Like any industry, ours uses terms that may be unfamiliar to you. This will help you make sense of these terms.
B – Back to top
back marginThe space between the edge of the text matter and the fold edge. Alternative terms: binding margin, gutter margin.back matterThe material printed at the back of a book (e.g., agenda, appendix, bibliography, glossary, index, etc). Alternative term: end matter.back printingPrinting on the underside of transparent paper or film. Alternative terms: reverse printing; second-surface printing.backboneThe part of a book connecting the front cover to the back cover. Alternative term: spine. See also: rounding and backing.backgroundThe area appearing behind the main subject or upon which the main subject is placed.backingSee rounding and backing.backliningThe material that strengthens the back of a book after it’s been rounded and backed (e.g., paper, muslin, etc.).back-trapmottle Blotchy spots or streaks in an overprinted ink.backupCreating an archive copy of digital information as insurance in the event the original information is lost or damaged.backward broadsideA page on which the text is printed sideways.bad breakAwkward visual composition resulting from ending a page with a single word; ending a page with a hyphenated word; ending a page with the first line of a paragraph; using a hyphenated line of text in the first line of a page; or dividing a word incorrectly. See also: orphan; widow.base materialSee face material Alternative terms: body stock; face stock.binding marginThe space between the text matter and the fold edge. Alternative terms: back margin, gutter margin.bitmapAn image that is digitally produced using dots rather than a mathematical formula. See also: line art; object oriented; raster; vectors.bleed1. Used when an image is meant to extend completely to the edge of the finished sheet. Printing a color beyond the trim edge of a sheet to ensure that there is no white space at the edge after the substrate on which the image is printed is trimmed to finish size. See also: extended color; full bleed.2. Adding a small border of the same color to an image detail so the color overlaps a different, adjacent color. The intention is to ensure that no white space is visible where the two colors meet even if there are slight variations in registration (x y positioning) of the two colors. See also: choke; registration; spread; trapping.blueline1. A proof made on special paper producing a blue on white print when exposed to a negative overlay. The paper used has been treated with iron. See also: brownprint; silverprint; Van dyke.2. A blue colored print created from an offset printing plate and used in the production process.3. A line or image created with special blue ink that is not reproduced in photographic negatives or positives. Often used for positioning notes or instructions.body stock1. The paper on which coatings are laid down to create coated printing papers.2. Any material such as paper suitable for converting into sheet goods. Alternative terms: base material; face material; face stock.breakacrossA continuous image that covers two facing pages without any visible gutter. Other terms: crossover; reader’s spread. See also: spread.bristolA heavy paper used for printing. The paper’s thickness can range from 6 points or higher.brownprintA brown colored print made by contacting a negative on a special sensitized paper. The paper used has been treated with silver and iron. Not to be confused with sepia prints or black colored photographs. See also: blueline; silverprint; Van dyke.business paperA general category of paper used for everyday business purposes (e.g., copy paper, bond letterhead paper, etc.).
C – Back to top
calenderingMaking paper smooth by pressing it between highly polished metal rollers.calibration barsA strip of tones printed on paper or film and used for quality control.caliperThe measure of a paper’s thickness, usually in thousandths of an inch (referred to as “mils” or “points”).calligraphyA distinctive style of artistic handwriting created by using special pen nibs that allow a calligrapher to vary the thickness of a letter’s line elements. The art flourished from the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries.calloutA quotation, often surrounded by a box, that uses large text to set it apart from the rest of the page. The effect is to draw attention to the page contents.camera-ready copyThe final image composition of line art, photographs, text and other graphic elements laid out in the size, position, and color they will be when reproduced on film or paper. Camera-ready copy can be created digitally with a computer system or manually with a pasteup board. Other Term: camera-ready art.cap heightA measurement from the bottom of a capital letter to it’s top.capsCapital or uppercase letters.caps, smallCapital or uppercase letters that are about the same height as the lowercase version of the font.case bindingCreating hardcover books by gluing cover material to a stiff, board-like substrate which is then attached to the book’s endpapers. Other Term: edition binding.center spreadThe two pages that face each other in the center of a book or publication.China clayA white clay used to coat papers or as an ink additive. Other term: kaolin.chokeA photographic process that creates a thinner image of the subject without changing its position or shape. The result is similar to removing a thin line from the subject’s outline. A choke allows the background color to slightly overlap the subject thereby preventing any unwanted white space between the two areas. See also: bleed; registration; spread; trapping.clip artGraphic images, designs, and artwork