Print & Design Glossary

When a monitor or printer doesn't quite have the resolution to display text or images with smooth lines and you get jagged edges. This is called aliasing.

When a program or printer fills in the gaps around the jagged edges on an Aliased (see above) image to make it appear to have smooth lines.

Aqueous Coating A water-based coating applied over a printed image by a printing press to make the print more durable, fade-resistant and sometimes to alter the texture of the paper.

Art Paper
A type of paper with a smooth texture on both sides. The coating is made from clay.

Designer's term for the designs - consisting of type, photos and illustrations - intended for printing. Also called art.

The long, rising stem on letters such as b,d,h.

In typography, the invisible line that most letters are aligned on.

Bitmap Image (BMP)
An image file made up of an arrangement of dots (called pixels). Also called raster graphics. Common bitmap file formats are BMP, GIF, JPEG, PSD, PCX, TIFF and PNG.

Printing that extends past the edge of a sheet of paper. Printing with bleed means that the image is printed on sheet of paper larger than the finished size and then cut. Printing with bleed ensures that the printed image can extend to the edge of the page.

The main text in a design not including the headlines.

Type of uncoated paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. It is mainly used for letterheads as it compatible with most types of printers.

Also called a Web Browser, it is computer use interpret and display web pages. Commonly used browsers are Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. A good web designer will make sure that their work is compatible with all of the common browsers.

Celloglaze / Cellosheen
Also called Laminate. A plastic film heat bonded a piece of paper of card. Business cards are given a gloss or matt finish form the application of Celloglaze.

C Fold
When the fold of a document looks like a C - viewed from the edge of the paper.

Also referred to as Four Colour or Full Colour. Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). The are the 4 main colours used in most types of printing.

Color Space
Used to describe how a printer, monitor or computer program uses colour. The most common colour spaces are RGB (Red, Green, Blue - The three colours used by monitors, TV's and some inkjet printers) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black - Used by commercial printers.)

Concertina Fold
Folding in which alternate leaves open in opposite directions.

The text in a document.

Coated Paper
Coated paper has a fine coating of clay applied to the service. The coating created a smooth service which handles ink better than uncoated paper.

To gather pages of a publication into the correct order.

Crash Fold
Also called Cross Fold. When a document requires more than one fold to get to it's finished size. Eg. A A3 sheet folded in half, and then folded to DL.

When the edges of the middle pages of a folded booklet extending slightly beyond the outside pages.

To select a portion of an image and remove the rest.

Crop Marks
Also called Trim Marks or Cut Marks. Line at the corners of a printed image which indicate where the paper is to be cut.

Abbreviation for Cascading Style Sheet, a feature of HTML developed by the W3C. A Cascading Style sheet sets the style of a webpage and contains instructions which tell a browser how to it.

The long, falling stem on letters such as g, q, y.

Die Cutting
Also called Forme Cutting. The process of cutting, perforating, creasing and/or embossing a document using a pre-made die.

Abbreviation for Domain Name System. The DNS translates URL text addresses (such as into a numeric Internet address (such as 203.414.62.3).

Domain Name
An unique name (such as that identifies one or more IP addresses.

An abbreviation of Dots Per Inch used to indicate the resolution of a document, monitor or printer. Typically offset printing presses print at 300dpi and monitors display content at 72dpi.

Drop Cap
When the first letter in a paragraph extends through two or three lines

When holes are added to a document.

To create raised or indented details on a piece of paper using a die.

The processes that take place after a document has been printed. eg. Trimming, Folding, Laminating, Binding etc.

Foil Stamping
A method of printing that involves the transfer of ink from a foil onto paper or mediums.

Another word for a page number.

Traditional spelled fount. A Font is a set of characters created with the same style and sizing. They usually include letters, numbers, punctuation marks and some special characters such as bullet points and copyright symbols. Some popular fonts are Arial Regular, Times New Roman Bold and Helvetica Roman.

Acronym standing for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is a means for transferring and managing files from one computer to another via the Internet.

Gate Fold
When a document is folded at the left and right so that the edges meet in the middle.

Acronym standing for Graphics Interchange Format. GIF is an image format. It supports 256 colours and transparency and is best suited to images with flat colours. It is not the best for use with photos and highly detailed images. (Pronounced with a G sound as in 'Gorilla')

A gradual transition of colors.

Graphic Design
The Arrangement of visual elements (including text, photos and Illustrations) within a composition for print or digital media to communicate a visual message. As well as the visual aspects of graphic design, there are also many technical aspects involved in setting up files for different applications.

Images which only contain the colour black and various shades of grey derived from that black. ie. A printed grayscale image will be created with only black ink, however the use of screens will allow different shades to be created from the ink.

Acronym standing for Grams per Square Meter. The unit of measurement for the weight of a sheet of paper of card.

The inner margin of the pages of a book - closest to the spine.

One or more computers connected to the internet which store the files which make up websites are know as hosts. Web hosting is the name given to this service.

Acronym standing for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is a programming language commonly used to create webpages.


Also called a Link, a hyperlink is an electronic connection between a document or webpage, to another webpage.

The precise arrangement of artwork on a sheet of paper or card for printing.

