The Glossary of the Printing Industry- Part 1

The ABCs of Web-to-Print: A Glossary for Print Industry Newcomers


Are you tired of feeling like you need a degree in printing just to understand the jargon? Do terms like “anti-aliasing,” “deckle edge,” and “densitometer” make you want to throw your computer out the window? Well, fear not my friends, because we’ve got you covered.

In this blog, we’re going to break down the confusing and convoluted world of web-to-print and Printing Industry terminology. And let me tell you, it’s a world full of wonder and excitement. From the thrill of carbonless paper to the heart-pumping rush of coil binding, you won’t be able to contain your excitement.

But seriously, why do printers have to make things so darn complicated? It’s like they’re trying to keep us out of the club or something. Well, not anymore. We’re going to give you the inside scoop on all the printing terms you need to know, and we’ll do it with a healthy dose of sarcasm and wit.

So, sit back, relax, and prepare to become a web-to-print terminology master. And if anyone tries to pull a fast one on you with a sneaky printing term, you’ll be ready to call them out with confidence. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love being the smartest person in the room?

Part One: A To G:

Part-One-A Term:

1. A4 Paper:

A4 paper is a standard size of paper commonly used in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world for printing documents, photos, artwork and other printed materials. This standard paper size is the most used in the web to print sector, and it measures 210 mm by 297 mm (8.27 inches by 11.69 inches). If you need to print anything that people will immediately be able to read, A4 paper is the way to go.

2. Accordion fold:

An accordion fold is a type of fold that is used to create multiple panels and pages in printed materials. You may make this easy fold by folding a flat sheet of paper in a zigzag pattern. Brochures, booklets, and other printed items with a need for multiple panels or pages commonly employ this fold style. The accordion fold is made by folding a flat sheet of paper in opposite directions.

3. Airbrush:

Airbrushing is a painting technique that uses a special tool to spray paint onto a surface. It is commonly used in graphic design and printing, especially for creating illustrations and artwork. In the web-to-print industry, airbrushing can be used to enhance images and graphics, creating a unique and professional look for printed materials. Airbrushing can be done digitally as well, using specialized software and tools.

4. Anti-aliasing:

Anti-aliasing is a digital technique used to smooth out jagged edges in images and graphics. It works by blending the edges of pixels together, creating a smoother and more natural look. Anti-aliasing is commonly used in graphic design and printing, as it can improve the quality of images and make them look more professional. In the web-to-print industry, anti-aliasing is used to improve the appearance of images and graphics, ensuring that they look their best when printed.

5. Artwork:

Artwork refers to the images, graphics, and other visual elements used in print and web design. In the web-to-print industry, artwork is an important component of printed materials, as it can help to convey a message or brand identity. Artwork can be created in a variety of mediums, including digital illustration, photography, and hand-drawn sketches. In the web-to-print industry, artwork is typically created in digital formats, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, to ensure that it can be easily and accurately reproduced in printed materials.

6. Ascender:

In typography, an ascender is the part of a letter that extends above the x-height. It is typically found in letters such as “b”, “d”, and “h”. Ascenders are an important consideration in typography and design, as they can affect the legibility and appearance of printed materials. In the web-to-print industry, designers pay close attention to the ascenders in fonts and typography to ensure that they are clear and easy to read.

Part-One-B Term:

1. Backslant:

The term “backslant” refers to a printing method in which the text is printed at an angle. Books, periodicals, flyers, banners, and other printed items can all benefit from this method, which is utilized to create a more visually appealing printed product. To generate visually appealing and well-balanced type, designers employ optical kerning techniques like backslant.

2. Back Up:

Back-up is an important aspect of the web to print process since it ensures that all digital assets are securely stored. Backing up is the process of creating a duplicate of a digital file and storing it in a second location or on a separate device. This is done to protect the file from unintentional deletion or data damage caused by hardware or software failure. Backups are often kept in the cloud, on an external hard drive, or on another device.

3. Balloon:

In graphic design and printing, a balloon refers to a speech bubble or thought bubble used to indicate dialogue or thought in illustrations and comics. Balloons can be created digitally or hand-drawn, and are an important element in web-to-print materials such as posters, flyers, and comics.

4. Base line:

In typography, the baseline is an imaginary line upon which the letters in a font sit. It is used as a reference point for creating consistent spacing between lines of text. The baseline is an important consideration in typography and design, as it can affect the legibility and appearance of printed materials. In the web-to-print industry, designers pay close attention to the baseline in fonts and typography to ensure that the lines of text are evenly spaced and easy to read.

5. Bible paper:

Bible paper is a thin, lightweight paper commonly used in printing bibles and other religious texts. It is typically made from high-quality, acid-free paper that is resistant to yellowing and aging. In the web-to-print industry, bible paper may be used in religious materials or other projects where a lightweight, durable paper is needed.

6. Blocking:

In printing, blocking refers to the tendency of ink to stick together or transfer to the opposite side of the paper when stacked or stored. Blocking can occur when the ink is not fully dry or when the paper is not properly conditioned. In the web-to-print industry, blocking can be a common issue, especially with certain types of paper and ink. Printers may use special techniques or coatings to prevent blocking and ensure that printed materials remain clean and clear.

7. Book Paper:

 Book paper is a general term used to describe a range of papers commonly used in printing books and other long-form publications. It may be uncoated or coated, and can range in weight and thickness depending on the intended use. In the web-to-print industry, book paper may be used in a variety of printed materials, including books, manuals, and other informational materials.

8. Bullet:

In typography, a bullet is a small symbol used to indicate items in a list or to draw attention to specific information. Bullets can take a variety of shapes and styles, and are an important element in web-to-print materials such as brochures, flyers, and informational materials.

