Printing Terms

Bleed: Color or images will print all the way to the edge of the paper.
Margins: The area surrounding an image that extends from the image to the edge of the page.  
Composition:  Making changes to an existing file or creating a new file per client instructions.
Pre-flight:  Using a checklist to verify that all components of a file are present and correct.  

CMYK: Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The four colors of inks that are used in full color printing.  
RGB:  This color mode is not recommended for print files. RGB is a subtractive color mode using red, green, and blue light.  Files that are submitted in RGB will be converted to CMYK.  
PMS:  A system used to specify spot colors.  Each color has its own Pantone number by which it can be identified.  

Printed Proof: A digitally printed sample submitted for client approval before the job prints.  It may not be on the actual paper the job will print on or be color accurate.  
E-mail Proof:  A PDF of the file is e-mailed to the client for approval before the job prints.  
Proof Approval:  If we proofed your order, it is on hold until we hear back from you with either approval of the proof or with requested changes.  You can email or call us with proof approval, or sign a Proof Approval Form.

Coating:  A clear film applied to paper to make it glossy.  The thicker the coating is, the glossier it makes the paper. Uncoated paper has no glossiness, matte paper has a semi-gloss coating, and glossy paper has a high-gloss coating.
Weight:  The thickness of a paper stock.  It is determined by the weight in pounds of a ream (500) sheets of paper cut to its parent sheet size.    

Types of Printing
Digital Printing:  A term that describes printing presses that create the image from digital data.  
Offset Printing:  An indirect printing method in which the inked image on a press plate is first transferred to a rubber blanket, that in turn “offsets” the inked impression to a press sheet.  

Types of Bindery
Bindery is the 
finishing department that performs operations on the printed product after it has been printed. Operations include trimming, die cutting, punching, perforating, folding, gathering (collating), stitching, pasting, padding, gluing, inserting, etcetera.

Die Cut: A pattern of sharp knives used to stamp specific shapes out of paper.  
Foil: A thin decorative metal used in foil stamping.  
Perforate:  The process of punching a row of small holes into a sheet of paper to allow part of it to easily be detached.  
Scoring:  A finishing operation that involves impressing a hard metal rule into the paper surface where a fold is to be made. This allows the paper to fold easily without any cracking.   
Perfect Binding: A method of book binding.  The book pages are roughened at the spine, glue is applied, and a cover is affixed.   
Saddle Stitch:  Binding booklets with staples on the spine.
Spiral Binding: A continuous plastic coil loop shaped like a long spring passes through a row of punched holes at the end of the printed piece. The binding can be on the left or top of the project, making it a good option for both booklets and calendars. Spiral Bound booklets are easy to handle and lie flat when open (180 degrees).  An added bonus to spiral binding is the variety of different coil colors, sizes, and diameters available to accommodate your project. Spiral coils can bind pages up to 2&3/4 inches thick.
Wire-O Binding: Uses a metal coil and is more sophisticated in appearance. It accommodates pages and inserts of varying thickness including dividers or index tabs made from heavier cardstock.

NCOA Update:  Your address list is run through US Post Office software. Any addresses that have been updated with the Post Office in the last 9 months will be updated on your list to the current address.
Automation:  The way to get the lowest postage rates available from the US Post Office.  Automated mail has been barcoded, pre-sorted, and is machinable.
Letter: A mailing piece that doesn't have any dimensions big enough to quality it as a flat. See below.  
Flat:  A mailing piece that is more than 11.5” long, or more than 6.125” high, or more than .25” thick.  

Glossary of Graphic Communications Fourth Edition, from the Printing Industries of America Press.