cmykbuttonGlossary of printing terms



AA – Abbreviation for author alteration.

Alignment – Orientation of type with regard to edges of the column or paper, such as aligned right (flush right), aligned left (flush left), and aligned on center (centered) – Also called range.

Alley – Space between images or columns of type on a page, as compared to gutter.

Alteration – Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau or printer. The change could be a copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author alteration and customer alteration.

Artwork – All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.

Ascender – Part of lowercase letters, such as h and b, that rises above its x height.

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Backup copy – Duplicate of an original made in case of loss or damage of the original.

Banding – Defect in halftone screens or screen tints output by laser printers or imagesetters in which parallel breaks (stair steps) or streaks appear in the dot pattern.

Banner – Large headline, usually across the full width of a page.

Base art – Copy pasted up on the mounting board of a mechanical, as compared to overlay art. Base art usually has the copy to be printed using black ink.

Baseline – Imaginary line, under a line of type, used to align characters.

Basis weight – In the United States and Canada, the weight, in pounds, of a ream (five hundred sheets) of paper cut to the basic size. Also called ream weight and substance weight (sub weight). When writing basis weight, the word “pound” is abbreviated with the symbol “#.” Fifty-pound coated is written 50# coated.

Bindery – Place where printed products are collated, trimmed, folded and/or bound. A bindery may be a department within a printing company or a separate business.

Bleed – Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.

Blueline – Prepress photographic proof made from stripped negatives where all colors show as blue images on white paper. Because “blueline” is a generic term for proofs made from a variety of materials having similar appearances, it may also be called a blackprint, blue, blueprint, brownline, brownprint, diazo, dyeline, ozalid, position proof, silverprint, Dylux or VanDyke.

Blurb – Brief description of a person, such as a writer or speaker, appearing as part of an article by that person.

Body copy – 1) Copy set in text type, as compared to display type. 2) The bulk of a story or article, as compared to its headlines and decks.

Bold type – Type that appears darker than the next type of the same typeface.

Bond paper – Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also called business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper and writing paper.

Book paper – Category of paper suitable for newsletters and general printing needs. Book paper is divided into uncoated paper (also called offset paper), coated paper (also called art paper, enamel paper, gloss paper and slick paper), and text paper.

Brightness – Characteristic of paper or ink referring to how much light it reflects.

Build a color – To overlap two or more screen tints to create a new color. Such an overlap is called a build, color build, stacked screen build or tint build.

Bulk mail – Alternate term for third-class mail.

Bullet – Bold dot used for typographic emphasis or to identify elements in a list.

Business reply card – Preaddressed card meeting postal regulations for size, caliper, bar coding and prepayment. Also called BRC and reply card.

Byline – The name of the author appearing at the beginning or end of an article

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Callout – Word that identifies part of an illustration.

Camera-ready copy – Mechanicals, photographs and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used. Also called finished art and reproduction copy.

Cap height – Height of capital letters in one type size of a font.

Caption – Identifying or descriptive text accompanying a photograph, illustration, map, chart or other visual element. Also called cutline, legend and underline.

Change order – Written instructions about changes to a job already in progress.

Character – Any letter, numeral, punctuation mark or other alphanumeric symbol.

Clip art – Copyright-free drawings available for purchase for unlimited reproduction. Clip art illustrations are printed on glossy paper or stored on computer disks. They are ready for placement on mechanicals or pages designed on computer screens. Also called standard artwork.

Coated paper – Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper appropriate for newsletters in three major categories of surface shine – gloss, dull and matte.

Color separation – The conversion of a color photograph or drawing into its component spectral colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK), with one screened negative produced per color.

Color separation service – Business making color separations for four-color process printing. Also called engraver, prep service, separator and service bureau.

Column rule – Thin vertical line that separates columns.

Commercial printer – Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcement, newsletters and poster. Commercial printer typically use metal plates made from negatives. Also called job printer because each job is different.

Composition – 1) In photography, the manner in which an image is arranged and framed to give an overall effect. 2) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. 3)In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics, and other elements on the page.

Comprehensive dummy – Simulation of a newsletter complete with type, graphics and colors. Also called comp.

