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Proforma Vindee Marketing Solutions
985 Old Eagle School Road
Suite 501
Wayne, PA 19087
Phone 610.630.2114

Glossary of Terms

Glossary Of Terms

We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process. To help you gain a better understanding of what’s happening to your project, we’ve compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry.

  • Accordion Fold

    A type of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.

  • Alignment

    The condition of type and or art materials as they level up on a horizontal or vertical line.

  • Alphabet Length

    The measured length (in points) of the lowercase alphabet of a certain size and series of type.

  • Aquarelle

    The hand application of color, through stencils onto a printed picture.

  • Aqueous Plate

    Water soluble plate coatings, which are less toxic and less polluting.

  • Art-Lined Envelope

    An envelope that is lined with an extra fine paper; can be colored or patterned.

  • Ascender

    Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in "d", "b" and "h".

  • Author's Alterations (AA's)

    Changes made after composition stage where customer is responsible for additional charges.

  • Autochrome paper

    Coated papers that are regarded as exceptional for multi-colored printing jobs.

  • Back To Back

    Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.

  • Background

    That portion of a photograph or line art drawing that appears furthest from the eye; the surface upon which the main image is superimposed.

  • Balance

    A term used to describe the aesthetic or harmony of elements, whether they are photos, art or copy, within a layout or design.

  • Bank Paper

    A thin uncoated stock used for making carbon copies.

  • Banker's Flap Envelope

    Also called wallet flap; the wallet flap has more rounded flap edges.

  • Banner

    The primary headline usually spanning the entire width of a page.

  • Base Line

    This is a term used to describe the imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points etc.

  • Basic Size

    This term refers to a standard size of paper stock; even though the required size may be smaller or larger.

  • Basis Weight

    Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.

  • Binding

    Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book.

  • Bleed

    Extra ink area that crosses trim line, used to allow for variations that occur when the reproduction is trimmed or die-cut.

  • Blind Emboss

    A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.

  • Blind Embossing

    Embossed forms that are not inked, or gold leafed.

  • Body

    The main shank or portion of the letter character other than the ascenders and descenders. Also: A term used to define the thickness or viscosity of printer's ink.

  • Body Size

    The point size of a particular type character.

  • Boiler Plate

    Repetitive blocks of type that are picked up and included routinely without recreating them.

  • Boldface

    Any type that has a heavier black stroke that makes it more conspicuous.

  • Bond

    A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that has a standard size of 17x22 inches.

  • Brochure

    A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.

  • Bullet

    A boldface square or dot used before a sentence to emphasize its importance.

  • Calendar Board

    A strong paperboard used for calendars and displays.

  • Camera Ready

    A term given to any copy, artwork etc., that is prepared for photographic reproduction.

  • Cap Line

    An imaginary horizontal line running across the tops of capital letters.

  • Caps & Lower Case

    Instructions in the typesetting process that indicate the use of a capital letter to start a sentence and the rest of the letters in lower case.

  • Caps & Small Caps

    Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type.

  • Case

    The stiff covers of a hardbound book.

  • Cast Coated

    A paper that is coated and then pressure dried using a polished roller which imparts an enamel like hard gloss finish.

  • Coarse Screen

    Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.

  • Coated (Paper)

    Paper coated with clay, white pigments and a binder. Better for printing because there is less picking.

  • Coated Art Paper

    Printing papers used for printing projects that require a special treatment of detail and shading.

  • Coated Stock

    Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.

  • Collate

    To gather sheets or signatures together in their correct order. (see Gather)

  • Color Bars

    This term refers to a color test strip, which is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It is a standardized (GATF-Graphic Arts Technical Foundation) process which allows a pressman to determine the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain. It also includes the Star Target, which is a similar system designed to detect inking problems.

  • Color Strength

    A term referring to the relative amount of pigmentation in an ink.

  • Color Transparency

    Transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.

  • Column Gutter

    Space between two or more columns of type on one page.

  • Condensed Type

    A narrow, elongated type face.

