ABSORPTION: Penetration of one substance into another.

AGAINST THE GRAIN: Folding paper at right angles to the grain of the paper.

ANILINE: Early name for rubber plate printing, using fast drying fluid ink. See Flexography

ARTWORK: Term usually used when referring to a sketch, comprehensive art, finished art, black and white or mechanical. Should be used only when referring to finished art.

AUTHOR’S ALTERATIONS: Changes made in original copy by customer after being type set or after the negative is made.

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BACKLOG: Reserve of orders to be manufactured

BAND: Strip of paper to group envelops in small lots (20’s – 25’s). Usually used for resale items.

BANK STYLE: Open side, diagonal seam style envelope used for sending out statements.

BANKERS FLAP: Open side, diagonal seam, die cut envelope with a deep high flap.

BAR CODE: Small vertical lines on face of envelope at bottom that are read by post office equipment to show city and state address.

BARONIAL: Open side, diagonal seam, and die cut envelope with a pointed flap. Used for stationary, greeting cards, and announcements.

BASIC SIZE: The size sheet determined by trade for figuring the basic weight on one ream. 17 x 22 for envelope paper.

BASIS WEIGHT: Weight in pounds of one ream paper (500 sheets) cut to basic size for a particular grade.

BENDAY: Method of laying a screen on artwork or plates for a flat tone.

BIND-IN: Any envelope for binding into a publication for subscriptions.

BLACK & WHITE: In art preparation, the individual elements of a mechanical, not necessarily in position.

BLADE CUT: Cutting knives or blades shaped for top and bottom flaps with extensions to form side flaps.

Also: Adjustable Die Cut

BLANK: Envelope form after die cutting but before folding

BLANKET: Sheet of rubber-coated fabric placed on the offset cylinder to receive ink from the plate and offset it to the sheet on the impression cylinder. Used in dry offset and lithography.

BLEED: Printed portion, which extends beyond edge of copy or off the edge of the envelope blank. Also one ink diffusing into another.

BLUE LINE: In lithography and dry offset, a print made from a positive and used as a proof.

BOOK PAPER: Used in the manufacture of magazines and books. Generally suitable for use in graphic arts. Basic sheet size is 25 x 38.

BOOKLET: Open side envelope with two side seams inside. Used for mailing booklets, folders and catalogs.

BOOKLET FLAP: Flap with deep shoulders tapering to round point at end. Used on standard size booklet envelopes.

BOND: Paper which combines strength and durability. Usually used for legal documents, letterheads and forms made only in sub. 13-24. Basic sheet 17 x 22.
1. Cotton Fiber made in 25-50-75-100%
2. Chemical wood made from wood fibers.

BOTTOM FLAP: Extends off bottom of face of envelope

BOX: Rigid container in which envelopes are placed before packing in cartons.

BRIGHTNESS: The degree of light reflected from the surface of paper.

BRISTOL: Heavy paper used for file cards, tickets, and covers. Basic sheet size 22-1/2 x 28-1/2.

BROKEN CARTON: Less than full carton.

BROWN KRAFT: Unbleached sulphate envelope paper supplying great strength. Color is golden brown and varies by paper manufacturer.

BULK: The degree of thickness of paper.

BULK PACK: Envelopes are packed directly into cartons. Boxes are not used.

BURSTING STRENGTH: Pounds of pressure, per square inch required to break paper. Usually done on Mullen tester.

BUSINESS REPLY: Form printed on face of return envelope. Combines address and postal permit.

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CALENDAR STACK: Rolls at end of paper machine through which paper passes to increase surface smoothness.

CALIPER:  Thickness of paper expressed in thousandth of an inch or points as measured with a paper micrometer.

CAMERA READY: Copy that is complete and ready to be photographed.

CARTON: Corrugated containers into which boxes or bulk packed envelopes are placed for shipment.

CATALOG: Open end, center seam envelope.

CENTER SEAM: Overlap which forms seam on back of envelope at center.

CLASP: Two pronged metal fasteners on back of envelope, which fits into reinforced hole in flap.

COATED PAPER: Paper having a surface coating which produces a smooth finish.

COATING: In Printing, an emulsion varnish, or lacquer applied to a printed surface to protect it.

COCKLE FINISH: Paper having uneven finish with ripples.

COIN: Open end, center seam die cut envelope small standard size.

COIN POCKET: Envelope with a separate pocket for containing coins.

COLD COMPOSITION: Composition in which no molten metal is used – typewriters, photocomposition, wood or metal hand type.

COLD TYPE: In composition, type set by a direct impression method or on a typewriter-composing machine. Also, can be used when referring to hand type or photocomposition.

COLLECT: Customer pays shipping charges direct to Transportation Company.

COLOR CHANGE: Change from one color of ink to another for same copy.

COLOR CORRECTION: Changes made to correct the rendition of a color.

COLOR KEY: Off-Press overlay color proofs.

COLOR SEPARATION: The separation of a color subject, artwork, or photographic transparency, into the component colors used in color printing: yellow, cyan, magenta, and black. The separation is made by color filters and record on separation negatives.

COLOR TRANSPARENCY: Full color positive image on transparent film rendered in natural colors.

COLORED WOVE: Machine finished, all chemical, bleached paper made in various colors.

COMMERCIAL: Small standard size open side envelope with diagonal seam, or two side seams.

COMPREHENSIVE ART: The elements of a design in a form more finished than a sketch: not used as camera-ready material.

CONDENSED TYPE: A narrow or slender typeface

CONTINUOUS TONE: Tonal graduation without use of halftone dots. An unscreened photographic image.

CO-PILOT: Lightweight wove paper used for airmail envelopes.

COPY: Any furnished material to be used in the production of printing.

COPY CHANGE: The changing of part or all of the copy in an envelope run.

CORNER CARD: Return address printed in upper left corner on face of envelope.

COTTON FIBER: A descriptive term applied to paper, which contains cellulose fibers, derived from raw cotton.

COUPON FLAP: Flap perforated to allow section to be torn away.

COVER PAPER: Heavy paper used for catalog and booklet covers. Basic sheet size is 20 x 26.

CURL: Tendency of envelope to roll at edges. Usually caused by moisture.

CUT FLUSH: Envelope without flap. Face and back are same height.

CUTTING: Process of die cutting envelopes from sheet of paper. Also, number of times an envelope can be placed on a particular sheet.

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DAMPENERS: Rollers on a lithographic press, which carry the fountain solution from the water fountain to press plate.

DAMPENING SOLUTION: Solution used on lithographic press to keep non-image areas of plate moist and keep it from accepting ink.

DECKLE EDGE: The untrimmed, featheredge of a sheet of paper.

DIAGONAL SEAMS: Two side flaps joined with back flap so that seams run diagonally on back of envelope.

DIE: Enclosed steel shaped tool used to cut paper to form envelopes.

DIE CUT: Envelopes that are cut with steel envelope die.


DOT: The individual element of a halftone.

DRIERS: Substance added to inks to hasten their drying.

DRUG: Small, open side, diagonal seam envelope used for packaging small articles.

DRY OFFSET: Printing from a relief plate transferring the image directly to the paper through pressure.

DUOTONE: Two-color halftone reproduction from a one color original.

DYE: A coloring material, which is soluble in a vehicle or solvent as opposed to a pigment, which is insoluble.

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EMBOSSED: Raised or depressed design pressed into surface of paper.

EVAPORATION: The drying of an ink when the vehicle passes off in a vapor.

EXPANSION: Envelope folded to allow for increase in size.

EXTENDED TAB: Short extension on back of envelope. Does not have seal flap.

EYELET: Metal ring used to reinforce a hole.

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FEATHERING: A ragged or feather edge, which shows along the edge of printed image.

FELT SIDE: Top side of paper not in contact with wire during manufacturing process. Usual side for printing and to form outside of envelope.

FILLER: Minerals used to improve the printing properties of paper.

FINISHED ART: Material ready to be photographed and used as part of a mechanical.

FIM: Facing identification marks at top of envelope for post office machines to read.

FIRST CLASS MAILER: Large open side or open end envelope printed with green diamond border.

FLAT TONES: Lithographed areas of dot formation containing a single tonal value.

FLATS: Die cut blanks used to make layout or to show style of envelope.

FLEXOGRAPHY: A form of printing, which uses polymer plates, rotary prepress and fast drying fluid inks to transfer the image directly to the paper.

FLOW: The ability of ink to spread into a thin film.

F.O.B.  Point at which title to goods pass.

FOLDING BOX: Collapsed box – also known as the knocked down box.

FONT: A complete assortment of type of one size and face.

FORMATION: Arrangement of the fibers in a sheet of paper. Irregular arrangement is “wild.” Uniform formation is close.

FORM ROLLER: The roller in the ink distribution system of a printing press that is in direct contact with the printing plate, or form, and transfers ink to it.

FOUNTAIN: the ink reservoir of a printing press. Also, in lithography the reservoir for the dampening solution.

