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Corporate Print Services
Town Hall, Corporation Street,Blackpool, FY1 1NA
Tel: 01253 478768 Email:
Corporate Print Services operate as a trading account for Blackpool Council
T: 01253 478769 XXXXXE:
What does it mean?
see below for a list of common print terms to help you better understand what we do.
Aqueous Coating

A water based coating applied after printing to provide a high-gloss surface that is resistant to dirt and fingerprints.

Basis Weight

Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.

The rubberized surfaced material secured onto a cylinder onto which the ink is transferred from the plate and then to the paper.

An extra amount of printed image which extends beyond the rim edge of the sheet or page, allows for full colour printing right to the edge of the finished piece.

A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that is erasable and somewhat rigid.

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


Paper coated on one side only.

Paper coated on two sides.

Thickness of paper, usually expressed in thousandths of an inch.

Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow, black. The four ink colors used in four-color process printing.

Coated Stock
Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.

Colour Bars
A colour test strip that is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It helps a press operator to monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration and dot gain. It can also include a Star Target, which is designed to detect inking and press problems.

Colour Correction
Using a computer to adjust, change or manipulate a colour image, such as retouching, adjusting colour balance, colour saturation, contrast, etc.

Colour Separating
The processes of separating the primary colour components (CMYK) for printing.

Cover Paper
Term applied to a variety of papers used for covers of catalogues and booklets.

To reduce the size of an image.

A shade of blue used in four-colour process printing. The C in CMYK.


An essential part of the offset printing process whereby rollers distribute a solution to the plate that covers the non-printing area of the plate, repelling ink in those areas. Some newer presses use a waterless ink technology that does not use dampening.

An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of ink or colour.

The degree of tone, weight of darkness or colour within a photo or reproduction measured by a densitometer.

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.

Digital Proof
Colour separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to colour photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed with ink.

The smallest individual element of a halftone.

Dot Gain
A term used to describe when dots are printing larger than they should.

Dull Finish
A semi-gloss finish on paper that is less glossy than gloss and more than matte paper.


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 characters which make up a complete typeface and size.

Four-colour Process
Printing process that uses a layering of the four primary ink colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) to produce colour images


The combining of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.

Gate Fold
The gate fold is often used for menus and brochures. The succession of message presentation is more dramatic than with the Two Parallel Fold.

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.
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 and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original colour image.


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 quality of graphics expressed in number of dots per inch (dpi). Higher resolution – more dpi – higher quality image. 300dpi most common for print applications, 72 dpi often used for web viewing.

Colour space commonly used for computer monitors. Divides colour into the three primary light colours - red, green, and blue.

Right Angle Fold
A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

Saddle Stitch

In binding, to fasten a booklet by stapling it through the middle fold of the sheets.

Printed booklet or catalogue where the same paper stock is used for the cover and the inside pages.

Side Guide
The guides on the sides of a printing press that consistently positions the sheet sideways as it is fed through the press.

In printing and binding, the name given to a printed sheet after it has been folded.

The quality of paper defined by its levelness that allows for pressure consistency in printing.


A term for unprinted paper.

Text Paper

A high quality light weight printing paper.

The overlapping of one colour over a different, adjacent colour to ensure that no white space is visible where the two colours meet, especially when there are slight variations in the registration of the two colours during the printing process. Or the process of printing wet ink over wet or dry previously printed ink.

This common fold, used for mailings and brochures, is much like a letter folded by hand for inserting in an envelope. The Tri-fold produces a self-contained unit, easily handled by automated envelope inserters.

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

Two Parallel Fold
An excellent fold for legal sizes or larger. An 8.5” x 14” folds to 3.5” x 8.5”.

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.

Vellum Finish
A toothy finish which is relatively absorbent for fast ink penetration.


The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from the unit of a printing press.

Work and Turn
A printing production format that has the front and back of a printed piece on one side of the paper, that is then printed the same on the back side, producing two copies of the piece.

Wove Paper
Paper having a uniform unlined surface and a soft smooth finish, a term commonly used to describe envelope stocks.


One of the four process colours, or CMYK, the Y is for yellow.


The “Z” style offers an advantage for multi-page letters to be collated and hand inserted for mailing. Because the pages nest together, the letter is opened with the pages in sequence, however it tends to spring open and should be avoided when automated envelope inserting is used.

A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through a printing press.

Gripper Edge
The side of a piece of paper held by the gripper fingers as it passes through a printing press. Nothing can be printed in this area.

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

Half Fold

The half fold is commonly used for brochures and greeting cards.

Half then Half Fold
This is a typical fold for booklet binding, pages are printed, folded and collated for saddle stitching. Fold can also be used for newsletters.

Half then Tri-fold
This fold is perfect for newsletters. An 11” x 17” sheet folded this way has only one open side and fi ts into a #10 envelope. The newsletter looks good and is easy to handle.

Half then Z-fold
When used for a newsletter has the advantage of positioning the masthead on top of the front and the mailing panel right side up on the back.

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.

Halftone Screen
A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.

Hard Proof
A proof on paper or other substrate, distinguished from a soft proof which is an image on a video display terminal screen.


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.


To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming or binding.


A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.

The process of printing that utilizes flat or curved inked surfaces to create the printed images.

A small magnifier used to observe the details on a printed sheet.


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.

Matte Finish
Dull paper finish without any gloss or luster.


An erroneous variation of the word “setoff”. Ink that is unintentionally transferred from a printed sheet to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile when printed.

Offset Printing
The most commonly used printing method, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.

Offset Paper
A term for sometimes used for uncoated book paper.

Overlay Proof
A process of proof-making whereby the colour separations are individually exposed to light sensitive film. This film is then set in registration with a piece of white paper in the background.

Quantities of sheets printed over the requested number of copies.

Perfect Binding

A binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.

Perfecting Press
A printing press that prints on both sides of a sheet in a single pass through the press.
The abbreviation of the Pantone Colour Matching System.

A measurement unit equal to 1/72 of an inch. 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch.

A tradename of Adobe Systems, Inc. for its page description language. This language translates a digital file from an application into a language a compatible printer or other device can use to create its output.

Any paper that is considered better than grade #1 by its manufacturer.

Pressure Sensitive
Self-adhesive paper covered by a backing sheet.