  • Continuous Tone

    Image made of non-discernable picture elements which give appearance of continuous spectrum of grey values or tones.

  • Contrast

    The degree of tonal separation or gradation in the range from black to white.

  • Copy

    Refers to any typewritten material, art, photos etc., to be used for the printing process.

  • Corner Marks

    Marks on a final printed sheet that indicate the trim lines or register indicators.

  • Cover

    A term describing a general type of papers used for the covers of books, pamphlets etc.

  • Crop

    To eliminate a portion of the art or copy as indicated by crop marks.

  • Crop Mark

    Markings at edges of original or on guide sheet to indicate the area desired in reproduction with negative or plate trimmed (cropped) at the markings.

  • Curl

    Not lying flat and tending to form into cylindrical or wavy shapes. A term to describe the differences of either side of a sheet relative to coatings, absorbency etc.; the concave side is the curl side.

  • Cut-off

    A term used in web press printing to describe the point at which a sheet of paper is cut from the roll; usually this dimension is equal to the circumference of the cylinder.

  • Cutter

    Machine for accurately cutting stacks of paper to desired dimensions...can also be used to crease. Also trims out final bound books' top size (soft cover).

  • Cutting Die

    Sharp edged device, usually made of steel, to cut paper, cardboard, etc., on a printing press.

  • Cyan

    A shade of blue used in the four-color process; it reflects blue and green and absorbs red.

  • Deep Etching

    The etching or removal of any unwanted areas of a plate to create more air or white space on the finished product.

  • Delete

    An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

  • Densitometer

    An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of color.

  • Descender

    A term that describes that portion of lower case letters which extends below the main body of the letter, as in "p".

  • Die

    Design, letters or shapes, cut into metal (mostly brass) for stamping book covers or embossing. An engraved stamp used for impressing an image or design.

  • Die Cutting

    A method of using sharp steel ruled stamps or rollers to cut various shapes i.e. labels, boxes, image shapes, either post press or in line. The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.

  • Die Stamping

    An intaglio process for printing from images engraved into copper or steel plates.

  • Digital Proof

    Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed.

  • Display Type

    Any type that stands out from the rest of the type on a page which attracts attention of the reader.

  • Dot Gain

    Darkening of halftone image due to ink absorption in paper causing halftone dots to enlarge. Terms to describe the occurrence whereby dots are printing larger than they should.

  • Drill

    The actual drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.

  • Drop Shadow

    A shadow image placed strategically behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.

  • Dull Finish

    Any matte finished paper.

  • Dummy

    A term used to describe the preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product; also called a comp.

  • Dummy Model

    Resembling finished piece in every respect except that the pages and cover are blank, used by the designer as a final check on the appearance and +feel+ of the book as a guide for the size and position of elements on the jacket.

  • Duotone

    Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.

  • Electronic Proof

    A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the color separation negatives; the paper is passed through the electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.

  • Elliptical Dot

    Halftone screens in which the dots are actually elongated to produce improved middle tones.

  • Em

    A unit of measurement equaling 12 points or 4.5mm.

  • Embossed

    A method of paper finishing whereby a pattern is pressed into the paper when it is dry.

  • Embossing

    To raise in relief a design or letters already printed on card stock or heavy paper by an uninked block or die. In rubber and plastic plate making the process is usually done by heat.

  • Engraving

    A printing process whereby images such as copy or art are etched onto a plate. When ink is applied, these etched areas act as small wells to hold the ink; paper is forced against this die and the ink is lifted out of the etched areas creating raised images on the paper.

  • Estimate

    The form used by the printer to calculate the project for the print buyer. This form contains the basic parameters of the project including size, quantity, colors, bleeds, photos etc.

  • Estimator

    One who computes or approximates the cost of work to be done on which quotation may be based.

  • Etch

    The process of producing an image on a plate by the use of acid.

  • Even Smalls

    The use of smaller sized capitals at the beginning of a sentence without the use of larger sized caps.

  • Expanded Type

    Type with width greater than normal producing a rectangular effect.

