Adhesive binding

Applying a glue or another, usually hot-melt, substance along the backbone edges of assembled, printed sheets; the book or magazine cover is applied directly on top of the tacky adhesive


Analog workflow

Traditional workflow that relies heavily on film and photosensitive materials and processes


Application files

The files that contain the data created by software programs; also called data files






Joining the assembled pages of a printed piece together. Types include saddle-stitching, adhesive binding, mechanical binding, loose-leaf binding, and Smyth sewing



An image represented by an array of picture elements, each of which is encoded as a single binary digit



(1) In presswork, a sheet of cork, felt, or rubber used on a press platen or impression cylinder to cushion the impression in printing. (2) In lithography, a rubber coated fabric mounted on a cylinder that receives the inked impression from the plate and transfers or offsets it to the paper. Such blankets are also mounted on the impression cylinders of sheetfed gravure presses


Blanket cylinder

The cylinder that carries the offset rubber blanket, placing it in contact with the inked image on the plate cylinder and then transferring the inked image to the paper carried by the impression cylinder



A blue-on-white print made by exposing sensitized paper to a negative in contact. It is used as a final proof before platemaking






A process by which a scanner, monitor, or output device is adjusted to provide a more accurate display and reproduction of images



The thickness of a sheet of paper or other material measured under specific conditions. Caliper is usually measured in mils or points, both ways of expressing thousandths of an inch caliper



All printing elements are prepared to be photographed on the graphic arts camera




Compact disk‚ A read-only memory. An optical data storage device



Standard set of colored inks used for full-color reproduction on printing presses: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; also referred to as process color



An unbroken, clear film applied to a substrate in layers to protect and seal it, or to make it glossy


Color bar

A device printed in a trim area of a press sheet to monitor printing variable such as trapping, ink density, dot gain, and print contrast. It usually consists of overprints of two- and three-color solids and tints; solid and tint blocks of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; and additional aids such as resolution targets and dot gain scales


Color fidelity

How well a printed piece matches the original


Color management system

An electronic prepress tool that provides a way to correlate the color-rendering capabilities of input devices (e.g., scanners and digital cameras), color monitors, and output devices (e.g., digital color proofers, imagesetters, and color printers) to produce predictable, consistent color


Color separation

Using red, green, and blue filters to divide the colors of a multi-colored original into the three process colors and black. The four resulting film intermediates are used to prepare the yellow, magenta, cyan, and black printing plates. Color separation is most often accomplished with an electronic color scanner, but film-contacting and process camera methods are also employed on occasion


Color specification system

Charts or swatches of preprinted color patches of blended inks, each with a corresponding number, used to allow designers, printers, and customers to communicate color with more accuracy


Concept creation

Selecting images and generating and approving ideas from thumbnails and rough layouts during the graphic design process


Content proof

A proof that shows the customer the correct text and position of image elements but does not necessarily show accurate color reproduction


Contract proof

A proof intended to show the customer exactly what the printed piece will look like, including color reproduction, before the piece is approved for printing



The process of drying ink sufficiently so that it does not adhere to the printer or press. Inks are also cured to prevent blocking and setoff






Moistening nonimage areas of lithographic plates with water-covered rollers


Dampening system

A series of rollers that moisten the printing plate with a metered flow of a water-based solution containing such additives as acid, gum arabic, and isopropyl alcohol, or other wetting agents



(1) The section of a printing press that receives, jogs, and stacks the printed sheet. (2) The output end of bindery equipment



An instrument for measuring the optical density of a negative or positive transparency or of a print. Reflection densitometers measure the amount of light that bounces off a photographic print at a 90-degree angle. Transmission densitometers measure the fraction of incident light conveyed through a negative or positive transparency without being absorbed or scattered. Combination densitometers measure both reflective and transmission densities



A photographic term used to describe the tonal value of an area. A darker tone has a higher density than a lighter tone. A dry ink film has a higher density than a wet one


Desktop publishing

The creation of fully composed pages with all text and graphics in place on a system that includes a personal computer with a color monitor; word processing, page makeup, illustration, and other off-the-shelf software; digitized type fonts; a laser printer; and other peripherals, such as an optical image scanner. Completely paginated films are output from an imagesetter



