Useful words and phrases for the print world


AAqueous CoatingWater-based coating that is applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the print.
BBasis WeightThe weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to basic size. Also called ream weight and substance weight (sub weight).
BleedPrinted content that goes beyond the edge of the final trim size to be removed after printing. Allows for movement of the paper during printing and finishing, as well as design inconsistencies. Any artwork that goes to the edge of the page should extend into the bleed area to ensure that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed piece.
Blow InA card inserted between inside pages.
BindJoin together pages or signatures with wire, glue or other means.
CC1S & C2SAbbreviations for “Coated One Side” and “Coated Two Sides.”
CaliperThickness of paper or other substrate typically measured in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), or thousandths of a millimeter (microns).
CMYKAbbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K), the four standard process colors.
Coated PaperPaper with a coating of clay and other substances. Coated paper finishes include gloss, dull and matte. Uncoated paper is also called offset paper.
CollateTo organize printed matter in a specific order.
Color GamutThe entire range of colors possible to reproduce using a specific device or system, such as a computer screen or printing press.
CoverThicker paper that protects a publication.
CoverageExtent to which ink covers a printed surface.
CreepWhen middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages.
Crop MarksLines near the edges of an image indicating where the final cuts will be. Also called cut marks.
DDPIAbbreviation for “Dots Per Inch,” a measure of resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.
Dull FinishFlat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte.
FFinished SizeSize of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.
Flat SizeSize of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.
FloodTo cover a sheet completely with an ink or varnish.
Four-Color Process PrintingMethod of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full-color images. Also called color process printing, full color printing and process printing.
GGSMUnit of measurement for paper weight (Grams per Square Meter).
GutterThe inside margins at the back/binding edge of the book or magazine.
IImpositionArrangement of pages (typically multiple per press sheet) so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.
InsertAn additional item (other than internal pages) positioned in a publication.
LLive AreaArea within which text and images remains safe, taking into account mechanical tolerances in print. Also called Safe Area.
MMatte FinishFlat (not glossy) finish on coated printing paper.
MoireUndesirable pattern resulting when halftones and screen tins are made with improperly aligned screens, or when a pattern in a photo, such as a plaid, interfaces with a halftone dot pattern.
OOffset PaperPaper not treated with a coating, also called uncoated paper.
Offset PrintingPrinting technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket and then to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
PPaginationThe order and numbering of pages.
Perfect BindTo bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue.
PrepressFile processing and verification, color separations, platemaking and other functions performed prior to printing.
Press CheckEvent at which make-ready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.
ProofTest print or digital file made to confirm layout, content, and color, and convey intended finished results on press.
RResolutionSharpness of an image on paper or computer screen. See also DPI.
RGBAbbreviation for Red, Green, Blue, the color space of computer monitors.
SSaddle StitchTo bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine.
Self CoverNot having a cover stock separate from the interior page stock.
Sheetfed PressPress that prints separate sheets of paper, in contrast with a web press.
SpineBack or binding edge of a publication.
Spot Color (or Varnish)Color applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood color.
SpreadTwo pages that face each other in a publication.
TTip OnAn additional page or wrap attached to the cover or inside page of the publication, often with removable glue.
UUV CoatingLiquid applied to a printed sheet, which is bonded and cured with ultraviolet light to form a protective coating.
VVarnishLiquid applied to a printed sheet for protection and appearance.
WWeb PressPress that prints from rolls of paper, typically cutting it into sheets after printing, in contrast with a sheetfed press.