A/W - Abbreviation for artwork.
Acetate - A transparent sheet placed over artwork allowing the artist to write instructions or indicate where second color is to be placed. Also see "Overlay."
Addendum - Supplementary material additional to the main body of a book and printed separately at the start or end of the text.
Air - An amount of white space in a layout.
Airbrush - A mechanical painting tool producing an adjustable spray of paint driven by compressed air. Used in illustration design and photo retouching.
Align - To line up typeset or other graphic material as specified, using a base or vertical line as the reference point.
Alphabet (length or width) - The measurement of a complete set of lower case alphabet characters in a given type size expressed in points or picas.
Ampersand - A short version of "and" derived from "et" (&).
Anodized Plate - An offset printing plate with a special treated surface to reduce wear during printing.
Apex - The point of a character where two lines meet at the top. An example of this is the point on the letter "A".
Aquous Coating - A water-based coating applied to protect printed piece - gloss or matte.
Art - All matter other than text materia,; i.e. illustrations and photographs.
Art Work - All copy used for printing, including illustrative materials, photos, type, pasteup, mechanicals.
Art Paper - A smooth coated paper obtained by adding a coating of china clay compound on one or both sides of the paper.
Ascender - Any part of a lower case letter extending above the x-height. For example, "b," "d," "h."
Asterisk - A star-shaped reference mark.
Author - To the printer, the person who requests a job, regardless of who originated the piece.
Author’s Corrections - Changes made to the copy by the author after typesetting but not including those made as a result of errors in keying the copy.
Back - In a book page, the inner margin between the type and the spine.
Backbone - The back of a bound book connecting the two covers, also called "spine."
Backing-Up - To print the reverse side of a sheet when one side is already printed.
Backslant - Letters that slant the opposite way from italic characters.
Balloon - A circle or bubble enclosing copy in an illustration. Used in cartoons.
Bank - A lightweight writing paper.
Banner - A large headline or title extending across the full page width.
Base Artwork - Artwork requiring additional components such as halftones or line drawings to be added before the reproduction stage.
Baseline - The line on which the base of capital letters sit.
Beard - The distance from the face of the type to the front or back.
Bed - The flat surface of a letterpress on which the form rests.
Bevel - The metal which slopes from the face to the shoulder of a piece of type.
Printing Terms - The various methods used to secure loose leaves or sections in a book. Examples are saddle-stitch, perfect bound, case bound, etc.
Black Letter - A general term for typefaces based on medieval script. Also called "Gothic" or "Old English."
Black Patch - A material used to mask the window area on a negative image of the artwork prior to stripping in a halftone.
Blanket - A rubber-faced sheet onto which ink is transferred prior to that ink being transferred to the sheet to be printed. The process "offset" is so called because the ink is picked up by the blanket from the inked plate and then "offset" or transferred onto the paper.
Blanket Cylinder - The cylinder on which the blanket is attached.
Bleed - Layout, type, or illustrations that extend beyond the trim marks on a page.
Blind Emboss - A raised impression made without using ink or foil.
Block - The type-high printing surface of linoleum, wood, zinc, copper, etc. cuts or engravings.
Block-In - To sketch in the main areas of an image prior to the design.
Block Print - A design printed by means of one or more blocks of wood, metal, linoleum, etc.
Blow-Up - An enlargement of a graphic image - type, illustration, or photo.
Blueline - A photographic proof made from stripped film. All colors show as blue images on off-white paper. Used to check position, proper location of art, etc. Also called blackprint, blueprint, brownline, Dylux, etc.
Blurb - A short description or commentary of a book or author on a book jacket.
Board - Very thick paper stock. Also is used to describe the camera-ready copy provided by artists or typographers.
Body Type - The main text of the work, not including headlines.
Body Size - The height of the type measured from the top of the tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender. Normally given in points - the standard unit of measurement for type.
Bold Type - Type with a heavier or darker appearance. Most typefaces have a bold face. Also known as "Bold" or "Boldface."
Bookplate - A printed label of ownership pasted on the inside front cover of a book.
Border - A continuous decorative design or rule surrounding the matter on a page.
Box - A section of text marked off by rules or white space and presented separately from the main text and illustrations. Longer boxed sections in magazines are sometimes referred to as "Sidebars."
Broad Sheet - A sheet of unfolded paper printed on one side only.
Broadside - See "Broad Sheet."
Bromide - A photographic print made on bromide paper.
Bronzing - An effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing with a metallic powder.
Bullet - A large dot preceding text to add emphasis.
Caliper - The thickness of a sheet of paper or board. Also the name of the tool used to make the measurement.
Call-Out - A graphic device calling attention to a larger design or diagram. Example would be a rule going from a blowup to the description of that portion of the blowup.
