Printing Terminology

It is good to learn and review some of the terms that are used in design and printing. It will make it easier to communicate your needs when we are using the same language.  and you have some of the basics under your belt.

ALT TAG: a tag that provides alternative text for the visually impaired.

ALT TEXT: the text that appears when you put your mouse on top of an image or a picture.

AQUEOUS COATING: is a clear, protective coat applied while printing. It is for flood coating and comes in dull or gloss.

BENEFIT: in marketing the reason the buyer is interested in a feature in a product (eg. can see glowing digital display from across the room).

BINDERY: the processes like folding, trimming, saddlestiching, that are done after printing.

BLEED: extending an image beyond the finished trim size so that the image runs right to teh edge of the printed sheet after trimming.

BLUE-LINE: in printing, a one color proof, usually blue, to show the layout of a printed piece before going to press.

CALL TO ACTION: in advertising, the last thing you tell your clients at the end of your pitch, call, fax buy, email, etc.

CLIP ART: illustrations, usually found in collections. Quality varies, often simple designs and inexpensive.

BRAND: a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer, often indicating ownership. The value of a brand is in its promise to the consumer or buyer. For example, the brand promise consumers associate with Volvo is safety. When the brand promise is clear and compelling, consumers will often pay a premium price for the product over “generic” like products.

CMYK: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Printing colors for process color reproduction.

COATED PAPER: paper with a smooth finish, comes in a variety surfaces including dull, matte, and gloss.

COLLATERAL: a collection of sales literature promoting your product or company.

COPYRIGHT: legal right granting exclusive publication of your work.

COPYWRITER: a writer of advertising copy

CROP MARKS: lines that indicate the outer dimensions of a printed piece.

CRAWLER: in websites, the part of a search engine which surfs the web.

DEBOSSING: impressing an image in paper to achieve a depressed area in the paper.

DIE-CUTTING: process of using sharp steel rules to cut special shapes from printed sheets

DOMAIN: A domain is made up of two parts: the TLD or Top Level Domain, is the suffix. For example, .com, .net, .org, or .ca. The second part is the mid-level domain, which is where your site goes.

DUMMY: a preliminary layout showing the position of content as they will appear in the final reproduction. A set of blank pages made up to show the size, shape, paper color/weight, of a printing project.

DUO-TONE: a two color halftone made from a one color photograph.

EMBOSSING: impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface; this can be done alone or in combination with printing. Embossing is the use of two dies to press a raised image into a piece of paper. It leaves a 3-D effect that is both visually interesting and tactile(ly) interesting.

EPS: encapsulated postscript file.

FEATURE: in marketing, the parts or aspects of a product that make it better than the competition (eg. glowing digital display)

FINISHING: a variety of processes that are done after printing like: varnish, laminating, inserting, die-cutting, etc.

FINISH SIZE: document size after folding and trimming.

FOIL-STAMPING: using colored foil to imprint a design onto paper.

FONT: a complete assortment of numbers, letters, and punctuation markets of a given size and design.

FTP: file transfer protocol, used to post documents and images to your website.

GANG: in printing, group projects on the same press sheet

GIF: Graphic Interchange Format.

HICKEYS: in printing, spots or imperfection sin the printing process due to dirt or paper particles on the press.

HOST: the server that holds your website so that it can be accessed through the internet.

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language

INDICIA: in bulk mailing, the postal stamp you pre-print on your piece with the mailing permit number

IMAGE: in marketing, the opinion or concept of something that is held by the public. Or the character projected to the public as by a person or institution, especially as interpreted by the mass media. The image that your company or product projects can be a competitive differentiator in the market place.

ISP: Internet Service Provider

JPEG: an image compression format used to transfer color photographs and images over computer networks.

KEY WORDS: in websites, these are the words people are most likely to use in a search engine to find you, this content hidden in the code of your pages.

LOGO: a name, symbol, or trademark designed for easy and definite recognition of a company or product. If text only, may be referred to as “logotype”. Sometimes referred to as “logo mark”

MARK: an inscription, name, stamp, label or seal placed on an article to signify ownership, quality, manufacture, or origin. See “Logo”.

MATCH-PRINT: a full color proof that comes very close to the actual finished printed piece.

OPACITY: in paper, show-though. This is important when you are printing on both sides or stacking sheets. If the image below shows through it might make reading difficult.

PAGE DESCRIPTIONS: in websites, one or two sentences describing your product or service. (this is the info that shows up on a Google search. If you are using a copy-writer, ask if this is included with your website copy. This content is hidden in the code of your pages.

PAGE-RANK: in websites, a system used by Google to assign rank to web pages.

PAGE TITLE: in websites, copy that appears when a page is bookmarked in a browser, this content hidden in the code of your pages.

PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS): Specific colors used in printing.

PASSWORD: in websites, a group of number and/or letters that identifies you to your ISP.

PERF: in printing, small cuts or holes put in a line of paper to make it easy to rip off later.

PDF: portable document format, allows everyone to view documents created in different applications without those applications. It is a soft proof.

PREMIUMS: promotional give-away items, usually with your name, logo, website, phone and sales message imprinted on them.

PROOF: in printing, a way of seeing what the final piece will look like before printing, proofs come in a variety of formats from b/w laser prints to blue-lines to color match prints.

REGISTRATION: in printing, the fitting of two or more images in exact alignment of each other

RGB: red, green, blue. Colors used in website design to be displayed on a color monitor.

SHOW-THROUGH: When the printing on the back of a page shows through to the front under normal lighting. Make sure to use heavy enough paper to avoid this problem.

SWATCH BOOK: color samples of paper or ink.

TIFF:Tagged Image File Format, a file format used for transferring bitmap images between applications.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization/Optimizer, includes search engine submissions, keywords, meta tags, alt tags, etc. to help you get better placement in the search engines.

SERP: Search Engine (Search) Results Page

SCORE: in printing, a line pressed into paper to make it fold more easily and cleanly.

SLOGAN: a phrase used repeatedly, as in advertising or promotion. It is most effective when memorable.

SPOT COLOR: a PMS color assigned to a graphic or text.

FULL COLOR: the use of magenta, yellow, cyan, and black (process colors), printed in halftones, or dots, that trick the eye into seeing a full range of colors.

TARGET AUDIENCE: the group who you are sending your message to.

UNCOATED: in paper a rough surface finish of the paper. Usually an offset paper.

URL: Universal Resource Locator.

VARNISH: is a clear coating applied in the printing process like ink. It protects a printed piece from scuffing and fingerprints. You can spot varnish to add emphasis to areas like photos. Varnish in dull and gloss.

WEIGHT: in paper, is described in pounds (#) and book, text or cover. Thickness varies within these categories so always check a paper sample book to be sure you get the right weight.

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get.

ZIP: a format for compressed files used with Windows.