Printing Glossary


To list all terms connected with the Graphic Arts would fill a book. Many would be too technical and of little value to anyone other than a skilled craftsman. In this section only the most common terms used in Graphic Arts production are defined:

ABSORPTION In paper, the property which causes it to take up liquids or vapors in contact with it.
ADDITIVE PRIMARIES In color reproduction, red, green, and blue. When lights of these colors are added together, they produce the sensation of white light.
AGAINST THE GRAIN Folding or feeding paper at right angles to the grain direction of the paper.
AGATE LINE A standard of measurement for depth of columns of advertising space. Fourteen agate lines make one column inch
AIRBRUSH Used to correct and obtain tone or graduated tone effects. In platemaking, used with an abrasive-like pumice to remove spots or other unwanted areas. In CEPS, a retouching technique.
ANALOG COLOR PROOF Off-press color proof made from separation films.
ANTI-OFFSET OR SET-OFF SPRAY In printing, dry spray of finely powdered starch used on press to prevent wet ink from transferring from the top of one sheet to the bottom of the next sheet.
APERTURE In photography, lens opening or lens stop expressed as an F/no. such as F/22.
ART All illustration copy used in preparing a job for printing.
ASCENDER That part of a lower case letter which rises above the l’ main body, as in “b”.
AUTHOR’S ALTERATIONS In composition, changes and additions in the copy after it has been set in type. Often called “AAs”.
SPINE The back of a bound book connecting the two covers.
BACKING UP Printing the reverse side of a sheet already printed on one side.
BACK LINING A paper or fabric adhering to the backbone or spine in a hardcover book.
BAD BREAK In composition, starting a page or ending a paragraph with a single word, or ‘widow’.
BASIC SIZE 25 x 38 for book papers, 20 x 26 for cover papers, 221/2 x 281/2 or 221/2 x 35 for bristols, 251/2 x 301/2 for index.
BASIS WEIGHT The weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that grade; e g., 500 sheets 25 x 38 of 80-lb. coated book paper weigh eighty pounds.
BEARERS In presses, the flat surfaces or rings at the ends of cylinders that come in contact with each other during printing and serve as a basis for determining packing thickness.
METAL PLATE In lithography, a plate used for long runs in which the printing image base is copper and the non-printing area is aluminum, stainless steel, or chromium.
BIT In computers, the basic unit of digital information; contraction of BInary digiT.
BIT MAP In typographic imaging, the electronic representation of a page, indicating the position of every possible spot (zero or one).
BLACK-AND-WHITE Originals or reproductions In single color, as distinguished from multicolor.
BLANKET In offset printing, a rubber-surfaced fabric which is clamped around a cylinder, to which the image is transferred from the plate, and from which it is transferred to the paper.
BLEED An extra amount of printed image which extends beyond the trim edge of the sheet or page.
BLIND EMBOSSING A design which is stamped without metallic leaf or ink, giving a bas-relief effect.
BLIND IMAGE In lithography, an image that has lost its ink receptivity and fails to print BLOWUP A photographic enlargement .
BLUELINE In offset-lithography and photoengraving, a photoprint made from stripped-up negatives or positives, used as a proof to check position of image elements.
BODY In inkmaking, a term referring to the viscosity, or consistency, of an ink; e.g., an ink with too much body is stiff.
BODY TYPE A type used for the main part or text of a printed piece, as distinguished from the heading.
BOLD-FACE TYPE A name given to type that is heavier than the text type with which it is used.
BOND PAPER A grade of writing or printing paper where strength, durability, and permanence are essential requirements; used for letterheads, business forms, etc.
BOOK PAPER A general term for coated and uncoated papers. The basic size is 25 x 38.
BREAK FOR COLOR In artwork and composition, to separate the parts to be printed in different colors.
BRIGHTNESS in photography, light reflected by the copy. In paper, the reflectance or brilliance of the paper.
BROADSIDE Any large advertising circular.
BROCHURE A pamphlet bound in booklet form.
BRONZING Printing with a sizing ink, then applying bronze powder while still wet to produce a metallic lustre.
BULK The degree of thickness of paper. In book printing, the number of pages per inch for a given basis weight.
BUMP EXPOSURE In photography, an exposure in halftone photography especially with contact screens in which the screen is removed for a short time. It increases highlight contrast and drops out the dots in the whites.
BURN In platemaking, a common term used for a plate exposure.
BYTE In computers, a unit of digital information, equivalent to one character or eight bits.
CALIPER The thickness of paper, usually expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils).