Camera Ready - Artwork or pasted up material that is ready for reproduction. This is one of the most misunderstood terms in our industry from the customer’s standpoint. It’s so important that I devoted a section of this book specifically to "Camera-Ready Copy."
Capitals - Upper case letters
Cap Line - An imaginary line across the top of capital letters. The distance from the cap line to the baseline is the cap size.
Caps - An abbreviation for capital letters.
Caps and Small Caps - A style of type that shows capital letters used in the normal way while the body copy is set in capital letters which are of a slightly smaller size.
Caption - Description - usually beneath an illustration.
Card Font - The smallest complete font of type stocked and sold by a typefounder.
Carriage - The part of the printing press that held a movable plank, on top of which was fastened the coffin.
Cartridge Paper - A tough kind of paper made with a rough or smooth surface and used for printing or drawing.
Case - The shallow partitioned boxes that held the printer’s type. The cases were placed one on top of the other. The upper case held the capital letters and the lower case held the small letters. Thus "upper" and "lower case" letters.
Case Bound - A hardback book made with stiff outer covers. Cases are usually covered with cloth, vinyl, or leather.
Cast-Off - A calculation determining how much space copy will take up when typeset.
Catchline - A temporary headline for identification on the top of a galley proof.
Ceremonial Opening - The beginning of a text or chapter which starts with a large initial letter.
Chalking - A powdering effect left on the surface of the paper after the ink has failed to dry properly. Due to a fault in printing.
Character Count - The number of characters in a piece of copy. Used as a first stage in type calculations.
Chase - A metal frame in which metal type and blocks or engravings are locked into position to make up a page in letterpress printing.
Close-Up - A proof correction mark to reduce the amount of space between characters or words.
Clumps - Metal line spacing material thicker than six (6) points.
Coffin - Located on the carriage, this was the part of the press that held the form of type.
Cold Type - Type produced without the use of characters cast from molten metal - such as phototype or type produced by DTP.
Collate - To gather separate sections or leaves of a book together in the correct order for binding.
Collotype - A photographic process of reproduction for making facsimiles using gelatin-based plates. Very high quality.
Colophon - A note or the finishing stroke in a book, usually found on the final leaf and giving details of the printer, number of copies printed, paper, typefaces, etc. See the final printed page of this book.
Color Build - The overlapping of two or more colors to create a new color.
Color Key - A 3M brand name for an overlay color proof.
Color Separations - The division of a multi-color original into the primary process colors of yellow, magenta, cyan, and black.
Column Inch - A measure of area used in newspapers and magazines to calculate the cost of display advertising. A column inch is one column wide by one inch deep.
Column Rule - A light face vertical rule used to separate columns of type.
Comb Bind - The binding of a document using a flexible plastic comb which is inserted in holes punched in the document.
Compose - To set copy into type.
Composing Stick - The hand frame in which the metal type was set and justified into words and sentences.
Concertina Fold - A method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbor, giving a concertina or pleated effect.
Condensed - A style of typeface in which the characters have an elongated appearance.
Continuous Tone - An image in which the subject has continuous shades of color or grey without being broken up by dots. Continuous tones cannot be reproduced in that form for offset printing but must be screened to translate the image into dots.
Contact Print - A print exposing a negative in direct contact with paper.
Contrast - The degree of tones in a photograph ranging from highlight to shadow.
Copy - All material to be included in a printed work.
Copyright - The right of copyright gives protection to the originator of material to prevent use without express permission or acknowledgement of the originator.
Corner Marks - Marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim or page corners on the finished piece.
Corrugated - The sandwiching of fluted kraft paper between sheets of paper or cardboard.
Counter - A depression enclosed or partly enclosed by the printing surface, such as the center of an "O".
Counter Punch - Tool used in the making of a punch.
Crash Printing - Letterpress printing on carbon or carbonless forms so that image prints simultaneously on all sheets in the set.
Creep - The thickness of the folded signatures results in the middle pages extending slightly beyond the outside pages.
Critical Color - An exact match on the printed piece to a transparency, proof, or the such.
Crop - The elimination of parts of a photograph or other original that are not required to be printed. Cropping allows the remaining parts of the image to be enlarged to fill the space.
Cropmarks - Lines on an image that show the area to be reproduced.
Cross Head - A heading set in the body of the text used to break it into easily readable sections.
Crossover - An image that continues from one page, across the gutter, to the opposite page. Also called gutter bleed or gutter jump.
Cursive - Used to describe typefaces that resemble written script.
Cut Flush - A method of trimming a book after the cover has been attached to the pages - such as in perfect bound books.
Cutout - A halftone where the background has been removed to produce a silhouette.
Dabber - A sheepskin or buckskin pad on a wooden handle used to ink type. Also called an ink ball.
Dagger & Double Dagger - Symbols used mainly as reference marks for footnotes.
Dash - A short horizontal rule used for punctuation.
