Acid Free Paper
Paper which has had the acid
removed from the pulp so that it has a neutral 7.0 pH is
known as acid free paper.
Acid free paper is commonly used for fine art prints
and limited edition printing, as well as permanent
records where contact with paper acidity could harm the
Red, green, and blue (commonly
called rGB) are the primary color elements that make
up white light. Because you Add the colors together to
get white light, we call these rGB colors the additive
primaries. colors on screen are displayed by mixing
varying amounts of red, green, and blue light.
Adding any two of the additive primaries creates one
of the subtractive primaries -- the colors used in 4-color
process printing. Keep in mind that the additive primaries
typically refers to the rGB on-screen color mode.
Mixing actual red, green, and blue inks or paints does not
Acid free (neutral pH) and lignin
free paper that lasts longer than other papers and holds
color well is referred to as archival paper.
Also Known As: acid free paper | archive paper
With a quality lifetime of 100 years or longer, archival
paper is often used for critical, permanent records that
must be kept for many years. Archival paper may also be
used for fine art prints and limited edition prints for even
greater protection than other acid free papers.
This refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of
the sheet after trimming. the bleed is the part on the
side of your document that gives the printer that small
amount of space to move around paper and design
Bleeds in the USA generally are 1/8 of an inch from
where the cut is to be made. Bleeds in the UK and
europe generally are 2 to 5mm from where the cut is
to be made. this can vary from print company to print
company. Some printers ask for specific sizes; most of
these companies place the specific demands on their
Paper is coated on 1 side with a glossed clay
material. it is necessary to have an uncoated side
available for the gluing/laminating process.
Paper is coated on 2 sides with a glossed clay
Printing colors of cYAN, Magenta,
Yellow, Black (Process colors)
The number value of a color as it
relates to the value scale.
Also referred to as color control bars,
color control strips, or proofing bars. Color bars are
rows of different colored patches printed in the trim area
of the press sheet. they are used by proofers and press
operators to control the trapping, ink density, dot gain,
and print contrast of the proof or the printed sheet. they
usually consist of solid and tint blocks of cyan, magenta,
yellow, and black; two and three color solids and tints;
and additional elements and patterns such as resolution
targets and dot gain scales.
Solid process colors of Black, Yellow, cyan, and
Magenta. A color bar are used to measure ink densities.
Solid overprint colors include blue (c&M), green
(c&Y), and red (M&Y) Screen tint patches usually
25%, 50%, and 75% of the process colors. A color bar
are used to check for dot gain. A color patch made up of
50c/30M/30Y. A color cast in the patches will show an
imbalance in one of the colors, either from incorrect ink
density or from dot gain.
Correcting the colors of a
scanned image or file to better match the original art.
Properly calibrated monitors and output devices are
critical to making sure colors saved in file information
are accurate and will print accurately on a press as well.
calibration is usually done in cMYK mode.
A graphic image composed of
multiple images combined.
An image that has an entire
range of black, white, and gray tones, such as a
photograph. continuous tones are Not screened images,
but must be screened to translate the image into dots.
Cover Weight Paper
A paper weight classification
used to select thicker stock suitable for Booklet covers,
Business cards, Postcards, etc. (See Paper Weight chart)
Define the horizontal and vertical edges
of a printed projects finished trim size, or defines where
and image should be cropped when it is being masked
In debossing an image such as a logo, a
title, or other design is heat-pressed into the surface of the
paper with a die, creating depressions rather than raised
impressions as in embossing. the same techniques used
for embossing — blind, foil, and ink — can be used with
debossing to create visual effects and texture. debossing
can be done on hard and soft covers.
Done after printing as part of the
finishing process, die cuts are areas of the document that
are partially or completely cut, shaped, or cut-out in a
variety of shapes. the die is a steel blade used to punch
out the desired shape. Printers often have standard dies
for common cuts. custom dies can substantially increase
the cost of the piece.
talk to your printer to establish how they want die cuts
designated in the digital file. For example, they may
request a solid 2 point line outlining the cut of the image
or specify a 1/4" or larger edge allowance.
