• A


    Software from Adobe used to convert files into PDF format. PDF was created by Adobe as a cross platform file format that would allow documents to be easily shared between various users. Once a document is in PDF format, it is viewed with the Acrobat reader, which is freely distributed by Adobe. In order to convert a file to PDF format, you must purchase the full version of Acrobat. PDF files are print-ready and can be viewed easily on computers and browser windows.

    Adhesive Binding

    A method of binding in which glue is used to hold the leaves in position at the spine.

    Adobe Photoshop

    A software package used for manipulating images and photographs.


    Adobe Illustrator’s metafile format, which is actually a type of Encapsulated Postscript. Illustration computer graphic application. This application is used to render line art drawn in paths and allows the designer to resize images freely without getting pixilated edges as in the case with bitmapped images.


    Papers ability to absorb liquids.

    Accordion Fold

    A term used for two or more parallel folds that result in the sheet opening like a fan. Accordion folds are used on products such as brochures and maps. Sometimes called a "Z" fold, this bindery term means two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.

    Actual Size

    The size of an image at 100% without any enlargement or reduction.


    A substance, such as glue, used to laminate two structures together.


    The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text, photographs, drawings, paintings, hand lettering to illustrate printed matter and other components needed to produce a printed piece. This is the final interpretation of the design. Can also now refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.


    Change in copy or specifications made after production has begun.


    All illustration material used in preparing a job for printing. May also refer to drawings and charts specifically.


    When referring to e-mail, an electronic file placed within an e-mail for the purpose of sending through the internet.

  • B

    Back Slit

    A slit in the liner of a pressure sensitive label, used to assist in the removal of the facestock from the liner. Also referred to as slit back and split back.

    Background Colour

    An area of colour behind text or images.


    The backer material or carrier sheet of a pressure sensitive material. Generally has a release coating applied to allow the adhesive to release easily. Also referred to as the liner.

    Backing Up

    In printing, to print the reverse side of a printed sheet. In computers, it is making a copy of your files on a separate disk so that you will have a copy of the files in case something happens to the original file.

    Back Printing

    Back printing is any copy printed on the back side of the sheet.

    Base Art

    The copy that is laid out on the art board opposed to the overlays. It is generally the colour that will print in black or the colour to be used on the majority of the copy.

    Basis Weight

    Weight in pounds of a ream of paper cut to the basic size for its grade. The weight of paper in grams per square meter (gsm).


    Fastening papers together for easy reading, transport, and protection. Papers may be bound together with a variety of materials like: staples, wire, thread, glue, plastic combs, or other means.


    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 Graphic

    An image formed or shape of any kind (or appearing to be formed) by a rectangular grid of pixels a picture, a text character, a photo that’s made up of dots (bits) rather than discrete objects. Typically produced by paint, image-editing and 3-D graphics programs. Sometimes called a raster image; compare with the definition for vector graphic.


    The fourth colour in four colour process. It is the "K" in "CMYK". Printing equal amounts of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow do not produce a true black so black is required.

    Black and White

    Originals or reproductions produced in single or monochrome colour, generally in reference to artwork.


    An extra amount of printed image which extends beyond the trim edge of the sheet or page. An image that is printed to the edges of a page, or the ability of a press or printer to print an image to the edges of a page. A full bleed document is printed on a larger sheet and is trimmed to size, since ink or toner would foul press cylinders or belts if it actually extended off the edges of the paper. Printers typically charge more for bleeds because more paper is required. Bleeds are created by trimming the page after printing.

    Blow Up

    An enlargement, most frequently of a graphic image or photograph.

    BMP File

    The file extension .bmp indicated a Windows Bitmap graphic.


    Heavy paper, paper of more than 200gsm upwards.


    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.


    A printed promotional product that could be constructed as a flier, pamphlet or booklet. How it is constructed will generally depend on how much promotional information needs to be included.


    A reference pertaining to the thickness of paper in relation to its basis weight. Paper that is thicker and less compact is considered high bulk paper. Paper that is thinner and compact is low bulk paper.

  • C

    Caps and Small Caps

    Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type, commonly used in most roman typefaces.


    A small, flat heavy paper or plastic object with text and figures. A term that outlines an inaugural print which is printed on heavy paper – 300 g. and heavier. This may include: Christmas cards, greeting cards, memorial cards, invites, etc.

