Jargon Buster

Everything you need to know about printing and office supplies but were too afraid to ask!

A B C D E F G H J L M N O P Q R S T W

A

  • Artwork
  • Artwork

    All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, which is intended for printing. If we ask you if you have any artwork, we are referring to artwork that is set up and ready to go to print, nothing else needs typing up, shifting, resizing or adding.

  • Art Paper
  • Art Paper

    A common term used to describe a range of smooth ‘coated’ paper material, the most common paper used in Litho printing. This is normally available as Gloss, which has a high shine and is the most popular, but you can also get Silk or Matt which have a slightly duller appearance. If a print job has a high colouration, e.g. it’s covered in colour without much white space, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two material finishes. This is really only noticeable on non-printed and white areas.

B

  • Binding
  • Binding

    There are a number of different types of popular binding. Approximate maximum page volumes based on 80gsm paper.

    • Comb Binding: using a plastic coil to secure paper; suitable for up to 450 pages.
    • Coil Binding: secures documents using a plastic coated coil; suitable for documents up to 140 pages.
    • Click Binding: secures documents with a re-usable plastic mechanism that clicks around the documents; can be easily removed if paper needs to be added or removed; suitable for documents up to 145 pages.
    • Thermal binding: secures pages by using hidden glue in the binding cover; suitable for up to 240 pages.
    • Wire Binding: secures your documents with a wire holding the paper in place. Wires are measured in mm diameter; the higher the diameter the more pages it can hold; suitable for up to 125 pages.
    • Manual Comb Binder: Machine with a manually operated mechanism that punches the holes and secures the comb in place when pulling it.
    • Electric Comb Binder: Holes are punched into the correct position by electrically powered cutter and automatically bound by a second automated (or semi-automated) process.
  • Bleed
  • Bleed

    When your artwork is initially printed, the paper will be larger than the finished pages. Once the printing is complete, the sheets will be guillotined down to the finished size. The guillotine cuts through hundreds of sheets at a time and therefore there is a tolerance (in our case c.1.5mm) so if it isn’t trimmed exactly to the edges of your finished artwork you could get slithers of white on an edge where there is no printing. By extending the design of your artwork beyond the the intended size of your page, you create a bleed. This means if it’s not guillotined exactly, the design will still go right up to the edge of the paper.

  • Blind embossing/debossing
  • Blind embossing/debossing

    This is when a non-inked shape is pressed into the back of a sheet in order to create a raised or ‘embossed’ image viewable on the front of the sheet. Commonly used for logos on corporate brochures or even on business cards. De-bossing is when the image is pressed into the front of the sheet (such as for book covers).

C

  • CMYK
  • CMYK

    Cyan Magenta Yellow and Key (Black). These are the colours used in full colour litho printing.

  • Collating
  • Collating

    When several sheets are printed in order to make up a document, sheets can be printed independently or altogether. After they are printed they need to be collated, i.e. gathered together in the correct order before they are bound.

  • Continuous Stationery
  • Continuous Stationery

    Normally used for high volume invoices or delivery notes. The paper is on a continuous sheet and is printed and kept within its continuous format.

  • Crease
  • Crease

    Usually done before folding, a line is pressed into a sheet in order to create a crease. This helps to avoid sheets cracking when they are folded.

  • Credenza
  • Credenza

    A storage unit usually set against a wall at approximately desk height. Often with sliding doors in the middle.

  • Creep
  • Creep

    In a saddle-stitched booklet, the bulk of the paper causes the inner pages to extend or creep further out than the outer pages when folded. When trimmed, the inner pages are narrower than the outer pages, counteracting the creep.

    Creep varies depending on the thickness of the paper and the number of pages. If there is no creep allowance, when pages are trimmed, the outer margins become narrower toward the centre of the booklet and there is the possibility that text or images may be cut off.

  • Crop Marks
  • Crop Marks

    These are added to artwork to indicate where a print design needs to be trimmed or ‘cropped’, folded or perforated.

D

  • Die
  • Die

    A device for cutting, scoring, or perforating.

  • Die Cut
  • Die Cut

    To cut irregular shapes, or perforations in paper or board using a die.

  • Die Stamp
  • Die Stamp

    Traditional printing using a hand-made template (or stamp) to press the image into the page. It is a slow, manual process, but the quality is incredibly sharp and the texture left on the page by the impression adds a luxurious feel.

  • Digital Printing
  • Digital Printing

    Digital printing is very much the same as any desktop printer you may have in your home or office, only much bigger and much, much better quality. Digital printing can be more cost effective for short quantity print runs, i.e. up to 1,000 copies.

