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Glossary Terms

Useful definitions and explanations of company & industry terms

  • Aqueous Coating (AQ):
    It is used to protect and enhance the printed piece.  Aqueous coating is applied to all 100lb gloss book and 100lb gloss cover.
  • Bindery:
    The finishing department, which performs operations on the printed product after it has been printed.  The bindery operations are as follows:
    • Folding
    • Binding
    • Stitching
    • Scoring
    • Perforation
    • Die Cutting
  • Binding:
    rent methods used to secure loose pages in a book is called binding.  Saddle stitch is an example of binding.

  • Bleed:
    Printed colors that extend past the edge of a page.  To cut the job to its actual size, the processor has to make sure the job gets printed with 1/8 of an inch bleed.  Some jobs may require more than that. 

For example, if the job is a business card (3.5" x 2") the file size with bleed would be (3.625" x 2.125)

  • Borders:
    An outline around graphics, text or edge of a sheet.

  • C1S paper:
    Paper coated on one side.
  • C2S paper:
    Paper coated on both sides.  Our 14pt and 16pt paper are examples of C2S.
  • Card Stock:
    Also called cover stock.  Mostly heavyweight papers are called cards stock. The thickness of card stock is indicated with point sizes such as 14pt, 16pt. 

  • CMYK:
    The primary colors used in 4-color printing.  CMYK are used to reproduce full color on the printed sheet.  CMYK also called PROCESS COLOR.

cmyk.gifC: Cyan (Blue)
M: Magenta (Red)
Y: Yellow
K: Key (Black)

  • Coating:
    The mixture of clay materials that are applied to paper to improve the smoothness of the paper's surface and improve ink holdout during the printing process.  Examples are Aqueous coating (AQ) and UV coating.  UV coating adds a gloss finish to the product and also improves the vibrancy of the printed color.  Spot-UV can be applied to selected portions of the piece, while keeping the rest matte finish.

  • Crop Marks (Guide Marks):
    Lines printed in the margin of sheet that indicates to the cutter and bindery where the finished product should be trimmed.  They are also used to show what part of a photo should be used and what part should be cropped off.

  •  Die Cutting:
    A specific shape like circle, star, etc. (any designs that cannot be done by a straight cut) which is cut by a metal blade.  Door hangers are a popular product which requires die cutting.


  • Embossing:
    An image is pressed into the material to raise it above the normal level of the material.

  • Folding:
    The process of bending printed sheets in a specific area.  Folding is one of our popular bindery jobs.

    Half Fold:
    Is fold in half

Tri Fold:  A fold where a three panel piece has both side sections folded inward, one on top of the other.  Each section is approximately 1/3 the length of the piece.  Also known as a C-Fold or letter-fold Double


Double Gate Fold: 
Single gate fold, with an additional fold on the center.


Z Fold: 
A paper fold represented by back and forth folds into three panels.

  • Four Color Process Printing:
    The use of four ink colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to create an image, such as a photograph.

  • Head to Head:
    Printing on the front and back of a sheet is setup so that the top of both sides is printed at the same end of the sheet.  You would turn the sheet like the page of a book to read the reverse side.


  • Head to Toe:
    Printing on the front and back of a sheet so that the tops of each side are printed at opposite ends from each other.  The top of one side is opposite the bottom of the other.  You would turn the sheet over from top to bottom to read the reverse side.  Also referred to as "head-to-tail" or "tumble".


  • Landscape:
    Printing a page so that when positioned for reading the width is greater than the height.

  • Matte Lamination:
    A matte film offering low glare surface to facilitate electronic scanning and excellent acid, chemical and oil resistance.

  • Make up or Set Up:
    The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and specifications prior to printing.  This includes adjusting the infeed, grippers and guides, adjusting ink for proper coverage, registering copy and matching the printed piece with the proof to be sure everything is correct.  Also referred as Make-Ready.

    The paper used while making all the necessary adjustments before printing the actual run. 

  • Margin:
    The non-printed areas around the image area of a page.


  • Matte Finish:
    A coated paper finish that is flat, not shiny like a gloss, but still keeps much of the ink from being absorbed by the paper and produces an excellent image.  Matte/Dull finish is applied to all 14pt jobs and 16pt jobs unless it is Spot UV.

  • Offset Printing:
    The transfer of an inked image from a plate to a blanket cylinder, which in turn transfers the image to the printing material as it passes between the blanket and the impression cylinder and pressure is applied.  Also referred to as offset lithography.


  • Perforation:
    Creating a series of holes so that the paper can be torn more easily along the line is formed. 

  • Pixel:
    The smallest unit of a digitized image created by a digital device, such as a computer, camera or scanner.  Pixel is short for "picture element".  The more pixels per inch the better the resolution.  On computer monitors, the display is divided into rows and columns containing thousands or millions of pixels.  Each pixel is composed of three dots representing the three color channels of red, green, and blue light that are necessary for creating a color image on computer monitors and television screens.  Because of their small size, the pixels appear to merge, simulating a continuous tone image, but when magnified they appear to be tiny square blocks of light, as shown in the illustration.


  • Presentation Folder:
    We offer different kinds of presentation folders with 1 or 2, left and right pockets, business card slit, left or right is optional.

  • Proof:
    A copy of the artwork representing the finished product.  It is used for review and approval.

  • Proofread:
    Checking a proof for errors or discrepancies fro the original copy.

  • Quotation, Estimate:
    A price given, based on the specifications supplied for that product.  We are more than happy to give you a price quote for any custom job that is not listed in our website.

  • Register Marks:
    The printed marks used to align color separations for printing so that each color registers with each other.

  • Resolution:
    The measurement of output quality expressed in pixels per inch on a computer monitor or dots per inch on printed media.  When referring to printed media, a 300 dpi (dots per inch) printer, is capable of outputting 300 dots in a one-inch line, which means that it has the ability of printing 90,000 distinct dots per square inch (300 x 300).

  • RGB:
    The additive primary colors, red, green and blue, used to display color in video monitors.  Printing with a file in RGB color mode will produce a washed out appearance.  We do not check files for RGB.  The responsibility falls to the customer before submission of the files.


  • Round Cornering:
    Using a machine to die cut the corners of forms, cards, and books to create a rounded corner.


  • Scoring:
    A crease applied, in a straight line, to a sheet of paper to allow it to fold easier and more accurately.


  • Spiral Binding:
    Book binding that consists of a spiral wire or plastic that is wound through holes.  Also referred to as "coil binding.


  • Spot UV / Spot Coating:
    Coating paper only in specific areas as opposed to all over coating.  In a Spot UV job the job gets a UV coating in only specific areas and does not get any AQ coating in any other places.  Spot UV can be referred to as "spot varnish".

  • Turnaround time:
    The accumulated time between receipt of an order and completion of the finished product.

  • UV:
    Ultra Violet.  The part of the spectrum where the wavelength of light is shorter than the wavelength of visible light.

  • UV Coating:
    A liquid coating applied to the printed piece, which is then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.  This coating is used to provide a protective coating to the printed image.  Please note that you CAN NOT write or imprint on UV coated jobs.

  • Varnish:
    A thin, liquid protective coating, either matte or glossy, that is applied to the product.  It adds protection and enhances the appearance of the product.  It can be applied as an all over coating or it can be applied as a spot coating.