Condensed type – Characters relatively narrow in proportion to their height, thus seeming tall and tightly spaced.

Continuous-tone copy – All photographs and those illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones. Abbreviated contone.

Copy – 1) For an editor or typesetter, all written material. 2) For a graphic designer or printer, everything to be printed – art, photographs and graphics, as well as words.

Copy editor – Person who checks and corrects a manuscript for spelling, grammar, punctuation, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and conformity to style requirements. Also called line editor.

Copyfit – 1) To calculate the space that a given amount of text required in a specific typeface and point size. 2) To edit writing and adjust typography for the purpose of making text fit a layout.

Copyright – Ownership of creative work by the writer, photographer or artist who made it or, if work for hire, the organization that paid for it.

Copyright notice – Statement of copyright ownership that has the word “copyright” or symbol C, the year of publication, and the name of the copyright owner.

Corner marks – Lines on a mechanical, negative, plate or press sheet showing locations of the corners of a page or finished piece.

Credit line – Line of relatively small type next to a photo or illustration giving its source and/or the name of the photographer or artist. May include copyright notice. Also called courtesy line.

Crop – To eliminate portions of an image so the remainder is more useful, pleasing, or able to fit the layout.

Crop marks – Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks and tick marks.

Cropping Ls – Pieces of paper or cardboard cut into L shapes that, when overlapped, can be adjusted to frame a photograph. Also called cropping angles.

Crossover – Type or art that continues from one page across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.

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Dash – Typographic mark that indicates a break between thoughts. An em dash (—) is longer than an en dash (–) and much longer than a hyphen(-).

Descender – Portion of a lowercase letter falling below its baseline.

Dingbat – Typographic symbol, such as a bullet (•), used for emphasis or decoration.

Display type – Type used for headlines, advertising and signs. Also called headline type.

Drop shadow – Screen tint or rule touching an illustration, box or type to give a three-dimensional shadow effect. Also called flat shadow.

Dropped cap – Large capital letter that extends down into the first two or more lines. Used as a design element.

Dual-purpose bond paper – Bond paper suitable for printing by either lithography (offset) or xerography (photocopy). Abbreviated DP bond paper.

Dull finish – Flat (not glossy) finish or coated paper, slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.

Dummy – Mock-up simulating the final product. Dummies range from very simple, showing only size or rough layout, to very complicated, showing position and color of type and art. Also called mock-up.

Dylux Brand – Name for photographic paper used to make blueline proofs. Often used as alternate term for blueline.

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Edition – One version of a newsletter, such as the western regional edition.

Element – One part of an image or page. Elements of an image may include subject, background and foreground. Elements of a page may include headlines, body copy and halftones.

Estimate – Price that states what a job will probably cost. Also called bid, quotation and tender. Printers base estimates on specifications provided by customers.

Extended type – Characters wide in proportion to their height, thus seeming fat. Also called expanded type.

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Fair use – Concept in copyright law allowing, without permission from copyright holder, short quotations from a copyrighted product for purposes of reviewing or teaching. Also called fair dealing.

Feature – Article that provides general knowledge, entertainment, or background on the news. Feature articles are usually longer than news articles.

Fillers – Short items, such as proverbs or announcements, kept on hand to fill small blank spaces in a layout.

Film speed – Measure of light sensitivity of photographic film. Fast film is highly sensitive, slow film less sensitive.

Finish – 1) Surface characteristics of paper. 2) General term for trimming, folding, binding, and all other postpress operations.

Finished size – Size of product after production is complete, as compared to flat size. Also called trim size.

Fixed costs – Costs that remain the same regardless of how many copies are printed, as compared to variable costs. The costs of copywriting, photography and design are examples of fixed costs.

Flat – 1) Printer’s assembly of film taped to a carrier sheet ready for platemaking. Also called film mechanical and Goldenrod. 2) U.S. Postal Service term for a piece of mail whose length is from 5 to 15 inches and height from 3 1/2 to 12 inches, as compared to letter mail, which has smaller dimensions. Flats include unfolded newsletters.

Flat size – Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.

Floating rule – Rule, usually between columns, whose ends do not touch other rules.