A digital proof is a color pre press
proofing method where a job is printed from the digital
file using ink jet, color laser, dye sublimation, or thermal
wax print technologies to give a good approximation of
what the final printed piece will look like. The digital
proof is generally less expensive than other pre press
proofs. digital proofs can often be produced on the
actual paper stock of the job adding another element of
Digital proofing also includes a type of almostWYSIWYG on-screen monitor proofing or soft proofing
generally only used in the early stages of production.
- digital proofs come in continuous tone and halftone
proofs. Strides in color technology increasingly allow
some digital proofs to serve as contract proofs.
Direct to Plate
direct to PlAte in the computer-to-Plate or
CTP process the image of the page from a digital file is
recorded directly from the file to the printing plate instead
of creating film and making the plate from the film.
Although ctP is a printing process, in order to insure
the best possible output it is important that the designer
discuss ctP with their printer. the printer's familiarity
with the process, their equipment, the type of plates, and
file format and preparation all play a role in the success
of the computer-to-plate process.
When ink makes contact with a porous
substrate which cause the size of the ink dot to enlarge.
Dots per inch specification of an image.
1. An electronic image in which the picture
elements have only two intensity values; black and white.
2. in printing, a duotone is printed in two colors from
plates that were made from films that had the screen
angles different from each other.
- More Screening info: Screen angles: Frequently a
desktop publishers nightmare. the angles at which
halftone, duo tones, tri tones, and color separation
printing films are placed to make them look right.
dye-sublimation printers lay down color in continuous
tones one color at a time, instead of dots of ink. Because the color is absorbed into the paper rather than
sitting on the surface, the output is more photo-realistic, more durable, and less vulnerable to fading than
other ink technologies.
In engraving, a metal die with an impression cut into the surface is filled with an opaque
engraving ink then pressed against paper creating
raised areas of the paper coated with ink. engraving
creates the raised surface on the front of the paper.
Examples: Used for fine wedding invitations and
sometimes business cards and letterhead, the raised effect of engraving is similar in appearance to thermography without the glossy look, but the cost is generally
higher. engraving is a form of intaglio printing.
The creation of a three-dimensional
design or image on paper is known as embossing . Heat
and pressures reshapes the surface of the paper to create
the image. Single, multi-level, beveled, and sculptured
are the styles of embossing. embossing can be done on
plain paper or combined with ink, images, or foil for
special effects. 2) Graphics software can simulate the
three-dimensional look of embossing
When ink spreads as it soaks into
the paper, causing the image to lose its sharpness.
Frequently used for printing on
plastic, foil, acetate film, brown paper, and other
materials used in packaging, flexography uses flexible
printing plates made of rubber or plastic. the inked plates
with a slightly raised image are rotated on a cylinder
which transfers the image to the substrate. Flexography
uses fast-drying inks, is a high-speed print process, can
print on many types of absorbent and non-absorbent
materials, and can print continuous patterns (such as for
giftwrap and wallpaper).
Also Known As: flexographic printing | flexo
A combination of foil stamping
- application of foil with heat - and embossing - creating
a raised impression - that results in a raised and foil
stamped image is described as foil embossing.
Also Known As: combo emboss, registered emboss
The application of foil, a special
film-backed material, to paper where a heated die is
stamped onto the foil, making it adhere to the surface
leaving the design of the die on the paper. Foil stamping can be combined with embossing to create a more
striking 3d image.
Four Color Process (Process Colors)
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black inks are used to print Full
For position only. the using a low resolution
version of an image to indicate where and how the final
image will look when using the final, Hi-Res image.
The entire range of colors possible to reproduce
using a system such as four color process or on a device
such as a computer monitor.