in digital form that can be copied and pasted into a digital document or image. Clip art can be obtained on diskette, CD-ROM, or as a download from the Web with pricing that ranges from free to pay.collateAssembling the pages of a document in correct order. See also: assembling; gathering; inserting.compositionPositioning, formatting or gathering type prior to printing. See also: pagination; page makeup phototypesetting; typesetting.compressionSee data compression.contact negativeA photographic image with tones that are the reverse of the original. White is black and black is white for example. A contact negative is created by placing a film positive against unexposed film in a vacuum frame and exposing it to light.contact positiveA photographic image with tones that are the same as the original. White is white and black is black for example. A contact positive is created by placing a film negative against unexposed film in a vacuum frame and exposing it to light.contact screenA clear film with a small dot pattern that is overlayed on film during the developing process to create a halftone from a continuous-tone image. See also: halftone screencopyfittingMaking adjustments to text size, text leading or otherwise editing the text so it fits in a given space.crossline screenA halftone screen created on plate glass. The screen is in the form of an opaque grid of lines that frame transparent squares. See also: halftone screen.crossoverSee spread.cut sheetPaper cut into standard dimensions (e.g., 8.5×11 in., A3, etc.).cyanOne of the four process colors, CMYK, with C standing for cyan. Cyan is a predominately blue color with some green. Cyan, together with magenta and yellow, is also one of the three subtractive primary colors. See also: process colors, subtractive primaries.cylinder pressA device were the substrate to be printed is wrapped around a roller and then brought into contact with the inked plate or screen.
D – Back to top
An area containing a greater amount of pigment due to a “pooling” effect created by a depression in the substrate.dashA horizontal line used as a type character. Dashes are characterized by weight, design, width of image and allotted space, and vertical position. (e.g., the em and en dashes).data compressionA technique to shrink or reduce the size of a data file so it takes up less storage space and is faster to move electronically. Compression is accomplished by removing “blank” spaces and repetitive data and using a mathematical formula to replace them. The LAUNCH! Web Helper automatically compresses files for transfer. A compressed file is decompressed before it is used. Other Term: compression.data conversionChanging digital data from one format to another so it can be used in another software application or printed on a specific output device. (e.g., CMYK to RGB, TIF to GIF, MS Word to Postscript, etc.).data fileLine art, photographs, text and other graphic elements that are maintained as an electronic group.dead matterTypeset text or graphics that will not be reused.debossingPressing an image or texture into a substrate. See also: embossing.decompressTo take a digitally compressed data file and return it to it’s original state.definitionThe sharpness or clarity of an image. The resolution of a digital image.degradee“Fade” in French. A halftone image where the dot size gradually changes from small to large. See also: vignette.deleteA mark made by a proofreader. The material so marked will be removed or excised.demand printingPrinting only the amount of material that is needed immediately, rather than printing and storing large quantities from which small quantities are drawn from time to time. Demand printing frequently uses digital printing presses. The higher cost of printing on demand is offset by the savings resulting from eliminated storage and waste costs since large quantities do not need to be stored and out of date stock thrown away. An added benefit of demand printing is the ability to make changes in the printed material more frequently. Other Term: on-demand printing.desaturated colorA color that appears too light, faded, or whitewashed.digitalThe on/off signals that represent information within computerized systems. See also: analog.dithering1. The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. In practice, the result is a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged or ‘stair-step’ appearance. See also: anti-aliasing.2. A printing method used by ink jet and other nonimpact printers where colors are produced by mixing colored dots in a more randomized visual pattern.dot gainA condition where the size of a halftone dot is increased during the printing process. Frequently caused by ink spreading due to low viscosity or by paper absorption. Other terms: dot spread; ink spread.dot spreadSee: dot gain; ink spread.dropoutSee knockout.dry offsetA printing method where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with a rubber surface which in turn transfers the ink to the material to be printed. This process eliminates the use of water as required in the lithographic process. A similar technique is used with rubber stamps. Other terms: indirect letterpress; letterset; relief offset. See also: letterpress.duographSee duotone.duotoneA two color print created from a one color image. Two halftones are created and each printed in a different color. Typically one of the two colors is black. Other term: duograph.dye sublimationA photographic looking color print created by heating dyes on the substrate instead of using inks. Often used for proofing.Dylux®A trademark for Du Pont’s photosensitive polymer paper. A dry color proof is created using this paper.
