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Empowered Printing Terms


A4 Paper

Letter-sized paper most common in Europe and in most locations outside of North America. A4 paper (8.3” x 11.7") is slightly narrower and longer than "A" size paper (8.5” x 11").

Accordion Fold

Constructed by folding an 8.5” x 14”, 11” x 17” or 11” x 25.5” sheet of paper three times in a zig-zag pattern. This creates a piece that expands like an accordion. It is popular for brochures because of the flexibility of its format.

Ad Copies

Customer samples, these should be some of the best copies. We ask the press crew to spend a lot of time making sure these look their best.

Against the Grain

Idiomatically, this means, ‘different from the norm,’ or unorthodox. The grain refers to the fibers of paper. The paper’s grain direction plays an important role in the printing process—as it pertains to the direction of which the paper is fed through a press.

Aqueous Coating

Designed to protect printed pieces, aqueous is a clear, fast-drying, water-based coating. It comes in either a high-gloss or matte surface helping to deter dirt and fingerprints and providing a more substantial scuff-resistance than standard varnishes.


Illustrations, photographs, or other non-textual material for use in publication. Paintings, drawings, or other artistic works can also be included.

Auto Register System

A system that a press may have that automatically registers the plates. This is achieved by an electronic eye mounted on the press that reads marks on the actual printed copy. This information is relayed to motors on the plate cylinders making them move to register the copy.

Bible Paper

A thin grade of paper used for printing books which have many pages, also known as scritta paper.


A workshop or factory where books, catalogs, inserts, and other print materials are bound, collated, or stitched together.

Blanket Smash

When a low spot is created on the rubber blanket so that the image is not transferred to the sheet. Sometimes this can be repaired with a chemical called smash. When applied to the rubber, it swells to fix the low spot. If not successful they need to put on a new blanket. Usually caused by gobs of paper wrapping up in the unit.


Printing an illustration, design, or text to the edge of the page.

Blind Emboss

Method of creating raised logos or characters on paper by pressing into the paper using one raised and one recessed metal die to create the imprint into the paper.


To impress text or a design onto a cover.

BNP Spot Color

BNP offers 13 colors in our Spot Color Booklet that customers can choose from. Spot color is run as single-color compared to process color which is four-color.


A group of sentences related to a particular topic or idea which directly relate to the thesis.


High-quality, durable writing paper similar to bank paper, weighing more than 50 g/m2, with the most common weights being 60 g/m2 (16#), 75 g/m2 (20#) and 90 g/m2 (24#). The name derives from being originally made for documents such as government bonds.


These products are basically quarter folded tabloids with a page size roughly 6-8” wide by 10-10⅞” tall. They may be on-line trimmed on the 900 press or off-line trimmed in the bindery.

Book Paper

Paper that is designed specifically for the publication of printed books.


Copy is cut at the top and bottom, text runs 90° to paper roll. Also known as a standard broadside.

Bulk Pack

If something is bulk packed it does not require ties or carton packing.


Press creates quality copies that are acceptable to provide to the customer.

C1S & C2S

Terms that refer to coatings (glossy, matte, or dull) applied to paper by the paper manufacturer. C1S refers to a coating on one side, while C2S refers to coating on two sides of the paper during a process that happens before the paper is printed on.

Calendar Cut (Shive)

This is a defect that may arise in your paper that presents itself on the edge of a roll of paper. It shows up as a “cut” and may sometimes cause a web break.

Color Gamut

The entire range of colors and tones achievable by a specific imaging system.

Color Correction

A process to balance out the colors in imaging.


The thickness of a single sheet of paper, usually measured in millimeters or micrometers.


The process of making paper with a glossy surface. When the paper is still soft it is pressed against a highly polished, heated cylinder until it is dry producing the desired finish.

Center Spread

A pair of pages facing each other at the center of a magazine or newspaper, whose printed context creates a single unit.


Color Electronic Prepress System.

