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Common Terms

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A general term used to describe photographs, drawings, paintings, hand lettering, and the like prepared to illustrate printed matter.

Author's Alterations (A.A.'s)
Author or client corrections and/or changes made in type at the proof stages; these are not due to the printer's error and are therefore chargeable to the customer. All corrections should be marked in red ink or pen according to the printer's code of standardized proofreader's marks; never in soft lead. A.A.'s are expensive and should be kept to a minimum. See also House Errors (H.E.'s).

Various methods of securing sections together and/or fastening them to a cover to form single copies.

An illustration or type is said to bleed when it prints off the edge of a trimmed page. Bleed illustrations are usually imposed so as to print beyond the trimmed page size. An illustration may bleed at the head, front, foot, and/or gutter (back of a page).

Blind Embossing
Embossed forms that are not inked or foiled.

Blind Folio
Page number not printed on page.

See Proof (Blueline).

Creating a polished finish on paper by rubbing with stone or hard smooth surface.

Camera-ready Art
Material given to the printer that needs no further work before being passed to the camera department. Camera copy should be clean, free of glue or trash, flat, and printed in dark ink.

Camera Service
Use of a process camera to make photostats, halftones, plates, and other elements for printing.

Coated Paper
Paper coated with clay, white pigments, and a binder.

Collate (see Gather)

Column Gutter
Space between two or more columns of type on one page.

The assembling of characters into words, lines, and paragraphs of text or body matter type for reproduction.

Continuous Tone
Image made of non-discernible picture elements that give the appearance of continuous spectrum of gray values or tones.

Result of added thickness of folded sheets being behind one another in a folded signature. Outer edges of sheets creep away from back most fold as more folded sheets are inserted inside the middle.

Crop Marks
Marks along the margins of an illustration (or photo) used to indicate the portion of the illustration to be reproduced.

Elements that cross page boundaries and land on two consecutive pages (usually rules).

Machine for accurately cutting stacks of paper to desired dimensions.

Cutting Die
Sharp-edged device usually made of steel rule, to cut paper, cardboard, etc., on a printing press.

Design cut into metal (mostly brass) for stamping book covers or embossing.

Die Cutting
Cutting shapes in paper using metal rules mounted on a press.

Boring holes in paper so sheets fit over posts of loose leaf binders.

Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints.

Electronic Composition
The assembly of characters into words, lines, and paragraphs of text or body matter with graphic elements in page layout form in digital format for reproduction by printing.

A process performed after printing to stamp a raised or depressed image (artwork or typography) into the surface of paper, using engraved metal embossing dies, extreme pressure, and heat. Embossing styles include blind, deboss, and foil-embossed.

A price provided to a customer, based on the specifications outlined on the estimate form; it is normally set prior to the entry of an order and prices may change if the order specifications are not the same as the estimate specifications.

Appearance of the surface of a paper.

Even with; usually refers to typeset copy.

Fold Marks
Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.

Machine used to fold signatures down into sections.

Folio (Page Number)
Number of page at top or bottom either centered, flushed left, or flushed right often with running headline.

In composition, a complete assortment of type in one size and face.

Four-Color Process
The four basic colors of ink (yellow, magenta, cyan, and black) that reproduce full-color photographs of art.

Gather (Collate)
To assemble or collect sections into single copies of complete books for binding.

GBC Binding
Plastic comb binding, which allows a publication to lay flat when open.

Graduated Screen
An area of an image where dots range continuously from one density to another.

The direction paper fibers run or are arranged.

Space between pages in the printing frame of a book, or inside margin towards the back or binding edge.

Picture with graduations of tone formed by dots of varying sizes.

House Errors (H.E.'s)
Corrections and/or changes made due to errors made by the printer, particularly in prepress, as opposed to changes made by the author, client, or editor. Also refers to mistakes made in film negatives, platemaking, or printing that are not due to the client's error, addition, or deletion. The cost of H.E.'s are absorbed by the printer or typesetter. See also Author's Alterations (A.A.'s).

Arrangement of pages so that they print correctly on a press sheet and the pages are in proper order when the sheets are folded.

Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

Extra blank pages inserted loosely into a printed piece after printing.

Describes text copy that is typeset flush to both the left and the right margins.

One of a number of folds (each containing two pages) that compose a book or manuscript.

Line Copy
Any copy that is solid black with no gradations in tone and is suitable for reproduction without using a halftone screen.

Make Ready
Process of adjusting final plate on the press to fine tune or modify plate surface.

To write instructions as on a dummy or proof.

Mechanical (Paste-up)
Camera ready assembly of all type and design elements with instructions, ready for the platemaker.

A pattern in a negative resulting from a prescreened picture or photo.

Putting a sequential number on each copy.

A method in which the plate or cylinder transfers an ink image to an offset or transfer roller, which then transfers the image to stock.

Over Run
Surplus of copies printed.

Binding by applying glue along one edge of a stock of sheets.

Perfect Binding
A bookbinding technique in which the pages are glued rather than sewn to the cover; used in the production of paperbacks, small manuals, telephone books, etc.

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

Reproduction of type or cuts in metal, plastic, rubber, or other material, to form a plate bearing a relief, planographic, or intaglio printing surface.

Points and Picas
In measuring a paper's caliper, one point equals a thousandth of an inch. In typography, a point is the smallest unit of measurement used principally for designating type size, one point approximating 1/72 of an inch and 12 points equaling one pica.

Proof (Blueline)
Photographic proof made on light sensitive paper for checking accuracy, layout, and imposition before plates are made.

Proof (Galley)
Typeset material before it has been arranged into final page.

Proof (Press)
Actual press sheets to show image, tone values, and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.

Ragged Right
Typesetting style that is characterized by lines that end in unequal length, usually lined up flush on one side or the other--example, flush left/ragged right.

Five hundred sheets of paper.

Register Marks
Crosses or other marks applied to original copy prior to photography used for achieving perfect alignment (register) between negatives and color separations.

Type appearing in white on a black or color background or in a dark area of a photograph.

Saddle Stitching (Saddle Binding)
Binding process for pamphlets or booklets that works by stapling through the middle fold of the sheets.

Pressing a mark in a sheet of paper, usually cover stock, to make folding easier--often necessary when a fold must be made against the paper's grain.

A sheet of film having lines or other pattern.

Side Stitching
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the pile of sections or leaves gathered upon each other and are clinched on the underside.

An area completely covered with ink, or the use of 100% of a given color. In composition, type set without space (leading) between the lines.

Spot Color
Small area printed in a second color.

The positioning of negatives before printing plates are made.

A clear shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces.

Velo Binding
Type of binding that uses a flat piece of plastic to hold a multi-page document together at the spine.

Fade to white, or small decorative design or illustration.