Proofing and Printing TErminology


AA’s/AC
Author's Alteration, Author’s correction. (Chargeable)   
Aerate
This refers to a manual process whereby an air stream is blown onto paper sheets to create a riffling effect that separates the sheets as they are fed to the printing press
Back To Back
Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.
Backstep Marks
Marks printed on signatures that indicate where the final fold will occur. When gathering and initial folding is completed, these marks appear as a stepped sequence.
Bed
The steel flat table of a cylinder printing press upon which the type sits during the printing process.
Blanket
On offset presses a fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber to transfer the impression from the plate onto the paper.
Blanket To Blanket Press
A printing method in which there are two blanket cylinders through which a sheet of paper is passed and printed on both sides.
Blue-Line
Photographic proof made from flats for checking accuracy, layout and imposition before plates are made. Also known as a dylux and as an ozalid in Asian countries.
Burn
A term used in plate making to describe the amount of plate exposure time.
Burst Binding
A binding technique that entails nicking the backfold in short lengths during the folding process, which allows glue to reach each individual leaf and create a strong bond.
Casing In
The process of placing in and adhering a book to its case covers.
The four process colors used in offset printing, cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
Coarse Screen
Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.
Collate
To gather sheets or signatures together in their correct order. (see Gather)
Collating Marks
Black step-marks printed on the back of folded sheets, to facilitate collating and checking of the sequence of book signatures.
Color Bars
This term refers to a color test strip, which is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It is a standardized (GATF-Graphic Arts Technical Foundation) process which allows a pressman to determine the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain. It also includes the Star Target, which is a similar system designed to detect inking problems.
Color Separating
The processes of separating the primary color components for printing.
Corner Marks
Marks on a final printed sheet that indicate the trim lines or register indicators.
Creep
When the rubber blanket on a cylinder moves forward due to contact with the plate or paper. Result of added thickness of folded sheets being behind one another in a folded signature. Outer edges of sheets creep away from back most fold as more folded sheets are inserted inside the middle.
Cross-over
Elements that cross page boundaries and land on two consecutive pages (usually rules).
Crossmarks
Marks of fine lines, which intersect to indicate accurate alignment of art elements.
Cutter
Machine for accurately cutting stacks of paper to desired dimensions...can also be used to crease. Also trims out final bound books' top size (soft cover).
Cutting Die
Sharp edged device, usually made of steel, to cut paper, cardboard, etc., on a printing press.
Cyan
A shade of blue used in the four-color process; it reflects blue and green and absorbs red.
Deep Etching
The etching or removal of any unwanted areas of a plate to create more air or white space on the finished product.
Die Cutting
A method of using sharp steel ruled stamps or rollers to cut various shapes i.e. labels, boxes, image shapes, either post press or in line. The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.
Digital Proof
Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed.
Dot
The smallest individual element of a halftone.
Dot Gain
Darkening of halftone image due to ink absorption in paper causing halftone dots to enlarge. Terms to describe the occurrence whereby dots are printing larger than they should.
Drill
The actual drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.
Dummy
A term used to describe the preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product; also called a comp.
Dummy Model
Resembling finished piece in every respect except that the pages and cover are blank, used by the designer as a final check on the appearance and +feel+ of the book as a guide for the size and position of elements on the jacket.
Duotone
Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.
Electronic Composition
The assembly of characters into words, lines and paragraphs of text or body matter with graphic elements in page layout form in digital format for reproduction by printing.
Embossed
A method of paper finishing whereby a pattern is pressed into the paper when it is dry.
Embossing
To raise in relief a design or letters already printed on card stock or heavy paper by an uninked block or die. In rubber and plastic plate making the process is usually done by heat.
Epson proofs
High resolution proofing system, using photo paper. Can be very closely matched on press.
Etch
The process of producing an image on a plate by the use of acid.
F&G
A term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering.
Felt
A cloth conveyor belt that receives papers from the Fourdrinier wire and delivers it to the drier.
Flush Cover
A bound book or booklet etc. having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text.