Chill Stands

This is the set of cold rollers that is immediately after the dryer section. When the web passes through the dryer and the ink becomes molten, it passes through the cold rollers in the chill stand to “set” the ink. (Thus “heatset” process.)

Circumferential (OTRC)

OTRC stands for On-The-Run Circumferential. This describes the movement of the press plate cylinders back and forth in the direction of the web.


Referring to the four ink plates used in some color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black).

Coated Stock

Paper that has a coating applied during the manufacturing process, with the most common coating options being glossy, matte, or silk. The coating creates a less porous surface so the ink stays on top of the paper offering a smoother and brighter finish.

Coil Binding

The process that secures the pages and cover of a book using a plastic or metal coil resembling a long spring.


A description of web printing in which the inks are air dried without assistance of heat or UV or infrared drying systems.


The process of assembling multiple sheets or parts together to create a set.


Larger press cylinders (on 936/946/936C) are "2-around" and can hold the first copy and insert the second thereby allowing more pages with a single web. This allows us to run with a smaller crew but only at half speed.

Color Balance

Balancing out colors in an image; typically red, green, and blue.

Comic Color

A combination of the four primary colors. Like the comics. Does not simulate real life.

Crop Marks

Lines printed in the corners of your publication's sheet or sheets of paper to designate where the printer will trim. Also known as trim marks.


Customer Service Representative.


This is the knife cut made at the folder. On the 900 presses and V30 this is 21” long. On the V15 equipment this is 22.75” long.

Daily Diagrams

Short-term picture of current jobs running on different presslines (start, finish, quantity, paper size, etc.). MAK likes to see 36-hours during the week, through Monday AM for the weekend version.

Delivery (As a Press Term)

This refers to how well, or not, the folder is "delivering" copies to the belt that carries finished copies to the stacker.

Die Cutting

The process of cutting a piece of paper or material into a custom shape using a sharp steel blade that is formed into the specific shape.


Typical size is 5⅜” wide by 8” tall. Created by printing a tabloid half-folded two up (one on top of the other). After printing, digests need to be off-line parallel folded and trimmed at an outside bindery. We cannot do this with our equipment.

Digital Proof

Computer-generated sample of the work to be printed, prepared before the work goes to commercial press.

Dinkie, ½-Web, ¾-Web, Full-Web

A dinkie is a ½-web. For example if the base web size is 33½”, the dinkie would be 16¾.” The 33 ½” would be the full-web. The ¾-web would be 25⅛”.

Direct to Plate

Electronic images received from the customer are managed digitally and ultraviolet exposed to plate without camera work.

Double Out

Running a press out two folders at a time netting two products or running one folder with a de-serter, netting two products at a time.

Down (As in 2 Hours)

Press line that has fallen behind schedule by that amount of time, usually due to a breakdown or slower than anticipated run speed.


This is a pullout that is run on a broadsheet as the last pages. When you open the half-fold of the broadsheet it “drops out.”


This is the section on a heatset pressline that is after the press units. Its purpose is to make the ink molten as the web passes through extreme temperatures.


Pressing an image or text into paper, creating a 3D design.


A glassy substance applied to metal or hard surfaces, usually semi-transparent or opaque.


Short for Encapsulated PostScript, designed for the high-resolution printing of illustrations.

Felt Side

The top side of a sheet of paper that has not come into contact with the papermaking machine’s forming wire. Not the preferred side to print on as it often has more filler and weaker structure.


The finish process after the ink has been applied to the paper. Can occur inline (before the paper comes off the press) or offline (after the paper has come off the press).

Fifth Color

A double hit of a color in the CMYK realm that provides an extra pop when a single layer of color becomes dull or muddy.


This is the internal extra paper that allows a dinkie to be stapled, stitched, or glued in a booklet. Typically ¼” in width.


The modern version of a letterpress, also called Flexo. This process utilizes a flexible relief plate which can print on any type of substrate


Freight On Board. If a product is referred to as FOB BNP, it is understood that delivery is additional. If it is referred to as FOB Your Dock, it is understood that delivery is included in the price to the customer.

