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Glossary of Terms

Here is our glossary of terms that you might find useful. Thank you for your interest in Earth Enterprise and what we do.

Absolute Page Number | A pages actual position in a document; to go to or print a page using its position, use a plus (+) sign before the numeral.

Acid Free Paper | Paper made from pulp which contains little or no acid. this property causes the paper to resist deterioration from age. Also known as archival paper, alkaline paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.

A4 Paper | International Organization for Standardization (ISO) paper size 210x297mm. most commonly used for letterhead.

Against The Grain | At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as opposed to with the grain. AKA across the grain and cross grain. also see grain direction.

Ascender | The part of a lower case character which rises above the x height, i.e., the stem on b, d, f, h, k, l and t.

ASCII | Acronym American Standard Code for Informational Interchange, an industry-standard text-only format.

Attribute | See character.

Author’s Alteration | Any change made by the customer after files have been delivered to the printer. The change could be in copy, artwork, specifications or all three. also commonly called AA, customer alteration, and alteration.

Aqueous Coating | Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath.

Backbone | The bound end, spine, of a book.

Backing Up | To back up printing the second side of the stock (paper).

Basic Size | The one standard size of each grade of paper used to calculate basis weight.

Benday | One or more shades of black (or other color).

Binary File | A file of formatted text, data, images, sound, movies or program code.

Bind | The joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue or other means, term usually used in book publishing, but not exclusively.

Bleed | When an element extends to the trim edge of a page, the area printed beyond the sheets trim marks is the bleed (most often .125).

Blowup | An image which is reproduced larger than its original size.

Blue line | A generic term used in the modern computer-to-plate printing work-flow this is a full sized inkjet contract proof which is produced so that the customer can check all copy, image placement, size, pagination, binding, folding, and all printing specifications. This proof is not used to check for image color and quality. (formerly a prepress photographic proof made from stripped negatives where all colors show as blue images on white paper).

Body Type | (or text) type face used for the bulk of the text in a document.

Booklet | A pamphlet of eight of more pages, stitched.

Bounce | The movement caused by vibration and movement in all machinery. It is accommodated by bleed.

Brochure | A small booklet.

CAPS | Capital letters.

Caliper | The thickness of a single sheet of paper (or plastic) under specific conditions. The measurement is made with a micrometer, expressed in thousands of an inch (mils or points).

Closed Loop System | A completely automatic press control system where the computer monitors color and adjust.

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

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

Continuous Tone | Gradations as in a halftone (photographic) print as well as raster images and files.

Copy | The basic text and images intended for reproduction.

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

Cover Paper | Heavyweight coated or uncoated papers with good folding characteristics. Their diverse uses include folders, booklet covers, brochure and pamphlets.

Creep | Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages.

Crop | Cropping selecting (and marking or positioning) a particular area of an image for reproduction.

Crop Marks | Pairs of short lines used to trim printed materials, trim marks.

Csc | Cap/small cap type style.

Curl | The tendency of a sheet of paper to roll into the form of a cylinder. It is caused by the inequality in water content or stress levels between the two sides of the paper. Wet curl is the result of application of water too the paper surface, as in lithographic printing. Atmospheric (Dry) Curl is the result of the exchange of water vapor between paper and air of higher or lower relative humidity. Mechanical Curl is the result of mechanical stresses on the paper, other than that of swelling or shrinkage, due to moisture. Curl often happens in the same direction as the grain.

Cylinder Gap | The gap or space in the cylinders of a press where the mechanism for plate (or blanket), clamps and gripper(sheet fed) is housed. It is often seen on solid coverage as a lighter ban within a solid.

Deboss | to press an image into paper so it lies below the surface.

Deckled Edge | Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the paper making machine instead of being cut cleanly.

Deckle | In the paper making process a deckle is a removable wooden frame placed into a mold to control the size of the sheet produced. After the mold is dipped into a vat of paper slurry, excess water is drained off and the deckle is removed and the mold is shaken in order for the fiber of the paper to set. Often, Some of the paper slurry passes under the deckle and forms a ” a deckled edge” an irregular, thin edge. Paper with a feathered or soft edge is described as having a “deckled” edge, in contrast with a cut edge and straight edge.

Density | (1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding color, the relative ability of a color to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers.

Descender | The part of a lower case character which falls below the baseline; the tails on g, j, p, q and y.

Die Cut | To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.

