• Our team will always try to use as little print jargon as possible, but there are necessary terms when discussing processes, formats, media and finishes. Here’s a simple explanation of the terms you’re most likely to hear when specifying and ordering your Eazy Print work.
  • acetate

    A thin flexible sheet of transparent plastic used to make overlays.

  • against the grain

    At right angles to the grain direction of  the paper.

  • art paper

    A common term used to describe a range of smooth papers with a filled surface.

  • ‘A’ sized paper

    Paper sizes are based on dimensions of a large A0 sheet. Letterheads are commonly produced on A4 sized paper.

  • application

    A computer program designed for a particular use, such as a word processor like Microsoft Word or page layout applications like Quark Xpress or Adobe InDesign.

  • artwork

    A process which follows the initial design stage, transforming rough ideas into a print-ready form.

  • a/w

    Abbreviation for artwork.

  • backing up

    Process of printing on the second side of a printed sheet.

  • binding

    Process of fastening papers together.

  • bitmap

    A grid of pixels or printed dots generated by the computer to represent type and images.

  • blanket

    Thick rubber sheet that transfers ink from plate to paper on the press.

  • blind emboss

    Impression of an un-inked image onto the back of a sheet which produces a raised ’embossed’ image on the front of the sheet.

  • bleed

    The printed image extends beyond the trim edge of a sheet or page. A bleed may occur at the head, front, foot and/or gutter of a page.

  • blend

    A smooth transition between two colours, also known as a graduated tint or gradient.

  • bond paper

    A grade of paper suited for letterheads, business forms etc.

  • case bound

    A hardback book made with stiff outer covers. Cases are usually covered with cloth, vinyl or leather.

  • cast coated

    Coated paper with a very high gloss enamel finish.

  • choke

    A method of altering the thickness of a shape by over exposure in processing or by means of a built-in option in some computer applications.

  • chromalin

    An older proofing system which uses powder or coloured films as opposed to ink.

  • clipart

    Graphics saved in ready-to-use computer files. These are normally vector illustrations and not photographic images.

  • clipping path

    An outline, embedded into the file, that tells an application which areas of a picture should be considered transparent.

  • CMYK

    Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). These are the four process colours which, when combined together in varying proportions, can be made to produce the full colour spectrum.

  • collating

    Gathering together sheets of paper from a book, magazine or brochure and placing them into the correct order.

  • colour separation

    Process by which a continuous tone colour image is separated into the four process colours (CMYK) for print production.

  • concertina fold

    A method of folding. Each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect.

  • continuous stationery

    Forms which are produced from reels of paper and then fan folded. These can be either single or multi-part forms.

  • crash number

    Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set.

  • crease (score)

    To mechanically press a rule into heavy paper or board, so that it can be folded without cracking.

  • creep

    Phenomenon when the middle pages of a folded section extend slightly beyond the outside pages.

  • crop

    To trim the edges of a picture or page to make it fit or remove unwanted portions.

  • crop marks

    Lines near the margins of artwork or photos indicating where to trim, perforate or fold.

  • CTP

    Abbreviation of computer-to-plate. This is a process of imaging directly from a computer onto the plates used by a printing press.

  • cyan

    One of the four process colours, also known as blue.

  • deboss

    Image pressed into the front paper so that it lies below the surface.

  • density

    The degree of darkness of light absorption or opacity of printed images.

  • die-cutting

    Process of using sharp metal rules on a wooden block to cut out specialised shapes such as pocket folders or unusual shaped flyers etc.

  • digital printing

    A type of printing usually used for very short runs or for personalised print.

  • digital proof

    A high quality colour representation of the finished print, allowing customers to check for errors before final printing.

  • dot gain

    A printing defect in which dots print larger than intended, causing darker colours or tones due to the spreading of ink on stock. The more absorbent the stock, the more dot gain. The type of ink can also affect dot gain.

  • dpi (dots per inch)

    A measure of the quality of an image from a scanner or output resolution of a printer. The more dots per inch, the higher the quality will be; the larger the file size, the slower it will process.

  • duotone

    A method of enhancing a mono image using two colours.

  • drilling

    Drilling of holes in product which will allow insertion over rings or posts in a binder of some sort.

  • dummy

    A mock-up made to resemble the final printed product which uses the proposed grade, weight, finish and colour of paper.

  • embed

    Implies the inclusion of elements and data into a computer file necessary to maintain or change the elements when used remotely.

