Printing Terms

4/0 is a trade designation for a printed piece with four colors (full color) printing on the front side and no printing on the back side.

4/1 is a trade designation for a printed piece with four colors (full color) printing on the front side and one color printing on the back side.

4/4 is a trade designation for a printed piece with four colors (full color) on the front side and four colors (full color) printing on the back side.

Accordion Fold
Sometimes called a “fan fold”, A zigzag type of fold in which a sheet of paper has two or more parallel folds that open in the manner of an accordion, permitting the paper to be extended to its full breadth with a single pull.

The joining of paper sheets together to form a book or booklet with staples, wire, glue or other means. Action Printing offers three standard binding methods for booklets: saddle-stitched (stapled), perfect bound, and spiral binding.

The process that starts after the ink is laid on paper. This process includes cutting, trimming, folding, collating, stitching, pasting, and inserting.

The reflectance or brilliance of the paper.

Coated Paper
Paper that has a coating of clay or other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Action Printing usually uses a type of coating called “UV coating”.

Color Separations
The four-color negatives or positives which are the result of changing full color artwork into the four process colors (yellow, magenta, cyan, and black) by the use of filters. Color separation is done for offset printing jobs so that each color layer can be printed separately – one layer on top of the next layer – to give the final printed piece a consistent, full color look.

A device made out of sharp steel that is used to cut, score, stamp, emboss, or deboss irregular shapes.

Die- Cutting
A process by which a die made out of sharp steel is used to cut irregular shapes in printed sheets. Diecutting is done on either flatbed or rotary presses.

The basic halftone printing unit. A series of dots are combined to create a printed image.

Dot Pattern
A series of dots that make up a printed image.

Dots Per Inch (DPI)
A measurement of resolution of a printed image as determined by the number of dots that fit into one inch. The higher the concentration of dots per inch, the sharper the image will be. Print documents usually require a resolution of 300 dpi or higher.

A halftone that prints in two colors to create greater visual interest or more subtle detail and gray tones.

The ability of a press or digital copier to print on both sides of a sheet without having to manually turn the sheet over.

Four Color Printing
Four-color printing is the process by cyan, magenta, yellow, and blank inks are used to create a full color image.

Gang Printing or “Gang Run”
The process of printing two or more finished products on the same sheet during a press run. Action Printing uses gang printing to provide customers with low prices on a number of different products.

Gate Fold
A foldout, especially one that opens to double the page size. You often see this type of fold in fold out magazine advertisements when it’s folded either outside to overlap the cover or inside to unfold when the cover is opened.

A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process.

Gripper Edge
The leading edge of a paper where as it is fed through a printing press or folding machine. The device holds the paper in place on the long side and pulls it through the press. This is one of the reasons why it’s usually necessary to have a certain amount of bleed on your artwork.

Half Fold
A fold where the document is folded directly in half, either horizontally or vertically. You see this type of fold on a common greeting card.

Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.

A method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non-image areas repel ink. The images are first printed onto a rubber blanket and then offset to paper.

Letter Fold
Also called barrel fold and wrap around fold, two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope.

An undesirable pattern that appears when two or more screen patterns are placed over one another. Moire may be caused by misalignment, incorrect screen angles, slipping or slurring.

A reverse of an image created when processing a plate. The light and dark parts of an image are tonally reversed from the original copy.

Offset Printing
Also called offset lithography, which is a printing process where the image prints by transferring ink from a plate to a rubber blanket that deposits the ink onto the substrate instead of directly from plate to paper.

Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed

Pantone Matching Systems (PMS)
The most popular color matching systems used in the printing industry. A true PMS color is defined by a mixture of inks that will provide a specific color.

Perfect Binding
A bindery method where all pages are trimmed to a single sheet. They are clamped together and a cover is wrapped around the spine. The pages are attached to the cover using and adhesive.

Devices that carry the image to be printed and is applied directly to paper or to an intermediate image carrier in order to transfer the image to paper. The image on the plates at Action Printing are differentiated chemically from the non-image areas of the plate.

Also known as hardcopy proof, a close representation of the final printed piece provided by Action Printing. A proof is provided to predict results on press and record how the final printed piece will appear in terms of color, layout and accuracy. Production does not begin printing the final piece until the proof has been approved by the client.

Raster Image
To convert mathematical and digital information into a series of dots by an imagesetter as digital data that will be used for output.

Raster Image Processor (RIP)
A device that translates page description commands into bitmapped information for an output device such as an imagesetter. A raster image processor is used to convert the output of a pre-press computer system into a format usable by an imagesetter.

Also called saddle stapled, a binding method that features one or more staples in the spine of the book or booklet. Saddle-Stitched (stapled) is one of the binding options for Action Printing’s booklets and catalogs.

A shallow crease where a sheet of paper will be folded. A score is important because it prevents the ink (and paper) from cracking at the edge of the fold.

The process of pressing a “channel” into a sheet of paper to allow it to fold more easily. Scoring is important because it prevents the ink (and paper) from cracking at the edge of the fold.

Pre-printed designs with blank space left on the document to print more information on them later. For example, a business could print shells of their business card with the company information, but leave space for the employee’s name so they can print one for each employee as they are hired.

Spiral Binding
A binding for notebooks and booklets in which a cylindrical spiral of wire or plastic is passed through a row of punched holes at the edge of a tablet

Various grades or types of paper used for printing, with different basis weights and finishes

Trim Size
The final size of a printed page after excess edges have been cut off

To layout words, text and logos for printing

A printed piece that has not coated with UV Coating during the finishing process

UV Coating
The liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. This coating yields a tough, almost unscratchable surface that is extremely durable.

A fold in which the document is folded three times in a z-formation.