FOUNTAIN SOLUTION: Same as dampening solution.

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GLASSINE: Supercalendered, semi-transparent paper used to patch window envelopes. Also used to make envelopes.

GLOVE: Open end, center seam envelope – medium standard sizes.

GRAIN: Direction in which fiber of paper runs.

GRANITE: Slightly tinted paper characterized by presence of colored fibers scattered throughout the sheet.

GRAVURE: Printing from a depressed surface. Image is etched below surface of plate.

GRAY KRAFT: Machine finish, bleached kraft colored gray.

GRIPPER MARGIN: In lithography, the lead edge of the sheet held by grippers of the printing press on which no part of image may be printed.

GREETING CARD: Open side diagonal seam die cut envelope with pointed flap; used for greeting card.

GUIDE: In lithography, press part, which allows registration by arresting and squaring sheet before being caught by grippers.

GUSSET: Accordion pleat in expansion envelopes.

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HALF PERIMETER: Sum of length plus width of envelope.

HALFTONE: A reproduction of a continuous tone with the image formed by dots of various sizes.

HAND FOLD: A reproduction of a continuous tone with the image formed by dots of various sizes.

HICKEY: Blemishes in the image area caused by specks of dirt, paper dust or hardened ink. Appears as a white area around a dark center.

HIGH FLAP: Style of open side diagonal seam die with shoulders on flap, cut high on back with wide seams.

HIGHLIGHT: The lightest part of a picture, represented by the finest dots or by the absence of all dots or lines.

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IMAGE: Any text material, line drawing, photograph, symbol, or dot made intentionally to communicate a message to be reproduced by any printing process.

IMAGE CARRIER: The surface that carries the image to be inked and printed. Can be relief, Plano graphic, or intaglio.

IMPRESSION CYLINDER: The cylinder on a rotary press that presses the paper against the plate or blanket containing the image.

INDICIA: Printed postal permit.

IN-LINE PRINTING: Printing is done on folding machine. Printing and folding complete in one operation.

INTAGLIO: See Gravure

INTER-OFFICE: Any style envelope printed with type and cross rules usually has holes punched. Used for inter-office correspondence.

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JOG: To straighten a pile of paper so all edges are in the same plane.

JUSTIFY: To space out lines uniformly to correct the length.

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LAYOUT: A drawing showing the position and size of an envelope on a sheet of paper.

LINE COPY: Any copy reproducible without using a halftone screen. Having no intermediate tones.

LINED ENVELOPES: Envelope lined with paper or foil.

LITHOGRAPHY: Printing from a Plano graphic plate, which transfers the image to a rubber blanket and offsets it to paper.

LO (LARGE OPEN): Machine used to fold large open side and open end envelopes.

LOGO (OR LOGOTYPE): Name of product or company in a special design used as a trademark.

LOWER CASE: The small letters in type, as distinguished from capital letters.

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M: Symbol used to indicate 1000 envelopes.

MAKE READY: The building up of the press form or plate so that the heavy and light areas print with the correct impression.

MAKE READY SAVER (MRS): Same style envelopes as high flap except flap has deeper shoulders. Designed to reduce make ready or set up time when printing folded envelops. Available only on 6-3/4, 9, or 10.

MANILA: Semi-bleached, all chemical sulphite paper in buff color.

MATTE FINISH: Dull finish without gloss or luster.

MECHANICAL: All the elements of a design in position and camera ready.

MIDDLE TONES: The tonal range between highlights and shadows in a photograph or a reproduction.

MO (MEDIUM OPEN): Machine used to fold medium open side and open end envelopes.

MONARCH: Open side, diagonal seam envelope with pointed flap. Made only in one size: 3-7/8 x 7-1/2.

MOTTLE: The spotty or uneven appearance of printing.

MULLEN TESTER: Machine used to test strength of paper. Used to express bursting strength.

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NEGATIVE: Photographic image on film where dark colors are transparent and light colors are opaque.

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ODD SIZE: Any non-standard size envelope.

OFF LINE PRINTING: Printing done as a separate operation from folding.

OFFSET: Term used when referring to printing by lithography.

OFFSET PAPER: Designed to be used in printing by lithography. Sizing is added to resist moisture and surface is treated to resist picking.

OPACITY: The property of paper, which makes it less transparent. Minimizes the show through of printing to the backside. Also, the ability of an ink, which prevents the transmission of light through the ink film.

OPEN END (OE): One of two basic types of envelopes; open on short side.

OVERLAY: Transparent materials on artwork or mechanical indicating color separation and corrections.

OVERPRINT: Printing one impression over another. Also, additional printing added to an already printed product.

OVERRUN: Quantity manufactured in excess of the quantity ordered.

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PACKING LIST: Form attached to shipment indicating what was shipped, how much was shipped, and who shipped the goods.

PALLET: Two layered wood platform, which tow runners between top and bottom used for storing or shipping material.

PANEL CUTTER: Rotary cutting die mounted on folding machine to cut panel for window or open face envelopes.

PERFECTING: Process, which prints both sides of paper on a single pass through the printing press.

PICA: Printers unit of measurement used in measuring lines. One pica equals 1/6 of an inch.

PIGMENT: The fine solid particles used to give color to printing inks. Usually insoluble in vehicle or water.

PLANO GRAPHIC: Image is on same plane as non-image areas.

PLATE: Any image transfer medium except a type form.

PLATE CYLINDER: The cylinder on a rotary press to which the printing plate is attached.

PLATEN PRESS: Older printing process which transfers image by bringing two flat surfaces together. One holds the stock and the other the printing surface.

POCKET: Distance between flap score line or top edge of envelope and top of bottom flap or side seam.

POINT: Unit of measurement for designation of type sizes. Also, term used to express thickness of a sheet of paper in one-thousandths of an inch.

POINTED FLAP: Flap with sharp or slightly rounded point at end.

POLICY: Open end, center seam envelopes – medium standard sizes.

POLICY JACKET: Open-end envelope without flap. Usually has a thumb cut in face. Can be center seam or side and bottom seam style. Typically used to hold an insurance policy.

POSITIVE: Photographic image on paper or film in black and white, which corresponds to the original copy. Reverse of negative.

PREPAID: Freight term used when shipping charges are included in price and paid to destination by shipper.

PREPAID & CHARGE: Freight term used when shipping charges are paid to destination by the shipper and invoiced to the customer.

PROOF: Samples of copy made from type, plates, negatives, or positives. Used to check internally or to customer for correction or approval before printing.

PROOF (PASTE UP): Proof pasted on folded envelope.

PROOF (PRESS): Color proof taken on production printing press rather than on a proof press.

PULP: Mixture of cellulose, water and chemicals. Basic ingredient used in paper manufacture.

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RA: High-speed folding machine for open side, die cut envelopes. Will panel cut, patch, print and fold.

REAM: Unit of measure for sheet stock paper. 500 sheets of paper = 1 Ream.

REGISTER: Two or more parts of copy in exact alignment.

REGULAR FLAP: Similar to high flap and standard square flap except shoulders are smaller and rounded point at end.

RELIEF: Image to be printed is higher than non-Image area of plate. Transfers image by mechanical process.

REPROS: High quality glossy reproductions made from original form or photographically.

REVERSE: Image is white (or colorable paper) and background is black (or colorable ink). Ink outlines image; does not form it.

REVERSE FLAP: When the printing of the envelope is oriented so that the flap is at the bottom of the envelope for normal usage.

RH (ROTARY HIGH SPEED): Folding machine for open side envelopes. Will print and fold envelope.

ROTARY PRESS: Plate and impression cylinders are on rotary cylinders.

ROUND FLAPS: Flap without shoulders and curved on sides and round at ends.

RUBBER PLATES: Molded from Bakelite matrix. Transfers image directly to paper. Once used in letterpress and flexography, photopolymer materials have replaced this material.

RW: Older envelope folding machines for open side, window, or open face die cut envelopes. Panel cuts and runs at high speeds. Will punch and patch window, print and fold envelopes.

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SAFETY FOLD: Part of body of envelope folded to form part of top or bottom flap completely closing corners.

SAMPLE: Finished product.

SANS SERIF: Without serif.

SCARF: Open end, center seam, envelope; medium standard sizes.

SCORE: Impression made on envelope blank by rotary knife or sharpened disk to aid in folding. Top, bottom and side flaps are folded on score marks to form envelopes.

SCREEN: Glass or film with cross-ruled opaque lines used to reproduce continuous tone artwork. Expressed in number of lines to the inch.

SCREEN RULING: Number of lines per inch on a contact screen or ruled glass halftone screen.

SEAL FLAP: Extends off top of face of envelope. Usually gummed at end. Sealed by user.

SEAM: Overlap of one flap on another.  Used to apply adhesive.  Four types are used; diagonal seam, two side seam, center seam and side and bottom seam.