Foils
Papers that have a surface resembling metal.
Fold Marks
Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.
Galley
(old) flat oblong tray into which composed type matter is put and kept until made up into pages in the forme. Also a similar tray on a slug composing machine which receives the slugs as they are ejected. Also a long column of composed text matter
Galley Proof
A proof of text copy before it is pasted into position for printing.
Gang
Group of frames or impositions in the same forme of different jobs arranged and positioned to be printed together.
Ganging
The bundling of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.
Gather
To assemble or collect sections into single copies of complete books for binding.
Gathering
Assembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence; collating.
Gravure
An intaglio or recessed printing process. The recessed areas are like wells that form the image as paper passes through.
Gripper
A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process.
Gripper Edge
The grippers of the printing press move the paper through the press by holding onto the leading edge of the sheet; this edge is the gripper edge.
Hairline Register
Printing registration that lies within the range of plus or minus one half row of dots. It is the thinnest of the standard printers' rules.
Halftone
Tone graduated image composed of varying sized dots or lines, with equidistant centers.
Halftone Screen
A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.
Head Margin
That space which lies between the top of the printed copy and the trimmed edge.
Hickies
Imperfections in presswork due to dirt on press, trapping errors, etc.
Hot melt
An adhesive used in the binding process, which requires heat for application.
Image Area
That portion of the printing plate that carries the ink and prints on paper.
Imposition
Arrangement of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet, and the pages are in proper order when the sheets are folded.
Impression
Product resulting from one cycle of printing machine. The pressure of the image carrier, whether it be the type, plate or blanket, when it contacts the paper.
Ink Fountain
The device which stores and meters ink to the inking rollers.
Inserts
Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.
Integral Proof
A proof made by exposing each of the four-color separations to an emulsion layer of primary colors. These emulsion sheets are stacked in register with a white sheet of paper in the background. Types of integral proofs are cromalin, matchprint, ektaflex, and spactraproof.
Jogger
Vibrating, sloping platform that evens up the edges of stacks of paper.
Key Plate
The printing plate that is used as a guide for the other plates in the color printing process; it usually has the most detail.
Make Ready
Process of adjusting final plate on the press to fine tune or modify plate surface.
Mark-up
To write up instructions, as on a dummy or at first proof, on the proof sheets to explain changes.
Match Print
Photographic proof made from all color flats and form composite proof showing color quality as well as accuracy, layout, and imposition before plates are made.
Moire
An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.
Negative
Film that contains the same images as the original print, except that all colors and shades are reversed. Reference, positive.
Offset
The most commonly used printing method, whereby the printed material does not receive the ink directly from the printing plate but from an intermediary cylinder called a blanket which receives the ink from the plate and transfers it to the paper.
Over run
Surplus of copies printed.
Ozalid or blueline
A printing process in which a drawing or writing is transferred to a sensitized paper and is developed using ammonia vapor
Page Proofs
Proofs made up from pages.
Pantone Inks (PMS inks)
nk color that cover colors that are very difficult or impossible to achieve using the 4 inks of CMYK. They are applied using a 5 or 6 color press, as an additional color, or in some cases for backgrounds as a solid color.
Perf Marks
Markings usually dotted lines at edges showing where perforations should occur.
Perfect
A term used to describe the binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.
Perfect Binding
Binding process where backs of sections are cut off, roughened and glued together, and rung in a cover.
Perfecting Press
A printing press that prints on both sides of the page in a single pass.
Perforating
Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.  
Plastic Comb
A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the side closest the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.
Plate
Reproduction of type or cuts in metal, plastic, rubber, or other material, to form a plate bearing a relief, planographic or intaglio printing surface.
Plate Cylinder
The cylinder on a printing press on which the plate is mounted.
Platemaking
Making a printing plate from a film or flat including preparation of the plate surface, sensitizing, exposing through the flat, developing or processing, and finishing.
