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  • Abrasion Resistance

    A property of paper that is resistant to scratches by other paper surfaces and materials

  • Absorbency

    The capacity of a material to absorb ink

  • AC

    Author’s correction

  • Accordion Fold

    A type of paper folding method that creates a pleated or accordion effect

  • Acetate

    A transparent plastic sheet material printed in colored images used as a basis for artwork and overlays

  • Achromatic

    Containing no color or hues: black, white, and/or gray

  • Acid Resist

    An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to the design of an image into metal, glass, or film

  • Acrylic

    A water-soluble polymer used in a variety of items such as clothing and paints

  • Actinic Rays

    Ultraviolet lights that affect chemical changes in paper

  • Additive Colors

    Additional colors added into the main colors of red, green, and blue to create different colors during photographic reproduction in order

  • Aerate

    A manual process where an air stream is blown onto paper sheets to separate them as they are being fed to the printing press

  • Agate

    A type size of 5 1/2 points (reference, agate line)

  • Agate Line

    A measure of advertising space in a newspaper classifieds section that is 1/14 inch deep and one column wide (e.g. 14 agate lines = 1 column inch)

  • Air

    Design layouts that contain large white areas

  • Airbrush

    A device that is used for dispensing liquids, such as paint and ink, onto a surface of an illustration or photo retouching

  • Albion Press

    An old-fashioned hand operated printing press made of iron that utilizes simple toggle action

  • Album Paper

    A wood pulp paper used for pages in photo albums and scrapbooks

  • Albumen Plate

    A surface plate coated in photosensitive solutions used in the lithographic process

  • Albumin Paper

    A light-sensitive photographic paper emulsified with albumen (egg whites) and ammonium chloride

  • Alignment

    The alignment of materials such that horizontal or vertical edges are properly positioned relative to each other

  • Alkali Blue

    A deep hue pigment used primarily in printing inks (also referred to as reflex blue)

  • Alley

    A space between close-set columns of word passages which prevents reader’s eyes from quickly looking over to the next column

  • Alphabet Length

    The measurement length of the lowercase 26-letter alphabet for various typefaces

  • Angle Bar

    A metal bar used to feed the direction of “web-fed” print jobs (printing on rolls instead of single sheets) to a printing press

  • Aqueous Plate

    Environmentally-friendly, water soluble plate coatings

  • Artwork

    An illustration of any non-text material that can be created manually or digitally

  • Author’s Alterations (AA’s)

    Changes made by an author of a book or other material after the composition stage (due to the costly nature involved in making modifications in the later stages, authors may incur the costs of additional revisions)

  • Balance

    The equilibrium of visual elements on page layout and typography

  • Blanket

    A synthetic rubber sheet which offsets an image from a plate to a printable surface material

  • Bleed

    Excess ink that goes beyond the finished paper margins, and that will later be trimmed off at the edge of the sheet

  • Blind Emboss

    A design impression that does not utilize inks or metal foils

  • Blind Folio

    A page number that is not printed on the page

  • Blind Image

    A problem that occurs when an image fails to be printed with either ink or foil during the lithography process

  • Blistering

    A negative effect caused by moisture entering paper, causing its internal structure to break apart under increased temperatures in the heat-drying chamber; coated or heavier papers have a higher porosity and are more prone to blistering

  • Bond

    A common grade of durable writing, typing, and copying paper that has a standard size of 43.8 x 55.88 cm (17×22 inches)

  • Box Liners

    A coated paper used on the inside of boxes to protect food from spillage, air, and moisture

  • Bristol Board

    A high-strength board paper used for filing, printing, and indexing

  • Brochure

    A thin booklet containing information and graphics

  • Caliper

    A tool which measures the thickness of paper, expressed in thousandths of an inch or mils

  • Camera Ready

    An illustrative document that is prepared for photographic reproduction

  • Canvas Board

    A paperboard with a textured surface used for paintings by artists

  • Case Binding

    A bookbinding of hardcover or casebound books

  • Casing In

    The end process of placing in and adhering the papers of a book to its case covers

  • Cast Coated

    A coated paper that possesses high ink, gloss, absorbency, and bulk

  • Color Bars

    A set of color bars printed on a trim area of a press sheet used to calibrate the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain

  • Color Separating

    A separation process of the primary color components of CYMK for printing

  • Corner Marks

    Marks on a final printed sheet that indicate where the page should be trimmed

  • Cover

    A paper used as a book cover or cover of a finished product that is awaiting binding

  • Cracking

    The appearance of thin cracks on a surface of a printed ink film

  • Creep

    During printing, a flaw in an offset press blanket or blanket packing material that leads to defects in the sheets being printed

  • Crop

    To trim a portion of an art of copy as indicated by crop marks in the document

  • Crop Mark

    Lines at the edges of a sheet that indicate the area in the finished product which needs to be trimmed

  • Crossmarks

    Marks placed in non-image areas of art elements for the calibration of colors, alignment, and/or images

  • Crossover

    An illustration that extends across the binding and displays on boths sides of a two-page spread (e.g. magazines, photobooks, etc.)

