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Heck's Printing 101...

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

Absorbency: The ability of a material to take up moisture

AC: Author's Correction

Accordion Fold: A type of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion affect.

Acetate: A transparent or translucent plastic sheet material of a variety of colors, used as a basis for artwork and overlays.

Agate: A type size of 5 1/2 points. Reference, agate line.

Agate Line: In newspaper classifieds, a measurement denoting 1/4 inch depth by one column width. 14 agate lines = one column inch.

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

Amberlith: Red-orange acetate used for masking mechanicals when photographing for plates. The amberlith area appears black to the camera, and prints clear on the resulting film.

Antique Finish: Paper with a rough, sized surface used for book and cover stock.

Arrowhead: A symbol shaped like an arrowhead that is used in illustration to direct a leader line. Reference, leader line

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

ASA: A number set by the American Standards Assoc., which is placed on film stock to allow calculation of the length and "F" number of an exposure. Reference, "F" numbers.

Author's Alterations (AA's): Changes made after composition stage where customer is responsible for additional charges.




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Back To Back: Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.

Background: That portion of a photograph or line art drawing that appears furthest from the eye; the surface upon which the main image is superimposed.

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

Base Line: This is a term used to describe the imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points etc.

Basis Weight: Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.

Binding: Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book.

Black Out: Also referred to as black patch; a piece of masking material which is used in layout to mask an area leaving a window into which another element can be stripped.

Blanket: On offset presses a fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber to transfer the impression from the plate onto the paper.

Blanket To Blanket Press: A printing method in which there are two blanket cylinders through which a sheet of paper is passed and printed on both sides.

Bleed: Extra ink area that crosses trim line, used to allow for variations that occur when the reproduction is trimmed or die-cut. Heck's Printing prefers bleeds to be at least 0.125".

Blind Emboss: A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.

Blow-up: Any enlargement of photos, copies or line art.

Blue-Line: Photographic proof made from flats for checking accuracy, layout and imposition before plates are made. Also known as a dylux.

Body: The main shank or portion of the letter character other than the ascenders and descenders. Also: A term used to define the thickness or viscosity of printer's ink.

Body Size: The point size of a particular type character.

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

Bond: A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that has a standard size of 17x22 inches.

Book: A general classification to describe papers used to print books; its standard size is 25x38 inches. A printed work which contains more than 64 pages.

Break For Color: In layout design, the term for dividing or separating the art and copy elements into single color paste-up sheets.

Broad Fold: A term given to the fold whereby paper is folded with the short side running with the grain.

Brochure: A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.

Brownline Proof: A photographic proof made by exposing a flat to UV light creating a brown image on a white background. Also referred to as silverprint.

Bulk: A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.

Bulk: A term used to define the number of pages per inch of a book relative to its given basis weight.

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

Bump Exposure: A process used in halftone photography that entails the temporary removal of the screen during exposure. This increases the highlight contrast and diminishes the dots in the whites.

Burn: A term used in plate making to describe the amount of plate exposure time.




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Caliper: The measurement of thickness of paper expressed in thousandths of an inch or mils.

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

Cap Line: An imaginary horizontal line running across the tops of capital letters.

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.

Cast Coated: A paper that is coated and then pressure dried using a polished roller which imparts an enamel like hard gloss finish.

Chalking: A term used to describe the quality of print on paper where the absorption of the paper is so great that it breaks up the ink image creating loose pigment dust.

Coated (Paper): Paper coated with clay, white pigments and a binder. Better for printing because there is less picking.

Coated Art Paper: Printing papers used for printing projects that require a special treatment of detail and shading.

Coated Stock: Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.

Collate: To gather sheets or signatures together in their correct order. (see Gather)

Colophon: A printers or publishers identifying symbol or emblem.

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 Key Proof: A process of proof making whereby the color separations are individually exposed to light sensitive film. This film is then set in registration with a piece of white paper in the background.  

Color Separating: The processes of separating the primary color components for printing.

Color Strength: A term referring to the relative amount of pigmentation in an ink.

