“Genuity’s designers and creative teams have a keen sense regarding compliance and regulatory guidelines. This saves our marketing and procurement teams’ time and money on the front end of projects.”


- Procurement Team Leader - Pfizer, Inc.









Promotional Product and Imprinting Terms

Below you'll find definitions of terms commonly used in the promotional products industry. This glossary is designed to help the buyers get a better understanding of both products and imprinting methods. As the promo-know how people, one of our goals is to help buyers learn about products and printing methods so they are more comfortable with the process and more successful with their promotions.


Acetate: Thin, flexible sheet of transparent plastic used to make overlays.


Against the grain: At right angles to the grain direction of paper.


Airbrush:  Pen-shaped ink sprayer used to retouch photographic prints and create illustrations.


Attachment: A file or program sent along with an email message.


Bas relief: Design that is impressed into its base material. Opposite of intaglio.


Benday: Alternate term for screen tint.


Bind: To fasten sheets or signatures and class=GramE>adhere covers with glue, wire, thread or by other means.


Bindery: Print shop department or separate business that does trimming, folding, binding and other finishing tasks.


Blanket: Thick rubber sheet that transfers ink from plate to paper on an offset press.


Blanket cylinder: A press cylinder on which the blanket is mounted.


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


Blind emboss: To emboss without added ink or foil on the embossed image.


Blow up: A photographic enlargement.


Blue line: The line drawn in blue ink on mechanical art indicating where die cutting will occur. The line is blue so that the black-and-white camera will not record it.


Board: Alternate term for mechanical.


Bronzing: Printing with sizing ink; then applying bronze powder while still wet to produce a metallic luster.

Butt: To join without overlapping or space between.

Butt fit:
Ink colors overlapped only a hairline so they appear perfectly butted.


Casting: Method of forming a statue, jewelry or other object by injecting molten metal into a rubber or plastic mold.


Chipboard: Inexpensive, single-ply cardboard, usually brown or gray.


Chrome: A color transparency produced on film with a positive photographic image.


Clean up: Factory charge added for labor costs involved in cleaning the printing press after using a nonstandard ink color.


Clip art: High-contrast drawings printed on white, glossy paper and made to be cut out and pasted to a mechanical.


Cloisart: The desired logo or copy is foil hot stamped on a solid brass or metal base, then covered by an epoxy dome. There are fewer limitations with Cloisart because it is a hot stamp procedure. Often used in jewelry and pins, this is a cloisonné look-alike for a fraction of the cost and is not generally considered as fine quality as cloisonné.


Collateral: Ad agency term for printed pieces, such as brochures and annual reports not directly involved in advertising.


Collotype: A screenless printing process of the planographic ink-water type in which the plates are coated with bichromated gelatin, exposed to continuous-tone negatives and are printed on lithographic presses with special dampening.


Color break: In multicolor printing, the point or line at which one ink color stops and another begins.


Color key: 3M trade name for overlay color proof.


Color matching system: System of numbered ink swatches facilitating communication about color.


Color Separation: The breakdown of full-color copy into primary color plates - magenta, cyan, black, and yellow - when printed in register produce a full color illustration.


Color Swatch: Sample of an ink color.


Continuous-tone copy: Photographs and illustrations having a range of shades.


Contract decoration: A Process of embellishing a product with one of the many decorating processes; the clients provide the goods and the decorator provides and charges only for the decoration or embellishment.


Contrast: Range of gradations in tones between lightest white and darkest black in continuous-tone copy or the abrupt change between light and dark in line copy.


Copy: For and editor or typesetter, all written material. For a graphic designer or printer, everything that will be printed: art, photographs, and graphics as well as words.


Copyright: Ownership of creative work by the writer, photographer, or artist who made it.


Copywriter: Person who writes copy for advertising.


Crash Printing: Letterpress printing on carbon or carbonless forms so image prints simultaneously on all sheets in the set.


Crop: To eliminate portions of an illustration or photograph so the remainder is more clear, interesting or able to fit the layout.