  • F&G

    A term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering.

  • Fan Fold

    Paper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel.

  • Fat Face

    Type that is quite varied in its use of very thin and very wide strokes.

  • Filling In

    A fault in printing where the ink fills in the fine line or halftone dot areas.

  • Finish

    The surface quality of paper.

  • Finish (Paper)

    Dull - (low gloss) also matte or matte gloss.

  • Flush Cover

    A bound book or booklet etc. having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text.

  • Foils

    Papers that have a surface resembling metal.

  • Fold Marks

    Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.

  • Folder

    Machine used to fold signatures down into sections.

  • Folio or Page Number

    Number of page at top or bottom either centered, flushed left or flushed right often with running headline.

  • Font

    The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.

  • Gang

    Group of frames or impositions in the same forme of different jobs arranged and positioned to be printed together.

  • Ganging

    The bundling of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.

  • Ghosting

    Image which appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print due to local blanket depressions from previous image areas on a letterpress rotary machine as well as on an offset press.

  • Gigo

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  • Gloss Ink

    Quick drying oil based inks with low penetration qualities, used on coated stock.

  • Glyphic

    A carved as opposed to scripted typeface.

  • Graduated Screen

    An area of image where halftone dots range continuously from one density to another.

  • Gripper

    A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process.

  • Gripper Edge

    The grippers of the printing press move the paper through the press by holding onto the leading edge of the sheet; this edge is the gripper edge.

  • Gumming

    The application of gum arabic to the non printing areas of a plate.

  • Gutter

    Space between pages in the printing frame of a book, or inside margin towards the back or binding edge. The blank space or margin between the type page and the binding of a book.

  • Halftone

    Tone graduated image composed of varying sized dots or lines, with equidistant centers.

  • Head Margin

    That space which lies between the top of the printed copy and the trimmed edge.

  • Hickies

    Imperfections in presswork due to dirt on press, trapping errors, etc.

  • High Key Halftone

    A halftone that is made utilizing only the highlight tones down through the middle tones.

  • Highlight Dot

    The highest density of a halftone image.

  • Highlights

    The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots.

  • House Sheet

    This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in his shop.

  • IBC

    Inside back cover.

  • IFC

    Inside front cover.

  • Image Area

    That portion of the printing plate that carries the ink and prints on paper.

  • Imposition

    Arrangement of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet, and the pages are in proper order when the sheets are folded.

  • Impression

    Product resulting from one cycle of printing machine. The pressure of the image carrier, whether it be the type, plate or blanket, when it contacts the paper.

  • Indicia

    Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes to replace the stamp.

  • Ink Holdout

    A quality of paper to be resistant to ink absorption, allowing the ink to dry on the paper surface.

  • Inkometer

    A device used to measure the tack of ink.

  • Inserts

    Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

  • Italic

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

  • Jacket

    The paper cover sometimes called the "dust cover" of a hardbound book.

  • Job Number

    A number assigned to a printing project used for record keeping and job tracking. Also used to retrieve old jobs for reprints or reworking by customer.

  • Kerning

    The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.

  • Kiss Impression

    A delicate printed impression, just heavy enough to be seen.

  • Kraft

    A coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.

  • Laid Finish

    A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.

  • Laser Engraving

    A paper cutting technique whereby laser technology is utilized to cut away certain unmasked areas of the paper. The cutting is a result of the exposure of the paper to the laser ray, which actually evaporates the paper.

  • Layout

    A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, roughs, thumbnails etc., of the final printed piece before it goes to print.

  • Leaders

    The dots or dashes used in type to guide the eye from one set of type to the next.

  • Leading

    Space between lines of type; the distance in points between one baseline and the next.

  • Leaf

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

  • Leaf Stamping

    A metal die, either (flat, or embossed), created from the image or copy, which is then heated to a specific temperature which allows the transfer of a film of pigmented polyester to the paper.

  • Ledger Paper

    A stiff heavy business paper generally used for keeping records.

  • Letterpress

    Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces to create the image.

