Printing Terms to Know

Author or Customer Alterations (AA, CA’s)- Changes made after the proof stage where a customer is responsible for additional charges.

Binding- Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book. Used on a spine.

Bleed- Extra ink area that crosses the trim line.

Cover paper is the term for a heavy, stiff paper, also known as card stock

Examples: Cover paper is used for book covers, file folders, presentation folders, greeting cards, business cards, postcards, and brochures.

CMYK – (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) Color system used by most color computer printers and in commercial printing.

Die Cut- Cutting shapes or non-square or rectangular shapes out of paper using die.

Dummy- A representation of copy and art elements to be reproduced to duplicate the finished product; also called a comp. No ink present.

Four Color Printing- Usually means process printing (CMYK).

Full Color- Term that represents printing in CMYK.

Gutter- Space between pages in the printing sheet.

Halftone- Tone graduated image (photograph) composed of varying sized dots or lines to make an image or picture.

House Sheet- This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in his shop.

Page- One side of a sheet of paper, whether it is printed or not.

Perfect Bind- A term used to describe the binding process where the book makes a squared spine.

Perforating- Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper to facilitate tearing along a desired line.

Process Inks- CMYK, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black that create images in full color.

Saddle Stitching- Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections in four page increments.

Score- Light indentation to help folding or tearing. Reduces or prevents cracking of folds.

Self Cover- A cover made out of the same paper stock as the internal (guts) sheets.

Signature- Printed sheet that consists of a number of pages of a book, paginated so they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.

Spot Color- Area printed in a second color, other than black.

Stock- A term for paper or other material to be printed.

Text Paper- Light weight paper. Also known as Book Paper

Examples: letterhead, catalog pages, brochures, flyers.

Trim Marks- Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.

Varnish- A clear shiny material used to add gloss to printed pieces, which also protects the page. Available in satin or dull.


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