CAMERA-READY Copy which is ready for photography.
CAPS AND SMALL CAPS Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type, commonly used in most roman type faces.
CASE In bookbinding, the covers of a hardbound book.
CAST COATED Coated paper with a high-gloss enamel finish.
CATCHING UP In lithography, a term which indicates that the nonimage areas of a press plate are starting to take ink or scum.
CHALKING In printing, a term which refers to improper drying of ink. Pigment dusts off because the vehicle has been absorbed too rapidly into the paper.
CLOSED LOOP SYSTEM In printing, a completely automatic control system.
CMYK Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black—subtractive primary colors.
COATED PAPER Paper having a surface coating which produces a smooth finish. Surfaces vary from eggshell to glossy.
COATING In platemaking, the light-sensitive polymer or mixture applied to a metal plate. In printing, an emulsion, varnish or lacquer applied over a printed surface to protect it
COLD COLOR In printing, a color with a bluish cast
COLD TYPE Type produced by means other than hot metal. See strike-on composition.
COLLATE In binding, the gathering of sheets or signatures
COLOR CORRECTION Any method such as masking, dot-etching, re-etching, and scanning, used to improve color rendition.
COLORIMETER An instrument for measuring color the way the eye sees color.
COLOR KEYS Off-press overlay color proofs using 3M color key materials.
COLOR PROOFS See off-press proofs, progressive proofs.
COLOR SEPARATION In photography, the process of separating color originals into the primary printing color components in negative or positive form
COMMERCIAL REGISTER Color printing on which the misregister allowable is within ± one row of dots.
COMPUTERIZED COMPOSITION An all-inclusive term for the use of computers to automatically perform the functions of hyphenation, justification and page formatting.
CONDENSED TYPE A narrow or slender type face
CONTACT PRINT A photographic print made from a negative or positive in contact with sensitized paper, film, or printing plate.
CONTACT SCREEN A photographically made halftone screen on film having a dot structure of graded density, used in vacuum contact with the photographic film to produce halftones
CONTINUOUS TONE A photographic image which contains gradient tones from black to white.
CONTRAST The tonal gradation between the highlights, middle tones, and shadows in an original or reproduction.
COPY Any furnished material (typewritten manuscript, pictures, artwork, etc.) to be used in the production of printing.
COVER PAPER A term applied to a variety of papers used for the covers of catalogs, brochures, booklets, and similar pieces.
CROMALIN Off-press color proofs using DuPont Cromalin materials.
CROP To eliminate portions of the copy, usually on a photograph or plate, indicated on the original by “cropmarks”.
CROSS DIRECTION In paper, the direction across the grain. Paper is weaker and more sensitive to changes in relative humidity in the cross direction than the grain direction.
CROSSMARKS See register marks.
CURL In paper, the distortion of a sheet due to differences in structure or coatings from one side to the other, or to absorption of moisture on an offset press.
CUTSCORE In die-cutting, a sharp-edged knife, usually several thousandths of an inch lower than the cutting rules in a die, made to cut part way into the paper or board for folding purposes.
CYAN One of the subtractive primaries the hue of which is used for one of the 4-color process inks. It reflects or transmits blue and green light and absorbs red light.
CYLINDER GAP In printing presses, the gap or space in the cylinders of a press where the mechanism for plate (or blanket) clamps and grippers (sheet-fed) is housed
DAMPENERS In lithography, cloth-covered, parchment paper or rubber (bare back) rollers that distribute the dampening solution to the press plate or ink roller.
DAMPENING SYSTEM In lithography, the mechanism on a press for transferring dampening solution to the plate during printing.
DDES Digital Data Exchange Specifications.
DECKLE EDGE The untrimmed feathery edges of paper.
DENSITOMETER In photography, a photoelectric instrument which measures the density of photographic images, or of colors. In printing, a reflection densitometer is used to measure and control the density of color inks on the substrate.
DENSITY The degree of darkness (light absorption or opacity) of a photographic image.
DESCENDER That part of a lower case letter which extends below the main body, as in “p”.
DESENSITIZER In lithographic platemaking, making non-image areas of a plate non-receptive to ink through chemical treatment of the metal. Its main ingredient is usually a gum.
DEVELOPER In photography, the chemical agent and process used to render photographic images visible after exposure to light. In lithographic platemaking, the material used to remove the unexposed coating.
DIAZO In offset platemaking, a light-sensitive coating used on presensitized and wipe-on plates.
DIE-CUTTING The process of using sharp steel rules to cut special shapes for labels, boxes and containers, from printed sheets. Diecutting can be done on either flat-bed or rotary presses. Rotary diecutting is usually done inline with the printing.
