Print Production Terminology

Bleed - Extension (1/8") of image areas printed beyond the trim size of a sheet or page. This allows the image to spill off the edge of the page.

CMYK - The four colors used to create a spectrum of shades in four-color process work. (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black)

Comp (comprehensive) - A rapidly drawn but high-quality sketch intended for presentation purposes. Traditionally comps are created as quick color sketches done in marker, often used for client presentations especially in advertising and architecture. A comp is usually intended to be a very close approximation to the final production image so that it can easily be evaluated without the ambiguity of a rough sketch.

Copy - All written material in editing and typesetting, is referred to as "copy." In graphic design and printing, copy can include everything to be printed: art, photographs, and graphics, as well as type.

Cover stock - A heavy paper stock made for the covers of books or brochures, folders, pamphlets.

Die - A device used for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing, and de‑embossing.

Dot gain - The amount that an ink halftone dot expands when applied to the surface of a paper. This is usually a factor of the type of press and the absorbency of the paper.

Duotone - An image that uses two different overlapping halftone screens in different spot colors to create a toned effect.

Dummy - Drawing showing layout of type and graphics.

Finish - A term referring to the appearance of the surface of a paper.

Flexography - A method of printing ( most commonly used for packaging (labels, tape, bags, boxes, banners, etc.). A flexographic print is made by creating a positive image on a rubber plate. Then a measured amount of ink ( is deposited upon the surface of the printing plate (or printing cylinder) using an engraved anilox ( roll whose texture holds a specific amount of ink. The print surface then rotates, contacting the print material, which transfers the ink.

Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) - The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization that brings people together to find solutions that promote responsible stewardship of the world's forests.

Four-Color Process - Technique of printing that uses process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to simulate full-color images.

Grain - In paper, the direction in which fibers are aligned.

Halftone - An irregular pattern of tiny dots that can be used to print a full range of tones. Halftone screens are used to print reproductions of photographs and artwork that are not line art. Multiple halftones are combined in process color to give the illusion of a full-color image.

Hard Copy - Copy on paper, as opposed to on electronic storage.

Line art - Any artwork or type in which there are no gray tones; all image areas are either black or white. Shading may be accomplished by such techniques as stippling or cross-hatching. Line art can be reproduced without using a halftone screen.

Line screen - The frequency, or fineness of a halftone or screen, expressed in lines per inch (lpi). Coarse screens are used where dot gain is high, fine screens where highest quality is required. This is usually a function of the type of printing press and the paper specification. Common values are 85, 100, 120, 133 and 150 lpi.

Moire - Undesirable pattern in halftones and screen tints made with improperly aligned screens. Pronounced "moray."

Monotone - An image that uses a halftone screen printed in a single spot color to create a toned effect.

Offset - The method of traditional printing where ink is applied to paper by first transferring the ink from a printing plate to a set of rollers and then from the rollers onto paper. This indirect or offset method is still the most common type of printing press.

Opacity - That property of paper that minimizes the "show-through" of printing from the opposite side or the next sheet.

Orphan - Single line of type appearing as first line of a column or page.

Pixel - Acronym for "Picture Element", dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device.

PMS (Pantone Matching System) - Commonly used initials of Pantone, Inc., trade names for ink colors in that company's color matching system. The PMS system is used to provide consistency in the communications of color standards.

Process color - The method of applying color to a printed project that uses only four (4) inks to depict all colors. The four colors are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. This process is also known as CMYK color.

Register - Fitting of two or more printed images, usually in different colors, in precise alignment with each other.

Serif - Short line crossing the ends of main strokes of characters in some type families.

Sheet Fed - The process of feeding a press with individual sheets. This process is typically used for smaller runs.

Spot color - The method of applying color to a printed project that uses specially mixed inks to depict the color. There are hundreds of these colors and the most common reference system for selecting them is the Pantone Matching System.

Tint - Applying ink as a screen to achieve a tone, usually specified as a percentage.

Trapping - A technique in which adjacent colors slightly overprint each other to avoid white gaps between the colors, should one or more of the inks print out of register.

Trim Marks - Lines showing where to cut edges off paper or cut paper apart after printing.

Trim size - The final size of a printed piece. The untrimmed size may be larger due to bleed.

Turnaround Time - Amount of time needed to complete a job.

Uncoated stock - Paper without any special chemical finish or coating. The most common type of paper used in printing and copying.

Web Fed - the process of feeding the material to the press from a single master roll. The material is then cut or re-rolled depending on its end use.

Weight - A relative measurement of the heaviness of papers, stated in pounds (lbs). Common weights for copying papers are 20 and 24 lb. writing; for printing papers common weights are 60, 70 and 80 lb. text; and for covers common weights are 65 and 80 lb. cover.

Up - Printing two or three up means printing the identical piece twice or three times in one impression on one sheet of paper; a cost-effective practice allowing for maximum utilization of materials.

Varnish - Clear liquid applied like ink to paper on press to protect and enhance underlying printing.

Wright consistently accommodates very tight schedules and will even work around the clock to meet deadlines; they always do whatever needs to be done

-Director of Product Presentation & Sourcing, Mattress Industry