Crop Marks: Lines near the edge of an image showing portions to be eliminated.


Debossing: Stamping an image on a material, such as cloth, vinyl or leather so the image is depressed below the surface of the object.


Decal Transfer: A water-soluble decal, printed on an offset or letterset press, is submerged in water and slid onto the product to be imprinted. The decal is rubbed with a cloth or squeegee to remove any excess water and air from between the product and decal before the product is kiln-fired. Once fired, the decal becomes fused and the glazed. Decal transfer is labor intensive since each decal must be aligned and applied by hand. Used in porcelain, ceramic and glass products, decal transfer is used when artwork requires tight registration.


Deckle Edge: The untrimmed feathery edge of paper formed where the pulp flows against the deckle-the width of a wet sheet- as it comes off the wire of a paper making machine.


Descender: The letter stroke below the letter’s x-height, as in “q” or “p”.


Desktop Publishing: Electronically designing, laying out, editing and producing a document using a computer and word processing, graphic and page layout software.


Die: Molten metal, plastic or other material is forced into a mold making a special shape such as pen barrels or rings. Also, a tool made of very hard material used to press a special shape into or onto a softer material such as coins and emblems.


Die Casting (injection molding): Molten metal is injected into the cavity of a carved die. In the case where a double-sided impression is necessary, two dies are placed together, carved sides facing the inside and the molten metal is injected between them. Fine detail is available, and thinner lines can be created than with die-struck products. Used in metals such as jewelry, pins and belt buckles.


Die Charge: A supplier’s charge for creating a die from artwork used for imprinting products.


Die Cutting: The use of sharp steel blades to cut special shapes from printed sheets.


Die Stamp: Steel plate engraved with desired image used to “stamp” (apply) gold or silver leaf.


Die Striking: A “first off: proof struck from the die to determine cutting accuracy. Method is used on a flat metal item and is imprinted with a hammer holding the die of the impression.


Digitizing: The process of scanning printed text or logos into a computer. Also the process where a design is plotted in a computer language than embroidery machine can read. This is the process needed in order to take art from camera ready to a readable format in order to reproduce an embroidered design.


Display Type: Large, contrasting blocks of copy set apart from ordinary text matter.


Dot: The individual element of a halftone.


Download: To electronically copy a file to your computer from another computer.


Drop shadow: Graphic device in which type or other element is reproduced with an offset second image on one edge, giving a “shadow” effect that visually “lifts” the primary type and makes the image appear three-dimensional.


Duotone: Photograph reproduced from two half-tone negatives and usually printed in two ink colors. In photo mechanics, a term for a two-color halftone reproduction from a one-color photograph.


Dummy: Preliminary drawing or layout showing visual elements. Also a simulation of a printed piece using paper specified for a job.


Electronic Page Assembly: Assembly and manipulation of type, graphic and other visual elements on a computer screen.


Electronic retouching: Using a computer to enhance or correct a scanned photograph.   


Embellishment: Color substance, stone or dome used to enhance or protect the design of an imprint.


Embossed finish: Paper with a raised or depressed surface resembling wood, cloth, leather or another pattern.


Embossing: Stamping an image on a material, e.g., paper and leather, so the image of the design is raised above the surface of the material.


Embroidery: A design stitched onto a material through the use of high speed, computer controlled sewing machines. The design is reproduced with tightly-stitched thread. Embroidery is most commonly used on logo patches and directly on some wearables. Fine detail is difficult to achieve.


Emulsion: The coating of chemicals on paper, film and printing plate, prior to development, is light sensitive.


Engraver: Person making a plate for engraving. Also may refer to trade camera service.


Engraving: The cutting or etching of designs or letters on metal, wood, glass or other materials. There are three engraving techniques: hang-engraving, hang-tracing and computerized engraving. Engraving is performed with a diamond point or rotary blade cutting into the surface of the product. Engraving offers a permanent imprint that will not wear off because it is cut into the metal base. Used in metals such as trophies, pens, and nameplates.


