Marketing Glossary
PCS Print Glossary


PCS Print Glossary

Against the Grain: At right angles to direction of paper grain.

Backer: Printing the second side of a sheet already printed on one side.

Banding: A method of packaging printed sheets 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, plastic, staple, thread, glue, etc..

Bindery: The finishing department of a print shop or firm specializing in finishing printed products.

Blanket: The thick rubber mat on an offset printing press that transfers ink from the plate to paper.

Bleed: Printing that goes to the edge of the print material after trimming.

Blind embossing: An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.

Bond & carbon: Business form which has carbon tissue between multiple paper/ parts.

Bond paper: Strong durable paper grade used for letterheads and business forms.

Color Break: To separate multi-colored copy and/or graphics by their different colors before printing.

Brightness: The brilliance or reflectance of paper.

Bulk pack: Boxing printed product loosely without wrapping or banding.

Burn: Exposing a printing plate to high intensity light or placing an image on a printing plate by light.

Butt: Joining images without overlapping.

Butt fit: Printed colors that overlap so they appear to butt or trap register with one another.

Carbonless: Chemically coated pressure sensitive paper that when hand written transfers to all other sheets within a form.

Caliper: Paper thickness in thousandths of an inch.

Camera-ready copy: Print ready mechanical art.

Card Stock: Also called cover stock. Mostly heavyweight papers are called cards stock. The thickness of card stock is indicated with point sizes such as 14pt, 16pt. Some people will also refer to 100lb gloss cover as a card stock.

Carrier Route: The address to which a carrier delivers mail. In common usage, carrier route includes city routes, rural routes, highway contact routes, post office box sections, and general delivery units.

Carload: A truck load of paper weighing 40000 pounds.

Case bind: A type of binding used in making hard cover books using glue.

Cast coated: Coated paper with a high gloss reflective finish.

Chrome: A term for a transparency.

CMYK: The primary colors used in 4-color printing. CMYK are used to reproduce full color on the printed sheet. CMYK also called PROCESS COLOR

C: Cyan (Blue)
M: Magenta (Red)
Y: Yellow
K: Key (Black)

Coated paper: A clay coated printing paper with a smooth finish that may be dull or glossy.

Coating: The mixture of clay materials that are applied to paper to improve the smoothness of the paper's surface and improve ink holdout during the printing process. Examples are Aqueous coating (AQ) and UV coating. UV coating adds a gloss finish to the product and also improves the vibrancy of the printed colors. Spot-UV can be applied to selected portions of the piece, while keeping the rest a matte finish.

Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS): A service offered to mailers, service bureaus, and software vendors that improves the accuracy of matching to delivery point codes, ZIP+4 codes, 5-digit Zip Codes, and carrier route codes on mail piece. CASS provides a common platform to measure the quality of address matching software and to diagnose and correct software problems.

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 key: Color proofs in layers of acetate:

Color matching system: A numeric system of formulated ink colors used for identifying a specific color.

Color Separations: The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colors (CYMK).

Comb bind: To plastic comb bind by inserting the comb into punched holes.

Composite film: Combining two or more images on one or more pieces of film.

Consecutive Numbering: Numbering a form, or a series of printed material where the number changes sequentially from one to another. Example, if the first one has number 201, the second will get 202, the third would be 203 and so on.

Continuous-tone copy: Illustrations, photographs or computer files that are vectored - containing no gaps in color.

Contrast: The amount of tonal difference or change between two colors.

Copy: All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product.

Copywriting: The discipline of writing copy in an organized fashion to deliver a specific message or meaning.

Cover weight paper: A heavy printing paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, etc.

Crash number: Numbering a multiple part business form or single sheet by pressing a numbering head onto the face of the document.

Creative Design: The artful process of using computer software to determine the layout, colors, illustrations, and pictures for a printed piece. Copy is usually written as separate process and added to the artwork by a designer.

Crimping: Puncture marks holding continuous (pinfed)business forms together.

Cromalin: Trade name for DuPont color proofs.

Crop: To cut off parts of a picture or image.

Crop marks (Guide Marks): Lines printed in the margin of sheet that indicates to the cutter and bindery where the finished product should be trimmed. They are also used to show what part of a photo should be used and what part should be cropped off.

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 device to measure the density of printing ink.

Density: The degree of color or darkness of an image or photograph.

Die: Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.

Die Cutting: A specific shape like circle, star, etc (any designs that cannot be done by a straight cut) which is cut by a metal blade. Door hangers are a popular product which requires die cutting.

