What’s with the jargon? Here’s a comprehensive list to assist you with a better understanding of buying print.

Adobe PostScript®
Industry standard page description language used for printing documents.

Author’s Alterations
Amendments made to copy after press approval from the author, these changes are chargeable and can include plate fees

Author’s Corrections
Corrections made that deviate from the initial brief original copy by the author

Author’s Proof
Final proof including corrections made by author or designer

A file describing a sequential collection of bits that combine to display an image on the screen. Some of the most popular bitmaps are BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, and TIFF.

When an image extends to the edge of a printed sheet an allowance of 3-5 mm is requiredon all artwork for the guillotiningstage to the final sheet.

Blind emboss
A design stamped or pressed without printed ink

Abbreviation of Bitmap a file format for bitmap images

Burst binding
A clean flat spine, an allowance of 2mm x 4 mm is require on the bound edge. This allowance absorbs the glue during the binding process.

The covers of a hard bound book generally made of fabric and glued to board.

The thermal application of a thin laminate film, lightweight and flexible it is suitable for most applications and is very popular with business card and magazine covers, the designer’s choice it produces a smooth tactile finish whilst adding longevity to the paper stock

Also known as four colour process inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) used in printing of full colour material.

Coated paper
Coated paper is paper with a surface coating applied and comes in matt, silk, satin or glossy

Colour bars
A band of colour printed on the edge of a sheet used to check accuracy of colour density during the print process whilst on the press

Concertina Fold
Also know as zig zig or Z fold (as opposed to role fold)

The term used when paper is folded in a book with the inner pages protruding, these pages are guillotined down to an even finish. Creep needs to be taken into account when preparing art files for books or magazines

CTP (Computer to Plate)
Is the process by which printing plates are made eliminating the need for film

Cutting of specific shapes in paper

Digital Proof
A digital proof is a prepress copy of the final file on an ink jet plotter printer and produced in the same format that will be used on a press. A high resolution proof used for colour indication, and a backed up low resolution for trims, pagination, creep, and bleed

Drop shadow
A tone of colour, or line, which falls on one side of horizontal and vertical parts of type creating a somewhat 3D appearance

Sample of the proposed work prepared before printing to assist in assessing design and estimating production requirements

Dust jacket
Loose outer wrap to a case-bound book to protect the binding.

A textured pattern resulting in a raised appearance using ink or foil as opposed to blind embossing

A step used in bookbinding case bound books endpapers are applied to the inside covers to complete a neat finish

An EPS(Encapsulated Post Script) file can be created in a number of applications, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator. These files are standard for exchanging Vector Graphics and is the most useable format for graphic design

Page numbers, generally with the odd numbers appearing on the right hand side and with exclusion of the cover

Typeface the name of your print

Grain of paper
The direction in which the majority of fibres lie a consideration in feeding the paper through a press

This is an allowance made to allow printing presses to grip paper to feed into the press usually about 10mm

The thickness of paper

HTML or HTM Files
Files that can be read by a web browser

The layout pages to ensure correct order and orientation when printed and folded

International standard book numbering system that identifies a particular author, publisher, title

JPG or JPEG: (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
JPEG is a compression algorithm that has been conceived to reduce the size of natural, photographic images as much as possible without affecting the quality of the image as experienced by the human eye

An outline of finished product often used in presentation folders to then identify die cutting forme

Bonding clear plastic film by heat and pressure to a sheet of paper to protect the print and improve its durability

Two pages of a book, the front and back of a piece of paper.

Final machine preparation for printing to ensure an even impression over the entire printing area. This can be a significant percentage of the costs of printing, particularly for short runs of colour work.

Perimeter of the print area of a page.

Matt Etch
Matt Etch Varnish is a relatively new printing method that allows gloss and matt to appear on the same side, it is a great look and not dissimilar to Spot UV visually, matt etching is more economical and is produced faster than spot UV

Matt Stock
Paper no sheen finish.

Offset printing
In which the image is transferred from plate to paper by cylinder. This is a general term for offset lithography.

Offset paper
Paper specially made for printing by offset lithography.

Opacity property:
This is the property of paper which minimises “show through” of printing from the reverse side of a sheet of paper. It refers to the degree to which paper will transmit light. Opacity is a relative expression (a paper that transmits a proportion of light is said to be translucent whereas one transmitting no light is said to be opaque) and it depends on the extent to which light is absorbed or scattered within a sheet structure or reflected back instead of being transmitted. High numbers denote high opacity.

The printing over an area already printed.

When more copies are printed than ordered

Pantone Colours (PMS)
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the universal system used for non-process colours in the printing industry and at times gives a different result to a CMYK equivalent

Paper sizes
Paper comes in a variety of standard sizes and press sizes are always much larger than the finished size of your printed product

PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format)
An international document file format. Adobe PDF preserves the exact look and feel of any source document including fonts, formatting, colours and graphics regardless of the application and platform used to create it.

Perfect binding
The process of section sewing pages of a magazine where glue penetrates the sections and cover is then drawn to the spine

A process that prints both sides of a sheet of paper in a one pass operation.

Roll Fold
Folding in the one direction

Saddle stitching
Securing pages by staples through the centre fold. In saddle-stitched work the printed sections are inserted one inside the other and can result in creep

Creating an indent to allow a neat fold without cracking

Process during the printing sequence when a sealer or vanish is applied to seal the ink onto the sheet to stop scuffing, particularly applicable to satin and silk papers

Self Cover
Where both cover and pages use identical stock

When print on one side of a paper can be seen easily from the other side a consideration when heavy ink coverage is in artwork file

Securing sections of a book by inserting stitches through the first sheet to the last.

Screen Printing
Method of printing from stencils through a fine mesh of silk, metal or other material

Spiral binding
Book bound with wires or Plastakoil in spiral form inserted through holes punched along the binding side, a good choice in the production of diaries where for optimal functionality the book is best flat when open

Spot UV
The application of UV coating to part of the paper surface, generally to achieve a contrast between a gloss and matt, popular applications are to logos or areas to achieve visual prominence

Thermoplastic binding
Also know as perfect or burst, the form of binding in which the pages are attached to the cover by means of applying heat-set plastic glue.

TIFF or TIF (Tagged Image File Format)
This is a rather old standard that is still very popular. It is a highly flexible and platform-independent format which is supported by numerous image processing applications and virtually all prepress software on the market.

Trim marks
Guideline marks placed on copy to indicate the edge of the page for guillotining

Illustration in which the tone fades gradually away until it blends into the unprinted paper.

Process of cleaning the rollers and plates after printing

Web press
A press which prints from reels of paper and folds during the process, most commonly seen in newspapers and catalogues

Wiro Binding
Also known as spiral binding, a continuous length wire loops run through punched slot along to bind a book or diary and sometimes used in tender applications

Compressed archive file to reduce file size