  • Double Pedestal Desk
  • Double Pedestal Desk

    A desk with two stacks of drawers on the left and the right.

  • DPI: Dots Per Inch
  • DPI: Dots Per Inch

    The output resolution of a printer (basically how finely it delivers the ink onto the page). The more dots the better the resolution (meaning finer, sharper documents). For high resolution printing, the minimum DPI has to be 300 pixels/inch otherwise the image will look fuzzy and pixelated.

  • Drilled
  • Drilled

    Holes can be drilled into any print job in order to allow them to be inserted into binders or other applications.

E

  • Envelope Sizes
  • Envelope Sizes

    C-Series Envelopes

    C envelope sizes are defined as the geometric mean of the A and B sizes with the same number i.e. C4 dimensions are the geometric mean of A4 and B4. This produces a size between the two that makes an envelope that will neatly hold the A series paper of the same size, thus a C4 envelope is perfect for an A4 sheet of paper unfolded.
    It should be noted that C format envelopes enable an A4 sheet folded parallel to its shortest sides to fit in a C5 envelope and folded twice to fit a C6 envelope and so on.

    The most popular C format envelopes are C4, C5 and C6.
    C0: 1297 × 917 mm | 51.5 × 36.1 in
    C1: 917 × 648 mm | 36.1 × 25.5 in
    C2: 648 × 458 mm | 25.5 × 18.0 in
    C3: 458 × 324 mm | 18.0 × 12.8 in
    C4: 324 × 229 mm | 12.8 × 9.0 in
    C5: 229 × 162 mm | 9.0 × 6.4 in
    C6: 162 × 114 mm | 6.4 × 4.5 in
    C7: 114 × 81 mm | 4.5 x. 3.2 in
    C8: 81 × 57 mm | 3.2 × 2.2 in
    C9: 57 × 40 mm | 2.2 × 1.6 in
    C10: 40 × 28 mm | 1.6 × 1.1 in

    DL Envelopes
    DL size is is not part of the ISO C envelope series but it is a very widely used standard size. DL stands for “Dimension Lengthwise” as defined by the A and B size rules. So you can fold an A4 sheet twice to create sheet 1/3rd its normal height and it will fit in a DL envelope. The typical DL envelope size measures 220 x 110 mm.

  • EPS
  • EPS

    An abbreviation of Encapsulated PostScript, a digital file created by computer graphics software prior to sending it to us to print.

F

  • Foil Stamping/Foiling
  • Foil Stamping/Foiling

    A finishing technique used to apply a metallic area to a printed surface, gives a reflective mirrors type of effect

  • Foolscap
  • Foolscap

    So called because, in the 18th century, folio-sized paper had the watermark of a fool’s cap on it.

    In the UK, foolscap paper is 330 x 203 mm | 13 x 8 in, but paper of this size is now very rarely used, having been superseded by A4 (297 × 210 mm). However, some older people may call A4 “foolscap”. Nevertheless, filing cabinets, ring binders, lever arch files, suspended files, and other filing related things still use the size.

  • Fonts
  • Fonts

    These are typefaces or type styles used within the design process for creating text. The most common being ‘Helvetica’ and ’Times’.

G

  • GSM – Grammes per Square Metre
  • GSM – Grammes per Square Metre

    Paper is not measured by its thickness but by weight (see Paper weights).[link to paper weights] We print on 45gsm, with up to 900gsm stock available.

H

  • Halftone
  • Halftone

    A picture or blend of colour, which is made up of dots. These dots are varied in size to help create the tone. An image which has a blend from dark to light uses larger dots in the dark area, that then reduce in size to the light areas.

J

  • JPEG
  • JPEG

    An acronym for Joint Photographic Electronic Group, a common file type used for compressing photographic images. Almost all digital cameras use jpeg as a standard for saving photos.

L

  • Laid paper
  • Laid paper

    An uncoated paper with textured pattern of parallel lines similar to hand-made paper. Often referred to as ‘finely ridged’ paper.

  • Lamination
  • Lamination

    The process of sealing documents or items between film to create a clear, plastic coating (often by heat) resulting in a document which is stronger, more durable, and resistant to humidity, water and stains.

    Lamination films are measured in microns and are sometimes shown as 2 x 80 (80 micron x 2 films, so 160 micron in total).

    Pouch: Most popular office-based laminating system using pre-cut, open on three sides which are passed through a laminating machine with heat to seal them.

