Glossary of Terms
Please click below for more details about various printing and manufacturing terms. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team!
3D Modeling – The process of developing a digital representation of an object in three dimensions via specialized software, such as ZBrush.
3D Printing – A manufacturing method whereby 3D objects, shapes, and/or models are quickly made using a 3D printer, which can create a physical pattern from “blueprint” 3D files. This method is often the first step in prototyping, and is very helpful to create samples for approval prior to mould creation.
5th Color – An ink color used in addition to the four process colors (CMYK). A 5th color is used when the project requires a very specific color that cannot be achieved using the four CMYK colors. The 5th color can be a normal Pantone color or a metallic Pantone color.
100% Down / Balance Due Upon Completion – Payment terms in which the initial deposit is for the full contracted cost of the project. At the end of the project, a balance may or may not be due depending on whether changes were requested or other costs incurred throughout the course of the project. For example, a Change Order may have been agreed upon to add an extra feature, or courier charges may have been incurred sending packages associated with the project (which are billed at the end based on the packages actually sent rather than billing an arbitrary amount at the start).
50% Down / Balance Ex-Factory – Payment terms in which an initial deposit is required at the start of a project based on 50% of the contracted cost. “Balance Ex-Factory” refers to the final payment that is due at the end of the project once the product is complete and ready to exit the factory. That final balance due will reflect any changes throughout the course of the project (such as added features or changes to shipping logistics agreed upon via Change Order), will be updated with any applicable GRI/PSS (changes to shipping costs based on the rate at the time of shipment), will include any courier fees incurred throughout the course of the project, and will take into account the final quantity of product being sent (as there may be overs or unders as per industry standard).
A4 Paper – a common paper size that is 210mm x 297mm, or 8.3″ x 11.7″.
AA – AA stands for Author’s Alterations (Change Order). This refers to changes made to the original files, specifications, and/or instructions after the project contract has been finalized, chargeable to the customer. An AA Change Order document standardly will be sent over for signature to memorialize requested changes.
Accordion Fold – A type of paper folding that involves two or more parallel folds that open like an accordion. Each fold is bent in the opposite direction to the previous fold to create a pleated / accordion effect.
Acetate – A transparent / translucent plastic sheet material that can be used to create overlays within a book (by tipping in) or on jackets. Acetate is available in multiple colors, but often times an uncolored (clear) acetate is used with designs or artwork printed on it.
Acid-free paper – Paper that has a low acidity level (either neutral or slightly basic pH) and that therefore yellows less over time.
Advance Copies – Final product taken from the completed bulk and sent to a client via FedEx for review before to the bulk being shipped out. Standardly, one advance copy is sent for review and approval, but additional advanced copies can be requested (for example, a certain number of coipes needed ASAP for an event).
Airbrush – A compressed air tool that sprays a fine mist of paint or ink, which can be used for effects on projects such hardline items (dolls, figurines, toys, etc.)
AM (Amplitude Modulation) Screening – The method traditionally used for halftone screening/printing, using a grid of equidistant dots where each dot stays fixed in its position. When the density of the Halftones varies, the size of the dots varies while maintaining equal spacing between dot centers. As opposed to FM screening, in which the dots are not equidistant in a grid.
Anti-offset Powder – A fine starch/powder that is sprayed on the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave the press to prevent transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the bottom of the next sheet.
Aqueous Coating – A clear, water-based coating applied like ink by a printing press. This finish can be used to protect the printed surface (deters dirt and fingerprints, and can improve durability), and can also enhance the printed surface by creating visual contrast (i.e. spot aqueous creating a high-gloss coating to emphasize certain areas).
Archival Paper – A type of acid-free paper that is manufactured according to specific guidelines to resist chemical degradation over time, meaning that its properties will significantly slow the effects of aging. An archival paper is one that can be “expected” to retain permanently its original characteristics (such as durability and color). This type of substrate is commonly used for documents of historic or legal significance that need to be preserved for hundreds of years.
Arlin – Artificial Linen; a material that can cost-effectively mimic a thin cloth but that is actually made from paper.
Art Paper – A paper that is evenly coated (calendered) with a fine clay compound to create a firm smooth surface, which helps ink sit “on top of” the paper more rather than drying back as it is absorbed; art paper is available with either a matte or a glossy finish.
Assembling / Assembly – 1) In regards to a book: collecting individual sheets, signatures, or sections of a book into a complete set with pages in proper sequence and alignment. Assembling is followed by binding, and is also known as Gathering. 2) Regarding general projects: Bringing together the separate components of a project / piece into a complete whole.
Author’s Alterations – abbreviated as AA, Author’s Alterations refers to changes made to the original files, specifications, and/or instructions after the project contract has been finalized, chargeable to the customer. An AA Change Order document standardly will be sent over for signature to memorialize requested changes.
Back Flap – The back inner fold of a dust jacket or cover.
Back Matter – Any material printed at the end of a book (often after the last folio of the book), such as appendix, addendum, glossary, index, etc.
Banding (packing) – also commonly referred to as “strapping,” banding is the process of applying a strap to combine/bundle products together and/or to stabilize, hold, reinforce, and fasten something. This process is often referenced in the context of palletization, as pallets of product are banded for stability.
Banding (printing) – A prepress term referring to visible steps in shades of a gradient; these bands represent a defect in halftone screens or screen tints in which parallel breaks (stair steps) or streaks appear in the dot pattern.
Banker’s Flap – A flap on an envelope where the edges are more rounded; also called a wallet flap.
BarCode – A binary coding system using a numerical series and bars of varying thicknesses and/or positions that can be read by optical character recognition (OCR) equipment. Barcodes are often printed on book covers, dust jackets, product boxes, or separate labels (ie. stickers) to be scanned for ISBN and price.
Base Color – A first color used as a background on which other colors are printed. When printing on white paper, the white of the paper acts as the base color. When printing on metallic paper or on a colored substrate, often times a white ink base color is added beneath parts of the 4c (CMYK) printing. On hardline items, a base color is often either injected into the material or sprayed on.
Beveled – The sides of a die used for embossing or debossing are typically given beveled edges to allow it to press harder into the paper and get a deeper impression without breaking the paper fiber.
Bible Paper – A thin but strong paper used for bibles and books.
Bill of Lading – Abbreviated B/L or BOL, this document establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company, serving as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.
Bind / Binding – To fasten sheets and/or signatures together using thread, wire, glue, or other means; Methods include: sewing (Smythe sewn), gluing (perfect bound), stapling (saddle-stitched), wire-O and spiral binding.
Bindery – The department within a printing company where printed products are collated, trimmed, folded, and bound.
Blanket – A fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber that is clamped around a cylinder on offset presses and used to transfer the ink impression from plates onto paper. The inked image is transferred from the plate onto the blanket, and then from the blanket onto the paper.
Blanket Cylinder – The cylinder on offset presses that carries the rubber blanket and is positioned in between the plate cylinder and impression cylinder. The blanket cylinder is what transfers an inked image from the plate cylinder onto the paper on the impression cylinder.
Bleed – The portion of a printed area that extends beyond / crosses the designated trim line on a sheet or page; bleed is used to allow for variations that occur during trimming or die cutting. Trimming machines unavoidably have some variance when cutting – it is almost impossible to cut along the edge / trim line exactly every time. Having bleed extending past the trim lines by at least 1/8″ will prevent the possibility of a white hairline around the edge of page (which would occur if there is no bleed present and the trimming is slightly outside of trim lines).
Blind Emboss – A raised design that is made using an un-inked block, without using colored inks or metal foils.
Blocking – A process for stamping a design on a book case/cover, box, or other surface using a colored foil with pressure from heated die or block; Also called Foil Stamping
Blown In – The process of inserting something into a book (such as a small paper insert, envelope, etc.) without the use of any adhesive or binding. For example, an insert can be placed loosely (not sewn or glued) in between the pages of a book.
Blueline Ozalid – A part of the CTP process that is output and used to check the position of elements on each page, not for color or image quality approval. These would be sent to you alongside digitally printed color proofs or wet color proofs. Unlike color proofs which are for color approval and are not folded and gathered in order, ozalids are not for reference on color but are folded and gathered in the proper page order to be used for reference and approval of the layout and pagination (to make sure everything is in order and positioned correctly).
Board / Binder’s Board – A stiff paperboard used in hardback binding beneath the casewrap covering on the outside of the book. Standardly, a paper or cloth is wrapped around the boards to form the front, spine, and back of casebound books. This also applies to slipcases, clamshells, and paper-over-board boxes (such as those used for board games).
Board Books – A particular type of children’s book that uses thick cardstock paperboard (instead of regular paper) for the “pages.”
BOL – Bill of Lading; This shipping-related document establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company, serving as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.
Bonded Leather – A type of leather material made from a mix of both real and fake leather. It is composed of the leftover scraps and fibers made from processing genuine leather (from animal hide) that are mixed with a polyurethane binder. These fibers are then rolled together using adhesives to bond them onto a paper backing.
Book Block – The main text or body of the book after all signatures have been collated or gathered. The book block does not include the case / cover.
Bookplate – A printed label that is pasted on the inside of a book, often to show the name of the owner. Book plates can serve a functional purpose, for example in books that are meant to be lent to multiple readers, and/or can be decorative. Bookplates are most often affixed to the endpaper of a book. The technical term for a bookplate is a tip-on, as it is something that is tipped-on (affixed) to a part of the book.
BPC – Black Plate Change; The method of changing out the black plate on a process printing press, allowing for a change of black text without affecting color. A BPC may be used when producing books with common art but different language versions, or for packaging that has the same artwork but multiple different product title versions. This can be much more cost-effective than switching out all the plates, and should be planned for ahead of time by making sure the files are set up with the black text / content on its own separate layer.
Bronzing – A process used to obtain a metallic finish on printed matter by first printing a special adhesive ink and then applying bronzing powder by hand or using a bronzing machine. Bronzing creates a characteristic metallic effect/appearance that is unique to this particular process.
Bulk – (1) The majority of the units of a complete product, often referenced in the context of shipping via ocean freight. (2) The thickness of paper expressed by pages per inch (PPI).
Burst Binding – Also called Notch Binding; A book binding technique that entails nicking the backfold in short lengths during the folding process, which allows glue to reach each individual leaf and create a stronger bond.
C1S – Acronym for Coated One Side; A cover stock with a coated finish on one side and uncoated on the other
C2S – Acronym for Coated Two Sides; A cover stock with a coated finish on both sides
Calender – To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between rollers during manufacturing. During this process, a clay coating is applied to matte and glossy art papers to give them their characteristic finish.
