- FAQs -


Glossary of Terms



Acid-free paper/Woodfree paper

 A paper containing no acidity or acid producing chemicals that degrades less over time than acidic papers. Lignin has been removed to stop the paper yellowing. Often referred to as “Offset paper”



 The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text and other components needed to produce a printed piece. Press ready PDF file.


Back Up

How an image on one side of a printed sheet aligns with the image on the other side.



Binding is the method in which the book is held together. The standard soft cover book is Perfect Bound. Hard covered books are section sewn for quantities over 300. For quantities less than 300 the hard cover books would be PUR glued. Other bindings include Wiro, Saddle Stitching, Single pages.



Any element that extends up to or past the edge of a printed page.


Blind emboss

A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.



A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.



The measurement of the thickness of paper measured in thousandths of millimetres.


Case binding

 Books bound using hard board (case) covers. Usually 2400 um board. Can be a Printed Paper Case (PPC), Material covered book with foil on spine and/or front. A Jacket may be wrapped around this case book.


Centre spread

The two pages that face each other in the centre of a book or publication.


Coarse screen

 Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.


Coated stock

Any paper that has a coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish. Can be Gloss, Satin or Matt.


Coil Binding

 Where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes punched along the side of a stack of paper. Commonly used for reports, proposals and manuals. Documents bound with coil have the ability to lay flat and can rotate 360 degrees. Also called spiral binding.



 To gather sheets or printed signatures (sections) together in their correct order.


Comb Binding

 Binding a stack of paper together by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb into holes punched along one of the edges. Commonly used for catalogues, reports and manuals.



A term describing a general type of paper used for the covers of books. A soft cover book would be 240 gsm 1/sided board. A jacket for a hard cover would be 150 gsm Gloss coated stock. A hard cover has 2400 um boards covered in a stock paper material or a printed 4 colour 148 gsm paper.


Crop marks

 Small printed lines around the edges of a printed piece indicating where it is to be cut out of the sheet. Sometimes referred to as cut marks.



 A shade of blue used in four-color process printing. The C in CMYK. Also referred to as process blue.



 To press an image into paper with a die so it extends below the surface. The opposite of emboss where the image is raised above the paper surface.



The address for the final delivery of the books and is there a pallet unload facility, trolley unload or does it have to be hand unloaded.


Die Cutting

 The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.



 The smallest individual element of a halftone.



 The drilling of holes into paper for ring binding.



 The preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product.



 The moulding and reshaping of paper by the use of special metal dies and heat, counter dies and pressure, to produce a raised image on the paper surface.



The number of pages in a book. A leaf in a book is 2 pages. Cover is counted separately



 The surface quality of a paper.


Foil Embossing

Stamping a thin sheet of metallic foil onto a sheet of paper and then embossing a pattern under it, creating a three dimensional raised area.


Foil Stamping

Impressing metallic foil onto paper with a heated die.



Assembling sheets of paper and signatures (sections) into their proper sequence. See also collate.



Paper fibres lie in a similar direction in a sheet of paper. This direction is called the grain. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.



A blank space or margin between components on a printed piece or press sheet.



Using small dots to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size and the number of dots per square inch.


Hard Cover

A hard cover book has 2400 um boards covered in a stock paper material or printed in 4 process colours and laminated. The book may also have a jacket wrapped around the book.


Image area

That portion of a printing plate that carries ink and prints on paper.



The correct sequential arrangement of pages that are to be printed, along with all the margins in proper alignment, before producing the plates for printing.



A piece of printed material that is inserted into another piece of printed material. An example would be a colour insert into a mono book.



Or dust jacket. The paper cover sometimes called the “dust cover” of a hardbound book. Usually printed on 150 gsm Gloss Art paper.



Applying thin transparent plastic sheets to one side of a book cover, providing scuff resistance, waterproofing and extended use. Choice of Gloss or Matt finish.



A document layout where the width is greater than the height. (the opposite of Portrait).



A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., of a final printed piece.


Limp Bound

Often referred to as a soft covered book. This has a 240 gsm 1/sided board with a gloss or matte lamination on one side only. Text is either Perfect Bound or Section Sewn.



One of the four process colours, or CMYK, the M is for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red colour with some blue. Magenta, cyan and yellow are also the three subtractive primary colours.



Paper that is used in the press set-up process before the printing run actually starts. Or the process of setting up press or bindery equipment to produce a specific product, including setting paper size, ink density, image alignment, fold sizes, etc., in preparation for the actual production run.


Matte finish

A coated paper finish that goes through minimal calendaring.



Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.


Opaque ink

Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.



Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.


Page Extent

The number of pages in the book. A leaf in a book is two pages. The cover is counted separately.



The numbering of individual pages in a multi-page document



This refers to the style of paper for the text or cover. Choices are uncoated or coated. Colour pages are usually printed on coated paper. Black text pages are usually printed on offset white or creamy paper.


Perfect Binding

A binding process where the signatures or sections of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive. This is the most common binding for a soft cover book.


Perfecting press

A printing press that prints on both sides of a sheet in a single pass through the press.


Plastic comb

A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.



The abbreviation of the Pantone Color Matching System.


Print Ready Files

Files submitted for printed need to be Print Ready PDF files with fonts embedded and a minimum of 3 mm of bleed and the trim marks are to be offset by a minimum of 3 mm


Print Runs

The number of books to be printed.


Printed Paper Case

Printed Paper Case is a hard covered book with a printed laminated cover over a 2400 um board



A document layout in which the height is greater than the width. (the opposite of Landscape)


Process printing

A system where a colour image is separated into different colour values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens or digitally with a software program and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original colour image.


Print colours

Books can be printed in 4 process colours or Black ink only. This need to be stated in a quote request. Covers are normally printed 4 process Colours with either a Gloss or Matt Laminate on the outside only.



The number of books to be printed



The arrangement of two or more printed images in exact alignment with each other.


Register marks

Any crossmarks or other symbols used on a press sheet to assure proper registration.



The colour space of Red, Green and Blue. These are the primary colours of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. An RGB computer file must be translated into the CMYK (the primary colours of pigment) colour space in order to be printed on a printing press.


Running head

A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.


Saddle stitch

The binding of booklets or other printed materials by stapling the pages on the folded spine.



To crease paper with a metal rule for the purpose of making folding easier.


Self cover

A cover that is the same paper stock as the internal sheets.


Show through

When the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side, a frequent problem with thin papers.


Side stitch

The stapling of sheets or signatures (sections) on the side closest to the spine.



A printed sheet with multiple pages on it that is folded so that the pages are in their proper numbered sequence, as in a book.


Spiral bind

A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.



A term for unprinted paper.



A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.



Name of book. Essential for quoting identification.


Trim marks

Marks placed on the printed sheet to indicate where cuts should be made.


Trim size

The final size of a printed piece after being cut from the sheet of paper that it was printed on. The size of the printed finished book. State whether Portrait or Landscape.


Variable Data Printing

Is a form of on-demand printing in which elements (such as text, graphics, photographs, etc) can be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the press, using information from a database. For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter.



A clear coating added to printed material as a protective layer for improved scuff resistance and usually higher gloss. Often used in 4 colour process printing.


Web press

A printing press that prints on rolls of paper passed through the press in one continuous piece, as opposed to individual sheets of paper.



One of the four process colors of ink, or CMYK. The Y is for yellow.


Zip file

Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the Internet




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