Printing Definitions

Bleed – The result of placing a graphic on the page so that the printing on one of more sides extends off the page edge. Use of bleeds in design requires the use of stock that is wider than the finished size to which the publication will be trimmed. The image should extend 1/8” beyond the final trim.

CMYK – Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black–the four colors used in most commercial printing to create the array of printable colors seen by the human eye. Colors are formed by laying one layer of ink over another, with the addition of black to enhance detail and extend the range of tone.

Collating – The gathering of printed pages and/or spreads into a particular order as specified by the customer. Typically pages or sheets in a book for binding, and usually in numerical page order.

Crop marks – The fine, intersecting lines usually located at the edge of the page to mark where an oversize press sheet will be trimmed to achieve final page size.

Desktop publishing – Neither “desktop” nor “publishing,” the term is used to generally describe the use of computer hardware and software to generate files to be printed.

Digital printing – Printing with images generated from digital data. Digital printing systems include production color laser, laser copiers/printers, and inkjet, as well as digital offset technologies.

File – Any named, ordered collection of information stored on a disk. Application programs and operating systems are files. You also make a file when you create a document, give it a name, and save it on a storage medium.

File Format – The type of file created, typically referenced by the suffix after the dot. For example: .pdf, .eps, .xls, .txt. Some file formats are compatible and can be opened in other programs of the same family (Adobe, Microsoft) but it usually takes the source software to open a particular format.

Font – The same meaning as typeface to traditional typesetters: a named collection of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and other typographical symbols with a consistent appearance, size and style. The size and style can be changed readily.

Font size – Normally, font size reflects the space between the tallest ascender and the lowest descender of a given font. Exact font description criteria vary according to the font designer. Font sizes are measured and described in points.

Graphics – Content presented in the form of pictures, line art or other non-text images, as opposed to copy.

Gutter – The white space between columns. A standard gutter width is one pica, or 12 points (0.167”).

Justify – To justify a line of text is to fit the line to a box of column width, so that the text will have uniform left and/or right margins.

Leading – Pronounced “ledding,” it's the space between lines of text. Traditionally known to typesetters as linespacing.

Orientation – The position of a page. Portrait orientation means the page is taller than it is wide. Landscape orientation means the page is wider than it is tall.

Offset printing – Traditional printing using plates, whereas ink is applied

Perfect binding – Any of several processes wherein glue is applied to the edges of collated sets to affix those sheets at the common side so that the set may be paged through, as in a book. Results in a neat, square bound spine edge.

Pica – Pica is a base unit of measurement in American typography equal to 1/6th of an inch, used in composition and typesetting for describing sizes other than type characters, e.g., page width, gutters, margins, etc. See also Point.

PMS Color – Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the most popular standard for describing the array of ink colors that can be produced for printing. Each varying shade of a color is identified by its corresponding number. The university’s official yellow, for example, is identified and referenced as PMS 109. About a half dozen “parent” colors are used in varying combinations to produce all the others.

Point – Standard unit of measure used to specify type sizes. One point is 1/72 of an inch (approximately .013837 inch). Type that is one inch high is 72-point type. See also Pica.

Proof – A copy of a document to be printed that is produced by making a print from the processed file. Production proofs are the final proof available before production begins. They are produced to verify the correct placement of graphics, to check the correct separation of ink colors, to verify layering and font techniques, and the instructions for folding, binding, and other finishing processes. The costs of producing one set of production proofs are normally included in printers’ quotes for jobs that require them. Author’s alteration requiring new production proofs will result in additional costs and perhaps in time.

Registration marks – Printed on the margins of the press sheet, registration marks are use to verify alignment of the printing heads on the press.

Resolution – Refers to the fineness of reproduction and the distinctness of visual elements defined in dots per inch (dpi). The more dots per inch, the finer/higher the resolution. The resolution of the computer is 72 dpi, low resolution printers are 300 dpi, Printing Services’ high resolution laser printers are 600 dpi, and Printing Services’ poster printer is 2400 dpi.

RGB – Abbreviation for red, green, and blue – the three colors used to create the array of colors seen on computer screens, television, and other light-emitting electronic devices. By mixing any of the two in overlapping colored beams of light, different colors are reproduced. White is formed by combining all three, while black is the absence of all colors.

Saddle stitching – Stapling at the fold that creates a bound set of sheets, as in a newsletter of more than four pages. While universal definitions do not exist, a newsletter usually becomes a booklet or magazine when a heavier stock is used for the outside pages as a cover.

Sans (without) serif – This text is set in one of the university’s official fonts that has serifs. Helvetica is an example of a sans serif font family. See also Serif.

Serifs – Serifs are the short strokes that project from the main strokes of a character. The “feet” at the bottom of this letter “M” are serifs. See also Sans Serif.

Typeface – A named collection of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and other typographical symbols with a consistent appearance, size and style.


Envelope Sizes

The Print Lab has the capability to print small runs of color envelopes, including those with variable data.