Digital printing | A method of printing where the image is formed by a computer controlled printer and is a method refers to that uses digital files, such as PDFs, instead of printing plates. Digital Print Methods Included electrostatic, ink jet, laser photo, and thermal transfer.

D Max | Short for maximum density.

Dot | The basic component of halftones and raster images.

Dot Gain | Phenomenon of halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing details and lowering contrast.

Dot-per-inch | Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, image setters and monitors. Also called DPI.

Double Page | Two facing pages, also called a spread.

Downcycling | Recycling materials into a lesser quality products is known as downcycling. When materials are recycled for the correct, lesser use in the lifecycle process, product integrity at the top of the cycle is ensured. Downcycling benefits include less deinking chemicals and energy spent; lower costs for the end user, as a result of decreased production costs; and only 25% fiber waster, compared to upcycling.

Drop Cap | A large initial capital letter which extends one or more lines below the top line of a paragraph.

Dropout | A visual element that blocks printing of an area, a white logo.

Drop Shadow | A shape (or text) which has been duplicated, tinted and placed behind text or a picture to create a shadow effect.

Dull Finish | Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish and velvet finish.

Dummy | A page by page physical model (mockup) of a job to be printed.

Duotone | Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original.

Duplex Paper | Paper with different finishes on each side.

Elipsis | () Three points which indicate an omission of words; type Option-; to set as a single character.

Embossing | A raised, printed image (a raised image which is not printed is blind embossing).

Em Dash | This is an hyphen which measures 1 em space wide. To set and em dash type Shift-Option-hyphen.

Em Space | Typesetting measure: an em is the square of the type point size, i.e., for 12pt type an em is 12 x 12 pts; to set use 2 en spaces (Option-space).

En Dash | This is an hyphen which measures 1 em space wide. To set and en dash Option-hyphen.

Engraving | Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.

En Space | Half the width of an em space (6 pt for 12 pt type); to set Option-space.

Eps | Acronym Encapsulated Postscript, a digital format for mathematically defined images.

Facing Pages | Alternating left and right pages; a spread consists of a left and right page.

Fan Out | Distortion of paper on the press due to waviness in the paper caused by absorption of moisture at the edges of the paper, particularly across the grain.

Felt Side | The smoother side of the paper for printing. The top side of the sheet in paper manufacturing.

Field | An area of a dialog box for modifications.

Figure Space | A numerical space the width of the zero (0).

Flat Size | Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.

Flip | To flop a picture to create a mirror image.

Flop | An image which is turned to create a mirror image.

Flush | The lining up of image or copy to the left or right with another image or copy.

Flush Type | A column of type with no indentations; flush left – left aligned; flush right – right aligned.

Foil Stamp | Printing method that releases foil from its backing when pressure is applied through a heated die. Also know as stamping, hot foil stamp or block print.

Fold Marks | Dashed pairs of marks which indicate where the document or publication gets folded.

Foldout | Gatefold sheet bound into a publication, often used to display a map or a chart. sometimes referred to as a gatefold or a pullout.

Folio | A page number in a publication; or a single folded sheet.

Font | The characters and letters of a single type face.

Font Family | The characters and letters of all the variations (light, roman, bold, ital, et al) of a type face.

Footer | Type that prints on the bottom of each page, often the page number, publication or section name and date.

Form | Each side of a signature. Sometimes spelled forme.

Format | The shape, style, layout and other printing specs of any printed product.

Four Color Process Printing | The printing technique that uses four halftone plates: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) to simulate full-color reproduction of images and elements.

FPO | The abbreviation of For Position Only. The is used as a label for placeholder images and/or rough text which is placed into a layout but is not intended for use in final reproduction.

Frame | A border around a text of picture area.

Free Sheet | Paper made from cooked wood fibers mixed with chemicals and washed free of impurities.

French Fold | A sheet printed on one side only then folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.

Full Range Haltone | A image who’s tonal value ranges from 0% in the highlights to 100% coverage in the shadows.

Gate Fold | A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.

Ghosting-Ghost | A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended. More often than not this problem is a function of graphical design. It is hard to tell when or where ghosting will occur. Sometimes you can see the problem developing immediately after printing the sheet, other times the problem occurs while drying. However the problem occurs it is costly to fix, if it can be fixed. Occasionally it can be eliminated by changing the color sequence, the inks, the paper, changing to a press with a drier, printing the problem area in a separate pass through the press or changing the racking (reducing the number of sheets on the drying racks). Since it is a function of graphical design, the buyer pays for the increased cost. Often happens where knockout within solid coverage or solid coverage with an image on the other side.

