A-Z Printing Terminology
Printing has always had its own vocabulary since the days of Caxton, who printed Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in 1476 Here are some of the more common terms you may come across today.
The area of artwork that extends beyond the finished size of a document- we recommend a bleed of 3mm to all edges. In In-Design, you can set the bleed area as a guide and preview to make sure that any image or colour runs to the edge of the bleed area. After the document is printed and trimmed to the final size the print will reach right to the very edge of your document.
Material up to and including 170gsm is referred to as paper. Material over 170gsm is referred to as board.
A score line put on heavy paper and board to help it to fold and to reduce cracking. Any material over and including 170gsm should be creased.
When board is folded you may notice that the board starts to break or crack at the fold. To reduce this boards are always creased before they are folded.
Special marks added to artwork outside the area to be printed to show where the job should be trimmed to achieve the required finished size. Also called trim marks.
Stamping a design onto the front of a printed area of paper or card to produce an impression. This is the reverse of embossing.
Paper or board can be die cut to an irregular shape or have a shape cut out of the middle using a cutting forme. This is the process by which folders are made.
We can print onto a maximum of 450gsm board. In order to achieve a thicker result a sheet of paper is glued to a piece of thicker card. This is often seen on the covers of case bound books.
An outer paper cover (usually printed and laminated) which is wrapped around the outside of a book. Most often seen with case bound books.
Stamping a design onto the reverse of a printed area of paper or card to produce a raised effect. Used particularly on paperback books in addition to spot UV and lamination.
The size of the job once it is completely finished.
The size of the job once it is trimmed but before it is folded. An A4 4pp leaflet has a flat size of A3.
Four Colour Process (CMYK) or Full Colour
The four standard printing colours: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) are mixed together to create colour printing. If you look at a four colour process job under an eyeglass you can see patterns of dots of each colour which together give the overall effect required.
Foil stamping is a special kind of printing process where heat, pressure, and a metallic paper (foil) is used to create different designs and graphics on printed material. Foiling is quite often used in partnership with embossing, much like you would see on the cover of many paperback books.
This stands for “grams per square metre” and is the standard unit of weight for paper.
A gloss, matt or satin clear plastic film which is added after printing. As well as providing a pleasing effect it will add some durability.
When a document is wider than it is tall it is referred to as landscape.
A single side. 1 leaf is equivalent to 2 printed pages. A document is usually referred to as leaves if it is bound with a spiral, comb or drilled (holepunched).
The measurement of the thickness of a sheet of paper or board. 1 micron = o.o01mm
Overall UV varnish
A high gloss UV varnish which is applied over the entire sheet.
Abbreviation for printed pages. For example 1 side of a sheet is often referred to as1pp, whereas printing on both sides of the sheet would be referred to as 2pp.
Material up to and including 17ogsm is referred to as paper. Material over 17ogsm is referred to as board.
A type of unsewn binding where the leaves of the book are held together at the binding edge by adhesive. A cover is then wrapped around and glued on the spine. Usually used on larger booklets with a minimum spine of 2.5- 3mm.
Stands for Pantone Matching System. Pantone is an internationally recognised colour standard system. Colours may be printed in CMYK or as special inks mixed to specific specifications. Theses are often referred to as spot colours.
When a document is taller than it is wide it is referred to as portrait.
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the centre. Only used with folded sections (e.g. 4pp and multiples of), either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section. Depending on the weight of paper it is not advisable to go above 8opp.
A special transparent finish applied during the printing process to reduce colours rubbing onto other printed sheets.
Used in the context of book binding sections are the folded sheets of paper that make up the pages. To bind a book, each section would be sewn together thorough the folds.
When the cover of a booklet is printed on exactly the same material as the text pages it is called a self cover. This is generally a less expensive option than printing the outer 4 pages of a booklet as a separate cover on heavier paper or board. But a separate heavier cover will make a more durable product.
Similar to perfect binding but the pages of the individual sections of the book are first sewn together with a Singer Sewing machine.
A single mixed ink colour.
Spot Gloss UV Varnish
A high gloss varnish which is applied to a specific area of print e.g. a company logo, photograph or document title. Usually used with matt lamination to show greater contrast.
Staccato screening is the new process to produce high-fidelity, continuous tone images that exhibit fine detail and an extended colour gamut, creating a photographic experience free of visible printing artifacts, such as subject moire
Similar to perfect binding but the pages of the individual sections of the book are first sewn together.
A wire binding mechanism whereby looseleaf pages are gathered and finished with a metal wire.
A card mounted on a plastic strip usually fixed to shelves in retail environments that wobble in the air to attract attention.