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Glossary of Printing Terminology


One side coated and two side coated papers and boards

Computer-aided design (or drawing), a system of precision drawing on a computer typically employed by architects and engineers. Examples of CAD programs include AutoCAD and TurboCAD.

An area of computer memory which literally remembers the last thing you did- save a file, run program, apply a special affect, or whatever. This way if you need to repeat the task, it does so at high speed the second time around.

Calendared Paper
Subjected to smoothing and polishing between stacks of highly polished steam heated rollers (calendars), which can form part of the dry end of the papermachine, but there are other forms of calendaring performed away from the papermaking machine.

The process of adjusting the capabilities of a digital colour device to match accurate values.

Carbon Cycle
After use and recycling, wood based products such as paper decompose, releasing carbon dioxide. New forests established in place of those cut down remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon Dioxide
One of the best gases in the atmosphere produced by animals and needed by plants for assimilation. Cellulose is formed from carbon dioxide and water. The use of fossil fuels raises the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; carbon dioxide is the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect and thus to the unwanted rise in atmospheric temperature.

This consists of two sheets of paper (also know as NCR); the underside of the top sheet (designated CB, coated back) is coated with colourless dye in minute gelatine capsules; the underneath sheet (CF, coated front) is coated with a reactive chemical which turns blue or black when mixed with the colourless dye. Pressure from a pen or printer on the top sheet causes the gelatine capsules to break, the dye and chemical then mix and the blue or black copy appears on the bottom sheet. There is also an intermediate paper CFB, coated front and back), used between the top and bottom sheets to make multi-part sets. Some types of carbonless paper are not separately coated but incorporate both [arts of the dye mechanism within the one sheet.

Cartridge Paper
Slightly rough coated or uncoated printing surfaced paper used for a variety of graphic purposes such as envelopes; generally noted for good dimensional stability, high opacity and good bulk. The name comes from the original use for the paper, which was forming the tube section of a shotgun shell.

Cast Coating
A method of drying coated paper by contact of the freshly coated surface with highly polished chromium plated heated metal surface. Cast coated papers or boards have an extremely high gloss finish for top quality printing. The finish is obtained by the coating mix solidifying while in contact with the polished surface, resulting in the surface of the paper or board possessing the mirror like quality of the surface on which it is dried.

An ingredient added to an ink formulation to bring about a chemical reaction between other ingredients. Usually only a small proportion is sufficient.

Catch Up
Traces of printing ink that temporarily adhere, during no printing; to the non-image area of the plate due to its inability repel ink.

Charged Coupled Device. An integrated circuit used to convert light into an electronic signal.

Central Impression
A printing machine in which the printing units are placed around a single common compression cylinder.

Any product that is first shaped and then hardened by means of heat. Ceramic coated rollers, with or without engraved surfaces, are alternatives to more commonly used chromium plated anilox rollers used in flexographic printing.

Chain of Custody
Allows open transparency in tracking and tracing forest products along the supply chain from the forest to the end user. Third party environmental audits are carried out by organisations such as FSC and PEFC to endorse Chain of Custody certificates.

Chain Welts
Defect in reels due to variations in thickness across the width, resulting in the slack areas that assume a chain like pattern around the periphery of the reel.

The ready removal, in the form of a powder, of an insufficiently bound layer of pigment on the paper surface resulting from the absorption into the paper of too high a proportion of the vehicle of an ink.

Chemical Pulp
Fibre pulp made by means of chemicals that dissolve the bonding agent- lignin- in the wood. The chemical pulping process produces all the energy it needs through burning the dissolved wood constituents and recovering and regenerating the pulping chemicals.

Chip Board
A cheap board grade usually manufactured from the lower grades of waste paper.

The degree of colour saturation according to The Munsell System.

Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (International Commission of Illumination), an international standards organisation for colorimetry and related measurements.

The 1976 CIE color space transformation with the dimensions L*, a*, and b*, in which equal distances in the space represents approximately equal colour differences.

Cooperation for the Integration of Prepress Press & Postpress. The organisation that developed the PPF (Print Production Format), a data standard to control devices, used in print production.

The successor of CIP 3, develops the Job Definition Format (JDF), the data standard for electronic ‘Job Bags’.

Clean Edge
Refers to a very fine perf line that stimulates the effect of a guillotine cut edge. (also known as microperf)

Clear Cutting
A method of regeneration in which all trees in a given area are felled. Such forest is regenerated.

Climax Mature
Stage of a forest during which biodiversity is great but net wood production small.

Clipping Path
A vector path embedded into a bitmap image, or applied to an image after placing it onto a page layout, which acts as an irregularly shaped outline for that image, so creating a cut-out.

Closed Circulation
A concept for pulp mills, the aim being to recycle and recover the waste bleaching waters. The dissolved components and recovered and do not either the effluent.

Short for the subtractive primary colours of commercial printing: cyanmagentayellow and black. Standard process colours in full colour printing.

Coated Paper or Board Material
coated on one or both sides with a mixture of china clay, latex and other loadings to fill up surface pits and improve the printing surface. There are variety of coating methods including roll coating, blade coating, air knife coating and brush coating, or combinations of there types. A very high quality form of off machine coating is cast coating.