Gloss | Consider the light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g., paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish).

Gray Balance | The dot values or densities of cyan, magenta and yellow that produce a neutral gray.

Gray scale | Shades of gray ranging from black to white. Printing in gray scale uses only the black image plate.

Grain | The direction in which most fibers lie in a sheet of paper. The direction of the grain is important for strength and fold quality. Sometimes a sheet folded with the grain folds easily. In photography, crystals that make up emulsion on film.

Grain Direction | As the paper web is carried forward on the machine, the majority of fibers orient themselves in the machine direction. When the web of paper is sheeted, the sheets will be grain long (fibers that fallow the long side of the sheet) or grain short (they fallow the short side). Grain direction should be considered during the design process for best results during process for best results during printing, folding and converting.

Grain long or grain short | Paper whose fibers parallel the long or short dimension of the sheet.

Gravure | A printing method based on intaglio printing, in which the image area is etched below the surface of the printing place. The gravure plate or cylinder is immersed in ink and then wiped clean with a doctor blade, leaving ink only in the etched areas.There are two basic gravure presses – rotogravure, which prints from cylinders onto a web of paper, and sheet-fed, which prints from flat plates curved around the cylinder of the press onto individual sheets.

Grippers | Metal press device for holding the paper in position during printing.

Gripper Edge | The edge of the stock which is held by the grippers.

Gutter | The inside (or center) margin of pages in a book; also the space between columns of type on a single page.

Halftone | A continuous-tone image comprised of varying sized dots (or other shapes).

Header | Text that prints on top of each page which may include the name of the document or section, page number, and the date.

Headline | The lead line of text of a manuscript or page.

Highlight | The lightest part of a continuous-tone image.

Imposition | The order in which pages are assembled on the sheet for printing so they will be in the correct numerical sequence after folding.

Impression | The image printed on stock.

Insert | A special section (single page, tear off, return envelope folio or multiple pages) bound into a book after printing.

Invisible Characters | Characters which do not print that can be displayed on screen including tab, return, soft return, space.

Italic | A slanted variation of a font.

Jacket | A protective paper cover for a book which wraps from inside front to inside back cover.

Justify | (justified) Type which is aligned flush on both the right and left side of the column.

Kerning | Adjusting the space between letters.

Kiss cut | To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper.

Knockout | Same a dropout, a defined area with no printing where the stock color is the image.

Kraft | A paper or board containing unbleached wood pulp (brown in color) made by the sulfate process.

Kraft paper | A high strength paper made of sulphate fiber pulp. An alkaline process of pulp manufacture. Made on a four drinier machine from virgin pine fiber.

Laminate | A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) usually applied to a thick stock (covers, post cards etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing color, providing a glossy (or lens) effect.

Layout | A thin transparent plastic sheet applied to (coating) usually a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing color, providing a glossy (or lens) effect.

Layout | A mechanical or rough sketch of a potential printed piece indicating the size and position of all the visual elements.

Lc | Lower case type

Lead | (leading) Space between lines of type, e.g. 10/12pt is 10 pt type on 12 pt baselines
Please do not use auto as each default is different.

Leaders | Rows of dots (or dashes).

Letter Spacing | The space between letters (see tracking).

Letterpress | Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.

Ligature | A single typographic character that is a combination of two individual letters.

Line Art | Graphic elements made up of any solid area of black or color that can be printed without halftones.

Live Area | Area on a mechanical within which images will print. Also called safe area.

Logo | A special design displaying a company or product name (usually having very specific rules for use in printed material).

Loupe | Lens built into a small stand. Used to inspect copy, film, proofs, plates and printing. Also called glass and linen tester.

Lpi | Lines per inch, the resolution of a halftone printing screen, as opposed to dpi which is the resolution of an image.

Luminousity | The relative lightness/brightness of a color.

Match print | A form of a four-color-process proofing system.

Matte Finish | Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Mechanical | The digital (or mechanical) assembly of all the art elements correctly sized and in position for generating the separations for printing.

Mechanical Requirements | The detailed specifications for digital file (or mechanical) preparation for separations for any given publication (page size: trim & bleed; margin, safety, colors, resolution, accepted file types).

Moir | An unexpected image pattern created by overprinting two or more dot images at conflicting angles.

Negative | An photo image which is the reverse color(s) of the original.

Non printing characters | Same as invisible characters.

