Glossary of Print Definitions

Here is a helpful list of print terms that we frequently use:

Numbers used in printing to verify how many colours and how many sides of a sheet that print

1/0 – 1 colour on front side, no printing on back side.

1/1 – 1 colour on front side, 1 colour on back side

2/0 – 2 colour on front side, no printing on back side

2/2 – 2 colour on front side, 2 colour on back side

3/0 – 3 colour on front side, no printing on back side

3/3 – 3 colour on front side, 3 colour on back side

4/0 – 4 colour on front side, no printing on back side

4/4 – 4 colour on front side, 4 colour on back side

.AI file extension this is the most commonly used file extension for supplying artwork and is from ADOBE Illusrator

Artwork- the electronic image and text for layout

Author’s Alterations (AA) – At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided. AA’s are considered an additional cost to client.

Bindery – A department within a printing company responsible for collating, folding and trimming various printing projects.

Bleed – Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.

Bond Paper – Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also called business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper and writing paper.

C1S – Abbreviations for cover stock that is coated one side.

C2S-  Abbreviations for cover stock that is  coated two sides.

Caliper – Thickness of paper or other substrate expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), pages per inch (ppi), thousandths of a millimeter (microns) or pages per centimeter (ppc).

Carbonless Paper – Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or using a DOT matrix printer.

Coated Paper – High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet. Can come in gloss, matte or silk finishes

CD/DVD Inserts – Inside the front of a CD/DVD case is where the insert resides. Inserts are typically used for track information, artist profile,  or specifications as to the content on the CD or DVD

CMYK – Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black).  These are, the 4 process colours, that when combined together can be made to produce the full colour spectrum.

Coated Paper – Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves the reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories: cast, gloss, dull and matte

Collate – To organize printed matter in a specific order as requested.

Creep – When the middle pages of a folded signature extend slightly beyond the outside pages.

Crop Marks – Lines near the edges of an image indicating where the trimming will occur.

Crossover – Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.

Deboss – to press and image into paper so that it lies beneath the surface of the paper

Die – Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing paper into specific shapes.

Die Cutting – To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.

Digital Printing – Often referred to as copying.  Digital printing offers short run variable data options that offset printing is not efficient at.

Discharge Printing – Used in screen printing discharge takes the colour out of the fabric ( 100% cotton ) and then ink is re dyed into the fabric to give a visually unique imprint.  No colour match is available as this process is determined by the original colour of the fabric.

DPI (Dots per inch) – Is a measure of resolution for input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors. Abbreviated DPI. Also called dot pitch.

.DST file- this refers to software that tells the embroidery machine what to sew out and what colours to use.

Emboss – To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface.

Face Trim – a process that trims the creep of the face of a booklet

Foil – A process which uses heat to apply metallic  finishes on paper.

Font –  used to describe the look and size of text on a page.

Grain Direction – Predominant direction in which fibers in paper become aligned during manufacturing. Also called machine direction. See also: grain short and grain long.

Grain Long Paper – Paper whose fibers run parallel to the long dimension of the sheet. Also called long grain paper and narrow web paper.

Grain Short Paper – Paper whose fibers run parallel to the short dimension of the sheet. Also called short grain paper and wide web paper.

.Ind file extension – an acceptable file extension from InDesign

.JPEG file extension – a picture file that is low res and can be used for web or to create embroidery file not suitable for printing.

Kiss Cut – A process used on label stock to make a particular shape without cutting the backing.

Laid Stock- A natural finish which has unfinished look.

Linen Stock – A paper with a pattern running both vertical and horizontal.

NCR- Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or using a DOT matrix printer

Numbering – Used for invoices or tickets and are produced after the printing is done

Offset Printing – Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket and then to paper, instead of directly from plate to paper. Can print PMS colours as well as metallic inks, which digital printing cannot do.

PDF. File extension– can be a suitable file extension for printing depending on how it was saved. Not good for altering artwork or changing customer supplied files

.PSD file extension- used to incorporate pictures or images into artowrk should not be used for any text or layout

Perfect Binding – A process that uses glue and a spine to create a book used in magazine and and soft cover books.

Perfing – Used to tear off a portion of sheet such ticket stubs, or books that have a tear out form.

PMS (Pantone Matching System) – Used on offset and digital printing when CMYK is not required. Often used to verify a particular colour or colours in a logo.

Proof-after client submits artwork our prepress department then imposes it on the item to be printed

Proofing Stage- This ensures that artwork supplied meets our requirements for printing.

Pressure Sensitive – A term used to describe a paper that has a transfer element – see NCR

QR (Quick Recognition) Codes – A code consisting of black and white squares which is readable by machines.  It is used for storing URL’s and other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.

Saddle Stitching – used to bind documents that have multiple sheets from 2 – 16 sheets that are folded and stapled in the spine of the sheets. Usually with 2 staples

Scoring – An indentation made to a thicker stock paper to aid in folding in order to prevent cracking

Screen Printing – Used to produce an image on apparel.  A screen is put over the garment and the operator squeegees the ink though the screen. It is then put in a dryer to cure.

Self Cover – A booklet that does not use a thicker stock for the outside page offen magazines or thinner product catalgues will utilize a self cover

Silk Screening – Used to produce image on CD or DVD through an automated process that uses UV light to cure ink prior to next colour being applied.

Spiral Binding – Used to bind a multi page document together with a plastic coil .

Variable Data – Is a form of digital printing, in which elements such as text, graphics and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the printing process.  This process uses information from a database or external file (excel spreadsheet)

Water Based printing – Can achieve a imprint on fabric that does not add the thickness associated with traditional plastical printing.  Great for multi colour imprinting and 4 colour imprinting.