Print Glossary

Perfecting Print Since 1889




The extent to which a paper will absorb ink. 

Art Paper
Paper that has a coating usually of china clay. It can be gloss, silk or matt and is suitable for jobs requiring a true representation of colour, as opposed to uncoated paper.

Originally the physical art (sometimes referred to as camera-ready artwork or mechanical) prepared by the designer and including type, graphics and other originals. This was used by the printer to produce the printing plates. Today the artwork exists wholly in electronic form. All the elements are assembled using page layout software.

Backed Up
When the reverse of a sheet is printed.

A lightweight paper, usually less than 60gsm.

A publication that is issued every two months.

Material, that can break down or decompose under natural conditions.

On offset presses a fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber used to transfer the impression from the plate onto the impression cylinder.

A chemical treatment used to whiten and brighten the appearance of paper.

A printed image that extends beyond one or more of the finished page margins and is later trimmed so that the image "bleeds" off the edge of the sheet. The standard bleed is 3mm, this ensures that white paper does not show after final trimming.

Blind Embossing
The design or text is only visible as a raised area on the paper without any additional coloration or decoration of the design or text.

A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight. Measured in microns.

Burst Bind
Binding process that forces glue into notches punched along the spine of sections to hold them together.

Acronym for the colours used in four colour process printing. These are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (Black is represented by a K)

Calendered Paper
Paper that has passed through hardened rollers during manufacture to produce a smooth surface.

The measurement of thickness of paper expressed in thousandths of an inch or millimetres.

Case Binding
Books bound using hard board (case) covers. NOW available in house at Latimer Trend.

Case Maker
A devise used to make hardcover for casebound books. NOW available in house at Latimer Trend.

The cover of a hardbound book. NOW available in house at Latimer Trend.

Casing In
The process of placing in and adhering a book to its case covers. NOW available in house at Latimer Trend.

Coated Paper
Paper that has received a coating to achieve a special finish. See ‘Art Paper’.

The process of assembling the various sections or sheets of a document in the correct order.

Colour Separation
Separating a colour job into the elements required for printing. See ‘Four Colour Process Printing’.

Computer to Plate (CTP)
Previously film separations were played out of an image setter and then exposed under light on to the aluminum printing plates. Now the image is directly transferred onto the plate, ensuring a first generation dot is on the plate and resulting in a lot sharper, cleaner and accurate reproduction. It is also better for the environment as there is no longer any film produced or chemistry to produce it. Modern CTP systems are nearly all chemistry free.

Concertina Fold
A type of folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a concertina affect. Also called a ‘Z fold’.

The shifting position of the page in saddle-stitched booklets: creep is added to allow for the bulking of the spine.

Crop Marks
Also known as trim marks, these are lines printed in the corners of the print area to show where to trim the paper.

The cyan colour used in Four Colour Process printing.

Acronym for Dots Per Inch, this is the measurement of the resolution of an image. The higher the resolution the clearer the image.

Where an image or text is pressed into the paper or board, so it lies below the surface. It is the opposite of Embossing.

Die Cut
Cutting shapes (for example folders with pockets) out of a printed sheet using a die.

Digital Printing
These systems work directly from electronic data and avoid the intermediate stage of plate. Digital printing is cost effective for short runs.

Making the holes in paper, for example to use in a ring binder.

A plain white mock-up of a brochure - not printed but made up using the intended stock. This is the best way to get a feel for the finished product.

A two-colour halftone sometimes used in two colour printing.

Dust Jacket
The paper cover that goes over a hardbound book.

Embossed Paper and Boards
A paper finish characterised by a raised or depressed surface to simulate wood, leather, cloth and so on. Mainly used for business stationery and covers.

Where an image or text is pressed out of the paper or board, so it lies above the surface. It is the opposite of Debossing.

End Papers
In case binding, a strong paper designed to secure the body of a book into its case. NOW available in house at Latimer Trend.

Any process that follows the actual printing. Can include folding, creasing, stitching, binding and so on.

Flush Cover
A publication having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text (usually requested when the cover has a throw out page).

Foil Embossing
A finishing operation combining embossing with foil stamping.

Foil Stamping
In foil stamping, a heated die containing image/text presses down on a roll of foil passing above the substrate to be decorated. As the die hits the foil, it is transferred to the substrate. Foil is available in many different colors and patterns.

