Commercial Printing Terms

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Commercial Printing Terms Commonly Asked Questions Paper/Printing Glossary Product Lines Who To Call

Commercial Printing Terms
Learn to Talk the Talk of Commercial Print Every industry has its own jargon, and commercial printing is no exception. Below you'll find a list of words used in the commercial print market place. Reading through the list and understanding the words and their meanings will provide you a quick education in commercial print and may even save you from embarrassment when you're making a call on a veteran print buyer. A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

A Term Accordion Fold Definition Two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.


Changes or change orders made by the customer after the file is given to the printer, usually occurring during pre-press. Examples include color corrections (making the sky bluer, a dress brighter red), retouching (delete a logo on a shirt), adding shadows, etc. An off-press color proof made from separation films, Direct-to-plate technology is causing analog proofs to be replaced by digital proofs. Also referred to as film-based, conventional, or manual proof. Fine powder lightly sprayed over the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave a press (helps prevent sheets from sticking to each other). A water-based coating applied by a printing press to protect and enhance printing, unlike a varnish, it does not require a printing plate or ink tower, uses a coating unit.

Analog color proof

Anti-offset powder

Aqueous coating

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B Term Basis size Definition The size in inches for specific types of paper before they are printed and finished.

Basis weight

The weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that grade. An extension of printing beyond the trim mark to ensure there is no white area after the final trim. The process of producing a raised (relief) image in paper without using ink or hot stamp foil; no registration issues. A prepress proof where all the colors show as blue images on white paper, also referred to as positions proof, Dylux, silver print.


Blind embossing


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C Term Case Binding Definition A durable type of binding in which a hard cover is placed on both sides of the bound sheets.


Ink that is smeared or easily removed from the printed sheet.

Color Correction

Adjustments made to the color separation process to bring the printed results as close as possible to the original photograph. The process of producing separate printing plates for each of the four colors (CyanMagenta-Yellow-Black) required to produce the original color during the printing process.

Color Separation 11/25/2010

Usually the ink has dried for 24 hours before the sheet is sent through a second time to be printed on. Refers to the height and width of a piece before it is folded. menus. Page 2 of 5 Cover A category of thick paper used for products such as posters. When a sheet is completely printed with ink. back to top D Term Die cutting Definition The process of cutting special shapes into or from paper and other printable materials. Dummy Duotones back to top E Term Enamel Definition A coated paper. from type to binding. or to enhance shadows and highlights in a black and white photo). A preliminary layout showing the position of illustrations and text as they appear in the final reproduction. When a one-color photograph is printed using two printing plates (for a color effect other than black & white.printing wet ink on dry ink. postcards etc. which is 25" x 38"). dust or dirt on the press. Also known as folded size. which can be either dull or gloss. form and general style of a piece. Flat Size Flood back to top G Term Gripper Definition Finger-like clamps that control the flow of paper through a sheetfed aqueous coating. back to top F Term Finish Size Definition Refers to the height and width of an item in its final finished form (ie. Gutter back to top H Term Halftone Definition A photograph or continuous-tone illustration that has been converted to dots for reproduction. An imperfection in printing due to dried ink. The inner margin of a printed book or booklet. die cut or glued. Most likely appearing within large solid areas as tiny donuts. Usually about 3/8" is reserved along the leading edge of the paper.. or varnish. 11/25/2010 . folders. A proof used to approve color. shape.Commercial Printing Terms Content Proof Contract Proof A proof used to check the content or layout of the piece. The basic coversheet size is 20" x 26" (smaller than text.rrd. die cutting occurs off-line. Hickies http://inside. In web printing it can occur in-line. folded down).. A set of blank pages made up in advance to show the size. In sheetfed printing. Finished size refers to the height and width of an item in its final form. Used to determine how a PMS or Spot Color will look on different types of paper stock. Draw-down Dry trapping On press .

improves visual appearance of the line. such as a plaid. Mottle The spotty or uneven appearance of printing.. Morié An undesirable pattern that results when halftones and screen tints are made with improperly aligned screens.. pressure and special imaging foil. used for design effects. back to top J Term JPEG Definition A type of file format that saves storage and increases transmission speed because it is highly compressed. back to top M Term Make-ready Definition The work required to set up a press or machine to prepare it for producing a job. Just enough coverage to produce a light image on paper. Also called randoms or scatter proofs. An ink that conceals the color beneath it. Metallic ink Ink containing metal powders as pigments. Also called lithography. or when a pattern in a photo . Typically used on clear. mostly in solid areas.rrd. interferes with a halftone dot pattern. usually just the photographs. metallic.Commercial Printing Terms Hot Stamping Placing Images on various substrates by using relief type. Kiss Impression back to top L Term Loose Proof Definition A proof that only shows part of a job. back to top K Term Kerning Definition The reduction of space between selected letter combinations. Page 3 of 5 back to top I Term Imposition Definition The arrangement of individual pages on a signature (press sheet) so they appear in proper sequence after folding. or dark paper or plastic stocks so the four color printing stands out. back to top O Term Offset Lithography Definition A type of printing in which ink is transferred to a rubber blanket instead of direct from plate to blanket. 11/25/2010 .net/insideRRDCanada/Manufacturing/ENG/CommercialPrintingTerms/Commer. Opaque Ink back to top http://inside.

The name given to a printed sheet after it has been folded.rrd. back to top http://inside. back to top R Term RIP Definition Raster Image Processing. 11/25/2010 . then turn it over and print the other side with a different printing plate. the end result is more defined detail and elimination of moiré patterns (undesirable screen pattern). or plates.. back to top U Term UV Definition A liquid that is applied over printed pieces and then cured with ultra violet light to produce a very shiny durable coating. back to top S Term Sheetwise Definition To print one side of a sheet of paper. When a file is converted from bytes in various source files into a single file of dot patterns (called rastors) that can be output as film. Page 4 of 5 Pre-flight The initial step of pre-press that ensure all the correct components are available to produce the printed piece.overprinting colors so they overlap to eliminate white areas between colors during printing.Commercial Printing Terms P Term Perfect Bound Definition A stack of signatures (of which the edge is ground down) that are glued onto a spine. Signature Stochastic Screening A special pre-press process that converts images to tiny micro dots that are randomly spaced. A proof of a color subject made on a printing press in advance of the production run. back to top T Term Trapping Definition In prepress .net/insideRRDCanada/Manufacturing/ENG/CommercialPrintingTerms/Commer. back to top V Term Vignette Definition A design effect in which the background fades gradually away. digital proofs. Press proofs back to top Q Term Quark Definition A common page layout software application used to create and compose parts of a page into a document..

R.printing wet ink over previously printed wet ink. Work and Tumble Work and Turn back to top Copyright © 2004 .2010 R." To print one side of the paper.. All rights reserved. Sometimes referred to as "work and flop. common for achieving a strikethrough effect. http://inside. When a sheet is printed on side and then turned over front to back and printed (using the same printing plates) on the opposite side with the same images. then turn it over from left to right and print the second side using the same printing Printing Terms Page 5 of 5 W Term Wet trapping Definition On press . Donnelley & Sons Company. 11/25/2010 .

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