The Wells & Drew Printing Dictionary – A



AAAA: American Association of Advertising Agencies

AA: an abbreviation for author’s alternations. When a customer sends an art file to a printer, then request changes this is an author alteration and printers charge for this. Also see PE’s (printer errors).

A/D converter: analog to digital converter. A device that converts a continuous analog signal into digital signals

Absorption: when the paper being printed on absorbs the ink that is being printed.

Absorption rate: the rate in which a paper can absorb or repel ink.

Abrasion resistance: measure of a paper’s durability when subject to abrasive action of erasers.

Abrasiveness: property of paper causing it to scratch surfaces it contacts.

A/B problem: when differences occur between odd and even prints or signatures on web press equipped with the blanket cylinders that are twice the diameter of the plate cylinder.

Ablation: imaging digital proofs or CTP plates by vaporizing small amounts of materials, usually with thermal laser. Can also refer to writing data to optical memory with a laser which burns holes into a then metal film.

Abort: the computer command that instructs the computer to abandon the current program.

Abrasion: the wearing away of a sheet of paper through the scratching or wearing of the paper with another object.

Abrasion marks: photographic print or film the incurs scratches/streaks due to the developer.

Absorbency: the amount of ink a paper can absorb. Also see absorbtion.

Accordion fold: a term used in binding for two or more parallel folds that open just like an accordion.Also refer to as fan fold.

Acetate: a base for stripping films or a clear plastic sheets us to prepare overlays.

Acetone: a type of solvent used in gravure inks to accelerate drying.

Acetic Acid: the ingredient used in a stop bath, an acidic processing solution that neutralizes the developing solution remaining on a photographic material.

Accelerated aging test: a technique used to estimate the permanence of paper by exposing heat and moisture.

Achromatic: a lens for black and white photography, or without hue or color.

Acid: a dampening solution ingredient used in lithography that enables Arabic to bind to the blank section of the plate.

Acid Paper: is a paper containing Alum, its non permanent and contains a ph level lower than 7.0

Acid free paper: this paper contains a basic or neutral ph level of 7.0 (or slightly higher).Unlike acid paper this acid free paper is made for longevivity and is often used for official documents, for the legal, historical or a document of significant value.

Acid resist: is a protectant coating used in the making of metal plates, that will resist the effects of etching by the acid for plate making.

Acid stop bath: when making paper prints, positives, negatives or films and acetic acid photographic solution (referred to as a acid stop bath) is used to stop the development process.

Acidity: the ph measurement of lithographic fountain solution.

Acid proof: also known as acid resist, is a material that resists contact with or immersion in acid.

Acrobat: Adobes software for portable document format. Also known as a pdf.

Across grain: refers to going across the grain direction in paper. Also see grain direction.

Acrylic ink: an ink in used in screen printing that contains acrylic polymers and is used to print on plastics or materials that will be exposed to outdoor conditions.

Actual basis weight: the basis weight of paper measured under its current environmental conditions. The weight can vary because of manufacturing variations. Also see basis weight.

Actual weight: weight of a given quantity of paper, which is different from the same paper’s nominal weight.

Acutance: measurement of the sharpness of the edge of a printed shape against the background color.

Adding machine paper: paper in a roll form for use on adding and tabulating machines. Weight: 16 to 18 lbs. 17″ x 22″/500 sheets.

Addition agent: in gravure, a material used in small quantities for plating solution.

Additive: in printing ,any substance added to ink, paper or dampening solutions to improve the flow or workability or suppress certain properties.

Additive primaries: highly saturated green, red or blue lights that when mixed together can produce any color. Also see subtractive primaries.

Additives: ingredients added to printing ink to give it special properties or characteristics.

Additivity failure: ink on paper printing condition where the total density of the overprinted ink films is not equal to the sum of the individual ink densities’ that form the over print.

Adhering: attaching indirect film to the screen fabric in screen printing.

Adhesion: the measure in which one material stick to another

Adhesion test: a variety of methods used to test the bonding of an ink coating.

Adhesives: glues that bind paper ingredients together

Adhesive binding: to join the pages of a book, forming the backbone. Normally the process of adhesive used is a hot melt.

Adhesive bleed: adhesive that penetrates from pressure sensitive stock before or after processing the finished product.

Adhesivecoated paper: paper coated on one side with an adhesive that is activated by moistening or heating. For pressure sensitive stocks the paper can be permanently tacky on the coated side.

Adobe Acrobat: See Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat Distiller: software that converts postscript language pages into pdf files.