    Card Stock

    Also called cover stock. A stiff heavyweight paper used when durability is a concern. It is used on items such as postcards, covers, menus, posters, announcements, folders and business cards. The thickness of card stock is generally indicated in point sizes such as 7 pt. or 10-pt card.

    Clean Proof

    A proof copy that has not been marked up by the proofreader.

    CMY (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow)

    Subtractive primary colours, each of which is a combination of two additive primary colours (RGB).


    Cyan, yellow, magenta, black. The subtractive primaries, or process colours, used in colour printing. The colours overlap and appear to mix visually to reproduce a complete spectrum of colours. Black (K) is usually added to enhance colour and to print a true black. See four colour process.

    Coated Paper or Board

    Material that is coated on one or both sides with a mixture of china clay, latex and/or other materials to give it a smooth surface that ensures high quality printing.

    Colour Balance

    The correct combination of cyan, magenta, and yellow to (1) reproduce a photograph without a colour cast, (2) produce a neutral gray, or (3) reproduce the colours in the original scene or object.

    Colour Correction

    The deliberate adjustment of one or more colours to achieve a desired result. With inks, process colours are not pure colours; each is contaminated with the other two colours and has a hue error that requires compensation in the separation images. The process of adjusting an image to compensate for scanner deficiencies or for the characteristics of the output device.

    Colour Matching System

    The use of colour charts or colour swatches, printed or computer generated, to compare, identify and match specific colours. Also see Pantone Matching System.

    Colour Proof

    An image, created by using process colour inks, pigments or dyes, showing how the final printed sheet will appear. A representation of what the final printed composition will look like. The resolution and quality of different types of colour can vary greatly.

    Colour Transparency

    A photographic image transparent film used as artwork. 35 mm, 4"x5" and 8"x10" formats are commonly used.


    In photography – the manner in which an image is arranged and framed to give an overall effect. In typography – the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics, and other elements on the page.

    Conceptual Designs

    Initial, rough designs to show how an idea or 'concept' might work. They are usually hand drawn.

    Concertina Fold

    A method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbor, giving a concertina or pleated effect.


    A style of typeface in which the characters have a vertically elongated appearance.

    Content Proof

    An image in which the subject has continuous shades of colour or gray without being broken up by dots. Continuous tones cannot be reproduced in that form for printing but must be screened to translate the image into dots.


    The relationship between the lightest and darkest areas of an image. The difference between the lightest and darkest areas of an image. High contrasts would be black on yellow and black on white. 2. The difference of tonal gradation between light and dark values within an image. A high-contrast image is predominantly highlights and shadows with few gray tones. A low-contrast image has few highlights and shadows with predominantly even tones. Image contrast is sacrificed somewhat when tones are compressed to bring an original’s density down to a range that can be reproduced on a printing press.


    The text to be printed.


    The right of copyright gives protection to the originator of material to prevent use without express permission or acknowledgement of the originator.

    Corner Marks

    Marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim or register marks.

    Crop Marks

    Also known as Corner Marks – These are lines printed showing the dimensions of the final printed page. These marks are used for final trimming. They are also used to show what part of a photo should be used and what part should be cropped off.


    The elimination of parts of a photograph or other original that are not required to be printed. Cropping allows the remaining parts of the image to be enlarged to fill the space.


    Used to describe typefaces that resemble written script.

    Cut Flush

    A method of trimming a book after the cover has been attached to the pages.


    Also called a caption. The line or lines of text that refer to information identifying a picture or illustration.


    A halftone where the background has been removed to produce a silhouette.


    One of the three subtractive primary colours. In printing, one of four process inks. The blue colour.

  • D


    The degree of colour or darkness of an image or photograph.


    The preliminary process where the designer conceives the layout, colour, content, etc of the project from a brief.

    Desktop Publishing

    The process of designing printed documents (brochures, newsletters, magazines, books, etc) often using a page layout program on a personal computer.


    A tool used for cutting shapes or impressing patterns in other materials. Dies are used for traditional hot stamping to apply foil, emboss paper, or both.

    Die Cutting

    The process of using sharp steel rules to cut special shapes for labels, boxes or containers from printed sheets.


