Printing Terminology

A Glossary of Printing, Binding, Graphic Arts and Typographical Terminology
Artwork  The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text and other components needed to produce a printed piece. Can also now refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.
Bleed A printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming.
Carbonless Paper Paper that is chemically treated to transfer the impression from the first page to the subsequent pages.
Deboss A process of imprinting an image by applying pressure to the front side of a material to alter the surface, giving it an depressed effect.
Die Cutting  The process of cutting paper in the shape of the desired size & pattern.
Digital Proof A softcopy sample in the from of digital files, provided by the printer and used by the client to verify the accuracy of their print specification & artwork prior to the actual production of the project.
Dummy A hardcopy sample made in real measurements and similar to the final product, provided by the printer and used by the client to verify the accuracy of their print specification & artwork prior to the actual production of the project.
Emboss, blind A raised impression made without using ink or foil on the embossed image.
Embossing A process of imprinting an image by applying pressure to the back side of a material to alter the surface, giving it a raised effect.
Flocking A special printing effect whereby many small fiber particles (called flock) is applied to adhesive  coated paper and then electrified to align the flock in one direction. It creates a soft velvet raised effect.
Foil Embossing Impressing metallic foil onto paper with a heated die and then embossing a pattern under it, creating a three dimensional raised area.
Foil Stamping
Lamination Applying thin transparent plastic sheets to both sides of a sheet of paper, providing scuff resistance, waterproofing and extended use.
Offset printing The most commonly used printing method for big production, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.
Digital printing A type of printing method that utilizes electronic files to produce a printed piece from spots and dots of ink, toner, or dye. Suitable for small production quantities & for proofing.
Paper - Kraft A coarse unbleached paper, brown in colour.
Paper - Vellum A slightly transparant paper
Paper - Art paper A white & shiny paper available in various thickness. Commonly used for printing business stationeries & packaging
Paper - Ivory A white & matte paper available in various thickness. Commonly used for printing business stationeries & packaging
Paper - Import A selection of high quality paper imported from overseas. Supply is limited and price is relatively high.
Paper - Local A selection of locally produced paper.
Puff printing A special printing effect whereby a modified ink is applied to paper and heated to create a raised velvet effect.
RGB  The color space of Red, Green and Blue. These are the primary colors of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. An RGB computer file must be translated into the CMYK (the primary colors of pigment) color space in order to be printed on a printing press.
Saddle stitch  The binding of booklets or other printed materials by stapling the pages on the folded spine.
Scoring  To crease paper with a metal rule for the purpose of making folding easier.
Screen printing Printing method where ink is driven through a stencil with a squeegee.
Spiral bind A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.
Spot UV A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to certain areas of printed material. Applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light.
Thermography A printing process whereby thermography powder is applied to printed ink and then heated. The powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised, shiny surface. It is best used on matte paper to create a contrasting effect that's not possible by UV coating.
UV Coating A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to printed material. Applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light.
Varnish A clear coating added to printed material as a protective layer for improved scuff resistance and usually higher gloss. On the most basic level it improves the durability of your print, preventing the ink from rubbing off and keeping the paper or card from wrinkling or tearing.
Zip file Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the internet.