A printed subject cut to a specific shape with sharp steel rules on a press


Digital camera

A photographic system that transforms visual information into pixels that are assigned binary codes so that they can be manipulated, compressed, and stored, or transmitted as electronic files


Digital workflow

Workflow that relies on electronic processes that eliminate the need for traditional film materials


Digitized Information

Text, photographs, and illustrations converted into digital signals for input, processing, and output in an electronic publishing system


Direct-to-plate technology

Those imaging systems that receive fully paginated materials electronically from computers and expose this information to plates in platesetters or imagesetters without creating film intermediates


Direct-to-press imaging

Unimaged plates are automatically mounted on the plate cylinder and then imaged with laser beams from digital data


Drum scanner

Color separation equipment on which the original transparency is wrapped around a hollow, plastic rotary cylinder



A unit on a web press that hardens the heatset ink by evaporating the solvent ingredient in it






In modern terminology, processes (including xerography and laser printing) that produce images by passing toner particles over an intermediate photoconductor drum, which receives an electrical charge that enables it to transfer and fuse the toner particles to plain (untreated) paper, forming the image



Using impressed dies to print text or designs in relief on any one of a variety of paper stocks



A glossy paper surface coating material



Encapsulated PostScript File. A file format used to transfer PostScript image information from one program to another



The process of determining approximate cost, specifying required quality and quantity, and projecting waste






A mechanism which separates, lifts, and passes individual press sheets from the top of a pile table on to the feedboard to front stops. The sheets are laterally positioned on the feedboard by a side guide and then fed into the first printing unit


File transfer protocol (FTP)

The tool used to retrieve information in the form of electronic files from any number of computer systems linked via the TCP/IP protocol. Users in effect transfer copies of information found on remote computers either directly to their own computers or to a service provider’s network and then to their own computers



Inorganic materials like clay, titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate, and other white pigments added to the papermaking furnish to improve opacity, brightness, and the overall printing surface



All forms of completing graphic arts production, including folding, trimming, and assembling sections; binding by sewing, wire stitching, or gluing; and diecutting or gold stamping



A sheet of film or goldenrod paper to which negatives or positives have been attached (stripped) for exposure as a unit onto a printing plate


Flatbed scanner

A color scanner on which the original is mounted on a horizontal table instead of a rotary drum



A method of rotary letterpress printing characterized by the use of flexible, rubber or plastic plates with raised image areas and fluid, rapid-drying inks



Bending and creasing a sheet of paper as required to form a printed product



A complete collection of characters in one typeface and size, including all letters, figures, symbols, and punctuation marks



Size, shape, and design of a printed piece






The final typeset (or imageset) copy output to photographic paper or directly to film (serving as preliminary proofs)


Graphic arts

The visual reproduction of type and images by any of the several printing processes


Graphic communications

Allied industries, including printing, publishing, advertising, and design, that participate in the production and dissemination of text and images by printed or electronic means




An intaglio printing process in which minute depressions sometimes called cells that form the image area are engraved or etched below the nonimage area in the surface of the printing cylinder. The cylinder is immersed in ink, and the excess ink is scraped off by a blade. When paper or another substrate come in contact with the printing cylinder, ink is transferred





Hazard Communication Standard

An OSHA‚Äàregulation that requires chemical manufacturers, suppliers, and importers to assess the hazards of the chemicals that they make, supply, or import, and to inform employers, customers, and workers of these hazards through material safety data sheets (MSDS).



