Printing Terms

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

Change in specifications after production has begun

Packaging printed pieces using paper, rubber or fiberglass bands

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

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

Characteristic of paper, referring to how much light it reflects

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

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)

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

Dull finish
Characteristic of paper that reflects relatively little light

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

Brand name for hard-proof materials

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

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

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

Piece to be bound or blown in to a publication

Brand name for hard-proof materials

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

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

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

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

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

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

Process of wrapping publications and any outserts in plastic

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

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

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

Printed item that can be mailed without an envelope

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

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)

Binding edge of a publication

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

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

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

Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance