Printing Terms Q-Z

Raster Graphic A computer image made up of small squares or “tiles” of colour, called pixels. A raster graphic can be thought of like a tile mosaic; the image is broken up into tiny chunks. If you make a raster graphic larger, the tiles become bigger; this can result in a “stairstep” or mosaic appearance. All scanned images are examples of raster graphics. Contrast = vector graphic.
Recycled Paper Containing a proportion of recycled material, for instance de-inked post consumer waste or waste produced within the paper mill (‘mill broke’). Another term which should be qualified to have any useful meaning.
Register The printing of two or more plates in juxtaposition so that they complete a design if printing on the same side of the sheet or back up accurately if printed on opposite sides of the sheet.
Resolution A measure of the level of detail in a raster image, measured in dots per inch/cm or pixels per inch/centimetre. The greater the number of pixels/dots per inch, the smaller each individual pixel is, and the greater the detail that can be reproduced with accuracy.
RGB Abbreviation of Red Green Blue. Method of connecting a colour screen to a computer, involving three separate signals. All the colours displayed by the screen can be made up from these three additive component colours. For print repro, however, files should be given as CMYK, which is the subtractive separation, or as Pantone colours.
RIP Acronym for Raster Image Processor. Program in a laser printer or other high-resolution printer that converts the stream of printing instructions from a computer into the pattern of dots that make up the printed page.
Rosette A circular pattern of overlapping dots, created when several halftone screens printed with different colour inks are placed on top of each other. When a process colour image is printed on press, four halftones are made (one each for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) and the halftones are printed on top of each other to form the final image. When the halftone screen angles are correct, the overlapping halftone dots form rosettes; if the screen angles are incorrect, a “MOIRE” may be formed instead.
Run-on Price quoted for an additional quantity, produced at the same time as the base quantity.
Saddle stitching To stitch with wire through the back, or spine, of the folded work.
Scanner A device which takes an original, such as a photograph, and converts it into a series of numbers that can be used to describe the image to a computer. Scanners always produce raster images. There are two basic types of scanners: “flatbed scanners” and “drum scanners”, which are larger, more complicated, and much more costly.
Screen Angle The angle of the imaginary “grid” of dots that make up a halftone pattern. When different halftones are printed on top of one another (done for all colour printing), the halftone angles of each colour must be different in order to prevent a “MOIRE”.
Screen print Also known as “silk screen” or “serigraphy”, this method of printing uses stencils. Made of paper, stencil film, or photographic emulsion, these are fixed to a screen. Ink is squeegeed through the screen’s fine mesh onto paper.
Screen Ruling The number of dots or cells per inch. These make up a halftone pattern and the tonal range of the image depending on the size of each cell/dot (the halftone angles of each colour must be different in order to prevent a MOIRE.)
SCSI A standard type of input/output connection used to attach scanners, hard disks, and other devices to a computer (small computer system interface).
Section A folded sheet of paper forming part of a book; sections are sometimes made of insetted folded sheets of four, eight, sixteen or more pages.
Separation The process of converting an image to CMYK. Each pixel in the image is analysed for colour and reduced to the four primary colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Separation is a complex process that can be done in one of many ways, depending on the type of printing press that will be used to print the final piece and the type of paper it will be printed on. A “drum scanner” performs colour separation as it scans the image.
Separations Individual sheets of paper or film, each contain exactly one of the colours that will be used to reproduce the page on press.
Sew To fasten the sections of a book together by passing thread through the centre fold of each section in such a way as to secure it to the slips; in distinction from stitch.
Shrink wrap Method of packing printed products by surrounding them with plastic, then shrinking by heat.
Side stitching To stitch through the side from front to back at the binding edge with thread or wire. (See stabbing).
Skin packaging Method of packaging by which thin, clear plastic is shrunk onto an object backed by printed card.
Spooler A type of server, which is used to process jobs being sent to a computer printer. It sits between a computer and a printer.
