Buzzword Buster

A glossary for professional printers


Adobe's Portable Document Format, usually shortened to PDF.

Additive Colour System
Model for colours produced by light emitted from a source, as opposed to the subtractive colour system from reflected light. The additive primary colours are red, green and blue (RGB), which can produce any other colour.   Adhesive Binding
Type of thread-less binding in which the pages of a book are held together at the binding edge by glue - also referred to as perfect binding.   Against the Grain
At right angles to the grain - direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. Also called across the grain and cross grain.   Airbrush
Tool that delivers a fine spray of ink or paint to retouch photos and create continuous-tone illustrations.   Alteration
Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the printer.   AM screening
Amplitude Modulation screening - traditional screening method that turns a continuous tone image into a series of different sized dots. In AM screening the dots are spaced in a uniform pattern. See Stochastic Screening.   Aqueous Coating
Water-based coating to protect the printed image.   Artwork
All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, for printing.   A-sizes
Finished printing trimmed sizes in the ISO international paper size range. A0 - 841 x 1189mm A1 - 594 x 841mm A2 - 420 x 594mm A3 - 297 x 420mm A4 - 210 x 297mm A5 - 148 x 210mm A6 - 105 x 148mm B B Sizes
ISO international sizes intended primarily for posters and wall charts. B0 - 1000 x 1414mm B1 - 707 x 1000m B2 - 500 x 707mm B3 - 353 x 500mm B4 - 250 x 353mm B5 - 176 x 250mm   Beta Site
A test site for printing hardware and software - usually a company that has a strong relationship with the manufacturer.   Bind
To join the pages of a document together with either wire, glue or other means.   Bindery
A department within a printing company responsible for creating finished, saleable products.   Bit
The basic unit of digital information used in computing.   Bitmap
A grid of pixels or printed dots generated by computer to represent type and images.   Bitmap Image
A graphic image file comprising a fixed number of dots.   Bleed
Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.   Body
The main text of work not including the headlines.   Book Block
Folded signatures / book sections gathered, sewn and trimmed, but not yet covered.   Brightness
Paper brightness is measured by a light metre reading of the percentage of light reflected back from a sheet of paper.    

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