Adobe Type Manager: adobe software that eliminates rough or jagged edges on screen fonts and allows laser printers to reproduce postscript fonts accurately and clearly.

Additive Litho Plate: a substance is added to a plate surface in order to develop the image

Aesthetic: the qualities having to do with the beauty of a printed image.

AF & PA: American Forest & Paper Association. they represent member companies which grow, harvest and process wood and wood fiber manufacture pulp, paper and paperboard products from both virgin and recovered fiber and produce solid wood products in the United States.

After tack: in printing the tack that forms after an ink is expected to dry or after heat drying

Against the grain: cutting or folding paper in right angles to the grain direction of the paper.

Agate: the agate is used to measure the depth in newspaper advertising.

Agate marble paper: paper used as end papers in books.

Age: a litho etch made from asphaltum, gum Arabic and acid. The asphalt enables the ink to stick the image area, and the gum and acid keep the non-image area clean.

AICC: Association of Independent Corrugated Converters, an organization of small to medium size corrugated converters.

AIMCAL: Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminator. An international trade organization serving converters.

Aimpoints: the highlight, shadow and midtone areas of an original.

Air: in a printed page, the white space around the image area

Air cushion drum: in printing the part that supports the sheet on a cushion of air to so that the ink will not smear on the press sheet.

Air bars: a part of the printing press which secures the press sheets to the impression cylinder.

Air blast nozzles: a part of the sheet separation unit the forces air to separate the top sheets from the file.

Air eraser: a hand-held device that removes unwanted images from a lithographic plates by sand blasting

Air dried paper – the process of air-drying, paper is dried on the paper machine and reeled as a damp roll. The presitgous appearance of high grade bonds and ledger papers is the product of air drying.

Air drying inks: inks that dry with air used in sheetfed printing,these inks are vegetable based inks.

Air jets: in printing the compressed air flowing through drying mechanism used to dry the freshly printed image to accelerate the drying process.

Air knife: a device using heated air the helps dry aqueous coatings applied on a sheetfed press.

Air knife coater: a device that applies an excess coating to paper and them removes the surplus by imprinting a jet of air upon the fluid coating,leaving a film on the paper.

Air pull: in screen printing coating the screen with ink without making an impression on the substrate.

Air shaft: a specialty roller in a roll stand of a web press, that uses grippers to hold the core of the roll of paper.

Air table: in a bed of a guillotine cutter bed equipped with very small air holes that create air between the table and the stack of paper,redcucing the friction allowing the paper to move with ease.

Alum: an astringent crystalline substance used in rosin sizing to hold paper fibers together; responsible for introducing acid into paper

Albumen plate: offset printing plate coated with light-sensitive albumen. Image is formed by the action of light through a photographic image.

Album paper: a blank cover paper and used for making photographic albums.

Album binding: to bind a document on the short side of a page instead of the normal binding on the upright long side of the paper.

Albumin: a sensitive coating in lithographic plates

Alcohol: an organic solvent used in flexographic inks,is also added to dampening solution of a lithographic press

Alcohol isopropyl: used in lithographic printing as a dampening solution to reduce the tension of water.

Alcohol percentage: the measurement of alcohol in relation to the amount of water in the dampening solution.

Alcohol free fountain solution: an alcohol free fountain solution used in a lithographic printing press

Alignment: in typesetting alignment means the even measurement of the top or bottom of a font.

Alkali blue: is a blue pigment used in lithorgraphic varnish and used as a toner for carbon black inks.

Alkali removable resists: inks that can be wiped off with alkaline solution after drying.

Alkali paper: this paper is made at a ph level higher than 7. This paper is of highest quality making it ideal for archival paper and legal documents because of its longevity.Also see archival paper.

Alkali proof: paper that can resist alkali substance.Paper often used is waxed and glassine .

Alley: the space between copy,often referred to as a gutter,margins or columns.

Alignment marks: preprinted mark on a form used to assist the user in positioning the form so that entries are accurately positioned.

Alpha pulp: wood pulp refined with exceptional paper making properties: high chemical purity, high brightness, great permanence and high resiliency.

Aluminum-coated board: board coated with aluminum foil.

American Paper Institute (API): an organization for the paper and paperboard industry.

Ammonium biflouride: a chemical used while working with lithographic plates be used as a chemical graining agent.

Amplitude-modulated screening: in printing the process os screening in which the numbers of dots remain consistent creating the illusion that its one solid tone.

Analytical method: the process of finding the ingredients in paper.

Anastigmat: a photographic lens that prevent imperfect or blurred image from occurring.

