At Manor Printing, we realise it can often be difficult to understand all of the print terminology, so to help you and to keep things simple we have created a Jargon Buster.

Accordion Fold

Method of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the one before it to form a pleated effect.

Against the Grain

Folding or marking paper at right angles to the grain.

Anodised Plate

A plate used in offset printing, specially treated to harden the surface so it will resist wearing down in the press.

Antique Paper

Paper with a rough, lightly sized nish used mainly for books, booklets and folders.

Art Paper/Board

Paper or board with a hard, smooth surface caused by an even coating of china clay compound on one or both sides.


Acronym (pronounced Askee) for the American Standard Code for Information.

Assembled Negative

Negative of line and halftone copy used in preparing of printing plate for photolithography. 

Author’s Amends

Changes in copy made by the author after typesetting but not those made necessary by printer’s errors. 


The facility of some applications to ow text from one page to another or from one box to another. 


Photographic materials designed to make a positive image without a negative being required. 

Back Up

To print the second side or reverse of a sheet of paper. Backed refers to the sheet when it has been backed up. Also called perfecting. 

Banker Envelope

The most common type of envelope, having a top ap along the longer edge.

Binding Methods

Methods of securing the leaves of a book, manuscript or brochure. Mechanical binding methods include plastic comb binding, ring binding and metal clasp attachments. Bookbinding methods include smyth sewn, side sewn, section sewn and perfect binding.


At its simplest, a text character, or graphic made
up of dots. In fact, a bitmap is the set of bits that represents the position and binary state (on or off) of a corresponding set of items to form a bit image such as on a monitor.


A sheet made of rexine or rubber that covers the impression cylinder of a press.

Blanket Cylinder

The cylinder of an offset press that transfers the ink image to the paper.


That part of an image which extends beyond the trim marks on a page. Illustrations that spread up to and beyond the edge allowing no margins are described as bled off.

Blind Emboss

To make an impression without ink or foil.


A publication larger than a pamphlet but no more than 24 pages.


Old term for a sheet of paper printed one side only.


A pamphlet or other onbound, short publication with stitched pages.


A photographic print on paper coated with light sensitive silver bromide emulsion. General term for high quality output on paper from an imagesetter.

Burst Bind

Pages of a book which are glued together to give a square spine.

Cartridge Paper

A general purpose, rough surfaced paper used for drawing, wrapping and offset printing.

Cased/Case Bound

A hardcover book, that is, one with stiff outer covers.

Cast Coated

Art paper which has an exceptionally glossy, enamel nish.

CD Rom

Compact Disk read only memory. Non erasable storage of sound, image and data. Capable of storing 650 megabytes of data safely and economically. Used for multimedia, audio and archiving purposes.


A reasonably fast proo ng system using the actual printers lms, using powder instead of ink.


Abbreviation for the process colours of Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K) used in four colour printing.

Clean Proof

A proof which is free from errors.

Coated Paper

A genera term for Art, Chromo and Enamel papers or similar groups in which the surface has a mineral coating applied after the body paper is made. Also known as surface paper.


A transparent waterbased solution similar in appearance to varnish but with more improved properties, obtainable in a variety of nishes.


To put the sections or pages of a book in the correct order.

Colour Bar/Codet

A standard set of bars on proofs in four colour process showing the strength and evenness of ink and the registration of colours.

Concertina Fold

See Accordion Fold.


The paper, board etc to which the body of a publication is secured.


One of the four process colours used in four-colour printing. This special shade of blue is sometimes called Process Blue.

Deckle Edge

The rough, uneven edge of handmade paper.


An electronic precision instrument used to measure the quantitive colours or density of a colour transparency or printed image.


An intaglio engraved stamp used for impressing a design.

Die Cutting

To cut paper, board or card to a particular shape with a metal Die for print, packaging or display work.

Die Stamping

Where all images/characters are in relief.


The smallest basic element of a halftone.

Double Spread/Page Spread

Two facing pages of a publication.

Down Time

Loss of time in a given job due to machine breakdown etc., or when time is a chargeable factor.


To make holes in paper or binding with a rotating die.


(1) The prototype of a proposed book or publication in the correct format, binding paper and bulk, but with blank pages.

(2) A mock-up of a design showing the position of headings, text, illustration and other designed details.


Strictly speaking, a monochromatic image consisting of two halftones made from the same original to
two different tonal ranges, so that when printed - in different shades of the same colour - a greater tonal range is produced than is possible with a single colour. However, the term is generally used, wrongly, to describe a duplex halftone.


