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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K and N Ink Absorbancy Test

A test comparing the ability of different papers to absorb an ink. The various papers to be tested are overlapped and the ink is thickly applied to the samples for a given time. At the end of the time, the ink is wiped off and the relative ink absoption is observed.

K Film

1. The wood pulp created by the sulfate process. 2. Paper made from pulp created by the sulfate process.


See China clay.


1. The process of changing the horizontal dimension of a type character, or the white space around the character to achieve a visual effect. Other Term: mortise. See also: spacing; word spacing. 2. The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.


The reference guide or template, usually printed in black, used to place the color elements and for stripping film. Other Term: key flat. See also: keyline.

Key Flat

See key.

Key Plate

The printing plate that is used as a guide for the other plates in the color printing process; it usually has the most detail.


The use of symbols, usually letters, to code copy that will appear on a dummy.


1. A translucent or transparent instructional sheet that is used to show where various effects, colors, etc. are to appear. See also: key. 2. Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations etc.


Kilo is an SI prefix in the SI system of units denoting 103 or 1000 (e.g. kilogram is 1000 grams, kilometer is 1000 meters, kilowatt is 1000 watts, kilojoule is 1000 joules).
Adopted in 1795, it comes from the Greek χίλιοι, meaning thousand.
Kilo is often used by itself as an abbreviation for kilogram. Also, technical people often use the term k, pronounced like the letter, to refer to a thousand of something, especially units of money or population. On the other hand, the kilometer is sometimes informally abbreviated to k; in this context it is widely used in the United States in reference to running races (e.g. 10k). "Click" or "klick" can also be heard in informal usage, especially in the U.S. military.
Abbreviation: k

Kiss Impression

A delicate printed impression, just heavy enough to be seen.


White type on a black or dark background. Other terms: reverse; dropout.


A brownish paper made from unbleached sulfate wood pulp. Kraft paper is commonly used for corrugated board, grocery bags and commercial wrapping paper.

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