So you want to sound like us, huh? We completely understand!
Once you get some of these terms down and you’re ready to use them in your next pick-up line, we suggest smearing some ink across your forehead first.
That’s how we roll.
Accordion fold: Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.
Banding: Method of packaging printed pieces of paper using rubber or paper bands.
Basis weight: Weight in pounds of a ream of paper cut to the basic size for its grade.
Bind: To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue. or by other means.
Bindery: The finishing department of a print shop or firm specializing in finishing printed products.
Blanket: The thick rubber mat on a printing press that transfers ink from the plate to paper.
Bleed: Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet after trimming.
Bond paper: Strong durable paper grade used for letterheads and business forms.
Brightness: The brilliance or reflectance of paper.
Bulk: Thickness of paper stock in thousandths of an inch or number of pages per inch.
Bulk pack: Boxing printed product without wrapping or banding.
Butt: Joining images without overlapping.
Caliper: Paper thickness in thousandths of an inch.
Collate: A finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order.
Color bar: A quality control term regarding the spots of ink color on the tail of a sheet.
Color correction: Methods of improving color separations.
Color matching system: A system of formulated ink colors used for communicating color.
Color separations: The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colors.
Continuous-tone copy: Illustrations, photographs or computer files that contain gradient tones from black to white or light to dark.
Contrast: The tonal change in color from light to dark.
Copy: All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product.
Cover paper: A heavy printing paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, etc.
Crop: To cut off parts of a picture or image.
Crop marks: Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.
Crossover: Printing across the gutter or from one page to the facing page of a publication.
Cyan: One of four standard process colors. The blue color.
Densitometer: A quality control devise to measure the density of printing ink.
Density: The degree of color or darkness of an image or photograph.
Ding bats: Often used to curse in print or to hi-lite a point.
Dot: An element of halftones. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made many dots.
Dot gain or spread: A term used to explain the difference in size between the dot on film v paper.
Drop-out: Portions of artwork that do not print.
Dummy: A rough layout of a printed piece showing position and finished size.
Duotone: A halftone picture made up of two printed colors.
Emulsion: Light sensitive coating found on printing plates and film.
Facsimile transmission aka Fax: The process of converting graphic images into electronic signals.
Flood: To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.
Flop: The reverse side of an image.
4-color-process: The process of combining four basic colors to create a printed color picture or colors composed from the basic four colors.
Gang: Getting the most out of a printing press by using the maximum sheet size to print multiple images or jobs on the same sheet. A way to save money.
Ghosting: A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended. More often than not this problem is a function of graphical design. It is hard to tell when or where ghosting will occur. Sometimes you can see the problem developing immediately after printing the sheet, other times the problem occurs while drying. However the problem occurs it is costly to fix, if it can be fixed. Occasionally it can be eliminated by changing the color sequence, the inks, the paper, changing to a press with a drier, printing the problem area in a separate pass through the press or changing the racking (reducing the number of sheets on the drying racks). Since it is a function of graphical design, the buyer pays for the increased cost.
Gloss: A shiny look reflecting light.
Grain: The direction in which the paper fiber lie.
Grippers: The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.
Hairline: A very thin line or gap about the width of a hair or 1/100 inch.
Halftone: Converting a continuous tone to dots for printing.
Hard copy: The output of a computer printer, or typed text sent for typesetting.
Hickey: Reoccurring unplanned spots that appear in the printed image from dust, lint, dried ink.
High-bulk paper: A paper made thicker than its standard basis weight.
Highlight: The lightest areas in a picture or halftone.
Image area: Portion of paper on which ink can appear.
Imposition: Positioning printed pages so they will fold in the proper order.
Impression: Putting an image on paper.
Imprint: Adding copy to a previously printed page.
Indicia: Postal information place on a printed product.
Ink fountain: The reservoir on a printing press that hold the ink.
Keylines: Lines on mechanical art that show position of photographs or illustrations.
Knock out: To mask out an image.
Line copy: High contrast copy not requiring a halftone.
Lines per inch: The number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone.
Loupe: A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film.
Magenta: Process red, one of the basic colors in process color.
Makeready: All the activities required to prepare a press for printing.
Matte finish: Dull paper or ink finish.
Micrometer: Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.
Middle tones: The tones in a photograph that are approximately half as dark as the shadow area.
Moire: Occurs when screen angles are wrong causing odd patterns in photographs.