A programming language developed by Netscape. JavaScript is used to add more advanced features to websites such as animation.

Acronym standing for Joint Photographic Experts Group. The JPEG, or JPG file format is a compressed format used for many applications.

The adjustment of spacing between letters.

See Cellosheen

The measurement of space between lines of text. (pronounded 'Ledding')

A symbol which may consist of text and/or images that represents an entity.

Machine Varnish
A protective varnish applied to a printed sheet to make the print more durable. Machine varnish is also used to create different textures such as gloss or matt on a page.

Keywords and information contained within a HTML webpage which are mainly used by search engines.

Mock Up
A sample of artwork as it will be printed. It may contain instructions to a printer or the end user.

Negative Space
The sections of a design not occupied by text or images.

Offset Printing
A printing process which involves that transferal of ink from a plate to a blanket and then on to paper, card or another medium.

The opposite of transparency.

1. A line of text at the end of a paragraph that appears by itself at the bottom of a page/column.
2. A word, part of a word, or very short line of text that appears by itself at the bottom of a paragraph.

Printing over an area which has already been printed on.

A universally used colour-matching system. Also known as PMS.

Perfect Bind
To join the pages of a publication by gluing pages into the spine. Most novels are perfect bound.

Short for picture element, A pixel is a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device.

Plain Faced Envelope
An envelope that has no window.

See Pantone.

Stands for Portable Network Graphics format. PNG is compressed image file format predominantly used for the web. Similar to the GIF image format, but able to display many more colours and handle transparency better.

Pocket Envelope
An envelope with the opening at one of the shorter edges.

A computer language created by Adobe used to output information to printers.

Process Colour
The use of CMYK inks.

An image displayed on a monitor or a print out intended to represent a finished print job will look like. Can be used to check colours, and to spot flaws before producing the final product.

Raster Image
See Bitmap Image

The correct positioning of image on printed sheet. Particularly important pages printed on both sides.

Light text or images on a dark background.

Abbreviation for red, green and blue. These are the colours used by computer monitors and some printing devices.

Roll Fold
A document with folds that keeps rolling into itself.

Saddle Stitch
To bind a publication by stapling along the spine and then folding. For example, a saddle stitched A4 booklet will be printed on A3 paper, stapled along the centre and folded in half.

Sans Serif
Fonts that contain no Serifs.

The colour intensity of an image. A highly saturated image may be problematic when printed as more ink may be placed on a page than the paper is able to hold.

To create a groove in a piece of paper or card so that it folds more easily and accurately.

Self Cover
A term used to describe a booklet which uses the same stock for the covers and the internal pages rather than using a thicker stock for the covers.

Elements added to the end of strokes in a font. Times New Roman is a Serif font, while Arial is a Sans Serif Font.

Sheetfed Press
A printing press that prints on separate sheets of paper rather than paper on a roll.

Show Through
When the printing on one side of a piece of paper is visible from the other side.

Spot Color
When a specific colour of ink is applied to a sheet. Spot colours may be used on their own or with other spot colours or in addition to Process Colours. Spot colours are usually Pantone colours.

Spot UV or Spot Varnish
Much like a spot colour, but using a liquid varnish instead of a colour of ink. The use of spot UV can allow a printed item to appear glossy in just certain parts of the image. The cook book industry loves spot UV.

Two facing pages in a multi-page document.

In printing terms it is the Paper, Card or other Medium being printed on.

Any surface that printing is applied to.

A colour or stock sample.

The words in a document. Usually refers to the main body of text, in paragraph form.

In graphic design, rough sketches created when brainstorming and developing a concept. In web design, a scaled-down version of a larger image that when clicked on, will display the large version.

The measurement of how see-through something is. In design software you can adjust the transparency of an object or layer so that you can or cannot see the objects underneath.
An object that can be seen through is said to be Transparent, while an object that cannot be seen through is said to be Opaque.

Trim Size
The size of a printed item when completed.

Tagged Image File Format. An image file format which maintains the highest quality. Generally used for photos and complex images. Because of the high quality of this format, file sizes are generally significantly larger than other formats such as JPG.

A Font or series of related Fonts. For example, the standard Arial typeface contains Arial Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic.

Uncoated Paper
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Typical copy paper is uncoated.

Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Every web page has a unique URL. is a URL.

UV Coating
Liquid applied sheet that has already been printed, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Used for aesthetic purposes as well as to increase durability of the printed image. See also Spot UV.

Similar to above, but not necessarily using ultraviolet light.

Vector Graphic
A graphic image which uses points (called vectors), lines, curves and mathematical equations rather than Pixels. Vector images can be scaled to any size without losing quality. Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard for creating Vector Graphics.

Wallet Envelope
An envelope with the opening at one of the longer edges.

Window Faced Envelope
An envelope with a hole cut in the front so that an address printed on an inserted document can be viewed.

Washed out
An image or printed item that contains poor contrasted and looks faded.

An symbol or text within an image or on a sheet of paper which is barely visible. Watermarks are often used to prevent copyright infringement as the creator's logo cannot easily be removed from their work.

A line of text at the end of a paragraph that falls at the beginning of the following page/column.

Z Fold
When the fold of a document looks like a Z - viewed from the edge of the paper.