Keystone Press

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Printing Resources

Printing Terms

The printing business seems to have it's own language. To help you understand what some of that language means, we have provided frequently used terms in this glossary.

Accordion Fold:
Parallel folds, alternating in direction

Backing Up:
Printing the reverse side of a sheet that is already printed on one side

Blueline:
A proof made from film

CMYK:
Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; the inks used in color process printing

Collate:
To gather pages in a particular order for binding

Crossover:
Occurs when a graphic element carries over from a page to the one facing it

Deckle Edge
The naturally ragged edge of untrimmed paper

Die:
A stamping tool used in embossing and cutting

Dot Gain:
The spread of dots during the stages of printing or platemaking, as measured by the increase in size of a midtone dot —if, for some reason such as paper absorbency, a 50% dot expands to a 60% dot, the gain is 10%

Duplex Stock:
Paper with its two sides colored or finished differently

Embossing:
Producing a raised image in paper by means of a die striking from the back of the paper into a recessed counter die at the front

Fountain:
The supply of ink for a lithographic press

Grain
In a sheet of paper, the direction in which most fibers lie, the easy tearing or folding direction

Gripper Edge:
Leading edge of a sheet of paper which is grasped mechanically and drawn into the press

Gripper:
margin Unprinted space allowed along the gripper edge

Gutter:
The inner margins where two pages meet

Hickey:
An imperfection caused by dirt, paper particles, etc.

Imagesetting:
When digital document files are transferred to film which will be used to produce plates for printing

Makeready:
The steps or time needed for preparing the press, may also include the preparation of folding and binding equipment

Multilith:
Small format offset lithographic press used to print individual pages

Offset:
Printing that uses an intermediary surface called a blanket to transfer the image from the primary inked surface of the paper

Pantone Matching System (PMS):
The printing industry standard color matching system

Perfect Binding:
An unsewn, flat-spined binding made with glue

Perfecting Press:
A type of press that prints both sides of the paper in one pass through the press

Press Run:
The number of copies in one printing

Register:
The correct alignment of colors during printing

Resolution:
The quantification of printout quality using the number of dots per inch

Saddle-Stitching:
Binding that uses wire stapling at the center of the magazine or booklet

Signature:
A group of pages printed on the same sheet, front and back; after printing, the sheet is folded so that the pages fall in correct order

Stripping:
Assembling film into flats for plate making

Trapping:
Slight overlap of colors to eliminate white lines between images

Varnish:
A thin, protective coating applied to a printed sheet for protection or appearance; learn more about varnishes here

Need a translator? Please contact Keystone at anytime - we are available to help you find your way through the printing process.