Printing Glossary of Terms

Pad. To bind by applying glue along one edge of a stack of sheets.

Page count.Total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers.

Pages per inch.Number of pages per inch of thickness of a bound publication. Each sheet has two pages.

Pagination. Assembly of type with other line copy into page format. When done by hand, this is makeup or pasteup; when done electronically, it is computer aided pagination (CAP).

Pallet. Wooden platform used as a base for loading and moving paper and printed products.

Paper distributor. Merchant selling paper wholesale to printers and other buyers of large quantities.

Paper dummy.Unprinted sample of a proposed printed piece trimmed, folded, and, if necessary, bound using paper specified for the job.

Parchment.Paper that simulates writing surfaces made from animal skins.

Parent sheet. Paper distributor term for sheet 17 x 22 or larger.

Paste bind. To bind by adhering sheets with glue along the fold of the spine.

Paste up.To adhere copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, overlays so it is assembled into a camera ready mechanical.

Pasteup. The process of pasting up. Also, alternate term for Mechanical.

Percentage wheel. Alternate term often used for Proportional scale.

Perfect bind.To bind sheets by trimming at the spine and gluing them to a paper cover

Perfecting press.. Press capable of printing both sides of the paper during a single pass.

Photocopy.Method of printing that transfers images electrostatically and creates them on paper with powder bonded by heat.

Photosensitive.Characteristic of paper, film, and printing plates coated with light-sensitive chemicals.

Photostat. Process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones. Often used as alternate term for PMT.

Picking.Undesirable phenomenon of bits of fiber or coating coming loose from paper during printing.

Pigment. Finely-ground particles giving color and opacity to ink.

Pinholes. Tiny holes in the emulsion of negatives or printing plates.

Pixel.Short for picture element, referring to a part of a dot made by a scanner or other digital device.

Plate. See Printing plate.

Plate cylinder.Cylinder of a press on which the printing plate is mounted.

Platemaker. In quick printing, process camera that makes plates automatically after photographing mechanicals. In commercial printing, machine used to expose plates from flats.

Platen press.A letterpress that opens and closes like a clamshell.

Plate-ready film.Alternate term for Flat.

Pleasing color.Color that is satisfactory even though it doesn't match original samples, scenes, or objects.

Plugged up.Undesirable characteristic of printing when ink fills in around halftone dots, causing loss of shadow detail.

PMS. Abbreviation for PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, a check standard trademark for color reproduction and color reproduction materials owned by Pantone, Inc.

PMT. Abbreviation for photomechanical transfer, a Kodak trade name for a process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones.

Point.In paper, unit of thickness equalling 1/1000 inch. In typesetting, unit of height equalling 1/72 inch.

Portfolio. Collection of best work by an artist, photographer, or designer for showing during meetings with prospective clients.

Position stat.Photocopy or PMT made to size and pasted to a mechanical showing how to crop, scale, and position loose art or photos.

Positive.Characteristic of an image on film or paper in which blacks in the original subject are black or opaque and whites in the original are white or clear.

PPI.Short for pages per inch.

Preparation.Camera work, stripping, platemaking, and other activities by a trade camera service or printer before press work begins. Also called prep.

Prepress.Alternate term for Preparation.

Preprint.To print work in advance to be ready for inserting or imprinting.

Press check.Event at which test sheets are examined before production run is authorized to begin.

Press proof.Proof made on press using the plates, paper, and ink specified for the job.

Press run.The number of pieces printed.

Press sheet.One sheet as it comes off the press.

Price break.Quantity level at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.

Printer.In printing trade, person who owns or manages print shop or runs printing press. In 4-color process printing, one of the separation negatives.

Printing.Any process that repeatedly transfers an image from a plate, die, negative, stencil, or electronic memory.

Printing plate.Surface carrying image to be printed.

Printing trade customs. See Trade customs.

Process blue. Alternate term for Cyan.

Process camera.Graphic arts camera used to photograph mechanicals and other camera-ready copy.

Process colors.The colors needed for 4-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan, and black.

Process inks.Inks in the four process colors.

Process printing.Alternate term for 4-color process painting.

Process red.Alternate term for Magenta.

Production artist.Person who does pasteup.

Prog. Short for Progressive proof.

Progressive proof.Press proof showing each color of a job separately or several colors in combination.

Proof.Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results, and record how a printing job is intended to appear.

Proof OK.Customer signature approving a proof and authorizing the job to advance to the next stage.

Proofread.To examine copy or a proof for errors in writing or composition.

Proof sheet.Photographer term for sheet of images made by contact printing negatives.

Proportional scale.Device used to calculate percent that an original image must be reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size.

Publish. To produce and sell or otherwise make available printed communication to the public.

Pulp. Mixture of wood and/or cotton fibers, chemicals, and water from which mills make paper.

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