DIE-STAMPING An intaglio process for the production of letterheads, business cards, etc., printing from lettering or other designs engraved into copper or steel.
DIGITAL COLOR PROOF An off-press color proof produced from digital data without the need for separation films.
DIMENSIONAL STABILITY Ability to maintain size; resistance of paper or film to dimensional change with change in moisture content or relative humidity.
DIRECT SCREEN HALFTONE In color separation, a halftone negative made by direct exposure from the original on an enlarger or by contact through a halftone screen.
DISPLAY TYPE In composition, type set larger than the text, used to attract attention.
DOT The individual element of a halftone.
DOT ETCHING In photography, chemically reducing halftone dots to vary the amount of color to be printed. Dot etching on negatives increases color; dot etching on positives reduces color.
DOT GAIN In printing, a defect in which dots print larger than they should, causing darker tones or stronger colors.
DOUBLE BURN In photomechanics, exposure from a second negative or flat superimposed on an exposed image of a previous negative or flat.
DRAW-DOWN In inkmaking, a term used to describe ink chemist’s method of roughly determining color shade. A small glob of ink is placed on paper and drawn down with the edge of a putty knife spatula to get a thin film of ink.
DRIER In inkmaking, a substance added to hasten drying.
DROP-OUT Portions of originals that do not reproduce, especially colored lines or background areas (often on purpose).
DRY-UP See catching up.
DUMMY A preliminary layout showing the position of illustrations and text as they are to appear in the final reproduction. A set of blank pages made up in advance to show the size, shape, form and general style of a piece of printing
DUOTONE In photomechanics, a term for a two-color halftone reproduction from a one-color photograph.
DUPLEX PAPER Paper with a different color or finish on each side.
DUPLICATING FILM A film for making positives from positives, and negatives from negatives. In color reproduction, a special film used for making duplicates of color transparencies.
ELECTRONIC DOT GENERATION (EDG) A method of producing halftones electronically on scanners and prepress systems.
ELECTROPHOTOGRAPHY Image transfer systems used in copiers to produce images using electrostatic forces.
ELLIPTICAL DOT In halftone photography, elongated dots which give improved gradation of tones particularly in middle tones and vignettes—also called chain dots.
EMBOSSED FINISH Paper with a raised or depressed surface resembling wood, cloth, leather or other pattern.
EMBOSSING Impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface; either overprinting or on blank paper (called blind embossing).
EMULSION SIDE In photography, the side of the film coated with the silver halide emulsion which should face the lens during exposure.
ENAMEL A term applied to a coated paper or to a coating material on a paper.
ENGLISH FINISH A grade of book paper with a smoother more uniform surface than machine finish.
ETCH an acidified gum solution used to desensitize the non-printing areas of the plate; also, an acid solution added to the fountain water to help keep non-printing areas of the plate free from ink.
EXPOSURE The step in photographic processes during which light produces the image on the lightsensitive coating.
EXPANDED TYPE A type whose width is greater than normal.
FAKE COLOR In color reproduction, producing a color illustration by using one image as a key and making the other separations from it manually.
FANOUT In printing, distortion of paper on the press due to waviness in the paper caused by absorption of moisture at the edges of the paper, particularly across the grain
FEEDER in printing presses, the section that separates the pc sheets and feeds them in position for printing.
FELT SIDE The smoother side of the paper for printing. The top side of the sheet in paper manufacturing.
FILLING IN (OR FILLING UP) In letterpress or offset-lithography, a condition where ink fills the area between the halftone dots or plugs up (fills in) the type.
FIXING Chemical action following development to remove unexposed silver halide to make the image stable and insensitive to further exposure.
FLAT In offset-lithography, the assembled composite of negatives on goldenrod paper or positives on film, ready for platemaking. Also, a photograph or halftone that is lacking in contrast.
FLUSH COVER A cover that has been trimmed the same size as the inside text pages.
FLUSH LEFT (OR RIGHT) In composition, type set to line up at the left p 1, (or right). This page is set flush left and right.
FLUSH PARAGRAPH A paragraph with no indention.
FOLIO The page number.
FONT in composition, a complete assortment of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc. of a given size and design.
FORM In letterpress, type and other matter locked in a chase for printing.
FORM ROLLERS The rollers, either inking or dampening, which directly contact the plate on a printing press.
FORMAT The size, style, type page, margins, printing requirements, etc., of a printed piece.