Foil Stamping

The process of applying metallic or pigmented foil to the surface.


The unit after the ribbon section and immediately after the former board that cuts the web, first as a half-fold. At BNP, they are either 22¾” or 21” cutoff. The product may require an additional quarter-fold made in the next separate machine called a quarter folder.

Folio—High or Low

An old printing term for "page." High- folio means high page numbers or the back half (we use for the Mueller), whereas low folio refers to the front half of the pages or lower page numbers. We use this terminology for bindery purposes.


The process of combining four primary colors (red, blue, yellow, and black) to create all colors under the rainbow. (Process-photography, Comic-color like the funnies.)


For Position Only acronym used for placeholders in layouts.

French Fold

This is a dinkie web or multiple dinkies that run over the nose of the former and into the half-folder only.


File Transfer Protocol. This is the place where files are sent to reside until we are ready to utilize them. BNP has two sites.


This is usually a flap of 2½ ” or more on the right side of a broadsheet folded in or out.


The direction of the fibers in a sheet of paper formed during the papermaking process.


Extra margin space intentionally left for stapling, binding, folding, etc.


This is the fold created in the folder. It is not optional. On a broadsheet it is the horizontal fold in the middle of the page. (The spine is created at the former board.) On a tab, this is the spine fold.


The printing technique that simulates continuous-tone imagery through the use of dots varying in size and spacing. This technique can produce a gradient-like effect.


A description of web printing in which the inks are dried with the assistance of heat or UV or infrared drying systems. BNP uses dryers as their system to set the ink. This process enables us to run smoother stocks like Super Calendared (SC) or coated stocks which are not possible to run coldest.

Image Area

The area on a printed matter that is not restricted to ink coverage.


Page layout based on job type (16-page tabloid). Also depends on press and plate configuration.


A mail permit.


This is the unit on the press that is just after the splicer that regulates tension on the web. This helps take imperfections out of the paper to help registration and tension web breaks.

Ink & Water Balance

The combination of running too much or too little water on the press to get rid of tone. The balance has to be right.


A separate advertisement put into a magazine, newspaper, or other publication. Also called a blow-in card.


The separate paper cover for a book, catalog, or other printed piece.

Job Number

Every job that runs through BNP receives a work order (job) number. Every work order number receives a corresponding invoice number so we know it gets billed.


The most common type of text alignment in print which aligns the ends of all lines along the same margin.

Kansa Insert Machine

This is a piece of bindery equipment at BNP that allows us to combine inserts into a single jacket section. This is used for publication work. We have two lines of this equipment at BNP.


The process of adjusting the spacing between characters. There are different types of kerning, such as manual, automatic, and contextual.


A boundary line that separates different colored areas of printing. Often used when something will be folded, have perforated lines, or be cut with a die.


A strong, coarse paper or paperboard made from chemical pulp that is produced in the kraft process; often brown in color.


The process of applying a layer of plastic over paper or cardstock to both enhance and protect the printed material.


The orientation of the paper where the longest edge is horizontal.

Lap / Lip

A lap is extra paper created by off-folding in the half folder. A lip is created by the combination of running a wider web and then quarter folding the product on press. The purpose of a lap or lip is to create excess paper that sticks out on the product so that an inserting machine or stitcher-trimmer machine can open the signature. Certain processes require this.


The view of a document where you can see page breaks and formatting of characters and paragraphs.


The vertical spacing between lines of type.


The process where multiple copies of an image are produced by directly impressing an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper. Also called relief printing or typographic printing.


The space between typeset letters or characters. Letter-spacing can be positive or negative.

Line Copy

A two-toned document or drawing (i.e., black and white) without any intermediate gradations.


This describes the press condition whereby you are pulling fiber off the paper. This shows up as a very grainy look in the printed image area on the finished product.


