Graphic Arts Industry Glossary
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M - Abbreviation for a quantity of 1000.

Machine coated - Paper which is coated one-or-two sides on a paper machine.

Machine die - Is commonly used in conjunction with a specifically designed press manufactured by concerns like Freeman, Western Supplies, etc. The die performs several functions, often in two stroke positions, in the machine. Usually, it re-trims, creases, perforates and sometime folds leather cloth parts and pockets and cuffs for clothing. Usually, the die is a patented form and requires a high degree of skill to make, utilizing a complete machine shop with metal-working equipment. A patent type of die used with specific machines, which may perform cutting, creasing, embossing and perforating in one stage.

Machine direction - Same as grain direction in paper.

Machine Finish - An uncoated paper with a smooth but not glossy finish.

Machine, cylinder - A type of paper and board making machine in which the web is formed by revolving wire-covered cylinders partially immersed in a vat of furnish (pulp and water). The web is built up to desired thickness by carrying the web on a felt over successive cylinders. The furnish in each cylinder vat may be varied to provide desired characteristics in the finished sheet.

Machine, fourdrinier - A type of paper and paperboard making machine on which the web is formed by depositing pulp furnish on a moving endless wire screen. The screen shakes as it travels, thus causing the pulp fibres to criss-cross and mat. Water is removed by gravity and suction. Caliper or basis weight of the paper or board is determined by the consistency and rate of feed of the furnish, and the length and travel of the screen.

Magenta - Hue of a subtractive primary and a 4-color process ink. It reflects or transmits blue and red light and absorbs green light.

Magenta screen - A dyed contact screen, used for making halftones.

Magnetic storage - Any disc, film, tape, drum or core that is used to store digital information.

Mailing service - Business specializing in addressing and mailing large quantities of printed pieces.

Makeover - In platemaking, a plate which is remade.

Make-ready - All activities required to set up a press before production begins. Also refers to paper used in the process.

Makeup - In composition, the arrangement of lines of type and illustrations into pages or sections of proper length.

Making order - Order for custom-made paper.

Mallet - A special hammer made of lead, leather, plastic, etc., to drive steel rule into a cutting die.

Mallet Die - Dies are still made to be hit with a mallet or maul. Even the ASTM (American Society of Technical Management) decrees that certain rubber testing samples be cut with a highly precise forged die as a uniform procedure. Since most of the companies involved in testing the rubber may have little or no need for die-cutting presses, such dies are attached to a solid steel stock which is both a handle and a striking stock. The end of the stock is stuck with a maul and the die cuts the rubber, giving the user a sample of material which can be used in a tensile tester, for instance. Other uses for mallet dies are for smaller shops making leather goods and for other labor-intensive trades which will not die-cut in any other form. These dies are also known as hand dies and chopping dies, since they are often used against a wooden cutting block, the same as a butcher would use. A simple form of cutting die is held in one hand while the other uses a maul to strike the top post of the die to cut the part.

Manila paper - Strong, buff-colored paper used to make envelopes and file folders.

Manual Press - Hand operated.

Maple - Often used in die boards. Usually white maple hardwood from Northern areas.

Maple block - Similar to "butcher block"; normally end grain.

Margin - The space on a page outside the printed text area.. The four margins are commonly designated as: 1) head or top; 2) fore edge, outer or outside; 3) tail or bottom; 4) back, inner, inside or gutter.

Mask - In color separation photography, an intermediate photographic negative or positive used in color correction. In offset lithography, opaque material used to protect open or selected areas of a printing plate during exposure.

Mask out - To cover selected copy or art so it will not appear on a negative or plate.

Masking material - Opaque material, often film, used in pasteup to outline photographs or in platemaking to withhold light from non-image areas.

Master - Paper or plastic offset printing plate. Also, paper plate for spirit duplicating.

Matchprint - Trade name for 3M integral color proof.

Matrix - The pattern or arrangement of removed material to allow for a pre-spaced concept of die cut parts. Also referred to as the skeleton, weed or waste.

Matte Film - Film used to produce a flat, non-glossy look.

Matte finish - Dull paper finish without gloss or luster.

Matte ink or varnish - Ink or varnish that appears dull when dry.

Matte print - Photoprint having a dull finish.

Mean - The arithmetic average of a group of numbers.