FOUNTAIN SOLUTION In lithography, a solution of water, a natural or synthetic gum and other chemicals used to dampen the plate and keep non-printing areas from accepting ink.
FRONT END SYSTEM In electronic publishing, the workstation or group of workstations containing the applications software for preparing pages of type and graphics.
FUZZ Fibers projecting from the surface of a sheet of paper
GAMMA A measure of contrast in photographic images.
GATHERING In binding, the assembling of folded signatures in proper sequence.
GEAR STREAKS In printing, parallel streaks appearing across the printed sheet at same interval as gear teeth on the cylinder.
GENERATION Each succeeding stage in reproduction from the original copy.
GOLDENROD PAPER In offset-lithography, a specially-coated masking paper of yellow or orange color used by strippers to assemble and position negatives for exposure on plates.
GRAIN In papermaking, the direction in which most fibers lie which corresponds with the direction the paper is made on a paper machine.
GRAY SCALE A strip of standard gray tones, ranging from white to black, placed at the side of original copy during photography to measure tonal range and contrast (gamma) obtained.
GRIPPER EDGE The leading edge of paper as it passes through a printing press. Also, the front edge of a lithographic or wraparound plate that is secured to front clamp of plate cylinder
GRIPPER MARGIN Unprintable blank edge of paper on which grippers bear, usually 1/2 inch or less.
GRIPPERS In sheetfed printing presses, metal fingers that clamp on paper and control its flow as it passes through.
GUM ARABIC In offset-lithography, used in platemaking and on press to desensitize the non-printing areas of plates.
GUMMING In platemaking, the process of applying a thin coating of gum to the non-printing areas of a lithographic plate.
GUTTER The blank space or inner margin from printing area to binding.
HAIRLINE REGISTER Register within ± 1/2 row of dots
HALFTONE The reproduction of continuous-tone artwork, such as a photograph, through a contact screen, which converts the image into dots of various sizes.
HARD COPY The permanent visual record of the output of a computer or printer. Also, the material sent to a typesetter in typed form, for conversion into typeset material.
HARD PROOF A proof on paper or other substrate as distinguished from a soft proof which is an image on a VDT screen.
HARDWARE Computer and peripherals as distinguished from software which is a program for operating hardware.
HARD DOT See soft dot.
HEAD MARGIN The white space above first line on a page.
HICKEYS In offset-lithography, spots or imperfections in the printing due to such things as dirt on the press, dried ink skin, paper particles, etc.
HIGH CONTRAST In photography, a reproduction with high gamma in which the difference in darkness (density) between neighboring areas is greater than in the original.
HIGHLIGHT The lightest or whitest parts in a photograph represented in a halftone reproduction by the smallest dots or the absence of dots.
HOLDOUT In printing, a property of coated paper with low ink absorption which allows ink to set on the surface with high gloss. Papers with too much holdout cause problems with off-set.
HOT TYPE Cast metal type.
HUE In color, the main attribute of a color which distinguishes it from other colors.
IMPOSITION The arranging of pages in a press form to ensure the correct order after the printed sheet is folded and trimmed.
IMPRESSION In printing, the pressure of type, plate or blanket as it comes in contact with the paper.
IMPRESSION CYLINDER In printing, the cylinder on a printing press against which the paper picks up the impression from the inked plate in direct printing, or the blanket in offset printing.
INK FOUNTAIN In printing presses, the device which stores and supplies ink to the inking rollers.
INSERT A printed piece prepared for insertion into a publication or another printed piece.
ITALIC The style of letters that slant, in distinction from upright, or roman, letters. Used for emphasis within the text.
JOG To align sheets of paper into a compact pile.
JUSTIFY In composition, to space out lines uniformly to the correct length.
KB Kilobyte—1,000 bytes.
KERNING In typesetting, subtracting the space between two characters, to be closer together.
KEY To code copy to a dummy by means of symbols, usually letters. Insertions are sometimes “keyed” in like manner.
KEYLINE In artwork, an outline drawing of finished art to indicate the exact shape, position, and size
for such elements as halftones, line sketches, etc
KRAFT A paper or board containing unbleached wood pulp (brown in color).
LACQUER A clear resin/solvent coating, usually glossy, applied to a printed sheet for protection or appearance.
LAID PAPER Paper with a pattern of parallel lines at equal distances, giving a ribbed effect.
LAMINATION A plastic film bonded by heat and pressure to a printed sheet for protection or appearance.
LASER PRINTER A computer based printer that uses heat and toner powder to create high quality output direct from the computer.
LAYOUT The drawing or sketch of a proposed printed piece. In platemaking, a sheet indicating the settings for a step-and-repeat machine.