Descender - Any part of a lower case letter that extends below the X-height, as in the case of "y" and "j."
Device - (Also known as "Printer’s Mark") A trademark or designed used by printers on the title page or at the end of the text to distinguish his work. See the colophon page of this book for my printer’s mark or "device."
Die - A hardened steel engraving stamp used to print an inked or foil image.
Diecut - The cutting of an irregular shape in paper using a die.
Dingbat - A decorative element or ornament used at the end of a paragraph, page or chapter to take up space.
Display Type - Larger type used for headings. Generally 18 points or larger.
Dot Matrix Printer - A printer in which each character is formed from a matrix of dots - generally 9 or 24 dots. They are normally impact systems, where a wire is fired at a ribbon in order to leave an inked dot on the page, but other forms such as thermal and electro-erosion systems are also used.
Double Density - A method of recording on floppy diskettes using a modified frequency modulation process that allows more data to be stored on a disk.
Double Page Spread (or Double Truck) - Two facing pages of a newspaper or magazine where the textual material on the left hand side continues across to the right hand side. The term "double truck" comes from the letterpress shop where it took two type carts or "trucks" to move a typeset spread.
Downloadable Fonts - Type faces which can be stored on disk and then downloaded into the printer when required for printing. These are, by definition, bit-mapped fonts and, therefore, fixed in size and style.
DPI (Dots per inch) - The measurement of resolution for page printers, phototypesetting machines, laser printers and graphics screens.
Drawn On - A method of binding a paper cover to a book by drawing the cover on and gluing to the back of the book.
Drop Cap - A large initial letter used at the start of the text that drops into the line or lines of text below.
Dry Transfer Lettering - Characters, drawings, etc., that can be transferred to the artwork by rubbing them off the back of the transfer sheet. Also known as "press on letters."
Duck Bill - Similar to a Gauge Pin except it is a wedge cut from chip board or cover stock that is glued to the tympan sheet to enable the printer to register the image on the paper. Not as easy to affix nor as accurate as a gauge pin.
Dummy - A preliminary layout showing the position of illustrations and text as they are to appear in the final reproduction.
Duotone - A black and white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives and printed in black and one other color ink.
Dye Transfer - A photographic color print using special coated papers to produce a full color image. Can serve as an inexpensive proof.
Egyptian - A term for a style of type faces having square serifs and almost uniform thickness of strokes.
Eight Sheet - A poster measuring 60x30 inches and, traditionally, made up of eight individual sheets.
Electronic Publishing - A generic term for the distribution of information which is stored, transmitted and reproduced electronically. Desktop publishing (DTP) is one form of electronic publishing.
Em - A square unit with edges equal in size to the chosen point size. It gets its name from the letter "M" which was originally as wide as the type size.
Em Dash - A dash used in punctuation, and the length of one em.
Em Quad - A square unit of spacing material.
Embossing - Relief images formed by using a recessed die.
Emulsion - A coating of light-sensitive chemicals on paper, film, and printing plates.
En - A unit of measurement that is half as wide as an em.
En Dash - A dash approximately half the width of an em dash.
End Papers - The four-page leaves at the front and end of a book which are pasted to the insides of the front and back covers.
EPS - A computer file that contains both images and PostScript instructions. Stands for "encapsulated PostScript file."
Etching - The intaglio process of cutting or biting a design on a metal plate by acid.
Expanded Type - A typeface with a slightly wider body giving a flatter appearance.
Face - An abbreviation for typeface referring to a family in a given style.
Facsimile - An exact copy. A faithful reproduction in the size of the original.
Fake Duotone - A halftone printed in one ink color which is overprinted with a screen tint of a second ink color.
Filler - Extra material used to complete a column or page, usually of little importance.
Film Laminate - A plastic film bonded to a printed piece for protection or increased gloss.
Flag - The designed title of a newspaper as it appears at the top of page one.
Flat - The assembly of film stripped into position on a masking sheet. Also called film mechanical or goldenrod.
Flatbed Press - A press that holds the type on a flat, horizontal frame or bed.
Fleuron - A printer’s ornament, originally flower-shaped, cast as a printing type.
Flexography - A rotary letterpress process printing from rubber or flexible plates and using fast drying inks. Used primarily in packaging and label printing.
Floating Accent - An accent mark which is set separately from the main character and is then placed either over or under it.
Flood - Covering an entire sheet with ink or varnish. Also called painting.
Flush Left/Right - Typeset copy that is aligned vertically at the left or right margin.
Flyer - An inexpensively produced circular used for promotional distribution.
Foil Blocking - A process for stamping a design on a book cover without ink by using color foil with pressure from a heated die or block.
Foil Stamp - A letterpress process using foil and dies. Foil is transferred from its backing to the paper when stamped with a heated die. Also called hot stamping.
Font (or fount) - A complete set of characters in a typeface.