    In printing, a term that covers digital printing from a computer file without the use of conventional inks and plates. Digital also refers to digital proofs which have been produced without film.

    Digital Printing

    Printing in which an image is applied to paper or another substrate directly from a digital file rather than using film and/or plates. Benefits are for short runs or personalized print.

    Digital Proof

    A proof that has been created by the use of digital files rather than from film.

    Dimensional Stability

    The ability of paper to maintain its original size when under pressure, or exposed to moisture.


    The means of delivery of the finished job to one or more locations.


    The individual element in both halftones and four colour process printing.


    (Dots Per Inch) An acronym for dots per inch. The number of dots that fix horizontally and vertically into one-inch measure. Generally the more dots per inch, the more detail is captured and the sharper the image will print.


    Drilling of holes in paper.

  • E

    Embossed Finish

    Paper with a raised or depressed surface resembling wood, cloth, leather, or some other textured pattern.


    A process performed after printing to stamp a raised (or depressed) image into the surface of paper, using engraved metal embossing dies, extreme pressure, and heat. Embossing styles include blind, deboss and foil-embossed.

  • F


    Together with release liners (see release liner labels), the coated papers for the labeling form a self-adhesive composite material.


    The loss of image quality — generally in colour density — over time, often due to exposure to sunlight.

    File Format

    The structure in which the data for a particular document is stored (e.g. ASCII, RTF, PICT, TIFF, etc.). Most applications can save documents in one or more standard formats as well as in their native format.

    Final Proof

    The last proof showing that is reviewed, approved, and signed and then sent to the printer.

    Fine Papers

    A category of paper that includes grades for writing and printing as opposed to the more coarse and industrial grades of paper. Also referred to as graphic and cultural papers.


    The surface characteristics of paper stock, such as luster, or texture which differs from grade to grade. Different finishes have varying degree of printability, smoothness, and ink receptivity.


    Operations which happen to a document after it has left the press or printer. The finishing operations could include bindery work, such as folding, trimming, binding, die cutting, inserting or any post press process that must be completed.

    Fly Leaf

    An unprinted page in the front and back of a book that is not glued to the cover. In book binding of forms into sales books, the flyleaf is a flat cover, on the face of the book, which is not part of a wrap around cover. The flyleaf is attached with staples in the binding stub.


    A small promotional brochure or poster. Also spelled flier.


    An extremely thin polyester film material containing a dry pigment that is transferred to paper by the use of heat and pressure. The material used in foil stamping. Foil Laminate Paper. Paper that has a foil sheet laminated to it. There is generally a top coating added to improve printibility. Used for facestock on labels.


    The process of bending printed sheets in a specific area. Folding is one of our popular bindery jobs. Z fold, concertina, roll fold, gatefold, double gatefold, parallel fold - are all types of combination folding.


    A set of letters, numbers, punctuation marks and symbols that share a unified design. The design is called a typeface.


    A complete set of characters in a typeface. The collection of a typeface including the lower case, caps, numbers and special characters having unified design. Usually fonts are created in families that include fonts with different attributes, such as bold or italic these fonts are called stylised fonts. This can be an important consideration when copy includes foreign terms or names with special characters. The different kinds and quantity of characters in a font will vary according to the manufacturer of the typesetting system.

    Four-Colour Process

    The reproduction of full-colour artwork through the combination of four process ink colours - magenta (red), cyan (blue), yellow and black - in specified intensities. Colours are separated into individual colour plates so that when printed in register, they produce a full-colour illustration. Four-colour separations refer specifically to the process colours: magenta, cyan, yellow and black.

    Full Bleed

    A page that has an image that prints all the way to edges on all four sides. 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.

    Full-Colour Printing

    The process of reproducing full colour printed images. The image must be converted to a set of halftone screened negatives which are a series of dots of various sizes. A halftone negative is made for each of the separate colour components of the image (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). These colour separations are made into printing plates, one for each colour and when printed, the overlapping dots of the colour components reproduce a full colour image. Also called four-colour process printing.

  • G

    GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

    An image format type 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.


    A finish which gives a paper a high sheen and shiny look reflecting to light. Gloss is the surface reflectance value at a given angle. The greater the value the greater the surface of Gloss.

    Gloss Finish

    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 colour definition.

    Gloss Paper

    Paper with a gloss finish, usually used for higher quality printing. Examples are 100LB gloss book and 100LB gloss cover.