EPS file: Stands for a programming language. class=GramE>Encapsuled PostScript (EPS). A standard file formant for importing and exporting PostScript language files among applications in a variety of heterogenous environments associated with page layout and graphics.


Estimate: Price stating what a job will probably cost based on initial specifications from customer.


Etched: The product to be imaged is coated with a resist (a productive coating that resists the acid). An image is exposed on the resist, usually photographically, leaving bare and protected metal. The acid attacks the exposed metal thus leaving the image etched into the surface. This process can reproduce very fine lines and the only tooling is apiece of film, so spec samples are easily made.


Fine screen: Screen with ruling of more than 150 lines per inch.


Finishing: Inclusive term sometimes used for all bindery operations.


Flexography: A flexible rubber plate is wrapped around a cylinder for speed and control. As the paper moved under the printing plate, it is pressed against the printing plate by another roller, and the ink is transferred onto the paper. A separate plate is needed for each individual color. Typically used on less expensive materials than screenprinting, the inks are very thing and not as durable.


Flocking: Electrostatic spraying process on a point-of-sale piece simulating a “velvety” finish.


Flop: To reproduce a photograph or illustration so that its image faces opposite from the original.


Font: The collection of a typeface including the lower case, caps, numbers and special characters having unified design. This can be an important consideration when copy includes foreign terms or names with special characters. The different kinds and quantity of characters in a font will vary according to the manufacturer of the typesetting system.


Format: The size, style, type page, margins, and printing requirements of a printed piece.


Four-color separation: The breakdown of full-color artwork through the combination of four-process ink colors - cyan (blue), magneta (red), yellow and black (CMYK) - in specified intensities.


French fold: A sheet printed in one side, folded first vertically and horizontally producing a four-page folder.


Gang: To reproduce two or more of the same printed pieces simultaneously on one sheet of paper. Also to halftone or separate more than one image in only one exposure.


Gatefold: An oversize page folding into the “gutter,” often used to extend the size of an advertisement in a magazine or a map in a book. A smaller brochure can also be gatefolded.


Generation: A first generation image is the original; second generation is made from the original; third generation is made from the second generation.


Ghost halftone: A light halftone overprinted with solid copy.


GIF (Graphic Interchange Format): A graphic file format developed by CompuServe. Most images appearing on the Web are in GIF format.


Glass etching: A process covering a piece of glass with a template cutting a design out of it. The glass is then sandblasted while the portion of the item not covered by the template is protected. The template image is thus etched into the glass.


Gothic: Style of typeface. Block letter without decoration as opposed to serif faces having finishing strokes. Gothic is a sans serif font.


Grade: One of seven major categories of paper bond, uncoated book, coated book, text, cover, board and speciality.


Grain: The direction in which fibers are aligned in paper. In photography, crystals making emulsion on film.


Graphic: A line, oval, rectangle, square, circle, logo, chart, illustration, drawing, cartoon or photograph used in a layout.


Grayscale: A piece of art whose original “colors” are represented by varying shades of gray.


Gripper edge: The leading edge of paper as it passes through a printing press.


Gutter: The space where two pages of a brochure or periodical come together. IN a two-page layout, the gutter often has to be adjusted to allow space for binding.


Hairline: Very thin line or gap about the width of a hair: 1/100 inch.


Halftone: The reproduction of a continuous tone artwork (such as a photograph) done by filtering light through a screen converting the image into a pattern of dots of varying size.


Halftone dots: Various sized of dots creating the illusion of shading or a continuous-tone image.


Hard Copy: Any machine copy readable on paper or film as opposed to copy on a computer monitor.


Header: A message board projecting above a p-o-p display showing a headline or an advertising message. Usually more elaborate than a riser.


Hickey: Donut-shaped spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage.


Headline: The primary “stopping” words on an advertising layout.


Heat transfer printing (direct transfer process): Image is screened on a transfer substrate; then laid directly on the material to be imprinted. The image is “transferred” from the substrate to the material through the use of heat and pressure. Works best on cotton and cotton blends.