E – Back to top edge acuityThe degree to which the edge of an image appears sharp and precise, not fuzzy. Uniform ink coverage will positively affect an image’s edge acuity.edge gildingThe utilization of gold leaf to coat page borders.edge stainingUsing various pigment(s) on a document, pamphlet or book’s finished edge.editTo alter information in form or substance.editionThe quantity produced during a print run. Often applied to signed fine-art prints of a limited run.edition bindingSee case binding.eggshell finishA rough textured paper.electron beam coatingA clear coating that dries when exposed to an electron radiation. Electron beam coatings are generally glossy when cured and very durable.electronic color correctionUsing a computer system to adjust, change or otherwise alter or manipulate a color image. Examples include changing a CMYK image to RGB or vice-versa, retouching, adjusting color balance, color saturation, contrast, etc.electronic color scannerAn electronic device similar to a photocopier that converts a physical color image into four separate, single color images, one for each of the three process colors plus black. The four digital images are used to create four printing plates. When the four ink colors are combined on the printing substrate a full color reproduction of the original is produced.electronic compositionUsing a computer system to copyfit and paginate a printing project. The finished project is output on paper or film on an imagesetter.em dashA line the width of a font’s uppercase m.embossingProducing a raised surface on a substrate. When deliberately created, a metal die is used to press a pattern or image into the material. Sometimes embossing is an unintended and unwanted effect created when the wet ink is pulled up from the surface of the substrate as the printing plate is lifted away. See waffling.en dashA line the width of a font’s uppercase n.end matterThe appendix, agenda, glossary, index, and bibliography and other material’s printed at the rear of a book. Other Term: back matter.engravingUsing an acid or other chemical to form an elevated image on a printing plate or cylinder. See also: letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.extended colorUsed when an image is meant to extend completely to the edge of the finished sheet. Printing a color beyond the trim edge of a sheet to ensure that there is no white space at the edge after the substrate on which the image is printed is trimmed to finish size. See also: bleed; full bleed.
F – Back to top faceSee typeface.face marginSee trim margin.face materialMaterials that can be used as the substrate for pressure sensitive labels (e.g., film, paper, foil, etc.). The face material is attached to a support sheet from which it is peeled when used. Alternative terms: base material; body stock; face stock.face stockSee face material.familyThe group of typeface variations within a specific design (e.g., Helvetica Regular, Helvetica Italic, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Bold Italic, etc.).fanfoldSee: accordion fold.fattySee spread.featheringAn imprecise, fuzzy, or rough edge on a printed image. Feathering can be caused by non-uniform ink coverage, unsuitable ink, uneven printing plate contact, or too much ink. See also: edge acuity.felt sideThe top of the paper web formed in the papermaking machine. The opposite of the wire side. The felt side is generally smoother and the preferred side for printing. See also: wire side.fiber puffingA rough texture on the surface of a coated, groundwood fiber paper created during the drying process.fileA collection of text, graphical, image, sound or other information stored and accessed digitally.film assemblySee film image assembly. See also: imposition; stripping.film image assemblyThe process of aligning, mounting, and securing individual films to one carrier sheet in preparation for platemaking. Also known as imposition; stripping.flexographyA printing method using flexible plates where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. Rapidly drying inks are normally used with this process. Other term: aniline printing. See also: letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.full bleedUsed when an image is meant to extend completely to all four edges of the finished sheet. Printing the image beyond the trim edge of a sheet to ensure that there is no white space at the edge after the substrate on which the image is printed is trimmed to finish size. See also: extended color; bleed.fuming glossSee chemical ghosting.
