Your browser doesn't support JavaScript or you have disabled JavaScript. Glossary | Printing & Design Terms | AlphaGraphics

Common terms used in printing and marketing services.

Accordion Fold

Folds that are parallel and alternating in direction. When finished it looks like an accordion.

Aqueous Coating

A water-based varnish added to an entire sheet as it is printed. It adds a gloss, makes paper more durable and less prone to fingerprints and smudges.


To fasten sheets with wire, thread, glue or by any other means.


A name given for any of many procedures used to put pages together.


Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet. Trimming is required to make the printing run to the edge of a sheet.

Bond paper

A grade of strong, durable paper used for letterheads and business forms

Case bind

A type of binding used in making hard cover books using glue.

Cast Coated

Coated paper with a high gloss reflective finish.

Coated Paper

Paper with a clay or other coating applied to one or both sides. The coating can be dull, gloss, matte, or other finishes. Coated paper generally produces sharper, brighter images and has better reflectivity than uncoated paper.


To put pages in a certain order for binding

Color Correction

Methods of improving color separations.

Color Management System

A system for ensuring that colors remain the same regardless of the device or medium used to display the colors. This is difficult because different devices use different technologies and models to produce colors. In addition, color is highly subjective. The same colors look different to different people.

Comb bind

A type of binding that uses a plastic comb inserted into punched holes.

Cover paper

A heavy printing paper primarily used to cover books or make presentation folders.


To trim a picture, image or printed sheet.

Crop marks

Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.


A stamping tool used in embossing and cutting.


Using a die to cut paper. For example, it is commonly used for cutting slits for business cards to be inserted on a booklet or folder


To produce a raised image in paper. The image is created by pressing a die into the back of the paper.


Stitched decoration in fabric


In order to hold the body of a book into the covers, heavy paper is inserted in the front and back of a book to which coverboard is glued.

Foil Emboss

Foil stamping and embossing a image on paper with a die.

Foil Stamping

Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper.


A shiny paper coating which reflects light.


The direction in which the paper fibers are positioned


To cover with protective film. Also used to bond or glue one surface to another.

Matte finish

Dull paper or ink finish.

Offset Printing

Printing which involves a plate that makes an inked impression on a rubber-blanketed cylinder, which in turn transfers it to the paper


The amount of show-through or see-through on a printed sheet. For example, the more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through.

Pattern Carbon

Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers in certain areas.

Perfect Binding

An unsewn, flat-spined binding of a book made with glue.


Five hundred sheets of paper.


The degree of sharpness of a computer-generated image as measured by the number of dots per linear inch in a hard-copy printout or the number of pixels across and down on a display screen.


A type of binding that uses wire stapling at the center of a magazine or pamphlet.


A crease put on paper to help it fold better.

Screen Printing

Commonly used to print on clothing and signs. The process involves using a cloth stencil and forcing plastic ink through the stencil onto the surface.


Using the same paper as the text for the cover.


Used to wrap printed pieces


Stapling through the spine from front to back. The publication will not lay flat when opened.


The binding edge of a book or publication.


The amount of show-through or see-through on a printed sheet. For example, the more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through.


The ability to print one ink over the other.

UV Coating

Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light, which is environmentally friendly.


A clear or tinted ink that adds a sheen, gloss or matte-surface to the paper.