    A gradual change in shading or colour over an area on the printed page or screen. A gradient involving different colours is sometimes called a blend.

    Grain (Paper)

    The direction along which the majority of fibers lie. Paper fibers lie in a similar direction in a sheet of paper. This direction is called the grain. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.

    Graphic Arts

    The trades, industries and professions related to the designing and manufacturing of a printed product.

    Graphic Design

    The art of putting together text, illustrations and other visual elements to create a specific message. The specifications, for paper, ink and the type of printing process to be used, also are part of the design.

    Graphic Designer

    A person who puts together the text, illustrations and other visual elements to create a design appropriate for the product.


    General term for result of files created in drawing / illustrating / paint applications. Used to enhance documents.


    A scale of 256 standard grey tones ranging from black (0) to 255 (white), placed at the side of copy to measure tonal range and contrast. A range of luminance values for evaluating shading through white to black. Frequently used in discussions about scanners as a measure of their ability to capture halftone images. Basically the more levels the better but with correspondingly larger memory requirements.


    A systematic division of a page into areas to enable designers to ensure consistency. The grid acts as a measuring guide and shows text, illustrations and trim sizes.

    GSM (Grammage)

    Paper weight is measured in grams per square meter. The unit of measurement for paper weight. Most paper qualities are available in a range of weights to produce different thicknesses.

    Guide Marks

    A cross mark printed on the sheet, used to indicate where the sheet needs to be trimmed, to help register colours and to center copy. Also referred to as register marks.


    Inner margin of a page.

  • H

    High Contrast

    A reproduction with high gamma in which the difference in darkness (density) between neighboring areas is greater than in the original.

    High-key Colours

    Tints and middle tones at the light end of the colour scale. They usually convey a soft, even, harmonious look with little contrast between light and dark areas of an image.


    The lightest or whitest parts in a photograph or digital image represented in a halftone reproduction by the smallest dots or the absence of dots.


    In colour, the main attribute of a colour that distinguishes it from other colours.

  • I


    Items such as logos that are created within a computer drawing program that are object orientated, as distinct from images that have been scanned or captured digitally that are bitmapped.


    A vector graphics creation software developed by Adobe.


    The text, illustrations and other artwork that has been reproduced on film, plates, paper or a computer monitor.

    Image Area

    Portion of a negative or plate corresponding to inking on paper; portion of paper on which ink appears.


    To plan films of pages etc. into correct position prior to plate making.


    Refers to the arrangement of pages on a printed sheet, which when the sheet is finally printed on both sides, folded and trimmed, will place the pages in their correct order.


    The pressure of type, plate or blanket as it comes in contact with paper to create an image.


    Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.

  • J


    Text that is flush on both left and right hand margins.


    A compressed life format for bitmap images (short for joint). Photographic experts group, the organization that created the format.

  • K


    In CMYK, the "K" stands for Key or the colour black. C = cyan. M = Magenta. Y = Yellow. Together, they make up the four colours in four-colour process printing.


    To code copy to a dummy by means of symbols, usually letters. Insertions are sometimes keyed in like manner.


    An outline drawing of finished art to indicate the exact shape, position, and size for such elements as half-tones, line sketches, etc.

    Kraft Paper

    A tough brown paper with a high-pulp content used for packing. A coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.

  • L


    A paper, plastic or cloth that is attached to another object. The purpose of the label is to identify, give directions, explain content or state ownership of the object it is attached to.


    A document layout where the width is greater than the height. (the opposite of Portrait). Work in which the width used is greater than the height. Also used to indicate the orientation of tables or illustrations which are printed ‘sideways’.


    A sketch of a page for printing showing the position of text and illustrations and giving general instructions. A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., of a final printed piece.

    Lead or Leading

    Space added between lines of type to space out text and provide visual separation of the lines. Measured in points or fractions thereof. Named after the strips of lead which used to be inserted between lines of metal type.

    Lead Time

    The time allotted for delivery of materials ordered from the manufacturer.

    Letter Fold

    Two parallel folds create a three panel piece that has both side sections folded inward, one on top of the other. When folded, the piece fits into a business size envelope.

