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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A solvent-based solution containing modifying agents that gives a glossy, durable finish when applied to a substrate.

Laid Finish

A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.

Laser Engraving

A paper cutting technique whereby laser technology is utilized to cut away certain unmasked areas of the paper. The cutting is a result of the exposure of the paper to the laser ray, which actually evaporates the paper.

Lay Edge

Edge of a sheet of paper being fed into a printing press.


A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, roughs, thumbnails, etc., of the final printed piece before it goes to print.


The dots or dashes used in type to guide the eye from one set of type to the next.


In typography, leading refers to the amount of added space between lines of type; the distance in points between one base line and the next. When type was set by hand for printing presses, printers placed slugs, strips of lead of various thicknesses, between lines of type to add space.

Leading is commonly confused with line height, which refers to the full height of a line of type (the size of the tallest letter in a font of type, plus the thickness of the leading). Text with no leading is set solid. In this case, the line height is equal to the type size.

It is generally considered that text set solid appears a little cramped, with ascenders touching descenders from the previous line. A leading of 20% of the font height (or a line height of 1.2h) is quite common for "normal" text; most Web browsers have a default line height of 1.2h. Desktop publishing packages tend to vary between 10-30% leading.


One of a number of folds (each containing two pages) which comprises a book or manuscript.

Leaf Stamping

A metal die, either (flat, or embossed), created from the image or copy, which is then heated to a specific temperature which allows the transfer of a film of pigmented polyester to the paper.

Ledger Paper

A stiff heavy business paper generally used for keeping records.

Left Justification

In English and most European languages where words are read left-to-right, text is often left-justified, meaning that the text of a paragraph is aligned on the left-hand side with the right-hand side left ragged. This is the default style of text justification on the World Wide Web.
See Also: Flush Left, Ragged Right


The optimum length of a filament of ink.

Letter Fold

Folding a printed piece horizontally at least twice, in the same vertical direction, thereby capturing the first fold in the second. The same effect is achieved by rolling the sheet horizontally into a tube shape and flattening the tube by creasing the two horizontal edges.


A printing method where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. A similar technique is used with rubber stamps.


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


The addition of space between typeset letters.

Line Art

A drawing rendered in only 100% black and 100% white, with no gray areas. (e.g. black lines drawn on white substrate or a vector graphic produced by a computer drawing, CAD or illustration application.) Line art as a genre may have been recognized due to the possibility of displaying it on vector graphics computer displays, as opposed to non-line-art which is more easily displayed on raster graphics displays. Line art is ammenable to various computer internal-representations which require significantly less computer memory than non-line-art. For instance, a line of line art may be stored solely as the two end-points of the line, whereas in non-line-art all the points along a given line may have to be stored.
See Also: Bitmap, Object-oriented, Raster, Vectors

Line Copy

Any copy that can be reproduced without the use of halftone screens.


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

Linen Tester

A magnifying lens mounted in a small frame that, when placed on the material to be viewed, stands at a height equal to the focal length of the lens. Able to be folded into a small, flat package that easily fits in a pocket, the linen tester is often used in quality control to view small details of an image. See also: loupe; magnifier.

Lithocoated Paper

A paper that is coated with a special water-resistant material which is able to withstand the lithographic process.


The process of printing that utilizes flat inked surfaces to create the printed images. A technique were the printing plate's image area is specially treated to accept only ink and the non-image area is specially treated to only accept water.

Live Matter

Refers to the type characters of piece to be printed.


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

Long Hundredweight

A unit of mass equal to 112 pounds or 50.8 kilograms.

Long Scale

Long scale is the English translation of the French term "échelle longue", which designates a system of numeric names in which the word billion means a million millions.
For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Great Britain uniformly used the long scale, while the United States of America used the short scale, so the two systems were often (and accurately) referred to as "British" and "American" usage, respectively. However, by the end of the 20th century almost all English-speaking countries had universally adopted the short scale, so the phrases "British usage" and "American usage" are now misleading.
Both systems have been used in France at various times in history, but the French have now settled with the long scale, in common with most other European languages.

Lossy Data Compression

A lossy data compression method is one where compressing data and then decompressing it retrieves data that may well be different to the original, but is "close enough" to be useful in some way. This type of compression is used frequently on the Internet and especially in streaming media and telephony applications. These methods are typically referred to as codecs in this context.


An optical device containing a precision ruler used to observe very small details. See also: linen tester; magnifier.


A term applied to letters of the alphabet that are not capitalized.


See luope.

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