G – Back to top
galley1. Unaltered phototypesetter output, usually single columns of type on photographic paper, serving as preliminary proofs.2. Final image or typeset copy output directly to film or photographic paper.3. Initially, a long, shallow tray for storing and proofing handset type.gangA grouping of forms arranged to print together with a single impression. Also known as gang printing, gang run, or gang up.gatefoldA four page insert to a book that is larger than the existing page dimensions, having a fold at the outer edge that serves as a hinge, allowing two sheets to fold out from the center to the edge. Also known as a foldout.gatheringAssembling all the signatures in order. See also: assembling; collate; inserting.gigabyteOne thousand megabytes or one billion bytes of computer data.gildingThe application of gold or metallic leaf to a book’s trim edges.glassineAn opaque smooth paper used primarily for candy wrappers and dust jackets. Formerly used in book production for the separation of text pages from graphic pages.glazedPaper with a surface sheen or polish applied during or after manufacture by calendering, drying, plating, or drying.glossThe “shininess” of a material as measured by the amount of light reflected from its surface. Alternative term: specular gloss.ghostingAlso known as gloss ghosting. A condition occurring during sheetfed printing when inks containing drying oils are used in production. Vapors from drying ink on one side of a press sheet interact chemically with the dry ink densities printed on a sheet in contact or on the reverse side of the same sheet creating unintended faint images.grain directionThe alignment of pulp fibers in the direction of web travel during the production of paper.“Grain-long” is the grain direction paralleling the longer dimension of the sheet. “grain-short” paper has fibers paralleling the short dimension of the sheet.In the production of bound materials, the grain direction of all papers used must run parallel to the backbone to prevent cracking and insure a durable spline.grain-longSee grain direction.grain-shortSee grain direction.gravureA printing method that uses ink-filled depressions in a cylinder to deposit ink on a substrate, forming an image. The small depressions, known as “cells”, are etched into the cylinder to form the image. Ink is flooded onto the cylinder and then removed by a blade scraping the cylinder surface. Only the ink in the etched depressions remains and is transferred to the substrate on contact. See also: rotogravure.gray scale1. Graduated neutral tones used in printing to reflect color differentiation.2. A film strip used in combination with original photography to check focus, provide print contrast, time development, measure density ranges, balance color, etc. Also, gray wedge; neutral wedge, or step tablet or wedge.gray wedgeSee gray scale.groundwood freeSee: wood free.gutter marginThe space between the text matter and fold edge next to it. Alternative terms: back margin, binding margin.
H – Back to top
hairline registerThe precision of alignment between colors meant to touch on a printed piece. The comparison standard is a gap of no more than 0.003 inches or 0.08 mm.halftone1. Using small dots or thin lines to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size (or line width) and the number of dots (or lines) per square inch or centimeter (e.g., newspaper photographs).2. The method and plate material used to create the image. The greater the number of dots or lines per inch the higher the resulting image resolution.halftone mottleA blotchy appearance in halftone tints instead of an even, consistent appearance.halftone screenA transparent material containing an opaque pattern of dots or lines. The screen is placed between a photosensitive material and a continuous -tone image to create a halftone image. The greater the number of dots or lines per inch the higher the resulting image resolution. See also: halftone contact screen; crossline screen.halftone step scaleAn image used to test the accuracy of printing process. The image is composed of a sequence of uniform tints, each with progressively larger dots. In practice, the test is printed within the trim margin of the sheet or on a film flat. Other Term: step wedge; gray scale; step tablet.halftone tintA halftone composed of a single dot size (or line width) and frequency. The result creates the appearance of a single color or tone. See also: screen tint; tint.hingeSee joint.holdoutThe degree to which a substrate does not absorb an ink.hueA particular shade of color determined by the primary light waves reflected from a surface.hyphenationThe process of dividing a word between syllables when the word must be split between to lines of text.
I – Back to top
ideogramPictures used to symbolize an idea. (e.g., using “?” to represent “Need help?” or “Have a question?”)illuminating1. The use of light on a subject.2. The medieval art of decorating book pages with colorful ornamental figures or applying gold leaf to the edges of books.illustrationsLine art, photos, and other graphic images used in printed material.imageLine art, paintings, sketches, photos, and other visual representations of a subject matter.image assemblyAggregating the film negatives or film positives to create a film negative. The result is used to produce a printing plate. Other Term: stripping. See also film image assembly; imposition.imagesetterThe equipment used to produce a high resolution image on paper, film and other substrates. See also: PostScript; raster image processor; typesetting, digital; vectors.impositionCollecting and positioning page elements so that when printed and folded the page elements are in proper alignment. Other Term: image assembly. See also: film image assembly; stripping.indirect letterpressSee dry offset. letterset; relief offset.ink spreadSee: dot gain; dot spread.inserting1. Nesting signatures inside each other in proper order.2. In publishing, binding a separately printed page into the book or publication. See also: assembling; collate; gathering.intaglioAn incised, etched, carved or sunken image. In printing, an intaglio is created on the surface of plates or cylinders. The etched areas hold ink, the non-etched areas remain ink free. When the inked plate or cylinder is then applied to the substrate to be printed, the ink adheres and is transferred to the substrate reproducing the original image.italicA type style in which the letters are slanted 8 to 20 degrees from the vertical. Italics are often used for special emphasis continuous . See also: oblique.
