Here’s an overview of common expressions used in our industry, so we’re all speaking the same language.
Glossary of Terms
4 Colour Process The process of combining four basic colours to create a printed colour picture or colours composed from the basic four colours. Also referred to as CMYK.
Bar Code (see UPC) A graphical bar pattern which can encode numbers and letters in a format which can easily be retrieved and interpreted by a bar code reader.
Bitmap In computer imaging, the electronic representation of a page, indicating the position of every possible spot (zero or one). Also called raster image, continuous tone, halftone.
Bleed The extra amount of printed image that extends beyond the cut line.
Boost Black Printing additional process inks under process black in order to darken the appearance of solid process black areas. Our standard Boost Black is 20% Cyan, 10% Magenta 10% Yellow and 100% Black.
CMYK The acronym for the four process color inks: Cyan (Blue), Magenta (Red), Yellow and Black.
Colour Matching System A system of formulated ink colours used for communicating colour. Print industry standard is the Pantone Numbering System.
CTP Acronym for Computer To Plate. CTP technology involves the laser-imaging of printing plates. The laser is driven by electronic data from a computer.
Cut-back Reducing the size of a printed area that will be printed underneath another colour. Typically used when printing white underneath another colour or colours.
Cylinder The printing rolls on which flexographic printing plates are mounted.
Cylinder Gap The slight space between the plate edges where the plate meets when wrapped around a cylinder.
Die Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.
Dieline A non-printing line that represents where the die will cut.
Distortion In flexographic printing plates are scaled to correct for the stretch that comes from wrapping the plates around a cylinder.
Doyen A style of stand-up pouch that has seals on both sides and around the bottom gusset. Also referred to as a Round Bottom Stand-up Pouch
Duotone A raster image that prints with two seperate colours.
Eyemarks A small rectangular printing area usually located near the edge of an image. Used to activate an automatic electronic position regulator for controlling register or the printed design with separate equipment or operations. Such as, foil stamping and steel rule dies.
Flood To completely cover the printed area with ink or varnish or Ultra Violet protection.
Foil Stamping Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper.
Font The general style of text found on a layout. Broken in to many catergories including Script, Serif Sans Serif and Blackletter. Associated minimum point size is 4 pt type.
FTP Acronym for for File Transfer Protocol. Enables large files to be transferred electronically from one location to another.
Gear Side The side of the print run where the drive gears are located.
Gradient (also Vignette) A printed colour that slowly fades away or blends in to another colour.
Gusset The bellows fold or tuck on the side or bottom of a bag; the capacity of the bag is measured with the gusset unfolded. A gusset allows a bag to stand freely.
Halftone A printed value that is not 100% or 0% of a single ink colour.
Hang Hole This feature comes in two common forms: round or sombrero. Both features allow for a package to be suspended on metal hooks on retail shelves – but only one resembles a wide-brimmed Mexican hat. Olé!
Headers The short lines of emphasized text that introduce detailed information in the body text that follows.
Hexachrome A colour separation process developed by Pantone that uses six instead of four process colours. More accurate and capable in the greens and oranges.
Ink Strength The ‘darkness’ of a printed ink, or combination of inks. Used when trapping a job and deciding on print order.
K-Seal A stand-up pouch that is made from one web of film. The front, gusset, and back are continuous, so there is no seal at the gusset. This type of seal helps bags to stand more sturdily while keeping the pouches or bags visually appealing. Also referred to as K-Skirt or K-Style.
Kiss Cut Used to describe two impressions that are cut with no spacing between the cut lines.
Kiss Die Cut To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing. All our labels are cut this way as a standard.
Kodak Approval (CMYK) A standard hi-resolution, digital proof that is made up of CMYK values only. The size of a proof is 18″ x 12″.
Kodak XP4 Same as a Kodak Approval but it’s able to include Pantone Spot colours. The size of proof is approximately 20″ x 25″.
Laminate To cover with film, to bond or glue one surface to another.
Leader Dots A series of periods or dots connecting wo items of text that are set a distance apart. Typically used in a table of contents when the page number could be on the other side of the page.
Leading (pronounced ledding) The amount of space added between lines of text. Most applications automatically apply standard leading based on the point size of the font.
Line Screen A number used to express the fineness of a halftone screen. The number refers to the number of dots such a screen is capable of producing in a single row exactly one inch long.
Live Text Text that can be edited and changed easily
Monotone A raster image that prints with only one ink colour.
Net Fit Printing two or more colours that exactly meet without any provision for colour overlap.
Outlined Text Text that has been outlined in a vector drawing program such as Illustrator. The key difference is that it is NOT editable and does not require the font file to be submitted.
Overprinting Double printing; printing over an area that already has been printed.
Pantone Matching System (PMS) A proprietary colour system for choosing and matching specific spot colours.
Pica A unit of measurement used in typography and layout design. Equal to 1/6th of an inch, a pica is equal to 12 points.