An imperfection on a printed sheet caused by dirt, hardened ink, or other unwanted particles that cling to the press, blanket, or plate during lithographic printing. Hickeys appear as either a small, solid printed area surrounded by a white halo, or an unprinted spot surrounded by printed ink






In a computer system, a picture or drawing, such as a paint brush or trash can, that represents a file or function. Clicking the mouse on the icon activates the procedure or opens the file


Illustration software

Software used to generate vector-based images


Image area

On a lithographic printing plate, the area that has been specially treated to receive ink and repel water


Image capture

The process of converting photographs or other artwork into digital data so that they can be used in computer-based layouts


Image carrier

The device on a printing press that carries an inked image either to an intermediate rubber blanket or directly to the paper or other printing substrate. A direct-printing letterpress form, a lithographic plate, a gravure cylinder, and a screen used in screen printing are examples of image carriers


Image editing software

Software programs used for working with pixel-based images to refine, enhance, and manipulate them, as well as to create graphic elements



A device used to output fully paginated text and graphic images at a high resolution onto photographic film, paper, or plates



Assembling the various units of a page before printing and arranging them so that they will fold correctly


Impression cylinder

The hard metal cylinder that presses the paper against the inked blanket cylinder, transferring the inked image to the substrate. The impression cylinder on most sheetfed presses uses paper gripper to hold the sheet through its rotation



(1) The section of a sheetfed press where the sheet is transferred from the registering devices of the feedboard to the first impression cylinder. (2) The set of rollers controlling web tension ahead of the first unit on a web press



A printing ink is a dispersion of a colored solid (pigment) in a liquid, specially formulated to reproduce an image on a substrate



Inking system

The section of a lithographic press that controls the distribution of ink to the plate


Ink-jet printing

A nonimpact printing process in which a stream of electrostatically charged microscopic ink droplets are projected onto a substrate at a high velocity from a pressurized system. The electrically controlled flow of droplets is either intermittent or continuous



The ‚“official‚”name for an international network of computer networks linked to provide and share information and resources about a seemingly limitless number of topics





Job jacket

The work order on which the instructions for each phase of production are written. The job jacket may contain the original copy, photos, line art, and files for the job


Job specifications

A detailed description of the requirements of a print job



Joint Photographic Experts Group. The compression scheme based on the lossy compression algorithm, that is a de facto standard on the Internet. JPEG allows the user to control the compression ratio and reproduction quality at the point of compression






In folding machines, the three or four blades at different levels and at right angles to each other that force the paper between the folding rollers. The sheet of paper is pushed from one knife folding mechanism to the other until the desired number of folds have been made






A guide prepared to show the arrangement and location of all the type, illustrations, and line art that are combined together to compose the film flat


Layout, rough

A drawing developed from a thumbnail sketch but more detailed and larger



The method of printing in which the image, or ink-bearing areas, of the printing plate are in relief, i.e., raised above the nonimage areas



A printing process in which the image carrier is chemically treated so that the nonimage areas are receptive to water (i.e., dampening or fountain solution) and repel ink while the image areas are receptive to ink and repel water. The image carrier is flat and smooth



A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film.






All of the operations necessary to get the press ready to print Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)   A product specification form used to record information about the hazardous chemicals and other health and physical hazards employees face in an industrial workplace, along with guidelines covering exposure limits and other precautions. Employers are required to compile and maintain files of this information under the OSHA‚ÄàHazard Communication Standard set forth by the U.S. federal government


Mechanical binding

Clasping individual sheets together with plastic, small wire, or metal rings. Two examples are three-ring binding and spiral binding



Printed images that are incorrectly positioned, either in reference to each other or to the sheet’s edges



To fasten the plate or blanket to an offset press


Moveable type

The individual metal or wooden type characters that are taken from the typecase, arranged to form words and sentences, and then returned to the case for reuse later





Nonimage area

The portion of a lithographic printing plate that is treated to accept water and repel ink when the plate is on press. Only the ink-receptive areas will print an image


Nonimpact printing

A printing device that creates letters or images on a substrate without striking it. Large, high-speed and ordinary office photocopiers as well as laser and ink-jet printers are just some examples





Occupational Safety and Health Act

A federal law enacted in 1970 to protect workers from industrial hazards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors may appear unannounced or at the request of an employee to examine any plant for violations of the safety and health standards set forth by the act



The transfer of unwanted wet ink from a freshly printed press sheet to the back of the next sheet that is deposited against it in the delivery pile



