press, washing the rollers and blanket. Certain ink colours require multiple wash-ups to avoid ink and chemical contamination.
Waste = A term for planned spoilage.
Water Finish = A gloss created on paper by applying water to the paper web as it passes through rollers that “iron” and compress the paper fibers.
Water Streaks = See: wash marks.
Water-Based Ink = An ink that uses water as the drying agent rather than a solvent.
Watercolour = Artwork created by applying translucent water soluble paint or dyes to a paper substrate.
Waterleaf = A highly absorbant paper.
Waterless Printing = See lithography (waterless).
Watermark = A translucent mark or image that is pressed into fine paper during the papermaking process and which is visible when the paper is held up to a light.
Wavy-Edged Paper = Paper with wrinkled or wavy edges caused by water damage.
Waxer = A machine that melts and applies a thin coating of adhesive wax to a paper. Once often used to create camera ready artwork, this process has been largely replaced by computerized film, paper, or plate devices.
Web = A roll of paper or other material that is fed by rollers through a printing or converting process. Also see: sheetfed press.
Web Offset = A continuous band of substrate fed from a wound roll through an offset printing press.
Web Press = A rotary press that prints on a continuous web, or ribbon, of paper fed from a roll and threaded through the press. See also: sheetfed press.
Webfed = A printing press that uses a web, not cut sheets. See also: sheetfed.
Wedding Paper = An elegant, refined paper with minimum glare.
Weight = See: basis weight.
Weight (Character) = A description of typographic forms or variations (e.g., light, regular, bold, extra bold).
Well = An individual etched gravure pit.
Wet Printing = Printing on ink that is still wet with a second or different colour. See also: trapping.
Wet Rub = A measure of a material’s resistance to rubbing while it is wet. See: abrasion resistance.
Wet Strength = A measure of a wet paper’s resistance to pulling or bursting.
Wet Trapping = Overlapping an ink that is still wet with a second or different colour. See also: trapping.
Wet On Wet = See wet trapping.
Wet-Strength Paper = A water and tear resistant paper that when wet retains a minimum of 15% of it’s dry tensil strength.
Wetting Up = A screen printing term referring to placing ink in the screen and distributing it evenly with the squeegee in preparation for production.
White = A combination of all the colour wave lengths. A colour visually equivalent to natural sunlight. See also: white light.
White Light = Natural sunlight or light created by combining equal portions of each light wavelength from 400 to 700 nm. See spectrum; visible spectrum.
White Space = That part of an image that is free of text or images.
Widow = A word, partial word or short line of text at the end of a paragraph, or a single line of text at the top of a page. See also: bad break; orphan.
Wire O = A bindery trade name for mechanical binding using double loops of wire through a hole.
Wire Stitch = See: saddle stitch.
Wire-O Binding = A method of wire binding books along the binding edge that will allow the book to lay flat using double loops. See Wire O.
With The Grain = Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.
Wood Cut = A printing method that uses a carved wood block or surface as the printing plate. The non-image areas are carved away, and ink is applied to the remaining raised areas. Other Term: wood engraving.
Wood Engraving = See: wood cut.
Wood Free = Paper made without groundwood or mechanical pulp. Other Term: groundwood free.
Wood Type = Letters carved into blocks of wood. See also: wood cut.
Word Processor = A software application used to create text documents (e.g., Microsoft Word).
Word Wrap = The process by which a computer application automatically moves a word to the next line down when the available line space for text has been used up. This occurs without the person using the application pressing the “return” key. This feature can also create problems for those printing someone else’s file, since the words may also automatically “shift” when opened on a machine other than the one that created the document. As a result, some words may move to a location that is unacceptable to the original document’s creator. This is why printers request all the image and font files together with a document, or, as an alternative, a PostScript or PDF file.
Work And Tumble = Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from the gripper to the tail to print the second side using the same side guide 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.
Wysiwyg (What You See, Is What You Get) = An acronym — pronounced “wizzy wig” — that stands for “What You See Is What You Get”. Refers to a graphics or publishing program that displays images on the screen the way they will appear on paper.


X-Coordinate = A point on the horizontal axis of a grid, scale, or page dimension. Other term: x-axis. See also: y-coordinate.
Xerography = An imaging method that electrostatically charges ink toner particles, which are attracted to areas of the paper that have been given an electrical charge. The dry toner is then heat fused to the paper, forming an image. This is the basis of almost all office copy machines.
X-Height = The height of a type character that has no ascenders or descenders (e.g., a, c, e, m, o, x, and z.). Typically the height of x and z are used as representatives of a type face family’s x-height. Other term: z-height.
X-Line = The horizontal line that would indicate the top of non-ascender, lowercase letters such as a, c, e, m, o, p, x, y, and z. Other term: mean line.
X-Y Coordinates = A mathematical description of an element’s position on a page.


Y-Coordinate = A point on the vertical axis of a grid, scale, or page dimension. Other term: y-axis. See also: x-coordinate.
Yellow = One of the four process colours, CMYK, with Y standing for yellow. Yellow, together with cyan and magenta, is also one of the three subtractive primary colours. See also: process colours, subtractive primaries.


Zinc Oxide = A white, opaque inorganic compound often used in ink, paint, coatings and ointments.
Zinc Yellow = A zinc chromate pigment which is yellow in appearance.
Zoom = To enlarge.

Latest Posts