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Printing Glossary

Artwork: Illustrations or photographs used in a printing job

Backing up: printing the second side of a printed sheet

Bleed: Ink area that runs to the edge of the sheet

Blue-line: Photographic proof made from stripped-up negatives, used to show layout and imposition

Cover stock: A stiff rigid paper used for postcards, manual covers or table tents, also known as card stock

CMYK: Four-color process printing using cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks to create all colors

Coated papers: Paper clay coating within a matte (dull) or glossy finish

Collate: The gathering of sections of signature in the correct order for binding

Color separation: The process of separating the colors of a full color photo into the color components of CMYK

GBC: A plastic comb binding used to bind books together by first punching rectangular holes along the left edge the book fastening the plastic comb binding through holes

Halftone: A photograph or drawing converted into a series of dots of various sizes

Hickeys: Spots on a printed sheet due to dust particles on the printing plate

Imposition: The positioning of pages on a printed two-sided sheet, so when the sheet is folded and trimmed the pages are in the correct order

Layout: A sketch of a proposed printed piece showing the position of text and illustration

Matte: Coated paper with a dull rather than glossy finish

Mock-up: Rough drawing or sketch of a proposed printed piece

Moiré: Undesirable screen pattern caused by incorrect screen angles

Offset lithography: The image to be printed is burned onto a printing plate, transferred to a rubber-covered blanket, and then offset onto paper

Overprinting: Printing over an area that has already been printed

Overs: Copies printed over the amount specified, needed for make-readies and to compensate for spoilage

Pagination: The numbering of pages

Parallel fold: Folds that are parallel to each other; a letter is parallel folded for mailing

Perfect binding: A wrap around cover is glued to several folded signatures then trimmed; the city telephone book is an example of perfect binding

Perforating: Punching slits in a sheet of paper to ease in tearing along a specific line

Pica: Printing industry unite of measurement 1 pica=1/6 inch or 12 points

Plates: A thin metal sheet pre-coated with a light sensitive coating; the image to be printed is burned onto the plate

PMS: Pantone Matching System for inks

Point: For type, one point equals 1/72" or 1/12 pica; for paper-one point equals .001 inches

Proof: Copy of composed type and illustrations for checking accuracy of layout, type, matter, color breaks and color reproduction

Registration: Positioning of color dots to form an image correctly without any white space between colors

Reverse out: Solid background with a white image

Saddle stitching: Binding with wire staples, where folded pages are stitched though the fold

Scan: Converting an analog to a digitized format to be used on a computer

Score: Indention made in a sheet, usually heavy stock to aid in folding

Serif: The short cross-lines at the ends of the main strokes of letters in typefaces

Signature: Printed sheet of pages in multiples of four that is folded down and trimmed to form a section in a book

Spot color: Small area printed in a second color

Stock: Paper used for printing

Stripping: Positioning of negatives on a flat from which a plate is made

Swatch: A color sample

Text stock: Paper that is lighter than cover stock but heavier than writing grade; used for brochures

Trapping: When two colors adjoin, they may overlap to avoid any white space between the colors and to be in perfect registration

Uncoated: Paper without clay coating

Vignette: Illustration in which the background fades gradually away its edge

Wire stitching: Stapling sheets together using wire staples