Glossary of Terms

Like any industry, ours uses a variety of terms. If you want to find out what they mean, you are in the right place! Simply click on a letter to see its list of terms. If the term you are looking for isn't listed in our glossary feel free to contact us so that we may help you as well as add it to our list.

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id est

  1. That is.
  2. In other words.
  3. That is to say.
  4. In essence.

Abbreviation: i.e.


Pictures used to symbolize an idea. (e.g., using "?" to represent "Need help?" or "Have a question?")


1. The use of light on a subject. 2. The medieval art of decorating book pages with colorful ornamental figures or applying gold leaf to the edges of books.


Line art, photos, and other graphic images used in printed material.


Line art, paintings, sketches, photos, and other visual representations of a subject matter.

Image Area

That portion of the printing plate that carries the ink and prints on paper.

Image Assembly

Aggregating the film negatives or film positives to create a film negative. The result is used to produce a printing plate. Other Term: stripping. See also film image assembly; imposition.


The equipment used to produce a high resolution image on paper, film and other substrates.
See Also: Digital, PostScript, Raster Image Processor, Typsetting, Vectors


Collecting and positioning page elements so that when printed and folded the page elements are in proper alignment. Other Term: image assembly. See also: film image assembly; stripping.


Product resulting from one cycle of printing machine. The pressure of the image carrier, whether it be the type, plate or blanket, when it contacts the paper.


An inch is an Imperial and U.S. customary unit of length. Sweden also briefly had a "decimal inch" based on the metric system.
According to some sources, the inch was originally defined informally as the distance between the tip of the thumb and the first joint of the thumb. Another source says that the inch was at one time defined in terms of the yard, supposedly defined as the distance between Henry I of England's nose and his thumb. There are twelve inches in a foot, and three feet in a yard.
The word for "inch" is similar to the word for "thumb" in some languages. French: pouce inch, pouce thumb; Italian: pollice inch, pollice thumb; Spanish: pulgada inch, pulgar thumb; Portuguese: polegada inch, polegar thumb; Swedish: tum inch, tumme thumb. In Dutch it is even the same: duim inch and thumb.
Abbreviation: in

Index Bristol

A relatively thick paper stock; basis size---25 1/2 x 30 1/2.


Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes to replace the stamp.

Indirect Letterpress

Alternative Term: Dry Offset, Letterset, Relief Offset
See Also: Letterpress

Industrial Papers

A term used to denote papers such as janitorial, sanitary or heavy packing papers.

Ink Fountain

The device which stores and meters ink to the inking rollers.

Ink Holdout

A quality of paper to be resistant to ink absorption, allowing the ink to dry on the paper surface.

Ink Mist

Any threads or filaments which protrude from the main printed letter body of long inks, as seen in newsprint.

Ink Setting

The inertial resistance to flow that occurs to ink as soon as it is printed.

Ink Spread

See: dot gain; dot spread.


A device used to measure the tack of ink.


  1. Nesting signatures inside each other in proper order.
  2. In publishing, binding a separately printed page into the book or publication.

See Also: Assembling, Collate, Gather, Gathering


Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.


An incised, etched, carved or sunken image. In printing, an intaglio is created on the surface of plates or cylinders. The etched areas hold ink, the non-etched areas remain ink free. When the inked plate or cylinder is then applied to the substrate to be printed, the ink adheres and is transferred to the substrate reproducing the original image.

Integral Proof

A proof made by exposing each of the four-color separations to an emulsion layer of primary colors. These emulsion sheets are stacked in register with a white sheet of paper in the background. Types of integral proofs are cromalin, matchprint, ektaflex, and spactraproof.


Extra blank pages inserted loosely into book after printing.

International System of Units

The International System of Units (abbreviated SI from the French phrase, Systéme International d'Unités) is the most widely used system of units. It is the most common system for everyday commerce in the world, and is almost universally used in the realm of science.
In 1960, SI was selected as a specific subset of the existing Meter-Kilogram-Second systems of units (MKS), rather than the older Centimeter-Gram-Second system (CGS). Various new units were added with the introduction of the SI and at later times. SI is sometimes referred to as the metric system, especially in the United States, which still has not widely adopted it, although it is becoming increasingly common, and in the United Kingdom where conversion is only partial. SI is a specific canon of measurements derived and extended from the metric system; however, not all metric units of measurement are accepted as SI units.
Abbreviation: SI
See Also: SI Prefix

Iridescent Paper

A coated stock finished in mother-of-pearl.


A type style in which the letters are slanted 8 to 20 degrees from the vertical. Italics are often used for special emphsis. See also: oblique.

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