J – Back to top
jacketThe cover surrounding a completed casebound book.jet blackA reference to the degree of an ink’s or material’s blackness.job jacketThe documentation detailing the production requirements of an order. Besides specifications, the documentation may include photographs, electronic media containing files, etc.jointThat bendable, hinge-like part of casebook where the cover and spine meet. Other Term: hinge.justificationAdjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line of text from end to end. See also: alignment; flush right; flush left; ragged right; ragged left; word spacing.justification, verticalAdjusting the point size of text, or the vertical spacing between lines or elements of type, to fill a given vertical space. See also: alignment; flush right; flush left; ragged right; ragged left; word spacing.juteBurlap fibers. Used to produce strong and durable paper.
K – Back to top
K and N ink absorbency testA test comparing the ability of different papers to absorb an ink. The various papers to be tested are overlapped and the ink is thickly applied to the samples for a given time. At the end of the time, the ink is wiped off and the relative ink absorption is observed.K film1. The wood pulp created by the sulfate process.2. Paper made from pulp created by the sulfate process.kaolinSee China clay.kerningThe process of changing the horizontal dimension of a type character, or the white space around the character to achieve a visual effect. Other Term: mortise. See also: spacing; word spacing.keyThe reference guide or template, usually printed in black, used to place the color elements and for stripping film. Other Term: key flat. See also: keyline.key flatSee key.keylineA translucent or transparent instructional sheet that is used to show where various effects, colors, etc. are to appear. See also: key.knockoutWhite type on a black or dark background. Other terms: reverse; dropout.kraftA brownish paper made from unbleached sulfate wood pulp. Kraft paper is commonly used for corrugated board, grocery bags and commercial wrapping paper.
L – Back to top
lacquerA solvent-based solution containing modifying agents that gives a glossy, durable finish when applied to a substrate.letter foldFolding a printed piece horizontally at least twice, in the same vertical direction, thereby capturing the first fold in the second. The same effect is achieved by rolling the sheet horizontally into a tube shape and flattening the tube by creasing the two horizontal edges.letterpressA printing method where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. A similar technique is used with rubber stamps. See also: Flexography; relief plate; relief printing.lettersetSee dry offset.line artA drawing rendered in only 100% black and 100% white, with no gray areas. (e.g., black lines drawn on white substrate or a vector graphic produced by a computer drawing, CAD, or illustration application.) See also: bitmap; object-oriented; raster; vectors.linen testerA magnifying lens mounted in a small frame that, when placed on the material to be viewed, stands at a height equal to the focal length of the lens. Able to be folded into a small, flat package that easily fits in a pocket, the linen tester is often used in quality control to view small details of an image. See also: loupe; magnifier.lithographyAn technique were the printing plate’s image area is specially treated to accept only ink and the nonimage area is specially treated to only accept water. See also: dry offset; gravure; offset gravure; offset printing.live matterRefers to the type characters of piece to be printed.loupeAn optical device containing a precision ruler used to observe very small details. See also: linen tester; magnifier.lowercaseA term applied to letters of the alphabet that are not capitalized.lupeSee loupe.
M – Back to top
machine directionThe direction the paper web moved through the papermaking machine. The paper’s grain direction is the same as the machine direction. See also: grain direction.magentaOne of the four process colors, CMYK, with M standing for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red color with some blue. Magenta, together with cyan and yellow, is also one of the three subtractive primary colors. See also: process colors, subtractive primaries.magnifierAn optical device used to observe very small details. Used for quality control. See also: linen tester; loupe.mean lineSee x-line.mechanicalSee pasteup.mesh marksA pattern of crosshatching visible in the dried ink of a screen printed piece. The condition may be caused by high viscosity ink that does not spread out properly or by the ink being pulled away as the screen is lifted off the printed surface.middletonesSee: midtone.midtoneThose tones falling between halftone shadows and halftone highlights. Other Term: middletones. See also: quartertone.mortiseSee kerning.multicolor presstwo or more self contained single color printing presses that are joined sequentially to produce multiple colors on a sheet of paper in a single pass.Mylar®A registered tradename of Du Pont’s clear polyester film. This durable film is used for stripping and outputting architectural and CAD drawings.
