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The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text and other components needed to produce a printed piece. Can also now refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.

Basis Weight

Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.


The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text and other components needed to produce a printed piece. Can also now refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.


How an image on one side of a printed sheet aligns with the image on the other side.


A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that is erasable and somewhat rigid.


Normally refers to envelope amounts, i.e., one box contains 500 envelopes while a case contains 2500 envelopes (see 'case' for more info).


Mechanicals, photographs, and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used. Also called finished art and reproduction copy.


Normally refers to amount of envelopes, i.e., one case contains 2500 envelopes (five boxes) while a box contains 500 envelopes (see 'box' for more info).

Case Binding

Books bound using hard board (case) covers.

Carbonless Paper

Paper that is chemically treated to transfer the impression from the first page to the subsequent pages. See Carbonless NCR Form Printing for more detailed info.

Clip Art

Graphic images, designs, and artwork in digital form that can be used in a digital document.

Coil Binding

Where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes punched along the side of a stack of paper. Commonly used for reports, proposals and manuals. Documents bound with coil have the ability to lay flat and can rotate 360 degrees. Also called spiral binding.


To gather sheets or printed signatures together in their correct order.

Comb Binding

Binding a stack of paper together by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb into holes punched along one of the edges. Commonly used for catalogs, reports and manuals.


The degree of tonal separation or gradation in the range from black to white.


A term describing a general type of paper used for the covers of books, pamphlets, etc., also used for business cards and postcards.


To reduce the size of an image.

Die Cutting

The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.

Digital Proof

Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed with ink.


The drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.

Drop Shadow

A shadow image placed offset behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.


Printed items require a higher resolution than items viewed on a screen. This resolution, 300dpi, is required for printed items. Computers are only able to display 72dpi on screen, so a 72dpi image may look okay when viewed at 100% on your monitor but it will print fuzzy. When zoomed in at 200% or higher, a picture that is displayed with 300dpi will look sharper than a picture displayed with 72dpi. Images saved for the web can be 72dpi.


The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.


Applying thin transparent plastic sheets to both sides of a sheet of paper, providing scuff resistance, waterproofing and extended use.


A document layout where the width is greater than the height. (the opposite of Portrait)


A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., of a final printed piece.


A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.


A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.

M Weight

The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.


Paper that is used in the press set-up process before the printing run actually starts. Or the process of setting up press or bindery equipment to produce a specific product, including setting paper size, ink density, image alignment, fold sizes, etc., in preparation for the actual production run.


A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood, also called cream, off-white or ivory.

Offset Printing

The most commonly used printing method, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.

Offset Paper

A term for sometimes used for uncoated book paper.


A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.


A document layout in which the height is greater than the width. (the opposite of Landscape)

Press Check

When a client visits a printing company to view actual printed sheets of their project before a full production press run is started.

Quote or Quotation

A price estimate to produce a specific printed piece, frequently with custom attributes not priceable in standard online pricing tools.


500 sheets of paper.

Right Angle Fold

A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

Running Head

A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.


To crease paper with a metal rule for the purpose of making folding easier.

Spiral Bind

A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.

Text Paper

A high quality light weight printing paper.


A spelling mistake in printed material resulting from a mistake in typing or setting type.


A term used to describe how many similar pieces can be printed on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.


A finish of paper that is somewhat bulky and is slightly rough.


A translucent mark or image that is embossed during the paper-making process, or printed onto paper, which is visible when the paper is held up to the light.

Writing Paper

Another name for bond paper.