Heat transfer printing (sublimation): A process design transferring a design to a synthetic fabric by heat and pressure. The heat causes the inks to turn into a gas in order to penetrate the fabric and form a permanent imprint.


Hologram: A combination of several layers of refracted material. A part of the image is applied to each individual layer in a “sandwiching” process. Once the sandwich is complete, the whole image comes through and moves with the light. New techniques are available making holograms more durable and creating a long lasting imprint.


Hot Stamping: Type or design is impressed in the form of a relief die with heat and pressure through metallic or pigmented foil onto the printed surface. It is used to decorate fabric, leather, paper, wood, hard rubber, coated metal and all types of plastic. Hot stamping is a “dry” imprinting process - meaning the object can be handled immediately after the stamping without fear of smearing the imprint.


Hot type: Type composed by machine, made from molten metal.


HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): Coding method used to format documents for the World Wide Web. Web browsers display test, graphic and links on a Web page by translating HTML tags.


Hue: Color such as red or blue.


Image Area: Portion of a negative or plate corresponding to inking on paper; portion of paper on which ink appears.


Imposition: The arranging of pages in a press form to insure the correct order after the printed sheet is folded and trimmed.


Imprint: To mark by pressure.


Indicia: Postal permit information printed on mailed objects and accepted by USPS in lieu of stamps.


Ink fountain: Reservoir on a printing press holding ink.


Ink Jet: A printer reproducing by projecting ink onto paper without the mechanical impact of plates.


Insert: A printed piece prepared for insertion into a publication or another printed piece.


Intaglio: Design that is raised from its background material. Opposite of “bas relief.”


Internegatives: Negatives made from color print photographs.


Intensity: Strength of a color.


Italic: In type, letterforms sloping to the right - like this. If they slope to the left, they’re called “backslant.”


JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group): An algorithm for compressing still images. Motion JPEG, a variation of JPEG, is used to compress moving images.


Justify: To set type so that both left and right margins of all text align vertically, giving a “squared-up” appearance because all lines are the same length. Type set in this manner is said to be justified.


Kern: To add or delete space between pairs of adjacent characters.


Keyline drawing: An outline drawing on finished art to indicate the exact shape, position and size for such elements as halftones and line sketches.


Laminated: Coated with a clear plastic or two separate sheets of paper joined together as a single sheet to provide a special thickness or varying colors from side to side.


Laser engraving: A process in which an optically-read or stenciled art copy is engraved (burned) into a material by a laser beam. Wood is the most common lasered material, but acrylic, some plastics, class=GramE>marble, leather and paper are also used. Metal requires specialized lasers.


Laser printer: Printing machine usually associated with producing hard-copy computer output. Utilizes laser light to scan text/graphic images, transferring them to a photosensitive drum for printing. Can deliver high resolution, as much as 9,000 dots psi (per square inch).


Laser printout: A black-and-white copy printout from a laser printer of a computer file. Used mainly for proofing, although higher resolution printers now produce printouts that may be considered camera-ready.


Layout: A design drawing or arrangement containing ad copy showing how final ad reproduction will look.


Leading: Spacing between lines of type. To “add lead” is to increase those spaces.


Lenticular printing: A process of creating multidimensional, animated or bi-view photographic effects with an extremely fine screen and placing plastic made up of tiny lenses over the top. Sometimes called xography.


Leterpress printing: The original method of mechanical printing, still used to a lesser extent, based on relief printing. In other words, the ink is transferred from raised metal or rubber to the receiving surface. Also called rubberplate printing.


Letterspacing: Addition of space between individual letters to improve appearance.


Light table: Translucent glass surface lit from below used by production artist and strippers.


Line art: Black-and-white illustration of reproduction quality. Not converted into dots as in halftone.


Line conversion: a photographic technique changing continuous tone art to line art for special effects.


Line copy: Type, rules, clip art and other images creating high contrast.


Line drawing: A drawing using only lines and solids with no halftones.


Line illustration: Any high contract illustration - including type lines - if they are to be produced as an illustration.


