Graphic Arts Industry Glossary
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Welcome to the Bindagraphics Printing Industry Glossary. Below you will find a extensive collection of binding, finishing, graphic arts, printing, and specialty packaging definitions. We will continue update this section much like the rest of our site with the most useful information about post press finishing and specialty packaging terminology available on the internet. Be sure to sign-up for our monthly Newsletter and E-info Feature Item of the Month.

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4-color process - Technique of printing that uses the four process colors of ink to simulate color photographs or illustrations.

A.S.T.M. - American Society for Testing Materials

Abrasion Resistance - The ability of ink or paper to withstand rubbing and scuffing.

Abrasion test - A test designed to determine the ability to withstand the effects of rubbing or scuffing.

Absorption - In paper, the property which causes it to take up liquid or vapors in contact with it. In optics, the partial suppression of light through a transparent or translucent material.

Accordion fold - Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.

Acetate - An overlay or strike sheet made with cellulose acetate plastic.

Acid-Free Paper - Paper manufactured with a controlled pH that is neutral or slightly alkaline.

Acrylic - A general chemical term of a particular family or thermoplastic resins based on acrylic acid and its derivatives. Most water-base coatings are made from acrylic polymers.

Acrylic Adhesive - These adhesives usually have high temperature resistance, high-grade UV resistance and great permanent bond strength.

Additives - Any ingredients, other than pulp, added to paper during the manufacturing process. Paper additives may include clay fillers, dies, organic materials, sizing or other chemicals.

Adhere - To bond; to cause two surfaces to be held together by adhesion.

Adhesion - The state in which two surfaces are held together by interfacial forces; measure of the strength with which one material sticks to another.

Adhesive Binding - Applying a glue or another, usually hot-melt substance, along the backbone edges of assembled, printed sheets. The book or magazine cover is applied directly on top of the tacky adhesive. (Alternative term - perfect binding)

Adjustable die - Made in a fashion so as to allow various size and shapes to be cut with a single die.

Adjustment wheel - To vary or control the function.

Against the Grain - Folding paper at right angles to the grain.

Agate line - A standard of measurement for depth of columns of advertising space. Fourteen agate lines make one column inch.

Age resistance or Shelf life - The resistance to deterioration by oxygen and ozone in the air, by heat and light, or by internal chemical action.

Agent - Alternate term for Artist's representative.

Air knife - A method of coating paperboard in which a nozzle the width of the paper machine distributes air to remove excess moisture and smooth the surface.

Airbrush - In artwork, a small pressure gun shaped like a pencil that sprays watercolor pigment. Used to correct and obtain tone or graduated tone effects. In platemaking, used with an abrasive-like pumice to remove spots or other unwanted areas. In electronic imaging, a retouching technique.

Alkali - Chemical agent, generally soluble in water, capable of neutralizing acids. Usually caustics; pH of 7 is neutral, up to 14 indicates degree of alkalinity base.

Alley - Space between columns of type on a page.

All-Rag Paper - Paper made from a pulp made of rags or short cotton fibers.

All-steel die - Made totally from steel.

Alteration - Change in copy or specifications made after production has begun.

Alterations - In composition, changes made in the copy after it has been set in type. Same word applied to changes in a die.

Amberlith (Brand Name) - A red or orange material for preparing art and dummies. Transparent to the eye but appears opaque to light sensitive materials.

Analine - See Flexographic Printing

Angle of Slip - The maximum angle before sliding that a weighted sled wrapped with paperboard can be tilted.

Anilox system - The application system commonly employed in flexograhic presses consisting of an elastomer-covered fountain roller running in the ink pan, adjustable against a contacting engraved metering roll, the two as a unit adjustable to the printing place roll, elastomer design roll or plain elastomer coating roll as the case may be. Coating is flooded into the engraved cells of the metering roll, excess doctored off by the wiping or squeezing action of the fountain roll or a doctor blade and that which remains beneath the surface of the metering roll is transferred to the printing plate.

Anodized Grommets - Non-tarnishing metal rings.

Anti-offset or set-off spray - In printing, dry spray of finely powdered starch used on press to prevent wet ink from transferring from the top of one sheet to the bottom of the next sheet.

Antioxidant - A substance which prevents or reduces the rate of oxidation due to exposure of the material to air or oxygen.

Antique finish - A term describing the surface, usually on book and cover papers, that has a natural rough finish.

Anti-Skid coating - A generally clear resin coating formulated and applied to large flexible packaging to retard slippage during the stacking and handling. Also referred to as non-skid and commonly used on beverage carriers and multi-wall bags.

Anvil - The press plate against which the die cuts.

Apochromatic - In photography, color-corrected lenses which focus the three colors, blue, green and red, in the same plane.

Applicator roll - Coating roll, print roll, tint roll, lacquer or varnish roll.

Aqueous Coating - A water-based coating applied on an offset press, as a final step in printing. Aqueous coating gives a dull, matte or gloss finish, and like varnish or UV coatings, protects the surface of the printed piece.

Art - All illustration copy used in preparing a job for printing.

Art bag - Contains all supplied or reproduced materials pertaining to a particular job in-house.

Artboard - All drawings, painting, photographs, special ruling, hand lettering, etc., supplied by customer or provided by art department.

Artist's representative - Person who handles marketing and other business matters for designers, illustrators, and photographers.

Artwork - Images, including type and photos, prepared for printing.

Ascender - That part of the letter which rises above the main body, as in "b".

ASCII - Acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a standard code used to help interface digital equipment.

Assembling - Collecting individual sheets or signatures in a complete set with pages in proper sequence and alignment. Assembling takes place prior to binding. (Alternative terms - collating, gathering, inserting)

Author's corrections - Also know as "AC's". Changed and additions in copy after it has been typeset.

Automatic press - Other than manually tripped or operated.