  • Curl

    Paper characterized by the lack of flatness due to differences in structure between each side of its sheet and by various contractions when moisture is applied

  • Cut-off

    A term used to describe a sheet of paper being cut from the roll during the web printing process; proper cutoff sizes are usually determined by the dimensions of the cylinder circumference

  • Cutter

    A device used for accurately cutting and trimming paper or other substrates

  • Cyan

    Blue is one of the primary colors used in the printing process; it is a hue that can reflect a greenish-blue color and able to absorb red

  • Deckle Edge

    An untrimmed feathered or rough edge of paper

  • Densitometer

    An optical instrument used for measuring and controlling the density colored inks

  • Density

    (1) The structure of the paper fibers relative to tightness/ looseness, which affects the bulk, the absorbency, and the finish of the paper; or (2) the varying degree of tones, weight of darkness/color within a photo or reproduction

  • Die

    A metal plate imprinted with a design that can engrave images into a substrate

  • Die Cutting

    A method that involves the use of sharp steel rules or knives to cut specific shapes or designs into a substrate, or to use the substrate itself as part of a design

  • Die Stamping

    A process that engraves an image with a metal plate

  • Digital Proof

    A copy of a finished product that has been digitally stored rather than on film

  • Display Type

    A headline that is set in a large point size text

  • Dot

    The smallest individual element of a halftone image that can form an image when combined with various dots of different colors and shades

  • Dot Gain

    A term which describes halftone dot images appearing larger on the press than what was initially displayed on the plate or film

  • Drawdown

    A method where a layer of printing ink is applied evenly over a substrate to determine the quality, color, and tone of the ink used

  • Drier

    An additional substance added to printing ink that expedites the ink-drying process

  • Dry Mount

    Attaching a printed image to a stiff background through the use of heat-sensitive adhesives

  • Dummy Model

    A term used to describe a mockup of a layout to resemble a final product; the complexity of a dummy model can vary from a simple display of the size of the product to a complex display of the full-details of a finished job

  • Duotone

    Two halftones screens of different colors used to produce monochromatic images such as black-and-white photographs

  • Duplex Paper

    A paper or substrate that has a different finish or color on each side

  • Electronic Proof

    A digital copy of a print job that can be provided in a digital format (e.g. JPEG, PDF)

  • Embossing

    A method that pressed an image onto a substrate or paper

  • Emulsion

    A light-sensitive substance used as a coating for film in the photographic process

  • Engraving

    Images of a product etched onto a plate, acting as small wells which hold the ink before applying it on a surface

  • Estimate

    A quotation provided by the printer to calculate the cost of a project for the customer

  • Estimator

    One who calculates the cost of the project requested based on client inquiry

  • Etch

    The use of acid to produce an image on a plate

  • Felt Side

    In the papermaking process, the side of a sheet or roll of paper which has not formed through contact with the machine’s forming wire

  • Finish

    The property of a paper’s smoothness

  • Foils

    A thin substrate less than 0.006-inches, made out of nonmetal materials or actual metal

  • Fold Marks

    Markings on a page which indicate where folds should take place

  • Folder

    A machine used for folding a printed sheet into more than one folds

  • Folio (Page Number)

    A page number that is often paired with a running headline that can be displayed top/bottom-centered or flushed left/right

  • Font

    A term for characters of varying sizes in typography

  • Form Rollers

    A printing press that transfers ink to a plate

  • Gang

    Art or photographs placed together to be printed in one press run

  • Ghosting

    A faint image from a previous print job appearing in a subsequent print due to local blanket depressions

  • Grain

    The of fibers on a paper sheet which govern properties such as size changes (with relative humidity) across the grain and foldability along the grain

  • Gravure

    A printing process which makes recessions on a paper, which in turn form an image as paper is passed through the press

  • Gripper

    An arrangement of metal fingers that grip and move paper sheets as they pass through a printing press

  • Gripper Edge

    The edge of a device which moves the paper through the press by holding onto the leading edge of the sheet

  • Halftone

    Tone-graduated images comprised of dots or lines with equidistant centers

  • Hickies

    Imperfections in printing caused by dirt, trapping errors, etc.