Giclee Giclee (zhee-klay)
Giclee (zhee-klay) - The French word "giclée"
is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid.
the word may have been derived from the French verb
"gicler" meaning "to squirt".
- The term "giclee print" connotes an elevation in print
making technology. images are generated from high
resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality
inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine
art, and photo-base paper. the giclee printing process
provides better color accuracy than other means of
With gravure printing an image is etched
on the surface of a metal plate, the etched area is
filled with ink, then the plate is rotated on a cylinder
that transfers the image to the paper or other material. Money and vinyl Flooring is printed using this
Also Known As: rotogravure
Image/Art which contains
numerous shades of gray with no color
A continuous tone image that has
been photographed or scanned and then converted into
tiny dots whose variations in size create the appearance
of variations in tone. light areas, or highlights, have
small dots and darker areas, or shadows, have larger dots.
The higher the density of an image
the more opaque (prevents show through), the lower the
density the more transparent the image is.
In order to compensate for minor misalignments on the printing press it is sometimes necessary to slightly overlap touching colors. Spread is one
process where a lighter color spreads out and overlaps
a darker color. See the definition and illustration for
choke, a related term.
In the various intaglio printing methods, the area of the image to be printed is
recessed into the surface of the printing plate and the
recessed areas are filled with ink. The incised image
may be etched, engraved with chemicals or tools.
intaglio printing is used for printing U.S. paper currency and for other fine art print making. The image to
be printed is incised into the plates, the incisions filled
with ink, and excess ink wiped from the plates. Heavy
pressure is applied to transfer the ink from the plates
to the paper, leaving the surface slightly raised and
the back side slightly indented. other forms of printing that use the intaglio process include engraving and
A portion of an image that
has been removed. When two colors overlap, they don't
normally print on top of each other. the bottom color is
knocked out of - not printed - in the area where the other
color overlaps. Knockout type is typically text that is
knocked out or reversed out of a dark background so that
the type appears in the color of the paper.
The area of the printed page that is safest
to place important elements. the area surrounding the
live area may print, but is too close to trim edges to call
it safe. if the trim edge shifts the important elements of
your printed page may get cut out.
Lines per inch specification for printing presses and
The method of hiding and exposing parts of
art/image in order to control how the image will appear
to the viewer.
An actual size hand made representation of
Offset Lithography Printing
lithographic process works by first transferring an
image photographically to thin metal, paper, or plastic printing plates. Unlike other forms of printing, in
offset lithography the image on the printing plate is
not recessed or raised. rollers apply oil-based ink and
water to the plates. Since oil and water don't mix, the
oil-based ink won't adhere to the non-image areas.
only the inked image portion is then transferred to a
rubber blanket (cylinder) that then transfers the image onto the paper as it passes between it and another
cylinder beneath the paper.
A page spread refers to facing or
adjacent pages in a layout or adjacent pages laid out
The weight, measured in pounds, of
500 sheets (a ream) of paper cut to a standard size is its
That standard size (basic size) is not the same for all
paper grades. the major paper grades such as bond or
cover have their own standard sizes which determine the
basis weight for that grade of paper regardless of the final
size of the paper
Method of bookbinding where a
flexible adhesive attaches a paper cover to the spine
of the assembled signatures is called perfect binding .
Paperback novels are one example of perfect binding.
variations of perfect binding are where the cover is
glued only to the side of the spine and allow the book
A series of cuts on a sheet which
are generally used to detach a portion of the sheet.
