Print Glossary

A sizes 

Most common paper size used for general printing, stationery and publications.


A transparent plastic sheet placed over printed originals that are commonly used to protect books.


Finished layout or typesetting, drawings or photographs, made up in a form which is ready for the printer to print from.


Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.

C sizes

A paper size used for envelopes, designed to take ‘A’ sized paper.

Case bound

A hardback book made with a stiff outer cover. Case bound books are normally covered with an outer cloth, vinyl or leather.


Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colours commonly used when printing.

Coated/Uncoated Paper

Paper with a coating improves reflectivity and colour holdout of a print. Gloss and satin are examples of coated paper. Uncoated paper is commonly used for the printing of letterhead and is also referred to as bond or offset paper.


Arrangement of printed sheets into the desired sequence.

Comb Binding

A plastic comb which is used to bind and grip the spine edge of a book.

Crop Marks

Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cutting marks and tick marks.

Desktop Publishing

The creation of artwork for print from your computer.

Die Cut

To cut irregular shapes into a paper or board using a die.

Digital Printing

Printing straight from electronic artwork (no plates used as in Litho print). Typically printed out of four colour process (CMYK). It’s ideal for short runs and faster turnarounds.

DL Envelope

A standard envelope size measuring 110mm x 220mm. They take A4 sheets folded into three.


Dots per inch that indicates the resolution an image. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution and the better quality the image.


Drilling of holes in literature which will allow insertion or a treasury tag or into a ring binder.


A term referred to when you print on both sides of a sheet of paper.


Where a printed matter is sealed in a plastic coating providing a rigid, watertight covering.


A price that states what a job will probably cost. This is also referred to as a quotation.


A set of letters, numbers or symbols that share a unified design. The design is called a typeface.

Grain Direction

The direction that the fibres in paper become aligned during manufacturing.


The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square metre).


Spots or imperfections in the printing due to such things as dirt on the press, dried ink skin or paper particles etc.


Refers to the planning/positioning of artwork so that it is reproduced in an effective and orderly method.


One impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit.


Within a publication, an additional item positioned into the publication loose (not bound in).

Job Number

A number assigned to a specific printing job in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping.


A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) Providing protection against liquid and heavy use.


A design where the width is greater than the height – (opposite  of portrait).


All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or bindery job. Also called setup.

Offset Litho(graphy)

A printing process by which the inked image to be printed is transferred (offset) first to a rubber blanket layer before coming into contact with the paper which takes up the inked areas. This process is normally used for longer runs/larger quantities of a printed matter.


Portable Document Format. The industry standard for saving files in an acceptable format. Quick, cheap and stable.

Perfect binding

Can also be referred to as adhesive or soft binding. A type of binding in which the pages of a book are held together at the binding edge by glue or a synthetic adhesive


Taking place on a press or a binder machine, creating a line of small dotted wholes for the purpose of tearing-off a part of a printed matter


Where data elements are unique to an individual printed piece.  Concept facilitated by digital printing.


Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.


A design where the height is greater than the width – (opposite of landscape).


All procedures associated with bringing a job to press such as managing colour settings and carrying out final artwork checks. This can also be referred to as pre-flighting.


A printed sample of work to be checked for errors in text, positioning or quality or colour reproduction.


500 sheets of paper.

Recycled Paper

New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.


Refers to the sharpness and quality of a supplied image. The higher the resolution, the better quality the final printed product will be.


Raster image processor. A processor which converts files into a format ready for printing.

Saddle Stitch

To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine.


The paper used inside a booklet is the same as that used for the cover.


Printing on one side of a sheet of paper.


The binding edge of a publication.

Spiral Bind

To bind using a spiral of continuous plastic looped through holes which are pre-punched into the pages of a booklet. Is also referred to as comb and coil binding.


Paper or card to be printed on.


Short for ‘typographical error’ – a mistake in the copy.


A preliminary layout, indicating the general design and the positioning of the various elements.


Translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing by slight embossing from a dandy roll while paper is still approximately 90 percent water.

Wire-0 Binding

A continuous series of wire loops run through punched slots along the binding side of a booklet.