Calibrate – To adjust the scale on a measuring or output instrument to a standard for specific conditions. Calibration promotes accuracy.
Caliper – (1) measurement of the 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). (2) Device on a sheetfed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
Carbon Footprint – A measure of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (measured as carbon dioxide equivalents) associated with the production, distribution and disposal of a product.
Carbon Neutral – Achieving a net zero carbon footprint for a product, service, or organization by reducing carbon emissions through reductions in energy and material use (ie. switching to low or no carbon energy sources, recycling, reusing) and through supporting methods of carbon offset to reduce the balance of the carbon footprint to zero.
Carbonless Paper – Paper that is chemically treated to transfer the impression from the first page to the subsequent pages.
Cardstock – A stiff rigid paper used for softcover book covers, postcards, cards, etc. See also C1S and C2S.
Carton – The term used to refer to the outer corrugate box that product is packed in for transport and shipment
Case – The stiff front cover, spine, and back cover of a hardbound book, constructed by wrapping a casewrap (usually paper or cloth) over binder’s board.
Casebound – Another term for Hardcover (as opposed to Softcover). A book that has a stiff front cover, spine, and back cover, made from a casewrap material (often paper or cloth) that is wrapped over binder’s board.
Casing In – The process of placing in and adhering a book block to its case covers (for a Casebound/Hardcover Book).
Chalking – When pigments dust off because ink has been absorbed too rapidly into the paper; if the ink is absorbed too rapidly, it can “break up” and leave a powdering effect on the surface of the paper.
Change Order – Written instructions about changes to a job already in progress, also known as Author’s Alterations (AA). An AA Change Order document standardly will be sent over for signature to memorialize requested changes made to the original files, specifications, and/or instructions after the project contract has been finalized, chargeable to the customer.
Chassis – The base frame of a wheeled vehicle, used to secure a container prior to movement.
Chipboard – An inexpensive type of single-ply cardboard made from reclaimed paper stock. This type of paperboard is usually brown or gray.
CIF – Cost, Insurance, and Freight. A term of sale in which the seller pays for the cost of paper, printing, and binding + insurance coverage on the shipment + the freight to the client’s specified port. The client is then responsible for customs clearance (including duty) and transportation to the final destination.
Clamshell – A protective box designed for storing and preserving a book or other items. A clamshell box is hinged on one side, with the remaining three sides of both the top and bottom of the box extending in such a way that one side neatly fits into the other when closed. Clamshell boxes are an elegant addition to a coffee-table book or special edition, and often are customized with cloth wrap, stamping, debossing, tip-ons, and more.
Cloning – A function on a CEPS used to duplicate a pixel or many pixels in another area of a picture. It can be used to add or remove detail. This function is also called “pixel swopping”.
Cloth Bound – A hardcover book that has a cloth casewrap (cloth wrapped over the case boards) instead of a laminated paper casewrap (PLC).
CMYK – An abbreviation for the four primary colors used in four-color process printing: Cyan (a light blue), Magenta (a pinkish purple), Yellow and BlacK.
Co-ship – Combined shipment of multiple titles at the same time, usually to the same delivery location. Products can also be shipped together to the same general location and then delivered to two separate addresses in the vicinity. Co-shipping can help lower the shipping cost per unit, especially if each project has a relatively low quantity.
Coated Art Paper – Printing papers that have been calendered to have a surface coating (which has either a matte or glossy finish). When printing on coated paper, the ink “sits on top of” the paper and doesn’t soak in much compared to uncoated paper. This produces a cleaner, sharper image. Alternatively, ink on uncoated/woodfree paper is absorbed into the paper more, causing it to dry back and appear more faded / washed out.
Coil Binding – Also called spiral binding. A method of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes punched along the side of a stack of paper. This method is commonly used for lined notebooks, journals, manuals, etc. Documents bound with coil have the ability to lay flat, and the cover / pages can rotate 360 degrees. This is similar to but not the same as Wire-O Binding.
Cold Color – Any color that is toward the blue side in the color spectrum; As opposed to a warm color.
Collate – To gather sheets, signatures, cards, etc. together in a certain proper order.
Color Balance – Maintaining the relative ratio amount of cyan, magenta and yellow ink to produce an image with the desired color and without an unwanted color cast or color bias.
Color Bar – A strip of colors printed in the trim area of a parent press sheet, which press operators use to monitor and control the color balance (the consistency of relative ink density, registration, and dot gain).
Color Cast – Unwanted tone/discoloration of all or part of an image, caused by an overabundance of one color that distorts the normal color balance.
Color Channel – Color images on the computer are created by combining different color channels. RGB is a commonly used color model, and the channels are Red, Green and Blue. Our presses print 4-color CMYK, which uses the channels Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black.
Color Correction – The deliberate adjustment of one or more colors to achieve a desired result; this can use methods such as masking, dot-etching, re-etching, scanning, digitally adjusting the color balance, color saturation, or contrast.
Color Fidelity – The accuracy with which a printed piece reproduces colors of the original subject matter.
Color Proof – A proof used to check for the resolution and print quality of color. A color proof can be printed digitally (either using proofing paper or the actual text paper stock) or offset (on an offset press using the actual text paper stock). A color proof that is printed on an offset press is referred to as a “wet proof” or “press proof.” Wet proofing provides the most accurate match to the color that the final press printing will have, but due to the setup involved it is more expensive compared to a digitally-printed proof (which is still very accurate just slightly less so).
Color Separation – The process of separating full-color images/files into the component spectral printing colors (ie. cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK))
Color Shift – Change in the perceived color of elements on a printed piece caused by variation or irregularities in ink densities, dot gain, or color register during a four-color printing press run.
Color Swatch – Color guides which may be graded in a standardized fashion, such as in the Pantone Matching System (PMS).
Color Variance – Slight differences in color between runs and within a run that is inherent in the offset printing process.
Comb Binding – To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along one of the edges of a stack of paper. Commonly used for catalogs, reports, and manuals.
Compression – Reducing the size of a file for storage purposes or to enhance the speed of data transfer by eliminating the redundancies and other unnecessary elements from the original.
Computer-To-Plate (CTP) – A technology that uploads images to a software application that outputs those images directly onto a printing plate using lasers.
Consignee – The recipient of shipped goods, indicated on the Bill of Lading.
Continuous Tone – An image that has not been screened, made of non-discernable elements that give the appearance of a continuous spectrum of tones.
Contrast – The tonal gradation or separation between highlights, middle tones, and shadows in an original or reproduction; The amount of difference between the lightest and the darkest areas in an image or artwork.
Copy – 1) For an editor or typesetter, this term refers to all written material. 2) For a graphic designer or printer, this term refers to everything that is to be printed – art, photographs, graphics, and words.
Copy Editor – Person who checks and corrects a manuscript for spelling, grammar, punctuation, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and conformity to style requirements. Also called a line editor.
Copyfitting – Calculating the space that a given amount of text requires and/or adjusting copy to the allotted space by editing the text, changing the typeface, or adjusting the point size.
Copyright – The right of an author or artist to control the use of the original work. An exclusive right that has been granted by law to a particular creative product. The right of copyright gives protection to the originator of material to prevent use without express permission or acknowledgement of the originator.
Courier Charges – The costs incurred due to the use of a courier service (ie. FedEx, UPS, etc.). Because it is impossible to predict the exact courier cost associated with a project, a total courier charge will be billed at the end on the project’s final invoice based on the packages that were actually sent during your project. If the budget for a project is tight, please let us know and we can discuss ways of minimizing these courier charges.
Cover Stock – The type of paper stock used for the covers of books, cards, etc. Also referred to as Card Stock, C1S, and C2S.
Coverage – The amount of ink on a page or sheet, usually given in percentages to indicate the extent to which printing ink covers the surface of a printed sheet.
cps – Copies (abbreviation)
Crop – To eliminate portions of the copy or art on the edges of the printed area, usually as indicated by “cropmarks.” Cropping is also known as trimming.
Crop Marks – Small markings/symbols placed at the edges of original content/files to indicate where it should be trimmed (cropped); sometimes referred to as cut marks, these are essential during the design and printing process, as they indicate where the sides of the printed piece will be trimmed.
Cross Grain / Against the Grain – Sometimes called cross grain; Running a sheet of paper through a printing press perpendicular to the grain direction of the paper, as opposed to in the same direction as the grain. The direction perpendicular (at right angles to) the fibers of the paper being used. This is usually suboptimal for both press operation and registration of the 4 color process inks. It is also not recommended to fold against the grain, as paper is weaker and more sensitive to humidity on its cross direction.
Crossover – Image, text, or other element that crosses page boundaries and extends across the gutter to the adjacent page.
ctn – Carton (abbreviation)
CTP – Computer to Plate; The technology and process of taking an electronic file and outputting it directly onto a printing plate.
Cure – To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent setoff.
Customs Papers – Paperwork given to a shipping carrier that is required for clearing a shipment through Customs when entering the U.S. or for import into other countries.
Cut Flush – When the cover and text of a softcover book are trimmed to the same size with a guillotine or a three-knife trimmer, such that there is no overhang by the cover.
Cyan – A shade of blue used in four-color process printing (the “C” in “CMYK”). Also referred to as “process blue”.
Deboss – To press an area or pattern with a die so that it is depressed below the surface. The opposite of emboss where the image is raised above the paper surface. Debossing is commonly done on hardcover books (such as on a paper-laminated casewrap or a cloth casewrap), boxes, slipcases, and clamshells.
Debossing – Pressing a design into a surface so that there is an indent / “sunken in” look. When no foil or pigment is used, this is termed “Deep Blind Debossing”. When foil is used, it is termed “Deep Foil Stamping.”
Deep Foil Stamping – Foil stamping that involves applying enough pressure with the stamping die to create an indentation/depressed area where the foil is applied.
Demurrage – The fee charged by a container freight warehouse if a shipment is not picked up before the “Last Free Day.”
Densitometer – Instrument used to measure color density using light. In printing, a reflection densitometer is used to measure the color consistency and density throughout the run by measuring the light reflected.
Density – The weight of tone or color in any image, measurable by a densitometer. The printed highlight can be no brighter than the base paper or board, while the shadow can be no darker than the quality and volume of ink the printing process will permit.