  • Imposition

    The organization of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet and in the correct order for subsequent folding

  • Impression

    (1) The product of a single printing cycle; or (2) the pressure of the image carrier when it contacts the paper

  • Index Bristol

    A thick paper stock in the size of 25 1/2 x 30 1/2

  • Indicia

    Postage payment which is pre-printed on mailing envelopes in place of a stamp

  • Jacket

    A paper covering wrapped around a hardbound book; also called a “dust cover”

  • Job Number

    A number associated with a printing project for the purpose of job tracking and record keeping; can be used to retrieve past jobs for reprinting or reworking

  • Jog

    To tightly align a stack of finished pages using vibration in preparation for final trimming

  • Jogger

    A device which evens the edges of paper in a stack by vibration

  • Kerning

    The reduction of space between letters for the purpose of occupying less space on a page

  • Layout

    A rendition of a final printed piece which shows all elements before it goes to print

  • Leaf

    One of a number of folds (each containing two pages) which comprises a book or manuscript

  • Letterpress

    A printing process which uses ink on raised surfaces to create images

  • Letterspacing

    Insertion of a space between typeset letters

  • Lithography

    A printing process which uses ink on flat surfaces to create images

  • M weight

    The weight of 1000 sheets paper of any given size

  • Make-ready

    The process of adjusting the final plate on a printing press to fine tune the plate surface

  • Match Print

    Before plates are made, a photographic proof created from all color flats and form composites to show color quality, accuracy, layout, and imposition

  • Moire

    An unwanted halftone pattern resulting from incorrect angles of overprinting screens

  • Mottle

    Spotty or uneven ink absorption

  • Offset

    A common printing method where printed material receives ink from an intermediary cylinder (a “blanket”), which in turn receives ink from the plate

  • Offset Paper

    Uncoated book paper

  • Opacity

    The property of paper which prevents printed images/content from showing through on two-sided printing

  • Opaque

    A property of paper that lessens the amount of light passing through

  • Opaque Ink

    An upper layer of ink that covers any ink under itself

  • Over Run

    An excess in the number of copies printed

  • Page Makeup

    The aggregation of all elements required to print a page

  • Page Proofs

    Proofs composed of pages

  • Perf Marks

    Markings, typically dotted lines at edges, which show where perforations should be made

  • Perfect Binding

    A binding process associated with paperback or soft cover, where the backs of sections are cut off and glued together at the spine

  • Perfecting Press

    A printing press that prints both sides of a two-sided page at the same time

  • Plate

    A surface, commonly made of metal, plastic, or rubber, which bears a relief, planographic, or intaglio printing surface

  • Platemaking

    The process of creating a printing plate; includes preparing the plate surface, sensitizing, exposing through the flat, developing or processing, and finishing

  • Press-proof

    A press sheet which displays image, tone values, colors, and imposition of the frame or press-plate

  • Primary Colors

    The four primary colors of printing: cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, and black

  • Proof

    A checking impression from a lithographic plate to assess accuracy of layout, type matter, tone and color reproduction

  • Ream

    A count of 500 sheets of paper

  • Register Marks

    Crossmarks or other symbols appearing on layout to check proper registration

  • Saddle Stitching

    A type of stitching where the spine is bound using wire staples; used with folded sections, either single sections or multiple ones inset to form a single section

  • Show Through

    A error resulting in content from one side of a sheet being seen on the other side

  • Side Stitching

    Stitching using wire staples passed through sections and clinched on the underside

  • Signature (Section)

    A printed sheet (or its flat) which consists of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section

  • Smoothness

    The levelness of a paper which allows for pressure consistency and uniformity of print

  • Step And Repeat

    A process of creating multiple exposures by stepping an image according to a predetermined layout

  • Stock

    Unprinted paper or material used for printing

  • Synthetic Papers

    Petroleum-based, high tensile strength, waterproof papers

  • Tag

    A dense and strong paper stock

  • Tensile Strength

    The limit to which a paper can withstand pressure

  • Thermography

    A process of applying slow-drying ink to paper, lightly dusted it with a resinous powder while the ink is still wet, then passing it through a heat chamber which melts the powder and fuses it with the ink to produce a raised surface

  • Transparent

    Inks which create composite colors by blending with other inks beneath them

  • Trim Marks

    Marks on a sheet which indicate where the page is cut

  • Up

    The number of similar sheets which can be produced from a single print on a larger sheet

  • Varnish

    A clear ink which glosses printed pieces and the primary component of the ink vehicle

  • Vellum

    A rough, bulky finish of paper

  • Washup

    The process of cleaning a certain ink from all printing elements on a press

  • Watermark

    A translucent mark imprinted during papermaking while the paper slurry is still on the dandy roll

  • Wire Side

    The side of the paper which lies on wire screen of the papermaking machine

  • Wire Stitching Or Stapling

    One of three methods (saddle stitching, side stitching, and stabbing) which fastens together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples

  • Wove

    A smooth paper made on textured wire, giving it a gentle and patterned finish




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