Printing Glossary

PRINTING GLOSSARY

'A' sizes
‘A’ sizes are how we prefer to standard sizes of paper within the printing world, all of the ‘A’ sizes can be achieved out of the dimensions of a large A0 sheet e.g. A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6…you get the idea. Letterheads are commonly produced on A4 sized paper. Both ‘B’ sizes (for print out of a ‘B’ sized sheet) and ‘C’ sizes (typically for envelope sizing) also exist.
    A/W
    An abbreviation commonly used for artwork, we require print-ready artwork in order to print your marketing collateral.
    Acetate
    A thin flexible sheet of transparent plastic used to make overlays.
    Against the grain
    The grain of a paper is the direction that the fibres within the paper are going. This can influence the final result of printed products that are bound, folded or scored. It is likely that if the paper (particularly on heavier paper weights) is folded against the grain, then it may suffer from structural damage. The same can occur when a job stitched, though creasing can help here.
    Backing up
    When the reverse of a printed sheet is imposed so that the front and reverse of the final product correctly line up…it’s especially important for a folded leaflet or if you want the reverse of a flyer to be flipped upside down.
    Binding
    A grid of printed dots or pixels generated by computer to represent type and images.
    Bitmap
    When the reverse of a printed sheet is imposed so that the front and reverse of the final product correctly line up…it’s especially important for a folded leaflet or if you want the reverse of a flyer to be flipped upside down.
    Blanket
    The thick rubber sheet that we use on our presses in order to transfer ink from plate to paper on the press. Its performance is key when producing high-quality lithographic print.
    Bleed
    When the printed image extends beyond the trim edge of a page. We require a minimum of 3mm on all trimmed edges. The bleed guarantees that there will be no white edges when your print is trimmed to size – your artwork will run all the way to the edge of the page.
    Blend
    When one colour smoothly transitions into another, it’s also known as a graduated tint.
    Blind embossing
    When an impression of an un-inked image is made onto the back of a sheet, which as a result produces a raised 'embossed' image on the front of the sheet.
    Bond paper
    A quality grade of paper suited for letterheads, business forms and other office stationery. It’s also commonly referred to as an uncoated or offset paper.
    Carbonless paper (NCR)
    Paper coated with chemicals that enable the transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer NCR prining or NCP pads at this current time.
    Case bound
    A hardback book made with stiff outer covers. Cases are usually covered with cloth, vinyl or leather. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer case bound books at this current time.
    Cast coated
    An outline that is embedded into an artwork file that tells an application which areas of a picture should be considered transparent.
    Clipping path
    The grain of a paper is the direction that the fibres within the paper are going. This can influence the final result of printed products that are bound, folded or scored. It is likely that if the paper (particularly on heavier paper weights) is folded against the grain, then it may suffer from structural damage. The same can occur when a job stitched, though creasing can help here.
    CMYK
    Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black)…the 4 process colours. When combined together in varying proportions, the full-colour spectrum can be made.
    Collating
    Gathering sheets of paper together and placing them in the correct order.
    Colour separation
    The process by which a colour separated into the four process colours (CMYK), this is how you print-ready artwork file should be set up as this is what we require for printing.
    Concertina fold
    Also known as a ‘Z’ Fold. The sheet is folded twice in parallel folds to create 6 printed pages that open in a ‘Z’ shape. A single Z fold is a popular folding style for tri-fold leaflets and is perfect for DL sized direct mail.
    Crease
    To press a rule into heavy paper or board, commonly used to prevent cracking when folding.
    Cross Fold
    This is a simple half fold that is then folded in half again. The horizontal fold comes first and then we fold it vertically, creating two creases across the page, hence ‘Cross Fold’.
    CTP
    Abbreviation of computer-to-plate; the process of printing directly from a computer onto the plates used on a press.
    Cyan
    One of the four process colours.
    Deboss
    When an image is pressed into paper so that the ‘debossed’ image lies below the surface.
    Die-cutting
    Process of using sharp metal rules on a wooden block to cut out a specific shape, most commonly used when producing unusually shaped flyers or folders.
    DPI
    Dots per inch. A measure of the quality of an image and its resolution. The more dots per inch, the higher the quality will be, print-ready files need high-resolution images with 300dpi and above.
    Drilling
    Drilling of holes in a product which will allow insertion over rings or posts of a ring binder.