Color Transparency: Transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.

Commercial Register: Color registration measured within plus or minus one row of dots.

Composition: The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter for reproduction by printing.

Condensed Type: A narrow, elongated type face.

Contact Print: A print made from contact of a sensitive surface to a negative or positive photograph.

Contact Screen: A halftone screen made on film of graded density, and used in a vacuum contact with the film.

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.

Corner Marks: Marks on a final printed sheet that indicate the trim lines or register indicators.

Cover: A term describing a general type of papers used for the covers of books, pamphlets etc.

Cracking: Delamination.

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.

Crossmarks: Marks of fine lines, which intersect to indicate accurate alignment of art elements.

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.

Cutter: Machine for accurately cutting stacks of paper to desired dimensions...can also be used to crease. Also trims out final bound books' top size (soft cover).

Cutting Die: Sharp edged device, usually made of steel, to cut paper, cardboard, etc., on a printing press.

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




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Dampening: An essential part of the printing process whereby cloth covered rubber rollers distributes the dampening solution to the plate.

Dandy Roll: During the paper making process while the paper is still 90% water, it passes over a wire mesh cylinder (dandy roll), which imparts surface textures on the paper such as wove or laid. This is also the stage where the watermark is put onto the paper.

Deckle Edge: The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.

Deep Etching: The etching or removal of any unwanted areas of a plate to create more air or white space on the finished product.

Delete: An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

Densitometer: An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of color.

Density: The lay of paper fibers relative to tightness or looseness which affects the bulk, the absorbency and the finish of the paper.

Density: The degree of tone, weight of darkness or color within a photo or reproduction; measurable by the densitometer. Reference, densitometer.

Die: Design, letters or shapes, cut into metal (mostly brass) for stamping book covers or embossing. An engraved stamp used for impressing an image or design.

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.

Die Stamping: An intaglio process for printing from images engraved into copper or steel plates.

Digital Proof: Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed.

Dimensional stability: The qualities of paper to stabilize its original size when undergoing pressure or exposed to moisture.

Direct Screen Halftone: A color separation process using a halftone negative made by direct contact with the halftone screen.

Display Type: Any type that stands out from the rest of the type on a page which attracts attention of the reader.

Distribution Rollers: In the printing process, the rubber coated rollers responsible for the distribution of ink from the fountain to the ink drum.

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.

Dog Ear: Occurs when you fold into a fold (such as a letter fold). At the side of one of the creases you get an indentation. It may look like a small inverted triangle.

Drier: A term that describes any additives to ink which encourages the drying process.

Drill: The actual drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.

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

Dry Mount: Pasting with heat sensitive adhesives.

Dry Offset: Process in which a metal plate is etched to a depth of 0.15 mm (0.006 in), making a right-reading relief plate, printed on the offset blanket and then to the paper without the use of water.

Ductor Roller: The roller between the inking and the dampening rollers.

Dull Finish: Any matte finished paper.

Dummy: A term used to describe the preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product; also called a comp.

Dummy Model: Resembling finished piece in every respect except that the pages and cover are blank, used by the designer as a final check on the appearance and +feel+ of the book as a guide for the size and position of elements on the jacket.

Duotone: Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.

Duplex Paper: Paper which has a different color or finish on each side.  

Dylux: Photographic proof made from flats for checking accuracy, layout and imposition before plates are made. Also known as a blue-line.  




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  Eggshell Finish: The finish of paper surface that resembles an eggshell achieved by omitting the calendar process. Reference, calendar rolls.

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.

Electronic Proof: A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the color separation negatives; the paper is passed through the electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.

Embossed: A method of paper finishing whereby a pattern is pressed into the paper when it is dry.

Embossing: To raise in relief a design or letters already printed on card stock or heavy paper by an uninked block or die. In rubber and plastic plate making the process is usually done by heat.

Emulsion: A light sensitive substance used as a coating for film; made from a silver halide compound. This side should face the lens when the film is exposed.

Enamel: A term that describes a glossy coating on paper.

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.

