A4 - One of the international paper sizes (ISO), measuring 210mm x 297mm. The usual size for letterheads.
A5 - Another of the international paper sizes (ISO), measuring 149mm x 210mm. The usual size for flyers. Two A5's will exactly fit onto an A4 sheet.
Other popular 'A' paper sizes include A3 (420mm x 297mm) and A6 (149 x 105).
art paper - a smooth coated paper obtained by adding a coating of china clay compound on one or both sides of the paper.


backing up - to print the second side of printed sheet. Also, to make a duplicate of a computer file as a precaution against losing the original.
banding - A visible stair-stepping of shades in a gradient.
baseline - the line on which the bases of capital letters sit.
binding - the various methods used to secure loose leaves or sections in a book; eg saddle-stitch, perfect bound.
bitmapped - An image formed (or appearing to be formed) by a rectangular grid of pixels. The computer assigns a value to each pixel, either black or white. Accordingly, a bitmapped image can only be black or white, or line-art. Also used to refer to an image that has too low a resolution ("That image looks bitmapped."; line art scanned at 72dpi when it is to be printed at 2540dpi will have coarse edges and is 'bitmapped').
bleed - layout, type or pictures that extend beyond the trim marks on a page. Illustrations that spread to the edge of the paper without margins are referred to as 'bled off'.
bond - Writing paper of 50gsm or more. Can also be used for printing upon and typically used for letterheads.
bullet - a large dot preceding text to add emphasis.


camera ready artwork- artwork or pasted up material that is ready for reproduction. Becoming antiquated as digital based artwork (i.e. artwork created on computer and stored on disk) is now the norm.
carbonless - paper coated with chemicals and dye which will produce copies without carbon paper. Also referred to as NCR (No Carbon Required).
cast coated - art paper with a exceptionally glossy coated finish usually on one side only.
CMYK - cyan, yellow, magenta, black. The subtractive primaries, or process colours, used in colour printing. Black (K) is usually added to enhance colour and to print a true black. See four colour process.
coated - printing papers which after making have had a surface coating with clay etc, to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity. This paper can have matt, silk and gloss finishes.

collate - to gather seperate pieces of paper together to form a book or a multi-part form.

colour correction - The process of adjusting an image to look like the original due to the deficiencies of a scanner and/or the printing process itself.
colour separations - The division of an image into its separate colours for printing. Each colour separation is a piece of negative or positive film. Four colour or process separations result in 4 films (CMYK); Spot colour separations result in 1 piece of film for each spot colour.
concertina fold - a method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect.
crop marks - lines printed indicating the size of final printed page to enable accurate cutting to size.


dot gain - A printing defect in which dots print larger than intended, resulting in a darker, unsharp image. This is caused by ink spreading on absorbent stock.
dpi - Dots per inch. The means of measuring the output resolution produced by printers, imagesetters, or monitors. The higher the dpi the sharper the image.


emulsion - The coating of light-sensitive material on a piece of film.

EPS - Enapsulated PostScript. A file format used to transfer PostScript image information from one program to another. The preferred file format for certain images that may have to be enlarged, since unlike TIFF images they will not distort resulting in 'jaggies'.


film - A transparent material coated with a light-sensitive substance
four colour process - printing in full colour using four colour separation films - yellow, magenta, cyan and black. When blended, these four colours simulate most other colours. Other systems reproduce more accurate colour but CMYK uses the fewest inks (and therefore is the cheapest method) to achieve 'full colour'.


gatefold - A page where both sides fold into each other. Often used for small brochures and menus.
grayscale - a range of values for shading white to black. The usual term applied to black and white photos scanned into a computer (litho presses cannot reproduce the continuous tones of a black and white photo, so they have to be converted into shades of black called a halftone or grayscale image). See halftone.
gutter - the central blank area between left and right pages.


hairline rule - the thinnest rule that can be printed.
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. See grayscale.
hickies - dust particles or dried lumps of ink sticking to the printing plate or blanket which appear on the printed sheet as dark spots surrounded by haloes.


imagesetter - A device used to output a computer image at high resolution onto photographic paper or film. It has replaced the process camera (which creates film from camera ready artwork) as the main way of producing film for printing.
imposition - refers to the arrangement of pages on a printed sheet, which printed on both sides, folded and trimmed, will place the pages in their correct order to create a book.
ivory board - a smooth high white board which is the industry standard board used for business cards.


jaggies - images that have fuzzy or stepped edges because they have either been scanned at too low a resolution or have been enlarged too much.
jaz disk - A computer disc capable of storing upto 1gb (1000mb) of data. A common method of suppplying huge artwork files to printers. See also zip disk.

job is late- a common complaint from customers. Never a problem @A L Printers. We promise a delivery date and stick to it!


kerning - the adjustment of spacing between certain letter pairs, A and V for example, to obtain a more pleasing appearance.
keyline - The box normally drawn around an image or picture.
knockout - A shape or object printed by removing (knocking out) the colour(s) behind it. Contrast to overprinting.