A page in a publication designed to be folded out for use, so known as a ‘throw-out page’.

Printer’s technical term for what the rest of the world calls a page number.

Four Colour Process Printing
The most common system for producing full colour print. The four ink colours are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black - often referred to as C.M.Y.K. The inks used are translucent, allowing them to be overprinted and combined in a variety of different proportions to produce a wide range of colours.

Full Bleed
A printed image that extends over the edge of the page on all four sides.

Acronym for grams per square metre. This indicates the weight of paper or board.

Gate Fold
A eight page document, which is folded with two parallel folds to produce a centre spread revealed by opening two folded pages.

To assemble sections into single copies of complete sets for binding.

Grain Direction
Direction of fibres in a sheet of paper.

Space between pages in the printing sheet.

Half Canadian Bind
A process where a wrap around cover is bound into a wire bound publication, resulting in a full cover and spine but the wire is visible from the back of the publication.

Hot Melt
An adhesive used in the binding process for perfect/PUR bound publications.

Acronym for Inside Back Cover.

Acronym for Inside Front Cover.

The layout of pages on the printed sheet so that they are in the correct order when the sheet is folded, either to produce a folded leaflet or signature of a brochure.

Index Tabbing
A shape cut at the foregde of a publication, allowing the publication to be opened at a particular location. Often used in catalogues and directories.

Printed information to replace postage stamp.

A loose printed piece positioned into the publications and not secured in during the binding process.

Introducing alternate sheets of blank paper between the printed sheets as they come off the press to prevent set off/marking when guillotining.

Kiss Cut
A light die cut that cuts through first layer but leaves base substrate uncut, used on adhesive materials.

When text or an image is reversed out of the printed area, allowing the colour of the paper to show through.

Laid Paper
Uncoated paper often used for business stationery which has a textured pattern of parallel lines.

A plastic film that protects the printed surface. Laminates include gloss, matt, soft touch, anti scuff to name a few. All available in house at Latimer Trend.

A page format in which the correct reading or viewing orientation is horizontal; the width of the page is greater than its height. The opposite of portrait.

Single sheet of paper, not to be confused with a page.

Loop Stitching
A form of saddle stitching in which the staples used for binding are formed into semi-circular loops, allowing the publication to be inserted into a ring binder. Loop stitching eliminates the need for drilling.

Machine Minder
The person who actually runs the press. The quality of a printed job is often dependent on the skill of the machine minder.

Machine Proof
A proof produced on the printing press, also known as a ‘wet proof’.

Machine Sealer
A sealer that protects ink and enables quick handling which will allow moving onto the next operation quicker. Applied inline on the press using an ink unit. Not to be confused with a machine coater.

Make Ready
The process of setting up and adjusting the printing and finishing equipment prior to running the job.

Acronym for Outside Back Cover

Acronym for Outside Front Cover

Offset Paper
A term used for uncoated papers.

Offset Printing
Sheet fed offset printing applies to all of Latimer Trend’s lithographic presses. It is where the paper does not come into direct contact with the printing plate. The inks are transferred from the plate to a blanket cylinder and then onto the paper, which protects the plate from being damaged.

In papermaking, opacity is a property of paper that describes the amount of light, which is transmitted through it. Paper that has a high degree of opacity does not let much light pass through it, while paper that has a low degree of opacity is more translucent, or allows much light to pass through it. A paper's opacity determines the extent to which printing on a particular side of paper will be visible from the reverse side (called show-through).

A quantity of printed material in excess of the amount ordered.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
PDF is an open standard for document exchange. The file format created by Adobe for representing two-dimensional documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout 2D document that includes the text, fonts, images, and 2D vector graphics that compose the documents.

A finishing operation in which a flexible adhesive, called padding glue, is applied to one edge of a stack of sheets. When the adhesive is dry, sheets can be torn off individually. Padding is used to create notepads, deskpads and so on.

One side of a sheet of paper – whether it is printed or not.

Is the brand name of colour matching system. Inks are identified by numbers to produce a standard result across the industry. A reference such as PMS 539 indicates a colour in the Pantone range; in this case a blue ink. In a Pantone book the number PMS 539 would indicate how the colour looks when printed on coated stock. PMS 539U indicates how the same ink appears when printed on uncoated (U). Sometimes the difference can be quite dramatic.