Foot - Part of a piece of type. Also, the margin at the bottom of a book page.
For Position Only - (FPO) indicates that the artwork placed on a mechanical is to show placement only and not intended for reproduction.
Form Letter - Used to describe a repetitive letter in which the names and addresses of individuals are automatically generated from a database or typed individually.
Format - The appearance of a printed work - the type style, layout, margins, size, etc.
Form - Type, engravings, cuts, furniture, etc. locked into a chase ready for printing.
Four Color Process - Printing in full color using four color separation negatives and ink - yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
French Fold - A sheet which has been printed on one side only and then folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.
Frisket - A frame on a common press for holding a sheet of paper in the correct position while it is being printed. Also acts as a mask to keep unwanted ink on the form from transferring to the paper.
Full Measure - A line set to the entire line length.
Furniture - Pieces of wood or metal used in the makeup of a form where margins and other white spaces are required. Also used to fill empty space in the chase.
Galley Proof - Proofs taken from the galleys before being made up into pages.
Galleys - The printing term for long metal trays used to hold type after it has been set but before the press run.
Gang - The reproduction of two or more copies of the same piece on the same print run. Also called gang run, two-up, etc.
Gatefold - An oversize page where both sides fold into the gutter in overlapping layers. Used to accommodate maps into books.
Gathering - The operation of inserting the printed pages, sections or signatures into the correct order for binding.
Gauge Pin - A pin inserted into the tympan sheet of a letterpress to enable the printer to more easily register the impression on the sheet.
GBC Bind - The General Binding Corp. brand name of plastic comb binding.
Gloss Ink - For use in litho and letterpress printing on coated papers where the ink will dry without penetration.
Glue-on-Fold - A binding method where a strip of glue is placed along the fold of a page or signature.
Golden Ratio - The rule devised to give proportions of height to width when laying out text and illustrations to produce the most optically pleasing result.
Gothic - Typefaces with no serifs and broad, even strokes.
Gravure - A rotary printing process where the image is etched into a metal plate attached to a cylinder. The cylinder is then rotated through a trough of ink, after which the etched surface is wiped clean by a blade leaving the non-image area clean. The paper is then passed between two rollers and pressed against the etched cylinder drawing the ink out by absorption.
Greeking - A software device where areas of grey are used to simulate lines of text. Used primarily to get around the slowness of high resolution displays.
Grey Scale - A range of luminance values for evaluating shading through white to black. Frequently used in discussions about scanners as a measure of their ability to capture halftone images. Basically the more levels the better with correspondingly larger memory requirements.
Grid - A systematic division of a page into areas to enable designers to ensure consistently. Acts as a measuring guide and shows text, illustrations and trim sizes.
Groove - A channel cut in the base of a piece of type, thus giving it two feet to stand on.
Guard - A narrow strip of paper or linen pasted on a single leaf to allow sewing into a section for binding.
Gutter - The central blank area between left and right pages.
Hair Space - Thin piece of metal used for spacing type.
Hairline Rule - The thinnest rule that can be printed.
Hairlines - The thinnest of the strokes in a typeface.
Half Up - Artwork one and one half times the size which it will be reproduced.
Halftone - An illustration reproduced by breaking down the original tone into a pattern of dots of varying size. Light areas have small dots and darker areas or shadows have larger dots.
Halftone Screen - A glass plate or film placed between the original photograph and the film to be exposed. The screen carries a network of parallel lines of dots. The number of lines to the inch controls the coarseness of the final dot formulation. The screen used depends on the printing process and the paper to be used - the higher the quality the more lines can be used.
Hanging Punctuation - Punctuation that is allowed to fall outside the margins instead of staying within the measure of the text.
Hardback - A case bound book with a separate stiff board cover.
Hard Copy - A copy on paper or file as opposed to on disk.
Head - The margin at the top of a page.
Height-To-Paper - .918 inch, the standard height of type in England and America.
Hellbox - A box into which the printer throws broken or damaged type so that it can be melted down for use again in the future.
Hickey - A dust particle sticking to the printing plate or blanket which appears on the printed sheet as a dark spot surrounded by a halo. Not good. Also called bull’s eye or fish eye.
Highlight - The lightest area in a photograph or illustration.
Hose - A part of the common press. The box which encloses the screw as it passes through the till.
House Style - The style of preferred spelling, punctuation, hyphenation and indentation used in a publishing house or by a particular publication to ensure consistent typesetting. The accepted norm is the Associated Press style book as a reference.
Imposition - The arrangement of pages on a printed sheet, which when the sheet is finally printed on both sides, folded and trimmed, will place the pages in their correct order.
Impression - The inked likeness of the type on paper.
Impression Cylinder - The cylinder of a printing press which brings the paper into contact with the printing plate or blanket cylinder.