  • embossing

    A process performed after printing to stamp a raised image into the surface of the paper, using engraved metal embossing dies, extreme pressure and heat. Embossing styles include blind, deboss and foil-embossed.

  • EPS (Encapsulated Postscript)

    An acronym for Encapsulated PostScript, a computer file format widely used by the printing and graphics industries.

  • file format

    The system by which data is held in a particular type of computer file.

  • flush

    To align, to be even with – flush right to a margin, for example.

  • foil stamping

    A metallic finish or other embossed finish applied by specialist equipment.

  • font

    One of a range of styles/typefaces in which lettering can be produced during the type setting stage. Times New Roman is an example.

  • four colour process (CMYK or full colour process)

    Reproduction of full-colour photographs or artwork with the four basic colours of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).

  • font matching / font substitution

    A process used when a chosen font is not available. The closest possible match is made which can sometimes cause reflow of the text or other errors.

  • format

    Size, shape and overall style of layout or printed project.

  • french fold

    Two folds at right angles to each other.

  • full colour (CMYK or four colour process)

    Reproduction of full-colour photographs or art with the four basic colours of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).

  • gutter

    Line or fold at which facing pages meet.

  • GSM (grams per square metre)

    Paper weight is measured in grams per square metre.

  • graphics file

    General term used for a computer file containing a picture, photographic image, illustration etc.

  • greyscale

    Shades of grey ranging from black to white. In printing, greyscale appears only on the black plate.

  • grippers

    Metal fingers which hold the paper and carry it through printing impression to the delivery end of the press.

  • gusset

    Expandable portion of a pocketed folder or envelope.

  • halftone

    Picture with varying shades of tone created by varying sized dots.

  • head margin

    The white space above the first line on a page.

  • hickey

    Spot or imperfection in printing.

  • hue

    The main attribute of a colour which distinguishes it from other colours.

  • ISDN

    A less-used older file transfer system, using one or more telephone lines.

  • image area

    Portion of paper where ink appears.

  • import

    To bring a picture or text file into an application ready for editing or design work.

  • imposition

    Positioning pages in a press-ready form so that they will be in the correct numerical sequence after folding.

  • imagesetter

    A device that plots high-resolution images which have been processed by a RIP (raster image processor) onto film or directly onto plate.

  • indicia

    Postal information place on a printed product.

  • ivory board

    A smooth high white board used for business cards etc.

  • jog

    To shake a stack of papers, either on a machine or by hand, so that the edges line up. Also referred to as ‘knocking-up’.

  • JPEG

    Joint Photographic Electronic Group. A common standard for compressing image data.

  • job ticket / job sheet

    Alternate names for a works order.

  • justified

    Text which is flush to both the left and right margins.

  • kerning

    The adjustment of spacing between certain letter pairs, A and V for example, to obtain a more pleasing appearance.

  • kiss-cut

    To die-cut but not all the way through the paper – commonly used for peel-off stickers.

  • knockout

    A shape or object printed by eliminating (knocking out) all background colours.

  • kraft paper

    A tough brown paper used for packing.

  • lamination

    A thin film coating, applied to the paper or board to give a more glossy or matt appearance.

  • layout file

    The file created by computer application software which contains all the imported elements and where all the design and layout of a document are performed.

  • lithographic printing

    A printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. The areas to be printed receive and transfer ink to the paper while the non-printing areas are treated with water to repel the ink.

  • loose leaf

    A method of binding which allows the insertion and removal of pages for continuous updating.

  • lpi (lines per inch)

    Lines per inch refers to the quality of a halftone screen. It is important to distinguish it from dpi (dots per inch) which refers to the resolution of a device or image. Commonly lpi is used at exactly half of the dpi of the device or image i.e. 300dpi would equal 150lpi.

  • line art / line copy

    Copy which can be reproduced without using halftones.

  • magenta

    One of the four process colours, also known as red.

  • make-ready

    The work associated with the set-up of printing equipment before running a job.

  • plate

    A metal sheet with a specially coated ’emulsion’ on its surface which, when exposed through a film mask or by CTP process, will produce an image. When the plate is loaded onto a printing press it then reproduces this image using inks onto the paper.

  • micrometer

    Instrument used for measuring the thickness of paper.

  • moiré (pronounced ‘mor-ray’)

    An undesirable grid-like pattern caused by the misalignment of dots on a printed document. This can occur when printing, or sometimes when scanning, from pre-printed material.