    Dummy
    A mock-up made to resemble the final printed product which uses the proposed grade, weight, finish and colour of paper. Unfortunately, we do not offer mock-ups of dummies (made up or otherwise) at this current time.
    Duotone
    A method of enhancing a mono image using two colours.
    Embed
    Implies the inclusion of elements and data into an artwork file to maintain or change the elements when used remotely. It is usually used in relation to embedded fonts.
    Embedded Fonts
    Embedded fonts are simply fonts converted to outlines; this allows anyone who opens your file to see the artwork as you intended. If you don’t embed the fonts used, we’ll be unable to produce your print... Don’t panic if this sounds complicated, it’s not – just give us a call on 0300 3033 860 and we can help you get it right.
    Embossing
    When an image is essentially stamped into the surface of the paper, using engraved metal embossing dies, extreme pressure and heat. Embossing styles include blind, debossing and foil-embossing.
    Format
    The size, shape and overall style of layout or printed project.
    French Fold
    Two folds at right angles to each other.
    Gate Fold
    Gate fold leaflets make great corporate brochures. Two folds create side panels which open up like doors (or gates) to showcase content in the centre panel.
    Gloss
    Gloss paper is coated to give it a high shine that makes pictures and photographs sing. Shinier than silk, it isn’t as well suited to large areas of text as the sheen can make it a little harder to read, but it is fabulous for posters and image-heavy artwork.
    Greyscale
    Shades of grey ranging from black to white.
    Grippers
    The metal fingers that hold paper and carry it through the printing press.
    GSM
    Paper weight is measured in ‘Grams per Square Meter’ or gsm. The higher the gsm, the heavier the paper. As you increase the gsm, you increase the thickness of the paper, which makes it feel more substantial and stiffer in your hand. The lower the gsm, the greater the chance that the print will show through on the other side of the sheet.
    Gusset
    The expandable portion of a pocketed folder or envelope.
    Gutter
    The margins on the two facing pages of e.g. a magazine that are closest to the spine, they are usually blank.
    Half Fold
    A single vertical fold down the middle creates 4 printed pages. Ideal for menus, orders of service and direct mail pieces.
    Hue
    A distinguishable attribution of colour from another/ others.
    Image area
    The area on a sheet of paper where the ink will be printed.
    Imposition
    Carefully positioning pages of artwork, in the correct press-ready form so that they will be in the correct sequence once printed and folded.
    Jog
    Shaking a stack of paper so that the edges line up. Also referred to as knocking-up.
    Justified
    When text which is flush to both the left and right margins.
    Kerning
    Adjusting the letter spacing between certain letter pairs e.g. A and V to obtain a more visually pleasing result.
    Kiss-cut
    To die-cut shape into a sheet but not go all the way through the paper, this is how sticker sheets are produced.
    Knockout
    Creating a shape by eliminating (knocking out) all background colours.
    Kraft paper
    A tough brown paper used for packing.
    Laminate/ Lamination
    Laminate is a thin plastic coating that can be applied to your finished print, provided you’ve selected either silk or gloss paper. Its protective qualities, mean that your printed products will stay looking fabulous for longer. It’s harder to tear, stops the ink from rubbing or transferring onto other surfaces, and it helps to prevent folds from cracking, which would reveal the white paper fibres under the ink. We recommend adding lamination to the covers of booklets and brochures, presentation folders, menus and folded leaflets.
    Lithographic printing
    The printing process we use for large print runs, it is based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. The areas to be printed receive and transfer ink to the paper, the non-printing areas are treated with water to repel the ink.
    Magenta
    A violet-red or purplish-red colour, magenta is part of the four process colours.
    Make-ready
    The work required to get an item of printing equipment ready before running a print job.
    Matt
    A muted, non-glossy finish.
    Metal plate
    A sheet of metal sheet that is specially coated 'emulsion', so that when exposed through a film mask or by CTP process it will produce an image. This plate is then loaded onto a printing press, for the image to be reproduced using inks onto the paper.
    Micrometer
    The instrument we printers use for measuring the thickness (GSM) of paper.
    Moiré pattern
    This undesirable grid-like pattern can occur when printing or scanning from pre-printed material. It’s caused by the misalignment of dots.
    NCR
    NCR is an abbreviation of ‘no carbon required’. NCR pads are ideal for handwritten forms that require duplicate copies. Unfortunately, we cannot produce these at Real Print.
    Offset printing
    A method in which the plate or cylinder transfers an ink image to an offset or transfer roller, which then transfers the image to stock.