N – Back to top
nailheadA book binding style where the spine is thicker than the book body resulting in a profile resembling a nail.negativeA photographic plate or film where the image’s color, black and white, or continuous tone areas are reversed from the original (e.g., black is white, white is black).newsprintPaper created specifically for newspapers, it is composed of mechanical or groundwood pulp.neutralA color without hue (e.g., black or white or shades of gray).neutral wedgeSee gray scale.nonimage areaThe areas of an image that are not printed. During the printing process, the nonimage area does not receive ink.nonprocess printingUsing an ink of the same color as the specified color, rather than achieving the specified color by overlapping process colors. See also: process colors.nonrepro blueA special blue color used to make notations on an image’s non-printing white areas. This blue color and the white background are indistinguishable to photographic film, with the result being that these notations are not captured as an image by the film. In practice, a pen with nonrepro blue ink is used to show the location of crop marks, etc. on a pasteup board.numberingSequentially printed numbers.
O – Back to top
object-orientedUsed to describe an image created by the use of a mathematical equation using x-y coordinates rather than a bitmap image (created using dots). An object-oriented image can be printed at any size without a loss of resolution. In contrast, a bitmap image will loose resolution when printed at larger sizes. See also: bitmap; line art; raster; vectors.obliqueLiterally, “at an angle” or “slanted”. A Roman font that has been electronically altered to produce an italic effect.ochreA naturally occurring yellowish pigment composed of iron and clay.off-contact printingA special screen printing technique that positions the printing stencil at a minimal distance above the substrate during the ink application process. As the ink is applied by the squeegee, the stencil is depressed into momentary contact with the substrate.offsetAn erroneous variation of the word “setoff”. Ink that is unintentionally transferred from the printed substrate to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile. See also: setoff.offset gravureAn indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a gravure cylinder to a rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final substrate. See also: gravure, offset printing.offset lithographyAn indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a specially treated printing plate cylinder to a rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final substrate. The printing plate’s image area accepts only ink and the nonimage area only accepts water. See also: dry offset; gravure; lithography; offset gravure.offset printingAn indirect printing technique that re-deposits ink from a printing plate cylinder to a rubber coated cylinder which then applies the ink to the final substrate. See also: gravure, offset gravure.on-demand printingSee demand printing.orientationPrinting in the direction of a sheet’s long or short edge. Printing parallel to the sheet’s long edge is called landscape. Printing in the direction of the sheet’s short edge is called portrait.orphanA single line of text at the bottom or top of a page or column. The text is either the first line or the last line of a paragraph, respectively. See also: bad break; widow.overrunProducing more paper or output than ordered. Many organizations have a standard on what is considered an acceptable amount of underrun or overrun. See underrun.overtrappingApplying too much color on top of another in the process printing method. See also: hairline register; trapping.
P – Back to top
Q – Back to top
quarter bindingUsing one material for a book’s front and back covers and a different material for its spine (e.g., cloth covers with leather spine).quartertoneA quarter on a visual tone value. See also: midtone.quartoFolding a paper into four leaves, thus forming eight pages. This method can be used to form brochures or booklets.quire5% (1/20) of a paper ream. The quantity varies from 24 sheets (coarse papers), to 25 sheets (fine papers).
R – Back to top
ragged leftSee flush right.ragged rightSee flush left.reader’s spreadSee spread.rectoAn open book’s right page. See also verso.registration marksOther Term: register marks.relief offsetSee dry offset.relief plateA printing plate where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. See also: flexography; letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.relief printingA method of printing where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. See also: flexography; letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.reproductionCreating an exact duplicate of an original using a photographic method.reverseSee knockout.