Offset printing | printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

Orphan | A single line of a paragraph at the bottom of a column.

Overflow | Text which does not fit into the area allotted.

Overlay | A transparent or translucent layer over another image.

Overprinting | Printing on an already printed area.

Overs | Printed pieces in an overrun in order to ensure quality client requests. Acceptable overs range from 5-10% and are paid for by the client.

Overrun or overs | Copies printed in excess of the specified quality. (Printing trade terms allow for + – 10% to represent a completed order).

Pagination | Assembly of type with other line copy into page format. When done by hand, this is makeup or paste-up; when done electronically, it is computer aided pagination (CAP).

Pantone Colors | This is an index of standardized colors that can be communicated and consistently mixed by printers whenever specified by designers for spot colors in multicolor projects.

Pasteboard Area | Non printing area surrounding a document page or spread.

Paste up | See mechanical.

Pdf | Portable document format.

Perfect Bind | To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also called adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind, perfecting bind, soft bind and soft cover.

Pica | The standard measure for type, approximately 1/6th of an inch (12 points per pica, 72 points per inch).

Picking | Phenomenon of ink pulling bits of coating or fiber away from the surface of paper as it travel through the the press, thus leaving unprinted spots in the image area.

Plate Making | Making plates for any type of printing.

Pms Colors | Acronym for pantone match system. this is an index of premixed standardized colors that can be specified by designers for spot colors in multicolor projects.

Point | Units of a pica, 12 points/pica; 72 points/inch. The space from one baseline of type to the next is measured in points.

Positive | An image which duplicates the color (value) of the original.

Postal Requirements | U.S Postal Service requirements when designing business reply mail, cards, and self-mailers. A PDF of the Domestic Mail Manual can be found on

PPD | Post Script Printer Description file containing the capabilities of a specific output device.

Ppi | Resolution of an image in pixels per inch.

Preference | Applications display dialog boxes used to modify default values and disable various program features.

Pre-flight | The process that includes checking a job for possible problems before the job is sent for final output.

Press Check | Event at which make ready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.

Press Proof | A test printing of a few sheets, using the actual materials as a final proof prior to printing the entire job.

Printer Driver | System file that communicates between a computer and a printer.

Process Color | Color specified in percentages of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black.

Process Plates | CMYK, the process plates for 4-color printing.

Progressive Plates | (progs) A proof of each individual color plate; and a combination.

Proof | Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.

Proof Reader Marks | Standard symbols and abbreviation used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. also called correction marks.

Rag Right | (ragged right) A paragraph aligned flush on the left and uneven on the right edge.

Ream | 500 sheets of paper.

Recycled Fiber | An important source of pulp, comes from two primary sources: pre-consumer waste recovered from the manufacturing process and Post-Consumer Waste know as PCW. Sources of PCW fiber include old corrugated, mixed paper, old newspaper, high-grade de-inked paper and pulp substitutes recovered from the end user.

Raised Cap | A single decorative, enlarged capital letter at the beginning of a paragraph aligned on the baseline.

Reflex blue | A strong organic blue pigment with the highest tinctorial strength of any blue pigment; also referred to as alkali blue.

Re-flow | Text which is repositioned by editing and modification.

Register | Properly aligning 2 or more images on the same surface.

Registration Color | Default color used for crop, fold and registration marks which appears on all separation plates.

Resolution | Measurement of the degree of detail of an image, usually in dots per inch (dpi).

Reverse | Another term for dropout and knockout; an unprinted area.

Reverse Type | Type which is white or light, set against a dark background.

RGB | Red, Green and Blue, the color model used for computer monitors and video output .

Rich Black | Black that incorporates other colors to print darker and gain visual impact.

Saddle Stitch | Binding a booklet through a center fold with wire staples; saddle-stitched booklets open up flat.

Satin Finish | Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.

Scaling | Enlarging or reducing graphics or text to fit into a particular area.

Score | Creasing stock to facilitate folding.

Screen Printing | Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.

Section | A group of sequentially numbered pages.

Self Cover | A booklet whose covers are printed on the same stock as its pages.

Set Solid | Text which is set with the font size and leading of equal value, i.e. 12/12 is 12 point type on 12 point leading.

Sheet-wise | To print one side of a sheet of paper with one form or plate(s), then turn the sheet over and print the other side with another form using the same gripper and side guide.

Side Stitch | Binding a booklet with wire staples on the side near the spine.

Signature | A section of a book printed on a single sheet and folded into eight or more pages (often 32).