Estimate: The form used by the printer to calculate the project for the print buyer. This form contains the basic parameters of the project including size, quantity, colors, bleeds, photos etc.

Estimator: One who computes or approximates the cost of work to be done on which quotation may be based.

Expanded Type: Type with width greater than normal producing a rectangular effect.

Exposure: That stage of the photographic process where the image is produced on the light sensitive coating.

Extender: A white pigment added to a colored pigment to reduce its intensity and improve its working qualities.




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  F&G: A term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering.

Fan Fold: Paper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel.

Fat Face: Type that is quite varied in its use of very thin and very wide strokes.

Felt Finish: The smoother side of paper, usually a soft weave pattern used for book papers.

Felt Side: It is the top side of the sheet in the paper making process that does not lie on the Fourdrinier wire.

Finish: The surface quality of paper.

Finish (Paper): Dull - (low gloss) also matte or matte gloss.

Fit: The registration of items within a given page.

Flash Point: A term given to the lowest temperature of ignitibility of vapors given off by a substance.

Foils: Papers that have a surface resembling metal.

Fold Marks: Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.

Folder: Machine used to fold signatures down into sections.

Folio or Page Number: Number of page at top or bottom either centered, flushed left or flushed right often with running headline.

Font: The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.

Form Rollers: The rollers that come into direct contact with the plate of a printing press.

French Fold(er): Folder with printing on one side so that when folded once in each direction, the printing on outside of the folds.




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Galley: (old) flat oblong tray into which composed type matter is put and kept until made up into pages in the forme. Also a similar tray on a slug composing machine which receives the slugs as they are ejected. Also a long column of composed text matter

Galley Proof: A proof of text copy before it is pasted into position for printing.

Gang: Group of frames or impositions in the same forme of different jobs arranged and positioned to be printed together.

Ganging: The bundling of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.

Gather: To assemble or collect sections into single copies of complete books for binding.

Gathering: Assembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence; collating.

Ghosting: Image which appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print due to local blanket depressions from previous image areas on a letterpress rotary machine as well as on an offset press.

Ghosting: Marring a print by the placement of an image of work printed on the reverse side which has interfered with its drying so that differences in the trapping frame colors or glass variations are apparent.

Gigo: Garbage in, garbage out.

Gloss Ink: Quick drying oil based inks with low penetration qualities, used on coated stock.

Goldenrod: An orange colored paper with gridlines, used to assemble materials for exposure for platemaking.

Graduated Screen: An area of image where halftone dots range continuously from one density to another.

Grain: Direction of fibers in a sheet of paper governing paper properties such as increased size changes with relative humidity, across the grain, and better folding properties along the grain.

Grained Paper: A paper embossed to resemble various textures, such as leather, alligator, wood, etc.

Gripper: A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process.

Gripper Edge: The grippers of the printing press move the paper through the press by holding onto the leading edge of the sheet; this edge is the gripper edge.

Groundwood: Low cost papers such as newsprint made by the mechanical pulping process as opposed to chemical pulping and refining.

Gutter: Space between pages in the printing frame of a book, or inside margin towards the back or binding edge. The blank space or margin between the type page and the binding of a book.




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Hairline register: Printing registration that lies within the range of plus or minus one half row of dots. It is the thinnest of the standard printers' rules.

Halftone: Tone graduated image composed of varying sized dots or lines, with equidistant centers.

Halftone Paper: A high finish paper that is ideal for halftone printing.

Halftone Screen: A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.

Hard Dot: The effect in a photograph where a dot has such a small degree of halation that the dot shows quite sharp.

Hickies: Imperfections in presswork due to dirt on press, trapping errors, etc.

High Bulk Paper: Paper stock that is comparatively thick in relation to its basis weight.

Highlights: The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots.

Highlight Dot: The highest density of a halftone image.

House Sheet: This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in his shop.




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IBC: Inside back cover.

IFC: Inside front cover.

Image Area: That portion of the printing plate that carries the ink and prints on paper.

Image Setter: High resolution, large format device for producing film from electronically generated page layouts.