Direct Mail: Another name for advertising mail sent to targeted markets. It can be any mail class, but it is usually Standard Mail.

Dot: An element of halftones, duotones and full color text or images. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made of many dots.

Dot gain or spread: A term used to explain the difference in size between the dot on film vs. paper.

Dots Per Inch (dpi): A measurement of resolution of input, output and display devices. 300 dpi means that when printed, each square inch of your image will contain 90,000 pixels (dots), the higher the dpi (the more pixels per inch) the more crisp the printed image will be. Our electronic (digital files) have to have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Anything less than that is considered as low resolution and may appear blurry when printed.

Double burn: Exposing a plate to multiple images.

Draw-down: A sample of ink and paper used to evaluate ink colors.

Drop-out: Portions of artwork that do not print.

Duotone: A halftone picture made up of two printed colors.

Embossing: A process of imprinting a blind image by applying pressure to the back side of a paper sheet to change the surface permanently, giving it a three dimensional or raised effect.

Eurobind: A patented method of binding perfect bound books so they will open and lay flatter.

Finishing: Operations to a document after it has been printed. The finishing operations could include bindery work such as, folding, trimming, binding, die cutting, inserting or any post press process that must be completed.

Flat Size: The size of a printed product after printing and trimming but before any finishing operations that affect its size, such as folding.

Flood: To fully cover a printed sheet with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.

Foil: A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing.

Foil emboss: Foil stamping and embossing an image onto paper with a die.

Foil stamping: Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper.

Folding: The process of bending printed sheets in a specific area.

4-Panel Roll Fold: A type of fold where the piece is folded inward at one end and then folded inward again one or more times. It is as if you are rolling the piece up.

Accordion Fold: A sheet which is folded twice in right angles to form a W-shaped four page uncut section. We are able to fold up to 4 panel(8 page max). Accordion folds are usually done when using text/book weight papers.

Double Gate Fold: Single gate fold, with an additional fold on the center.

Double Parallel Fold: A type of fold where the piece is folded in half and then folded in half again. The folds are parallel to each other. Also known as a quarter fold.

French Fold (quarter fold): A sheet which has been printed on one side only and then folded twice at right angles to form a four page uncut section.

Gate Fold: When both sides of an oversize page fold into the gutter in overlapping layers.

Half Fold: Is folding a sheet in half lengthwise or widthwise.

Half-Tri Fold: A sheet is folded in half and then tri-folded.

Tri Fold: 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.

Z Fold: A paper fold represented by back and forth folds into three panels.

4-color-process: The process of combining four basic colors to create a full color printed picture/image or other copy (CYMK).

French fold: Two folds at right angles to each other.

Full Bleed: Printing that goes to the edge of all four sides of the page.

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 print more economically. Some color dexterity may be lost.

Generation: Stages of reproduction from original copy. A first generation reproduction yields the best quality.

Ghost bars: A quality control method used to reduce ghosted image created by heat or chemical contamination.

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 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.

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 color definition.

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

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. Used for measuring registration of copy.

Halftone: Converting a continuous tone to dots for one color printing.

Head to Head: Printing on the front and back of a sheet is setup so that the top of both sides is printed at the same end of the sheet. You would turn the sheet like the page of a book to read the reverse side.

Head-to-Toe: Printing on the front and back of a sheet so that the tops of each side are printed at opposite ends from each other. The top of one side is opposite the bottom of the other. You would turn the sheet over from top to bottom to read the reverse side.

Hickey: 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 image 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.

Imprinting/Overprinting: The printing of new copy on a piece that is already printed. Examples of imprinting are ink-jetting addresses on postcards after the actual card has been printed. Please note that you cannot imprint or inkjet on any paper with AQ or UV Coating on the same side of the sheet.

Indicia: Postal information place on a printed product.

Ink fountain: The reservoir on a printing press that hold the ink.

Kiss die cut: To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing.

Knock out: To mask out an image or other copy.

Laid finish: Simulating the surface of handmade paper.

Laminate: To cover with film, to bond or glue one surface to another.

Landscape: Printing a page so that when positioned for reading the width is greater than the height.

Line copy: High contrast copy not requiring a halftone.

Lines per inch: The number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone.

Line Screen: A row of dots of a certain size. It is used to convert a picture or photograph into a halftone dot pattern so that it can be printed.

Loupe: A magnifying glass used to review a printed piece or printing plate.

Magenta: Process red, one of the basic colors in process color.