Die – A metal rule or imaged block device that is used for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing, and/or debossing
Die-cut – The use of sharp steel rules (either on a flat-bed or rotary press) to cut shapes out of text sheets, cases, covers, cards, boxes, etc. This process can allow multiple pieces to be created in an efficient and uniform manner. Die-cutting usually refers to a clean, smooth cut in the material. While technically it could refer to both an entire cutting out of material or partial cutting of material, to differentiate we refer to partial cutting as “Kiss Cutting”.
Digital Printing – Printing by plateless imaging systems that are imaged by digital data from prepress systems. As opposed to offset lithography.
Digital Proof – A proof made directly from a digital file, using digital printing rather than offset lithography. This proof is made with a computer output device, such as laser or inkjet printer. Just because it is referred to as a “digital proof” does not mean that it is a soft proof that is only sent via computer. Digital proof generally refers to proofs that are printed digitally (but still a physically printed-out proof).
Dog Ear – A term for the folded down corner of a book page. The inverted triangle shape of that folded corner resembles the shape of certain canine ears.
Door-to-door Delivery – A term of sale in which the seller pays the price that includes transportation from the factory’s door to the client’s door (ie. at their warehouse loading dock or curbside of a house). Our quotes standardly are FOB China (inclusive of the cost to preclear and bring the freight to the port for shipment), with a separate shipping cost indicated for the actual ocean or air freight shipment. A shipping quote standardly is based on Ocean Freight and door delivery to a loading dock. If there is no loading dock at the delivery location and/or if the location is a residence, that would need to be indicated as a special type of truck with Lift Gate and Pallet jack would be needed for such a delivery.
Dot – The smallest individual element of a halftone; see Hard Dot.
Dot Gain – The tendency of halftone dots to grow during the reproduction chain from original to printed image in part due to ink absorption into the paper causing halftone dots to enlarge, leading to inaccurate results such as darkening of the halftone image. The more dot gain a paper has (usually expressed in %’s), the darker, less crisp the image will appear. If dot gain characteristics of a particular substrate and press are known, they can be compensated for during production.
Dots Per Inch (DPI) – A unit of measure that describes the resolution of an output device or monitor; Dots per square inch (the number of dots that fit in a square inch).
Double Bump – To print a single area on the sheet twice so it has two layers of ink. Usually done on solid ink areas to increase the smoothness and/or density.
Draw-down – A) A method used by ink makers to determine the color, quality and tone of ink. It entails the drawing of a spatula over a drop of ink, spreading it flat over the paper in order to sample the inks specified for a job. B) The term Draw-down can also be used in the context of a hardline project, and involves applying the particular inks requested onto the actual material (ie. PVC) to show how it will look once applied, as the ink itself can appear differently than when actually applied to the substrate.
Dummy – A preliminary blank copy of the book or other paper product made in advance to show all material specifications such as size, shape, form, binding, style, and paper types. The dummy is standardly for approval of the materials and construction/binding without containing any printed matter.
Duotone – A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one color photo. Keyplate is usually printed in dark color for detail, with second plate printed in light flat tints. A duotone is printed in two colors but both plates can be used for the same color ink for maximum contrast. When using black ink this is called a “double black”.
Dust Jacket – A printed or unprinted sheet that is wrapped around a book for aesthetic and/or protection. While standardly dust jackets are made from art paper, they can also be made from uncoated paper, cardstock, acetate, vellum, and other specialty materials. Also known as Dust Cover or Book Jacket.
Duty – Import fees charged based on the contents of your shipment, value of product, transportation mode, and destination.
Dye-Sublimation Printing – A form of thermal transfer printing, which uses heat to transfer dye onto materials (including plastic, fabric, cardstock, and paper). Graphics are digitally printed onto a special type of coated paper, and then from there the ink/dye is transferred onto a final material through the application of heat. In this process, when heated the ink liquifies and embeds itself into the material it is being applied to via diffusion (not to be confused with the similarly-named process used on textiles/clothing, in which a special ink is used that actually does undergo sublimation into gas during the heating process). When it cools, the sublimation ink goes back to a solid and becomes a permanent part of the material. The design is adhered to the material on a molecular level, so it is very durable and should not crack or peel.
ea. – Each (abbreviation)
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) – Electronic data interchange is the concept of businesses electronically communicating information that was traditionally communicated on paper, such as purchase orders and invoices. This term is commonly used with regards to inventory, warehousing, and order fulfillment. (1) The communication or transmission of data as electronic messages according to established rules and formats in order to transact business. (2) The computer-to-computer exchange of formatted, transactional information between autonomous organizations. (3) The exchange of routine business transactions in machine readable format. It covers many areas including, ordering, pricing, quoting, backordering, shipping, receiving, planning purchases as well as invoicing and payments.
Embossed Paper – A paper surface textured in one of a variety of patterns by passing the paper through engraved steel rolls.
Embossing – To raise a design or letters on card stock or heavy paper using an un-inked block or die to apply extreme pressure and heat. This results in a raised surface that bulges upward for decorative purposes that emphasizes parts of a design with texture and depth. This can be most effective on softcover books and jackets, though is also possible on hardcover books (but will not be as raised due to the paper being wrapped over board).
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) – A high-resolution electronic file format used to transfer postscript information from one program to another. EPS images can be sized without loss of quality at different resolutions. PDF files may be used for the same purpose.
Endsheets / Ends / Endpapers – In a casebound/hardcover book, the ends are the pages pasted before and after the text, which are used to hold the book block to the case. The endsheets are usually a paper stock that is thicker and stronger than the text stock in order to bear the weight of the book block when glued to the caseside, and it is recommended to use a woodfree (uncoated) paper for best results.
ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival
ETD – Estimated Time of Departure; often used in the context of ocean vessel schedules, the time at which the vessel departs from the port.
Extent – The summary and quantity of components in a project. For a book, the extent lists the number of pages + endsheets (if hardcover) + cover/casewrap. In a card deck, an example extent would be: _#_ Cards + Booklet (_#_ pages + cover) + 2-piece Box.
EXW – Ex Works; also called Ex-Factory; The seller makes the goods available at their premises/factory, or at another named place (ie. a nearby warehouse).
F&G – Folded and Gathered. An unbound copy of a book that consists of all components (pages, endsheets, cover/casewrap) that have been completely printed on press and have been folded and gathered in the order that they will be bound. F&G’s are often sent as an extra approval step after printing has finished but prior to binding. If any adjustment is needed to one of the pages for example, only that signature has to be reprinted (which is much less expensive compared to needing the entire book reprinted, which would be the case if the books have already been bound and an adjustment is requested).
Fan Fold – Paper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel.
Faux Leather – “Fake” synthetic leather material used as a cost-effective alternative to actual animal hide leather. There are two categories of Faux Leather commonly used: 1) PU (polyurethane) Leather and 2) PVC-Vinyl Leather (polyvinyl chloride).
FCQ – Acronym for Final Customer Quote, which in our process refers to the Contract for a project. While the FCQ is the final quote, it can be amended via AA Change Order if needed.
Fifth (5th) Color – An ink color used in addition to the four process colors (CMYK). A 5th color is used when the project requires a very specific color that cannot be achieved using the four CMYK colors. The 5th color can be a normal pantone color or a metallic pantone color.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) – A secure method of transferring electronic files from one computer to another across the Internet via the TCP/IP protocol. For each project, we can set up a secure FTP site to use for the upload/submission of project files. An FTP access program should be used to access the site, such as FileZilla.
Files-In Date – Also called the “materials-in date”. This is the date on which complete print-ready / manufacture-ready files are expected to be submitted.
Film Lamination – Bonding plastic film to printed material for protection and appearance.
Finish – (1) General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post-press operations; more commonly called “finishing” in this context. (2) Refers to the surface characteristics of a paper, such as a matte finish or gloss finish paper. (3) The treatments applied to a product’s surface, such as varnish, lamination, UV, etc.
Finishing – The treatment processes performed after printing, which includes trimming, folding, binding, and other post-press operations.
Flaps – The portion of a jacket that folds into the book from front to back (and sometimes from top to bottom, see French Fold Jacket). Flaps give extra space where content can be added, such as author information, a book synopsis, or promotional material. A softcover book can also have flaps that fold inward on the front and back cover. Flaps are sometimes referred to as gatefold flaps, not to be confused with an inserted gatefold (which is either tipped in or bound into a book block).
Flat Foil Stamping – Foil stamping that does not depress/indent the stamped area (as opposed to Deep Foil Stamping, which creates an indentation where the foil is stamped).
Flexible Binding – Also called FlexiBound or Dutch Binding; A binding method using paper over paper (instead of paper over binder’s board) to allow a softcover book to have endsheets and a hollow spine.
Flocking – The application of fine natural or synthetic particles to an adhesive surface. The fibers stick to the adhesive area and the rest is vacuumed away.
Flood – To print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish. Flooding with ink is also called painting the sheet.
Flush Cover – A book cover that is trimmed to the same size as the inside text pages, as is common for softcover books. See Cut Flush.
Flyleaf – The end sheets not glued down to the front and back covers of a casebound book. Standardly there is one flysheet at the front and one at the back.
FM (Frequency Modulation) Screening – Also called Stochastic Printing. A halftone process based on pseudo-random distribution of dots (as opposed to AM screening which has all dots positioned equidistant from each other in a grid). The advantage of FM screening (as opposed to AM Screening) is that moiré patterns are no longer an issue.
FOB – Freight on Board; A term of sale in which the seller pays for the delivery of the bulk shipment to the port or freight forwarder’s terminal and clears the goods for export. This term can be used when a client would like to ship the goods with their own freight forwarder, in which case the client’s freight forwarder is responsible for loading the bulk shipment into the boat and subsequent duty and delivery. This term also can be used to indicate that a unit price is inclusive of getting that product to port, but is not inclusive of any costs to actually ship the product to its final delivery destination. Unless otherwise specified, FOB implies one bulk shipment of product and does not include fees that may be incurred by preparing product to ship out to multiple locations.
Foil – A thin material with metal or pigment that can be stamped onto surfaces using a stamping die.
Foil Cardstock – A special type of cardstock that has a foil finish. Foil cardstock can be printed on (using UV inks), giving a card (or other cardstock item) a shiny foil quality beneath the printing (based on how the print files are set up and whether an opaque white base color is applied to all or part of the printed area).
Foil Embossing – To both foil stamp and emboss an area, creating a three dimensional raised area with foil finish. Just as with embossing that does not involve foil, this can be most effective on softcover books and jackets, though is also possible on hardcover books (but will not be as raised due to the paper being wrapped over board).