Imposition: Arrangement of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet, and the pages are in proper order when the sheets are folded.

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.

Index Bristol: A relatively thick paper stock; basis size---25 1/2 x 30 1/2.

Indicia: Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes to replace the stamp.

Industrial Papers: A term used to denote papers such as janitorial, sanitary or heavy packing papers.

Ink Fountain: The device which stores and meters ink to the inking rollers.

Ink Holdout: A quality of paper to be resistant to ink absorption, allowing the ink to dry on the paper surface.

Ink Setting: The inertial resistance to flow that occurs to ink as soon as it is printed.

Inserts: Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

Integral Proof: A proof made by exposing each of the four-color separations to an emulsion layer of primary colors. These emulsion sheets are stacked in register with a white sheet of paper in the background. Types of integral proofs are cromalin, matchprint, ektaflex, and spactraproof.

Interleaves: Extra blank pages inserted loosely into book after printing.

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




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Jacket: The paper cover sometimes called the "dust cover" of a hardbound book.

Job Number: A number assigned to a printing project used for record keeping and job tracking. Also used to retrieve old jobs for reprints or reworking by customer.

Jog: To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming.

Jogger: Vibrating, sloping platform that evens up the edges of stacks of paper.




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

Key Plate: The printing plate that is used as a guide for the other plates in the color printing process; it usually has the most detail.

Keying: The use of symbols, usually letters, to code copy that will appear on a dummy.

Keyline: Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations etc.

Kiss Impression: A delicate printed impression, just heavy enough to be seen.




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Laid Finish: A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.

Laser Engraving: A paper cutting technique whereby laser technology is utilized to cut away certain unmasked areas of the paper. The cutting is a result of the exposure of the paper to the laser ray, which actually evaporates the paper.

Lay Edge: Edge of a sheet of paper being fed into a printing press.

Layout: A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, roughs, thumbnails etc., of the final printed piece before it goes to print.

Leaders: The dots or dashes used in type to guide the eye from one set of type to the next.

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

Leaf: One of a number of folds (each containing two pages) which comprises a book or manuscript.

Ledger Paper: A stiff heavy business paper generally used for keeping records.

Letterpress: Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces to create the image.

Letterspacing: The addition of space between typeset letters.

Line Copy: Any copy that can be reproduced without the use of halftone screens.

Linen: A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.

Lithocoated Paper: A paper that is coated with a special water-resistant material which is able to withstand the lithographic process.

Lithography: The process of printing that utilizes flat inked surfaces to create the printed images.

Logotype: A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.




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M weight: The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.

Machine Coated: Paper that has had a coating applied to either one or two of its sides during the papermaking process.

Machine Direction: An alternate term for grain direction.

Machine Finish: A paper finish that results from the interaction of the paper with the Fourdrinier process as opposed to post machine embossing. Reference, Fourdrinier

Magnetic Black: Black pigments containing black iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition.

Make Ready: Process of adjusting final plate on the press to fine tune or modify plate surface.

Margin: Imprinted space around edge of page.

Mark-up: To write up instructions, as on a dummy.

Mask (1): The blocking out of a portion of the printing plate during the exposure process.

Mask (2): A photo negative or positive used in the color separation process to color correct. Reference, PRINTING, mask.

Match Print: Photographic proof made from all color flats and form composite proof showing color quality as well as accuracy, layout, and imposition before plates are made.

Matte Finish: A coated paper finish that goes through minimal calendaring. Reference, calendaring.

Measure: The width of type as measured in picas. Reference, picas.

Mechanical: A term used to describe finished artwork that is camera ready for reproduction, including all type, photos, illustrations etc.

Midtone Dot: Commonly taken as the area between highlight and shadow area of a subject's face in halftone image.

Moire:An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.

Molleton:A cotton fabric used on the dampening rollers of a printing press.

Mottle:A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.




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Natural: A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood; also called cream, off-white or ivory.

Negative: Film that contains the same images as the original print, except that all colors and shades are reversed. Reference, positive.