    Lightweight Paper

    Paper that is manufactured at a weight that is below what is generally the minimum basis weight for that grade. Lightweight paper reduces the bulk and weight of a product. Using lightweight paper will help keep postage to a minimum on mailing items. They are available in coated and uncoated papers.

    Line Art

    In traditional graphic arts, line art refers to pictures that use no halftones techniques and no midtones, just black and white. Also called line copy.


    An organization's identifying symbol. Also referred to as logo. In typography, two or more often used combinations of letters. Although they are not joined together, they are still treated as one character for added convenience in composition and to provide character kerning.


    A firm's registered symbol, outline, drawing, picture, brand, abbreviation or unusual type style of letter, word or brand name. Used in identifying and advertising and becomes recognized as synonymous with that particular company, brand or service.

    Loose Leaf

    A method of binding which allows the insertion and removal of pages for continuous updating.

    Lower Case

    The small letters in a font of type.

  • M


    The small letters in a font of type.

    Make Ready

    All the activities required to set up the press for a pressrun, including running test sheets of paper.


    The non-printing areas of page. The blank space around the image area of a page.

    Matter Finish

    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 Paper

    Paper with a matte finish. A matte paper is good for copy with a lot of text because the low gloss makes it easier to read.


    Denotes the width of a setting expressed in pica ems.


    A reference to an image with more than one million pixels.

    Metallic Paper

    Paper coated with a thin film containing metal or a thin film of plastic whose colour and gloss simulate metal.


    Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.


    An image of a single colour. Usually refers to black on white but also describes single colour print, for example, brown or beige.


    A composite illustration combining several images.

  • N

    No Term Available

  • O


    An erroneous variation of the word "setoff". Ink that is unintentionally transferred from a printed sheet to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile when printed.

    Offset Printing

    Offset printing is a printing is a printing process that uses metal plates and ink; it is characterised by the use of a blanket cylinder, a rubber plate that picks up the image from the metal plate itself and then transfers that image onto the sheet of paper.


    Located at a distance from the shore. Made, Situated, or relocate (a business or department) to a foreign country to take advantage of lower costs.

    Outline Font

    A font in which each character’s shape is stored as a mathematical outline. It can be scaled to any size with no loss of quality and will print at the highest available resolution.


    The direction in which text is on a page with respect to the long and short sides of the page. Choices are printing portrait, where text is running parallel to the short side of the page, or landscape, where text is running parallel to the long side of the page.


    A starting position from which placement and orientation of text, images, and page segments are specified. The origin across a page would be relative to the zero position on the horizontal ruler, and the origin down a page would be relative to the zero position on the vertical ruler.


    The material that is reproduce to be used in the printing process. Generally a photograph, artwork, product sample or artist's drawing.


    Sending information from a computer to a printing device to produce a printed page is called output.

    Output Resolution

    The resolution of the output device in terms of dpi on a printer and ppi on a computer monitor. Depending on the type of device, the resolution can vary from 300 dpi to 3300''s dpi on a printer and are 72 or 96 ppi on a computer monitor.


    An image sensor which receives too much light and provides an image that is very light in appearance.


    A transparent sheet placed over artwork, in register with the work it covers; this is used to call out other colour components of the work, instructions or corrections.

    Overlay Printing

    Double printing, printing over an area already printed.

    Overrun or Overs

    Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. The quantity of items produced over the quantity that was originally ordered. Also referred to as any paper spoiled in the process of printing.


    Paper that is manufactured a little larger than desire to allow for trimming.

  • P


    One side of a leaf.

    Page Makeup

    The assemblage of all the necessary elements required to complete a page.


    Graphics software programs that handles images as groups of individual dots or picture elements (pixels) rather than as composed of shapes.


    An international trademark palette for colour standards from Pantone Inc.

    Pantone Colours (PMS)

    A registered name for the industry standard colour matching system for mixing inks. Pantone is a colour language that provides an accurate method for the selection, presentation, specification, communication, reproduction, matching and control of colour.

    Paper / Board

    As a general rule paper/board substances are up to 200g/m -paper, over 200g/m board.

    Paper Count

    The total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers.

    Paper Grade

    The quality of paper as determined by the ingredients of the stock such as wood or cotton fiber and the method of manufacturing. All papers fit into a group or type of paper which is its grade.