Measure - In composition, the width of type, usually expressed in picas.

Mechanical - A term for a camera-ready pasteup of artwork. It includes type, photos, line art, etc., all on one piece of artboard.

Mechanical artist - Alternate term for Production artist.

Mechanical Binding - Mechanical binding is a means of fastening sheets of paper together using metal or plastic attachments inserted through punched or drilled holes in the paper. Mechanical binding is the process of binding a book using methods such as cerlox, spiral wire, wire-o or plasticoil binding.

Mechanical press - Delivering a force by mechanical means.

Mechanical pulp - In papermaking, groundwork pulp produced by mechanically grinding logs or wood chips. It is used mainly for newsprint and as an ingredient of base stock for lower grade publication papers.

Mechanical separation - Mechanical prepared using a separate overlay for each color to be printed.

Mechanical swing arm press - Like clicker press.

Media conversion - Alternate term for Data conversion from one digital coding to another.

Medium format camera - Camera that makes 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 negatives.

Medium screen - Screen with ruling of 133 or 150 lines per inch.

Megabyte (MB) - One million bytes.

Memory - The willingness of material to return to its original size or shape after being stretched or distorted.

Menu - In electronic publishing, a method for selecting alternative functions displayed as a list on a workstation screen. Selection via mouse, key or sequence of keys.

Metal blanking die - Having a male and female section, with shearing action.

Metallic Inks - Inks containing metallic bronze or aluminum powders in a varnish base which produce the appearance of gold, silver, copper or bronze.

Metric system - A decimal system adopted by most countries for solid, liquid and distance measurements.

Mezzotint - The line conversion of a continuous tone photograph to imitate an etched pattern.

Micrometer - Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers.

Middle tones - Tones in a photograph or illustration about half as dark as its shadow areas and represented by dots between 30% and 70% of full size.

Migration - The process when materials from one substrate slowly move to another substrate. When die cutting soft adhesive the matrix usually needs to be removed before the PSA migrates back and rejoins itself in the areas it was previously cut.

Mike - To measure the thickness of a sheet of paper using a micrometer.

Mil - A unit of measure used to define paperboard thickness. One thousandth of an inch.

Mill swatch - Paper sample book provided by a mill.

Mimeograph bond - Highly absorbent paper made for the mimeograph method of printing.

Mimeograph paper - A paper with the toothy, absorbent surface required for mimeographing.

Mimeograph - Method of printing using a plastic stencil mounted on a rotating drum containing ink.

Miniature Folding - Miniature folding is commonly defined as any folding job with a panel size smaller than 2".

Mitre - To trim the ends of rule so that the cutting edge or bevels come together flush at a corner joint.

Mockup - Alternate term for Dummy.

Model release - Contract authorizing commercial use of a photograph that includes image of a recognizable person or private property.

Modem - (Modulator/DeModulator) A device that converts computer data into high-frequency signals or vice versa, for transmission over phone lines.

Moiré - Undesirable pattern in halftones and screen tints made with improperly aligned screens.

Moisture content - The water content of paper, usually defined in weight percent.

Molleton - In offset-lithography, a thick cotton fabric similar to flannel used on the dampening rollers of a press.

Monitor - A video screen on a workstation.

Monograph - A separate treatise or thesis on a single subject.

Montage - In artwork, several photographs combined to form a composite illustration.

Mortise - Trapping (overlapping) of two subjects along three or more sides.

Mottle - Spotty, uneven ink coverage especially noticeable in large solids.

Mounting board - Any thick, smooth piece of board paper used to paste up copy or mount photographs.

Mounting material - The carrier sheet for printing. Most pronounced in solid areas.

Mouse - A hand-held device that moves the cursor on a workstation by moving the device on a flat surface.

Mullen - Also stated as "pop" is the bursting film made by DuPont specially suited for stripping positives because of its mechanical strength and dimensional stability. Commonly used for die "strike sheets" or "overlays".

Mullen tester - A machine for testing the bursting strength of paper.

Multicolor printing - Printing done in more than one ink color.

Music bind - A binding style used for music which allows the material to open fully and lie flat.

Mylar - In offset preparation, a polyester film specially suited for stripping positives because of its mechanical strengths and dimensional stability. DuPont trade name for polyester film.

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