  • Letterspacing

    The addition of space between typeset letters.

  • Line Copy

    Any copy that can be reproduced without the use of halftone screens.

  • Linen

    A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.

  • M weight

    The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.

  • Machine Coated

    Paper that has had a coating applied to either one or two of its sides during the papermaking process.

  • Machine Direction

    An alternate term for grain direction.

  • Magnetic Black

    Black pigments containing black iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition.

  • Make Rready

    Process of adjusting final plate on the press to fine tune or modify plate surface.

  • Margin

    Imprinted space around edge of page.

  • Mark-up

    To write up instructions, as on a dummy.

  • Mask (1)

    The blocking out of a portion of the printing plate during the exposure process.

  • Matte Finish

    A coated paper finish that goes through minimal calendaring. Reference, calendaring.

  • Midtone Dot

    Commonly taken as the area between highlight and shadow area of a subject's face in halftone image.

  • Moire

    An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.

  • Mottle

    A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.

  • Natural

    A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood; also called cream, off-white or ivory.

  • Negative

    Film that contains the same images as the original print, except that all colors and shades are reversed. Reference, positive.

  • Newsprint

    A light, low cost groundwood paper made especially for newspapers. Reference, groundwood.

  • Nominal Weight

    When the basis weight of paper differs from the actual weight, the term nominal weight is used.

  • Offset

    The most commonly used printing method, whereby the printed material does not receive the ink directly from the printing plate but from an intermediary cylinder called a blanket which receives the ink from the plate and transfers it to the paper.

  • Offset Gravure

    A complex offset process involving multiple transfers between the gravure plate, the plate cylinder and a solid rubber plate.

  • Offset Lithography

    Indirect printing method in which the inked image on the press-plate is first printed onto a rubber blanket, then in turn offsets the inked impression on to the sheet of paper.

  • Offset Paper

    A term for uncoated book paper.

  • Opacity

    Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.

  • Opaque

    A quality of paper that allows relatively little light to pass through.

  • Opaque Ink

    Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.

  • Over Run

    Surplus of copies printed.

  • Overhang Cover

    A cover of a book that extends over the trimmed signatures it contains.

  • Overprinting

    Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.

  • Overset

    Type that is set in excess of the allotted space.

  • Page Proofs

    Proofs made up from pages.

  • Paperboard

    Any paper with a thickness (caliper) of 12 points (.3mm) or more.

  • Parchment

    A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin; used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.

  • Perf Marks

    Markings usually dotted lines at edges showing where perforations should occur.

  • Perfect

    A term used to describe the binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.

  • Perfect Binding

    Binding process where backs of sections are cut off, roughened and glued together, and rung in a cover.

  • Perfecting

    Printing both sides of the paper (or other material) on the same pass through the printing machine.

  • Perfecting Press

    A printing press that prints on both sides of the page in a single pass.

  • Perforating

    Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.

  • Pica

    Standard of measurement, 1/6 inch. 1 pica = 12 points 72 points = 1 inch

  • Picking (1)

    When the tack of ink is stronger than the surface strength of the paper, some lifting of the paper surface occurs; this is referred to as picking.

  • Picking (2)

    An occurrence in printing whereby the tack of ink pulls fibers or coating off the paper surface, leaving spots on the printed surface.

  • Point

    A measurement unit equal to 1/72 of an inch. 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch.

  • Ppi

    Pixels per inch.

  • Premium

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

  • Press-Proof

    Actual press sheet to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.

  • Primary Colors

    In printing the four primary colors are cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black.

  • Printability

    The quality of papers to show reproduced printed images.

  • Process Inks

    Printing inks, usually in sets of four colors. The most frequent combination is yellow, magenta, cyan, and black, which are printed, one over another in that order, to obtain a colored print with the desired hues, whites, blacks, and grays.

  • Process Printing

    Printing from two or more half tones to produce intermediate colors and shades.

  • Progressive Proofs

    Any proofs made from the separate plates of a multi-plate-printing project.