SELF-SEAL:  Latex pressure sensitive adhesive.  Applied with one or two strips on flap and on back of envelope.  Can be used on open side and open end envelopes.

SERIF:  Short cross line at the ends of letter.

SHOULDER:  Distance between flap score line and start of flap taper.

SHOW THROUGH:  Printing on one side of paper, which can be seen from the opposite side.

SIDE FLAP:  Extends off each side of face of envelopes and is sealed to bottom flap to form back of envelope.

SIZING:  A material added to surface of paper to be printed by lithography to seal the surface against ink and water penetration.  Internal sizing used to bond fibers of paper together.

SKETCH:  The elements of a design in its roughest form.

SKID:  Wood platform with two runners used for storing or moving material.

SO (SMALL OPEN END):  Machine used to fold small open end envelopes.

SOLID:  100% ink coverage of a given area.

SPECIAL SHEETS:  Sheets of paper bought or sheeted for a particular envelope job.

SPECIAL WINDOW:  Any window size or position not standard.

SPLIT SEAL:  Seal flap gum split where flap overlaps diagonal seams.  Applied on envelopes to be used on inserting machines to avoid tacking.

SQUARE FLAP:  Flap straight across end, no taper.  Covers of flap may be square on rounded envelope size shown in price list or size used by industry as designated by trade customs.

STANDARD WINDOW:  Window size and position designated to fit most letterheads and invoices.

STEP AND REPEAT:  A procedure, which provides a series of image frames in a predetermined pattern directly onto a plate.

STOCK FURNISHED:  Customer supplies paper to be made into envelopes.

STOCK SHEETS:  Various size sheets of paper carried as regular items.

STRING & BUTTON:  Fastener with one paper button on flap and one on envelope.  Button flap has a sting attached.

STRIPPING:  In lithography, the placing of negatives or positives in a goldenrod flat prior to plate making.  In photoengraving, removing developed film from supporting base before negative assembly.

SUBSTANCE:  Term used to express weight of any paper 17 x 22 basic sheet.

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TAB:  Short extension off face or back of envelope.

TACK:  The property of cohesion between particles on ink.

TEXT PAPER: A term applied to paper used for booklets, advertising, and programs.

THROAT:  Same as pocket.

THUMB CUT:  Small rounded cutouts in top of envelope.  Three types are used; through face and back, through face or through back.  Usually used in envelopes without a seal flap.

TINT:  Solid color or overall design printed on inside of envelope to increase opacity.  Also, can be used on outside of envelope to enhance copy.

TINT BLOCK:  A solid of screened plate used in printing solids or tints.

TONAL VALUE:  Percentage of an area covered by halftone dots.

TWO SIDE SEAMS:  Envelope with two small side flaps.

TWO WAY MAILER:  Envelope, which combines message or statement with outgoing and return envelope.

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UNDER RUN:  Quantity manufactured is less than quantity ordered.

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VELLUM:  Eggshell like finish on paper.

VEHICLE:  The fluid part of printing ink, which acts as a carrier for the pigment.

VIGNETTE:  An illustration in which the background fades gradually away until it blends into the unprinted paper.

VISCOSITY:  In printing inks, a broad tern encompassing the properties of tack and flow.

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W & D (WINKLER & DUNNEBIER):  German manufacturer of printing and folding machines.

WALLET FLAP:  Straight across end.  When folded extends more than one-half way down back envelope.

WARP:  Curling of envelope.  Usually caused by moisture.

WASTE:  Envelopes spoiled during manufacturing.  Or that part of a sheet of paper not cut into envelopes.

WATERMARK:  A translucent marking made in paper while wet for purposes of identification of the paper.  Pressed into paper by Dandy roll.

WEB:  The continuous sheet or roll of paper fed into a printing press or envelope folding machine.

WET STRENGTH:  A special property imparted to paper by the addition of melamine resins, which may in use be subjected to excessive moisture.

WHITE WOVE:  Paper made from bleached, chemical pulp.  Combines bulk, opacity and smooth finish.

WINDOW DIE:  Enclosed steel die, sharpened on one edge, used to cut panel for window or open face envelopes.

WIRE SIDE:  The side of a sheet of paper which comes in contact with the Fourdrinier wire of the paper machine during manufacturing.  Usually used for inside of envelope.

WORK AND TURN:  To print one side of a sheet of paper then turn it over from left to right and print the second side.  The same gripper is used for both sides.

WORK AND TUMBLE:  To print one side of a sheet of paper, then turn the sheet over from gripper to back using the same side guide and print the second side.

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