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AADC (auto­mated area distri­b­u­tion center) — A distri­b­u­tion center that uses multi­line optical char­acter readers, barcode sorters and other equip­ment designed for processing automation-compatible mail.

Acid Free Paper — 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.

ADC (area distri­b­u­tion center) — A mail processing facility that receives and distrib­utes mail destined for specific ZIP Code areas.

Anti-offset or set-off spray — A powder used in sheet press to prevent set-off of wet printing inks on the sheet above. Set-off occurs more often on coated stocks since the ink does not absorb into the paper.

ArPac — A type of shrinkwrap­ping avail­able. Packages have open­ings on two sides. Two film thick­nesses avail­able — heavier gauge for UPS pack­ages, thinner for protec­tion when cartoning books.

Aspect Ratio — The dimen­sion of a mail­piece expressed as a ratio of length (the direc­tion parallel to the address) divided by height. For example, a post­card 5 12 inches long by 3 12 inches high has an aspect ratio of 1.57. An aspect ratio between 1.3 and 2.5, inclu­sive, is required for automa­tion compat­i­bility. For First-Class Mail letters, aspect ratio deter­mines whether a nonmachin­able surcharge applies.


Backing up or Back up — Printing the second side of a sheet already printed on one side.

Back-to-back — The align­ment of the image on the one-side of the web or press sheet with the image on the two-side.

Barcode (BC) — A series of vertical bars and spaces that repre­sent any numer­ical series, most often a ZIP Code for the delivery address on a mail­piece. Barcodes are used on indi­vidual mail­pieces as well as labels on larger units such as trays, sacks, and pallets containing mail­pieces or containers containing larger units such as sacks or trays on pallets. The barcode facil­i­tates auto­mated processing by barcode readers and scan­ners. Barcodes used for postal processing include Intelligent Mail, POSTNET, PLANET, Code 39, USS Code 128, and GS1-128.

Base Color — In a multiple color job where black is not one of the colors, the base color is the color of the majority of the text. The remaining colors for lesser amounts of copy are referred to as the spot colors.

Basis weight — Weight in pounds of a ream of paper cut to the basic size for its grade.

Blanket — The thick rubber mat on a printing press that trans­fers ink from the plate to paper.

Bleed — Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet after trim­ming.

Bond Paper — Strong durable paper grade used for letter­heads and busi­ness forms.

Brakes — Device used to apply tension to a roll of paper to help ensure even feeding of the web into the printing unit and proper tension from the printing unit to the folder.

BRC — Bind-in reply card.

BRE — Bind-in reply envelope.

Brightness — The bril­liance or reflectance of paper.

Broadsheet — A large-size printed piece (a metro­pol­itan news­paper, for example) which is folded (but not slit or perfed) at the nose, then folded again at the half-fold. A broad­sheet may also be quarter-folded.

Burst Apart — A method of printing/binding non-standard size projects. Two different sections of the same job are printed together in one press signa­ture (most often double parallel). A perfo­ra­tion is placed between these two parts. The press signa­ture is then torn apart in bindery and the two parts are used in sepa­rate pockets.

Business Customer Gateway  — A single, unified landing point on usps​.com to access USPS online offer­ings. It consists of prod­ucts that support Intelligent Mail, including the PostalOne! system, the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking system, Customer Label Distribution System, and Mailer IDs, as well as customer service and prod­ucts for designing and preparing mail and for tracking and reporting.

Business Reply Mail — Service which enables mailers to receive First-Class mail back from customers by paying postage only on the mail that is returned.

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Calendered Paper — Extremely smooth, uncoated paper, requiring heatset printing.

Caliper, Paper — Paper thick­ness in thou­sandths of an inch.

Camera — Any of several pieces of equip­ment used to convert ordi­nary black and white copy into nega­tive film suit­able for strip­ping and platemaking.

Carrier Route — In postal presort, the addresses to which a carrier delivers mail. In common usage, carrier route includes city routes, rural routes, highway contract routes, post office box sections and general delivery units.

CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) — A service offered to mailers, service bureaus and soft­ware vendors that improves the accu­racy of delivery point codes, ZIP+4 Codes, 5-digit ZIP Codes and carrier route infor­ma­tion on mail­pieces.

Chargeable — The total number of copies the customer is willing to pay for; charge­able equals net (the number of copies ordered) plus the number of overrun copies the customer is willing to buy

Chromalin — A prepress multiple color proof created by mixing powders to simu­late 4/color process and Pantone spot colors. Only type of proofs avail­able that accu­rately will repre­sent Pantone colors.

Closed Head — The top edge of a web press signa­ture where there is a perfo­ra­tion that goes all the way across the web. When imposing pages this closed head” is the stan­dard for explaining align­ment of pages on the binder. When jogging to the head,” the top of the printed page is placed toward the closed head. When jogging to the foot,” the bottom of the printed page is placed toward the closed head.