  • matt

    A non-glossy finish.

  • NCR (carbonless paper)

    Paper coated with chemicals that enable the transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.

  • origination

    A term used to describe all of the processes which prepare a job for the printing stage.

  • outline paths

    A term used when converting a font or graphic into a mathematical vector format. These can also be called ‘curves’.

  • offset printing

    The plate or cylinder transfers an ink image to an offset or transfer roller, which then transfers the image to stock.

  • over-run

    Copies printed in excess of the quantity specified in the order.

  • page count

    Total number of pages including blanks and printed pages without numbers.

  • perfecting

    Process of printing both sides of one sheet during a single pass through the press.

  • perfect binding

    A bookbinding method in which pages are glued rather than sewn to the cover. Used primarily for paperback books.

  • point (pt)

    A measurement for the size of fonts and the thickness of rules. One point equals one seventy-second of an inch (0.3515mm).

  • proof

    A representation of the finished print, produced for customer inspection, to check for errors that can be corrected prior to final printing.

  • progressives

    Colour proofs, taken at each stage of printing, showing each colour printed alone and then superimposed on the preceding colour.

  • Quark Xpress

    An industry standard typesetting and page layout program.

  • quotation

    An offer to produce a job for a specified price, calculated from job specifications provided by the customer.

  • recto

    Right hand page of an open publication.

  • registration marks

    Crosses or reference marks on the page used to align overlaying colours (‘registration’). Also known as trim marks or crop marks.

  • reversed-out

    Type appearing white on a black or colour background, either a solid or a tint.

  • resolution

    The number of dots per inch (dpi) in a computer-processed document. The level of detail retained by a printed document increases with higher resolution. Known as ppi (pixels per inch) for an image.

  • RIP (raster image processor)

    Computer used to create an electronic bitmap for actual output. This may be built into an output device or may be separate.

  • RGB

    An acronym for red, green and blue. RGB is a colour model used for computer monitors and colour video output systems. Colour separations for litho printing cannot be made directly from RGB files and need to be converted to CMYK first.

  • rosette

    The formation created by the dots that make up four-colour images. The dots, in magenta (red), cyan (blue), yellow, and black, overlap each other in a cluster. Because the dots are not perfectly round, and because they are turned at angles to each other, this cluster resembles the arrangement of petals in a rose.

  • saddle stitch

    A binding process in which a pamphlet or booklet is stapled through the middle fold of its sheets using metal wires.

  • scanning

    The process of converting a hard copy into digital data, ready for editing and design. The quality of the scan is dependent on the quality of the original, the scanning equipment and software, as well as the experience of the operator!

  • score (crease)

    To mechanically press a rule into heavy paper or board to enable it to be folded without cracking.

  • self-cover

    The paper inside a booklet is the same as that used for the cover.

  • step-up

    A term used to describe the positioning of documents placed several times onto the same sheet of paper to avoid paper wastage. It’s also known as imposition.

  • stock

    A term for the material any project is printed onto.

  • spot colour

    Spot colour is not made using the process colours. Instead the colour is printed using an ink made exclusively. Each spot colour therefore requires its own separate printing plate. Spot colours do not apply to digital printing. Devices can only reproduce from the four process colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

  • spread

    Two or more adjoining pages that would appear in view on sheet.

  • solid

    An area on the page which is completely covered by the ink.

  • TIFF (tagged image file format)

    Acronym for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF (or .TIF) pictures can be black-and-white line art, greyscale or colour. This is a widely used format for image/photographic files but is unsuitable for text unless it’s created at a very high resolution.

  • tint

    An area of tone made by a pattern of dots which lightens the apparent colour of the ink.

  • trapping

    A slight overlapping between two touching colours that prevents gaps from appearing along the edges of an object because of mis-alignment or movement on the printing press.

  • turnaround time

    Amount of time needed to complete a project.

  • UV varnish

    A liquid laminate that is bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

  • varnishing/sealing

    The application of a varnish/sealant to a surface to offer protection against marking and improve overall appearance.

  • verso

    Left handed page of an open publication.

  • wash up

    To clean ink from rollers, fountains and other components of a press.

  • wire-o binding

    A method of binding books with a spiral wire along the binding edge that will allow the book to lie flat.

  • work and tumble

    To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from gripper to back using the opposite gripper edge, but the same side guide to print the second side.

  • work and turn

    To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from left to right and print the second side using the same gripper edge.

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