Print Glossary

By opuspromotions, Thursday, 21st April 2016 | 0 comments
Filed under: Print for beginners.

Print Glossary

We have compiled a list of the most commonly used terminology associated with lithographic printing:


It is not possible to print all the way to the edge of the paper sheet. Therefore a larger area is printed and the sheet is trimmed down. Bleed is usually 3mm to allow leeway for trimming.

Blind Embossing:

A type of embossing where no ink is used. The design or text is only visible as a raised area on the paper.


The process of assembling the various sections or sheets of a document in the correct order.


Stamping a design into the paper to produce an indented effect.


The paper/board is pressed against a wooden 'forme' containing knives made up in a pre-determined shape to form pockets, windows and other shapes.


Making the holes in paper for use in a ring binder.


A plain white or colour mock-up of how the finished job will look.


Opposite to debossing - stamping a design into the paper to produce a raised effect.


Any process that follows the actual printing. Can include folding, creasing, stitching, binding etc.


The printed paper is fed through a machine set up to 'buckle' the job at pre-set positions and deliver it folded.


Printers technical term for a page number!


Grammes per square metre - abbreviation for paper weights.


The method of producing a range of tones, such as a photograph or tinted area, by dividing the image into a series of dots.


The layout of pages on the printed sheet so that they are in the correct order when the sheet is folded up and trimmed.


Introducing alternate sheets of blank paper between the printed sheets as they come off the press to prevent set off.


A plastic coating which protects the printed surface and can have a high gloss or matt finish.


The orientation of the page so that the long edge is along the bottom. Sometimes referred to as horizontal. The opposite of portrait.

Make Ready:

The process involved in getting a press ready for a print run ie: setting the paper feeders to suit the stock, putting on the plates, adjusting position and register and checking colour accuracy and consistency.


The brand name of a colour matching system produced by Pantone, Inc of the USA. A large range of inks are specified and identified by number to produce standard results across the industry

Perfect Binding:

A type of book binding where the pages are held in the spine by glue. Typically used on paper-back books and cheaper types of books.


Printing both sides of a sheet in one pass through the press.


When printing with two or more colours it is necessary to align the different plates. This is known as register.

Saddle Stitch:

A simple way of assembling a small booklet or magazine with a wire stitch through the fold.


Heavier paper and boards need to be scored with a rule to make folding easier.


A printing fault where ink transfers from a sheet to the one below as it leaves the press creating an undesirable ghost image. Set-off can also occur during various finishing processes if inks do not dry sufficiently.


A general term for any paper or board which is used as a printed surface.


A method of binding in which the sections are sewn together along the spine and the cover is glued on. Generally considered a superior form of binding used for high quality productions.


The preferred medium for photographs intended for printing.

UV Varnishing:

A method of adding a gloss finish to printed surfaces. The advantage of UV varnishing is that it is similar to printing an extra colour and can be applied to selected areas to produce special effects.

Work & Turn:

When a whole job is printed on one side of sheet, the sheets turned and printed again using the same plates.

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