Foil Paper – A special type of paper stock that has a foil finish. Foil paper can be printed on (using UV inks) and then can be used for book casewraps, box wraps, etc. to achieve a shiny foil quality beneath the printing (based on how the print files are set up and whether an opaque white base color is applied to all or part of the printed area). The most common foil paper is silver, but other stocks are available upon request.
Foil Stamping – To press a heated die onto a sheet of foil and into a paper or substrate beneath, releasing the foil from its backing and adhering it onto the paper/substrate. Foil stamping can be flat (no indent), deep (indented/debossed), or can be combined with embossing.
Folio – The actual page number typeset in a book, not including the end papers. Right hand pages contain the odd number folios.
Form – One side of a signature. Most commonly referenced in the context of wet proofing, which is priced based on how many forms are to be proofed.
Four-Color Process – Printing in full color using CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK).
FPO – For Position Only. A visual used only to indicate position/placement and size in a design, but not intended to be used for actual printing/production or for color approval (ie. may be low res, not color calibrated, not in the final print-ready file format, etc.)
Freight Forwarder – A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent, is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to transport goods from the manufacturer/producer to a customer or final point of distribution. Forwarders contract with a carrier or often multiple carriers to move the goods.
French Fold Jacket – A jacket with right-angle folds both vertically and horizontally (rather than just on the right and left side, it is also folded inward on the top and bottom). In addition to being a stylistic choice, a French Fold can help increase the durability of a jacket by not leaving any exposed edges of the jacket paper.
Front Matter – All pages preceding folio 1 of a book.
FSC – The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit that regulates the FSC forest certification program with the goal of promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. The FSC label/logo can be seen used on a wide range products, from paper bags to books to furniture to even jewelry, and aims to give consumers the option of supporting responsible forestry.
FSC Logo – FSC’s (The Forest Stewardship Council’s) logo is used to indicate that products are certified under the FSC system. There are various labeling variations based on the material contents in a product and what proportion of them are from an FSC-certified forest.
FSC Paper – FSC certified paper is paper that has been harvested in an environmentally responsible manner according to The Forest Stewardship Council’s standards. FSC paper is different from recycled paper, as it often is composed of virgin tree fibers rather than pre- or post-consumer recycled materials (although FSC papers can be composed of recycled paper). It is very important to note that when the wood pulp used to make paper is sourced from a well-managed forest, it can arguably be just as eco-friendly as recycled paper (partly because the paper-recycling process does consume energy and produce waste). Any printer can print using paper that is FSC certified, but only certified printers that are subject to annual audits and strict procedures may actually put the FSC logo on printed pieces. If use of FSC materials and/or the FSC logo is something you’d like for your project, please specify that in the project’s quote request or correspondences (as there can be some cost differences between FSC stock and standard house paper stocks).
FTP – File Transfer Protocol; A secure method of transferring electronic files from one computer to another across the Internet via the TCP/IP protocol. For each project, we can set up a secure FTP site to use for the upload/submission of project files. An FTP access program should be used to access the site, such as FileZilla.
Fugitive Glue – A low-tack adhesive used to affix items in a non-permanent manner. This substrate allows for removal of the item with minimal residue and a minimal amount of damage caused to each of the separated surfaces, and it performs best on smooth, non-porous surfaces. Sometimes called “booger glue”, credit card glue, or E-Z-release glue.
Fulfillment – The process of receiving, packaging and shipping orders for goods. This term is commonly used in the context of e-commerce, and often involves single-send order fulfillment (where the unit(s) of product are sent out as needed to a consumer/customer that has placed an order). We have warehouses that can provide this type of order fulfillment service, also known as “pick and pack.”
Ganging – The bundling of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper to be more efficient.
Gate Fold / Gatefold – A foldout sheet bound or tipped into a book where that folds inward towards the center/gutter in overlapping layers. This foldout has one or more parallel folds in which the fold can be opened outward either to the right, to the left, or on both sides.
Gather – To assemble or collect sections into the proper sequence.
General Rate Change – An adjustment of sea freight rates across all or specific trade routes during a set time frame. GRI’s are usually spurred by the supply and demand chain within freight shipping. Often GRI’s can occur during peak season, which leads to the term GRI / PSS being often referenced. Overall, shipping rate estimates from initial quotes often must be amended closer to the actual time of shipment based on any rate fluctuations.
Ghosting – A faint image on a printed sheet, appearing intentionally or not.
Gilding – Metallic leafing on the edges of a book or cards. Can have a matte or gloss look, commonly gold or silver, but could also be red, black, or other colors.
Glassine – A strong transparent paper that has a “frosted” appearance; also called Vellum.
Gloss UV – A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to printed material. It is applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light.
Glossy Art Paper / Glossyart – Coated art paper that has a glossy finish, which reflects light well compared to matte-coated art paper or uncoated woodfree paper.
Glow-in-the-Dark Ink – Also known as phosphorescent or photoluminescent ink, this substance contains optically-active compounds (phosphors) that absorb and store energy, then release it in the form of light over a long period of time. This creates an area that can “charge” in light and then glow in the dark for some time after. This glow-in-the-dark effect can be applied to book casewraps, boxes, etc., but does slightly obscure any printed artwork beneath due to the glow-in-the-dark ink substance having a “milky” appearance.
Grade – A means of ranking paper and cloth types. Grade can refer to the category, class, rating, finish or brand.
Grain – Paper fibers lie in a similar direction in a sheet of paper. The grain direction is the direction in which the majority of paper fibers are aligned. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain. Grain is also particularly important for binding, as a book block should be bound with grain parallel to the spine for proper durability and longevity.
Grayscale – The range of gray shades from white to black, containing shades of grey that can be used in monochrome printing / images.
GRI / PSS – General Rate Increase / Peak Season Surcharge
Grindoff – The approximately 1/8 inch (3mm) that is removed along the spine of gathered signatures before perfect binding.
GSM / Gsm – A unit of measurement for paper weight and thickness, Grams per Square Meter. For this standard, the weight of various types of paper is measured from a sample sheet cut to one square meter in size. No matter the size of a piece of paper, the GSM weight measurement is always based on the measure of that square meter sheet.
Guillotine – A sharp blade used to cut and trim printed paper accurately.
Gusset – Expandable portion of bag, file folder or envelope.
Gutter – In a book, the gutter is the center line or fold at which facing pages meet. When planning artwork and design, it is important to keep in mind that content (such as text) positioned right in the gutter will be more difficult to view.
Halftone – A tone-graduated image composed of varying sized dots or lines, with equidistant centers, whose variation in size create the illusion of variations in tone despite all being the same tone/color. An illustration can be reproduced by breaking down the original tone into a pattern of dots of varying size. Light areas have small dots and darker areas or shadows have larger dots, and by varying the dots per square inch one can achieve the appearance of a continuous-tone image.
Hand Bound – A book which has been adhered and stitched by hand due to special requirements (such as for specialty oversized book projects) or to expedite the completion of advance copies.
Hard Dot – A halftone dot with a sharp, clean edge that can only be minimally retouched or etched.
Hardcover (HC) – Another term for Casebound; A book that has a stiff front cover, spine, and back cover; made from a casewrap material (often paper) that is wrapped over binder board.
HC – Hardcover (abbreviation).
Head and Tail Bands – A small decorative strip of silk, cotton, or synthetic material used at the top (head) and bottom (tail) of a hardcover/casebound book to decoratively fill the gap formed between the spine of the book and the case. Abbreviated H&T Bands.
Heat Transfer (Thermal) Printing – Using a special thermal transfer printer, a special transfer sheet is printed with ink, placed in contact with the object that the ink is to be transferred to, and then heated to facilitate that transfer.
Hickey – A spot or imperfection in printing caused by ink skin or dust (usually from the paper or board’s surface) that obstructs the contact of the paper with the printing plate.
Highlight – The lightest tone of an image (as compared to midtones and shadows). In a halftone, this is the area with the smallest/finest dots.
Hinge – A flexible joint that allows a book or box to open without creasing or damage. On a casebound book, the presence of a flexible hinge where the front/back case and the spine meets is what allows the book to be opened without bending, damaging, or breaking the case boards (which are rigid and not readily bent). Also known as Joint. A “hinge” can also be created on a softcover book by adding a score to the book’s cardstock cover.
Hinged-Scored Cover – On a softcover book, it is recommended that a score be added to the cover to create a “hinge” that facilitates easy and consistent opening of the book’s cover. The cover would open at that scored hinge, preventing unsightly “damage” / wear that could otherwise occur with use due to the cover being bent unevenly or in different areas with each opening.
Hollow – The space on the back/spine of a casebound book between the book block and the case.
Hot Spot – Printing defect caused when a piece of dirt or an air bubble causes incomplete drawdown during contact platemaking, leaving an area of weak ink coverage or visible dot gain.
Hue – The main attribute of a color (its redness or blueness) that designates its dominant wavelength and distinguishes it from other colors; as opposed to its shade (its lightness or darkness).
Humidity – Level of moisture in the air, which may affect paper materials involved in the printing process and the condition of stored materials/products. For example, if paper or books are to be stored for long periods of time, it is important that they are stored in a climate-controlled warehouse.
ICC Profile – A set of data that characterizes a color input or output device, or a color space, according to standards promulgated by the International Color Consortium (ICC). When exporting final print-ready files from a native design program, an ICC profile should be used to ensure that all colors are exported properly.
Imitation Paper Leather – A leather substitute that is made from paper fiber and therefore is significantly more cost-effective
Imposition – Arranging/positioning of pages on a press form so that, after the printed sheet is folded and trimmed/cut, the pages will be in the correct order.
In-line – Components of a system arranged in a logical production sequence and in such a way that materials are automatically fed to the next component.
Ink Set-Off – Ink that is unintentionally transferred from one surface to another, for example from a printed sheet to the back of the sheet above it when the materials have been printed and are stacked in a pile.
Inner Liner – A paper lining pasted on the inside of a box or slipcase. Generally a woodfree/uncoated paper is used, which may be plain white or have printing. Without an inner liner, the inside of the box or slipcase would show the exposed greyboard/chipboard.
Insert – An item, often a piece of printed material, that is prepared for loose insertion into a book or other printed product.
Inside Delivery – A delivery made inside a building or garage, which generally involves an additional cost.
ISBN – International Standard Book Number. A unique ten-figure serial number assigned to every printed book to identify the publisher, title, language of publication, and edition. The ISBN is used by distributors to sell and track each individual book, and is often included in the bar code.