S – Back to top
setoffInk that is unintentionally transferred from the printed substrate to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile. See also: offset.silverprintA photographic print with having a brown color. The paper used has been treated with silver chloride. See also: blueline; brownprint; Van dyke.spectrumAll the colors of the rainbow created by passing sunlight or white light through a prism. See visible spectrum; white light.specular glossSee: gloss.splineSee vectors.spread1. An image that covers two pages that face each other in a book or publication. Other terms: crossover; reader’s spread. See also: breakacross.2. Moving the edges of a line image outward a little to overlap a color. Other term: fatty. See also; bleed; choke; registration; trapping.step tabletSee gray scale.step wedgeSee halftone step scale.substrateThe material on which printed images or coatings are applied (e.g., cloth; film; foil; paper; etc.).
T – Back to top
trappingOverlapping one color over a different, adjacent color (without creating a third color). The intention is to ensure that no white space is visible where the two colors meet even if there are slight variations in registration (x-y positioning) of the two colors. See also: bleed; choke; registration; spread.type sizeSee point size.
U – Back to top
ultraviolet inksInk that cures when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Other Term: UV ink.unbleachedA light brown paper produced from unbleached pulp.uncoatedA paper without a mineral coating.undercolorThe cyan, magenta, or yellow used in dark tones. A process printing term.underexposureA photosensitive material that has received too little light resulting in a dark print lacking detail.underrunProducing less paper or output than ordered. Many organizations have a standard on what is considered an acceptable amount of underrun or overrun. See overrun.undertoneThe color of an ink or film due to light reflecting through it from the substrate. (e.g., The substrate may make the ink color appear lighter or darker, or offshade.).undertrappingThe unwanted appearance of white space between two adjacent colors. An inadequate or insufficient amount of applied trapping. See trapping.unit set1. The height of a typeface measured in units rather than points. See also: point size.2. A multilayer form containing a carbon paper leaf or a NCR layer.unjustified textSee flush left; justification; quad left; ragged right.uppercaseCapital letters of the alphabet, or those characters created by pressing the computer keyboard “shift” key in combination with another key. See also: lowercase.utilitiesA software application used for maintenance or other routine chores (e.g. the LAUNCH! Web Helper).UV inksSee ultraviolet ink.
V – Back to top
Van dykeA quality control “proof” print produced on photographic paper from a negative. This is done prior to creating the lithographic printing plate, and provides customers with a way to check color registration, layout, etc. prior to printing. See also: blueline; brownprint; silverprint.variable printingA process often used to create personalized letters or billing statements where standard text and images are combined with changeable data unique to each recipient (e.g., name, address, etc.). A form of mass customization that uses a standard template into which unique data is inserted on a page by page basis.varnish1. A solvent based resin coating applied to paper for appearance enhancement and durability.2. A major ink ingredient.vector fileA digital file containing a vector image. Other Term: spline. See vectors.vectorsA mathematical equation using x-y coordinates to describe an image and its position on a page. The vector image is typically created with an illustration application on a personal computer. The file is then fed as a PostScript or other page descriptor language to a raster image processor that translates the information into a format appropriate for the imagesetter output device. See also: bitmap; imagesetter; line art; object-oriented; page description language; PostScript; raster; raster image processor.vegetable parchmentA paper with a high wet strength and grease resistance.vellumA fine, smooth, off-white material used for printing. Originally produced from calfskin.VeloxAn Eastman Kodak tradename for a photographic paper used for contact printing from a halftone negative. A Velox print eliminates the need for subsequent stripping or screening.versoThe opposite side (e.g., a page’s back side, a book’s back cover, etc.). See also: recto.view fileA low resolution image displayed on a monitor or proof prior to creating the finished, high resolution print.vignetteAn image where a color gradually fades into the nonprinting areas. See also: degradee.vignetted dotsDots that gradually fade from edge to center.virgin fiberA material used to make paper that has not been recycled from previous paper or other materials.visible spectrumAll colors visible to the unaided human eye. See spectrum; white light.viscosityA measure of a liquid’s resistance to flowing. Used as a product specification for coatings, inks, glues, etc.