Coating (Mineral)
The application of a layer of minerals applied to one or both sides of paper or board to improve brightness, gloss and printability; the mineral most often used is china clay (hydrated aluminium silicate), but calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide are also used; the coating is held together and stuck to the paper by a binder.

Coat Weight
The amount of coating on a base expressed as dry weight on a given are in grams per square metre (g/m2).

Cobi-Flex (Multi-Flex)
Small, 1/8” wide, strips of shelf adhesive tape that holds together the several parts of a multipart continuous form. The tapes are fed through sprocket holes in the continuous set, with these sprocket holes marginally larger than the standard sprocket hole.

Local deformation of a sheet of paper due to unequal shrinkage giving it a slightly crumpled appearance.

Cold Set Web
printing in which the ink is allowed to dry by penetration on an absorbent paper without heat.

Collected Household Paper
Waste paper collected from households, largely consisting of newspapers.

A Planographic printing process capable of producing high fidelity continuous tone colour reproductions, i.e. no screen is used in producing the negatives from which the plates are prepared.

An optical measuring instrument designed to respond to colour in a manner similar to the human eye for a given light source.

Colour Correction
Method used to improve the reproduction of the colour original.

Colour Management
The process of matching colours and keeping them visually consistent between devices which have different colour capabilities. System used for calibrating machines to ensure accurate colour rendering throughout the workflow. See our blog: colour management in printing

Colour Model
A definition of colour by a scale of numerically specified attributes.

Colour Separation
Dividing a continuous tone colour image into four process colours (CMYK) negatives.

Colour Space
A three-dimensional geometric representation of the colours in a certain colour model.

Colour Sync
The built-in colour management architecture in the Mac OS.

A line of printing or spaces that run down the length of a form.

Combination Plate
In flexographic printing, using the same plate to print halftones or screen tints and solid linear text copy.

Combined De-inking
De-inking process combining flotation and washing; also known as flotation de-inking, washing de-inking.

Commercial Felling
Cutting wood for the market, i.e. wood for processing or burning for both industry and export.

Reducing the size of computer files using special data encoding techniques. Some file formats have compression built-in, such as TIFF, JPEG and PDF.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing
A process of using computers to streamline the workflow.

Computer To Plate (CTP)
Process in which printing plates are imaged from a digital file instead of using film.

Conditioned Paper
Paper that has been treated, at the mill or at the point of use, to adjust the moisture content to what is considered to be an optimum level for flatness and stability.

Continuous Stationary
A grade widely used on modern high speed accounting machines. The paper is supplied in reel form and along with the printing process many finishing techniques can be used, such as perforation and special folds. A particular use is for invoices, statements and similar documents, when it is normally fan folded.

Continuous Tone
An image in which tonal graduation is produced by changes in density.

Unsuitable material found in the components of a paper furnish, which must be removed from the pulp stock before making it into paper- for example paperclips, string, plastics, or shives.

A company that specialises in sheeting, re-reeling or changing the format of reels and sheets of paper and board into packaging or finished goods for sale to the trade or public.

Copier Paper
Lightweight grade of good quality, used for copying correspondence and documents. May be glazed or unglazed. Most copier papers are laser compatible and special grades are made for colour copying.

The tube on which material is wound. Usually cardboard, but may be plastic or metal.

Corrugated Fibreboard
Board consisting of one or more sheets of fluted paper stuck to a flat sheet of paper or between several sheets.

The following are the main classifications:
Single face corrugated fibreboard: Board consisting of one sheet of fluted paper stuck to one sheet of facing.
Single wall corrugated fibreboard (also known as double faced): Board consisting of one sheet of fluted paper interposed between, and stuck to, two facings.
Double wall corrugated fibreboard (also know as double-double faced): Board consisting of two sheets of fluted paper interposed between, and stuck to, three facings
Triple wall corrugated fibreboard: Board consisting of three sheets of fluted paper interposed between, and stuck to, four facings.

Cover Papers and Boards
A range of different grades that may be plain, embossed or coated and offer a very wide range of materials for printing and design. These grades may also be made into two ply or three ply papers for special cover work. Many cover papers are characterised by strength, flexibility and durability.

Where an indent is made in paper to try and stop it cracking when folded.

The normal device used in continuous multi-part forms for holding each part of the set together. The crimp is a physical interleaving of each leaf of paper that will sperate easily when pulled apart.

Critical Load
Highest pollutant load that in the long term does not damage essential characteristics in an ecosystem.

Cross Perf
A line of perforations running across the width of a continuous form, at both the head and the foot of the form, or sometimes in the middle of the form.

Cold set web offset. See Cold set.

See computer to plate.

The inducement of a chemical interaction within a material (e.g. an ink or adhesive) usually involving molecular cross linking, resulting in a change of the properties of the material usually hardening.

Sheet distortion leading to a tendency to roll up.

Cut Set
A multi-part business form, which is cut to a precisely required size and in an individual set (ie not continuous). (Also known as unit set; a snap apart set is a particular type of cut set.)

Cutting Ahead
Operation of slitting and cutting watermarked paper without regard to where the design falls in each sheet. The design (s) may fall in different places in successive sheets and some may be cut.

Cutting to Register
Operation of slitting and cutting watermarked paper so that the watermark design falls in a given position in every sheet.