ISO 9000 – A series of internationally recognized and accepted quality management and quality control standards set forth by the International Standards Organization. ISO 9000 standards set forth guidelines intended to increase business efficiency and customer satisfaction. These standards were developed in particular to help companies effectively document the elements needed to maintain an efficient quality system. They apply to most any industry and organizations of all sizes.
Jacket – A printed or unprinted sheet that is wrapped around a book for aesthetic and/or protection. While standardly jackets are made from art paper, they can also be made from uncoated paper, cardstock, acetate, vellum, and other specialty materials. Also known as Dust Cover, Dust Jacket, or Book Jacket.
JHT Cloth – A particular brand of binding cloth that can be wrapped over board for a hardcover book’s casewrap, slipcase, or clamshell. JHT cloth comes in a wide variety of colors, styles, and textures.
JPEG / JPG – Joint Photographic Experts Group. A color image compressed format which allows the storage of high quality images in relatively small files by balancing compression against loss of detail in the image. Includes file formats of .jpg, .jpeg, and .jpe.
K – Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing.
Kiss Cut – The use of sharp steel rules to cut shapes into materials without cutting out the material (fully cutting the shape out of the material would be known as a “die cut”). This technique involves die cutting only the top layer of a material, such as when cutting shapes out on a sticker sheet where the top sticky layer of sticker stock must be cut while leaving the backing material of the sticker sheet intact.
Kivar – A brand of synthetic leather-like material made of paper that may be used as a casewrap material for hardcover books, slipcases, clamshells, etc.
Kraft Paper – A strong, brown, unbleached paper commonly used to wrap and pack books and other products
Lamination – A thin plastic film/coating that is applied/bonded to a printed sheet by heat and pressure for protection and/or appearance. Lamination can protect from moisture, tearing, and other wear. Gloss lamination is very durable and does not show scratches or scuffs easily. Matte lamination can scuff and scratch, so a scuff free matte lamination is recommended for increased durability and appearance. Soft touch matte lamination can also give a velvety feel. Unlike gloss lamination, matte laminations can darken or dull the original colors.
Landscape – An orientation designation for a book or other printed matter with a greater width than height. A landscape book would be bound on the shorter edge. Also referred to as Oblong. This is the opposite to Portrait.
Laser Die-cut – Instead of a using a metal die to cut a substrate such as paper, this process uses a laser beam to precisely burn or vaporize the sheet to create highly detailed images that are too complex to do with traditional dies.
Leaf – Another term for a sheet of paper. In a book, a leaf/sheet (which has two sides) would constitute 2 pages.
Lenticular – A printing technology in which a lenticular lens is used to produce an image with an illusion of depth or the ability to change / move as the image is viewed from different angles. The process requires having multiple digital images, which are then interlaced using a special software to interact with the lenticular lens and produce the desired effect when printed. A lenticular can be a standalone product, or can be combined with other products (for example, being affixed to the front cover of a book).
Letter Fold – Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope. Also called barrel fold and wrap around fold.
Library Binding – A casebound book with a cloth or cambric hinge; reinforced binding.
Liftgate – A feature on a specialized truck, which is needed for delivery destinations that do not have a loading dock. See Loading Dock.
Limited Edition (LE) – A book or other product restricted to a specific number of copies, often equipped with special features, numbered, and/or signed by the author.
Limpbound – Another term for Softcover
Lining – The material pasted to the backbone (inner side of the spine) of a casebound book that reinforces the glue and helps to hold together the signatures.
Loading Dock – An elevated platform where freight can be loaded or unloaded directly from a truck (by being raised to the same height as the bed of the truck), without the use of a forklift or pallet jack.
Loupe – A small mounted magnifying lens used to inspect copy, film, proofs, plates, and prints (ie. to inspect the color or dots on a printed sheet).
LPI – Acronym for Lines Per Inch. The rows of dots per inch in a halftone. Used as a measurement of resolution or halftone screening.
Magenta – The name given to the red/pink ink color used in four-color process printing. The “M” in “CMYK”.
Makeready – The process of setting up the printing press before the printing actually starts. This includes all activities required to prepare a press or other machinery to function for a specific printing or bindery job prior to the production run (ie. running test sheets, adjusting ink density, etc.). Also called setup. Paper and printed sheets used in the makeready process are not used in the main production print run (as often times things are being adjusted to final settings) and therefore is considered wastage and is recycled. In anticipation for makeready and the resulting planned wastage (and also in anticipation of some materials being rejected during QC), extra materials are procured at the start of a project. That extra material to account for wastage and QC is one reason why quantity overages are possible and common in printing / manufacturing.
Manufacturing Variance – The very slight differences between copies within a print run, inherent in the offset printing process.
Mask – The blocking out of a portion of the printing plate during the exposure/printing/inking process, or covering of an area of the product to prevent ink from being applied to that certain area (for example, covering a section during the ink spraying of a hardline item to prevent that area from being colored).
Matte Lamination – A type of lamination that has a dull (rather than glossy) finish. Matte lamination options include normal, scuff free, and soft touch.
Matte UV – A UV Coating that has a matte finish instead of a shiny/glossy finish. Matte UV coating can be applied to some areas of a gloss-laminated product to provide visual contrast, and UV coating is also often used on card decks that have gilded edges (as the use of lamination is not possible in tandem with the gilding process).
Metallic Ink – Ink that is made with powdered metal or pigments that make it look metallic when printed. The most common colors used are gold and silver, but there are a wide range of metallic PMS colors and equivalent metallic inks.
Micrometer – An instrument used to measure the thickness of paper and other substrates.
Mock-up – A prototype that simulates the final product prior to going to actual mass production. This is not a required step of the production process, but could be useful if a mocked-up prototype is required for marketing purpose or testing purposes. For paper products, a mock up generally incorporates all printing / color application, finishes, and assembly / binding elements for review or promotional purposes. Sometimes this printing is achieved through offset wet proofs, or it may be digitally printed to save on cost. Mock-ups are sometimes referred to as a preproduction sample. Not to be confused with dummies, which are blank without printing.
Moiré – An undesirable screen pattern resulting when halftones and screen tints are overprinted with improperly-aligned screen angles. In four-color process, the angles that are most commonly used to avoid moire are black 45 degrees, magenta 75 degrees, yellow 90 degrees, and cyan 105 degrees. Also see Stochastic Printing.
Mylar – A form of polyester resin used to make thin, heat-resistant sheets that have high tensile strength.
Native File – Native file format refers to the default file format that an application uses to create or save files. In the context of printing and manufacturing, native files are commonly the default of whichever design program is being used. For example: Photoshop (PSD or Tiff), InDesign (IDD), Adobe Illustrator (AI), etc. While Native Files are very helpful to have for making edits, final print-ready files should usually be exported to a PDF format to ensure that the artist/author ensures they have made all adjustments and have full control over the export process.
Notch Binding – A form of adhesive binding in which a series of notches are cut in the spine on the binding machine to let the adhesive penetrate. Also known as Burst Binding.
Notify Party – The party to be advised of the arrival of goods, as indicated on the shipping documents.
Offset Lithography – An offset printing method that involves transferring an image onto an intermediate surface before printing it onto the final sheet. Rather than printing an image directly from a plate onto paper, the image prints by transferring ink from a flat plate or cylinder onto a rubber blanket that ultimately then deposits the ink onto the substrate. This is a very common high-end printing method.
Offset Paper – Another term for uncoated or woodfree paper (which unlike coated paper stock has not been calendered with clay). It is worth noting that offset woodfree paper is not the only type of paper that can be printed on using the offset printing process (despite the common term “offset”).
Opacity – (1) The characteristic of paper or other substrates that prevents printing on one side from showing through the other side. (2) A characteristic of ink that prevents the substrate it is applied to from showing through. In both of these definitions, higher opacity (being more opaque) is the opposite of being more transparent or translucent.
Orientation – Refers to the layout of a book’s vertical and horizontal dimensions in the context of binding (whether the book is bound on the longer vs. shorter side). Orientations include Landscape, Portrait, and Square.
Overhang Cover – A cover that is larger in size than the pages it encloses. Case overhang is standard for a hardbound/casebound edition, but overhang on the cover of a softcover book is more rare (the cover is usually cut flush with the book block).
Overlay – A transparent sheet / layer of material placed over artwork in register with the work it covers. While historically this term was used to refer to acetate or tissue containing color separation or instructions/corrections, we currently use this term to refer to the overlay effect created in a final product, for example using an acetate or vellum tip-in sheet placed in front of / over a printed book page.
Overprinting – Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed. Also called surprinting.
Overs – Additional printed copies that exceed the ordered quantity, often due to less wastage than expected during makeready and QC. Industry standard overs tolerance is 10%.
Overs and Unders – Only digital presses can literally print the number of pieces you order. When printing using large offset presses, the makeready and QC/QA process results in the possibility for there to be extra final copies (overs) or fewer final copies (unders). While overs and unders policy can vary, it is industry standard for a printer to be within 10% more or less than the quantity ordered and charge accordingly. It is best to consider this at the start of a project when deciding your order quantity. Additionally, a specific percentage of tolerable overs/unders can be discussed at the start of a project based on your budgeting / quantity needs, keeping in mind that limiting the tolerance of overs increases the chance of unders.
Packing Slip / Packing List – A document that lists the items included in a shipment, including quantity of units, units per carton, weights, dimensions, and sometimes additional details such as SKU and PO numbers. Packing slips can be quite important for tracking inventory.
Page – One side of a leaf/sheet of paper. One sheet has two sides = 2 pages.
Page count – The total number of pages, standardly not including the endsheets (on a hardcover) or the cover/case.
Pagination – The number and sequence/arrangement of pages in a book.
Pallet – A raised platform, commonly made of wood, on which product (freight) is stacked and secured for shipping and/or storage. Also can be referred to as a Skid.
Pallet Jack – A hand-operated lift used to pull pallets from one area to another, such as from the truck interior onto the lift gate. A Pallet Jack is required for shipments to destinations that do not have a loading dock or forklift.
Pantone Booklet – A booklet containing color swatches pertaining to the universal Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors. There are many types of Pantone Booklets, some of which have more or different selection of PMS colors. When purchasing or referencing a PMS booklet, it is important to keep in mind whether the final product you are planning to use the PMS color on will involve printing on a coated vs. uncoated material. PMS colors look different on coated vs. uncoated material, and for this reason there are separate Pantone Booklets for coated vs. uncoated Pantone Colors (designated using C and U after the pantone color code). There are also Pantone Booklets for more niche colors, such as metallic PMS colors.