    Origination
    A term used to describe all of the processes which prepare a job for the printing stage.
    Over-run
    When extra copies of a print order are produced.
    Page count
    The total number of pages e.g. in a printed booklet. It includes blank pages.
    Pagination
    Pagination describes the arrangement and number of pages for a booklet e.g. 4 Pages Cover + 24 Pages Text.
    Pantone® colours
    Branded, premixed inks. These are also commonly referred to as spot colours. Many corporate colours are made out of spot colours.
    Perfect binding
    A bookbinding method that glues the cover of a book to its collated inner pages.
    Perfecting
    When a press prints on both sides of a sheet of paper in one single pass (through the press).
    Point size
    The measurement for the size of font or type.
    Portrait
    Describes the orientation of a page for normal viewing, where the longer edge runs from top to bottom.
    Print-ready artwork
    Print ready artwork simply means that your print file meets the following criteria:

    • All graphics must be at least 300dpi (dots per inch)
    • It should be in CMYK colour format
    • There should be a 3mm bleed on each trimmed edge
    • All fonts are embedded
    • Trim marks are included (to show where you would like your print trimmed down to)
    Process blue / process red / process yellow / process black
    Also known as the CMYK colours…Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black).
    Progressives
    When each process colour is superimposed on the preceding colour to create the final image.
    Registration marks
    Marks placed on to artwork to ensure perfect alignment ('registration').
    Resolution
    A measure of the quality of an image. The higher the resolution the better, print-ready files need to be high-resolution with images being 300dpi and above.
    Reversed-out
    E.g. when type appears white on a black background.
    RGB
    Red, green and blue. Computer monitors display colour output in RGB, colour separations for lithographic printing can’t be made directly from RGB files and need to be converted to CMYK first. This is why colours look different on screen compared to the colour on tangible printed products.
    Roll Fold
    Vertical parallel folds create panels that are folded inwards towards the centre. This is a popular folding style for tri-fold leaflets (where two folds divide the sheet into 3 equal panels to create 6 printed pages). Roll folded leaflets make great mini-brochures and newsletters.
    Saddle stitch binding/ saddle stitching
    Also known as staple binding. A binding process where a booklet is stapled through the middle of the fold, using metal wires.
    Score
    Pressing a mark/ rule into a sheet of paper to make folding cleaner and easier.
    Self-cover
    When the paper used for the inner pages of a booklet is the same as the paper used for the outside pages.
    Silk
    By far the most popular, silk is a great all-round, multipurpose paper type. Coated to give it a smooth, satin finish, images and text appear bright, clear and defined, which makes it the ideal choice for brochures and magazines.
    Solid
    An area on the page which is completely covered by the ink.
    Spot colour
    A colour not produced from the 4 process colours. The colour is instead printed using a specifically chosen and coloured ink. Each spot colour therefore requires its own separate printing plate. Spot colours do not apply to digital printing as the printing devices can only reproduce from the four process colours; cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black).
    Spread
    When two or more adjoining pages appear in view on one sheet.
    Stock
    The material we print on, it can come in many forms…Silk, Gloss, Uncoated etc.
    Tint
    A flood of colour, or an area of tone made by a pattern of dots.
    Turnaround time
    The amount of time needed to complete a printed product, different processes increase the turnaround time.
    Uncoated
    The most tactile option, uncoated paper has a rougher texture which is often associated with high quality, especially on thicker paper weights. It’s particularly popular for business collateral and postcards because it’s easy to write on. However, the absence of a coating means that the ink sinks into the paper, making pictures and images appear more muted than they would on silk or gloss.
    UV varnish
    A form of liquid laminate that is bonded then cured with UV light. If you have selected spot UV varnish, along with your original artwork you will need to upload an additional file to show exactly where on each page the UV varnish is to be applied.
    Varnishing/sealing
    Protecting an area of print using a varnish/ sealant.
    Wiro binding
    A bookbinding method that collates leaves of paper using a coiled wire, so that the finished book will lay flat once opened.
    Work and tumble
    Printing on one side of a sheet of paper, then turning it over using grippers to print the second side.
    Work and turn
    Printing on one side of a sheet of paper, then turning the sheet over from left to right and printing the second side using the same gripper edge.
    Z Fold
    As the name suggests, the sheet is folded twice in parallel folds to create 6 printed pages that open in a ‘Z’ shape. A single Z fold is a popular folding style for tri-fold leaflets and is perfect for DL sized direct mail.

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