Flop – To change the orientation of an image so it is the mirror image of its original.

Flush left – Type aligning vertically along the left side of the column. Also called left justified and ranged left.

Flush right – Type aligning vertically along the right side of the column. Also called right justified and ranged right.

Fold marks – Lines on a mechanical, film, printing plate or press sheet indicating where to fold the final product.

Font – Complete assortment of upper- and lowercase characters, numerals, punctuation and other symbols of one typeface. A font is a concept, not a physical object. Fonts can be held in the storage or memory of a computer, on sheets of transfer lettering, on film, or in job cases holding metal type.

Footer – Information, such as page number or chapter title, that appears at the bottom of every page. Also called running foot.

Format – Size or layout, depending on context. “The format is 8 1/2 x 11.” “Our newsletter has a one-column format.”

For position only – Refers to inexpensive copies of photos or art used on mechanicals to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction. Abbreviated FPO.

Freelancer – Professional, such as writer or photographer, who is self-employed, thus free to accept work from many clients. Also called contract artist.

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Gang – To halftone more than one image in only one exposure.

Gloss finish – Paper with a coating that reflects light well, as compared to dull- or matte-coated paper. Also called art paper, enamel paper and slick paper.

Glossy print – Photography term for black-and-white print made on glossy paper.

Grade – General term used to distinguish between or among printing papers, but whose specific meaning depends on context. Grade can refer to the category, class, rating, finish or brand of paper.

Grain direction – Predominant direction in which fibers in paper become aligned during manufacturing. Also called machine direction.

Grainy – Appearance of a photograph or halftone that has been enlarged so much that the pattern of crystals in the emulsion can be seen in the photo or its reproduction.

Graphic arts – The crafts, industries and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.

Graphic design – Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colors and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message.

Graphic designer – Professional who designs, plans and may coordinate production of a printed piece.

Graphics – Visual elements that supplement type to make printed messages clearer or more interesting.

Gray levels – Number of distinct gray tones that can be reproduced by a computer.

Grid – 1) Pattern of lines representing the layout of a newsletter. A grid may be imaginary, or it may be printed on paper or displayed on a computer screen. 2) Pattern of nonprinting guidelines on a pasteup board or computer screen. Grids help align and organize copy.

Grip and grin – Staged photograph of two people smiling and shaking hands at a ceremonial event.

Gutter – Line or fold at which facing pages meet.

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Hairline – Thinnest visible space or rule. Because visibility is determined by factors such as contrast between ink and paper and eyesight of the viewer, hairline has no precise meaning. Hairlines exist in the eye of the beholder.

Hairline register – Subjective term referring to very close register.

Halftone – A photograph or illustration that has been converted into dots for reproduction.

Hard copy – Copy on a substrate, such as film or paper, as compared to soft copy.

Hard mechanical – Mechanical consisting of paper and/or acetate, as compared to electronic mechanical.

Hard proof – Proof on paper or other substrate, as compared to a soft proof.

Header – Information, such as page number or chapter title, that appears at the top of every page of a newsletter.

Hickey – Spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage, caused by dirt on the plate or blanket. Also called bull’s eye and fish eye.

Highlights – Lightest portions of a photograph or halftone, as compared to midtones and shadows.

House organ – Newsletter published for employees or members of an organization.

House sheet – Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a wide variety of printing jobs. Also called floor sheet.

House style – Guidelines for grammar, typography, color and other graphic features, as adopted by a specific organization.

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Image – Type, illustration or other original as it has been reproduced on computer screen, film, printing plate or paper.

Imagesetter – Laser output device using photosensitive paper or film.

Imposition – Arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.

Imprint – To print new copy on a previously printed sheet, such as imprinting an employee’s name on business cards. Also called surprint.

Indicia – Postal permit information printed on objects to be mailed and accepted by U.S. Postal Service in place of stamps.

Infographics – Charts, graphs, tables and other visual representation of ideas and statistical information. Also called business graphics and management graphics.

In-house – Refers to an activity, such as graphic design or printing, performed within an organization, not purchased from outsiders.