Silhouette | An irregularly shaped image either on a white (non-printing) background or defined by a clipping path.

Slug | Job number / file name / folio for identification.

Small Caps | Type case with reduced-size capital letters replacing lowercase characters.

Solvent | The medium used to dissolve a substance.

Soy-based inks | Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, are thus easier on the environment.

Soy Ink | An alternative to petroleum based ink. It contains soy oils in replacement of lint seeds. Although soybeans and soybean oils are edible, soy ink is not 100% biodegradable. The additives mixed in to produce soy ink are often the same as those in petroleum based inks- VOCs, heavy metals, etc.

Specifications | Complete and precise written description of features of a printing job such as type size and leading, paper grade and quantity, printing or binding method. Abbreviated specs.

Spot Color | A particular color that is not built using process colors which prints on its own plate.

Spot Color or Varnish | One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet.

Spread | Two (or more) adjoining, facing pages.

Stock | Any surface ready for printing.

Strike Through | Type style with a horizontal line through the characters.

Subscript | Reduced size character that is lowered below the baseline.

Superior | Reduced size character that is raised so the top aligns with the cap height of the adjacent characters.

Superscript | Reduced size character that is raised above the baseline.

Target Document | A digital file in which you collect materials (pages or elements ) from various source documents to build a new document.

Text Paper | designation for printing papers with textured surfaces such as laid or linen. Some mills also use ‘text’ to refer to any paper they consider top-of-the-line, whether or not its surface has a texture.

Tiff | Tagged Image File Format which can be black and white, grayscale or color.

Tints | Various even tone areas (strengths) of a solid color. Tints start toughing at 50%.

TOYO Colors | Premixed inks that can be specified for spot colors.

Tracking | The adjustment of space between selected characters and words.

Trapping | In printing, ability to print a wet ink film over previously printed ink. In prepress, refers to how much overlap you need to guarantee no white.

Trim | Cutting press sheets to the final page size.

TRUMATCH Colors | Color matching system for specifying (CMYK( 4-color printing of more than 2,000 colors.

Type Family | See font family.

Typeface | See font.

UC | Upper case type (Capital letters).

U/LC| Upper and lower case type.

Uncoated paper | Paper that has not been coated with clay.

Upcycling: | Upcycling is the process by which waste materials are to provide new, high quality products. Generally considered a reinvestment in the environment, upcycling allows for the reduction of waste and virgin material use.

Useful Trees | Useful Tree is a tree whose product (fruit, nuts, or leaves) is worth at least 4 times more to the planter than the timber itself. In Latin America, the Useful Trees we’ve planted are not only offsetting the carbon footprint of our printing, but are also generating income for Mayan farmers, increasing the local carbon-based biomass and aiding in the overall economic development of the region. In addition, since 2009, all the trees in The Pyramid Project are being paid for by Green Earth Enterprise. The Pyramid project provides incentives to small farmers for planting and maintaining Useful Trees.

UV | A thin, plastic-like coating applied to either all, or a portion (“spot UV”) of a paper surface after printing (for esthetic reasons or to protect the printed surface).The UV coating finish can be either matte or very glossy.

UV Coating | Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

UV Inks | Solventless ink that is cured by UV radiation.

Vanish | Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.

Vegetable Ink | An alternative to both petroleum and soy based inks. Vegetable ink is derived from oils that come from a variety of vegetables. Although not 100% bio-degradable and may contains the same additives as soy and petroleum inks our vegetable inks are composed of over 40-60% vegetable oils. Vegetable inks are used at Earth Enterprise because we do not believe in mono crop products due to their overproduction and unavoidable stress they cause to the environment. Row crops such as soy cause 50 times more soil erosion… use more water, insecticide, and fertilizer than most crops, and caused deforestation — in fact it is the #2 cause of deforestation in Brazil.

Vignette | A spot image or halftone which fades away.

VOC | volatile organic compound

Wash Up | Cleaning the press & rollers to print another color ink.

Web Press | A press that prints from a roll of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel-fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages).

Widow | The last line of a paragraph appearing alone at the top of a column.

Wire side | That side of a sheet of paper or paperboard which was formed in contact with the wire of the paper machine during the process of manufacturing.

Work and tumble | To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from gripper to back using the same side guide to print the second side.

Work and turn | To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from left to right and print the second side. The same gripper and plate is used for printing both sides.

X Height | The height of a lowercase x of a given font, measured from the baseline.

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