Perforations may run either horizontally, vertically, or
both directions on a sheet. the area between cuts is called
Unit of measure in typesetting. one pica = 1/6
Printing processes such as offset lithography
use printing plates to transfer an image to paper or
other substrates. the plates may be made of metal,
plastic, rubber, paper, and other materials. the image
is put on the printing plates using photo mechanical,
photochemical, or laser engraving processes. the image may be positive or negative.
typically, printing plates are attached to a cylinder in
the press. ink is applied to the plate's image area and
transferred directly to the paper or to an intermediary
cylinder and then to the paper. in screen printing, the
screen is the equivalent of the printing plate. it can be
created manually or photochemically and is usually a
porous fabric or stainless steel mesh stretched over a
Pantone color Matching System
Posterization of an image entails
conversion of a continuous gradation of tone to several
regions of fewer tones, with abrupt changes from
one tone to another. this was originally done with
photographic processes to create posters. it can now be
done photographically or with digital image processing,
and may be deliberate or may be an unintended artifact of
Pixels Per inch
A press proof is a proof from the
printing press, plates, and actual inks specified for the
job. A press proof is used to verify images, tone values, colors, and imposition. Because it involves setting
up the job and running a proof on the actual paper to
be used, it is normally done with the designer on-site
(and sometimes your customer as well). it's your last
chance to get it right and can add additional cost to
the job. A press proof is generally done in lieu of a pre
press contract proof.
A general term for a variety of options for seeing
what your file will look like when printed is a proof.
Printing proofs are used for checking that all text and
graphics and colors come out as expected before going
to press. A pre press proof uses ink jets, dyes, overlays or
other methods to simulate the final printed piece. A press
proof uses the printing plates and inks specified for the job.
When scaling an image/Art up or
down, apply the same percentage amount of reduction or
increase to the width and length so you do not distort the
Images/Art are made up of a series of
pixels. each pixel has it's own color information and is
spaced out depending on the resolution of the image file
or monitor screen. When raster images are enlarged, the
dots enlarge and spread causing blur. When raster images
are scaled down, their pixels get smaller and tighter and
can plug up.
Vector files can be rasterized. They no
longer will be vector after rasterized.
To position print in the proper position
in relation to the edge of the sheet and to other printing
on the same sheet.
Image resolution describes the detail an
image holds. the term applies equally to digital images,
film images, and other types of images.
Color red, Green, Blue Additive colors
Royalty Free Photos/Images
images are photographs, clip art and other pictorial
representations created for general use. Users pay to
acquire the images, then can use them an unlimited
or fixed number of times for certain purposes without
paying additional fees.
A method of securing loose
printed pages with staples down the middle of a folded
sheaf of papers. Many booklets are saddled-stitched.
Side-stitching is a similar method where the pages are
stapled about 1/4" from the spine.
Also Known As: booklet making, staple-stitche
Refers to the dominance of hue
in the color. on the outer edge of the hue wheel are the
'pure' hues. As you move into the center of the wheel,
the hue we are using to describe the color dominates
less and less. When you reach the center of the wheel,
no hue dominates. these colors directly on the central
axis are considered desaturated. these desaturated colors
constitute the grayscale; running from white to black
with all of the intermediate grays in between. Saturation,
therefore, is the dimension running from the outer edge
of the hue wheel (fully saturated) to the center (fully
desaturated), perpendicular to the value axis.
A proportionately scaled hand
made representation of a project.
A crease put on paper to help it fold better.
Using the same paper as the text for the
A darkened version of a color. (Black added)
Sheet Feed Press
The sheet-fed press prints on
individual sheets of paper, as opposed to continuous rolls
of paper used on web presses. Sheet-fed presses come in
different sizes. Quick printers often use the small presses
which print on letter size pages. The larger commercial
sheet-fed presses handle much larger sheets of paper.
Sheet-fed presses can also print on card stock, plastics,
metal, and other substrates. A sheet-fed press may consist of multiple print units that each print a different color of
Several folios collected together for
sewing make up a signature. Multiple signatures usually
make up a book. A signature is like a booklet with several
such booklets put together to form a book.
A term that refers to the fact that no
process inks will be used to produce the project. the ink
will be used right out of the can or the art is prepared
using spot colors.
Man made colors made using
man made inks. the more you combine them together
the closer to black you get.