laid - paper with a watermark pattern showing the wire marks used in the paper making process. Commonly used for high quality stationery.
laminate - a thin transparent plastic coating applied to paper or board to provide protection and give it a glossy or matt finish.
landscape - work in which the width used is greater than the height. See portrait.
lines per inch (lpi) - a measure of the frequency of a halftone screen (usually ranging from 55-200). Typically a printed image will be around 150lpi with 200lpi used for high quality publications such as 'coffee table' books.
letterpress - a relief printing process in which a raised image is inked to produce an impression; the impression is then transferred by placing paper against image and applying pressure. Nowadays virtually obsolete as a conventional printing method but still used for specific applications.
lithography - a printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. The photographically prepared printing plate is treated chemically so that the image will accept ink and reject water.


metallic ink - printing inks which produce a gold, silver, bronze or metallic colours. More expensive to use than normal inks due to their metallic properties.
moire pattern - The result of scanning or reproducing an image which already contains dots (a halftone) at inevitably the wrong angle thereby giving a chequered effect on the printed page.


negative - A piece of film with a reversed image, in which dark areas appear white, and vice versa. See also positive.
newsprint - Unsized, low quality, absorbent paper used for printing newspapers; and wrapping fish & chips!


OCR (Optical Character Recognition) - the process of scanning printed characters on documents and converting them into digital codes that can be read into a computer as actual text rather than just an image which cannot be edited.
offset lithography - (see Lithography) a printing method whereby the image is transferred from a plate onto a rubber covered cylinder which the sheet passes through and prints onto.
overprinting - printing over an area already printed. Contrast with knockout.
overs - additional paper required to compensate for spoilage in printing. Also used to refer to a quantity produced above the number of copies ordered.


Pantone - a registered name for an ink colour matching system.
PMS - Pantone Matching System. A commonly used system for identifying specific ink colours.
point - the standard unit of type size of which there are 72 to one inch (one point is approximately 0.01383in). Written or displayed on a computer as 'pt'.
portrait - an upright image or page where the height is greater than the width. See landscape.
positive - a true photographic image of the original made on paper or film. See also negative.
PostScript - a page description language. Widely supported by both hardware and software vendors it represents the current 'standard' in the market. Currently at Level 3.
primary colours - cyan, magenta and yellow. These three colours when mixed together with black will produce a reasonable reproduction of all other colours.
process colours - See four colour process.


Quark XPress - a desktop publishing program; developed for the Macintosh market, but now on both platforms. The benchmark for the DTP industry.


ream - 500 sheets of paper.
registration marks - small cross-hairs on film used in the alignment of films.
register - the correct positioning of an image especially when printing one colour on another. When two or more colours are printed exactly on top of each other the print is said to be 'in register' and when this doesn't happen the term 'out of register' is commonly used.
resolution - the measurement used in typesetting to express quality of output. Measured in dots per inch, the greater the number of dots, the more smoother and cleaner appearance the character/image will have. Laser printers tend to output at between 300-600dpi . Imagsetters usually print at 1,270-5,080 dpi.
RGB - red, green, blue. The primary colours used for computer monitor displays. Images saved in RGB colour are unsuitable for printing so they must be converted to CMYK or graycale before they can be output to film.


set off - the accidental transfer of the printed image from one sheet to the back of another.
SRA - a paper size in the series of ISO international paper sizes slightly larger than the A series allowing the printer extra space to print and allow for bleeds.


TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) - a common, resolution-dependent format for storing digital information like line-art, generally associated with grayscale or bitmap data.
thermography - a print finishing process producing a raised image. The process takes a previously printed image which before the ink is dry is dusted with a resinous powder. The application of heat causes the ink and powder to mix and a raised image is formed.
trapping - a prepress technique which allows for variation in registration during the press run. This is done by allowing an overlap between colours that meet on the page.
trim - the cutting of the finished product to the correct size. Marks are incorporated on the printed sheet to show where the trimming is to be made.


unwanted costs- A L Printers give you a price that includes everything. There are no hidden extras. Even design work is quoted per job (rather than per hour) so you know what your final bill will be. If there are any extra costs we will inform you before going ahead with the job.


varnishing - a finishing process whereby a transparent varnish is applied over the printed sheet to produce a glossy finish.


watermark - an impression incorporated in the paper making process showing the name of the paper and/or the company logo.
web - A printing process using a continuous roll of paper on a web-fed press, printing at speeds far faster than any other method (but not always producing high quality print). Mainly used for newspaper and magazine printing.Not to be confused with what you 'on' now.
work and turn - a method of printing where pages are positioned on one film. One side of the paper is printed and the sheet is then turned over and printed from the other edge using the same image. The finished sheet is then cut to produce two complete copies.
wove - a finely textured paper without visible wire marks.


yarn - something a printer spins you thinking you have little or no knowledge of print. At least with 'A L Printers A to Z of printing' they may find this process a little harder!


zip disk - A computer disc capable of storing upto 100mb of data.Rapidly replacing the floppy disk as the standard method (along with CD's which hold upto 650mb) for supplying artwork to printers. See also jaz disk.