Pantone Color / Pantone Matching System / PMS Color – A universal color system that is used by designers and printing companies to convey specific colors. By having a system like this, the correct color can be requested and achieved consistently. Pantone colors can have CMYK equivalents, but the exact pantone color would require a 5th color ink be used.
Paper Weight – The thickness of a paper stock. This can be expressed in lbs (#), pt, pica, µm/microns, mm, or Gsm.
Paper-Over-Board – Another term for a hardcover book or other product that is formed by wrapping paper over a board. For example, this is used for PLC slipcases, boxes, and hardcover/casebound books.
Paperbound / Paperback – Another term for Soft Cover.
Parallel Fold – A folding method in which multiple folds are made, all parallel with each other.
Parent Sheets – Large pre-cut sheets of paper that are fed one at a time into a sheet-fed printing press; A sheet that is larger than the cut stock of the same paper.
Payment Terms – The payment terms of a sale/contract define how and when payment must be made. Global PSD’s payment terms on paper products and hardline items standardly are 50% down (deposit) / balance ex-factory (once the product is completed and is about to ship out).
PCQ – Preliminary Customer Quote
pcs – Pieces (abbreviation)
PDF – Portable Document Format. A file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing documents in a manner independent of the original application software, hardware, and operating system used to create the file. PDF is a digital file format that was designed to make it possible for viewers to open and view on many computer platforms (Macintosh, Windows, Linux, etc.) without cross-platform problems.
Peak Season Surcharge – An additional variable fee applied by shipping carriers during peak seasons, often abbreviated “PSS”. These surcharges cover increased operational costs when demand is high because freight forwarders and supply chains are working at full capacity. Overall, shipping rate estimates from initial quotes often must be amended closer to the actual time of shipment based on any rate fluctuations.
Perf Marks – Markings, usually dotted lines, that are meant to show where perforations should occur.
Perfect Binding – A non-sewn binding method wherein sheets/signatures are folded collated, gathered together, stacked on top of each other (as opposed to saddle-stitch binding in which the signatures are folded inside one another), chopped and glued to the cover. The binding edge is ground to create a rough surface and a flexible adhesive is used to hold individual pages in place. This is often used for small paperback books. For hardcover and/or larger books, Smythe sewn binding is recommended for increased durability.
Perforation – A row of small holes or incisions punched through a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line. This is common in products such as postcard books and children’s coloring books.
Pica – A unit of measure used in typesetting and design. A pica is one-sixth of an inch. 1 pica = 12 points, 72 points = 1 inch.
Pigment Stamping – The process of using a metal die, pressure, heat, and pigment to transfer both an impression and color onto a product’s surface. This process is technically a type of Foil Stamping, but a special type of foil substrate (referred to as “pigment”) is used. Pigment has a rich color without the traditional metallic look of glossy and matte foils.
Pixel – Abbreviation for individual “picture elements”, which form the smallest visible and manipulable part of a color image in electronic color imaging systems such as computer monitors.
Pixel Swopping – A CEPS technique to exchange pixels from one area of a picture for pixels in another area.
Plastic Comb – The device used for Comb Binding, a method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the side closest to the spine and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together. This binding allows the publication to lay flat when open; See Comb Binding.
Plate – The flat metal part of a printing press that transfers ink in the correct pattern for printing.
PLC – Paper Laminated Case (or Printed Laminated Case); A hardbound book with printed paper wrapped over board, as opposed to using another casewrap material such as cloth or leather.
PMS / Pantone Matching System – Pantone Inc.’s set of preprinted color designations used to choose and communicate color so that accurate matches can be obtained. Each color bears a description of its formulation (in percentages of CMYK) for use by designers and printers. As color can be subjective, having these standardized PMS colors for reference and matching can be essential. Also known as Color Matching System.
PO – Purchase Order (abbreviation)
Poly Bagging – Placing a product into a clear, sealed plastic bag. This protects the product during transit, handling, and storage. Poly bagging can be an effective alternative to shrinkwrap for a product that is soft or has an unusual shape (such as a plush).
Port – The location where ships load and/or unload, especially one where customs officers are stationed. When shipping via ocean, product would be loaded at a port in the country of origin (ie. China) and then would sail to a port in the destination country for unloading (prior to trucking and delivery).
Portrait – An orientation term for a book or other printed matter with a greater height than width. A portrait book would be bound on the longer edge. Also called “Upright”. The opposite of Landscape.
Post Consumer Waste (PCW) – A paper or board product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and would otherwise have been disposed of as solid waste. Post-consumer materials used in the manufacture of recycled fiber include office paper, cardboard, newspapers and magazines.
Pounds (Paper Weight) – A system of measuring paper thickness, which is often used in the USA but is less common in other countries (in favor of using Gsm instead). The higher the lb / # number, the thicker the paper.
pp – An abbreviation for pages. For example, 100pp = 100 pages
Preflighting – The process of confirming that the digital files required for the printing process are all present, valid, correctly-formatted, and of the required type.
Prepress – The processes prior to presswork, which include: design, file preparation, proofing, color separating, stripping, platemaking, and other functions performed prior to the actual printing.
Press check – Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
Press Proof – Also called a Wet Proof, this type of proof uses an offset printing press (instead of digital printing) and uses the same material stock and often finishes (ie. lam, varnish) that the final product will have. Press proofs can more accurately demonstrate the color that will be achieved during the actual offset print run, and also can be used to test various treatments and effects. For example, a casewrap wet proof is commonly done to test multiple coexisting treatments, such as if the casewrap had lamination + spot UV + deep foil stamping. Wet proofing also is used for 1c artwork, which cannot be accurately captured using the digital printing process (which is unable to print only 1c).
Print-On-Demand (POD) – The printing of books on an as-needed basis. This is ideal for very small print runs, but in order to be cost-effective requires the use of digital printing instead of offset printing.
Print-Ready Files – Final files with proper formatting, resolution, and color profile to be used to generate a printed product. Print-ready files standardly should be high-resolution (300 DPI or higher), CMYK, single-page PDF files with crop marks and 1/8″ bleed on all sides. For example, when exporting files for a book, there should be a PDF file for the cover, a PDF file for page 1, a PDF file for page 2, a PDF file for page 3, etc. The exception to this is any 2-page spreads, which can be submitted together in the same PDF file (still a “1-page PDF”, but that 1 PDF page consists of the 2-page spread).
Printing – The process of reproducing an image or text from an original such as using a plate, die, negative, stencil, or electronic file that transfers content to another substrate such as paper.
Process Color Separation – As part of the offset lithographic process, in order to print full-color images it is necessary to prepare four separate files for each of the process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). When the colors are overprinted, they combine to render a wide range of color.
Process Colors – The four colors used in four-color CMYK offset printing, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These separate colors are combined in four-color process printing to produce a wide range of colors and full-color final product.
Process Printing – Printing done using yellow, magenta, cyan, and black inks (CMYK) that are separated digitally using a software program and then are transferred to printing plates. These four different colors combine to produce a full-color image with a wide range of color. Also known as Color Process Printing or Four-Color Process.
Production Schedule – The predicted timeline for the manufacturing of a project, from prepress (ie. proofs or samples) to shipment.
Proforma Value – The value declared on shipping and Customs documents (which is not necessarily the sale price).
Progressive Proofs – Proofs made from the separate plates for each process color, showing the sequence of printing and the result after each additional process color has been applied. Also known as Progs.
Proofing – The process of outputting a preliminary version of a printed piece from files provided, which is used to check the resolution and color before proceeding with plate-making and printing. A color proof can be printed digitally (on an Epson plotter, either using proofing paper or the actual text paper stock) or offset (on an actual offset press using the actual text paper stock). A color proof printed on an actual offset press is referred to as a “wet proof” or “press proof.” Wet proofing is the most accurate match to the color that the actual press printing will have, but is much more expensive compared to a digitally-printed proof (which is still very accurate just slightly less so).
PSD – 1) Adobe Photoshop’s native format, which stores all of its layer and selection and miscellaneous other image data. 2) Our company’s main departments: Printing, Sourcing, and Development.
pt – Point; a method of measuring cover stock paper thickness.
PU Leather (polyurethane) – A substrate made by coating a backing fabric such as cotton or polyester with a flexible polymer and then treating it to look more like animal hide. This substrate has a “rubber feel,” and can be a more cost-effective and versatile alternative to actual animal-derived leather.
Publisher – A person or organization that coordinates creation, design, production and distribution of newsletters.
PUR Binding – This refers to a type of strong perfect binding that uses Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) adhesive. While this type of binding can be strong and suitable for small editions, it is recommended for all hardcover and/or large books to be Smythe Sewn for greater durability
PVC – Polyvinyl chloride; A type of plastic resin material often used for figurines, game pieces, or other hardline items.
PVC-Vinyl Leather – A type of synthetic Faux Leather that is made from two separate synthetic materials. The fibers of the upholstery are constructed from strong polyester fibers. The fibers are then coated with vinyl, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and plasticizers (phthalic acid). This vinyl is melted onto the surface of the fibers, sealing them closed and making a virtually waterproof surface that is still flexible and tough.
QR Code – A Quick Response Code is a 2D barcode that may be decoded using a smartphone with a camera and Internet connectivity. Snapping a picture of / scanning the QR code will often lead to a website and/or give access to certain content.
Quality Assurance – Quality management that is focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled, including all the planned and systematic activities implemented within a quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will fulfill requirements for quality. Quality assurance relates to how a process is performed or how a product is made, and includes Quality Control (QC) inspection protocols.
Quality Control (QC) – The inspection of random samples throughout all stages of production during a print run to check for consistency and quality. This includes inspection of materials, making sure all instruments are properly calibrated, and inspecting the product itself.
Raster Image Processor / Raster Image Processing (RIP) – The device and process that converts text and graphics information into the dot pattern that will be imaged onto film or paper. This device interprets all of the page layout information for the marking engine of the imagesetter or platesetter, using a raster scan technique to assemble an electronic page pixel by pixel. PostScript or another page description language serves as an interface between the page layout workstation and the RIP.
Rasterization – The process of converting mathematical and digital information into a series of variable-density pixels. See RIP.
Reader’s Spreads – A digital layout with facing pages set up side-by-side on the computer to show the way the reader will view the physical book.
Recycled Paper – A type of paper that is composed of a certain amount of post-consumer paper product waste that has been reconstituted into paper again.
Reference Number – The number assigned to each project in order to easily identify it in correspondences and official documents.
