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 book binding style where the spine is thicker than the book body resulting in a profile resembling a nail.


Nano is an SI prefix in the SI system of units denoting 10-9 or one billionth. It is often used in prefixing time and length units encountered in electronics and computer systems (e.g. 30 nanoseconds, 100 nanometers).
It was confirmed in 1960 and comes from the Greek νάνος, meaning dwarf.
Abbreviation: n


  1. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
  2. A measurement of a wavelength of a light beam. The wavelengths of various lights in the visible spectrum are as follows: blue light = 400 to 500 nm, green light = 500 to 600 nm, red light = 600 to 700 nm.
  3. Also known as an Angstrom. A unit of length equal to one hundred-millionth (10-10) of a meter. It was once used to measure wavelengths of light and the diameters of atoms, but has now been mostly replaced by the nanometer.


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


A photographic plate or film where the image's color, black and white, or continuous tone areas are reversed from the original (e.g., black is white, white is black). Reference, positive.


A color without hue (e.g., black or white or shades of gray).

Neutral wedge

See gray scale.


A light, low cost paper created specifically for newspapers, it is composed of mechanical or groundwood pulp.

Nominal Weight

When the basis weight of paper differs from the actual weight, the term nominal weight is used.

Nonimage Area

The areas of an image that are not printed. During the printing process, the nonimage area does not receive ink.

Nonprocess Printing

Using an ink of the same color as the specified color, rather than achieving the specified color by overlapping process colors. See also: process colors.

Nonrepro Blue

A special blue color used to make notations on an image's non-printing white areas. This blue color and the white background are indistinguishable to photographic film, with the result being that these notations are not captured as an image by the film. In practice, a pen with nonrepro blue ink is used to show the location of crop marks, etc. on a pasteup board.


Sequentially printed numbers.

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