CMYK — Represents the ink colors used to print 4/color images — Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and BlacK.

Coated Paper — Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflec­tivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major cate­gories cast, gloss, dull and matte.

Color Bars — The little squares at the edge of a press sheet where density read­ings of inks are taken during the press run.

Compensation — A web press adjust­ment that alters the travel distance of the printed image from press unit to the folder, changing image place­ment in rela­tion to the cut-off.

Composite — Composite film: Combining two or more images on one or more pieces of film.

CoProduction — The process that helps small and mid-size cata­logers and publishers reduce postage costs through CoMail, CoMingle or CoPallitization. This process allows different mail­pieces to be merged into a common mail­stream. By combining multiple titles into one mail­stream, more mail can be put onto pallets to qualify for drop ship­ping discounts. The resulting finer sorta­tion also gener­ates even greater savings through postal work­sharing discounts.

Courtesy Reply Mail — Mail which is pre-addressed and pre-barcoded to facil­i­tate return to the distrib­utor of it. Courtesy reply mail does not carry prepaid postage.

CRID — A number up to 15 digits long that is created by the Customer Registration system in the Business Customer Gateway that uniquely iden­ti­fies a customer at a loca­tion and connects the customer’s company infor­ma­tion by phys­ical address across multiple appli­ca­tions and to any account estab­lished for the customer. A CRID is asso­ci­ated with every customer regard­less of permit number or Mailer ID and is confi­den­tially treated like an account number.

Crosshead — Perforation made at the half-fold to improve the quality of the fold and help prevent gusset­ting and wrin­kling at the head of the signa­ture.

Custom Message — In ink-jetting, a person­al­ized image that is unique to each book.

Cut-off — Circumference of the impres­sion cylinder of a web press, there­fore also the length of the printed sheet that the press cuts from the roll of paper.

Cut-off Controls — Equipment which auto­mat­i­cally adjusts compen­sa­tion to the folder by reading the place­ment of the image on the web and moving rollers back and forth to correct the posi­tion of the image.

Cutting Rubber — The soft, plastic mate­rial that the crosshead knives and the cut-off knives are forced into during the perfing or cutting process.

Cyan — One of four stan­dard process colors. The blue color.

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Dampener — Traditionally, a water roller which touches the plate and delivers water to non-image areas in order to keep them printing clean. Now avail­able is spray bar damp­ening — as name infers, a water mist is sprayed on the plates to clean non-image areas.

Dancer — A roller inter­con­nected to the braking system which keeps uniform tension on the web as it feeds into the printing unit.

Delivery — The end of the press where sheets are collected and stacked after printing.

Delivery Point Barcode — Extended barcode which allows mail to be sorted in the order in which it is deliv­ered on a carrier’s route.

Densitometer — A quality control devise to measure the density of printing ink.

Digital Blueline Proof — A hard copy proof of content derived from the digital files used to print the job.

Dinky — One-half a full web. A dinky for a 35″ roll would be 17.5″. The outside edge of the dinky runs in the same place as one or the other outside edge of the full roll.

Directory stock — Referring to paper, a very light­weight newsprint usually selected when the mailing weight of a piece or its thick­ness is of concern.

Direct Print — The printing of an image directly off the plate onto the web as the paper runs between the plate cylinder and the blanket cylinder. This contrasts to normal offset printing where the image is trans­ferred from the plate to the blanket to the paper as it runs between the blanket cylin­ders.

DNDC — (1) A presort level in which all pieces in the bundle or container are addressed for delivery within the service area of the same desti­na­tion network distri­b­u­tion center (DNDC) and entered by the mailer at that facility. (2) A price cate­gory or discount avail­able for some mail classes or prod­ucts prepared at a DNDC presort level.

Dog Ears — A letter fold at the side of one of the creases, an inden­ta­tion occurs.

Dot Gain — Dot gain or spread: A term used to explain the differ­ence in size between the dot on film v paper.

Double Parallel — Also called digest fold. A second fold is made parallel to the half-fold, resulting in a long, narrow product, e.g. 17.5″ x approx­i­mately 5.75″ on 35″ stock.

Double Pass — In perfect binding, a job requires a double pass if the number of sections exceeds the number of pockets of the collator. A pre-determined number of sections is pre-bound as a book block. These pre-bound sections are then added to the remaining loose sections on the second pass. When imposing the pages and trim­ming press proofs, sections which require a double pass have an addi­tional .0625″ added to the normal .125″ bindery skive in order to obtain proper trim posi­tion.

DPI (dots per inch) — A measure of reso­lu­tion of a printer, scanner or monitor. It refers to the number of dots in a one-inch line. The more dots per inch, the higher the reso­lu­tion.

Drill — In the bindery, machine used to punch holes in a finished book. Various patterns and hole sizes are avail­able.

Drop Shipment — Typically the move­ment of a mailer’s product on private (nonpostal) trans­porta­tion from the point of produc­tion to a postal facility located closer to the desti­na­tion of that product. The pieces in a mailer’s drop ship­ment mail­ings frequently receive a reduced price or discount based on mail class or product. USPS also provides drop ship­ment service for mail­ings via Priority Mail, Express service or Priority Mail service.

DSCF — A presort level in which all pieces in the bundle or container are addressed for delivery within the service area of the same desti­na­tion sectional center facility (DSCF) and entered by the mailer at that facility. (2) A price cate­gory or discount avail­able for some mail classes or prod­ucts prepared at a DSF presort level.

Dummy — A rough layout of a printed piece showing posi­tion and finished size.

Duotone — halftone picture made up of two printed colors.

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Emulsification — A general term for the process by which a fatty or oily substance becomes suspended or mixed in water. Ink emul­si­fi­ca­tion is the process by which ink becomes mixed into water. A very small amount of emul­si­fi­ca­tion is neces­sary for offset printing — anything beyond that creates press­room prob­lems.

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) — A file format used to transfer PostScript code infor­ma­tion from one program to another.

Epson Proof — A quality ink-jet proofing system that is cali­brated to G7 stan­dards for the closest possible simu­la­tion to the actual printing.

Estimate — Price that states what a job will prob­ably cost. Also called bid, quota­tion and tender.

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Face — Edge of a bound publi­ca­tion oppo­site the spine. Also called foredge. Also, an abbre­vi­a­tion for type­face refer­ring to a family of a general style.

Facing Identification Mark (FIM) — Special mark on busi­ness reply and cour­tesy reply mail which enables auto­mated mail processing equip­ment to iden­tify it and sepa­rate it from other mail.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) — The high level Internet stan­dard protocol for trans­fer­ring files.

Fixed Message — In ink-jetting, an common message that does not vary from book to book.

Floating — In web offset printing, the over-feeding of the web from one unit to the next or from the unit to the folder. It is called floating” because there is not proper tension on the web, which can wander and flap around or float” between units or between a unit and the folder.

Five Digit — In postal presort, the delivery address on all pieces includes the same 5-digit ZIP Code.

Folded Self-Mailer — An unen­veloped letter-size mail­piece made either from a single sheet, no matter how many times it is folded down to letter-size, or from multiple sheets nested together and not joined together to form a spine.

Folder Perf — A perfo­ra­tion made by perf wheels running against a steel roller as the web of paper goes into the folder. A folder perf gener­ally perfo­rates all pages of a section, from the lead edge to the tail edge, usually .375″ from the spine fold but possible anywhere across the width of the web.

Foot of the page — The bottom of the press signa­ture, the edge closest to the lead edge and cut-off on a stan­dard signa­ture. Opposite the closed head.

Foot, page content — The foot is the bottom of the copy.

Form Roller — See Dampener” and Ink Form.”

Four/color Process — Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simu­late full-color images. Also called color process printing, full color printing and process printing

Four-up — Printing the same image four times on the same sheet.

Free Sheet — Paper made from cooked wood fibers mixed with chem­i­cals and washed free of impu­ri­ties, as compared to ground­wood paper. Also called wood­free paper.

Full Bleed — Where an art element or halftone fills the entire page of a trimmed product.

Full-Service Intelligent Mail — One of two Intelligent Mail offer­ings that requires a maximum 31-digit Intelligent Mail barcode comprising five fields: the Barcode ID, Service Type Identifier, Mailer ID, Serial Number, and Routing Code. The Full-Service Intelligent Mail option requires unique mail­piece barcodes, the use of Intelligent Mail barcodes on tray labels or container plac­ards, elec­tronic docu­men­ta­tion, and the use of Facility Access and Shipment Tracking to schedule appoint­ments for the entry of mail­ings.

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G7 — A method for matching color across multiple printing devices, such as printing presses and proofing systems, by focusing on the spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the gray balance. The goal of G7 is to provide visu­ally consis­tent, repeat­able color between different devices.

Gatefold — A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in over­lap­ping layers

GCR (Gray Component Replacement) — This is the removal of the gray compo­nents of the three colors and replacing them with black. In GCR repro­duc­tion, all the primary and secondary colors remain the same as the normal chro­matic repro­duc­tion, however, the black­ening effects by the tertiary colors along with the gray compo­nents of the other two colors are removed and replaced with black.

Ghosting — A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended.

Gloss — A shiny look reflecting light.

Grain — The direc­tion in which the paper fiber lie.

Gripper — The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press.

Gripper margin — The room needed on the sheet of paper for the grip­pers. This area will not print.

Groundwood Paper — Newsprint and other inex­pen­sive paper made from pulp created when wood chips are ground mechan­i­cally rather than refined chem­i­cally

Gussetting — The wrin­kling or creasing found inside a finished signa­ture, usually orig­i­nating at the crosshead perf or the nose perf and contin­uing for some distance down the page. Found in press sections folded using a combi­na­tion folder.

Gutter — The blank area or margin between the inner edge of the copy and the fold or spine of a printed piece. This margin is crit­ical for prod­ucts that will be drilled.

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Halation — The distor­tion of copy gener­ally caused in the plate-burning process because of foreign mate­rial under the film or insuf­fi­cient vacuum draw-down. Halation is most notice­able in screens where it appears darker than the surrounding screen.

Halftone — The repro­duc­tion of continuous-tone copy (such as a photograph) using a screen to convert the image into dots of various sizes and thereby achieve the variety of tones in the orig­inal.

Head — (1) Of a signa­ture, the edge of the page closest to the crosshead. Also referred to as the closed head — even though it is perfed.
(2) Of a page, the top of the page.

Head Trim — The amount trimmed off the closed head of all the signa­tures and the cover to open up” pages in books, maga­zines, etc. Standard head trim is .1875″ but it can vary from job to job.

Heatset — A term describing the printing process which employs ovens for drying to rapidly cure the ink. The heatset process is neces­sary when coated or calen­dered papers are used.

Hickeys — or imper­fec­tion in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage, caused by dirt on the plate or blanket. Also called bulls eye and fish eye

Highlight — The lightest or whitest part of a photograph and there­fore of the halftone.

Hone-off — The removal of image from the plate using a stone hone or an image removal pen. Used to elim­i­nate a mailing permit or codes for versions.

House Sheet — Paper kept in stock by a printer and suit­able for a variety of printing jobs. Also called floor sheet.

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IMB — See barcode.

Impression — Putting an image on paper.

Impression Cylinder — Cylinder, on a press, that pushes paper against the plate or blanket, thus forming the image. Also called impres­sion roller

Indicia — Payment infor­ma­tion placed on a printed product. Imprinted desig­na­tion and mark­ings on mail that denote postage payment (e.g., permit imprint, metered postage, and PC Postage prod­ucts). Broadly, the term can include postage stamps. In many instances, the amount of postage paid is not displayed on the mail­piece. Although the term is tech­ni­cally the plural of indi­cium, indicia may be used like the term data to indi­cate singular or plural.

Ink Contamination — The unwanted mixing of inks as a result of one ink moving into another ink from the other side of the printing unit, falling off the drop bars, coming out of insuf­fi­ciently cleaned rollers, etc. Contamination results in improper ink color.

Ink Density — The degree of dark­ness of a printed image. Density is measured photo­me­chan­i­cally by a densit­o­meter. Proper densi­ties vary from color to color. Standard RCP density for black ink is 1.10 – 1.15. Standard levels for 4/color printing are: yellow .85 – .90; red .90 – .95; blue .90 – .95.

Ink Form — An inking roller which touches the plate and delivers ink to the image area.

Inserts — Within a publi­ca­tion, an addi­tional item posi­tioned into the publi­ca­tion loose (not bound in).

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Jogging to the Foot — When imposing pages, the bottom of the printed page is placed toward the closed head of the signa­ture. Done when there is ink-jet addressing on the back cover.

Jogging to the Head — When imposing pages, the top of the printed page is placed toward the closed head of the signa­ture. Done when there is ink-jet imaging on the front cover or the project drills.

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K — Abbreviation for black in four-color process printing. Hence the K” in CMYK.

Knock out — To mask out an image.

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Lamination — Laminate: To cover with film, to bond or glue one surface to another.

Lap — (1). The extended edge of half the signa­ture at the face is called the face lap. RCP’s saddlestitch equip­ment requires a lap of approx­i­mately .25″, which means that the half of the pages with the highest page numbers extends .25″ beyond the half of the pages with the lowest pages numbers at the face. Perfect bind jobs do not require a lap. When jogging to the foot, the lap will include the lowest page numbers. When jogging to the head, it will include the highest page numbers.
(2) Pin lap or foot lap is the term used for the excess amount of paper resulting when the half-fold is run unevenly; the purpose of the pin lap is to move the pin holes farther from the crosshead to help ensure that the pin holes will trim off on the final product.

Line Copy — Any image suit­able for repro­duc­tion on the press without the use of a halftone screen. Text is line copy, as are black and white draw­ings which don’t have any shades of grey.

Linting — The accu­mu­la­tion of small paper fibers on blan­kets, plates, or rollers with the result that the printed image looks mottled or fuzzy, espe­cially in solid areas.

Loose Leaf — A product that is trimmed on all four sides.

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Magenta — The common name for the red color used to run 4/color process work.

Mailing Permit — An autho­riza­tion; typi­cally a mailing permit or an autho­riza­tion to mail without postage affixed, using an indicia containing specific infor­ma­tion.

Makeready — All the activ­i­ties required to prepare a press for printing.

Matchprint — Trade name for 3M inte­gral color proof.

Metameric Failure — This is when two printed samples match when viewed under one light source but not another. Industry stan­dards of 5000k lighting (equiv­a­lent to daylight) are used to keep color consis­tent, but colors may shift if they are in different light sources.

Metrofold — A printed piece which is folded at the half-fold and folded or slit at the nose. The width of a metro-fold product is .5″ the length of the cut-off.

MID (Mailer Indentifier) — A 6-digit or 9-digit number in the 31-digit Intelligent Mail barcode that uniquely iden­ti­fies the mail owner or mailing agent. Also called Mailer ID.

Misregister — A condi­tion occur­ring when the form being printed is misaligned either to another color on the same flat or to the cut-off.

Moire pattern — Occurs when screen angles are wrong causing odd patterns in photographs.

Mottling — Spotty or uneven appear­ance in a printed image, espe­cially in a solid.

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NCOA (National Change of Address) System — An address correc­tion service that the USPS provides to mailers through USPS licensees. The licensees match mailing lists submitted to them against change-of-address infor­ma­tion for the entire country from all Computerized Forwarding System units. NCOA can correct an address before it is used on a mail­piece.

Negative — Film containing an image in which the areas of the orig­inal which were light are now dark and the areas which were dark are now clear; this is neces­sary for preparing plates for offset printing.

Newsprint — A dull, porous paper of medium weight used primarily for news­pa­pers and shop­pers but also for some cata­logs and direc­to­ries.

Nippers — Driven rollers which hold and squeeze the edges of the web between the former board and the cut-off cylinder. Some nippers are knurled and indent the paper as it passes between them. Some nippers are smooth.

Non-heatset — Web press without a drying oven, thus not able to print on coated paper. Also called cold-set web and open web

Nose Fold — The first fold made in the folder, parallel to the direc­tion of paper travel, at the point of the former board where it meets the RPF rollers. On a tabloid this fold is slit open; on a signa­ture it is usually perfed. The nose is most commonly folded (rather than slit or perfed) on broad­sheets.

Nose Perf — A perfo­ra­tion made at the nose fold of a product instead of slit­ting, used partic­u­larly on signa­tures and tabloids which trim.

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OBA (Optical Brightening Agents) — Additives that paper manu­fac­turers put into paper in order to help a paper look whiter.” This can cause colors to look different under different lighting condi­tions. (see metameric failure)

OFE — Bind-in order form with attached envelope.

Offset Paper — Term for uncoated book paper.

Offset Printing — Printing tech­nique that trans­fers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

Opacity — The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through. (The thicker/heavier the paper the higher the cost.)

Opaque Offset Paper — (Also referred to as Offset Oqaque). Higher quality offset paper, gener­ally having both greater opacity and bright­ness. Available in weights of 25 lb. through 60 lb.

Overrun — Copies printed in excess of the ordered quan­tity to ensure that proper quan­tity is deliv­ered after the binding/mailing process.

Oxidation — The chem­ical change which occurs on the surface of the plate when it is exposed to air for an extended period. Oxidized plates will not clean up and will print a tint where the air has attacked the plate.

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Package Service — Includes matter formerly clas­si­fied as fourth class (or Standard B) mail.

Packing — Sheet or sheets of paper placed under blan­kets or plates to obtain proper pres­sure or squeeze for printing.

PAF (Processing Acknowledgement Form — The Processing Acknowledgement Form (PAF) is key compli­ance form for National Change of Address (NCOA) processing. It allows the USPS and the mailing industry to comply with the Privacy Act of 1974 by way of a written request to use COA infor­ma­tion for mailing purposes.

Pantone — The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is used to commu­ni­cate ink colors between designer and printer. Using stan­dard premixed inks in exacting formulas, a vast variety of spot colors can be created.

Paste — An adhe­sive applied to a signa­ture during folding to elim­i­nate the need to bind off-press. Pasted product might be trimmed in-line or off-line, depending on quan­tity.

PAVE (Presort Accuracy Validation and Evaluation) — A volun­tary program in which the USPS provides for testing for certain cate­gories of presort soft­ware and hard­ware prod­ucts to deter­mine their accu­racy in sorting address infor­ma­tion according to Domestic Mail Manual stan­dards and producing stan­dard­ized supporting docu­men­ta­tion.

Perfect Bind — (1) A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a tele­phone book, Microsoft soft­ware manual, or Country Living Magazine.
(2) A method of binding using glue on the spine which results in a square, smooth spine. Used espe­cially for thicker books.

Perfecting Press — Press capable of printing both sides of the paper during a single pass. Also called duplex press and perfector

Perforating — Taking place on a press or a binder machine, creating a line of small dotted wholes for the purpose of tearing-off a part of a printed matter (usually straight lines, vertical or hori­zontal).

Perforation — A piece of rule with sharp teeth used to punc­ture paper.

Periodicals — A class of mail (formerly called second class) consisting of maga­zines, news­pa­pers or other publi­ca­tions formed of printed sheets that are issued at least four times a year at regular, spec­i­fied inter­vals (frequency) from a known office of publi­ca­tion.” Periodicals usually must have a list of subscribers and/or requesters, as appro­priate.

pH — The rela­tive acidity or alka­linity of a solu­tion. In the past, pH was used to measure the amount of etch” in foun­tain solu­tion. RCP currently uses conduc­tivity rather than pH to measure the acidity of foun­tain solu­tion.

Picking — Printers night­mare that occurs as the surface of a sheet lifts off during printing. Generally a paper manu­fac­tures quality control problem.

Pigment — The finely ground solid mate­rial which actu­ally gives ink its color.

Piling — (1) The build-up or caking of ink on blanket, plate and rollers; this piled ink will not easily transfer to the web.
(2) An accu­mu­la­tion of paper coating on the blanket.

Pins — In the folder, the thin, sharp points of metal which pull the web into the folder, located just before the cut-off knives.

Plate — A sheet of aluminum of specific thick­ness which is photo-sensitive on one side. During platemaking, a nega­tive is placed over the plate and held in place by vacuum; light strikes the photo-sensitive mate­rial on the plate where the nega­tive is clear; when the plate is processed, the areas struck by light rub up and become ink-receptive. This is the image” on the plate. The area without image is water-receptive.

Plate Wear — The loss of image on the plate during the course of the press run, due to such causes as over­packed blan­kets, forms set too tight to the plate, abra­sive paper, etc.

Plow Station — In in-line ink-jetting, a mechan­ical device posi­tioned after the caliper that opens books as they move along the binding line. The plow station opens and supports a portion of a completed book to allow a print­head to image on any inside signa­ture.

Plugging — The filling in of the area between dots in a halftone or screen caused by too much ink or too little water being run during printing. Plugging may also be caused by dirty blan­kets, dirty ink, improper packing or insuf­fi­cient ink tack.

PMS — The abbre­vi­ated name of the Pantone Color Matching System.

PostScript — (1) The computer language most recog­nized by printing devices.
(2) A page descrip­tion language for medium- and high-resolution output devices. Different machines from different manu­fac­turers can output the same file.

PPI — Abbreviation for Pages Per Inch. PPI = 1/ Caliper x 2

Prepress — Camera work, color sepa­ra­tions, strip­ping, platemaking and other prepress func­tions performed by the printer, sepa­rator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called prepa­ra­tion

Press Check — Event at which makeready sheets from the press are exam­ined before autho­rizing full produc­tion to begin

Print Zone — The size of the image area from the lead edge to the tail edge of the sheet. The print zone varies from press to press.

Proofing (Press Proof) — Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper spec­i­fied for the job. Also called strike off and trial proof

Process Color — The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black

Push-out — The distance copy is forced toward the face of the signa­ture because of the thick­ness of the paper accu­mu­lated at the spine fold of a saddlestitched product. To see for your­self, take a saddlestitched maga­zine over 72 pages. Open it to the center­spread and measure the distance from the center fold to the face trim. Then flip it over and measure the cover. You should find the center­spread page is around .125″ narrower than the cover. The inside pages have pushed out” from the spine. When we impose pages in saddlestitch prod­ucts of two sections or more, we alter image place­ment to account for this. For example, in a three-section product, we center the copy in section two, off-center the copy in section one by .0625″ away from the gutter and off-center the copy in section three by .0625″ toward the gutter. This offsets the pushout and make the pages appear to have an even face margin. This is why adhering to minimum copy margins is crit­ical.

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Quality Control Book — In ink-jetting, a special book used to verify that the binding line is gath­ering and imaging correctly. Quality control books are created each 1,000 books throughout the entire job. This func­tion is formatted into the tape. These books are not mailed, but are diverted and kept at RCP if needed for quality inves­ti­ga­tions.

Quarterfold — A product which is folded at the nose, at the half fold, and at the quar­ter­fold. The nose fold can be perfed or unperfed, slit or unslit. The half-fold and the quar­ter­fold can be perfed or unperfed.

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Register/Registration — To posi­tion print in the proper posi­tion in rela­tion to the edge of the sheet and to other printing on the same sheet.

Resolution — In general, this refers to how sharp and clear an image looks on screen or on paper, and how much detail you can see. Usually deter­mined by number of dots per square inch.

Reverse — Type, graphic or illus­tra­tion repro­duced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the under­lying color or paper to show through and form the image. The image reverses out’ of the ink color. Also called knockout and liftout

Reverse Fold — A quarter-folded tabloid which has the back page folding to the outside. Product folds exactly the same as usual on the press; in the strip­ping depart­ment, the heads of the pages are flatted to the outside of the web rather than to the center to make the reverse fold.

RGB — Represents the colored lights — Red, Green and Blue — used to create color on your computer monitor or tele­vi­sion screen. Know as addi­tive color, various inten­si­ties of red, green and blue lights are mixed to create a variety of colors.

RPF (Rollers Point of Former) — These are the rollers at the bottom of the former board.

RTF (Roller Top of Former) — This is the driven roller on the top of the folder which helps pull the web before the paper starts to go down the forming board.

Running Samples — Samples taken at spec­i­fied inter­vals during the course of a press run to be repre­sen­ta­tive of the run as a whole. Stored at RCP and used in the event of a quality inves­ti­ga­tion.

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Saddle stitch — Binding a booklet or maga­zine with staples in the seam where it folds.

Score — crease put on paper to help it fold better.

Scratch — Abrasion of the anodized surface of the plate which picks up ink and trans­fers it to the blanket and then the paper during printing.

Screen — The arrange­ment of dots of the same size in regular rows on film. A screen can be used to add a black or color tint to the printed page. Screens come in different percent­ages and different number of lines per inch (for the web presses, most commonly 85, 100, or 120 lines per inch, depending on the stock being run).

Screen angle — In color repro­duc­tion, angles at which the halftone screens are placed with rela­tion to one another, to avoid unde­sir­able moire patters.

Scumming — A film of ink printing in the non-image area of the plate where it should not print. Scumming as we use the term goes around the cylinder and is gener­ally caused by too much ink or not enough water reaching the plate.

Self-cover — Using the same paper as the text for the cover.

Separations — Usually in the four-color process arena, sepa­rate film holding images of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also sepa­rate specific PMS colors through film.

Set-off — The transfer of ink from one sheet or part of a sheet to another, occur­ring when the two sheets touch each other. Set-off may be caused by pres­sure points, over-inking, the finish of the stock or the incor­rect ink being run.

Shadow — The darkest areas of a photograph. The darkest part of a photograph and there­fore of the halftone made from it.

Sheetfed Press — Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.

Show-through — Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet.

Side guide — A device used for regis­tering the sheet into the press. The side guide regis­ters the sheet side-to-side across the press.

Sidelay — (1) The place­ment of the image side-to-side across the width of the printing unit.
(2) The mech­a­nism on the press which alters the place­ment of the image side-to-side across the width of the unit.
(3) For roll stock, the posi­tion of the roll side-to-side as it feeds into the press.

Signature — A sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publi­ca­tion.

Skive — The amount ground off the back­bone of perfect bind book to prepare the surface of the spine for the glue which holds the pages together.

Smash — An inden­ta­tion or depres­sion in the blanket, usually caused when foreign mate­rial or an extra thick­ness of paper passing between the blan­kets or between the blanket cylinder and the plate cylinder. As a result of the inden­ta­tion in the blanket, there will be no image on the printed piece where the smash is, as the plate cannot kiss” the blanket to prop­erly transfer ink.

Smearing — The smudging or streaking of ink on the printed piece caused by too much ink, machine parts of the press rubbing on the product, coun­ter­stacker parts rubbing on the product, delivery belts, or the smooth­ness of the finish of the stock being run.

Smythe Sewn — A method of hard case binding involving sewing through the spine fold and then tying the stitched sections together.

Soft Proof — A proof where there no hard copy being viewed. All proofing is done by viewing the digital files on a monitor.

Solid — A block of copy inked at 100%, in contrast to screens which are inked at various percent­ages, and line copy which is more prop­erly text and line drawing.

Soy-based Inks — Inks using vegetable oils instead of petro­leum prod­ucts as pigment vehi­cles, thus are easier on the envi­ron­ment.

Spine — The edge of the printed piece which is bound, also called the back­bone.

Spine Perf — The perfo­ra­tion made along the spine of a signa­ture for perfect bind jobs to help assure good folding.

Spot Coating (Varnish, Aqueous or UV) — Instead of a cover being completely coated, an area for labeling or ink-jetting is left uncoated. This type of coating requires a plate or blanket which will be used to delin­eate the area(s) with and without coating.

Spot Color or Varnish — One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet.

Spot varnish — Varnish used to high­light a specific part of the printed sheet.

Spot Color — A second color added to parts of a page or flat to high­light and empha­size certain copy. If a job runs in two colors with no black, the color of the majority of the text is referred to as the base color and the second color for the lesser amount of copy is the spot color.

Standard Mail — Includes matter formerly clas­si­fied as third class (or Standard A) mail.

Stepping — Repeating the same image from one area of a sheet to another.

Step-and-repeat — A proce­dure for placing the same image on plates in multiple places.

Supercalendered Paper — Paper calen­dered using alter­nating chrome and fiber rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet. Abbreviated SC paper.

SWOP — Abbreviation for spec­i­fi­ca­tions for web offset publi­ca­tions, spec­i­fi­ca­tions recom­mended for web printing of publi­ca­tions

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Tabloid — A metro-folded or quarter-folded product which is slit at the nose and issued unbound. Many news­pa­pers and shop­pers are produced in tabloid format. Commonly at RCP tabloid” is used to refer to product approx­i­mately 11.5″ x 17″ when folded at the half-fold, and 8.5″ x 11.5″ when folded again at the quar­ter­fold.

Three Digit — In postal presort, the ZIP Code in the delivery address on all pieces begins with the same three digits.

Three-Knife — Trimming device used in the bindery depart­ment to open the head, the tail, and the face of a printed piece when no binding is required. Frequently used to trim pasted product.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) — A file format for exchanging bitmapped images (black & white, grayscale or color bitmapped) between appli­ca­tions.

Tints — A shade of a single color or combined colors.

Tracking — The transfer of ink from one area of the printed product to an area it is not wanted. Tracking usually runs parallel to the move­ment of the web through the press, as it occurs in the process of the web moving through the press, press rollers, or folder usually at a pres­sure point or where there is a build-up of ink on the equip­ment.

Trapping — (1) The ability to print one ink over the other.
(2) The ability to print a film of ink over previ­ously printed ink.
(3) The amount of overlap between different colors which butt each other.

Trim Size — The size of the printed mate­rial in its finished stage (e.g., the finished trim size is 5.5″ x 8.5″).

Two-up — Running two of the same image on a sheet of paper.

Typesetting — (1) The depart­ment which converts the customer’s manu­script copy into final copy.
(2) The act of inputting char­ac­ters into the computer during the prepa­ra­tion of final copy from manu­script.
(3) Sometimes, the final copy itself ready for paste-up.

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Uncoated Paper — Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper

Unit Perf — A perfo­ra­tion which is done in the printing unit rather than in the folder. Used when indi­vidual pages in a press signa­ture require any perfo­ra­tion. Unit perfing is done on the 2-side of the unit and requires that the perf image be flopped” end for end by the strip­ping depart­ment. Perforation mate­rial is applied to the plate in the proper place, the web runs between the plate cylinder and the blanket cylinder and as it does so the perf mate­rial cuts into the paper, perfing it.

Undercolor Removal (UCR) — Involves the reduc­tion of dot percent­ages of cyan, magenta, and yellow inks in dark neutral areas and replacing the lost density by means of a heavier black plate.

UV coating — Liquid lami­nate bonded and cured with ultra­vi­olet light. Environmentally friendly.

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Varnish — clear liquid applied to printed surfaces for looks and protec­tion. (UV coating looks better.) A coating used to protect the surface of a sheet after it has been printed. Varnishing can be done in-line on press (wet trap­ping) or a second pass (dry trap­ping).

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Wax-free inks — Printing inks used when UV coating or film lami­na­tion is to be applied to a sheet. They allow good adhe­sion.

Web — A roll of printing paper.

Web press — The name of a type of presses that print from rolls of paper

Web Stretch — The increase in the width of the web across the grain as it moves from unit-to-unit in multi-color printing. Web stretch makes color-to-color regis­tra­tion diffi­cult or impos­sible, as the image printed first actu­ally becomes wider on the paper than an iden­tical image to be printed out of the following unit(s).

Web Press — Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel-fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages).

Whiteness — The color” shade of white paper, which is not to be confused with bright­ness. Some papers are blue-white,” others tend to be cream-white.”

Work and Tumble — Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from the gripper to the tail to print the second side using the same side guide and plate for the second side.

Work and Turn — Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from left to right using the same side guides and plate for the second side.

Wrinkle — A crease in the finished product caused by poorly wound rolls, a tension feed problem from unit to folder, a tension feed problem from RTF to pin cylinder, exces­sive braking or bad tram­ming.

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ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) Code — Established in 1963, the system of 5-digit codes that iden­ti­fies the indi­vidual post office or metro­pol­itan area delivery station asso­ci­ated with an address. ZIP+4 is an enhanced code consisting of the 5-digit ZIP Code and four addi­tional digits that iden­tify a specific range of delivery addresses.