Plate Cylinder The cylinder of a press on which the plate is mounted.
Plow-Bottom A stand-up pouch that is made from one piece of film. The front, gusset, and back are continuous, so there is no seal at the gusset. A Plow-Bottom Stand-up Pouch can hold more weight than Doyen or Round Bottom Pouches and are commonly used for products weighing more than one pound.
Point(s) A unit of measurement used in typography and layout design. There are 72 points to 1 inch.
Powder Proof Zipper A reclosable or resealable stand-up pouch produced with a plastic track in which two plastic components interlock to provide a mechanism that allows for releasability in a flexible package that allows for the powder to be easily removed from the zipper to ensure an effective and smooth closing action.
Pre-Flight The first action when receiving electronic files from clients. This process analyzes files to determine if they meet our standards with necessary fonts, colour information, images and size before we proceed in creating a proof.
Press Check Customer approved pre-printed sample before the full print run.
Press Proof An approved copy of the final artwork including colours and text to be printed and to be used as reference while printing.
Print Order The order in which multiple ink colours will be printed.
Proof Stamp The information area on an outgoing proof that communicates important information to the customer. Such as, die size and print colours of the job. Also has legal disclaimers outlining final responsibility of approval.
Quiet Zone The space on the sides of a UPC or Bar Code. Our standard minimum is 6mm. See figure 2.1
Raster (see Bitmap) An image recorded by specifying the colour at each cell of a grid. An individual cell in the grid is called a pixel (short for “picture element”). Digital cameras and scanners produce raster image files
Registration The quality of alignment of the different coloured inks as they are applied to paper. If the inks can be seen to overlap improperly or to leave white gaps on the page, the printing is said to be “out of registration”, “poor register” or “mis-registration”).
Rep File Short for ‘step and repeat file.’ Exclusively used in the Art Department, it is the electronic file in which the artwork is duplicated according to the specification of the job. Runbars, crosshairs, swatches and the title bar are also included in this file.
Roll Direction The orientation in which the finished label comes off the roll. Exact specifications must be supplied when an order is placed to ensure trouble free application.
Round Bottom A style of stand-up pouch that has seals on both sides and around the bottom gusset. Also referred to as a Doyan Stand-up Pouch
Run Bars Helps registration of crosshairs which in flexographic press, accurately positions the printing of each colour station in the direction of the web travel. Stabilizer Bar: Part of the rep file a 1/32 of an inch bar running between rows on a printing plate. Designed to help stabilize the plate while printing.
Seal Area That header of a bag or stand-up pouch with a separate, more rigid material, placed between the front and back panels of the package where the entire area would be sealed except the die cut areas, and/or a region surrounding those areas.
Skirt That portion of a bag or stand-up pouch between the bottom seal and the bottom edge of the bag.
Spot colour Single colours applied to printing when process colour is not necessary (i.e. one, two and three colour printing), or when process colours need to be augmented (i.e. a fluorescent pink headline or a metallic tint).
Steel Rule Die A different style of cutting die. Steel Rule Dies are bent strips of metal mounted in wood as opposed to engraved metal cylinders. Also called flat bed die.
Swatches Small square patches of each printing colour placed outside the runbar. Used by press operators to monitor ink density. Title Bar: On a printing plate and in the electronic file used to create the printing plate, the area that includes the docket number, colour information, inch reference and swatches.
Tear Notch A small cut in the seal of a stand-up pouch, which allows the consumer to easily tear the stand-up pouch open.
Trapping Overlapping printed areas of different coloured inks to avoid the base material showing through.
Tritone A raster image that prints with three separate colours.
Truncated To reduce the height of a bar code without affecting the horizontal size.
Turn bars An arrangement of stationary bars on a flexographic press, which guide the web in such a manner that it is turned front to back, and will be printed on the reverse side by the printing units located subsequent to the turning bars.
UPC Acronym for Universal Product Code. A bar code symbology generally used in point-of-sale applications. See figure 2.1
Vector File is a mathematical description of an image rather than pixels. It is scalable to any size and will not lose any image quality. It is the generic name given to any graphic created in applications such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.
Vignette (also Gradient) A printed colour that slowly fades away or blends in to another colour.
W Fold A stand-up pouch that consists of two flat sheets seamed together along their sides, with a “W” fold running along the bottom and sealed to the tube wall with an upside-down U-shaped area. When the pouch is filled, the “W” (also called gusset) opens and provides a circular base on which the pouch can stand.
Wide Flange Zipper A resealable stand-up pouch produced with a plastic track in which two plastic components interlock to provide a mechanism that allows for releasability in a flexible package. Wide flange zipper provide increased gripping area to make star-up pouches easier to open.
X Die A virtual die used to set up the rep file for a film job.
Zipper A reclosable or resealable stand-up pouch produced with a plastic track in which two plastic components interlock to provide a mechanism that allows for releasability in a flexible package. Commonly referred to as a Ziploc.