Ink holdout – Characteristic of paper that prevents it from absorbing ink, thus allowing ink to dry on the surface of the paper.

In-plant printer – Department of an agency, business or association that does printing for a parent organization. Also called captive printer and in-house printer.

ISSN – Abbreviation for International Standard Serial Number issue. 1) All copies of a newsletter having content related to one theme, such as the 10th anniversary issue, or location, such as the western issue. 2) All copies of a newsletter on the same date, such as the September issue.

Issue date – Year, month or date on which a newsletter was mailed or released.

Italic type – Type slanted to the right to resemble handwriting, as compared to Roman type.

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Jump – Point at which text moves from one page to another. When the second page does not immediately follow the first, the jump is indicated with “continued on p. __.”

Jumpover – Type that continues from above a photo or illustration to below it, so the reader’s eyes must jump over the visual to continue reading the copy.

Justified type – Type set flush right and left.

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Kern – To reduce space between two or three characters so those characters appear better fitted together.

Key – To relate loose pieces of copy to their positions on a layout or mechanical using a system of numbers or letters.

Keylines – Lines on a mechanical or negative showing the exact size, shape and location of photographs or other graphic elements. Also called holding lines.

Kicker – Small, secondary headline placed above a primary headline to lead into the primary headline.

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Laser printer – Device using a laser beam and xerography to reproduce type, graphics and halftone dots.

Laser type – Type made using a laser printer. Imagesetters also use lasers to make type, but the term “laser type” refers to type produced by toner on plain paper.

Layout – Sketch or plan of how a page or sheet will look when printed.

Lead – 1) Main story in a newsletter. 2) First paragraph in a news story. Pronounced “leed.”

Leaders – Dots, dashes or other symbols that guide the eye from one item to another, as in a table of contents. Pronounced “leeder” because the term refers to the verb “to lead.”

Leading – Space between lines of type expressed as the distance between baselines. Pronounced “ledding” because the term originated with strips of metal (lead) used to separate lines of hot type. Also called interline spacing and line spacing.

Legible – Referring to type having sufficient contrast with its background so readers can easily perceive the characters, as compared to readable.

Letter fold – Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelop. Also called barrel fold and wrap-around fold.

Letter spacing – Amount of space between all characters. Also called character spacing.

Line copy – Any high-contrast image, including type, as compared to continuous-tone copy. Also called line art and line work.

Lines per inch – Linear measure of screen ruling expressing how many lines of dots there are per inch in a screen tint, halftone or separation. Abbreviated lpi.

Logo – Abbreviation for logotype, an artistic assembly of type and art into a distinctive symbol unique to an organization, business or product. Also called emblem.

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Mailing service – Business specializing in addressing and mailing large quantities of printed pieces. Also called lettershop.

Makeover – 1) New design replacing an old design. 2) Printing job done over again – made over without changes – because of unacceptable flaws in the previous production run.

Mark up – To write on a manuscript or proof instructions about matters such as typesetting, color correcting or printing.

Markup – Amount of money that one supplier adds to the price of goods or services secured for a customer from another supplier.

Mask – To prevent light from reaching part of an image, therefore isolating the remaining part. Also called knock out.

Masking material – Opaque paper or plastic used to prevent light from reaching selected areas of film or a printing plate. Also called knockout film. Masking material is often referred to by brand names, such as Amberlith, Goldenrod and Rubylith.

Masthead – Block of information in a newsletter that indicates its publisher and editor and tells about advertising and subscribing.

Matte finish – Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Measure – Width of a column of type. With justified type, all lines have the same measure. With ragged type, measure equals the longest possible line. Also called line measure.

Mechanical – Camera-ready assembly of type, graphics and other copy complete with instructions to the printer.

Merge/purge – To combine two or more databases (merge), then eliminate duplicate records (purge). Usually refers to a function performed by a list house on address lists before mailing.

Midtones – In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows.

Modem – Acronym for modulator-demodulator, a device that converts digital signals to analog tones and vice versa so computers can communicate over telephone lines.

Moiré – Undesirable pattern resulting when halftones and screen tints are made with improperly aligned screens or when a pattern in a photo, such as a plaid, interferes with a halftone dot pattern.