    Paper Weight

    There are several methods of measuring paper weights. Designations such as "bond" and "text" indicate weight measurements based on specific master sheet sizes (see Paper Weights Chart for more information). As a universal weight comparison, most papers also list the weight in grams.


    A code used to login to a secure system. Using a combination of letters, numbers and characters makes a good password.


    A slit area on the facestock of a label used to assist in removal of the label from the liner. Also referred to as a pull tab.

    Permanent Adhesive

    A label with this adhesive cannot be removed without the label being destroyed or leaving residue on the object that it was applied to.


    A noticeable display of the pixels forming jagged edges which occurs as the image is enlarged and the square pixels become most noticeable on lines or curves.

    Pixels Per Inch

    The number of pixels per inch displayed across or down a monitor.

    Plain Text

    Textual data in the ASCII format that is not encrypted. Most portable format used because it is supported by almost every application on every machine.

    PMS (Pantone Matching System)

    The Pantone matching system is used for specifying and blending match colours. It provides designers with swatches of over 700 colours and gives printers the recipes for making those colours. Pantones are generally used as spot colours, such as logos, to ensure colour consistency for corporate identities. However, they can also be used in halftone graphics and for duotones. Pantones can also be simulated using the colours from the CMYK spectrum. Pantone publishes a guide for doing so. The results, however, vary greatly from the original Pantone choice, especially for greens and oranges.


    An upright image or page where the height is greater than the width. The shape of a book or illustration is referred to as portrait when its height is greater than its width.


    Pixels per inch.


    A procedure used to be sure all digital files have been prepared properly before putting them into production. They are checked for correct type fonts, completeness, composition, and compatibility.


    Any paper that is considered better than #1 by its manufacturer.

    Pressure-sensitive Paper

    Paper material with self sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet.

    Primary Colours

    A set of three colours from which all other colours can be reproduced. The subtractive primary colours, ink colours, are cyan, magenta and yellow. The additive primary colours, electronic light colours, are red, green and blue.

    Printing Estimates

    A printing estimate is also known as spec bids or budgeting bids or budgeting estimates based on planned, but not firm, specifications that shall subject to change and requote prior to submission to the printer.

    Print Quality

    A term describing the visual impression of a printed piece. In paper, the properties of the paper that affect its appearance and the quality of reproduction.

    Process Colour

    The four standard ink colours used in full-colour printing: black, yellow, cyan, and magenta.

    Process Printing

    A system where a colour image is separated into different colour values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens or digitally with a software program and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original colour image. The printing from a series of halftone plates, usually four, to reproduce continuous-tone colour images.

    Progressive Proofs

    Any proofs made from the separate colours of a multi-colour printing project.

    Process Colour Seperations

    The process of separating the primary or process colours from a coloured image. The separation is done by means of red, green, and blue filters in a process camera or colour scanner which produce four continuous tone negatives. There is one for each of the primary colours used in the printing process: cyan, magenta, yellow. Black is also added to give definition to the printed piece. The separations are screened and printing plates are made from them.

    Pre-Production Proof

    A product imprinted with the specified design and copy of an issued purchase order. Its purpose is to clarify the appearance of the product and the imprint prior to manufacturing.

    Promotional Products

    Useful items that can be imprinted with the name of a company or individual and given free to the end user without obligation.


    A copy of the artwork representing the finished product. It is used for review and approval. Test sheets run at all stages of the printing process to check for and reveal potential flaws or errors before they are committed to a final press run. Keep a copy of each stage of the proofing process to track down when and where an error on press has occurred. Errors that were caught by you on a printer’s proof, but not changed by the printer, will not be your financial responsibility. Soft Proof, proof for content via a digital file such as pdf, jpeg, etc.


    The process of producing sample copies for customer approval prior to bulk production.

  • Q


    The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy a given need or requirement; also describes as “fitness for purpose” or value for money as perceived by the customer.

    Quality Control (QC)

    A program of activities including customer service, process control, and sampling with the objective of eliminating causes of process variability now called Statistical Process Control.


    A price, given by the printer or distributor, based on the specifications supplied for that product.

  • R


    A person or computer who receives a message.

    Reference Marks

    Symbols used in text to direct the reader to a footnote. Eg. asterisk (*), dagger, double dagger, section mark ( ), paragraph mark ( ).

    Register Marks

    Used in colour printing to position the paper correctly. Usually crosses or circles.


