We’ve compiled some of the usual terminologies that are used in the printing industry to serve as a guide for our clients.
Binding or Bindery
A method of attaching pages together into a magazine. Some options are stitching (stapling) or perfect binding.
Trimming machines are not as precise as printing presses. When the magazine is cut down (trimmed) to its final size, it is almost impossible to cut along the page edge exactly. Having art go well off the page (bleed off) will ensure no possibility of a white hairline around the edge of page.
During the setup of your magazine any art going to the edge of the page will need to go off (bleed off) the page by at least 1/8″, not stop at page edge in order to print correctly.
Coated 2 Sides refers to paper that is shiny on both sides. C2S is the paper used by most magazines. C1S is the kind of paper typically used on some nice post cards.
Most magazines are printed using only 4 ink colors; Cyan (blueish), Magenta (pinkish), Yellow & Black. Layering these colors can produce most colors…but not all.
This technique refers to either punching an irregular hole in a printed page or trimming the whole sheet in an irregular way. It requires a metal punch tool to be made which adds to the cost, depending on its complexity. Often used in packaging, where unusual shapes need to be created.
Facing Pages (Reader's Spreads)
Facing pagess are pages built in the computer the way the reader will view the magazine: cover, then pages 2 and 3 together facing each other, 4 and 5 facing each other, etc.
After artwork has been completed, a photograph is taken of it. The resulting film negative is used to transfer the art into a format (plate) that is used by a printing press.
4 Color (or four color, full color or process color):
Photos in most magazines are printed using just 4 ink colors; Cyan (blueish), Magenta (pinkish), Yellow & Black. Layering these colors can produce most colors…but not all.
The center, folded area of a magazine.
A computer device that converts digital information to a form that printing presses can use.
Short for Portable Document Format. PDF is a digital file format that was designed to make it possible for viewers to open and view on many computer platforms (Macintosh, Windows or UNIX) without cross-platform problems.
Short for Perforation or Perforating. A process that places tiny holes in paper making it easier to tear out of a magazine.
A binding method. The magazine will have a spine that resembles the spine of a paperback novel.
The part of a printing press that transfers the ink onto the paper.
A very old and confusing system of measuring paper thickness. The higher the number the thicker the paper. Newspapers are usually 45-50 lb. and business cards are roughly 80-100 lb. Magazine are usually in between… 60-80 lb.
The measurement is based on the weight of a ream of 25″ x 38″ (a standard size) paper. Paper weight needs to be a consideration: heavier/thicker paper feels richer and is more durable but is more expensive and can increase mailing/shipping costs.
Images on a computer monitor are made by tiny dots of light (pixels). These dots fool your eye into thinking there is photo on the screen. Resolution refers to the number of the dots in terms of pixels per inch (ppi). The higher the number, the more detail an image can have. Your computer monitor shows images at 72 ppi. Printing standards are 300 ppi for coated paper, 200 for uncoated and 170 for newspaper.
Computer monitors make all their colors using three (light) colors; Red, Green, and Blue. Use these colors can produce most all the colors your eye can see. This “color space” is used when producting anything that is viewed through your monitor, NOT printed. Printing inks cannot come close to printing this range (see CMYK).
A heavy, shiny coating put on some high-image magazines. It makes for a very classy piece that hides fingerprints and takes abuse well.
A shiny coating put on some high-image magazines. Although not as heavy or shiny as UV, Varnish is a cheaper alternative as it is “printed on” as just another ink color, not a separate process like UV.