Registration – The process of precisely lining up CMYK colors so that their overlap produces the proper unified colors; The correct positioning of one color over another during the printing process.
Registration Marks – Small markings (ie. cross-hair lines) printed outside the keyline that help assure and confirm proper registration of flats, plates and printing. Monitoring these markings prevents the separation/misalignment of colors, which otherwise could become out of register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.
Reinforced Endsheets – Strengthening and reinforcing the book binding by affixing muslin tape around the fold of the first and last signatures of a book and respective endsheets. This is recommended for books that have a particularly large trim size and/or high page count.
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.
Reprint – An additional print run of a piece, with or without minor corrections.
Resolution – The density of pixels on a display or of dots on a page, usually measured in dots per inch (DPI) or pixels per inch (PPI). The higher the resolution, the smoother the appearance of text and graphics. Resolution is a measure of image sharpness. It is recommended that all print files be high-resolution with 300 DPI or higher.
Reticulation – A textured look created by chemically increasing the viscosity of UV coating to a point where it cannot be spread evenly on the paper, creating a granulated texture. This is a different process compared to textured lamination (in which lamination is given a texture that covers the entire surface of the laminated product), and this technique can achieve texture in specific areas (rather than the entire surface) because the reticulated UV coating can be applied in certain places or patterns.
RFQ – Request for Quotation. A requested price quote for a particular product or service.
RGB – Computer monitors make all their colors using three (light) colors: Red, Green, and Blue. These colors can produce almost all the colors visible to the human eye. It is very important to keep in mind that offset printing uses CMYK (4 colors) rather than RGB. Therefore, a digital file must be designed or exported into the CMYK color space in order to be printed on an offset printing press. This export process generally uses ICC color profiles to preserve the color. Reviewing and approving printed color proofs (as opposed to soft proofs on a digital screen) prior to mass production is particularly important in case there is any change due to the export and conversion process, as well as because images will also always look slightly different on a backlit computer screen compared to printed on paper.
Ribbon Marker – A bookmark made of satin ribbon material that is affixed into a book.
Ribbon Pull – A ribbon is often added to clamshell boxes in order to assist with removing the book from the box. By affixing a ribbon beneath the book with the end of the ribbon laid on top, when that ribbon is pulled it will lift the book up for easy removal.
Rich Black – Using multiple ink colors in addition to K (1c black) to produce a deep, dark black color. There are many types of rich black that involve various percentages of the four CMYK colors.
RIP – Raster Image Processor / Raster Image Processing; The device and process that converts text and graphics information into the dot pattern that will be imaged onto film or paper. This device interprets all of the page layout information for the marking engine of the imagesetter or platesetter, using a raster scan technique to assemble an electronic page pixel by pixel. PostScript or another page description language serves as an interface between the page layout workstation and the RIP.
Round Back – In a Casebound/Hardcover book, when the spine is curved and rounded (as opposed to square and angular).
Running Sheets – This is the term for the sheets printed on the actual offset press during bulk printing. These sheets are folded and gathered (to form an F&G), then often sent for review and approval before binding.
Saddle Stitched – A binding method in which staples hold sheets together through the middle seam where the sheets are folded. Also called pamphlet stitch, saddle wire and stitch bind. This method of binding is commonly used for magazines, floppies, or small single-issue comics.
SC – Softcover (abbreviation)
Scaling – Reducing or enlarging an image or copy to fit a specific area without changing the ratio of the dimensions.
Scented Coating (Scratch ‘n Sniff) – A technology that involves scents microencapsulated in pigments and combined with other elements to create a coating that can be applied to the surface of products (commonly paper products). When rubbed, the microcapsules break and the aroma is released.
Score – A crease made in a board or paper to facilitate folding on the intended line more easily and accurately. For example, standardly softcover books have a hinge-scored cover to facilitate easy opening and prevent the cover from becoming creased in any other areas when being opened.
Screen – To convert a continuous-tone image into a halftone, or converting a solid (100%) into a screen tint.
Screen Density – The amount of ink that a screen tint is allowed to print. Screen density is expressed as percent of ink coverage, and is also called Screen Percentage.
Screen Printing – A method of printing in which a fine mesh and stencil is used to transfer an inked image onto another material. It is commonly used for printing onto clothes and other fabric/textiles.
Scuff Free Matte Lamination – A particular type of matte lamination that has been formulated to resist scratching and scuffing. Compared to regular matte lam, scuff free matte lam (SFML) is much more durable. However, even this substrate may show wear compared to a gloss lamination (which has a shininess that makes it very difficult to see blemishes). Especially if artwork is very dark in color (which can emphasize scuff marks), this should be kept in mind when planning the finishes that will be used on a project.
Scuffing – Markings that occur due to friction, scratching, or wear; Most commonly referenced in the context of a book cover/case or a box/packaging that could potentially accumulate scuff marks depending on the coating applied to its exterior. Occasionally this term can be used in the context of ink rubbing off, but a better term for that would be either set-off or smearing.
Section Sewn – A binding method in which book signatures are sewn/threaded together by a mechanical sewing machine. Compared to perfect binding (which involves only gluing the signatures), sewing produces a significantly more durable binding. Also known as Smythe Sewn.
Self Cover – In the context of softcover books, self cover refers to a cover made from the same paper stock as the inside text pages (rather than a cardstock / cover stock). The extent of a self-cover book counts the 4 cover pages towards the total number of pages, whereas standardly the extent for a softcover book lists # of pages + cover (separately). This is common for magazines, floppies, and other saddle-stitched products.
Self Ends – A hardcover book binding type in which the endspapers (endsheets) use the same paper stock as the text pages (as opposed to using a different/woodfree stock, which is more common). Though it can be done, it is generally not recommended to use glossy or matte paper for the endsheets due to the high probability that those paper stocks will develop a “cracking” line along the gutter at the hinge with use (where a white seam becomes visible), especially if there is dense printing on the ends. This is not an issue with uncoated woodfree paper, as it does not have the same characteristic clay coating as art papers.
Set-off – When ink from a printed sheet rubs off or marks the next adjacent sheet.
Sheet-Fed Printing Press – A printing press that uses large, pre-cut sheets of paper that are fed through the printing press one sheet at a time, rather than a continuous paper roll of paper like used in web presses. This is considered a higher-quality process compared to web press printing.
Shipping Carrier – Also called a Freight Carrier; A Shipping Carrier is the party that transports goods from point A to point B, including via ocean, via air, via rail, and/or via truck. In other words, Shipping Carriers facilitate the transport of completed product from our factory to its final destination.
Show Through – When the printing on one side of a sheet is visible from the other side. This is most common when a thinner paper weight is used that has lower opacity.
Shrinkwrap – A thin, tight-fitting plastic material affixed around a product using heat. Shrinkwrap can protect a product from being dirtied or damaged during handling or storage, which can be especially important for products such as clothbound or limited editions. For soft or oddly-shaped product (such as plush), generally a poly bag will be used in place of shrinkwrap. Shrinkwrap is also used to wrap pallets/skids for protection and stability, and in the same manner is heated until it shrinks tightly around the contents.
Signature – A signature consists of a group of pages that are printed together on one large sheet of paper and folded such that all the pages in that signature are in their proper numbered sequence. After being printed, signatures are ultimately collected in their proper sequence (called ‘gathering’), bound or sewn together, and then trimmed to produce the finished product. Standard signatures sizes are 8 pages, 12 pages, or 16 pages (depending on the book’s trim size vs. sheet size).
Silkscreen – A print made by forcing ink through the pores of a fabric screen stencil that bears a reverse image of the design being printed.
Skid (Pallet) – A platform (generally wooden) that supports stacks of product during shipping and storage.
Slip Sheet – A blank sheet placed between newly-made printed sheets to prevent setoff or scuffing during handling and shipping; also known as interleaving/interleaves.
Slipcase – A close-fitting case designed with an opening on one side/end for an object such as a book to be inserted. Slipcases are often used for special editions and/or to hold multiple books that are to be sold together.
Smythe Sewn – A binding method in which book signatures are sewn/threaded together by a mechanical sewing machine. Compared to perfect binding (which involves only gluing the signatures), sewing produces a significantly more durable binding. Also known as Section Sewn.
Soft Proof – A proof that is viewed on a digital video monitor (ideally a color-calibrated monitor) as opposed to a physical “hard proof” that is printed on paper.
Soft Touch Matte Lam – A specific type of matte lamination that has a velvety, soft feel.
Softcover – A book bound with a paper cover. Also known as Paperbound, Limpbound. See also Flexible Binding, Perfect Binding.
Soy-based Inks – Inks made using soy vegetable oils instead of petroleum as the base. They are considered to be more environmentally friendly, and a standard component of green printing.
Specifications / Specs – Complete and precisely written description of features of a printing job, such as trim size, extent, quantity, materials and paper weights, ink, finishes, and/or binding method.
Spine – The back edge of a bound book connecting the front and back covers.
Spiral Binding – A book binding method in which a continuous metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes punched along the binding side. Also known as Coil Binding.
Split Run – Two or more different binding methods used on the same print run, such as when a softcover version and hardcover version are co-printed.
Split Shipment Fee – The additional cost incurred due to the bulk of your product being shipped to multiple locations instead of the standard single location. We can split shipments up and delivery to whichever locations you would like, but there are additional paperwork and logistical costs associated with such an arrangement.
Spot UV – UV coating that is applied only to certain areas of a product (as opposed to being flooded / applied on the entire area). Spot UV is commonly used to provide visual contrast on a book cover/casewrap, slipcase, or box. For example, spot UV can be applied to a certain area of a matte-laminated book such that those areas “pop” with brighter color and glossiness.
Spot Varnish – Varnish printed on a certain area/spot on the page (as opposed to printing varnish on the entire page area). Spot Varnish is often applied to artwork and photographs throughout the text of a book to create brighter colors (make them “pop”) and/or emphasize certain areas.
Spread – 1) In Printing: Two pages that face each other (side-by-side when a book is open), which can be designed as one visual unit. 2) In Design: Layout of several photos, including but not limited to on facing pages of a book.
Square Back – In a Casebound/Hardcover book, when the spine is flat and angular (as opposed to rounded).
Stamping – The process of using heat and pressure to transfer an impression from a metal die onto product’s surface, often using foil or pigment (see Foil Stamping and Pigment Stamping). Technically the die can also be used alone if no color is necessary (see Blind Debossing).