    The alignment of adjacent colour areas in a printed reproduction. Registration must be perfect from the creation and imposition of the films all the way to printing if the final printed piece is to be successful.

    Removable Adhesive

    A removable label can be removed from the substrate without pieces remaining on the surface. Depending on its level of tack, a removable label can damage the surface of some materials, such as wood and suede. After a period of time or exposure to weather, the removable label will become permanent.


    A rerun of a job that has already been printed. A portion of a publication that has been produced and is then used somewhere else, such as reprinting an article that was previously printed in a magazine.


    Copying and duplicating.


    The ability of a reproduction to show the details of the original as well as possible. Resolution is tied to the distance from which it is to be viewed. Posters, which are to be read at several meters distance, do not require a resolution as high as photographs in a magazine.


    The opposite of what you see. Type your name on a white sheet of paper in black ink. The reverse of this would be a black piece of paper with a white name.


    The colour model used by computers. Colour is created using additive primary colours red, green and blue. These are the primary colours of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. An RGB computer file must be translated into the CMYK (the primary colours of pigment) colour space in order to be printed on a printing press.


    A web of paper wrapped around a core or shaft.

    Roll Labels

    Labels on a continuous roll.


    The turning or positioning of text or an image at different degrees of orientation on a page.

    Round Cornering

    Using a machine to die cut the corners of forms, cards and books to create a rounded corner.

  • S


    Basic optical image element (analog) taken by the image sensor of a camera or scanner. A sample may be black and white, or it can be for several colour channels. The sample is processed to obtain a pixel. Processing may involve conversion from device RGB to some standardized colour space.


    Determining the proper size of an image to fit an area.


    A folded sheet of paper that will make up part of a book or booklet, usually printed in 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 page sections.


    Making halftone dots smaller in colour correction and platemaking by adjusting film exposure time. This is sometimes done to offset for the dot gain that occurs when being printed on the press. Sharpening is also done electronically by exaggerating the difference between tones or colours at their edges. Some paint and colour manipulation programs have tools to sharpen selected areas of the image rather than having it affect the entire image. Sharpening is helpful when the image only needs touching up in specific areas.


    Individual flat cut size pieces of paper. Available in many sizes.


    Fifth colour, pantone metallic coated 877c. Must be designed in a vector based graphics program. Acceptable file types are EPS, CDR, and PDF.


    A reference to the dimensions of paper rolls or sheet stock. A starch or casein based solution added to the paper, when it is manufactured in order to reduce the moisture and ink absorbency. It could be used as a means to reduce lighting or chalking and to improve the ink holdout or drying characteristics.

    Smooth Finish

    A finish that has been made smooth and level from the paper passing through sets of rollers during the papermaking process.


    That quality of paper defined by its levelness that allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.

    Soft Proof

    A proof that is viewed on a colour monitor rather than on paper as a hard proof.


    Sending a large number of messages to users that did not ask for them. Also, a term used to describe when a website designer incorporates extra and irrelevant information on a web page, usually as word lists or as text hidden in the background, for the purpose of making the search engines find these words and display their site at the top of the index listing. This practice interferes with providing others with quality searches and is strongly discouraged. When detected, some search engines will automatically remove the pages from their index.


    A detailed description of a print order.


    The complete range of colours in the rainbow, from short wavelengths (blue) to long wavelengths (red).

    Spot Colour

    Printing with one or more solid colours, generally black ink is used with the addition of other colours. It is used to add highlight and add colour to a printed product without having to print with four colour process.


    Paper or other materials on hand in inventory waiting to be printed or converted.

    Stock Formats

    Page formats for which complete programming detail has been prepared because of frequently use of the same format.

    Stock Forms

    Forms that are held in stock and pulled out to be shipped as they are ordered. The forms are complete and generally do not require any further manufacturing operations.

    Stock Sizes and Weights

    The sizes and weights of the paper on hand in inventory at the paper manufacturer’s, distributor’s or converter’s facilities, available for distribution or converting.

  • T


    The written or printed material which forms the main body of a publication.

    Text Paper

    Paper used for the text portion of a publication, as opposed to cover stock.


    In regard to paper it is measured in thousandths of an inch. In regard to a rule it is measured in point size.

    Three Colour

    Print in three colours.