A printing process that utilizes a flat stone or metal plate where the image areas are worked using a greasy substance so that the ink will adhere to them, while the non-image areas are made ink-repellent.


One of the four colors used with inkjet printing. The exact midway between red and blue.

Magnetic Black

A water-based ink with magnetic particles that can be read by MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) machines. Primarily used in banking to prevent check fraud.


Transitional work of removing plates, webbing the press, and hanging new plates. "Running" M/R is the startup time.

Master Schedule

Longer-term picture of how jobs are expected to hit the equipment—could be several weeks in advance. MAK says these are relatively accurate since we can't oversell the press.


Free of shine, matte paper is less prone to marking or fingerprints.

Metallic Ink

Ink with fine, metallic particles added to reflect light and add dimension.

Micro Color System

BNP has this remote inking system made by Graphic Microsystems on the 900 presses. A remote inking system may be added to a press line to allow the operator to change color ink keys at a remote station as opposed to at the unit.

Muller-Martini Collator, Stitcher-Trimmer

This is a piece of bindery equipment at BNP that allows us to off-line fold, combine sections of a job, staple, and three-side trim a product. We have two lines of this equipment at BNP.

Multi-Section Jobs

Divide total page count into efficient press runs based on page count, press units, and color requirements, then insert sections to achieve the total page count. For example, a press folder can handle six webs, so maximum page count is 48T). D-press will only print up to five webs due to roll stand limitations.


Low-cost, strong, wood pulp-based paper.


These are sections of knurled pull-through rollers on a folder that guide the product into the folder.

No Gain / Zero Gain

Gain refers to what happens to the dot once it is printed on the press. For example, a dot-printed on a newsprint sheet will swell to 135% of its original size. Various types of paper and different papers will gain differently. We try to simulate this process in prepress so that we can reduce the dot size prior so that after it prints it swells back to 100%. A zero gain proof will be at 100%.

Offset Paper

A type of wood-free paper primarily used in offset lithography printing.

Offset Printing

The process of using aluminum plates to transfer an image onto a rubber blanket, which is then printed onto paper. It is called “offset printing” because the image is not directly transferred to the paper from the aluminum plates.


The property of paper that determines how transparent the paper is.

Open / Closed Head

Refers to whether or not we slit a product at the RTF (roller top of former). It is usually a bindery runnability consideration.

Operator / Gear Side

This refers to using the operator’s side of the press which is the side the men work on. The gear side is the opposite side which the men typically do not work on. This phrase is often used when describing which side of the press the dinkie should run. For example; the dinkie is on the operator side so it is easier to manage.


The process of printing one color atop of another color.

Over / Under Inking

Applying too much or too little of one or more colors.


This is the unit on a heatset press that “oxidizes” the inks and solvents that are flashed off in the process that go out our smokestacks into the air, rendering the particulates environmentally safe. This process must conform to EPA regulations.

Page 1 Short, Pin Long

This describes the specific orientation of the imposition whereas when you look at the finished copy coming out of the folder, page one is shorter than the rest of the pages and the pins appear on the longer side.

Page Chart

This is a written chart supplied by prepress that describes key items or wording. Its purpose is to be used as a check that the correct pages are being used in a job that has multiple versions.


The process of laying print or images into pages.


Portable Document File. This is a file format for preparing customer files. They are locked files that are compressed for easy transporting. This is our preferred method for receiving files. They flow through our in-house systems easily.

Perfect Binding

This is a bindery process whereby you combine (stack) sections and a cover. The bound edge is ground off, glue is added and the product gets trimmed. (Think of a paperback book.) We do not have the proper equipment to do this in house. This needs to be subcontracted should the need arise.


Unit of measurement in typography, corresponding to ⅙”.

Plate Bending

After the plates are made in prepress, the pressperson places the plates into the plate bending machine. When the machine senses they are in the exact right position, a vacuum comes on and locks the plate in place, and then anvils make the bends on both sides. This enables the pressmen to hang the plates on the press cylinders.

