PRINTING TERMS

Bleed
An image or printed color that runs to the edge of the paper. Since a press can not print ink right up the edge of a sheet, the image is printed on an oversized sheet and then trimmed to size. Bleeding increases the amount of paper needed, which may increase the production cost of the job.

Coated Paper
Paper with a layer of coating applied to one (C1S) or both (C2S) sides, such as gloss, dull and matte finish. Due to decreased dot gain, coated papers provide sharper images and are used frequently in 4 color process work as well as in black and white halftones.

Color Separation
The separation of color artwork or transparencies on to a separate sheet for each color.

Composite Image
A photograph or other image that is created by a combination of multiple images on a single sheet.

Die-Cutting
The use of a sharp, formed piece of metal to cut out specific shapes in a piece of paper.

Digital Printing
Printing technology which permits the linking of printing presses to computers. Benefits include: faster turnaround times, lowered production costs, and the ability to personalize documents. It is frequently used for on-demand or short-run color printing.

Dots per Inch (DPI)
A measure of computer screen and printer resolution that is referred to as the number of dots that a device can print or display per inch. The more dots per inch, the sharper the image.

Dummy
Replica of the finished piece, marked with color breaks and folds, made with the paper selected for the job.

Duotone
A two color halftone of the same image created by using two screens, two plates, and two colors.

Emboss
The creation of a raised (embossed) image by pressing a shape into a sheet of paper with a metal or plastic die.

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
A computer graphics file format developed by Adobe Systems that usually contains object-oriented files.

Foil Stamping
The application of foil to paper. May also be combined with embossing for added interest.

Four(4) Color Process (CMYK)
A method of printing that uses dots of cyan, magenta, yellow and black to recreate the continuous tones and variety of colors in a color image.

Halftone
The method by which photographs and other images are printed by using cells of dots to simulate the tones between light and dark. A printing press is not able to change the tone of ink, therefore dots of color are used to trick the eye into seeing a continuous tone image. To accomplish this, the photo is shot through a mesh of a screen that breaks the image into tiny dots. The closer the lines of the screen, the smaller the dots and the more dots per inch, leading to a crisper image.

Offset Printing
An indirect printing process whereby ink is transferred to the paper by a blanket that carries an impression from the printing plate, rather than directly from the plate itself. This is the most common method of commercial printing at this time.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
Software that translates images of letters entered into the computer with a scanner into characters that can be manipulated as text but not as images.

PMS (PANTONE Matching System)
A color matching system created by Pantone.

Printing Plate
A thin object (plate) made of either metal or paper which is light sensitive and causes an image to be transferred to paper while on a printing press. The image is burned onto the plate by the use of high intensity light. The surface of the plate is treated or configured so that only the printing image is receptive to the ink which transfers to the printed object.

Proof
A method of checking for errors prior to printing an order. Normally the last prepress operation. A press proof is used by the printing press operator to ensure the correctness of the finished product during the production of the order.

Process Color (CMYK)
One of the four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) that is used in producing full-color images, such as color photographs.

Raster Image
Processor (RIP) Hardware and software which translates data into a series of dots for output.

Resolution
The number of picture elements (pixels) per unit of linear measurement (normally an inch) on a computer monitor, or the number of dots per inch (dpi) in printed form.

RGB (Red, Green, and Blue)
RGB are called additive colors because added together they may create all colors. Typically, RGB is used for slide presentations, computer software and games, and anything that is viewed on a video monitor.

Saddle Stitch
The binding of sheets of paper to form a book by use of staples or stitching through the spine.

Score
To mechanically crease or press a channel into paper along a line so it will fold more easily.

Spot Color
A single color ink or varnish applied to printed material. Primarily used when process colors are not appropriate. The effective use of spot color can add heightened interest to printed materials without incurring the cost of process colors.

Trapping
The deliberate overlap of adjacent colors to minimize the effects of misregistration of printed materials.

Trim Size
Size of the printed product after the last trim is made.

UV Coating
Liquid laminate bonded and cured to the sheet with ultraviolet light.

Varnish
A coating added on top of paper to serve as protection, add a finish, or add a tinge of color. Varnishes are very effective in adding emphasis or eye-appeal to printed material. A flood varnish is applied to the entire page; a spot varnish is applied only to selected image areas and requires a printing plate to apply.

Watermark
Distinctive design created in paper fibers during paper manufacture.