    Roll Lamination: Using rolls of film rather than pouches, documents are placed between the two rolls of film, passed through the laminator and then cut to size; great for volume production.

    Cold Lamination: using self-seal pouches, you press the two sticky sides of film together; suitable for use by children, or if you don’t have power or when the document being laminated is sensitive to heat.

  • Landscape
  • Landscape

    Style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is the opposite.)

  • Lateral Filing Cabinet
  • Lateral Filing Cabinet

    While the most common type of filing cabinet might be a vertical one, a lateral file cabinet has many appealing advantages. Built with volume, style and strength in mind, it can accommodate reams of paperwork without taking up lots of floor space. It is also more efficient than stacking several vertical file cabinets.

    Files are hung side-to-side, and the wide drawers make it easy to glance down a large number of files quickly. Unlike a vertical file cabinet, the lateral cabinet drawer need not be pulled out as far to search for the file you need.

M

  • Micron
  • Micron

    Some card is defined by thickness rather than weight.

    A micron is the abbreviation for a micrometre. The word comes from the Greek μικρόν mikrón, meaning “small”, which is somewhat of an understatement! A micron is miniscule – only 1×10−6 of a metre, that is, one-millionth of a metre (or one-thousandth of a millimetre, 0.001 mm, or about 0.000039 inches in old money). As a rough guide, 100 microns is approximately equal to 80gsm on an A4 sheet but this is not a precise science.

N

  • NCR / Carbonless Paper
  • NCR / Carbonless Paper

    NCR refers to ‘No Carbon Required’. The paper has been coated with chemicals so that it is able to transfer any handwritten or typed impression onto it onto the sheet or sheets below. This saves having to duplicate the same information onto several sheets.

O

  • Offset-lithographic Printing
  • Offset-lithographic Printing

    The most common process for high-volume paper-based printing such as posters, newspapers and books. In short, the words and images are set in reverse on printing plates, mostly by laser imaging these days. The plate is then fitted onto a printing press where the image is transferred onto paper.

P

  • Pantone® colours
  • Pantone® colours

    Pantone is a colour matching system recognised around the world. If you give a pantone reference to a print supplier in the UK, it should be exactly the same colour when the order is reproduced in the United States or Singapore. Pantone inks are supplied pre-mixed so there is no doubt to the exact colour required by a client.

  • Paper Sizes
  • Paper Sizes

    A-Series Paper
    The dimensions of A series paper sizes are listed below. In ‘A Series paper’ each time the number increases by one the actual size of the paper halves…so A2 is half the size of A1, A3 is half the size of A2 and so on. The most popular A size is A4, which is used for most correspondence and printed materials.
    A0: 1189 × 841 mm | 46.8 × 33.1 in
    A1: 841 × 594 mm | 33.1 × 23.4 in
    A2: 594 × 420 mm | 23.4 × 16.5 in
    A3: 420 × 297 mm | 16.5 × 11.7 in
    A4: 297 × 210 mm | 11.7 × 8.3 in
    A5: 210 × 148 mm | 8.3 × 5.8 in
    A6: 148 × 105 mm | 5.8 × 4.1 in
    A7: 105 × 74 mm | 4.1 x. 2.9 in
    A8: 74 × 52 mm | 2.9 × 2.0 in
    A9: 52 × 37 mm | 2.0 × 1.5 in
    A10: 37 × 26 mm | 1.5 × 1.0 in

    B-Series Paper
    The B series paper sizes were created in order to provide paper sizes that weren’t covered by the A series and although far less common in day-to-day use are an accepted sizing format.
    B0: 1414 × 1000mm | 55.7 × 39.4 in
    B1: 1000 × 707 mm | 39.4 × 27.8 in
    B2: 707 × 500mm | 27.8 × 19.7 in
    B3: 500 × 353 mm | 19.7 × 13.9 in
    B4: 353 × 250 mm | 13.9 × 9.8 in
    B5: 250 × 176 mm | 9.8 × 6.9 in
    B6: 176 × 125 mm | 6.9 × 4.9 in
    B7: 125 × 88 mm | 4.9 x. 3.5 in
    B8: 88 × 62 mm | 3.5 × 2.4 in
    B9: 62 × 44 mm | 2.4 × 1.7 in
    B10: 44 × 31 mm | 1.7 × 1.2 in

    Foolscap
    330 x 203 mm | 13 x 8 in

    Quarto
    279 x 216 mm | 11 x 8.5 in

  • Paper Weights
  • Paper Weights

    The weight of a sheet of paper or card is effectively the thickness of that piece of paper (although technically the thickness of paper is measured in microns.