Relief printing or stamping in which dies are used to raise letters above the surfaces of paper etc.


The light sensitive coating of a photographic material.


Apparatus for feeding and positioning paper sheets in printing presses and paper processing machines.

Film Assembly/Stripping

The process of assembling film negatives

(1) or positives

(2) in correct positions for the preparation of printing plates.

Flush Cover

The cover of a book cut to the same dimensions as the pages inside it.

Fly Fold

A folding method producing four pages from a sheet.


A cheaply produced broadsheet or circular for promotional purposes.


Plastic lm with a gold, silver, or metalized colouring, used to block designs, particularly onto packaging and book covers. Clear, stable lm used as a backing during lm assembly.


See accordion fold, french fold, parallel fold, and right angle fold.


An extension to the leaf of a book, making it wider than the standard page width.


Technically, the number of a leaf of a book when it is not numbered as two separate pages. However, a folio number is generally said to mean a page number.

Four Colour Process/Full Colour Process

The printing process that reproduces full colour images by using threebasic colours - cyan, magenta, and yellow plus black for added density.

G/M2/GSM, Grams Per Square Metre

A unit of measurement for paper used in printing.

Gate Fold

Two parallel folds dividing a sheet into three segments, in which both the outer segments are folded across the middle of the sheet in overlapping layers.

Gripper Margin

An extra margin on a sheet where it is gripped on the press, later trimmed away.


A machine for cutting a large number of sheets of paper accurately.


Strictly speaking, the space on a sheet, imposed for printing, including the foredges of the pages plus trim. Commonly, however, the term is given to the margin (“back margin”) down the centre of a double-page spread, or to the vertical space between adjacent columns on a page.


(1) The process by which a continuous tone image is simulated by a pattern of dots of varying sizes.

(2) An image reproduced by the halftone process.


The margin at the top of the page.

Hickie, Hickey

A common printing defect, visible as a spot surrounded by a blank halo, caused by a speck of dirt pushing the paper away from the printing plate.

Image Area

(1) In design the space within which a particular image is to t.

(2) The printing or ink carrying area of a litho plate.


A high resolution output device that is used to produce reproduction quality copy for printing, either as camera ready artwork on bromide paper or as lm negatives or positives.


The printer’s imprint is the name of the printer and the place of printing (a legal requirement in many countries if the work is to be published). The publisher’s imprint is the name of the publisher, usually printed on the title page of a book.

Ink Duct

The fountain supplying ink to a printing press.


Sheets of paper placed between newly printed
sheets in order to prevent ink transfer. Also called slip sheeting. Blank pages between the printed pages of a book, provided for handwritten notes.


The paper wrapper in which a book is sold.


Description of general printing, not specializing in any eld (such as book work) and usually consisting of short runs.

Knocking Up

The adjustment on one or two edges of a pile of sheets so they can be cut squarely.


To protect paper or card and give it a glossy surface by applying a transparent plastic coating through heat or pressure.

Landscape/Horizontal Format

Landscape/horizontal format. An image or page format in which the width is greater than the depth.

Lay Edges

The two edges of a sheet which are placed ush with the side and front lay gauges or marks on a printing machine to make sure that the sheet will be removed properly by the grippers and have uniform margins when printed.


A sprinting process, invented in 1798 by the German Aloys Senefelder,

that produces an image from a dampened, at surface, using greasy ink,

based on the principle of the mutual repulsion of oil and water.

Machine Direction

The path of paper through a papermaking machine that dictates the grain of the paper.

Machine Proof

A nal proof made on a machine similar to the one on which it will be printed (if not that actual machine).


The special shade of red that is one of the four process colours used in four-colour printing, sometimes called process red. Theoretically, magenta contains no blue (cyan) or yellow.

Metallic Ink

A printing ink which produces an effect of gold, silver, copper, or bronze.


An aberration occurring in halftone reproduction when two or more colours are printed, giving a halftone image, an appearance rather like that of watered
silk. This is caused by two or more dot screens being positioned at the wrong angles, or sometimes, by the rescreening of an image to which a halftone screen has already been applied. The angle at which screens should be positioned depends upon the number of colours being printed, but the norm for four colour process printing, and thus the default setting for

most computer applications that support four colour separation is cyan 105 degrees; magenta 75 degrees; yellow 90 degrees; black 45 degrees.


A photographic lm or paper in which all the dark areas appear light and vice versa. Negatives are used extensively in the reproduction process and are either made direct from originals or from a positive, or produced by an imagesetter. Facility (sometimes called inverting), of some computer applications to reverse the screen bit map so that the black pixels appear white and vice versa.

