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Print Glossary

Listed below in our Print Glossary are the common terms used within the printing industry in everyday speak as well as a few definitions and explanations that will be of great help to you. If you ever wondered what is meant when a job 'bleeds' or when a 'dummy' is needed, then here is your chance to wise up on printers' jargon.

Click on the links below to view glossary terms


Using a fixed measurement to ensure accurate performance in a machine or process


Paper thickness in thousandths of an inch


A container generally made from paper or board delivered by carton manufacturers to a user, either in flat or collapsed form, for assembly at the packaging point


Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the 4 process colours, which combined together in varying proportions can be made to produce the full colour spectrum; the subtractive primary colours used in four colour printing

Coated Paper

Paper which has received a coating on one or both sides. Art papers are coated papers, there are also cast-coated, which are high gloss papers on which the coating has been allowed to harden in contact with a highly finished casting surface. In addition,there are brush coated papers; chromo papers which are clay-coated in a separate operation from papermaking; roller-coated papers; or machine coated papers in which the paper is coated during the papermaking process


Arranging of printed sheets into the desired sequence

Colour Control Bar

A coloured strip on the margin of the sheet which enables the platemaker and printer to check by eye or instrument the printing charateristics of each ink layer

Colour Proofing

Describes a wide range of techniques which have been developed to reproduce full colour images from the film or digital data available, prior to the actual print run; thus allowing the client or printer to view the proofed result, prior to the actual print run


To decrease the size of a computer file, programs can be run that remove unnecessary information and in so doing, reduce the overall size of the file


To mechanically press a rule into heavy paper or board to enable folding without cracking


To cut off parts of a picture or image

Crop Marks

Marks at the edges of an illustration or photograph to indicate the portion to be reproduced; Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet


Computer to Plate. This is the new technology whereby the digital file is sent directly from the imposition program to a platesetter – thus bypassing the need to output film


One of four standard process colors – the ‘blue’ color

Carbon Capture & Storage Association Federation of Small Businesses British Print Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Forest Stewardship Council Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Heidelberg ISO 12647-2 Certification

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