W – Back to top
wafflingSee embossing.warm colorA red tone rather than a blue tone. Orange, red, and yellow are generally considered to be “warm” colors.wash drawingA black and gray watercolor with black line art which will be reproduced as a halftone.wash marksAn uneven or lighter density on a print’s leading edge created when the printing plate has too much water. Other Term: water streaks.water finishA gloss created on paper by applying water to the paper web as it passes through rollers that “iron” and compress the paper fibers.water streaksSee: wash marks.water-based inkAn ink that uses water as the drying agent rather than a solvent.watercolorArtwork created by applying translucent water soluble paint or dyes to a paper substrate.waterleafA highly absorbent paper.waterless printingSee lithography (waterless).watermarkA translucent mark or image that is pressed into fine paper during the papermaking process and which is visible when the paper is held up to a light.wavy-edged paperPaper with wrinkled or wavy edges caused by water damage.waxerA machine that melts and applies a thin coating of adhesive wax to a paper. Once often used to create camera ready artwork, this process has been largely replaced by computerized film, paper, or plate devices.webA roll of paper or other material that is fed by rollers through a printing or converting process. Also see: sheetfed press.web offsetA continuous band of substrate fed from a wound roll through an offset printing press.web pressA rotary press that prints on a continuous web, or ribbon, of paper fed from a roll and threaded through the press. See also: sheetfed press.webfedA printing press that uses a web, not cut sheets. See also: sheetfed.wedding paperAn elegant, refined paper with minimum glare.weightSee: basis weight.weight (character)A description of typographic forms or variations (e.g., light, regular, bold, extra bold).wellAn individual etched gravure pit.wet printingPrinting on ink that is still wet with a second or different color. See also: trapping.wet rubA measure of a material’s resistance to rubbing while it is wet. See: abrasion resistance.wet strengthA measure of a wet paper’s resistance to pulling or bursting.wet trappingOverlapping an ink that is still wet with a second or different color. See also: trapping.wet-on-wetSee wet trapping.wet-strength paperA water and tear resistant paper that when wet retains a minimum of 15% of it’s dry tensil strength.wetting upA screen printing term referring to placing ink in the screen and distributing it evenly with the squeegee in preparation for production.what-you-see-is what-you-get (WYSIWYG)Used when a computer application shows an image’s position, size, elements, etc. on screen as it will be printed.whiteA combination of all the color wave lengths. A color visually equivalent to natural sunlight. See also: white light.white lightNatural sunlight or light created by combining equal portions of each light wavelength from 400 to 700 nm. See spectrum; visible spectrum.white spaceThat part of an image that is free of text or images.widowA word, partial word or short line of text at the end of a paragraph, or a single line of text at the top of a page. See also: bad break; orphan.wire stitchSee: saddle stitch.wood cutA printing method that uses a carved wood block or surface as the printing plate. The non-image areas are carved away, and ink is applied to the remaining raised areas. Other Term: wood engraving.wood engravingSee: wood cut.wood freePaper made without groundwood or mechanical pulp. Other Term: groundwood free.wood typeLetters carved into blocks of wood. See also: wood cut.word processorA software application used to create text documents (e.g., Microsoft Word).word wrapThe process by which a computer application automatically moves a word to the next line down when the available line space for text has been used up. This occurs without the person using the application pressing the “return” key. This feature can also create problems for those printing someone else’s file, since the words may also automatically “shift” when opened on a machine other than the one that created the document. As a result, some words may move to a location that is unacceptable to the original document’s creator. This is why printers request all the image and font files together with a document, or, as an alternative, a PostScript or PDF file.
X – Back to top
x-coordinateA point on the horizontal axis of a grid, scale, or page dimension. Other term: x-axis. See also: y-coordinate.xerographyAn imaging method that electrostatically charges ink toner particles, which are attracted to areas of the paper that have been given an electrical charge. The dry toner is then heat fused to the paper, forming an image. This is the basis of almost all office copy machines.x-heightThe height of a type character that has no ascenders or descenders (e.g., a, c, e, m, o, x, and z.). Typically the height of x and z are used as representatives of a type face family’s x-height. Other term: z-height.x-lineThe horizontal line that would indicate the top of non-ascender, lowercase letters such as a, c, e, m, o, p, x, y, and z. Other term: mean line.x-y coordinatesA mathematical description of an element’s position on a page.
Y – Back to top
y-coordinateA point on the vertical axis of a grid, scale, or page dimension. Other term: y-axis. See also: x-coordinate.yellowOne of the four process colors, CMYK, with Y standing for yellow. Yellow, together with cyan and magenta, is also one of the three subtractive primary colors. See also: process colors, subtractive primaries.
Z – Back to top
zinc oxideA white, opaque inorganic compound often used in ink, paint, coatings and ointments.zinc yellowA zinc chromate pigment which is yellow in appearance.zip sortingTo sort, group, and bundle mail by zip code.zoomTo enlarge.