LEADERS In composition, rows of dashes or dots to guide the eye across the page. Used in tabular work, programs, tables of contents, etc.
LEADING (pronounced ledding) In composition, the distance between lines of type measured in points
LEDGER PAPER A grade of business paper generally used for keeping records where it is subjected to appreciable wear so it requires a high degree of durability and permanence.
LETTERSPACING The placing of additional space between each letter of a word.
LINE COPY Any copy suitable for reproduction without using a halftone screen.
LOCAL AREA NETWORK (LAN) In electronic publishing, the linking of workstations, storage units (file servers), printout devices (print servers) via broadband cable for high-speed simultaneous communication.
LOCKUP In letterpress, to position a form in a chase for printing.
LOGO The name of a company or product in a special design used as a trademark in advertising.
LONG INK An ink that has good flow on ink rollers of a press. If the ink is too long, it breaks up into filaments on the press, and causes “flying” as on a newspaper press.
LOWER CASE The small letters in type, as distinguished from the capital letters.
M Abbreviation for a quantity of 1000 sheets of paper.
MB Megabyte—1,000,000 bytes.
COATED PAPER Paper which is coated on one or two sides.
MAGENTA One of the subtractive primaries the hue of which is used for one of the 4-color process inks. It reflects or transmits blue and red light and absorbs green light.
MAKEOVER in platemaking, a plate which is remade.
MAKEREADY In printing, all work done in setting up a press for printing, i.e., adjusting the feeder, grippers, side guide, putting ink in the fountain, etc. Also, in letterpress, the building up of the press form, so that the heavy and light areas print with the correct impression.
MAKEUP In composition, the arrangement of lines of type and illustrations into sections or pages of proper length.
MASK In color separation photography, an intermediate photographic negative or positive used in color correction. In offset-Iithography, opaque material used to protect open or selected areas of a printing plate during exposure.
MASTER A plate for a duplicating machine.
MATTE FINISH Dull paper finish without gloss or luster.
MATTE PRINT A photoprint having a dull finish.
MEASURE In composition, the width of type, usually expressed in picas.
MECHANICAL A term for a camera-ready pasteup of artwork. It includes type, photos, line art, etc., all on one piece of artboard.
MENU In electronic publishing, a method for selecting alternative functions displayed as a list on a workstation screen. Selection via mouse, key or sequence of keys.
METRIC SYSTEM A decimal system adopted by most other countries for solid, liquid and distance measurements. U.S. will eventually convert. At present the Metric System for paper basis weights is preferred by TAPPI. (See grammage.)
MIDDLE TONES The tonal range between highlights and shadows of a photograph or reproduction.
MODEM (MOdulator/DEModulator) A device that converts computer data into high-frequency signals or vice versa, for transmission over phone lines.
MOIRÉ In colorprocess printing, the undesirable screen pattern caused by incorrect screen angles of overprinting halftones.
MOLLETON In offset-lithography, a thick cotton fabric similar to flannel used on the dampening rollers of a press.
MONTAGE In artwork, several photographs pasted on one artboard in a pleasing manner. They can be placed on angles, overlapped, cut to various shapes, etc
MOTTLE The spotty or uneven appearance of printing, mostly in solid areas.
MYLAR In offset preparation, a polyester film made by DuPont specially suited for stripping positives because of its mechanical strength and dimensional stability.
NEGATIVE In photography, film containing an image in which the values of the original are reversed so that the dark areas appear light and vice versa. (See positive.)
NEWSPRINT Used for printing newspapers.
OBLONG A booklet or catalog bound on the shorter dimension.
OFFSET See set-off. In printing, the process of using an intermediate blanket cylinder to transfer an image from the image carrier to the substrate. Short for offset lithography.
OPACITY That property of paper which minimizes the “ show-through “ of printing from the back side or the next sheet.
OPAQUE In photoengraving and offset-lithography, to paint out areas on a negative not wanted on the plate. In paper, the property which makes it less transparent.
OPAQUE INK An ink that conceals all color beneath it.
OVERHANG COVER A cover larger in size than the pages it encloses.
OVERLAY In artwork, a transparent covering over the copy where color break, instructions or corrections are marked. Also, transparent or translucent prints which, when placed one on the other, form a composite picture.
OVERLAY PROOF An off-press color proof produced with four dyed or pigmented overlay films.
OVERPRINTING Double printing; printing over an area that already has been printed.
OVERRUN In printing, copies printed in excess of the specified quantity.
OVERSET In composition, type set in excess of space needs.