Offsetting: Using an intermediate surface used to transfer ink. Also, an unpleasant happening when the images of freshly printed sheets transfer images to each other.
Offset paper: Term for uncoated book paper.
Opacity: The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through. (The thicker/heavier the paper the higher the cost.)
Overrun or overs: Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. (Printing trade terms allow for + – 10 % to represent a completed order.)
Page count: Total number of pages in a book including blanks.
Perfect bind: A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a telephone book, Microsoft software manual, or Country Living Magazine.
Pica: Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch.
Pin register: A standard used to fit film to film and film to plates and plates to press to assure the proper registration of printer colors.
Plate gap: Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the press.
PMS: The abbreviated name of the Pantone Color Matching System.
Point: For paper, a unit of thickness equaling 1/1000 inch. for typesetting, a unit of height equaling 1/72 inch.
PostScript: The computer language most recognized by printing devices.
Press number: A method of numbering manufacturing business forms or tickets.
Printing Bids: A printing bid is based on planned specifications, normally good for 30 days, may be subject to review and revision upon receipt.
Printing Estimates: Printing estimates are also know as spec bids or budgeting bids or budgeting estimates.
Printing Estimates: A printing estimate is based on planned, but not firm, specifications that shall subject to change and requote prior to submission to the printer.
Printing Quotes: A firm printing price based on final art or digital files, price good for 10 days, and shall be subject to review thereafter.
Pressure-sensitive paper: Paper material with self sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet.
Process blue: The blue or cyan color in process printing.
Process colors: Cyan (blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), black (process black).
Ragged left: Type that is justified to the right margin and the line lengths vary on the left.
Ragged right: Type that is justified to the left margin and the line lengths vary on the right.
Ream: Five hundred sheets of paper.
Recto: Right-hand page of an open book.
Reflective copy: Copy that is not transparent.
Register: To position print in the proper position in relation to the edge of the sheet and to other printing on the same sheet.
Register marks: Cross-hair lines or marks on film, plates, and paper that guide strippers, platemakers, pressmen, and bindery personnel in processing a print order from start to finish.
Reverse: The opposite of what you see. Printing the background of an image. For example; type your name on a piece of paper. The reverse of this would be a black piece of paper with a white name.
Rip: A method of making printing plates from PostScript files created by desktop publishing.
Saddle stitch: Binding a booklet or magazine with staples in the seam where it folds.
Scanner: Device used to make color separations, halftones, duo tones and tri tones. Also a device used to scan art, pictures or drawings in desktop publishing.
Score: A crease put on paper to help it fold better.
Self-cover: Using the same paper as the text for the cover.
Shadow: The darkest areas of a photograph.
Show-through: Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet.
Side guide: The mechanical register unit on a printing press that positions a sheet from the side.
Side stitch: Binding by stapling along one side of a sheet.
Signature (Sig): A sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publication.
Silhouette halftone: A term used for an outline halftone.
Skid: A pallet used for a pile of cut sheets.
Specifications: A precise description of a print order.
Spine: The binding edge of a book or publication.
Spoilage: Planned paper waste for all printing operations.
Stock: The material to be printed.
Substance weight: A term of basis weight when referring to bond papers.
Substrate: Any surface on which printing is done.
Text paper: Grades of uncoated paper with textured surfaces.
Tints: A shade of a single color or combined colors.
Transparency: A positive photographic slide on film allowing light to pass through.
Transparent copy: A film that light must pass through for it to be seen or reproduced.
Trapping: The ability to print one ink over the other.
Trim marks: Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed sheet.
Trim size: The final size of one printed image after the last trim is made.
Under-run: Production of fewer copies than ordered. See over run.
Up: Printing two or three up means printing multiple copies of the same image on the same sheet.
UV coating: Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Environmentally friendly.
Varnish: A clear liquid applied to printed surfaces for looks and protection. (UV coating looks better.)
Verso: The left hand page of an open book.
Vignette halftone: A halftone whose background gradually fades to white.
Washup: Removing printing ink from a press, washing the rollers and blanket. Certain ink colors require multiple washups to avoid ink and chemical contamination.
Waste: A term for planned spoilage.
Watermark: A distinctive design created in paper at the time of manufacture that can be easily seen by holding the paper up to a light.
Web: A roll of printing paper.
Web press: The name of a type of presses that print from rolls of paper.
With the grain: Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.