9. Bounce:

In printing, bounce refers to the tendency of paper to rebound or bounce back after it has been printed. This can result in smudging or other printing errors if not properly controlled. In the web-to-print industry, printers may use specialized techniques or coatings to reduce bounce and ensure that printed materials remain clear and crisp.

Part-One-C Term:

1. C1S and C2S:

In the web-to-print industry, C1S and C2S refer to two distinct types of printing methods. Coated one side (C1S) and coated both sides (C2S) refer to how the material is treated. Coating the paper before printing it is a common practice in both offset and digital printing processes. The web to print sector benefits from both C1S and C2S printing methods. One method of printing may be preferable to another, depending on the specifics of the job at hand.

2. Caliper:

The thickness of various types of paper and cardstock are measured in calipers. It aids in determining the mass of the substance and is often expressed in millimeters or points. The look and feel of printed goods can be significantly affected by the caliper used in their creation. The caliper of a material is a useful metric for picking the right stuff for the job and making sure you end up with a top-notch end result.

3. Carbonless Paper:

Carbonless paper is a type of paper that is commonly used in the printing of multi-part forms, such as invoices and receipts. It works by using a chemical coating to transfer the impression made on the top sheet to the sheets below, eliminating the need for carbon paper. Carbonless paper can come in a range of colors and finishes, and is often used in business printing applications.

4. Cast coated:

Cast coated paper is a type of coated paper that is commonly used in the printing of high-quality prints, such as photographs and art reproductions. It is known for its high gloss and smooth finish, which makes it ideal for printing images with rich colors and fine details.

5. Center spread:

In printing, a center spread refers to the two facing pages in the center of a publication, such as a magazine or book. The center spread is often used for editorial content, advertisements, or other visually striking content that is intended to capture the reader’s attention.

6. Chain lines:

Chain lines are the vertical lines that are visible in some types of paper, such as laid paper. They are created during the papermaking process and are used as a guide for the placement of the horizontal lines, known as laid lines. Chain lines can be used to create a distinct texture and visual interest in a printed piece.

7. Coil Binding:

Coil binding is a type of binding used in the printing of books, manuals, and other documents. It involves punching a series of holes along the edge of the pages and then inserting a plastic or metal coil through the holes to hold the pages together. Coil binding is a popular option for documents that need to lay flat when open, and can be used for documents of various thicknesses.

8. Cold color:

Cold colors refer to colors that are on the blue or green end of the color spectrum. They are often used in printing for a range of purposes, from creating a sense of calm and serenity to conveying a feeling of coldness or distance.

9. Color separating:

Color separating is the process of breaking down a full-color image into its component colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) in preparation for printing. This involves creating separate plates for each color, which are then used to transfer the ink onto the printing surface. Color separating is an important step in the printing process, as it allows for precise control over the color and quality of the final printed piece.

Part-One-D Term:

1. Deckle edge:

A deckle edge is an uneven or rough edge on a sheet of paper that is created during the papermaking process. It is often used in printing for its aesthetic value, as it can create a rustic or vintage look in a printed piece. Deckle edge paper is popular in various applications such as wedding invitations, stationery, and book covers.

2. Deboss:

Debossing is a printing technique that involves pressing an image or text into the surface of paper or other materials. It creates a depressed or indented area in the material, which can be used to create a tactile effect and add visual interest to a printed piece. Debossing is commonly used in branding and packaging design, as well as in high-end print materials such as business cards and stationery.

3. Densitometer:

A densitometer is a device used in printing to measure the density of ink on paper. It is used to ensure consistent and accurate color reproduction, and can be used to adjust the ink levels during the printing process to achieve the desired results. Densitometers are commonly used in commercial printing and are an important tool for maintaining quality control and ensuring accurate color reproduction.

4. Dampening:

Dampening is a process used in offset printing to control the amount of moisture on the printing plate. This is important in creating sharp and accurate images, as too much moisture can cause ink to spread and blur. Dampening systems are typically automated and controlled by computer programs to ensure consistent and precise results.

5. Density:

Density is a term used in printing to describe the thickness or weight of a printed material. It is typically measured in grams per square meter (gsm), and is an important factor in determining the quality and durability of a printed piece. Higher density materials are typically more durable and have a higher quality feel, and are commonly used in high-end print materials such as business cards and brochures.

6. DTG:

DTG stands for Direct-to-Garment printing, a digital printing technique used to print images directly onto textiles, such as t-shirts and other apparel. DTG printing allows for highly detailed and complex images to be printed onto fabric, and is a popular technique in the custom apparel industry. DTG printers use specialized inks that are designed to adhere to fabric, creating vibrant and long-lasting prints.

Part-One-E Term:

1. Electronic Proof:

An electronic proof is a digital representation of a printed piece, used for reviewing and approving the design before printing. It is a way to see what the final printed piece will look like without the need for a physical proof. Electronic proofs are commonly used in the web-to-print industry, as they can be quickly and easily shared with clients for approval. They are also more cost-effective than physical proofs, as they don’t require printing and shipping.

2. Embossing:

Embossing is a printing technique that creates a raised, 3D effect on a printed piece. It involves pressing a die into the paper or other material, creating a raised image or pattern. Embossing can be used to add texture and dimension to a printed piece, and is commonly used in high-end print materials such as business cards and invitations. It can also be combined with other printing techniques, such as foil stamping, for a more dramatic effect.

3. EPS:

EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript, a file format used in printing and graphic design. EPS files are vector-based, meaning they can be scaled to any size without losing resolution or clarity. They are commonly used for logos, illustrations, and other graphics that require high-quality reproduction. EPS files are typically created in software such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, and can be easily imported into other design software for use in print materials. EPS files are preferred over other file formats for printing, as they offer the highest quality and most accurate reproduction.

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