Printing Glossary

Author's Alteration
''AA's'' Any change made by the customer after sending files to the printer.

Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.

Prepress proof where all colors show as blue images on white paper. Blueline is a generic term for proofs made from a variety of materials having similar appearances that may also be called blueprint, position proof, silverprint, Dylux and VanDyke.

Camera-ready copy
Mechanicals, photographs and art that are fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used.

Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black), the process colors.

Coated paper
Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves the reflectivity and ink holdout.

Comb bind
To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper.

Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks and tic marks.

Simulation of the final product. Also called mock-up.

Black and white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives to emphasize different tonal values in the originals.

To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface. Also called cameo and tool.

Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.

Complete assortment of uppercase and lowercase characters, numerals, punctuation and other symbols of one typeface.

Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product.

For position only (FPO)
Refers to inexpensive or low resolution images used to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction. Abbreviated ''FPO''.

Gloss finish
Shiny finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Strip of gray values, ranging from white to black, used to calibrate exposure times for film and plates.

A photograph or continuous-tone illustration that has been converted to dots for reproduction.

Hard copy/proof
Type and images on paper or proofing material.

A name for a kind of computer image file, abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group. Also called JPG.

Alternate term for reverse. See Reverse.

Laser Bond
Bond paper made especially smooth and dry to run well through laser printers.

Laser-safe ink
Ink that will not fade, or transfer blister from the paper on which it is printed when used in a laser printer.

Images on paper are made by printing tiny dots of ink. These dots fool the eye into thinking there is a photo. Line screen is the measurement of these dots in terms of lines per inch.



A representative proof of Pantone® and/or process color images. Matchprints give a highly accurate depiction of what an image will look like when printed.

Native file
File still in the application in which it was originally created.

Color ink matching system for commercial printing. Also called PMS.

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else.

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

Type images reproduced by printing ink around their outline, thus allowing the underlying color of paper to show through and form the image.

To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine. Also called pamphlet stitch, saddle wire and stitch bind.

To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately.

Screen font
Font to display text on a computer monitor, but not on a printer.

Screen tint
Color created by dots instead of solid ink coverage. Also called fill pattern, shading, tint & tone.

Complete and precise written description of features of a printing job. Abbreviation ''specs''.

Spot color
Any color created by printing only one ink. Also called ''flat color.'' See Pantone.®

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. Abbreviated ''TIFF'' and ''TIF''.

Method of printing using colorless resin powder that takes on the color of underlying ink. Also called ''raised printing.''

Font identified by a name, such as Helvetica or Times.

Uncoated paper
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called ''offset paper.''

UV Coating
Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light to reduce color fading.

Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.

Vellum finish
Somewhat rough, toothy finish on paper.