Litho laminating: The process of mounting a printed lithography sheet to single-face corrugated producing a display-quality piece of structural corrugated.


Litho (Lithography): A generic term for printed material. Most typically referring to offset-printed paper intended to be mounted to a display.


Logos/Trademarks: A firm’s registered symbol, outline, drawing, picture, brand, abbreviation or unusual type style of letter, word or brand name. Used in identifying and advertising a particular company, brand or service.


Loupe (or Loop): Magnifying device used to read screens in proofs and on the printed edge.


Lower case: Small letters as opposed to capital letters.


Make-ready: Final preparation of the printing plates and press.


Margin: The area or space around a group of design elements.


Mask out: To cover selected copy or art so it will not appear on a negative or plate.


Matte finish: Dull paper finish without gloss or luster.


Mechanical: The final makeup of a printed advertisement before being transformed into a printing plate. The mechanical thus is the original of the finished advertisement and includes finished photography, art and/or type as they appear in the advertisement when reproduced.


Medium Screen: Screen with ruling of 133 or 150 lines per inch.


Merchandise proof: A product imprinted with the specified design and copy of an issued purchase order. Its purpose is it clarify the appearance of the product and the imprint prior to manufacturing.


Metallic ink: Ink containing powdered and metal shining in light.


Middle tones: Tones in a photograph or illustration about half as dark as its shadow areas and represented by dots between 30% and 70% of full size.


Mockup: Alternate term for dummy.


Model release: Contract authorizing commercial use of a photograph that includes image of a recognizable person or private property.


Moire: Undesirable pattern in halftones and screen tints made with improperly aligned screens.


Monogramming: Process used to place intials, names, titles and positions on textiles, generally done with the embroidery process.


Mounting and finishing: Manufacturing of a display, applying litho, die cutting and assembly.


Negative: Characteristic of an image on film or paper in which blacks in the original subject are white or clear and whites in the original are black or opaque. Also, a piece of film on which negative image appears.


Negative space: Alternate term for white space.


Newsprint: Paper made mostly from ground wood pulp and small amount of chemical pulp; used for printing newspaper.


Nonimage area: Portion of mechanical, negative or plate that will not print.


Nonreproducing blue (nonrepro blue): A color not reproducing in final production. Used in blue pencils and pens to mark instruction and correction on camera-ready art.


Offset lithography (offset printing): A printing method in which an inked image on a flat plate is transferred to a rubber surface before being pressed on the printing surface. The plate surface is treated to accept greasy ink in image areas resisting water and to accept water in nonimage areas while resisting ink. In this method of printing, the ink is less likely to rub off after an object is handled often happening with letterpress printing.


Orphan: A single word or very short line of text carried to the top of a column to end the paragraph.


Overlay: Sheet of tissue or acetate taped to a mechanical covering the mounting board.


Overprint: To print over a previously printed image, usually with a different color. Also called crash printing.


Overrun: Number of pieces printed in excess of the quantity specified.


Overs: Printed pieces in an overrun.


Pad printing: A method of printing for imprinting small, unusually-shaped objects when screenprinting is not practical. Small watch dials and cylinder shapes are some examples. However, screenprinting is better for large areas of ink coverage. Used in plastics, paper, ceramics, glassware, wearables, leather and vinyl.


Pagination: Assembly of type with other line copy into page format. When done by hand, this is makeup or pasteup; when done electronically, it is computeraided pagination (CAP).


PANTONE® Matching System/PMS: A universal numbered color scale used to match colors for printing. The number of each color indicates instructions for mixing links to achieve a particular shade.


Paper proof: Printed copy of the design as it will appear on the product. A paper proof includes type and artwork correctly positioned and sized for the image area of the product.


Paste up: To adhere copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical


Pellon: A thin, felt-type material used by screenprinters and embroiderers to do strike offs and sample images for testing and review. Pellon fabric is economical, comes in various colors and sizes, and can be purchased in sheets or rolls.


Percentage wheel: Term often used for proportional scale


Perfect bind: To bind sheets by trimming at the spine and gluing them to a paper cover.