Plate Chart

This is another prepress created tool that depicts multiple version jobs to show run order, and version plate changes. This is used by the pressroom and prepress.

Plate Cocking

Skewing a plate to an unnatural position so that it will register once it is put on the press. The V30 has a device to allow the pressman to do this. On the V15 presses, this can be accomplished on the plate bender. We do not have this ability on the 900 press.

Plate Cracking

When a plate cracks on the press a line forms in the blanket gap on the copy. It cracks due to wear or press conditions. When a pressman sees signs of this he needs to replace it right away so the plate does not fly off the press.

Plate Efficient

A run order made in such a way that we use as few plates as possible. This is constructed in prepress.

Plate Gumming

Gum is a chemical solution applied to the plates in order to preserve them if they are going to be left on the press for any length of time or to be run at a later time. No gum, expect toning.

Plate Hanging

The act of applying the plate to the cylinder. The pressman puts the lead edge bend on to the cylinder, rolls it around then locks the tail into the other end of the cylinder. (Some presses do not lock in.)

PMS Color

PMS means Pantone Matching System; the universal color matching system used in printing.This refers to a special mixed color chosen from a book of color chips.


The smallest unit of measure, corresponding to one twelfth of a pica.

Popup (Fake)

This is a pullout where the page is ribbon shifted on the press to stick out an inch or two but the overall page is the same size as the other pages. (That’s why it’s fake.)


The orientation of the paper where the shortest edge is horizontal.

Press Check

A step in the printing process before the print run, but after the press has been set up. Designed to check that the color on the press matches the proof.

Press Console

The station on a press where the pressman starts, stops the press, adjusts the speed, and has control of his master water switches.

Press Unit

This refers to the part of the press that the web runs through and picks up the color on the top and bottom of the web.


Digital image printed to stub rolls to see "hard copy" (or good facsimile). This is sent to the customer for changes and approval before proceeding with the job.


This is paper sticking out of the top or bottom of a tabloid or on the right side of a broadsheet, typically an inch or two that carries a special message for the customer.


This is an optional “last” fold made on broadsheets, tabloids. The quarter-fold is made in the opposite direction of the half-fold. It is often used for pennysavers and mailers so the piece size is small enough to fit inside a pennysaver or to go through US mail. Not all presses have quarter-folders on them.

Rag Paper

Paper made primarily from cotton cloth or cotton linters.

Reflex Blue

Term used for a particular deep blue ink commonly used in printing. It is like a royal blue and is a standard spot color.


Refers to ted, green, and blue; the primary light colors.

Ribbon Deck

This is a series of rollers and angle bars on a press that is typically after the chill stand. The web passes through this section to slice, dice, and move the web as needed.


Run Through Lunch. A designation on our web diagrams that tells a crew to take turns checking the job during their lunch break and not shut down the press.

Run a "Fifth Unit"

Normally we run four-color jobs in four units. Sometimes, a special color is added as a fifth color and then we must run an extra fifth unit to accomplish this.

Saddle Stitch

Popular book binding method in which paper is folded and stacked within each other, then stapled along the fold line with a saddle stitch stapler.


Making a crease in the paper to ease in folding.

Self Cover

This refers to a booklet signature or combination of signatures that does not require a separate cover.


The method of printing one side of paper with one plate, turning the sheet over and printing the other side with another plate while utilizing the same gripper and opposite side guide.

Side by Each

A term used to describe the imposition of a two-out configuration whereby we impose the two products as mirror images next to each other.


This describes the movement of the plate cylinders of a press side to side or in the opposite direction of the web.

Slime Hole

This is a defect that presents itself on the roll of paper. This paper malformation is sometimes an actual hole and looks very shiny/grey around the hole. This may also cause web breaks.


These are pages run over the spine side of a broadsheet with half the page folding over the front and the other half of the page folding over the back. The page size is typically the same as the rest of the pages.

