Printing dictionary

Apla – in printing, this Polish term stands for a uniform-colour background. The background is fully covered with one colour. Raster is the opposite of apla.

Creasing – the process of pressing paper with special creasing knives with a rounded edge. These knives are fitted within a plywood die. Creasing is necessary for aesthetic reasons in the case of thicker offset paper, from 200 g upwards.

Plate– used in offset printing to transfer an image to paper or other substrates

CMYK – a basic set of 4 colours used in the printing process. They are also referred to as process or triadic colours. CMYK is a colour space for graphic design. CMYK is an acronym which stands for the colours used in the printing process, namely Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key colour or Karbon.

Custom publishing – a form of marketing used by printing houses. It consists in providing the client (recipient) with marketing printed materials. The top priority of custom publishing is winning new customers, building loyalty, and strengthening the brand. The process of custom publishing is carried out by external companies and is aimed at achieving marketing and PR objectives.

Densytometer – an instrument for measuring optical density in reflected or transmitted light

DTP – In a nutshell, it is a method of preparing materials for printing using a computer. Design preparation, preparation for printing, and the use of exposure machines, etc.

Printing – In a nutshell, it is a method of preparing materials for printing using a computer. Design preparation, preparation for printing, and the use of exposure machines, etc.

EPS is one of the file formats developed by Adobe System inc. saved in PostScript. It can contain the entire page in the form of data, i.e. Bezier curves, fonts, or bitmaps.

Folding – the simplest way to fold a sheet of paper. The sheet which is inserted into the folding machine is folded between folding plates according to different fold types. Folding is carried out to ensure the target format scheme. The place where the sheet is folded becomes the edge.

Laminating with paper – the process of covering a sheet of paper with a plastic film. The purpose of lamination is to make the substrate more aesthetically pleasing and to protect it from mechanical or chemical damage, or the negative impact of UV radiation. There are two methods of lamination – cold using adhesive and hot lamination, where the cylinder is heated to a high temperature that dissolves the adhesive material contained in the film. Printing sheets can be laminated on one or both sides.

Vector graphics – otherwise known as object-oriented graphics. An image in vector graphics is constructed from uncomplicated geometric objects such as a section, line, curve, or polygon. Each object is assigned a parameter, in the case of sections, these are its ends. These objects, also called primitives, feature specific parameters that talk about thickness, line colour, non-uniform fill, etc..

Paper basis weight – the weight of 1 m2 of a sheet expressed in grams of paper product, textile product, and plastic product in sheets. Indirectly, this parameter translates into sheet thickness.

Imposition – an electronic representation of the arrangement of an object, brochure, leaflet, poster, etc. on a printing sheet. Imposition also contains the markings necessary for printing, which facilitate the printing process and further processing.

ISBN – the International Standard Book Number, used with an arrangement of thirteen digits as an identifier of book or brochure editions. In Poland, ISBN is issued and registered by the National Library of Poland.

ISSN – the International Standard Serial Number, used with an arrangement of eight digits as an identifier of serial publications, such as magazines. In Poland, ISSN is issued and registered by the National Library of Poland

Laminated corrugated cardboard – consists in coating a hard substrate, such as solid or corrugate cardboard, with thin printed paper. The reason for this type of lamination is the inability of the offset machine to process thick and rigid solid cardboard. The most popular laminated products are the top boards for wall calendars. 

Mock-up – a design of a graphical (typographical) layout of a publication made as a template for formatting (page-makeup) the individual pages of a printout.

Moiré – one of many undesirable optical effects in computer graphics, printing and photography. It is an arrangement of dots created as a result of interference, i.e. overlapping of two grids of lines rotated by a certain angle or subjected to deformation. To minimise the moiré effect, the raster angles are rotated in relation to each other. The troublesome moiré effect can also be created during the scanning of prints prepared with a traditional raster, where a fine moiré pattern is superimposed within an even arrangement of pixels of the bitmap image obtained. The moiré pattern becomes enhanced when such scans are used to create printed images.

Dummy – a print prototype, a sample page layout demonstrating the approximate distribution and style of various elements, such as text, line art, photos, etc. Dummy is used as a guide for the actual page makeup. Dummy shows how a final project will look.

Binding – a finishing form of a multi-page printed publication such as a magazine, book, calendar, as well as any other paper product, whether printed or not (drawing pad, notebook), consisting in binding the pages with the cover.

Panton – a printing colour system developed by the Pantone company. The colours in this system are numbered. The colours from this colour palette are not always reproduced in the CMYK and RGB systems.

Registration mark – otherwise known as a printer’s mark, tends to have the form of a bullseye. It is used to successively match the colours applied on a sheet (i.e. successive printers inks), so that they overlap in the same place. For this reason, each colour has the printer’s mark in the same place. Printer’s marks are placed in the margin of the sheet and cut off after the material is printed.

PDF – a file format created by Adobe System Inc., containing a publication or a page. Their further reproduction and viewing require only a PDF interpreter built into the RIP or Adobe Acrobat.

Printing – a branch of technology focused on the production of printed matter. Nowadays, printing has an advanced, industrial form. The printing industry deals with the preparation and creation of printing plates of original text and drawings, and then printing them in multiple copies for the general public. Polygraph, derived from the Greek language, means “many writings”.

Portfolio – a body of work created by a particular artist or print studio.

Proof – a digital print that serves as a colour template for printed materials. Proof is made on a specially calibrated device, simulating a raster structure.

Raster – an image consisting of a matrix of dots.

Metallic inks – a selection of printing inks made with metallic powders, which gives the print a metallic lustre. Metallic inks contain actual flakes of metal which make them shine on paper. They are very attractive, come in many colours and give a look of luxury.

Printing Leg – a printed sheet of paper fold one or more times to a specific format.

Signature– a single press sheet on which multiple pages are imposed that forms a group of pages when folded and cut.

Die-cutting – is a process of using dies to cut out shapes in paper or another substrate. A die cutting machine uses cutting plates to cut out a form from a sheet. Die-cutting is used when we want to obtain a complicated shape not achievable with the guillotine. In die-cutting, we can use different types of dies, such as dies for cutting, creasing or perforating paper or cardboard sheets.

Tint – a surface with a printed image covered with “halftone” dots, all of uniform size.

Off-cut– a piece of the work or copy included on the sheet. If we are dealing with a large format machine, like a1 or b1, we can put several off-cuts on one printing sheet.

Crop marld – graphical designation on a printing sheet of the place where the bleed is to be cut off. Crop marks show us the target net format of the sheet.

Color stencil – the most commonly used colour chart is Pantone. Colour charts are simply samples of printed colour. The printer uses them to reproduce a particular ink colour, and by the graphic designer to design artwork. The colours displayed on the screen may differ slightly from those obtained in the printing process.