Stamping Die – A metal block patterned/shaped for stamping a specific design; see Foil Stamping
Stochastic Printing – A printing process that uses randomly scattered small, same-size dots of varying densities, similar to the grain in photographic film, to produce an image that is closer to continuous tone than halftone processes. This is quite different from the typical CMYK AM screening, which has all dots positioned uniformly equidistant from each other in a grid (with variation in dot size, not positioning). The advantage of Stochastic Printing, also called FM Screening, is the more continuous tone it can produce that makes moiré patterns no longer an issue.
Swatch – A small color sample of the actual ink color, material, or fabric type to be used or reproduced on a project.
SWOP (Specifications for WebOffset Publications) – A set of specifications for color separation films and color proofing to insure the consistency of the printed color.
Target Price – The price that a client is aiming to achieve. By letting us know your overall budget and/or target price, our team can make suggestions for ways to achieve that price range (ie. material options, size adjustments, etc.)
Template – A sizing and layout guide used to prepare properly-formatted print-ready files. At the start of each project, we can provide digital templates delineating the proper size and bleed areas for a given project.
Tensile Strength – Ability to withstand pressure; most commonly referenced in the context of export cartons that protect product during shipment.
Terms and Conditions – Specifics of an order that a manufacturer and a customer make part of their contractual agreement.
Text – 1) In Printing, “Text” refers to the inner pages of a book, not including the endsheets or cover/case. 2) In graphic design, “Text” can refer to the body matter of a page or book as distinguished from the heading and art.
Text Paper – The paper stock used for the pages of a book (not including the endsheets in a hardcover book, the cover, or the case). Depending on the book, various different text paper stocks can be used, including a range of weights (Gsm/thickness) and calendered finish types (glossy art, matte art, uncoated woodfree).
Textured Lamination – Lamination can be given a textured feel and appearance, which can transform the look and tactile experience of whatever that lamination is applied to (ie. a book casewrap, box, etc). A common use for texturing is to mimic the feel of leather. While the casewrap is still paper over board with lamination, artwork beneath combined with special texturing on the lamination can cost-effectively achieve a unique feel.
Thumb Index – An index where the dividers are cut into the fore edge rather than stepped, as in a cut-in or tab index.
TIFF/TIF – Tagged Image File Format. A bitmapped graphics file format that handles monochrome, gray scale, 8-bit and 24-bit color. Widely used in book publishing and other print-related industries. TIFF files allow for customization and retain their layers and transparency when saved in Photoshop.
Tint – A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots, or a “diluted” variation of a “full strength” color either by screening or by adding white.
Tip-in – The process of inserting a page or item into a book by gluing it in between pages. Because a Tip-In sheet is glued in by hand rather than being bound into a book, it can be inserted in between any pages (rather than being limited based on the positioning of signatures).
Tip-on – The process of affixing a “plate” (which can be laminated paper, plastic, metal, or another substrate; not to be confused with a printing press’s plate) onto a flat surface with adhesive. For example, a tip-on can be affixed to the outer case of a book, to the side of a slipcase, on a clamshell, or on an interior text page (as with a traditional “book plate”).
Title Page – A page often present in the front matter of a book that states the title, author, and publisher.
Tolerances – The specification of acceptable variations in register, density, dot size, paper thickness, concentration of chemicals, and other printing parameters. This also includes quantity variance (overs and unders tolerance).
Tooth – A quality of paper characterized by a slightly rough finish, which permits it to take ink readily. “Toothiness” is typical of uncoated woodfree papers, and some types of woodfree papers have more tooth than others.
Trapping – (1) The overlapping of one color over a different, adjacent color to help minimize the possibility of a fine white space being visible where the two colors meet, especially when there are slight variations in the registration of the two colors during the printing process; (2) Also refers to the process of printing wet ink over previously-printed ink (that is either wet or dry).
Trim / Trimming – The cutting of the finished product to the correct size after it has been printed. The trim line is cut based on the crop marks to produce the finished size, which also trims away any bleed. For a book, pages are trimmed to remove registration marks and color bars, to give the book smooth edges, and to open folded pages.
Trim Marks – Also called Crop Marks, these are the marks placed on the printed sheet to indicate where the piece / page is to be cut and trimmed to final size.
Trim Size – The final size of a printed product after the last trim is made. The trim size of a book, for example, standardly refers to the dimensions that the pages are trimmed to. It is important to keep in mind when calling out the trim size of a hardcover (casebound) book that the case will usually extend further than the text pages. For example, if a HC book has a text trim size of 10″ x 10″, the actual case size will be approximately 10.25″ x 10.25″.
Turnaround Time – The amount of time needed to complete a job.
Typesetting – Composing type into words and lines in accordance with the manuscript and typographic specifications.
Uncoated Paper – Paper that has not been coated with clay, and therefore feels and looks “natural” without a matte or glossy finish. Also called offset paper or woodfree paper, and NOT to be confused with matte art paper (which is not as shiny as glossy art paper but does have a coating). This paper is more porous than coated art papers and therefore absorbs ink more readily (which can cause colors to look more “washed out” or “dried back”). The pulping this paper undergoes renders it quite strong, and it is commonly used for endsheets of hardcover books and inner liners in boxes and slipcases.
Unders / Underrun – Production of fewer copies that the quantity ordered, often due to planned wastage and the QA/QC process. Industry standard underage tolerance is 10%.
Unit – One piece of product
Unit Cost – The cost of one piece of product.
UV Coating – A liquid coating applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured/dried using ultraviolet light. UV coating can be either glossy or matte, and often is used in certain areas to provide contrast (Spot UV, which is applied to specific areas for effect rather than coating the entire surface area).
UV Reactive Glow Ink – A special type of ink that is reactive to certain wavelengths of light and fluoresces (glows) when exposed to those wavelengths of light. Unlike glow-in-the-dark inks that “charge” (store energy) when exposed to light and then glow for some time after, these UV inks only glow when there is a source of the specific wavelength of light being shined on them. This can be used to leave “hidden messages” that appear only when a UV flashlight is shined on them, and/or can achieve similar effects by having certain areas only glow when exposed to the specific UV light.
Varnish – A clear liquid ink finish, gloss or matte, that can be thinly applied to a printed sheet for protection and/or appearance. Varnish is not as strong or as durable as lamination, and unlike lamination does not protect against moisture, but still affords some scuff resistance and visual “finished” look. Varnish also is similar to UV (both are liquid finishes that can add to a product’s durability and aesthetic), varnish is not as “heavy” as UV and is a cheaper alternative as it is “printed on” as another ink color rather than applied using a separate process like UV.
Vellum – A type of uncoated paper that is toothy, slightly rough, and depending on the thickness has a degree of translucency.
Virgin Paper – Paper made exclusively of new pulp from trees or cotton. No recycled materials are included.
VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health and environmental effects.
W&M – Weights and Measurements; the packing specifications and dimensions for a product.
Warm Color – A color with a reddish tone rather than a blue tone (cold). Browns, oranges, reds, and yellows are generally considered to be “warm” colors.
Washed Out – Characteristic of an image in which the ink color appears faded. This can occur due to improper file preparation, insufficient ink saturation, or ink drying back (such as with offset paper).
Washup – The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from all of the printing elements (rollers, plate, ink fountain, etc.) of a press.
Wastage – A term for planned spoilage, such as the paper used during normal makeready, paper trimmed from a sheet during finishing and binding, etc. Extra paper and materials (often 10-15%) are procured at the start of each project in anticipation of make-ready and wastage. Wastage, along with QC, is part of why overs and/or unders are an inevitable part of a print run.
Web Printing – Web printing refers to work produced on large presses that use rolls (webs) of paper, as opposed to paper that’s cut into sheets. Web printing is suitable for very large quantities and/or very long runs, but generally does not produce as premium a product.
Wet Proof – Also called a Press Proof, this type of proof uses an offset printing press (instead of digital printing) and uses the same material stock and often finishes (ie. lam, varnish) that the final product will have. Press proofs can more accurately demonstrate the color that will be achieved during the actual offset print run, and also can be used to test various treatments and effects. For example, a casewrap wet proof is commonly done to test multiple coexisting treatments, such as if the casewrap had lamination + spot UV + deep foil stamping. Wet proofing also is used for 1c artwork, which cannot be accurately captured using the digital printing process (which is unable to print only 1c).
Wire Transfer – A secure method of electronic funds transfer from one person or entity to another. No physical money moves between locations. The term “wire transfer” comes from an era when banks relied on telegraph wires for this type of money transfer. In modern day, the sending bank transmits a message via a secure system (such as SWIFT) to the receiving bank requesting that it affect payment according to the instructions given (based on a recipient bank account number and monetary amount indicated).
Wire-o Binding – A series of wire or plastic loops that are run through punched slots along the binding side of a booklet. Unlike spiral binding, the wire/plastic in Wire-O binding has individual loops through each punched slot that are not connected as a continuous spiral.
With the Grain – Folding or feeding paper into a press with the grain of the paper parallel to the blade of the folder or the axis of the impression cylinder.
Woodfree Paper – Paper that has not been coated with clay, and therefore feels and looks “natural” without a matte or glossy finish. Also called offset paper or uncoated paper, and NOT to be confused with matte art paper (which is not as shiny as glossy art paper but does have a coating). This paper is more porous than coated art papers and therefore absorbs ink more readily (which can cause colors to look more “washed out” or “dried back”). The pulping this paper undergoes renders it quite strong, and it is commonly used for endsheets of hardcover books and inner liners in boxes and slipcases.
Work and Turn – An imposition / layout in which a printing plate containing both the front and back of a sheet are mounted on the press at the same time and print on a double-size sheet of paper. Both the front and back images/content are printed onto one side of the sheet, the sheet is turned/flipped over, and then the front and back images/content are printed again on the second side of the sheet. This produces two 2-sided copies of the printed piece (after trimming).
Workback Schedule – A production schedule that is structured “backwards” based on having completed product ready by a certain date (rather than a regular schedule that is structured “forward” from the date that files will be ready).
x – Can be used to designate the flipping of a sheet from one side to the other when indicating specifications. For example, the printing specifications “4c x 1c” indicates that one side of the sheet is printing 4-color and the other side of the sheet is printing 1-color.
Yellow – One of the four process colors of ink (used in CMYK four-color process printing; the “Y” in “CMYK”).
Zipped File – A file that has been compressed into a smaller archive, and thus takes up less hard drive space and takes less time to transfer across a network or the internet. This is particularly relevant when submitting any raw files, including fonts and links which should always be sent zipped in order to avoid corruption errors.