Imprint - The name and place of the publisher and printer and the ISBN or ISSN number. Sometimes accompanied by codes indicating the quantity printed, month and year of printing, and an internal control number.
Incunabula - A piece that was printed in "the cradle period," or the first 50 years after Gutenberg’s process. Pieces printed prior to 1501 AD.
Insert - An instruction to the printer for the inclusion of additional copy.
Intaglio - A process whereby impression is obtained from a hollowed out area of an incised plate - usually metal.
Inferior - A special sort cast so that it prints below the base line of lower case letters.
Initial Letter - A large capital letter, plain or decorated, used at the beginning of a text or chapter or as a decoration.
International Paper Sizes - The International Standards Organization (ISO) system of paper sizes is based on a series of three sizes: A, B, and C. Series A is used for general printing and stationery, Series B for posters and Series C for envelopes.
Interleave - To place sheets of tissue between the printed sheets as they are taken from the press.
ISBN/ISSN - International Standard Book Number. Usually found on the back of the title page. ISSN is the same thing but is for periodicals.
Italic - Type with sloping letters.
Justify - The alignment of text along a margin or both margins. This is achieved by adjusting the spacing between the words and characters as necessary so that each line of text finishes at the same point.
Keep Standing - To hold type or plates ready for reprints.
Kerning - The adjustment of spacing between certain letter pairs, "A" and "V" for example, to obtain a more pleasing appearance. (VASE or V ASE)
Keyline - An outline drawn or set on artwork showing the size and position of an illustration or halftone.
Laminate - A thin transparent plastic coating applied to paper or board to provide protection and give it a glossy finish.
Landscape - Work in which the width used is greater than the height. Also used to indicate the orientation of tables or illustrations which are printed "sideways."
Laser Printer - A high-quality image printing system using a laser beam to produce an image on a photosensitive drum. The image is transferred onto the paper by a conventional xerographic printing process.
Lateral Reversal - A positive or negative image transposed from left to right as a mirror reflection of the original.
Layout - The preparation of copy for setting, indicating the position of type and/or illustrations on the page. A drawing or sketch of a proposed printed piece.
Lead or Leading - Space added between lines of type to space out text and to provide visual separation of the lines. Measured in points or fractions thereof. Leading was named after the slugs of lead which used to be inserted between the lines of metal type.
Leader - A line of dots or dashes between two segments of text on a line to make it easier for the eye to follow.
Leaf - A sheet in a book. Two pages. The front and back together of a page is called a "leaf."
Legend - The descriptive matter printed below an illustration, generally referred to as a caption in books or cutline in newspapers. Also used as an explanation of signs or symbols used in charts, maps, etc.
Letterset - A printing process combining offset printing with a letterpress relief printing plate.
Letterspacing - The addition of space between the letters of words to increase the line length to a required width or to improve the appearance of a line.
Library Picture - A picture taken from an existing library and not specifically commissioned. Also called "stock photos."
Ligature - Letters which are joined together as a single unit of type, such as "oe" and "fi."
Lightface - Type having finer strokes than the medium typeface.
Line Block - A letterpress printing plate made up of solid areas and lines without tones.
Line Copy - Any copy which contains only solid black and white, without halftones or screens.
Line Gauge - A metal rule used by printers. It normally will have pica and point measurements. Also known as a "pole" or "pica pole."
Linen Tester - A magnifying glass designed for checking the dot image of a halftone.
Lineup Table - A table with an illuminated top, not unlike a light table, used for preparing and checking alignment of page layouts and paste-ups.
Lining Figures - Numerals that align on the baseline and at the top.
Lithography - A printing process based upon the principal of the natural aversion of water to grease. The photographically prepared printing plate when being made is treated chemically so that the image will accept ink and reject water.
Logo - Short for logotype. A word or combination of letters set as a single unit. Also used to denote a specially styled company name designed as part of a company or corporate image.
Lower Case - The small letters in a font of type. Name came from the location of the type case in a letterpress shop. Capital letters were in the "upper case" and small letters in the "lower case."
Magazine - A publication that is issued periodically, usually bound in a paper cover, and typically containing material by many writers. Also, the container on the Linotype machine which holds the type matrix.
Magnetic Ink - A magnetized ink that can be read by both humans and by electronic machines. Used in check printing.
Make Ready - The time spent in making ready the level of the printing surface by placing packing under the form or around the impression cylinder. Also, the process in getting an offset press ready for printing.
Manuscript (or MS) - The original written or typewritten work of an author submitted for publication.
Margins - The non printing areas of a page.
Mark Up - Copy prepared for a compositor setting out in detail all of the typesetting instructions.
Mask - Opaque material or masking tape used to block-out an area of the artwork.
Masthead - Details of publisher and editorial staff, usually printed on the contents page.
Matrix - A mold from which a type is cast.
Measure - The width of a setting expressed in ems.