PACKING In printing presses, paper used to underlay the image or impression cylinder in letterpress, or the plate or blanket in lithography, to get proper squeeze or pressure for printing.
PAGE DESCRIPTION LANGUAGE In typographic imaging, a method for communicating page, font and graphic information from the workstation to the printout device.
PAGE MAKEUP In stripping, assembly of all elements to make up a page. In computerized typesetting and CEPS, the electronic assembly of page elements to compose a complete page with all elements in place on a video display terminal and on film or plate.
PAGINATION In computerized typesetting, the process of performing page makeup automatically.
PAPER PLATE A paper printing plate used on an offset duplicator.
DRIER In inkmaking, a type of drier, usually a combination of drying compounds.
PERFECTING PRESS A printing press that prints both sides of the paper in one pass.
pH A number used for expressing the acidity or alkalinity of solutions. A value of 7 is neutral in a scale ranging from O to 14. Solutions with values below 7 are acid, above 7 are alkaline.
PHOTOTYPESETTING The method of setting type photographically.
PICA Printer’s unit of measurement used principally in typesetting. One pica equals approximately 1/6 of an inch.
PICKING The lifting of the paper surface during printing. It occurs when pulling force (tack) of ink is greater than surface strength of paper.
PIGMENT In printing inks, the fine solid particles used to give color, transparency or opacity.
PILING In printing, the building up or caking of ink on rollers, plate or blanket; will not transfer readily.
Also, the accumulation of paper dust or coating on the blanket of offset press.
PIN REGISTER The use of accurately positioned holes and special pins on copy, film, plates and presses to insure proper register or fit of colors.
PIXEL In electronic imaging, a basic unit of digital imaging. Can contain text or gray scale information for photographs or just represent the presence or absence of a spot (zero or one).
PLATE CYLINDER The cylinder of a press on which the plate is mounted.
POINT Printer’s unit of measurement, used principally for designating type sizes. There are 12 points to a pica; approximately 72 points to an inch.
POOR TRAPPING In printing, the condition in wet printing in letterpress and lithography when less ink transfers to previously printed ink than to unprinted paper. Also called undertrapping.
POROSITY The property of paper that allows the permeation of air, an important factor in ink penetration.
POSITION PROOF Color proof for checking position, layout and/or color breakout image elements.
POSITIVE in photography, film containing an image in which the dark and light values are the same as the original. The reverse of negative.
PRESS PROOFS In color reproduction, a proof of a color subject made on a printing press, in advance of the production run.
PRESSURE-SENSITIVE PAPER Material with an adhesive coating, protected by a backing sheet until used, which will stick without moistening.
PRINT QUALITY A term describing the visual impression of a printed piece. In paper, the properties of the paper that affect its appearance and the quality of reproduction.
PROCESS COLORS In printing, the subtractive primaries: yellow, magenta and cyan, plus black in four-color process printing.
PROCESS LENS A highly corrected photographic lens for graphic arts line, halftone and color photography.
PROCESS PRINTING The printing from a series of two or more halftone plates to produce intermediate colors and shades.
PROGRAM In computers, sequence of instructions for a computer. Same as software.
PROGRESSIVE PROOFS (PROGS) Proofs made from the separate plates in color process work,
showing the sequence of printing and the result after each additional color has been applied.
RAGGED LEFT In typesetting, type that is justified on the right margin and ragged on the left.
RAGGED RIGHT In typesetting, type that is justified on the left margin and ragged on the right.
RASTER IMAGE PROCESSOR (RIP) In typographic imaging, the computerized process that results in an electronic bit map which indicates every spot position on a page in preparation for an actual printout.
REAM Five hundred sheets of paper.
REDUCERS In printing inks, varnishes, solvents, oily or greasy compounds used to reduce the consistency for printing. In photography, chemicals used to reduce the density of negative or positive images or the size of halftone dots (dot etching).
REGISTER In printing, fitting of two or more printing images in exact alignment with each other.
REGISTER MARKS Crosses or other targets applied to original copy prior to photography. Used for positioning negatives in register, or for register of two or more colors in process printing.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY (RH) The amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere expressed as a percentage of the maximum that could be present at the same temperature
REPROGRAPHY Copying and duplicating.
RESOLUTION In typographic imaging, the quantification of printout quality using the number of spots per inch.
RESPI SCREEN A contact screen with 110-line screen ruling in the highlights and 220-line in the middle tones and shadows to produce a longer scale and smoother gradation of tones in the light areas of the copy.
RGB Red, Green, Blue-additive primary colors.