The degree to which light will not pass through a substrate or ink


Overlay proof

Thin, transparent pigmented or dyed sheets of plastic film that are registered to each other in a specific order and taped or pin-registered to a base sheet. Each film carries the printed image for a different process color, which, when combined, creates a composite simulating the final printed piece



Combining oxygen with the drying oil in a printing ink to promote a slow chemical reaction that produces a dry ink film





Page layout software

Computer programs used to assemble type and images into page form



The camera-ready assembly of type and line art (drawings), e.g., line copy prepared manually or electronically for photographic reproduction



Portable document format. A computer file format that preserves a printed or electronic document’s original layout, type fonts, and graphics as one unit for electronic transfer and viewing. The recipient uses compatible “reader” software to access and even print the PDF file


Perfect binding

The use of glue to hold the pages of a book or magazine together


Perfecting press

A printing press that prints both sides of a sheet in a single pass through the press



Punching a row of small holes or incisions into or through a sheet of paper to permit part of it to be detached; to guide in folding; to allow air to escape from signatures; or to prevent wrinkling when folding heavy papers



The act of composing type and reproducing it on photographic film or paper



Fine, solid particles derived from natural or synthetic sources and used to impart colors to inks. They have varying degrees of resistance to water, alcohol, and other chemicals and are generally insoluble in the ink vehicle



Picture element. The smallest tonal element in a digital imaging or display system


Plate cylinder

In lithography, the cylinder that holds the printing plate tightly and in register on press. It places the plate in contact with the dampening rollers that wet the nonimage area and the inking rollers that ink the image area, then transfers the inked image to the blanket, which is held on its own cylinder



Preparing a printing plate or other image carrier so that it is ready for the press



The final stages in the printing process, in which printed sheets are transformed into saleable products, including binding, finishing, and delivery



An orderly procedure using a checklist to verify that all components of an electronic file are present and correct prior to submitting the document for high-resolution output



The stage prior to printing in which all production specs are examined, necessary materials are brought to the press, and materials are checked for damage



All printing operations prior to presswork, including design and layout, typesetting, graphic arts photography, image assembly, and platemaking



The total of acceptable copies from a single printing



All operations performed on or by a printing press that lead to the transfer of inked images from the image carrier to the paper or other substrate


Primary colors

Colors that can be used to generate secondary colors. In the additive systems, these colors are red, green, and blue. In the subtractive system these colors are yellow, magenta, and cyan. The printing process employs the subtractive color system


Print quality

The degree to which the appearance and other properties of a print job approach the desired result


Printing plates

A thin metal, plastic, or paper sheet that serves as the image carrier in many printing processes


Printing unit

The sections on printing presses that house the components for reproducing an image on the substrate. In lithography, a printing unit includes the inking and dampening systems and the plate, blanket, and impression cylinders


Process control

A system using feedback to monitor and manage a certain procedure. Input and output data are tabulated according to specific formulas and compared with certain standards and limits; the process is then adjusted as necessary


Process photography

(1) Creating line and halftone images for photomechanical reproduction. (2) The equipment, materials, and methods used in preparing color-separated printing forms for color reproduction


Production workflow

A sequence of production steps required to produce any printed item



A prototype of an image that is supposed to show how it will appear when printed on the press





Quality control

The day-to-day operational techniques and activities that are used to fulfill requirements for quality, such as intermediate and final product inspections, testing incoming materials, and calibrating instruments used to verify product quality






The overall agreement in the position of printing detail on a press sheet, especially the alignment of two or more overprinted colors in multicolor presswork. Register may be observed by agreement of overprinted register marks on a press sheet



The precision with which an optical, photographic, or photomechanical system can render visual image detail. Resolution is a measure of image sharpness or the performance of an optical system. It is expressed in lines per inch or millimeter





Saddle stitch

Binding multiples sheets by opening the signatures in the center and gathering and stitching them with a wire through the fold line. The folded sheets rest on supports called saddles as they are transported through the stitcher. Booklets, brochures, and pamphlets are most often bound this way



An electronic device used to make color separations of images



To compress or crease cardboard, pasteboard, or heavy paper along the fiber line to facilitate folding or tearing