Mottle – Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also called sinkage. A mottled image may be called mealy.

Mounting board – Any thick, smooth piece of paper used to paste up copy or mount photographs.

Mug shot – Photograph showing only a person’s face.

Multicolor printing – Printing in more than one ink color (but not four-color process). Also called polychrome printing.

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Nameplate – Portion of front page of newsletter that graphically presents its name, subtitle and date line.

Newsletter – Short, usually informal periodical presenting specialized information to a limited audience.

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Offset printing – Printing technique that transfer ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from a plate to paper.

Opacity – Characteristic of paper that prevents printing on one side from showing through to the other.

Original art – Initial photo or illustration prepared for reproduction.

Out of register – Characteristic of an image not printed in register. Also called misregister.

Overlay – Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. An overlay has the same dimensions as the mounting board that it covers. There are two types of overlays – 1) Acetate overlays are used to separate colors by having some type of art on them instead of on the mounting board. 2) Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.

Overprint – To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint. Also called surprint.

Overrun – Number of pieces printed or paper made in excess of the quantity ordered.

Overs – Printed pieces in an overrun.

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Page – One side of a leaf in a newsletter. One sheet folded in half yields four pages. An eight-page signature has four pages printed on each side of the sheet.

Page count – Total number of pages that a newsletter has. Also called extent.

Page proof – Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings and rules.

PANTONE – Colors Brand name of colors in the PANTONE Matching System.

Paste up – To paste copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, to overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical. The mechanical produced is often called a pasteup.

Pasteup board – Any piece of paper or board used as the base for a mechanical. Also called lineup board.

Phototype – Type created by projecting light onto photosensitive paper.

Pica – Anglo-American unit of typographic measure equal to .166 inch (4.128mm). One pica has twelve points.

PMS – Obsolete reference to PANTONE Matching System. The correct trade name of the colors in the PANTONE Matching System is PANTONE Colors, not PMS Colors.

Point – Regarding type, a unit of measure used to express size (height) of type, distance between lines (leading) and thickness of rules. One point equals 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).

Position stat – Photocopy of PMT of a photo or illustration made to size and affixed to a mechanical. Position stats show proper cropping, scaling and positioning.

PostScript – Brand name for a page description language used in laser printers and imagesetters. Supported by both IBM and Macintosh. Its device independence allows the same PS file to be output on different printing devices.

PPI (Pages per Inch) – A measure assigned to paper stock by the manufacturer to be used in calculating book spines; i.e., total book pages (256) divided by paper PPI (512) = 1/2″ spine.

Prepress – Camera work, color separating, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called preparation.

Preprint – To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting.

Press check – Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.

Printer spreads – Mechanicals made so that they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads. For example, an 11″ x 17″ mechanical for an eight-page newsletter would have pages 2 and 7 opposite each other. See also imposition.

Proof – Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press, and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.

Proofread – To examine a manuscript or proof for errors in writing or typesetting.

Proofreader marks – Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Most dictionaries and style manuals include charts of proofreader marks. Also called correction marks.

Proof sheet – 1) Photographic term for sheet of images made by contact printing negatives. Also called contact sheet. 2) Printing term for any proof or press sheet used as a proof.

Proportion scale – Round device used to calculate percent that an original image must be reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size. Also called percentage wheel, proportion dial, proportion wheel and scaling wheel.

Publisher – 1) Person or organization that coordinates creation, design, production and distribution of newsletters. 2) Chief executive officer or owner of a publishing company.

Pull quote – Words from an article printed in large type and inserted in the page similarly to an illustration.

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Quality – Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer, and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.

Quick printing – Printing using small sheetfed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper. Paper, plastic or rubber plates are made directly from camera-ready copy, as compared to metal plates for commercial printing that require making film first.

Quotation – Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job, thus alternate for estimate. The quoted price is the printer’s side of the contract based on specifications from the customer.

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Ragged-left/right type – Type whose line beginnings/endings are not aligned vertically.

Raster Image Processing (RIP) – A process wherein a raster scan technique assembles an electronic page in a bitmapped format on a pixel by pixel basis.