RIGHT-ANGLE FOLD In binding, a term used for two or more folds that are at 90° angles to each other.
ROLLER STRIPPING In Iithography, a term denoting that the ink does not adhere to the metal ink rollers on a press.
RUB-PROOF In printing, an ink that has reached maximum dryness and does not mar with normal abrasion.
RUN-AROUND In composition, the term describing type set to fit around a picture or other element of the design.
RUNNABILITY Paper properties that affect the ability of the paper to run on the press.
RUNNING HEAD A headline or title repeated at the top of each page
SADDLE STITCHING In binding, to fasten a booklet by wiring it through the middle fold of the sheets.
SAFELIGHT In photography, the special darkroom lamp used for illumination without fogging sensitized materials.
SCALING Determining the proper size of an image to be reduced or enlarged to fit an area.
SCANNER An electronic device used in the making of color and tone-corrected separations of images.
To impress or indent a mark with a string or rule in the paper to make folding easier.
SCREEN Field of dots used to represent varying tones from one color ink. Usually described in percentages (0%=white, 100%=solid). Also, the device used to create halftones (see) with a camera.
SCREEN ANGLES In color reproduction, angles at which the halftone screens are placed with relation to one another, to avoid undesirable moiré patterns. A set of angles often used are: black 45°, magenta 75°, yellow 90°, cyan 105°.
SCREENED PRINT In photography, a print with a halftone screen made from a halftone negative or by diffusion transfer.
SCREEN RULING The number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.
SCUM In offset-lithography, a film of ink printing in the non-image areas of a plate where it should not print.
SELF COVER A cover of the same paper as inside text pages.
SERIF The short cross-lines at the ends of the main strokes of many letters in some type faces.
OFFSET In presswork, when the ink of a printed sheet rubs off or marks the next sheet as it is being delivered.
SHADOW The darkest parts in a photograph represented in a halftone by the largest dots.
SHARPEN To decrease in color strength, as when halftone dots become smaller; opposite of “dot spread” or “dot gain”.
SHEETWISE To print one side of a sheet of paper with one plate, then turn the sheet over and print the other side with another plate using same gripper and side guide.
SHORT INK An ink that is buttery and does not flow freely.
SHOW-THROUGH In printing, the undesirable condition in which the printing on the reverse side of a sheet can be seen through the sheet under normal lighting conditions.
SIDE GUIDE On sheet-fed presses, a guide on the feed board to position the sheet sideways as it feeds into the front guides before entering the impression cylinder.
SIDE WIRE In binding, to wire the sheets or signatures of a magazine or booklet on the side near the backbone.
SIGNATURE In printing and binding, the name given to a printed sheet after it has been folded.
SILHOUETTE HALFTONE A halftone with all of the background removed.
SKID A platform support for a pile of cut sheets of paper
SLITTING Cutting printed sheets or webs into two or more sections by means of cutting wheels on a press or folder
SMALL CAPS An alphabet of SMALL CAPITAL LETTERS available in most roman type faces approximately the size of the lower case letters. Used in combination with larger capital letters.
SOFT DOT In photography, a dot is called ‘soft’ when the halation or fringe around the dot is excessive. Conversely, when the fringe is so slight as to be barely noticeable and the dot is very sharp, it is called ‘hard’.
SOFT INK Descriptive of consistency of lithographic inks.
SOFTWARE See program.
SPECTRUM The complete range of colors in the rainbow, from short wavelengths (blue) to long wavelengths (red).
SPC Statistical Process Control.
SPINE See backbone.
SPIRAL BINDING A book bound with wires in spiral form inserted through holes punched along the binding side.
STAGING See stopping out.
STATIC NEUTRALIZER In printing presses, an attachment designed to remove the static electricity from the paper to avoid ink set-off and trouble with feeding the paper.
STEP-AND-REPEAT In photomechanics, the procedure of multiple exposure using the same image by stepping it in position according to a predetermined layout.
STET A proofreader’s mark, written in the margin, signifying that copy marked for corrections should remain as it was.
STOCK Paper or other material to be printed.
STONE In letterpress, the bed on which metal type is leveled and locked up.
CRASH PRINTING Type set by a direct-impression method, or on typewriter composing machines. Also known as cold type.
STRIPPING In offset-lithography, the positioning of negatives (or positives) on a flat to compose a page or layout for platemaking.
SUBSTANCE The weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to the standard size (17” x 22”) for business papers (bond, ledger, mimeograph, and duplicator): e.g., 20 pounds. Similar to basis weight of other grades of paper.