Offset Lithography

A method of lithography developed separately in the US in the early 1900s by Ira Rubel, Alex Sherwood and the Harris brothers in which the image is printed indirectly by ‘offsetting’ it rst onto a rubber-covered cylinder called a ‘Blanket’, from which the image is printed. It is the most widely used commercial printing process and is sometimes called photo lithography

Set Off

The accidental transfer of ink from a printed sheet onto the back of the next sheet. In lithography it refers to an impression taken from a key outline of a design which is powdered with a non greasy dye while the ink is damp, then placed on the stone or plate and passed through the press.

Sheet Fed

A term describing sheets which are fed into a printing press one by one as distinct from being web-fed (on roll).

Sheet Work

A term describing printing work involving printing on both sides of a sheet.


The centre of the case of a book, which runs down the back when it is cased in.


A spiral wire holding the leaves of a book together.

Step and Repeat

To produce multiple copies of an image at different sizes in de ned increments.


A latin word meaning ‘let it stand’. Used when marking up copy and correcting proofs to cancel a previous instruction or correction.

Saddle Stitch/Wire

A method of securing pages in a brochure by stitching them, while they are opened over a saddle shaped support, through the back with wire staples. Also called ‘wire stitch’.

Scatter Proofs

A proof of illustrations in which all the images are positioned at random and as closely packed as possible, without reference to their nal page position. This is done in order to cut proo ng costs particularly when large numbers of illustrations are involved, such as in illustrated book work.

Screen Printing

A printing process whereby ink is forced through a ne mesh stretched across a frame. The image is formed by means of a hand-cut or photographically generated stencil, which is bonded to the screen. Commercially, screen printing is generally used for printing into dif cult surfaces, for display work and for small print runs.


The bottom edge of a book.

Thumb Index

An index guide in a book in which steps are cut down the foredges of the page to provide a reference guide to the contents.


A term normally used in reference to a colour transparency, but applicable to any photographically developed image on transparent lm - or even any image on a transparent base, whether photographic or not.


The slight overlap of two colours to eliminate gaps that may occur between them due to the normal uctuations of registration during printing.

Trim Marks

Marks on original artwork, lm, or a printed sheet which act as a guide for trimming the sheet during nishing or as register marks during printing.

Under Colour Removal

The technique of removing unwanted colour from scanned colour separations either to reduce the amount of ink or because the colours cancel each other out, such as removing the magenta and yellow dots when there is enough black and cyan to cover. UCR can reduce trapping problems in printing.


A transparent solution mixed with ink or printed over ink to produce a glossy or matt surface nish.

Wallet Envelope

An envelope with a rectangular ap.


Cleaning ink from the printing press.

Web Fed

Presses on which paper is fed from a reel as distinct from sheet-fed printing presses.

Wet on Wet

A term describing the process of printing on multicolour presses, with each successive ink colour being printed on the sheet before the previous ink colour has time to dry.

Wire Stitch/Stab

One of a line of wire staples passed through the back of a printed section used as a method of binding.

Wove Paper

Paper with a smooth even and ne ‘woven’ surface, rather than the parallel line pattern of laid sheets.

Other Print Techniques

Foil Stamping (Blocking)

A means of adding either a metallic (gloss) or pigment (matt) nish to certain areas of a page. Successful
foil stamping is a combination of the correct heat, pressure and dwell time. The mix will vary enormously depending on run length - brass dies are generally accepted to give best results on heavily grained uncoated stock.

Die Cutting

Used to punch out irregular shapes or windows in
a sheet. If a window is to be the same shape as the image behind it, the design should make the window slightly smaller to allow for misregister. The dies are usually made by hand from steel and although there are set up costs, the process can prove economical through the use of a Platen machine. Round corners on labels or cards can be provided by a separate machine, suitable for short runs.

Die Stamping

The process by which a raised image is stamped onto the paper itself (with dies, as in blind embossing), but with the additional use of ink to create a printed nish, in relief, with high ink gloss.


Varnish effects can be created on uncoated stock but, to be effective, they need to be carried out on top of emulsion sealing due to the natural absorbency of the sheet. Machine varnishes can be enhanced by adding small percentages of coloured ink to effect a subtle tint. In order to achieve the highly effective contrast of high gloss UV varnish against a textured surface, it is advisable to seal, then apply UV matt and UV gloss varnishes in that order.


Most materials can be laminated, although part of the appeal of many uncoateds is the feel and texture of their surface which will be completely lost by this process. It will, however, impart weight, body