Readable – Characteristic of printed messages that are easy to read and understand, as compared to legible.

Reader spread – Mechanicals made in two-page spreads as readers would see the pages, as compared to printer spread. For example, an 11″ x 17″ mechanical for an eight-page newsletter could have pages 2 and 3 opposite each other.

Register – To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.

Register marks – Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.

Rescreen – To create a halftone of an image that is already printed as a half-tone; for example, rescreening a photo appearing in a magazine for reprinting in a newsletter. When not done properly, rescreening yields a moire’.

Resolution – Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disk, tape or other medium.

Reverse – Type, graphic or illustration reproduced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the underlying color or paper to show through and form the image. Also called knockout and liftout. The image “reverses out” of the ink color.

Rights – Conditions and terms of a licensing agreement between a copyright owner and a publisher.

Roman type – Type with serifs and that is upright, as compared to italic. Also called plain type. Roman is the basic typeface in any type family. Other typefaces in the family are based on the Roman. For example, light is lighter than Roman and bold is darker.

Rough layout – Sketch giving a general idea of size and placement of text and graphics in the final product. Also called esquisse and rough.

Rule – Line used as a graphic element to separate or organize copy. The width of rules is measured in points or millimeters.

Runaround – Type set to conform to part or all of the shape of a neighboring photograph or illustration. Also called wraparound.

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Saddle stitch – To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch. Also called pamphlet stitch, saddle wire and stitch bind.

Sans-serif type – Type without serifs. Also called gothic type.

Satin finish – Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.

Scale – To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve the correct size for printing. An 8″ x 10″ photo to be reproduced as a 4″ x 5″ image should be scaled to 50 percent.

Scalloped columns – Page layout in which columns of equal length are aligned at the top so their bottoms vary. Also called hanging columns.

Scan – To read an image using a pinpoint beam of light.

Scanner – Electronic device used to scan an image.

Screen – To convert a continuous-tone image into a halftone or a solid into a screen tint.

Screen density – Refers to the amount of ink that a screen tint allows to print. Also called screen percentage. Screen density is expressed as percent of ink coverage.

Screen ruling – Number of rows or lines of dots per inch or centimeter in a screen for making a screen tint or halftone. Also called line count, ruling, screen frequency, screen size and screen value.

Screen tint – Color created by dots instead of solid ink coverage. Also called Benday, fill pattern, screen tone, shading, tint and tone.

Second-class mail – U.S. Postal Service classification for newspapers, magazines and other periodicals that meet specific requirements.

Selective binding – Placing signatures or inserts in magazines or catalogs according to demographic or geographic guidelines.

Self-mailer – Printed piece designed to mail without an envelope.

Semibold type – Type darker than normal but lighter than bold.

Serial identification code – Alphanumeric set that may follow an ISSN to identify the issue date and number of a periodical. Abbreviated SIC.

Serif – Short line crossing the ending strokes of most characters in roman typefaces.

Service bureau – Business using imagesetters to make high-resolution printouts of files prepared on microcomputers. Also called out-put house and prep service.

Shading film – Dry transfer materials used to make screen tints.

Shadows – Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and highlights.

Show through – Printing on one side of a sheet that is visible from the other side due to insufficient opacity of the paper, as compared to strike through.

Sidebar – Block of information related to and placed near an article, but set off by design and/or typography as a separate unit.

Small caps – Capital letters approximately the x height of lowercase letters in the same font. Used for logos and nameplates and to soften the impact of normal caps.

Smooth finish – The most level finish offered on offset paper.

Soft copy – Copy viewed on a computer screen, as compared to hard copy.

Solid – 1) Any area of the sheet receiving 100 percent ink coverage, as compared to a screen tint. An area of an image on film or a plate that will print as 100 percent coverage is also called a solid. 2) Type set with no leading.

Soy-based inks – Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus being easier on the environment.

Specifications – Complete and precisely written description of features of a printing job, such as type size and leading, paper grade and quantity, printing quality or binding method. Abbreviated specs. Specifications can include the following: type specs define typeface, size, line measure, indentations, headlines, and other features of typography. Printing specs concentrate on press work, such as quantities, ink colors and dot gains, but often include prepress, paper and finishing. Finishing specs tell folding requirements and trim size.