SUBTRACTIVE PRIMARIES Yellow, magenta and cyan, the hues used for process color printing inks.
TACK In printing inks, the property of cohesion between particles; the separation force of ink needed for trapping on multicolor presses. A tacky ink has high separation forces and can cause surface picking or splitting of weak papers.
TEXT The body matter of a page or book, as distinguished from the headings.
TINTS Various even tone areas (strengths) of a solid color.
TISSUE OVERLAY A thin, translucent paper placed over artwork (mostly mechanicals) for protection; used to indicate color break and corrections.
TONER Imaging material used in electrophotography and some off-press proofing systems. In inks, dye used to tone printing inks, especially black.
TONING See scum.
TOOTH A characteristic of paper, a slightly rough finish, which permits it to take ink readily.
TRANSPARENT COPY In photography, illustrative copy such as a color transparency or positive film through which light must pass in order for it to be seen or reproduced.
TRANSPARENT INK A printing ink which does not conceal the color beneath. Process inks are transparent so that they will blend to form other colors.
TRANSPOSE To exchange the position of a letter, word, or line with another letter, word, or line.
TRAPPING The ability to print a wet ink film over previously printed ink. Dry trapping is printing wet ink over dry ink. Wet trapping is printing wet ink over previously printed wet ink.
TRIM MARKS In printing, marks placed on the copy to indicate the edge of the page.
DOUBLE SHEET DETECTOR In printing presses, a device for stopping or tripping the press when more than one sheet attempts to feed into the grippers.
TWO-SIDEDNESS In paper, the property denoting difference in appearance and printability between its top (felt) and wire sides.
TYPE GAUGE In composition, a printer’s tool calibrated in picas and points used for type measurement. TYPE HIGH 0.918 inch; the standard in letterpress.
UCA Undercolor addition.
UNDERCOLOR REMOVAL (UCR) In process multicolor printing, color separation films are reduced in color in neutral areas where all three colors overprint and the black film is increased an equivalent amount in these areas. This improves trapping and reduces ink costs.
UNDERCUT In printing presses, the difference between the radius of the cylinder bearers and the cylinder body, to allow for plate (or blanket) and packing thickness.
UNIT In multicolor presses, refers to the combination of inking, plate and impression operations to print each color. A 4-color press has 4 printing units each with its own inking, plate and impression functions.
-UP In printing, two-up, three-up, etc., refers to imposition of material to be printed on a larger size sheet to take advantage of full press capacity.
VACUUM FRAME In platemaking, a vacuum device for holding copy and reproduction material in contact during exposure.
VARNISH A thin, protective coating applied to a printed sheet for protection or appearance. Also, in inkmaking, it can be all or part of the ink vehicle.
VEHICLE In printing inks, the fluid component which acts as a carrier for the pigment.
VELLUM FINISH In papermaking, a toothy finish which is relatively absorbent for fast ink penetration.
VELOX A photographic paper print made from a screen negative .
VIGNETTE An illustration in which the background fades gradually away until it blends into the unprinted paper
VISCOSITY In printing inks, a broad term encompassing the properties of tack and flow.
WALK-OFF In lithography, deterioration of part of image area on the plate during printing.
WARM COLOR In printing, a color with a yellowish or reddish cast.
WASHUP The process of cleaning the rollers, form or plate, and sometimes the ink fountain of a printing press.
WEB A roll of paper used in web or rotary printing.
WEB PRESS A press which prints on rolls (or webs) of paper.
WIDOW In composition, a single word in a line by itself, ending a paragraph; frowned upon in good typography.
WIRE-O BINDING A continuous double series of wire loops run, through punched slots along the binding side of a booklet.
WITH THE GRAIN Folding or feeding paper into a press parallel to the grain of the paper.
WORK AND TUMBLE To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from gripper to back using the same side guide and plate 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. The same gripper and plate are used for printing both sides.
WOVE PAPER Paper having a uniform unlined surface and a soft smooth finish
WRINKLES Creases in paper occurring during printing. In inks, the uneven surface formed during drying.
WRONG FONT In proofreading, the mark “WF” indicates a letter figure of the wrong size or face.
WYSIWYG In electronic publishing, an acronym for What You See Is What You Get which means that the typographic page viewed on the screen of a workstation essentially represents what the printer will output.
XEROGRAPHY An electrophotographic copy process that uses a selenium surface, electrostatic forces and toner to form an image.
YELLOW One of the subtractive primaries the hue of which is used for one of the 4-color process inks. It reflects red and green light and absorbs blue light.