Screen printing

A printing process in which a squeegee forces ink through a porous mesh, synthetic, or silk image carrier, or screen, covered by a stencil that blocks the nonimage areas. The ink pressed through the open image areas of the screen forms the image on the substrate


Secondary color

Colors that are produced by overprinting pairs of the primary subtractive colors. The subtractive secondaries are red, green, and blue


Service bureau

A business that specializes in color separation and/or in outputting film, paper, or plates from imagesetters



A device on a printing press that converts continuous forms into smaller sheets


Sheetfed press

A printing press that feeds and prints on individual sheets of paper (or another substrate). Some sheetfed presses employ a rollfed system in which rolls of paper are cut into sheets before they enter the feeder; however, most sheetfed presses forward individual sheets directly to the feeder


Shrink wrap

Using heat to affix a thin plastic material around printed and bound products to prepare them for shipment



One or more printed sheets folded to form a multiple page section of a book or pamphlet. Signatures are most commonly grouped as four, eight, sixteen, or thirty-two pages. Various combinations of multiple page signatures create the full complement of pages needed in the printed piece



Treating paper with chemicals or other materials to impart resistance to water, oils, and other fluids; seal down its surface fibers; and improve its surface strength


Soft proof

An intangible, unstable image, such as that on a video screen; text or images viewed or previewed on a video display terminal or monitor



A component of the vehicle in printing inks that disperses the pigment and keeps the solid binder

liquid enough for use in the printing process



The series of color bands formed when a ray of light is dispersed by refraction; the rainbow-like band of colors resulting when a ray of white light is passed through a prism



The area where to paper rolls are joined to form a continuous roll



Using a die and often colored foil or gold leaf to press a design into a book cover, a sheet of paper, or another substrate. The die may be used alone (in blank stamping) if no color or other ornamentation is necessary. Special presses fitted with heating devices can stamp designs into book covers


Standard viewing conditions

A set of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications that dictate the condition under which originals (transparencies and reflection prints), proofs, and reproductions are viewed. For the graphic arts, the standard specifies a color temperature of 5000 K (a light level of approximately 200 footcandles), a color rendering index of ninety, and, for viewing transparencies, a neutral gray surround. Large-format transparencies must be viewed with 2–4 inches of white surround and should never be viewed with a dark surround. It is also necessary to view the original or reproduction at an angle to reduce glare



The paper or other substrate to be printed



The act of combining and positioning all of the copy elements from all of the film negatives or positives together as a film flat for platemaking



Any base material with a surface that can be printed or coated



A small, printed solid used for color matching or measurement. It represents what an ink color might look like after it is printed





Thumbnail sketch

Crude, small layouts sketched in pencil to develop the initial concept for a design



Tagged image file format. A popular file format for exchanging bitmapped images (usually scans) between applications


Total quality management (TQM)

A management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction; TQM is based on the participation of all members of an organization to continuously improve processes, products, services, and the company culture



How well one color overlaps another without leaving a white space between the two or generating a third color



Composing type into words and lines in accordance with the manuscript and typographic specifications



The art and craft of creating and/or setting type professionally





No Terms Available





Vacuum frame

A device that holds film or plates in place by withdrawing air through small holes in a rubber supporting surface



(1) A thin protective coating applied to a printed sheet to protect the image and improve appearance. (2) The major component of an ink vehicle, consisting of solvent plus a resin or drying oil



Mathematical descriptions of images and their placement



The liquid component of a printing ink






The process of cleaning the rollers, form or plate, and fountain of a press with solvents to remove all ink as required after a day’s run, or during a run for ink color changes


Web press

A rotary press that prints on a continuous web, or ribbon, of paper fed from a roll and threaded through the press


Word processor

A personal computer and special software program or dedicated electronic equipment used to create, store, retrieve, and edit text






An electrostatic nonimpact printing process in which heat fuses dry ink toner particles to electrically charged areas of the substrate, forming a permanent image. The charged areas of the substrate appear dark on the reproduction, while uncharged areas remain white





No Terms Available





No Terms Available




The printing dictionary was generously supplied by PRINTING INDUSTRIES OF AMERICA




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