Term Glossary
A who's who of printing terms.

Sometimes we get caught up in our own printing jargon. If you've ever wondered what "C1S" or "Spot Color" mean, you've come to the right place. We want to understand you and part of that is having you understand what we're talking about. So go ahead, and get acquainted with some printing terms.

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Accordion Fold
Folding paper in two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion.

Aqueous Coating
Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath.


Printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off.

Blind Emboss
An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.


C1S and C2S
Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.

Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.

To organize separate sections of a document together in a specific order

Thick paper that protects a publication and advertises its title.

Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded document extending slightly beyond outside pages.

Crop Marks
Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet. Also known as trim marks.


Stamp (a design) into the surface of an object so that it is indented.

A specialized steel tool which is formed into a specific shape.

Die Cutting
The process of cutting paper in a desired shape or design by the use of a die.

DPI (Dots Per Inch)
A measure of resolution on a screen. Artwork should be a minimum of 300 DPI for a good quality print.


Pressing an image into paper so is creates a raised relief.

Encapsulated Post Script. This is a standard graphic file format often used in printing.


To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.

A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets used in foil stamping and foil embossing.

Foil Emboss
Using a die to stamp a thin foil image on paper and then embossing a pattern under it.

Foil Stamping
Impressing a thin foil image onto paper with a heated die.


Grey Scale
A range of gray shades from white to black, with the darkest areas of a piece of art being black and the lightest areas being white.


Half Up
Artwork one and a half times the size which it will be reproduced.


Knock Out
To mask out an image. Knocked out type would have no color behind the letters.

The adjustment of spacing between certain letter pairs, A and V for example, to obtain a more pleasing appearance.


Applying thin transparent plastic sheets to both sides of a sheet of paper, providing scuff resistance, waterproofing and extended use.

A document layout where the width is greater than the height. (the opposite of Portrait)

Space between lines of type.

Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces, usually type, to create the image. Also called block printing.

The addition of space between the letters of words to improve the appearance of a line.

A printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. The photographically prepared printing plate when being made is treated chemically so that the image will accept ink and reject water.

A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.


The non-printing areas of the page.

Matte Finish
Dull paper or ink finish.


The amount paper shows through on a printed sheet. The more opacity, the less show-through.


A sheet of paper has two sides. Each side is a page. A page is not multi-sided–it is always one side of a sheet. See SHEET for clarificaiton.

A well-known ink-matching system used in commercial printing.

Perfect Binding
A binding method where, after the printed sections having been collated, the spines are removed and the cover glued on.

A document layout where the height is greater than the width (opposite of Landscape).

A test print which is made to reveal errors and record how a job is intended to print when completed.


500 sheets of paper.

The quality of the digital image measured by pixels per inch or dots per inch (same thing). The fewer dots in the inch the less the quality. We recommend a minimum of 300 dots/pixels per inch on all art for all printing projects.


Saddle Stitching
To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine.

Sans Serif
A typeface that has no serifs (small strokes at the end of main stroke of the character). Ex: Arial

The percent which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to the correct size for printing.

A crease put on paper with a metal ruler to help it fold easily.

A typeface which has small cross strokes at the end of the main stroke of the letter. Ex: Times New Roman

Paper is produced in sheets. A blank piece of paper is a sheet. Not a page. See PAGE for clarification.

Spiral Bind
A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.

Spot Color
A spot color is an 'extra', or 'special' color that is used in addition to the CMYK four color process. The extra ink is added to its own roller on the printing press, so as to more accurately print certain colors that are hard to reproduce with CMYK inks. These spot colors are specified by Pantone colors.

Spot Varnish
Varnish used to highlight a specific part of the printed sheet.

A color sample.


Adding white to a solid color to achieve a lightened version of that color.

The cutting of the finished product to the correct size. Marks are incorporated on the printed sheet to show where the trimming is to be made.


A term used to describe how many similar pieces can be printed on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.

UV Coating
A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to printed material. Applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light.


Vector Graphics
A vector is a mathematically calculated method of plotting accurate lines and curves. Unlike bitmap images, it is resolution independent and allows graphics images to be enlarged to any size, without any loss of quality.


A translucent mark or image that is embossed during the papermaking process, or printed onto paper, which is visible when the paper is held up to the light.


Zip File
Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the internet.


4 Color Process
The process of combining four basic colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) to create a printed color picture or colors composed from the basic four colors. Also known as CMYK.

What Our Customers Think

"We have used Badgerland Printing for many years with great success. They are prompt, cost effective, and their customer service always meets our expectations. I highly recommend Badgerland for your printing needs."
- John Walton, President– Advanced Laser


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