Spot colour Colour reproduced on press by using a special (already mixed) ink of the exact colour wanted, rather than being reproduced by mixing different percentages of the primary colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. See also “pantone”.
Spread A “TRAP” created when a light-colour object is placed over a dark-colour background; the light colour object spreads out into the background. OR – a single set of pages placed together side-by-side for reading or printing. When two or more pages are printed on the same sheet of paper or film, the result is referred to as a “spread.” A set of pages placed side-by-side when printed = printers spreads, or for reading = readers spreads.
Stabbing To stitch with wire through the side of gathered work at the binding edge.
Stitch To sew, staple or otherwise fasten together by means of thread or wire the leaves or signatures of a book or pamphlet. The different styles of stitching are; double stitch, where two loops of a single thread are fastened in the centre of the fold. Machine stitch, where a lock stitch is made; saddle or saddle-back stitch, where the centre of the fold is placed across the saddle in the machine and wire staples are driven through and clenched on the inside, side stitch, where the thread or wire is stitched through the side of the fold; single stitch, where a single loop is drawn through the centre and tied; wire stitch, in which staples are made, inserted and clenched by a machine from a continuous piece of wire, as in the saddle back stitch; as distinct from sew.
Stochastic screen  A special type of halftone screen which offers much greater image detail on press and avoids problems with “moiré” sometimes associated with traditional halftone screens. A stochastic screen does not use a regular pattern of dots; instead, it uses an irregular pattern of very small dots, distributed at different densities to simulate levels of colour. Stochastic screens are usually used only for very high quality, high-end printing applications. Also known as FM (Frequency Modulated) screening.
Stringing To insert and tie string on hanging cards, and other work either singly or in batches.
TIFF A raster file format, well suited to scanned graphics. TIFF images are ideal for placement in page layout programs such as Quark Press, and take up less disk space than the same image saved as an EPS. TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format.
Tints Mechanical shading in line areas, normally available in 5% steps from 5% to 95%.
Trap To compensate for possible misalignment of colours on a printing press by making objects of different colours overlap slightly (usually by no more than a few hundredths of an inch). This means any misalignment is not noticeable in the final printed piece.
Trim The edge of a printed page.
Trims Lines outside the page area used to indicate the limit of the printed page.
Truetype font A standard format for outline fonts which can be used on Windows or Macintosh computers.
Typeface An alphabet of letters in a particular style. Typefaces can belong to any of several types (such as sans serif, decorative, blackletter, etc.).
UV varnish UV varnish is a heavy, high gloss, matt or satin varnish applied after printing, and cured in a specialist ultra-violet dryer.
Varnishing To apply oil, synthetic, spirit, cellulose or water varnish to printed matter by hand or machine to enhance its appearance or increase its durability.
Vector Graphic A computer graphic made up of a mathematical description of lines, fills, and shapes. Vector graphics cannot be used to represent objects such as photographs; instead, they are used to represent objects with smooth lines and hard edges, such as logos or text. Since vector graphics are not made up of pixels, they can be resized, stretched, or enlarged indefinitely with absolutely no loss of quality. Vector graphics are created in a drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator. Contrast = raster graphic.
Vignette An image whose edge fades off softly into the background.
Web Offset Reel-fed offset litho printing. Three main systems of presses exist; blanket-to-blanket in which two plate and two blanket cylinders per unit print and perfect the web of paper or board; three-cylinder system in which plate, blanket and impression cylinders operate in the usual manner to print one side of the paper or board; and satellite or planetary systems in which two, three or four plate and blanket cylinders are arranged around a common impression cylinders to print one side of the web in several colours.
Web press A high-speed, high-throughput printing press which prints on a continuous roll of paper. Web presses are usually used for high-volume print runs, because of their great speed.
Wet proof Wet proofing offers the highest level of quality for proofing any publication; it allows you to use the plates and stock that will be used on the final print run. Wet proofing is the only real way to proof items such as duotones, CMYK and spot colours.
Woodfree Paper Material which contains no mechanically processed wood chips (as distinct from chemical treatments of the soft pulp.)

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