Mechanical - A finished sheet of copy prepared for the printer.
Mechanical Binding - A method of binding which secures pre-trimmed leaves or signatures by the insertion of wire or plastic through holes drilled or punched in the binding edge.
Mechanical Tint - A pre-printed sheet of dots, lines or patterns that can be laid down on artwork for reproduction.
Metallic Ink - Printing inks which produce an effect of gold, silver, bronze or metallic colors.
Mock-up - A rough visual of a publication or design.
Modern - Type styles introduced towards the end of the 19th century.
Moire Pattern - The result of superimposing halftone screens at the wrong angle, thereby giving a checkered effect on the printed halftone.
Monospace - A font in which all characters occupy the same amount of horizontal width, regardless of the character. In other words, an "I" takes as much space as an "M."
Montage - A single image formed from the assembling of several images.
Mounting Board - A heavy board used for mounting artwork.
Mutt - A typesetting term for the em space. Also called "mutton."
Nick - The groove on the front of a type body.
Nipping - A stage in book binding where, after sewing, the sheets are pressed to expel air.
Oblique Stroke - A slash (/).
Offprint (also called "reprint") - A reprint of an article first published in a magazine or journal.
Offset Lithography - See lithography.
Oldstyle - A style of type characterized by stressed strokes and triangular serifs. An example would be Garamond.
Opacity - Refers to the ability to see through a sheet of paper.
Opening - The two facing paces of a book or leaflet.
Optical Center - A point above the true center of the page which will not appear "low," as would the geometric center.
Orphan - A partial line of type on its own at the top of a page.
Outline - A typeface in which the characters are formed with only the outline defined rather than from solid strokes.
Overlay - A transparent sheet used in the preparation of multi-color work showing the color breakdown.
Overprinting - Printing over an area already printed.
Overs - Additional paper required to compensate for spoilage in printing. Also used to refer to a quantity produced above the number of copies ordered.
Ozalid - A trade name to describe a method of copying page proofs from paper or film.
Page - One side of a leaf of paper. In a book, the right-hand side is called recto and the left-hand side is verso.
Page Proofs - The stage following galley proofs, in which pages are made up and paginated.
Pagination - The numbering of pages in a book.
Paper Plate - A short run offset printing plate.
Paragraph Mark - A type symbol used to denote the start of a paragraph. Also used as a footnote sign.
Parallel Fold - A method of folding where all folds run the same direction.
Pasteup - The various elements of a layout mounted in position to form camera-ready artwork.
Perfect Binding - A common method of binding paperback books. After the printed sections have been collated, the spines will be ground off and the cover glued on. The finished product is then trimmed flush with the cover.
Perfector - A printing press which prints both sides of the paper at one pass through the press.
Photoengraving - The preparation of a relief printing surface on a plate by one of several methods employing photographic, chemical, and mechanical means.
Photogravure - See "gravure."
Photostat - A photographic copy of a graphic image made on a special sensitized paper. Also a copy made using a photostat machine.
Pi - A disordered collection of printing type. If a form is dropped and breaks apart, it is said to have been "pied."
Pi Fonts - Characters not usually included in a font but which are added specially. These can be pointing fingers, boxes, mathematical signs, stars, etc.
Pica - The standard unit of measure in the printing industry. There are 12 points to a pica and approximately six picas equal one inch.
Pica Pole - See Line Gauge
Picking - The effect of ink being too tacky and lifting fibers out of the paper. Shows up as small white dots on areas of solid color.
Pin Mark - A round depression in the side of the shank of a type the pin which ejects the type from the mold.
Planing - The process by which the types are pressed into their correct seating.
Plate - The hard surface on which the printmaker draws, engraves, or etches his design. Also the photographically imaged metal, plastic or paper used by the printer.
Platen - The flat surface of a printing machine which presses a sheet of paper against the type.
Point - The standard unit of type size of which there are 72 to the inch. Point size is measured from the top of the ascender to the bottom of the descender.
Pole - See Line Gauge. Also a wooden support used for drying printed sheets.
Portrait - An upright image or page where the height is greater than the width.
Positive - A true photographic image of the original made on paper or film.
Press Points - Spikes fixed on the tympan as a means of registering two or more impressions on a single sheet.
Primary Colors - Cyan, magenta and yellow. These three colors, when mixed together with black, will produce a reasonable reproduction of all other colors.
Progressives - Color proofs taken at each stage of printing, showing each color printed singly and then superimposed on the preceding color.
Proof - A copy obtained from inked type, plate, block, or screen for checking purposes.
Proof Correction Marks - A standard set of signs and symbols used in copy preparation and to indicate corrections on proofs. Marks are placed both in the text and in the margin.
Proportional Spacing - A method of spacing whereby each character is spaced to accommodate the varying widths of letters or figures, so increasing readability. Books and magazines are set proportionally spaced where typewritten documents are generally monospaced. See "monospace."
