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Glossary of Common Printing Terms

Paper made from pulp containing little or no acid so it resists deterioration from age. Also called alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.
Acid-Free paper is great for scrapbooking. CW Print + Design carries several acid-free papers. Our standard color prints are printed on Hammermill Color Copy 28# which is Acid-Free, and our standard black & white prints on 20# Hammermill Fore MP Paper is also Acid-Free.

All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.

Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after printing.

Bleed refers to if your image "bleeds" off the edge of the page. If you do not have a white border on all four sides, then your image has bleed. There are a few ways to print full-bleed files. The first is to simply "shrink to fit" your file, which will leave an approximate 1/8" white border on all four sides. However, if a white border still does not suit the look you are needing, you will need to provide your print file with at least 1/8" bleed on all four sides. What this means is that your art will actually extend beyond your cut line, leaving your final page size 1/8" bigger on all sides (for a business card, your final pdf size would be 3.75" x 2.25". For a letter size print, your final pdf size would be 8.75"x11.25" and so on.) 

Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.

Carbonless Paper is used for NCRs, Business Forms, Sales Slips, Invoices and more. CW Print + Design prints standard B&W and Color 2-part and 3-part NCRs in-house with turnaround of as little as 24-hours. CW Print + Design uses Appleton Superior Carbonless NCR Paper.

CW Print + Design also offers an extensive line of Carbonless products, including specialty pads and sizes. Stop in to take a look at our catalog.

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (black). Standard four process colors. CMYK color space is ideal for printing output.

To organize printed matter in a specific order.

To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper. Also called plastic bind.
Comb binding is ideal for flat lay books such as cookbooks.

The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.

Copyright is an automatic legal form of protection for creators of “original works of authorship.” At CW Print + Design, we cannot and will not make copies of or print copyrighted works without prior permission from the copyright owner. IT IS ILLEGAL TO REPROUCE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. Learn More.

Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors. Abbreviated DPI.
300 DPI is ideal for printing output. 72 DPI is ideal for screen viewing only.

Double-Sided printing.

Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.

Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.

Blank edge of unprintable area on a sheet of paper where the machine gripper holds the paper as it passes through the printer.
CW Print + Design's typical Gripper Margin is about 1/8" on all four sides. The Gripper Margin can be trimmed off if requested assuming the file provided contains bleed space or a large enough safe zone space.

The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square meter)

The inside margins toward the back or the binding edges.

A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock (covers, postcards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing color, providing a glossy effect.

The level of show-through on a printed sheet from the front to back side.

Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies in the printing industry.
CW Print + Design's projects tend to overrun rather then underrun and we do not charge for any overruns incurred.

Portable Document File - Adobe PDFs are a universal file format that can be viewed on virtually every computer, regardless of fonts or software that might be installed on the computer. PDF is an ideal format for print documents as they will most accurately reflect the printed outcome.

Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device.

PROOF (Digital):
A digital file (typically a pdf or jpg) made to reveal errors or flaws prior to printing (specifically for review of general layout, type, spelling, general color, etc.).

PROOF (Printed):
Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws prior to full-run printing. (specifically for review of layout, printed color, media type, etc.)

Short for Quick-Response Code, a QR Code is a 2D barcode that can be scanned by smartphones. Scanning a QR Code can bring the user to a website, facebook page, or video to give the user more information and resources. QR Codes can also be used to send text messages and make phone calls. QR Codes are an easy way to market your company using cross-media.

Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.

Red, Green, Blue. RGB Color space is ideal for on-screen graphics.

The amount of space away from the trim-edge of your project. Keep your images and text a safe distance away from the cut line or edge of the paper, at least 1/8" from the edge. If your text is too close to the edge you risk having it be cut off during the trimming process. 

To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine. Also called Booklet Binding and Center-Stapling.
CW Print + Design offers very high-end saddle-stitch booklets that feature a square edge fold and a face trim.

To bind using a spiral of continuous plastic looped through holes. Also called Coil Binding.
Spiral Binding is ideal for manuals, presentations, books, notebooks, and more.

The size of the printed material in its finished stage.

Service bureau, printer or bindery working primarily for other graphic arts professionals, not for the general public.

CW Print + Design relationships with trade shops in both Vermont and Out-of-State, allowing us to offer our clients services and products at competitive prices beyond what we are able to offer in-house. Some of these products include oversized wide-format (over 44" wide), custom rubber stamps, car magnets, and imprinted promotional items like pens, mugs, and more.

Processing from an excel data file, VDP allows for personalization of printing products. Mail Merge is an example of Variable Data Printing.

Glossary definitions adapted from

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