  • Proof

    Impression from composed type or blocks, taken for checking and correction, from a lithographic plate to check accuracy of layout, type matter, tone and color reproduction.

  • Pull For Position

    Guide sheet for the positioning of type, blocks, etc.

  • Ragged Left

    The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.

  • Ragged Right

    The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.

  • Readers Pairs

    Two consecutive pages as they appear in printed piece.

  • Ream

    500 sheets of paper.

  • Register

    The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.

  • Register Marks

    Any crossmarks or other symbols used on layout to assure proper registration.

  • Right Angle Fold

    A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

  • Run-Around

    A term given to copy that accommodates the lines of a picture or other image or copy.

  • Runability

    A term used to describe how well a paper runs on a printing press.

  • Running Head

    A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.

  • Saddle Stitching

    Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections, either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section.

  • Safety Paper

    A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.

  • Satin Finish

    A smooth delicately embossed finished paper with sheen.

  • Scaling

    The enlargement or reduction of an image or copy to fit a specific area.

  • Score

    Impressions or cuts in flat material to facilitate bending or tearing.

  • Screen Angles

    The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moire patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45deg, magenta 75deg, yellow 90deg, and cyan 105deg.

  • Screen Ruling

    A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.

  • Screened Print

    A photo print made by using a halftone negative; also called a velox.

  • Self Cover

    A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal sheets.

  • Sharpen

    To decrease the dot size of the halftone which in turn decreases the color strength.

  • Sheetwise

    The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the page over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.

  • Show Through

    A problem that occurs when the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side.

  • Side Stitching

    Stitching where the wire staples pass through the pile of sections or leaves gathered upon each other and are clinched on the underside.

  • Signature (Section)

    Printed sheet (or its flat) that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.

  • Slitting

    A term to describe the process of cutting of printed sheets by the cutting wheels of a printing press.

  • Smoothness

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

  • Spine

    Back edge of a book.

  • Spiral Bind

    A binding whereby a wire or plastic is spiraled through holes punched along the binding side.

  • Spot Color

    Small area printed in a second color.

  • Spread

    A film image that is larger than the original image to accommodate ink trapping. Reference, trapping

  • Stagger Cutting

    A process of cutting many sheets from the same parent sheet in which the smaller sheets have different grain directions; also called dutch or bastard cutting.

  • Step And Repeat

    A process of generating multiple exposures by taking an image and stepping it according to a predetermined layout.

  • Stet

    A proofreader's symbol that is usually written in the copy margin, that indicates that the copy, which was marked for correction, should be left as it was.

  • Stock

    A term for unprinted paper or other material to be printed.

  • Text

    A high quality printing paper.

  • Tint

    A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.

  • Tooth

    The rough surfaced finish of papers such as vellum or antique.

  • Transparent

    Inks that do not block out the colored inks that they print over, but instead blend with them to create intermediate colors.

  • Trapping

    The process of printing wet ink over printed ink which may be wet or dry.

  • Trim Marks

    Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.

  • Two-sidedness

    The difference in feel and appearance of either side of a sheet of paper due to the papermaking process having a felt and wire side.

  • Varnish

    A clear shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces. The primary component of the ink vehicle. Reference, vehicle.

  • Vignette

    Fade to white or small decorative design or illustration. A photo or illustration etc., in which the tones fade gradually away until they blend with the surface they are printed on.

  • W&T

    An abbreviation for work and turn.

  • Washup

    The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from all of the printing elements (rollers, plate, ink fountain etc.) of a press.

  • Web Press

    Cylinder printing machine in which the paper is fed from a continuous reel, as opposed to sheet fed.

  • Widow

    A single word or two left at the end of a paragraph, or a part of a sentence ending a paragraph, which loops over to the next page and stands alone. Also, the last sentence of a paragraph which contains only one or two short words.

  • Wire Side

    That side of the paper which lies on the wire screen side of the papermaking machine.

  • Wire Stitching Or Stapling

    To fasten together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples. 3 methods... saddle stitching, side stitching, and stabbing.