Paper Sizes
The most common system of paper sizes in Europe is the ISO standard. Most people are familiar with the A series which includes A4 the usual letterhead size. The C series is for envelopes - a C4 envelope being ideal for holding an A4 sheet. There is also a B series which provides intermediate sizes for the A series. RA and SRA that are used by printers. They are slightly larger than the A series to provide for grip, trim and bleed.

Parallel Fold
A fold that runs parallel to another fold, for example a roll fold.

Pass Sheet
Print sheet that meets all the quality criteria that is used as guide for the entire run length.

Perfect Binding
A type of book binding where the pages are held in the spine by glue and from a square spine.

Printing both sides of a sheet in one pass through the press.

A page format in which the correct reading or viewing orientation is vertical; the height of the page is greater than its width. The opposite of landscape.

The brand name of a software standard created by Adobe. It is a page description language that is used by most graphics software and output devices to combine text, pictures and graphical elements into an electronic document and create output, which the printer can use.

A software programme procedure that checks and verifies that all components of an electronic file, such as a PDF, are present and correct prior to printing.

Printing Plate
The physical plate that carries the image. Each colour will have its own plate.

Process Inks (CMYK)
Cyan, Megenta, Yellow and Black (K) that create images in ‘full colour’.

A set of proofs that show the different inks separately and combined in various permutations.

A test print produced to show what the finished product would look like. Increasingly popular are digital proofing systems. They are essentially very high-resolution colour printers that make use of colour management techniques for their accuracy. Proofing every job is a good thing, which can save a lot of heartache and cost later on.

When printing with two or more colours it is necessary to align the different plates. This is known as register. On the edges of an untrimmed sheet you will see small target shapes called register marks that are used for accurate positioning. A printed piece that is out of register will have an unfocused look.

Right-Angle Fold
Any fold made to a sheet of paper which is oriented at a 90 degree angle to the previous fold.

Round Back
Any type of binding where the spine is curved, as opposed to square back.

Often when a printing price is quoted it is given as a figure for the basic job plus a figure for additional copies. For example the price may be 2000 copies at £300 with £25 for a 500 run-on. This enables you to calculate arrange of prices for different quantities. It is very important to note that the run-on price is for copies printed at the same time as the main run. For instance, in the example given, you could not have 2000 copies today and then expect to have another 500 at some future date for £25.

Saddle Stitch
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the centre, which is only used with folded sections in four page increments.

Heavier paper and boards need to be scored with a rule to make folding possible and reduce cracking.

Section (also know as a Signature)
A folded sheet that is assembled with others to make up a book. For example an A1 sheet will provide a section of sixteen A4 pages when folded three times. A 36-page A4 booklet would therefore require two 16-page sections and one 4-page section. These signatures are then bound together.

Self Cover
A publication using the same paper weight for the cover as the inner pages.

A printing fault where wet ink transfers from a sheet to the reverse of the next one to land in the stack. To alleviate this a fine layer of starch based powder is sprayed across the sheet as it lands enabling a very fine layer of air to circulate between the sheets.

Sheet Fed Press
A press that prints by taking one sheet at a time. All Latimer Trend's presses are sheet fed.

Special Colours (Spot Colours)
This refers to colours that are produced using specially mixed inks. To print colours outside the range of 4-colour process it is necessary to use special inks, for example metallic inks. See Pantone Colours.

Spiral Bind
A binding whereby a wire or plastic is spiralled through holes punched along the binding side that allows the book to lay flat.

Spot Machine Varnish
A varnished applied, inline on press, to specific areas of the printed sheet.

Two facing pages.

A general term for any paper or board that is used as a printed surface.

UV Varnishing
A method of adding a gloss finish to printed surfaces. The advantage of UV varnishing is that it is similar to printing an extra colour and can be applied to selected areas to produce special effects. The UV refers to the Ultra-Violet lamp under which the varnished sheets pass for rapid drying.

A clear varnish applied to the printed surface to enhance and to protect.

Wiro Binding
Wiro binding involves collating the pages, punching holes along the desired edge and binding them with a metal wire spine. The wire is available in many colours.

Wove Paper
Uncoated paper often used for business stationery that has no obvious surface texture or pattern.

Latimer Trend and Company Limited.

Perfecting Print Since 1889

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