    There are two conventions currently in widespread use globally for paper weights:

    • grams per square metre (g/m2 or commonly gsm). Used in Europe and most parts of the world that use ISO paper sizes (apart from the few countries that still use US paper sizes)
    • basis weight, which is specified in pounds (lbs) – the basis weight is the weight of a 500 sheet ream of uncut paper. This is used in countries that use US paper sizes.

    Grams per square metre – gsm – is calculated by how much a single sheet of A0 paper weighs. So the thickness of 80gsm paper will be determined by how thick an 80 gram sheet of A0 is.

    Paper used in UK offices is usually between 70gsm and 80gsm. Heavier weight paper, ranging from 90gsm to 120gsm, is often used for letterheads and formal correspondence. The accepted point at which paper is defined as card is 160gsm. The common weight for business cards is between 300-400gsm.

  • Pedestal
  • Pedestal

    Also known as a ‘ped’, it is a stack of drawers that goes underneath a desk. A ‘full height pedestal’ means a stack of drawers that goes all the way from the desk surface to the floor.

  • Perfect Bind
  • Perfect Bind

    To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also called adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind, patent bind, soft bind and soft cover.

  • Portrait
  • Portrait

    Style in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of landscape)

  • Process Colour (inks)
  • Process Colour (inks)

    The colours used for four-colour process printing: Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black (CMYK).

Q

  • Quarto
  • Quarto

    An imperial size rarely used in the UK since A-Series paper became the standard (although some diaries are still sold in this size) 279 x 216 mm | 11 x 8.5 in.

R

  • Resolution
  • Resolution

    Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, or other medium. For print you want the resolution to be high – at least 300dpi at finished size; for the web it can be a lot lower, at 72dpi.

  • Return Unit
  • Return Unit

    This is the work surface that sits to the left or the right of the user in an L-shape desk configuration.

  • RGB
  • RGB

    Abbreviation for red, green, blue. RGB are web based colours. Whilst these can be converted to CMYK, some colours can be affected which means they won’t be a perfect match – this mostly affects very vibrant blues and greens. If you’re designing something to be printed, then make sure your colour profile is CMYK.

S

  • Saddle Stitch
  • Saddle Stitch

    To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch. Also called pamphlet stitch, saddle wire and stitch bind.

  • Spot Colour or Varnish
  • Spot Colour or Varnish

    One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet to ensure a specific, precise colour match or shine to certain areas of the printed materials.

  • Suspension Filing
  • Suspension Filing

    Suspension files are the most popular form of hanging file. They have top access to contents and are used in filing cabinets, desk high drawer units and cupboards with suspension file chassis. If you suffer from overloaded files you may require an extra capacity file. Suspension files are available in standard capacity or with a 30 mm or 50 mm gusset.

    There are two sizes of suspension file. Generally, the smaller pedestal and desk high units (as well as some home office filing cabinets) take A4. Generally, business filing cabinets and larger pedestals take Foolscap. Trolleys can take either. The most popular size is Foolscap.

    A4 Suspension Files (smaller files)

    The overall width of the file is 340 mm
    300 mm is the measurement of the paper folder
    The distance from the edge of the paper folder to the centre of the tab is 10 mm
    The width of the whole tab is 20 mm
    The width of the inside indent of the tab is 10 mm
    The depth of the whole file is 240 mm
    Therefore these files hang perfectly on hangers that are 320 mm to 330 mm apart

    Foolscap Suspension Files (larger files)

    The overall width of the file is 405 mm
    360 mm is the measurement of the paper folder
    The distance from the edge of the paper folder to the centre of the tab is 10 mm
    The width of the whole tab is 20 mm
    The width of the inside indent of the tab is 10 mm
    The depth of the whole file is 240 mm
    Therefore these files hang perfectly on hangers that are 380 mm to 390 mm apart

T

  • Thermography (thermo)
  • Thermography (thermo)

    Thermography is the name of a post print process that is achieved today using traditional printing methods coupled with thermography machines. The result is a slightly shiny finish which is raised up from the paper on which it is printed and is an attractive alternative to the more expensive engraving or die stamping option. It is commonly used on wedding invitations, letterheads, business cards, greetings cards, gift wrap, packaging and can also be used to print braille text.

  • Trim Size
  • Trim Size

    The size of the printed material in its finished stage.

W

  • Wove Paper
  • Wove Paper

    An uncoated paper used for products with no surface texture or pattern. Often referred to as ‘smooth’ finish.

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