Glossary of Printing Terms

Mark up — To write on a manuscript or proof instructions about matters such as typesetting, color correcting or printing. Markup — Amount of money that one supplier adds to the price of goods or services secured for a customer from another supplier. Mask — To prevent light from reaching part of an image, therefore isolating the remaining part.

Also called knock out. Masking material — Opaque paper or plastic used to prevent light from reaching selected areas of film or a printing plate. Also called knockout film. Masking material is often referred to by brand names, such as Amberlith, Goldenrod and Rubylith. Masthead — Block of information in a newsletter that indicates its publisher and editor and tells about advertising and subscribing. Matte finish — Flat not glossy finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Measure — Width of a column of type. With justified type, all lines have the same measure. With ragged type, measure equals the longest possible line. Also called line measure. Mechanical — Camera-ready assembly of type, graphics and other copy complete with instructions to the printer. Usually refers to a function performed by a list house on address lists before mailing. Midtones — In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows. Modem — Acronym for modulator-demodulator, a device that converts digital signals to analog tones and vice versa so computers can communicate over telephone lines.

Mottle — Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also called sinkage. A mottled image may be called mealy.

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Newspaper Terms - What do all those words mean?

Mounting board — Any thick, smooth piece of paper used to paste up copy or mount photographs. Multicolor printing — Printing in more than one ink color but not four-color process.

Also called polychrome printing. Nameplate — Portion of front page of newsletter that graphically presents its name, subtitle and date line. Newsletter — Short, usually informal periodical presenting specialized information to a limited audience. Offset printing — Printing technique that transfer ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from a plate to paper.

Opacity — Characteristic of paper that prevents printing on one side from showing through to the other. Out of register — Characteristic of an image not printed in register.

Technical Glossary

Also called misregister. Overlay — Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. An overlay has the same dimensions as the mounting board that it covers.


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There are two types of overlays — 1 Acetate overlays are used to separate colors by having some type of art on them instead of on the mounting board. Overprint — To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint. Overrun — Number of pieces printed or paper made in excess of the quantity ordered.

Page — One side of a leaf in a newsletter. One sheet folded in half yields four pages.

Because We're Stronger Together

An eight-page signature has four pages printed on each side of the sheet. Page count — Total number of pages that a newsletter has. Also called extent. Page proof — Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings and rules. Paste up — To paste copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, to overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical. The mechanical produced is often called a pasteup. Pasteup board — Any piece of paper or board used as the base for a mechanical. Also called lineup board. Pica — Anglo-American unit of typographic measure equal to.

One pica has twelve points. Point — Regarding type, a unit of measure used to express size height of type, distance between lines leading and thickness of rules. Position stat — Photocopy of PMT of a photo or illustration made to size and affixed to a mechanical. Position stats show proper cropping, scaling and positioning. PostScript — Brand name for a page description language used in laser printers and imagesetters.


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  7. Supported by both IBM and Macintosh. Its device independence allows the same PS file to be output on different printing devices. PPI Pages per Inch — A measure assigned to paper stock by the manufacturer to be used in calculating book spines; i. Prepress — Camera work, color separating, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called preparation. Preprint — To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting. Press check — Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.

    Printer spreads — Mechanicals made so that they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads.

    Webmart Printing Brain’s Glossary of Printing Terms

    See also imposition. Proof — Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press, and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished. Proofread — To examine a manuscript or proof for errors in writing or typesetting. Proofreader marks — Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs.


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    4. Most dictionaries and style manuals include charts of proofreader marks. Also called correction marks. Proof sheet — 1 Photographic term for sheet of images made by contact printing negatives. Also called contact sheet. Proportion scale — Round device used to calculate percent that an original image must be reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size. Also called percentage wheel, proportion dial, proportion wheel and scaling wheel.

      Publisher — 1 Person or organization that coordinates creation, design, production and distribution of newsletters. Pull quote — Words from an article printed in large type and inserted in the page similarly to an illustration. Quality — Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer, and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.

      Quick printing — Printing using small sheetfed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper. Paper, plastic or rubber plates are made directly from camera-ready copy, as compared to metal plates for commercial printing that require making film first. Quotation — Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job, thus alternate for estimate.

      Raster Image Processing RIP — A process wherein a raster scan technique assembles an electronic page in a bitmapped format on a pixel by pixel basis.