    Top Cut

    To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper.


    A registered word, letter, or device that grants exclusive rights to the owner to sell or distribute the item to which it is applied.


    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 overlapping two adjoining colours in an image so that holes are not left in the image by the normal registration variations of the printing process.


    The cutting of the finished product to the correct size. Marks are incorporated on the printed sheet to show where the trimming is to be made.

    Trim Marks

    The lines on artwork, negative, plate or press sheet showing where the page is to be trimmed after printing. Also known as cut marks.

    Trim Size

    The final size of one printed image after the last trim is made.

    Turnaround Time

    The accumulated time between receipt of an order and delivery of the finished product.

    Two Colour

    Print in two colours, often black and one other; can also refer to a two colour printing machine.

    Type Size

    The height of the characters of a font, measuring from the top of the tallest character to the bottom of the lowest character. The type size referred to as point size because it is generally measured in points.

    Type Style

    The characteristic, such as light, bold or italic, of a typeface.


    A spelling mistake in printed material resulting from a mistake in typing or setting type.


    The art of arrangement, style, appearance and printing of type and typefaces.

  • U

    UV Coating (Spot UV)

    A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to printed material. Applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light. A liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Usually applied on chosen parts (spots) of the printed image.

    UV Varnishing

    A finishing process where a varnish is applied to the sheet (or certain parts of the sheet) and is then dried using ultra-violet light. Available in gloss and matt finishes. Gloss UV varnish has a very high gloss finish and is often used as a spot varnish with matt laminates to highlight images and text. Matt UV varnish is less popular and is used with gloss laminates to create special effects.

  • V

    Variable Imaging/Data

    Printing or the ability to print different text and/or images on each sheet of paper that runs through a printer or press. Both the press and the software driving it must be able to offer this capability in order for the process to work.


    Clear finish applied like ink on a press that provides additional protection and sheen to a printed piece. A varnish may have a dull or glossy appearance, and may be tinted with coloured ink. A flood varnish is applied to the entire page; a spot varnish is applied only to selected image areas and requires a printing plate to apply.


    A line segment specified by its start and end point.

    Vector Graphic

    Contain lines, circles, squares and curves -the graphic primaries. Each element can be modified at a later date. An image made up of individual, mathematically defined objects, rather than a collection of bits. Typically created by drawing programs, which are based on either PostScript or QuickDraw. Also called a vector graphic.

    Vector Mode

    Vector mode drawings are based on characteristic points. Contrary to the bitmap mode, the vector mode can utilize the printers maximum resolution and achieve optimal smoothing of characters and images.


    A film that is highly durable and resistant to chemicals and moisture. It is high in conformability Excellent for outdoor use.


    (Computer Virus) Unauthorised and unwanted instructions in a computer that disrupt its normal operation, often acquired from downloaded files off the internet, emails or unconventional sources such as pirated software.


    Rough sketches, prepared by designer in deciding the layout of the printed matter.

  • W

    Warm Colour

    A colour with a reddish tone rather than a blue tone. Browns, oranges, reds, and yellows are generally considered to be "warm" colours.


    A translucent mark or image that is embossed during the papermaking process, or printed onto paper, which is visible when the paper is held up to the light.

    Web Offset

    Web offset is a form of offset printing in which a continuous roll of paper is fed through the printing press. Pages are separated and cut to size after they have been printed. Web offset printing is used for high-volume publications such as mass-market books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs and brochures.

    Web Press

    A printing press which has a rotary action, and uses large rolls of paper, foil, and/or poly.

    Wet Proof

    This is a fully made up, printed proof. The same machine and materials will be used as for the finished product. Whilst this is quite expensive, it does leave you with an exact mockup of what is to be printed. This is suitable for colour checking. Only recommended for large runs and specialist items.


    One or two words left on a separate line at the end of paragraph, especially where page breaks occur.

  • X

    No Term Available.

  • Y


    It is one of the subtractive primary colours (the others are cyan and magenta) which for the basis of colour printing. Yellow is complementary to, or opposite of, the additive primary colour blue. This is because yellow is formed when the additive primaries other than blue, (red and green) are mixed together. It is also known as process yellow.


    Number of final size pieces you can get from a parent size sheet.

  • Z

    Z Fold

    A type of three fold that creates a Z pattern.