Spot Color Printing
Not CMYK. ink right out of
the can is printed rather than mixing process colors.
Inks printing on top of one another.
Sheet mark which shows how well the
colors are registering up in a given area of the press sheet.
A file or project element such as a pattern,
reference or library. which when made and used properly,
will contain vital elements and information for the project
so it has not been necessary to create those elements and
information from scratch. Meant to be used repeatedly in
order to save time.
Text Weight Paper
A paper weight classification
used to select lighter weight stock suitable for letterhead,
flyers, booklet pages, envelopes, etc. (See Paper Weight
Commonly known as poor man's
engraving, thermography produces raised printing
similar in appearance to engraving but using a different process. in thermography, a special powder
is added to the ink printed on the paper. the printed
piece is heated and the powder and ink mixture dries
to form a raised effect on the paper.
Also Known As: offset thermography | raised printing thermography examples:
thermography is often used in place of the more expensive engraving process to produce wedding invitations, business cards, and letterhead.
Quick, hand drawn, sketches of a
project. Used for planning and strategizing and showing
a client/art director your ideas. they can be rough or
A lightened version of a color. (White added)
When a document consists of more than one
color of ink the page may have to pass through the
printing press two or more times as each color is applied to the paper. Sometimes the paper or the plates
applying the ink may shift. When objects and colors
don't align properly there can be little gaps. this is
called misregisteration. Trapping digital files is the
process of compensating for the possibility of misregistration on the printing press by printing small areas
of overlapping color where objects meet. trapping
makes those gaps less noticeable, even invisible.
trapping is accomplished with features built-in to
some software programs or with dedicated programs
devoted solely to trapping. Many commercial printers
prefer to do the trapping themselves.
Although many commercial printers prefer to do the
trapping themselves, designers should know what
trapping is and how to design documents that help
minimize the need for trapping.
The final size of a printed page after
excess edges have been cut off is the trim size. Crop
marks to indicate where to cut are printed in the edges
that are then trimmed after printing.
An electronic image in which the picture
elements have three intensity values; black, white and
a 3rd color.(or any other combination of colors). 2. in
printing, a tritone is printed in three colors from plates
that were made from films that had the screen angles
different from each other.
A liquid shellac or plastic-like coating put on
a printed piece like a layer of clear ink, varnish adds a
glossy, satin, or dull (matte) finish. Part of the printing
or finishing process, varnish is applied like a final layer
of ink after a piece is printed. it may be clear or tinted.
varnish can be used functionally to reduce glare or
enhance readability or as a design element to smooth,
highlight, add texture, or create added dimension. it
can be a flood coating (applied to the entire page) or a
spot (applied to only parts of the page or design).
the term varnish is often used informally to refer to
other types of finish coatings including UV (ultra-violet) and AQ (Aqueous, water-based). Discuss the use
of a varnish or other finish with your printer to be sure
you are in agreement on the actual type of treatment
for your specific job.
Also Known As: overprint varnish | overprint coating
Art produced using a program which
uses points and lines to create line segments and
filled shapes. Vector art can be enlarged infinitely w/o
loosing any resolution.
Prints on continuous rolls of paper or
other substrates. Some can print on both sides of the
paper at the same time. it can consist of several connected units for printing different colors of ink and
doing cutting, folding, and punching.
High-speed commercial web presses use wide rolls of
paper for newspapers, books, etc. and use heat to set the
ink (heat-set web). Small or cold-set web presses handle
lower volume printing of forms, direct mail, and smaller
publications with paper roll widths as little as 11 inches.
Newspaper presses can occupy several floors and
contain multiple 4-color and single color printing units
as well as a variety of folding sections to handle the
different sections of the paper.
Also Known As: web-fed examples: A web press is
typically used for very high volume printing such as
for magazines and newspapers. Web presses are much
faster than most sheet-fed presses. Printing presses for
flexographic printing, often used for packaging, are
usually web presses.