Spiral Bind

The process of binding pages together with a plastic coil which is run through holes punched along the paper’s edge. Generally utilized for books or catalogues that need to lie flat.


This is the unit on a pressline that automatically “splices” one expiring roll of paper to a new roll at press speed.


Special Quality Emphasis. An acronym used to tell the press crew to pay extra special attention to a job.

Stacker-Compensating / Non-Compensating

A stacker is a unit that “stacks” the individual pieces delivered after the folder. It also counts the pieces in the stack. A compensating stacker also “turns” the copies within the bundles automatically based on a certain number. For example, with turns of 100, bundles of 500 come out as a completed bundle.
A non-compensation stacker is primarily used on the V15, long cutoff press. It only delivers turns out of the stacker and typically the press helper needs to jog (straighten) the stack to an acceptable level and manually turn the stacks to create bundles.


Used to describe the various types of plants and materials that paper is made of.

Store Copies

These go into the racks at the stores and should also be rather good copies.

Super Calendering

An uncoated, groundwood paper that is smoothed between rollers for a glossy finish.


A special way of webbing a press enabling the operator to run direct off the metal plate compared to plate to blanket to paper. The purpose of using an s-wrap is to save a unit in cases when necessary to print a job requiring more units than there are available normally.


Copy is cut on the right side, text runs as you'd read it. Web is typically two or three copies wide and slit at the forming board.


Printing technique that relies on heat to create letters or imagery on paper.


Also known as scumming. It is a light tone on the copy that’s not supposed to be printing. There are many press conditions that may cause this. Often an ink/water balance issue. This can also happen in prepress due to low gum in the plate processor.

Traditional Press

Term which describes the old fashioned prepress. This entailed photographing art boards, cutting color by hand with razor blades with rubylith and acetates. Negatives were created and metal plates were exposed.

Trim Marks

Marks that indicate where the printer should trim the paper. Also called crop marks.

UV Coating

A glossy liquid coating applied to paper and cured under ultraviolet light.

Variable Printing

A form of digital printing where text, graphics, and images can be changed “on-the-fly” from one printed piece to the next. Done through software, it is also called Variable Data Printing (VDP) or Variable Information Printing (VIP).


A clear ink that can be glossy, matte, or satin in finish.


The process that prints text or an image on every page. It can be along the top or bottom margin of a page, or printed across an entire page.

Web Offset Printing

Describes BNP’s printing process. “Web” means a web of paper threaded through a series of units picking up the colors. Web printing is usually associated with the product coming off the press finished. It is also associated with large quantity work where press speed is important. Offset printing describes the process where the image is transferred from a metal plate to a rubber blanket. Ink is then transferred from the blanket to the paper.

Web / Paper—Diameter, Width, Core, Basis Weight

Web refers to the width of a roll. For us that’s between 10” and 46”wide. Diameter refers to the diameter of the roll. This could be 40”, 42”, 45”, or 50”. We prefer 50” because these require fewer roll changes. Cores are the compressed cardboard centers of the paper rolls that we slide or roll shafts through. These are typically 3” non-returnables but we have the ability to handle 6” cores with a core adaptor. Basis weight is the weight of the paper per 1,000 sheets of paper either 22” x 36” on the newsprint scale or 24” x 38” on the commercial scale.

Work Order

Every job that runs through BNP receives a work order number. The work order is created as a document that depicts information relative to that particular job: i.e., name of customer, name of job, page count, type and size of paper, type of product, delivery input, etc. The document is completed and signed by the CSR and placed on an envelope. The envelope is used to collect various documents that go with the job. The skid flags and bundle markers are an example. Bills of lading are created at the time the work order is created and given to transportation. A completed work order goes to prepress to get the process started. It then follows the plates to the pressroom and ends up in billing for invoicing.


This is a tabloid where the outside pages are run shorter than the inside pages creating a “wrap” effect.

Xerographic Paper

A specific type of paper used in the xerographic printing process. It uses positively and negatively charged particles to transfer ink onto paper.

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