Printing Partners Glossary of Terms
Printing Partners  Printing Partners Glossary of Terms
Printing experience
Every industry has a collection of words that are unique. The printing industry is no exception.
We have gathered a group of what we consider to be the most important terms in printing and finishing. Hopefully you will find this glossary useful.

The following definitions are offered to provide a common understanding for phrases such as “we’ll print your brochure 4/4 work/turn with satin aqueous coating.”

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The back of a bound book connecting the two covers; also called spine.

Backing Up
Printing the back, or reverse side, of a sheet hat has already been printed on one side.

Bad Break
In composition, starting a page or ending a paragraph with a single word, or widow.

A series of vertical bars and spaces that represents any numerical series, most often a correct zip code for the delivery address on a mailpiece. The barcode facilitates automated processing by barcode readers and scanners

Basic Size
The sheet size of a each paper type that is used to determine its basis weight; for example, basic size for book paper is 25 x 38, bristol is 22.5 x 28.5, cover is 20 x 26 and the basic size for writing paper is 17 x 22 inches.

Basis Weight
The weight in pounds of one ream (500 sheets) of a particular paper type that has been cut to its basic sheet size.

In presses, the flat surfaces or rings at the ends of cylinders that come in contact with each other during printing and serve as a basis for determining packing thickness

Beta Site
A test site for computer software or systems.

Bezier Curve
The description of a character, symbol or graphic by its outline used by drawing programs to define shapes.

Bimetal Plate
In lithography, a plate used for long runs in which the printing image base is usually copper and the non-printing area is aluminum, stainless steel or chromium.

Bimetal Plate
In lithography, a plate used for long runs in which the printing image base is usually copper and the non-printing area is aluminum, stainless steel or chromium.

The fastening together of papers to create a book or brochure. The most common style of binding are case, mechanical, perfect, saddle stitched and side stitched.

The basic unit of of digital information.

In computer imaging, the electronic representation of a page, indicating thr position of every spot(zero or one).

Black & White
Originals or reproductions in a single color as distinguished from multicolor.

Intermediate surface used in offset printing to transfer ink from plate to paper.

An image that extends all the way to a cut line or into the gutter of a book. Bleeds must extend at least 0.125 inches past the intended cut line to allow for slight misregistration in cutting or finishing.

Blind Embossing
An embossed (raised) image presented without the use of ink or foil.

Blind Image
An image that has lost its ink receptivity and fails to print.

An image enlargement

In Inking, a term refering to the viscosity, or consistency, of an ink.

Body Type
A type used for the main part or text of a printed piece, as distingushed from the heading.

Bold Face Type
A name given to type that is heavier than the text type with which it is used.

Bond Paper
Standard uncoated sheet in 17 x 22 inch basis size.

Book Paper
Standard coated or uncoated sheet for book printing in 25 x 38 inch basic size. This classification includes offset and opaque sheets.

Bits Per Inch

Bits Per Second

Break for Color
To seperate the parts to be printed in different colors

The percentage of light in a narrow spectral range reflected from the surface of a sheet of paper. Brightness is not necessarily related to the whiteness of a sheet, but refers to the amount of light reflected back to the viewer. Bright sheets illuminate transparent inks and provide cleaner, crisper colors.

A heavyweight paper made to a caliper of .006" or higher. Bristol is generally less expensive and lower quality than cover. The basic size for bristol is 22.5 x 28.5.

A pamphlet bound in Booklet form

Printing with a sizing ink, then applying bronze powder while still set to produce a metallic lustre.

Paper thickness.

Bump Exposure
An exposure in halftone photography, especially with contact screens, in which the screen is removed for a short time. It increases highlight contrast and drops out the dots in the whites.

A common term used for a plate exposure.

Business Reply Envelope (BRE)
An postage-paid envelope included in a mailing. A BRE carries a business reply permit number. Postage due on a BRE is paid by the permit holder only if the envelope is used. A business reply permit number is different from a mailing permit number and requires a separate application.

A unit of digital information, equivalent to one character.