Angle squeegee: a squeege blade is used in screen printing.Its the angle formed by the face of the squeegee blade in the going in the direction of the printing.

Aninline dyes: a dye coloring made from coal-tar derivatives.

Aniline printing: letterpress printing process in which the ink contains rapidly evaporating solvents. Printing plates for this process are ordinarily made from rubber.

Anilox: an Interchemical corporation trademark used in the 1930’s to assign the aniline process of printing.Anilox eventually became flexo.

Anilox hand proofer: a engraved cylinder in a hand held mechanism that is used to print test strips.

Anilox roll: the metering roll on a flexographic press,which distributes a predetermined amount of ink to the printing plates.

Anilox system: the most common inking system used on a flexographic presses

Animal size: the glue and gelatin extracted from animal hides.

Anodized plate: refers to a speciality protected lithographic plate ,that is protected by electrical discharge.Which makes the plate have a longer run time.

Aperture: in screen printing,the open space between the threads in the fabric.

Aperture Percentage: refers to the area of the fabric in screen printing which ink can pass through.

Apparent density: weight per unit volume

Appearance properties: in paper ,describes the color,gloss or brightness.

Applicator roll: the cylinder used to spread lacquer,varnish or coating

Apron: in bindery,the blank space at the edge of the sheet to be folded without touching the copy.

Antique finish: in paper,a term used to describe a rougher than normal finish.The color is usual a creme.

Antifoaming agent: in offset printing,an additive that disperces bubbles that could form in dampening solution.

Announcements: A folded card,note card with matching envelopes used for social stationery and announcements.Also widely used by companies to announce upcoming events and changes with their organization.

Antique glaze: a two sided paper,one side with a high finish the other with an antique glaze.

Antihalation: refers to poly plate ,paper or film,the property that has an opaque backing the prevents light rays from reflecting.

Antisetoff spray: a powder used in lithographic printing to prevent the transfering of the inks printing to the back of the adjacent sheets.

Antiskinning additive: a material that is added to ink to prevent the drying and hardening of the top surface of the ink pale.

Apex: the upper point of letters that are descending in form.

Aqueous dispersion: in screen printing,pigments that change from water soluble form to water insoluble form when heating or curing .

Archival Paper: a paper with long-standing qualities designed to last 150 years, acid free, lignin free, usually with good color retention.

Art paper: in printing,coated paper used for printing halftones.

Art type: designs ,typefaces and individual characters screen printed onto acetate sheets.

Art type pre-printed: sheets with the complete letters of the alphabet,numbers,punctuation marks in that particular type .

Ash: the residue left over after burning paper to determine the percentage of filler used.

Artificial parchement: a fake parchement paper,is grease proof.Also see parchement paper.

Artist paper: paper that is tight woven,that is ideal for drawing.

Artifact: a visual error or defect on an electronic image that is caused by the hardware or software.

Artwork: in printing,drawing,photos,electronic images and other materials used in the illustration of the printing plates.

Ascender: in typography, an ascender is the portion of a letter that extends above the mean line of a font. That is, the part of a lower-case letter that is taller than the font’s x-height.The x-height or corpus size baseline and the mean line in a typeface. Also refer to descender

Assembling: in bindery,collecting sheets into a sequenece,to form a numbered book etc.Also see collating.

Ash: the residue left over after burning paper to determine the percentage of filler used.

ASQC: American society of quality control

Attachments: refering additions in an envelope like clamps,button and strings.

Auxiliary roll stand: A second roller stand, for use on a web press, that can be mounted on top of another roll stand. Reduces downtime since it permits one stand to be reloaded while another continues to unwind.

Authors Alterations: Refer to AA

Authors corrections: Changes made after composition stage where customer is responsible for additional charges.Also known as AC’s

Authors proof: Artwork sent from the print vendor to the client,for approval.Normally to approve a copy must be signed.

Authoring: In multimedia,the process in which the writing,sound creation and video components is put together for a presentation.

Autochrome: The first screen plate for color photography .It was invinted in 1904 by Louis Luminere in France.

Autokerning: Refers to the process of the reduction of unwanted whitespace between typeface.

Automatic feeder: The device responsible for picking up one sheet at a time and automatically feeding them into the press for printing.

Automatic reject: on mechanism used on binder equipment to ensure quality control,that direct rejected or flawed products to a special tray.

Autopositive: Photo materials which provide positive images without a negative.

Autotype: in litho stripping,the material used to outline typographic characters.

Azure: the light blue colour used in the nomenclature of “laid” and “wove” papers.

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