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.

A B C D E G I K L M O P R S T U V
  • Abrasion Resistance

    The resistance to scratching of a surface of paper by other paper surfaces or other materials.

  • Alignment

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

  • Art Work

    Any materials or images that are prepared for graphic reproduction.

  • Artwork

    All illustrated material, ornamentation, photos and charts etc., that is prepared for reproduction.

  • Balance

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

  • Banner

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

  • Bleed

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

  • Blow-up

    Any enlargement of photos, copies or line art.

  • Boldface

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

  • Bullet

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

  • Camera Ready

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

  • 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.

  • 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 Separating

    The processes of separating the primary color components for printing.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cyan

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

  • Delete

    An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

  • 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.

  • Dimensional stability

    The qualities of a substrate to stabilize its original size when undergoing pressure or exposure to environmental elements such as moisture, sun light and temperature extremes.

  • Dot

    The smallest individual element of a halftone.

  • 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.

  • Drop Shadow

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

  • Electronic Composition

    The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter with graphic elements in page layout form in digital format for reproduction by printing.

  • 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.

  • Gigo

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  • 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.

  • Italic

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

  • Kerning

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

  • Leading

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

  • Margin

    Imprinted space around edge of page.

  • Over Run

    Surplus of copies printed.

  • Paperboard

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

  • Peeling

    Delamination.

  • Pica

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

  • 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.

  • Primary Colors

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

  • 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.

  • Register Marks

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

  • 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.

  • Spot Color

    Small area printed in a second color.

  • Step And Repeat

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

  • Tack

    The adhesive quality of inks.

  • Up

    A term used to describe how many similar sheets can be produced on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.

  • 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.