Perfect bound: Glued binding used for most softbound books and in growing use for hard covers. Provides square appearance to spine.


Perforate: To cut or punch a line of small holes around a portion of printed material to facilitate the tearing out of that section.


Personalize: To class=GramE>imprint, silkscreen or engrave the recipient’s name (company or individual) on a promotional product, premium or award.


Phantom: A transparent image (ghost) superimposed on a subject.


Photo etching (metal): Process in which an illustration and/or copy is imprinted into metal, usually aluminum, by acid and then sealed by an anodizing process. This is popular for awards and plaques.


Photomechanical transfer (PMT): A Kodak diffusion transfer process used to resize or copy images (same as a Photostat).


Photostat: A black-and-white photographic reproduction of original art. A halftone Photostat (PMT) is made when the photo is rephotographed through a halftone screen.


Pica: A typesetting measurement (principally used in typesetting) that is equal to one-sixth of an inch or 12 points.


PICT: File format for object-oriented graphics. PICT files can be written and read by many applications, and most page layout programs can import (place) PICT files.


Pigment: In printing inks, the fine solid particles used to give color, body, and opacity.


Pixel: Short for picture element, referring to a part of a dot made by a scanner or other digital device.


Plate: An image carrier, usually metal, transferring ink to the imprinted object.


Plain: Medium weight typeface family.


Plain sample: Sample with no imprint.


Pleasing color: Satisfactory color even though it doesn’t match originals samples, scenes or objects.


PMS: Abbreviation for PANTONE® Matching System, color reproduction and color reproduction materials owned by Pantone, Inc.


PMT: Abbreviation for photomechanical transfer, a Kodak trade name for a process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones.


Point: Measurement of height for single letter or line of type. “Point” also designates paper stock for book covers based on micrometer measurement.


Positive: Film containing an image in which the dark and the light values are the same as the original; the reverse of the negative.


Preproduction proof: A test print-an actual print of the copy and design printed on the item to measure the quality and reproduction ability. This is done after an order is placed but before it is produced.


Press run: Number of pieces printed.


Press sheet: One sheet as it comes off the press; generally referred to as the sheet that is examined in a “press check”.


Price break: Quantity level at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.


Press proofs: In color reproduction, a color proof of a subject on a printing press in advance of the production run.


Printer font: A set of character representations downloaded to a postscript printerl the quality of output depends on the printer itself.


Process colors: Colors needed for 4-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.


Production sample: A supplier’s sample of the actual product and imprint ordered.


Progressive proofs (color keys): Process color proofs showing the reproduction of each color place separately and in combination.


Proofread: To examine copy or a proof for errors in writing or composition.


Proof sheet: Photography term for sheet of images made by contact printing negatives.


Proportional scale: Device used to calculate percent’ then an original image must be reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size.


Puff prints: A screening process, using “puff inks.” After screening, the product is exposed to heat and a chemical additive in the ink causes it to rise as it is heated to dry. The process must be used on a cotton weave material and cannot be used on nylon. Used on wearables, such as caps, hats and t-shirts.


Rags: In papermaking, the amount of cotton fiber mixed with wood pulp to add stability and smoothness to the finished stock. Used mostly in bond and stationary papers. The more the “rag” content, the better the paper takes writing.


Random sample: Single copy of a product with a random imprint not prepared for a particular client.


Ream: 500 sheets of paper.


Recycled paper: Paper made from old paper pulp. Used paper is deinked, cooked in chemicals, reduced back to pulp, and then made into paper.


Reduce: To make smaller. When reducing artwork or copy for use on promotional products, one should be watchful of thin or small lines and lettering being dropped.


Register: To position printing in proper relation to edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet.


Register marks: Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and negatives guiding strippers and printers.


Registration: Correct color alignment of an imprint to the item on which it is to be imprinted.


Resolution: Density of dots for any given output device - unit of measure is dots per inch (dpi).


Retouching: Process improving or highlighting necessary details in a picture, photograph, print or drawing.


Reverse imprint: Copy - normally printed in color - appears white or the color of the product against a colored background.