Make-Ready: 1.The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and specifications prior to printing. This includes adjusting the infeed, grippers and guides, adjusting ink for proper coverage, registering copy, and matching the printed piece with the proof to be sure everything is correct. Also referred to as set up.

2. The paper used while making all the necessary adjustments before printing the actual run. All the activities required to prepare a press for printing.

Margin: The non-printed areas around the image area of a page.

Marginal words: User routing text usually printed at the bottom of each part of a business form.

Mask: Blocking light from reaching parts of a printing plate.

Matchprint: Trade name for 3M integral color proof.

Matte 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/ Dull finish is applied to all 14pt jobs and 16pt jobs unless it is Spot UV.

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 visible patterns in photographs.

Non-reproducing blue: A blue color that prepress cameras cannot see. Used in marking up artwork.

Offset Printing: The transfer of an inked image from a plate to a blanket cylinder, which in turn transfers the image to the printing material as it passes between the blanket and the impression cylinder and pressure is applied. Also referred to as offset lithography.

Offsetting: An unpleasant result when the ink/ copy from one sheet transfer to the back of the previous sheet.

Opacity: The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less copy show-through.

Open End Envelope: An envelope with an opening along its short dimension.

Open Side Envelope: An envelope with an opening along its longest dimension.

Out of Register / Off Register: When an image is not printing in the exact location that it is suppose to. When printing more than one color, if the colors do not line up properly, they are out of register.

Outline halftone: Removing the background of a picture or silhouetting an image in a picture.

Overlay: The transparent cover sheet on artwork often used for instructions.

Overrun or overs: Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. (Printing trade terms allow for + or - 10 % to represent a completed order.)

Page count: Total number of pages in a printed or copied book or document including blanks.

Pantone Matching System (PMS): A registered name for an ink color matching system used to compare, match and identify specific colors. To do so we use a pantone book. It contains pantone colors with their closest CMYK values.

Paper Grain: The direction in which paper fibers line up during the manufacturing process. It is easier to fold, bend, or tear the paper along the same direction of the fibers. Cut sheet laser printers generally use long grain paper in which the grain runs parallel to the long side of the paper, resulting in better performance through the laser printer.

Pattern carbon: Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers a written or dot matrix printed copy in certain areas.

Perfect bind: A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a telephone book or magazine.

Perfecting press: A sheet fed printing press that prints both sides of a sheet in one pass.

Perforation: Creating a series of small slits or holes so that the paper can be torn more easily in a straight line. Postage stamps and tear-off cards are common products that require perforation.

Pica: Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch.

Pixel: The smallest unit of a digitized image created by a digital device, such as a computer, camera, or scanner. The more pixels per inch the better the resolution. On computer monitors, the display is divided into rows and columns containing thousands or millions of pixels. Each pixel is composed of three dots representing the three color channels of red, green, and blue light that are necessary for creating a color image on computer monitors and television screens. Because of their small size, the pixels appear to merge, simulating a continuous tone image, but when magnified they appear to be tiny square blocks of light, as shown in the illustration.

Plate: A metal or paper light-sensitive sheet that holds an image that has been photographically produced. During the printing process, the image area picks up ink, which is then transferred to a blanket and then to paper.

PMS: The abbreviated name of the Pantone Color Matching System.

Point: For paper, a unit of thickness equaling 1/1000 inch or for typesetting, a unit of height equaling 1/72 inch.

Portrait: Printing a page so that when positioned for reading the height is greater than the width.

Postage Permit: Authorization required to mail without affixing postage. A postage imprint, also referred to as an indicia (The imprinted area in the upper right corner of the mail piece that indicates postage payment), is used instead of stamps. An advance payment is made to the post office and postage payment is deducted from that deposit.

PostScript: The computer language most recognized by printing devices.

Presort: The process by which a mailer groups mail by ZIP Code so that it is sorted to the finest extent required by the standards for the rate claimed. Generally, presort is performed sequentially, from the lowest (finest) level to the highest level, to those destinations specified by standard and is completed at each level before the next level is prepared. Not all presort levels are applicable to all mailings.

Press number: A method of consecutively numbering a document while it is being printed on press.

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).

Proof: A rough layout of a printed piece showing copy position and other specifications like size, perfing, folding, etc..

Proofread: Checking a proof for copy, layout, and appearance errors or discrepancies.

Punching: Drilling of holes through a stack of paper. Applicable & popular sizes are 1/4" & 5/16".

