Terms Used in Print Manufacturing
A water-based alternative to varnish for protecting and enhancing printing. May be applied in-line (on press) as a gloss, satin, or dull coating. Fast drying, durable, and non-yellowing.
A one-color photographic proof for checking design elements and page position. Ensures correct folding, trimming, and other bindery operations. Commonly called bluelines, or simply blues.
A descriptive characteristic of color, brightness also refers to the amount of light reflected from the surface of paper (or ink). A measure of a color's value, shade also describes the process of darkening a color by adding black or a complementary color.
The combination of process colors used to reproduce the colors of an original image or object. Process colors are in balance when perceived as true to the original, with no undesirable casts or incorrect hues.
Patches of solid, patterned, and tinted inks on the tail edges of press sheets. These quality control devices permit the measurement of variables such as a color balance and registration, trapping, print density, dot gain, and slur.
Non-printed reproductions of color art produced by printers to closely approximate final printed color.
The portions of an image to be reproduced, as indicated by vertical and horizontal corner lines.
Halftone dot growth causing darkened tones and colors, as well as reduced shadow contrast.
The technique of reproducing a black-and-white photograph as a tonally enhanced, two-color halftone.
Page numbers in publishing — evens on the left, odds on the right.
The leading edge of a press sheet, held by metal gripper "fingers" during offset printing. The gripper margin (about 3/8") allows the sheet to pass through the press without affecting the image area.
The combined inner margins of a publication's facing pages.
Print defects caused by foreign matter on the blanket or plate of the printing press. Often appear in areas of solid ink coverage as dark specks surrounded by light rings of non-printed stock.
Page arrangement into signature layouts, as defined by factors such as number of pages, press size, sheet size, and bindery considerations. Ensures correct sequential assembly when printed and bound.
Unacceptable visual patterns within halftones and screen tints caused by misaligned screens or imprecise register. Also caused by optical pattern conflicts between images and halftones dots, as well as between halftone screens and prescreened pieces.
The result of uneven ink absorption on poorly formed paper surfaces, this spotty variation in color or gloss appears most often in large solid or tint areas.
A dry spray of powdered starch at delivery end of press used to separate freshly printed sheets with a fine layer of particles, thus allowing the ink to dry and avoiding undesirable offsetting.
A print quality problem where wet ink from a freshly printed sheet is transferred to the sheet above or below it in the delivery pile. Also called offset, or setoff.
A paper's translucency, or the degree to which it minimizes print show-through from the opposite side. Also describes the degree to which an ink covers a substrate (or other inks).
The alignment of fibers along the direction of flow in papermaking. In grain-long paper, fibers run parallel to the sheet's length, while grain-short follows the width. Generally, registration is easier to control, folds are cleaner, and binding stronger when running with the grain.
Precision print alignment relative to the edge of the sheet, and to corresponding graphic elements (including separations). Small cross-hair targets on mechanicals and film help to ensure accurate register on flats, plates, and press sheets.
Undesirable print abrasions caused by surface wear or rough handling. Particularly problematic in packaging, scuffing may be minimized with scuff-proof inks, varnishes, and other coatings.
A press accommodating individual sheets rather than the paper rolls required of higher-volume web presses. Sheetfed presses facilitate makeready and minimize paper spoilage, and the feeder mechanism accepts a wider range of paper stock. InnovaCorp specializes in the use of sheetfed digital and offset printing.
A folded sheet of paper-printed on both sides-for use in a publication. Signatures are produced in four-page increments, up to 64 pages. In common practice, the term also refers to any press sheet to be folded and bound.
Screen tints are created by specifying percentages of solid (or flat) ink colors. Lighter, less dense colors and shading effects may be simulated by this uniform pattern of dots, similar to halftones. Tint also refers to the changing of a color's hue by adding color or extender to the ink.
A clear-coat liquid sealer that overprints ink and paper to protect against scratches and scuffing, increase longevity, and enhance image appearance and impact. Can be gloss or dull.
The process of cleaning ink and dampening solutions from press components (such as plates, rollers, and fountains), for changing colors or preparing for a new print job.
A press imposition using the same plate for printing both sides of a press sheet, where the sheet is tumbled end-to-end for second-pass printing on the back. Because the gripper edge is changed and press adjustments made, this method is rarely used when precise register is critical.
An imposition method utilized the same plate for printing both sides of a press sheet, where the back-up, or second side, is printed by turning the sheet over-from the left to right. This method provides better register than work-and-roll by maintaining the same gripper edge.