Right reading: Copy reading from left to right.


Rotogravure (Roto): Type of printing utilizing an etched copper cylinder, most often used in high-volume printing such as Sunday supplements.


Rule: A line of varying thickness.


Runaround: In composition, the term describing type set to fit around a picture or other design element.


Running head or foot: Title or other information at the top or bottom of every page of a publication.


Saddlestitch: A method of binding publications where approximately 96 pages or less are stapled together through the centerfold. Two advantages of saddlestitching: it permits the magazine to lie flat when opened and is an inexpensive method of binding.


Sans Serif: Literally without serif; describes type without the tiny crosslines at the end of the main letter strokes.


Scale: To identify the percent by which images should be enlarged or reduced.


Scaling wheel: Alternate term for proportional scale.


Scanner: Preprogrammed, computerized color separation camera using high-intensity or laser light to scan the original. Scanned images can then be placed into computer graphic programs and manipulated.


Score: To impress a mark on a sheet of paper, usually cover stock, to make folding easier and to make it lie flat.


Screen: Piece of film with dots of uniform density, used to make plates for printing screen tints; also known as color density. See also Halftone screen.


Screen charge: A supplier’s charge for creating a screen from artwork used for imprinting products.


Screen density: Amount of ink - expressed as percent of coverage - a specific screen allows class=GramE>to print.


Screen font: A set of characters, each represented by a bit map, appearing on the computer screen.


Screenprinting process: Screenprinting, or silkscreening, is the process of making an imprint by transferring ink through a stenciled screen with a squeegee.


Screen tints: A process adding shading and tinting to a line reproduction. Tins are made in a wide variety of patterns applied to the line artwork.


Script: Style of printed letters resembling handwriting.


Scum: Undesirable thin film of ink covering nonimage area of printed sheet.


Self cover: Common in booklet printing, a cover made of the same paper as the inside pages.


Separation: Alternate term for color separation.


Serif: Type characterized by tiny cross-lines at the end of the main letter strokes.


Set-up and running charges: Special charges added to certain products priced in the catalog without printing included in the price. The set-up charge covers the cost of preparing type for the copy on the press; the running charge covers the actual printing.


Sheet-fed press: A printing press taking paper previously cut into sheets.


Shipping date: Date an order should be shipped from the factors to the purchasing client.


Shrink-wrap: Method of tightly wrapping packages or products in plastic film.


Signature: Group of pages determined by manufacturing method. In book production, printing is most often done in 16- or 32- page signatures.


Skid: Alternate term for pallet.


Slip sheet: Blank sheet placed between newly-made printed products to prevent offset or scuffing during handling and shipping.


Solid: A printed area without type or other illustrations.


Specifications: Complete and precise descriptions of paper, ink, binding, quantity and other features of a printing job.


Speculative (Spec) sample: Single copy of a product prepared with the customer’s ad copy produced before an order is placed and used exclusively to finalize the sale.


Spec sheet: Short for sheet on which specifications are written.


Spoilage: Paper wasted during makeready, printing or bindery operations.


Spot Color: Color used usually for accent, it is less involved and therefore less expensive than process color.


Spot varnish: Varnish applied to portions of a sheet.


Stat: General term for inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone.


Stencil: See template


Step and repeat: The same image is printed continuously in a pattern on the same sheet of paper.


Stet: Leave it as it was; editor direction canceling all other changes.


Stock: Paper or other substrate.


Stock: Paper in a book, text and cover.


Stock photo: Photograph in a collection maintained for commercial purposes.


Stripping: Attaching or assembling negative film to form the separate elements of a piece to be printed.


Sublimation: A process creating a multitone imprint on vinyl, cloth or other material using a paper transfer created through the use of screenprinting and radio wave transfer. Heating a solid substance into a vapor that on cooling condenses again to solid form.


Substrate: Any surface—paper, vinyl, leather, cloth—on which imprinting is done.


Swatch book: A sample of the product material to be purchased and imprinted with the advertising artwork design and copy in the actual colors specified for the imprint of the product.


