Printing Terms

Aqueous coating
Water-base coating applied like ink on a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath

Alteration
Change in specifications after production has begun

Banding
Packaging printed pieces using paper, rubber or fiberglass bands

Bindery
Department within a printing company that is responsible for collating, folding and trimming print projects

Bind-in card
Insert that is bound into a saddle-stitch or perfect-bind publication

Bleed
Printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming

Blow-in card
Loose insert that is not bound into the publication but is “blown in” at an approximate page

Brightness
Characteristic of paper, referring to how much light it reflects

C1S and C2S
Abbreviations for “coated one side” and “coated two sides”

CMYK
Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) — the four process colors

Coated paper
Paper with a coating (of clay and other substances) that makes it appear shiny. Mills produce coated paper in four categories: cast, gloss, dull and matte

Color correct
To adjust the balance of cyan, magenta, yellow and black to achieve desirable colors

Dots per inch (DPI)
Measure of resolution of input devices (e.g., scanners), display devices (e.g., monitors) and output devices (e.g., laser printers, image setters)

Drill
To bore holes in paper so sheets fit on rings of loose-leaf binders

Dull finish
Characteristic of paper that reflects relatively little light

Embossing
Stamping a raised or depressed image into the surface of paper, using engraved metal dies, extreme pressure and heat

Epson
Brand name for hard-proof materials

Estimate
Price provided to a customer based on specifications on the estimate form. It is normally set prior to the entry of an order. Price estimate may change as specifications change

Format
Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed piece

Gang-run
When multiple projects are printed simultaneously, side by side on the same paper sheet, in an effort to reduce cost

House sheet (house brand)
Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a variety of printing jobs

Insert
Piece to be bound or blown in to a publication

Kodak
Brand name for hard-proof materials

Laminate
Thin, transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to protect paper stock against liquid and heavy use. It usually accents existing color and provides a glossy effect

Lithography
Method of printing, using plates with image areas that attract ink. Non-image areas may be coated with water to repel oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink

Makeready
All activities required to prepare a press or other machine for a specific printing or bindery job

Matte finish
Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic or coated printing paper

M weight
Weight of 1,000 sheets of paper in any specific size

Onsert
Advertisement affixed to a page or cover of a publication (e.g., sticky note)

Outsert
Printed piece included in a polybag, but not inside a publication

Over run
Pieces printed in excess of the quantity specified

PMS color/Pantone matching system
International system used to mix inks to standard colors used by printers

Pad
To bind by applying glue along one edge of a stack of sheets

Page count
Total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers

Perfect bind
Binding process whereby single sheets are stacked together, the binding edge is ground to create a rough surface, adhesive is applied and a cover is wrapped around the pages

Polybagging
Process of wrapping publications and any outserts in plastic

Prepress
Processes performed on a project before it goes to the press to be printed (e.g., layout, scanning)

Press check
Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production

Resolution
Sharpness of an image

Rush jobs
Orders produced faster than the printer’s normal five- to seven-day turn-around time

Saddle stitch (or saddle wire)
To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine

Satin finish
Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper

Score
To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately

Self-cover or self-contained
Publication using only text stock and no cover stock

Self-mailer
Printed item that can be mailed without an envelope

Shrink wrap
Tight-fitting plastic wrap used to protect a publication

Signature
Section of a book made by folding a printed sheet so that the pages follow in the correct order (standard signatures are 8, 16 and 32)

Spine
Binding edge of a publication

Spiral bind (coil bind)
To bind using wire or plastic spirals looped through holes

Spoilage
Planned paper waste for all printing operations

Spot color or varnish
One ink or varnish applied to small portions of a sheet, instead of covering the entire sheet

Template
Standard layout

Uncoated paper (offset paper)
Paper that is not coated with clay and does not appear shiny

Turn-around time
Amount of time needed to complete a job, from submission of PDF to delivery

Varnish
Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance