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 1⁄2 inches long by 3 1⁄2 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
K — Abbreviation for black in four‐color process printing. Hence the “K” in CMYK.
Knock out — To mask out an image.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.