Print Glossary

Accordion Fold
Two or more parallel folds that open like an accordion.

Art
Illustrations, graphics or copy used to prepare a job for printing.

Aqueous Coating 
Water-based coating applied to printing to enhance the colors and protect against scratches and scuffs.

Backing Up
Printing on the blank side of a previously printed sheet.

Bindery
Area within a print shop where hand operations (collating, kitting, binding, etc.) occur for printing projects.

Blanket
Used in offset printing, a rubber surface wrapped around a cylinder which receives an image from a plate and transfers that image onto paper.

Bleed
Printing that extends beyond the dieline so print will be at the edge of a trimmed sheet.

C1S and C2S
Refers to coatings on paper stock. Coated-One-Side and Coated-Two-Sides.

CAD
Computer Aided Design used for the engineering of paperboard cartons/structures.

Caliper
Thickness of paper, usually expressed in thousandths of an inch. In paperboard, it is represented as “points”.

Clamshell Insert
Thin insert that is sandwiched between a clear plastic clamshell structure. Click here for more info.

CMYK
The four color print process (4CP) Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

Collate
Organizing printed materials in a specific order.

Color Curves
Users can change and/or correct color on a computer by adjusting various settings. Changes will then occur on printed piece.

Color Gamut 
The complete subset of colors that can be reproduced using a device (computer) or system (4CP).

Color Management
A system involving pre-press, proofing and on-press procedures that are calibrated and tested to ensure color accuracy and consistency throughout current and future press runs.

Color Sequence
The order that inks are layered during the printing process.

Contract 1-Up
Proof used to show final color and graphics.

Contract Impo
Proof used to show the graphics and “hollow” look of the finished printed piece.

Deboss
Use of a die to press an image below the surface of paper for visual and handling effect.

Die
Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.

Die Cut
Process of using cutting die to trim paperboard stock into specific cartons/structures.

Digital Printing
Using a “plateless” printing system where images are produced from digital data in prepress.

Dot Gain
Halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on plates.

Draw Down
Ink chemists hand apply small batches of ink to specific stocks with final coating, giving customers an accurate preview of production color.

Dull Finish
Finish appears flat on coated papers.

Emboss
Use of  a die to press an image above paper level for visual and handling effect.

Expanded Gamut Printing
Using colors (O+G+V) in addition to the standard Four Color Process (CMYK) to create more vibrant images. Click here for more info.

Face Blister
Most common type of blister used. A molded plastic form is adhered to the paperboard card with a product inside. Click here for more info.

Foil Stamp
Process in which heat is used to apply foil to paper.

Fold Over Blister
More secure than face blisters. Better print quality available on back of the card. Click here for more info.

Gloss UV
High sheen finish that offers great durability.

Gloss Varnish
High sheen varnish finish

IFU
Instructions For Use – folded instructions often found inside paperboard packaging for product use. Click here for more info.

Imposition
Arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.

Impression 
One press sheet making a single pass through a printing unit.

Insert
Printed piece that is inserted to another printed piece (see IFU).

Laminate
Thin plastic sheet applied over print to add extra protection against use. Mainly seen on labels.

Layout
Two dimensional drawing of a proposed printed piece.

Lithography
Using plates containing areas that attract and repel inks.

Loupe
Small lens that is used to inspect copy, plates, proofs and printing.

Make-Ready
The necessary steps and process in order to get a press operational for a specific printing run.

Matte Finish
Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Offset Printing
Transferring ink from a plate to blanket to paper – instead of printing from plate directly to paper.

Out-Sert
Practice of placing a printed IFU (Instructions For Use) on the outside of a structure on a folding and gluing line. Click here for more info.

Pack-In
Practice of placing a printed IFU (Instructions For Use) into a structure on a folding and gluing line. Click here for more info.

Perfect Bound
High end binding that offers a clean look. This type of binding is often found on novels. Click here for more info.

Perforating
Taking place on a press or a binder machine, creating a line of small dotted holes for the purpose of tearing off a part of a printed matter (usually straight lines, vertical or horizontal).

Plate
Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.

Plastic Coil
Commonly used to bind booklets with more than 30 pages. Click here for more info.

PMS
Obsolete reference to Pantone Matching System. The correct trade name of the colors in the Pantone Matching System is Pantone Colors, not PMS Colors.

Position 1-Up
Two dimensional proof of what the structure will look like laid flat.

Position Impo
Proof to show layout of final press form. Primarily used by the press and machine operators to see where final cuts/scores are within graphics.

Prepress
All necessary steps performed before a job can go to press. Some of these steps include imaging, color separations, platemaking and other prepress functions.

Prepress Proof
A digital proof that is used as a standard for color and copy. Proofs are used on press to match colors.

Press Check
Color and print is examined on press with make-ready sheets before a final production is started.

Press Proof
Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job.

Printing
Any process that transfers to paper or another substrate an image from an original such as electronic memory, stencil, die or plate.

Printing Plate
Any surface that carries an image to be transferred to a substrate.

Production Run
Press run used to manufacture final products as specified by customer.

Proof
Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.

Prototype / Mock-Up 
A functional three dimensional structure that details what a production run would produce, without ensuing the costs of a production run. Click here for more info.

Quality
Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.

RTE
Reverse Tuck End.

Saddle Stitch
Binding sheets together by stapling along the spine. Click here for more info.

Satin Finish
A differing term for dull finish on printed piece.

Score
Compressing a piece of paper to create a straight line for ease and accuracy of folding.

Sheet-Fed Press
Press that prints on individual sheets.

Soy-Based Inks
Inks that substituted vegetable oils in ink instead of petroleum.

Specifications
Description of job attributes that are needed to complete a job (i.e. Stock, Colors, Caliper, Carton Style, etc.).

Spectrophotometer
Instrument used to measure the index of refraction of color.

Spiral Binding
Binding a book with spiral formed wire that is applied through holes in the binding side.

Spot Color or Varnish
One ink or coating that is applied to a specific area on the printed piece.

STE
Straight Tuck End.

Stock
Any paper on which printing can be done.

Substrate
Any material (paper or others) on which printing can be done.

Tolerances
The acceptable variance in registry, dot size, density and other printing parameters.

Tray (2/4/6 Corner)
We can produce 2/4/6 corner trays with a wide variety of applications from dispensers to retail packaging. A custom design makes this packaging always fit your products.

TTAB
Tuck Top Auto-Bottom.

TTFAB
Tuck Top Full Auto-Bottom.

TTSE
Tuck Top Seal End.

TTSLB
Tuck Top Snap-Lock Bottom.

Two Piece Blister
Essentially the same as a fold-over blister, just two separate pieces. Click here for more info.

Uncoated Paper
Paper that has no coating to smooth out the surface.

Up
Term used to describe the number of copies of a single image or structure that can fit on a single sheet.

UV Coating
Liquid substance which is applied to a sheet and dried with an ultraviolet light.

Varnish
Liquid coating that is applied and dried to protect the printed ink from scuffs and abrasions.

Vignette
Design term used to describe a color fading to white.

Wafer Seal
A tamper evident design of a folded IFU sealed with a sticker. Click here for more info.

Wash Up
Cleaning of all necessary components on a printing press to set up next run.

Web
Continuous roll of paper used for printing, as compared to a sheet.

Web Press
Press that prints on a continuous roll of paper.

Window
A die-cut hole in a package used to show the product inside. Sometimes it is covered with a clear plastic.

Wire-O Binding
Doubled wire loops used to bind books. Click here for more info.