Spine – The back of a bound book connecting the two covers; also called backbone.

Spiral Wire (Binding) – A type of mechanical binding using a continuous wire of corkscrew or spring-coil form run through round holes punched into the binding edge.

Spread – 1) Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit. 2) Layout of several photos, especially on facing pages.

Standing headline – Headline whose words and position stay the same issue after issue, such as “President’s message.” Also called slug.

Strip – To assemble images on film for platemaking. Stripping involves correcting flaws in film, assembling pieces of film into flats, and ensuring that film and flats register correctly. Also called film assembly and image assembly.

Stripper – Person who works in a stripping department.

Style – Copyediting rules for treatment of such matters as modes of address, titles and numerals.

Style sheet – Document containing rules for copyediting and typography to be used for a newsletter.

Subhead – Small heading within a story or chapter. Also called crosshead. Substance weight – Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers. Also called sub weight.

Subtitle – Phrase in a nameplate that amplifies or supplements information in the newsletter name.

Summary deck – Two or three sentences that condense the highlights of an article and appear between the headline and the lead paragraph.

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Tabloid – Newsletter with trim size 11″ x 17″ or A3.

Tag line – Alternate term for subtitle.

Template – Pattern used to draw illustrations, make page formats, or lay out press sheets. A template may be a physical object that guides a pencil, an underlay for a light table, or a computer file with present formats or outlines for the final printed piece.

Terms and conditions – Specifics of an order for printing that a printer and a customer make part of their contract.

Text – Main portion of type on a page, as opposed to such elements as headlines and captions.

Text paper – Designation for printing papers with textured surfaces, such as laid or linen.

Text type – Type used for text and captions, as compared to display type. Also called body type and composition type.

Thumbnail sketch – Small rough sketch of a design.

Tight register – Subjective term referring to nearly exact register.

Tombstone – Two headlines next to each other so that, at first glance, they appear to be one headline.

Toner – 1) Powder forming the images in photocopying and laser printing. 2) Powder or liquid forming the images in some color proofing systems.

Type – Letters, numerals, punctuation marks and other symbols produced by a machine and that will be reproduced by printing.

Typeface – Set of characters with similar design features and weight. Garamond Light is a typeface. Also called face.

Type family – Group of typefaces with similar letter forms and an unique name. Garamond, including all weights and styles, such as light, semibold and bold italic, is a type family. Also called family of type.

Type size – Height of a typeface measured from the top of its ascenders to the bottom of its descenders, expressed in points.

Type specimen book – Book of printed samples of type families and typefaces offered by a type shop or a type font company.

Type style – Characteristic of a typeface, such as bold, italic or light.

Typography – 1) The art and science of composing type to make it legible, readable and pleasing. 2) The arrangement of type on a page.

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Ultrabold type – Type that is heavier than bold. Also called black type.

Uncoated paper – Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.

Underrun – Quantity of printing delivered that is less than the quantity ordered.

Unit cost – The cost of one item in a print run. Unit cost is computed by dividing the total cost of the printing job – variable costs plus fixed costs – by the quantity of products delivered.

Uppercase letters – Alternate term for capital letters.

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Variable costs – Costs of a printing job that change depending on how many pieces are produced, as compared to fixed costs. Costs for paper, printing and binding are examples of variable costs.

Vellum finish – Somewhat rough, toothy finish; smoother than antique, rougher than English.

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Washed out – Characteristic of printing or a photograph whose images appear faded.

Waste – Unusable paper or paper damaged during normal makeready, printing or bindery operations, as compared to spoilage.

White space – Area of a printed piece that does not contain images or type. Also called negative space.

Wide angle lens – Camera lens whose field of view is wider than the eye can normally see, as compared to telephoto lens. Also called short lens.

Window – On a mechanical, an area that has been marked for placement of a halftone. When photographed using graphic arts film, a window made using masking material (dark area) creates a window on the film (transparent area)

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X height – Vertical height of a lowercase x in a typeface. X height varies from one typeface to another. Also called body height.

Glossary of Printing Terms October 5, 2011