Print Glossary
  • C1S and C2S

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    Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.

  • Calendar

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    To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between rollers during manufacturing.

  • Caliper

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    (1) Thickness of paper or other substrate expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), pages per inch (ppi), thousandths of a millimeter (microns) or pages per centimeter (ppc). (2) Device on a sheetfed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.

  • Camera-ready Copy

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    Mechanicals, photographs and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used. Also called finished art and reproduction copy.

  • Camera Service

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    Business using a process camera to make photostats, halftones, plates and other elements for printing. Also called prep service and trade camera service. .

  • Carbonless Paper

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    Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.

  • Carload

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    Selling unit of paper that may weigh anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 pounds (9,090 to 45, 454 kilos), depending on which mill or merchant uses the term. Abbreviated CL.

  • Carton

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    Selling unit of paper weighing approximately 150 pounds (60 kilos). A carton can contain anywhere from 500 to 5,000 sheets, depending on the size of sheets and their basis weight.

  • Case

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    Covers and spine that, as a unit, enclose the pages of a casebound book.

  • Case Bind

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    To bind using glue to hold signatures to a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather. Also called cloth bind, edition bind, hard bind and hard cover.

  • Cast-coated Paper

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    High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet.

  • Catalog Paper

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    Coated paper rated #4 or #5 with basis weight from 35# to 50# (50 to 75 gsm) commonly used for catalogs and magazines.

  • Chain Dot

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    (1) Alternate term for elliptical dot, so called because midtone dots touch at two points, so look like links in a chain. (2) Generic term for any midtone dots whose corners touch.

  • Chain Lines

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    (1) Widely spaced lines in laid paper. (2) Blemishes on printed images caused by tracking.

  • Chalking

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    Deterioration of a printed image caused by ink that absorbs into paper too fast or has long exposure to sun, and wind making printed images look dusty. Also called crocking.

  • Check Copy

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    (1) Production copy of a publication verified by the customer as printed, finished and bound correctly. (2) One set of gathered book signatures approved by the customer as ready for binding.

  • Choke

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    Technique of slightly reducing the size of an image to create a hairline trap or to outline. Also called shrink and skinny.

  • Chrome

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    Strength of a color as compared to how close it seems to neutral gray. Also called depth, intensity, purity and saturation.

  • Chalking

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    Deterioration of a printed image caused by ink that absorbs into paper too fast or has long exposure to sun, and wind making printed images look dusty. Also called crocking.

  • Close Up

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    A mark used to indicate closing space between characters or words. Usually used in proofing stages.

  • CMYK

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    Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.

  • Coarse Screen

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    Halftone screen with ruling of 65, 85 or 100 lines per inch (26, 34 or 40 lines centimeter).

  • Coated Paper

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    Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories cast, gloss, dull and matte.

  • Collate

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    To organize printed matter in a specific order as requested.

  • Collating Marks

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    Mostly in the book arena, specific marks on the back of signatures indicating exact position in the collating stage.

  • Color Balance

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    Refers to amounts of process colors that simulate the colors of the original scene or photograph.

  • Color Blanks

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    Press sheets printed with photos or illustrations, but without type. Also called shells.

  • Color Break

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    In multicolor printing, the point, line or space at which one ink color stops and another begins. Also called break for color.

  • Color Cast

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    Unwanted color affecting an entire image or portion of an image.

  • Color Control Bar

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    Strip of small blocks of color on a proof or press sheet to help evaluate features such as density and dot gain. Also called color bar, color guide and standard offset color bar.

  • Color Correct

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    To adjust the relationship among the process colors to achieve desirable colors.

  • Color Curves

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    Instructions in computer software that allow users to change or correct colors. Also called HLS and HVS tables.

  • Color Electronic Prepress System

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    Computer, scanner, printer and other hardware and software designed for image assembly, color correction, retouching and output onto proofing materials, film or printing plates. Abbreviated CEPS.

  • Color Gamut

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    The entire range of hues possible to reproduce using a specific device, such as a computer screen, or system, such as four-color process printing.

  • Color Key

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    Brand name for an overlay color proof. Sometimes used as a generic term for any overlay color proof.

  • Color Model

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    Way of categorizing and describing the infinite array of colors found in nature.

  • Color Separation

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    (1) Technique of using a camera, scanner or computer to divide continuous-tone color images into four halftone negatives. (2) The product resulting from color separating and subsequent four-color process printing. Also called separation.

  • Color Sequence

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    Order in which inks are printed. Also called laydown sequence and rotation.

  • Color Shift

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    Change in image color resulting from changes in register, ink densities or dot gain during four-color process printing.

  • Color Transparency

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    Film (transparent) used as art to perform color separations.

  • Comb Bind

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    To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper. Also called plastic bind and GBC bind (a brand name).

  • Commercial Printer

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    Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books and magazines. Also called job printer because each job is different.

  • Complementary Flat(s)

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    The second or additional flat(s) used when making composite film or for two or more burns on one printing plate.

  • Composite Art

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    Mechanical on which copy for reproduction in all colors appears on only one surface, not separated onto overlays. Composite art has a tissue overlay with instructions that indicate color breaks.

  • Composite Film

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    Film made by combining images from two or more pieces of working film onto one film for making one plate.

  • Composite Proof

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    Proof of color separations in position with graphics and type. Also called final proof, imposition proof and stripping proof.

  • Composition

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    (1) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. (2) In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics and other elements on the page.

  • Comprehensive Dummy

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    Simulation of a printed piece complete with type, graphics and colors. Also called color comprehensive and comp.

  • Condition

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    To keep paper in the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that its moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom. Also called cure, mature and season.

  • Contact Platemaker

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    Device with lights, timing mechanism and vacuum frame used to make contact prints, duplicate film, proofs and plates. Also called platemaker and vacuum frame.

  • Continuous-tone Copy

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    All photographs and those illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones. Abbreviated contone.

  • Contrast

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    The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.

  • Converter

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    Business that makes products such as boxes, bags, envelopes and displays.

  • Copyboard

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    Surface or frame on a process camera that holds copy in position to be photographed.

  • Cover

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    Thick paper that protects a publication and advertises its title. Parts of covers are often described as follows: Cover 1=outside front; Cover 2=inside front; Cover 3=inside back, Cover 4=outside back.

  • Coverage

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    Extent to which ink covers the surface of a substrate. Ink coverage is usually expressed as light, medium or heavy.

  • Cover Paper

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    Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.

  • Crash

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    Coarse cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to increase strength of binding. Also called gauze, mull and scrim.

  • Creep

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    Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages. Also called feathering, outpush, push out and thrust. See also Shingling.

  • Crop Marks

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

  • Crossover

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    Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.

  • Cure

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    To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent setoff.

  • Customer Service Representative

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    Employee of a printer, service bureau, separator or other business who coordinates projects and keeps customers informed. Abbreviated CSR.

  • Cutoff

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    Circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore also the length of the printed sheet that the press cuts from the roll of paper.

  • Cut Sizes

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    Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.

  • Cutting Machine

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    A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing.

  • Cutting Die

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    Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.

  • CWT

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    Abbreviation for hundredweight using the Roman numeral C=100.

  • Cyan

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    One of the four process colors. Also known as process blue.