Quadrats - Metal spacing material smaller than 24 points square.
Quadding - The addition of space to fill out a line of type using en or em blocks.
Quire - 1/20th of a ream (25 sheets.)
Quoin - Wedges of wood or metal or mechanically expanding blocks used to lock up type in a chase.
Quotation - Metal spacing material of 24 points square and larger.
Ragged - Lines of type that do not start or end at the same position.
Ragged Left/Right - Successive lines of type which are of unequal length and which are aligned at either the right or left hand column.
Ream - 500 sheets of paper.
Recto - A right-hand page normally folioed with odd numbers. The topside of a leaf.
Reference Marks - Used in color printing to position the paper correctly. Usually crosses or circles.
Register - The correct positioning of an image - especially when printing one color on another.
Reglet - The line spacing material of wood from 1.5 points to 18 points in thickness.
Relief - Any printing process by which the printing ink is transferred to paper or another printing surface from areas that are higher than the rest of the block.
Retouching - A means of altering artwork or color separations to correct faults or enhance the image. Some letterpress masters were actually able to dot-etch by hand four process engravings of photos and maintain perfect registration.
Reverse - To reproduce as a white image out of a solid background.
Revise - Indicates the stages at which corrections have been incorporated from earlier proofs and new proofs submitted.
Riders - Rollers which ride on the back of other rollers to aid in the distribution of ink.
Right Reading - A positive or negative which reads from left to right.
River - A white space running at an angle from top to bottom on a printed page. This is distracting to the eye and results from improper spacing during typesetting. It is corrected by adding or reducing white space on several lines.
Roman - Type which has vertical stems as distinct from italics or oblique which are set at angles.
Rotary Press - A web fed printing press which uses paper on a roll. May either have a cutter to sheet the impressions or a rewinder, which puts the paper back into roll form.
Rough - A preliminary sketch of a proposed design.
Royal - A size of printing paper - 20x25 inches.
Ruby - A material that is used for masking or for making windows for illustrations or photos. This is also used by some artists to cut a design as either a base or an overlay. Also known as rubylith.
Rule - A type-high strip of metal for printing straight, dotted or decorated lines of various widths.
Running Head - A line of type at the top of a page which repeats a heading.
S/S (Same Size) - An instruction to reproduce to the same size as the original.
Saddle Stitch - A method of binding where the folded pages are stitched through the spine from the outside, using wire staples. Usually limited to about 64 pages.
Sans Serif - A typeface that has no serifs or small strokes at the end of the main stroke of the character.
Scale - A means of calculating the amount of enlargement or reduction necessary to accommodate a photograph or other element within the area of a design.
Scamp - A sketch of a design showing the basic concept.
Scraperboard - A board prepared with black india ink over a china clay surface. Drawings are produced by scraping away the ink to expose the china clay surface.
Screw - The part of a common press that lowers the platen to apply pressure to the paper and inked form.
Section Mark - A character used at the beginning of a new section. Also used as a footnote symbol.
Section - A printed sheet folded to make a multiple of pages.
Serif - A small cross stroke at the end of the main stroke of a letter.
Set - The width of the type body of a given point size.
Set Solid - Type set without leading or line spacing between the lines.
Setting - To pick up and arrange types for printing.
Set-Off - The accidental transfer of the printed image from one sheet to the back of the sheet above it.
Shank - The body of a type measured in points from back to front.
Sheet - A single piece of paper. In poster work it refers to the number of printed sections in a full-size poster.
Sheet Fed - A printing press which prints single sheets of paper as opposed to a web press which prints from rolls of paper.
Sheetwise - A method of printing a section. Half the pages from a section are imposed and printed. The remaining half of the pages are then printed on the other side of the sheet.
Shoulder - The non-printing area surrounding the face of a type.
Show-Through - See "opacity."
Side Stabbed (or "stitched") - The folded sections of a book are stabbed through with wire staples at the binding edge, prior to the covers being drawn on.
Side Heading - A subheading set flush into the text at the left edge.
Sidebar - See "box."
Side Stitch - Binding by stapling the sheets on the side near the backbone or spine.
Signature - A section of a book folding a printed sheet so that the pages follow in correct order. Also, a letter or figure printed on the first page of each section of a book and used as a guide when collating and binding.
Signature Mark - A code printed on the first page of each signature. See "signature."
Sixteen Sheet - A poster size measuring 120x80 inches.
Size - A solution based on starch or casein which is added to the paper to reduce ink absorbency.
Slurring - A smearing of the image caused by paper slipping during the impression stage.
Small Caps - A set of capital letters which are smaller than standard and are equal in size to the lower case letters for that type size.
Soft Back - A book bound with a paper cover such as this book.
Sort - Any single type character.
Spine - The binding edge of a book. See "backbone."