RGB: The additive primary colors, red, green and blue, used to display color in video monitors. Printing with a file in RGB color mode will produce a washed out appearance.

Ream: Five hundred sheets of paper.

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.

Resolution: The measurement of output quality expressed in pixels (dots) per inch on a computer monitor or dots per inch on printed media. For example, a monitor displaying a resolution of 800 by 600 refers to a screen capable of displaying 800 pixels in each of 600 lines, which translates into a total of 480,000 pixels displayed on the screen. When referring to printed media, a 300 dpi (dots per inch) printer for example, is capable of outputting 300 dots in a one-inch line, which means that it has the ability of printing 90,000 distinct dots per square inch (300 x 300).

Reverse: Changing the contrasting color of copy with its background. The opposite of what you see.

Rip film: A method of making printing negatives from PostScript files created by desktop publishing.

Rotation: 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.

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 pressed into paper to help it fold more accurately.

Self-cover: Using the same paper used for the interior pages of a booklet for the cover.

Show-through: Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet.

Shrink Wrapping: A method of wrapping packages or products with a plastic film and then applying heat so that the wrap fits tight to the product. Shrink-wrapping is used to package a product in specific quantities and is also used for protection purposes. It also adds some stability to the product when storing.

Side stitch: Binding by stapling along one side of a sheet.

Signature: A sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publication.

Silhouette: A term used when the background of an image is removed.

Slitting: Cutting paper by the use of a cutting wheel. Paper may be slit into smaller sheets or a web of paper may be slit into narrower rolls. A slit can also refer to cuts made that do not divide a sheet. For example, on a presentation folder smaller diagonal slits can be made on the pockets where business cards can then be displayed.

Specifications: A precise description of all details regarding the production of a print order.

Spine: The binding edge of a book or publication.

Spiral Binding: Book binding that consists of a spiral wire or plastic that is wound through holes. Also referred to as coil binding. Here at 4over we do not offer that service.

Spoilage: Planned paper waste for all printing operations.

Spot varnish: Varnish used to highlight a specific part of the printed sheet.

Step-and-repeat: A procedure for placing the same image on plates in multiple places.

Stock: The paper material to be printed.

Substance weight: A term of basis weight when referring to bond papers.

Substrate: Any surface on which printing is done.

Template: A preset model that acts as a structure for setting up a similar product.

Text paper: Grades of uncoated paper with different textured surfaces.

Thermography: A process of applying a special powder to the inked areas of a print job and then heating it which causes the ink to boil and raise.

Tints: A shade of a single color or combined colors.

Transfer tape: A peel and stick tape used in business forms.

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.

Transparent ink: A printing ink that does not conceal the color under it. Used to create watermarks on paper.

Trapping: The ability to slightly overlap one ink over another while printing.

Trim: The process of cutting the product to its finished size. The excess that is cut off is also referred to as the trim.

Trim marks: Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed sheet.

Trim size: The final size of a printed piece after the last trim is made.

Turnaround Time: The accumulated time between receipt of an order and shipping of the finished product. Different types of printing require different turnaround times.

Under-run: Production of fewer copies than ordered. See over run.

UV coating: Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Environmentally friendly and sun fade resistant.

Varnish: A thin, liquid protective coating, either matte or glossy, that is applied to the product. It adds protection and enhances the appearance of the product. It can be applied as an all over coating or it can be applied as a spot coating. UV coating generally looks slightly better.

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 paper spoilage which is usually recycled.

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.

Wire O: A bindery trade name for mechanical binding using double loops of wire through a hole.

Wire-O binding: A method of wire binding books along the binding edge that will allow the book to lay flat using double loops.

With the grain: Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper.

Work and tumble: A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and the sheet is turned from front to rear so that you are using the opposite edge as the gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.

Work and turn: A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and then the sheet is turned over so that you are using the same gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.

Wove paper: A paper having a uniform unlined surface with a smooth finish.

Zip: Zipping is a way to compress electronic files. A compressed file is considered "zipped."

ZIP Code: A system of 5-digit codes that identifies the individual post office or metropolitan area delivery station associated with an address.

ZIP+4 Code: A nine digit numeric code composed of two parts: (a) the initial code: the first five digits that identify the sectional center facility and delivery area associated with the address, followed by a hyphen; and (b) the four-digit expanded code: the first two additional digits designate the sector (a geographic area) and the last two digits designate the segment (a building, floor, etc.)

ZIP+4 barcode: A nine-digit POSTNET barcode consisting of 52 vertical bars.