Plus/Minus 5% or 10%
Refers to a print quote. The print run is limited to the print quantity plus or minus 5% or 10% depending on the printer. The printer is not penalized if he prints less and does not bill the client for more copies than he ends up with. He can ask for up to 5% or10% over the final quantity but usually discounts these are run-ons.
Positive
Film that contains an image with the same tonal values as the original; opposite of a negative.
Press-Proof
Actual press sheet to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.
Primary Colors
In printing the four primary colors are cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black. These are the colors that make up all the colors in printing. CMYK or 4-C printing. Each color has its own plate.
Process Inks
Printing inks, usually in sets of four colors. The most frequent combination is yellow, magenta, cyan, and black, which are printed, one over another in that order, to obtain a colored print with the desired hues, whites, blacks, and grays.
Progressive Proofs
Any proofs made from the separate plates of a multi-plate-printing project.
Proof
Impression from composed type or blocks, taken for checking and correction, from a lithographic plate to check accuracy of layout, type matter, tone and color reproduction.
Register
The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.
Register Marks
Any crossmarks or other symbols used on layout to assure proper registration.
Saddle Stitching
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections, either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section.
Score
Impressions or cuts in flat material to facilitate bending or tearing.
Screen Angles
The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moire patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45deg, magenta 75deg, yellow 90deg, and cyan 105deg.
Screen Ruling
A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.
Scum
Unwanted ink marks in the non-image area.
Self Cover
A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal sheets.
Show Through
A problem that occurs when the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side.
Side Stitching
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the pile of sections or leaves gathered upon each other and are clinched on the underside.
Signature (Section)
Printed sheet (or its flat) that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.
Soy inks
Soy inks are green inks using soy, they are well used in Asia and the US.
Spiral binding
Binding used in notebooks, and usually soft cover books that allows the book to open flat on the desk. The spiral can be plastic or wire.
Spread
A film image that is larger than the original image to accommodate ink trapping. Reference, trapping
Stabbing
To bind a series of pages with wire staples such that staples enter from the front and back simultaneously, neither side being long enough to exit the opposite side.
Step And Repeat
A process of generating multiple exposures by taking an image and stepping it according to a predetermined layout.
Stochastic Screening
Also called frequency modulation (FM) screening, stochastic screening uses same size dots but varies the density to create an image that is closer to continuous tone than conventional halftone processes.
Strip-In
To add an element, such as copy that is shot separately, and then stripped into place on a goldenrod flat.
Stripping
Originally, the removal of the photographic emulsion with its image from individual negatives and combining them in position on a glass plate. Now the use of stripfilm materials, and the cutting, attachment, and other operations for assembling. The positioning of positives and negatives on the flat before proceeding to platemaking.
Thermography
A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and while the ink is still wet, it is lightly dusted with a resinous powder. The paper then passes through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.
Transparent
Inks that do not block out the colored inks that they print over, but instead blend with them to create intermediate colors.
Trapping
The process of printing wet ink over printed ink which may be wet or dry.
Trim Marks
Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.
Tritone
Tritone is similar to a duotone, but instead of one special color and black it consists of two special colors to enhance the continuous tone quality.
Up
A term used to describe how many similar sheets can be produced on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.
Upload  
The act of transferring files to a ftp site or server.  
UV varnish
A liquid varnish or spot varnish applied over the whole page, or just on certain areas, generally used on covers and dust jackets for effect or contrast.
W&B
An abbreviation for work and back. Reference, sheetwise.
W&T
An abbreviation for work and turn.
Washup
The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from all of the printing elements (rollers, plate, ink fountain etc.) of a press.
The roll of paper that is used in web or rotary printing.
Web Press
Cylinder printing machine in which the paper is fed from a continuous reel, as opposed to sheet fed.
Wet Proof
Term used in Asia for tye type of proof that is done on a flat bed press on the actual paper to be used in printing. LIke a press proof, but not requiring the setup and make ready time of a press proof, so costs are much less.
Wire Stitching Or Stapling - Saddle Stiching
To fasten together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples. 3 methods... saddle stitching, side stitching, and stabbing.

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