Spine Label - A pasted label on the spine of a book, usually giving the title, author and publisher’s name.
SRA - A paper size in the series of ISO international paper sizes slightly larger than the A series allowing the printer extra space to bleed.
Stat - A photostat copy.
Stem - The main vertical stroke making up a type character.
Stet - Used as a proof note to cancel a previous correction. From the Latin, "let it stand."
Stock - Paper or other material to be printed.
Stone - A large flat surface, formerly made of stone, on which the forms were made up.
Strap - A subheading used above the main headline in a newspaper article. Also called a "stinger."
Strike-Through - The effect of ink soaking through the printed sheet.
Strip - The assembling of negatives to make a composite that can be used to burn a printing plate.
Style Sheet - A collection of sheets specifying page layout styles, paragraph settings and type specifications. Used for consistency.
Subscript - The small characters set below the normal letters or figures.
Superior - A special sort cast on the body so that it prints above the lowercase letters.
Surprint - See "overprinting."
Swash Letters - Italic characters with extra flourishes and normally used at the beginning of chapters.
Swatch - A color sample.
Tabloid - A page half the size of a broadsheet.
Tabular - Text set in columns.
Tenon Saw - Fine saw used for cutting wooden furniture.
Text - The written or printed material which forms the main body of a publication.
Thermography - A printing finishing process producing a raised image imitating engraving. The process takes a previously printed image which, before the ink is dry, is dusted with a resin powder. The application of heat causes the ink and powder to fuse and a raised image is formed.
Thin Space - The thinnest space normally used to separate words or letters.
Thirty-Two Sheet - A poster size measuring 120x160 inches.
Tied Letters - See "ligature."
Till - The crossbar of a common press, through which the screw passes.
Tint - The effect of adding white to a solid color or of screening a solid area.
Tip - The separate insertion of a single page into a book either during or after binding by pasting one edge. Also used to describe "tipping" or attaching one form to another. As in "tipping an envelope to a business form."
Title Page - One of the preliminary pages of a book on which one might expect to find the title, author’s name and sometimes further details concerning the contents of the book.
Titling Font - A set of capital letters, each set to occupy the whole depth of the body.
Tone Line Process - The process of producing line art from a continuous tone original.
Transparency - A color or black and white photographically produced image on transparent film.
Trim - The cutting of the finished product to the correct size.
Twin Wire - Paper which has an identical smooth finish on both sides.
Tympan - The packing on the frame hinged at the bed of a common press. Also used on the platen of other types of letterpresses.
Type - A rectangular piece of block, usually metal, having on its upper surface a letter or character in relief. A printed character.
Typeface - The raised surface carrying the image of a type character cast in metal. Also used to refer to a complete set of characters forming a family in a particular design or style.
Typefoundry - The shop where metal type is cast.
Typescript - A typed manuscript.
Typo - An abbreviation for a typographical error.
Typographer - A specialist in the design of printed matter, and particularly in the art of typography.
Typography - The design and planning of printed matter using type.
Upper Case - See "capital"
U&lc - An abbreviation for upper and lower case.
Underlay - Part of the process of make-ready whereby packing is placed between the type and the bed of the press.
Varnishing - A finishing process whereby a transparent varnish is applied over the printed sheet to produce a glossy finish.
Vellum - The treated skin of a calf used as a writing material. The term is also used to describe a thick creamy book paper.
Vertical Justification - The manipulation of text in fine increments to make columns and pages end at the same point on a page.
Vignette - A small illustration in a book not enclosed in a definite border.
Watermark - An impression incorporated in the paper making process.
Web - A continuous roll of printing paper used on web-fed presses.
Weight - The degree of boldness or thickness of a letter or font.
Widow - A single word left on the last line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page.
Windows - A black or red element placed on a page which, when a negative is shot, will be clear so that a photo or other element can be stripped into place.
Wire - The wire mesh used at the wet end of the paper making process. The wire determines the textures of the paper.
Wire Stitching - See "saddle" or "side stitching."
Woodcut - A design cut in relief with a knife on the surface of a wood block or plank.
Woodengraving - A design in relief cut on the endgrain surface of wood with a graver. The techniques for woodcut and woodengraving are frequently mixed.
Work and Turn - A method of printing where pages are imposed in one form or assembled on one film. One side is then printed and the sheet is then turned over sidewise and printed from the other edge using the same form or plate. The finished sheet is then cut to produce two complete copies.
Work and Tumble - A method of printing where pages are again imposed together. The sheet is then printed on one side with the sheet being turned or tumbled from front to rear to print the opposite side.
X-height - The height of a letter excluding the ascenders and descenders. As an example, "x", which has neither ascender nor descender.
Xerography - A photocopying process in which the image is formed using the electrostatic charge principle. The toner replaces ink and can be dry or liquid. Once formed, the image is sealed by heat.