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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Calender Rolls
A set or stack of horizonal cast-steel rolls with polished ground surfaces at the end of a paper machine. The paper is passed between the rolls to increase the smoothness and gloss of it's surface.

Calendered Paper
Paper that is pressed between steel rollers during manufacture to increase smoothness and reduce porosity.

A measure of paper thickness expressed in units of a thousandth of an inch. Caliper is an important indication of a sheet's uniformity, which is important for consistency on the press and in the bindery.

Camera Ready
Copy which is ready for photography

Caps and Small Cap
Two sizes of capital letters made in one size of type, Commonly used in most Roman typefaces

Carrier Envelope
The outside envelope on which the mailing address is written.

The covers of a hard bound book

Cast Coated
Coated paper dried under pressure against a polished drum to produce a high-gloss enamel finish.

A term which refers ti improper drying of ink . Pigment dusts off because the vehicle has been absorbed too rapidly into the paper.

Change Service Requested
One of four ancillary service endorsements, this instructs the Postal Service to provide the sender a notice of new address or reason for nondelivery. The mailpiece is disposed by the Postal Service. There is a minimum charge of $0.20 per piece.

Character Generation
The production of of typographic images using font master data. Generated to screens or output devices.

Charge Coupled Device CCD
A semiconductor light sensitive electronic device that emits an electrical signal proportional to the amount of light striking it. Used in scanners and video cameras.

Chemical Pulp
Treatment of groundwood chips with chemicals to remove impurities such as ligin, resins and gums. There are two types, sulfite and sulfate.

A term used to describe the composition of processing solutions.

Chokes and Spreads
Overlap of overprinting images to avoid color or white fringes or borders around image detail. Called Trapping in digital systems.

CIE Color Spaces
These are three dimensional color mapping systems such as CIELab, CIELUV and CIEL "a"b" which are used to plot the three color attributes X,Y,Z.

Closed Loop Systems
A completely automatic control system.

CMY(Cyan, Magenta, Yellow)
Subtractive Primary Colors, each of which is a combination of two additive primary colors(RGB)

Cyan, magenta, yellow and black—the four printing colors. In printing, the order of the letters may imply the printing sequence in 4-color work. Thus, KCMY may be used to indicate that the first ink printed is black, followed by cyan, magenta and yellow.

Coated Paper
Paper having a surface coating which produces a smooth finish. Sufraces vary from eggshell to glossy .

Combination of binders and pigments applied to coated paper that defines the color and creates the printing surface.

Cold Color
A color with a bluish cast.

Cold Type
Preparation of any printing form intended to be reproduced photographically. The term is seldom used today since virtually all type is cold type.

The gathering of sheets and signature

A screenless printing process of the photographic ink-water type in which the plates are coated with bichromated gelatin, exposed to continous tone negatives, and printed on lithographic presses with special dampening.

Color Balance
The correct combination of cyan, magenta, and yellow to reproduce a photograph without a color cast.

Color Correction
Any method such as masking, dot-etching, re-etching and scanning, used to improve color rendition.

Color Electronic Prepress System (CEPS)
A high end computer based system that is used to color correct scanner images and assemble image elements into final pages. They are device dependent systems.

Color Filter
A sheet of dyed glass,gelatin or plastic or dyed gelatin cemeted between glass plates, used in photography to asorb certain colors and transmit others.The filters used for color seperation are red, green and blue.

Color Keys
Off-press overlay color proofs using 3M Color Key Materials

Color Seperation
The process of seperating color originals ito the primary printing color components in negative or postive form using RGB Filters

An instrument for measuring color the way the eye sees color.

Commercial Register
Color printing on which the misregister allowable is within plus or minus one row of dots.

Commingled Mailing
Combined Mailing of magazines of the same size to the same address to save costs.

Common Impression Cylinder Press
A press with a number of pressing units around a large impression cylinder.

Rough color proof of a final printed piece.

Compact Disc Read Only Memory CDROM
A laser encoded optical storage device that can store 650 to 1000 megabytes of data on a 5 inch disc.

composite black
Black produced by overprint of cyan, magenta and yellow. Also called “rich black”.

Computer To Plate
Computer to Plate systems or platesetter eliminate the need for having a seperate film-to-plate exposure system.

Computer To Plate
Computer-To-Plate systems or platesetters eliminate the need for having a seperate film-to-plate exposure system.

Computer-Aided Drafting or Design
The production of drawings and plans for Architecture and Engineering systems. CADD Systems are specialized workstations or high performance personal computers that employ CADD Software Packages and input devices such as graphic tablets and scanners.

Computerized Composition
An all-inclusive term for the use of computers to automatically perform the functions of hyphenation, justification and page formatting.

A property of fountain solutions that must be controlled along with pH.

Contact Print
A photographic print made from a negative or positive in contact with sensitized paper, film or printing plate.

Contact Screen
A halftone screen on film having a dot structure of graded density, used in vacuum contact with the photographic film to produce halftones.

Continuous Tone
An image which contains gradient tones from black to white.

Abbr for continous tone

Contract Proof
A color proof representing an agreement between the printer and customer regarding how the final product will look.

The tonal gradation between highlights and shadows in an image. High contrast features extreme light and dark areas.

Any furnished material(typewritten manuscript, pictures, artwork, etc.) to be used in the production of printing.

Any furnished material(typewritten manuscript, pictures, artwork, etc.) to be used in the production of printing.

Copy Preparation
Directions for, and checking of, desired size and other details for illustrations, and the arrangement into proper position of various parts of the page to be photographed or electronically processed for reproduction.

Copy Preparation
Directions for, and checking of, desired size and other details for illustrations, and the arrangement into proper position of various parts of the page to be photographed or electronically processed for reproduction.

cotton paper
Paper made with a minimum of 25% cotton fiber.

courtesy response envelope
An envelope included in a mailing as a courtesy for the recipient to respond. It contains the mailing address to which the response is to be mailed. In not-for-profit mailings, it should also contain the appropriate bar code and FIM. Postage must be added.

Cover Paper
Any paper commonly used for the outside covers of brochures and books or for business cards. The basic sheet size for cover is 20 x 26.

CREF (Standards)
Computer Ready Electronic Files

Crop Marks
Lines printed at the edges of a sheet to indicate where it should be trimmed.

Cross Direction
The direcrtion across the grain. Paper is weaker and more sensitive to changes in relative humidity in the cross direction than the grain direction.

The curling that sometimes occurs along the edges of a sheet when the paper is exposed to extreme humidity changes or other physical stresses. This tendency is less likely in papers with recycled content because the paper fibers are shorter.

Cut Size
Writing and business papers that are cut to a finished size of 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14 or 11 x 17. Cut-size papers are usually packed in reams of 250 or 500 sheets depending on their weight.

The cut or print length.

A sharp edged knife, several thousandths of an inch lower than the cutting rules in a die, made to cut part way into the paper or board for folding purposes.

Hue of a subtractive primary and a 4 color process ink. It reflects or transmits blue and green light and asorbs red light.

Cylinder Gap
The gap or space in the cylinders of a press where the mechanism for plate(or blanket) clamps and grippers(sheetfed) is housed