Syquest disk: A portable magnetic medium on which the computer stores information. Syquest disks are popular in some class=GramE>industries, however the user should always confirm all parties have the ability to read a Syquest disk before it is sent.


Template: A plate that is cutout in the exact shapes of images or imprints desired. Also called a stencil.


Text: A body matter of a page or book as distinguished from the headings.


Themography: a process for imitating copperplate engraving by dusting the freshly printed ink surface with resin powder fusing with the ink to form a slightly raised surface. The finished product is very similar to embossed printing in feel and appearance but is much less expensive.


Thumbnail sketch: Rough sketch of a design.


TIFF (Tag Image File Format): A standard file format used for scanning, storing and interchanging color and gray scale graphic images.


Tint block: A photoengraving used to print tints of any percentage of a solid color.


Tip-in: preprinted piece bound of partially bound into a periodical. Used usually as a response device.


Tooth: A characteristic of paper, a slightly rough finish, permitting it to take ink readily.


Transparency: Positive photographic image, usually in color, on film allowing light to pass through.


Transparencies: Large color slides, usually 5” x 8” providing high quality four-color separations. A full color translucent photographic film positive.


Transpose: To exchange the position of a letter, work or line with another letter, word or line.


Trap: In printing, when one section of the art slightly overlaps another to avoid any possibility of holes.


Trim size: Size of the printed product after last trim is made.


Turnaround time: Amount of time needed to complete a job; possibly, but not necessarily, including the shipping time.


Typeface: General term used to describe the styles of lettering available in typesetting. The five general classes of typeface: Roman, italic, script, Gothic and text.


Typeface Family: Type fonts having the same general appearance. One font may have light, medium, bold, italic, condensed or extended versions.


Typeset: To create type of a quality usable for reproduction whether electronically or mechanically.
Typ Abbreviation for “typographical error” within a text block.


Uncoated paper: Paper that is not clay coated.


Underrun: Production run of fewer copies than the amount specified.


Up: Printing “two up” or “three up” means printing the identical piece twice or three times on one sheet of paper in one impression.


Upload: To send a copy of a file from your computer to another computer.


Upper case: Capital letters.


Varnish: Clear liquid applied like ink on press for beauty and protection and to prevent fingerprinting.


Varnished: Coated in the printing process with lacquer for added gloss and durability.


Vector file: In computer graphics, a line defined by its start and end point.


Vellum: In papermaking, a relatively rough finish absorbed for fast ink penetration.


Velox: Kodak trade name for high-contrast photographic paper. Also refers to a positive made by contact printing a negative to such paper.


Vignette: An illustration in which the background fades gradually until it blends into the unprinted paper.


Web: Roll of printing paper.


Web-fed press: A press accepting a roll of paper and printing in a continuous web.


Web printing: High speed printing; weaves something of a “web” as it is threaded through the press.


Weight: Visual effect of the thickness or thinness of text, rules, or logos. Bold text has more visual weight than nonbold text.


White space (or negative space): Designer term referring to nonimage area framing copy.


Widow: Line of type less than the full width of the column usually at the end of a paragraph.


Window: Block of masking material on a mechanical showing the position of a photograph or other visual element. Also, an area cut out of masking material.


Wire: Trade name for method of mechanical binding using double loops of wire.


With the grain: Graphic arts negatives still loose.


Working film: Graphic arts negatives still loose.


Work order: Form used by printing companies to specify and schedule production of jobs and record this time, materials and supplies each job requires to complete.


Wove finish: Relative smooth finish on paper achieved by moderate calendaring.


Wrong reading: Backward image compared to the original.


Xerography (photocopies): Formation of pictures, or copies of graphic materials, by the action of light on an electrically charged surface in which the image is usually developed with powders. A generic process but predominately associated with Xerox Corporation.


Zip drives: A portable magnetic medium on which the computer stores information. Zip disks are popular with most computer class=GramE>users, however, the user should always confirm all parties have the ability to read a Zip disk before it is sent.