What printing terminology should I be aware of?

  • Aqueous Coating - Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath. Ideal for brochures and corporate collateral.
  • Basis Weight - The weight of paper, in pounds of a ream (500 sheets to a ream of paper).
  • Bleed - Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming. Allow for 1/8" for all four sides to ensure the piece trim correctly.
  • C1S and C2S - abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.
  • CMYK - Abbreviation for cyan (blue), magenta (pink), yellow and key (black), the four process colors. Layering these colors can produce most colors, but not all.
  • Crop Marks - Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Used to indicate the bleed and/or final trim size.
  • Digital Press - A press used to reproduce documents directly from a digital file created.
  • Drill - To drill a hole in a printed matter, for example, three-hole punch.
  • Dull Finish - Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.
  • EPS - Encapsulated Post Script, a known file format usually used to transfer post script information from one program to another.
  • Finish - Surface characteristics of paper or a general term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post press operations.
  • Folder - A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials.
  • FTP Site and how to use it - An FTP site is a website that large art files can be posted to. Publishers Printing Company will provide the link to you to post your files.
  • Gate Fold - A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter, and can overlap layers.
  • HIGH RES PDF file - Artwork to be saved as a High Resolution PDF file that includes embedded fonts and images with crop marks. Single pages only - no spreads.
  • House Sheet - Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a variety of printing jobs. At Publishers Printing Company, 70# gloss is house sheet.
  • Jogger - A vibration machine with a slopping platform to even-up stacks of printed materials.
  • Kerning - Amount of space between type characters.
  • Laminate - A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing color, providing a glossy effect.
  • 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.
  • Leading - Amount of space between lines of type.
  • Linen Finish - Embossed finish on text paper that simulated the pattern of linen cloth.
  • Matte Finish - Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
  • Over Run - Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies per job.
  • Pantone Colors - Also called PMS to match colors.
  • Perfect Bind - To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also called adhesive bind.
  • Print Ready file - A page layout document must include high resolution images, all fonts must be supplied to produce, files must be set at final trim size. For Color - single color jobs must be converted to black and white. Two color jobs - Pantone colors must be referred to within file. Four color jobs must be converted to CMYK.
  • Recycled Paper - New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.
  • Resolution - Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, or other medium.
  • RGB - Abbreviation for red, green, blue, the additive color primaries.
  • Saddle Stitch - To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch.
  • Satin Finish - Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.
  • SCA - Supercalendered "A" Grade paper.
  • Self Mailer - A printed item independent of an envelop. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently.
  • Sheetfed Press - Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.
  • Side Stitch - To bind by stapling through sheets along, one edge, as compared to saddle stitch.
  • Spiral Bind - To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind.
  • UV Coating - Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.
  • Variable Data - Data on the printed piece can be customized to your marketing efforts to include text, text files, images, text style, layer visibility and tables.
  • Varnish - Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.
  • Web Press - Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Web presses come in many sizes.