Newsprint: A light, low cost groundwood paper made especially for newspapers. Reference, groundwood.

Nominal Weight: When the basis weight of paper differs from the actual weight, the term nominal weight is used.




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OA Of Register: When two sheet passes on a press are misaligned.

OBC: Outside back cover.

Oblong: A term used to describe printed books, catalogs etc., that are bound on their shorter side; also referred to as album bound.

OFC: Outside front cover.

Offset: The most commonly used printing method, whereby the printed material does not receive the ink directly from the printing plate but from an intermediary cylinder called a blanket which receives the ink from the plate and transfers it to the paper.

Offset Lithography: Indirect printing method in which the inked image on the press-plate is first printed onto a rubber blanket, then in turn offsets the inked impression on to the sheet of paper.

Offset Paper: A term for uncoated book paper.

Opacity: Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.

Opaque Ink: Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.

Orthochromatic: Any light sensitive surfaces that are not sensitive to red.

Overlay: A transparent sheet placed over artwork, in register with the work it covers; this is used to call out other color components of the work, instructions or corrections.

Overlay Proof: A process of proof making whereby the color separations are individually exposed to light sensitive film. This film is then set in registration with a piece of white paper in the background.

Overprinting: Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.

Over Run: Surplus of copies printed.




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Page Makeup: The assemblage of all the necessary elements required to complete a page.

Page Proofs: Proofs made up from pages.

Panchromatic: Films or other photographic materials that are sensitive to all colors.

Parchment: A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin; used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.

Paste-up: Preparation of positive materials into a layout for photographing to film negatives.

Perf Marks: Markings usually dotted lines at edges showing where perforations should occur.

Perfect: A term used to describe the binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.

Perfect Binding: Binding process where backs of sections are cut off, roughened and glued together, and rung in a cover.

Perfecting Press: A printing press that prints on both sides of the page in a single pass.

Perfecting: Printing both sides of the paper (or other material) on the same pass through the printing machine.

Perforating: Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.

Photomechanical: The platemaking process where plates are coated with photosensitive coatings and exposed to photo negatives or positives.

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

Picking (1): When the tack of ink is stronger than the surface strength of the paper, some lifting of the paper surface occurs; this is referred to as picking.

Picking (2): An occurrence in printing whereby the tack of ink pulls fibers or coating off the paper surface, leaving spots on the printed surface.

Piling: A build up of pigment or paper coatings onto the plate, blankets or rollers.

Pin Register: Using metal pins fitted into preset holes of copy sheets, films, plates and presses that will assure the proper registration

Pinholing: Failure of printed ink to form a completely continuous film, visible in the form of small holes in the printed areas.

Plate: Reproduction of type or cuts in metal, plastic, rubber, or other material, to form a plate bearing a relief, planographic or intaglio printing surface.

Platemaking: Making a printing plate from a film or flat including preparation of the plate surface, sensitizing, exposing through the flat, developing or processing, and finishing.

Plastic Comb: A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the side closest the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.

Plate Cylinder: The cylinder on a printing press on which the plate is mounted.

PMT: Photomechanical transfer.

Positive: Film that contains an image with the same tonal values as the original; opposite of a negative.

Ppi: Pixels per inch.

Premium: Any paper that is considered better than #1 by its manufacturer.

Press-Proof: Actual press sheet to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.

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.

Process Printing: Printing from two or more half tones to produce intermediate colors and shades.

Proof: Impression from composed type or blocks, taken for checking and correction, from a lithographic plate to check accuracy of layout, type matter, tone and color reproduction.




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Rag paper: Papers with a complete or partial content of cotton fibers.

Ragged Left: The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.

Ragged Right: The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.

Railroad Board: A thick, coated paper used for signs; usually waterproof.

Ream: 500 sheets of paper.

Reducer: Any substance that softens and reduces the tack of ink.

Register: The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.

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

Right Angle Fold: A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

Rub Proof: That stage of printed ink where the maximum dryness is achieved, and the ink will not smudge.

Rubine: A pigment somewhat redder than true magenta.

Runability: A term used to describe how well a paper runs on a printing press.

Run-Around: A term given to copy that accommodates the lines of a picture or other image or copy.

Running Head: A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.




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Saddle Stitching: Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections, either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section.

Safety Paper: A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.

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.

Score: Impressions or cuts in flat material to facilitate bending or tearing.

Screen Angles: The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moire patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45o, magenta 75o, yellow 90o, and cyan 105o.

Scum: Unwanted ink marks in the non-image area.

Self Cover: A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal sheets.

Sheetwise: The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the page over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.

Show Through: A problem that occurs when the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side.

Side Guide: The guides on the sides of the sheet fed press that position the sheet sideways as the paper is led towards the front guides.

Side Stitching: Stitching where the wire staples pass through the pile of sections or leaves gathered upon each other and are clinched on the underside.

Signature (Section): Printed sheet (or its flat) that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.

Silhouette halftone: A halftone with the background screen removed.

Slitting: A term to describe the process of cutting of printed sheets by the cutting wheels of a printing press.

Smoothness: That quality of paper defined by its levelness which allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.

Soft Dot: An excessively large halo around a dot in a photograph that causes a fringe that diminishes the dot intensity.

Spine: Back edge of a book.

Spiral Bind: A binding whereby a wire or plastic is spiraled through holes punched along the binding side.

Spot Color: Small area printed in a second color.

Spread: A film image that is larger than the original image to accommodate ink trapping. Reference, trapping

Stagger Cutting: A process of cutting many sheets from the same parent sheet in which the smaller sheets have different grain directions; also called dutch or bastard cutting.

Star Target: The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, GATF has established various quality control images; the star target appears along with the color bar and helps the pressman detect any irregularity in the ink spread. Reference, Color Bars

Static Neutralizer: A device on a printing press that minimizes the amount of static build up on paper as it passes through the press.

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

Stet: A proofreader's symbol that is usually written in the copy margin, that indicates that the copy, which was marked for correction, should be left as it was.

Stock: A term for unprinted paper or other material to be printed.

Strip-In: To add an element, such as copy that is shot separately, and then stripped into place on a goldenrod flat.

Stripping: Originally, the removal of the photographic emulsion with its image from individual negatives and combining them in position on a glass plate. Now the use of stripfilm materials, and the cutting, attachment, and other operations for assembling. The positioning of positives and negatives on the flat before proceeding to platemaking.

Synthetic Papers: Any petroleum based waterproof papers with a high tensile strength.




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Tack: The adhesive quality of inks.

Tag: A dense, strong paper stock.

Tensile Strength: A paper's ability to withstand pressure.

Text: A high quality printing paper.

Thermography: A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and while the ink is still wet, it is lightly dusted with a resinous powder. The paper then passes through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.

Tint: A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.

Transparent: Inks that do not block out the colored inks that they print over, but instead blend with them to create intermediate colors.

Trapping: The process of printing wet ink over printed ink which may be wet or dry.

Trim Marks: Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.




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




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Vacuum Frame: Also called a contact frame; used in the platemaking process to hold materials in tight contact during exposure.

Varnish: A clear shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces. The primary component of the ink vehicle. Reference, vehicle.

Vellum: A finish of paper that is rough, bulky and has a degree of tooth.

Velox: A photographic print which is made from a negative.

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.




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W&T: An abbreviation for work and turn.

Washup: The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from all of the printing elements (rollers, plate, ink fountain etc.) of a press.

Watermark: A translucent logo that is embossed during the papermaking process while the paper slurry is on the dandy roll. Reference, dandy roll

Wet Trapping: The ability of an ink film to accept subsequent ink films.

Wire Side: That side of the paper which lies on the wire screen side of the papermaking machine.

Wire Stitching Or Stapling: To fasten together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples. 3 methods...saddle stitching, side stitching, and stabbing.

Wove: A smooth paper made on finely textured wire that gives the paper a gentle patterned finish.

Writing Paper: Another name for bond paper.  




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Xerographic Paper: Papers made to reproduce well in copy machines and laser printers.