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The definitive source for industry terms
When a term has more than one meaning, all explanations are displayed.
A/W   An abbreviation for artwork.  
AA   Author's Alteration  
Abrasion resistance   The resistance to scratching of a surface of paper by other paper surfaces or other materials.  
Absorbency   The ability of a material to take up moisture  
AC   Author's Correction  
Accordion fold   A type of paper folding in which each fold runs in the opposite direction to the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion affect  
Acetate   A transparent or translucent plastic sheet material of a variety of colors, used as a basis for artwork and overlays.  
Achromatic   The non-colors ... Black, white and gray.  
Acrylic   A water-soluble polymer used in paints to make them dry both tough and flexible.  
Actinic rays   Light exposure that affects chemical changes in paper.  
Additive colors   In photographic reproduction, the primary colors of red, green and blue which are mixed to form all other colors. Aerate This refers to a manual process whereby an air stream is blown onto paper sheets to create a riffling effect that separates the sheets as they are fed to the printing press.  
Advanced Reader Proofs   Advanced reader proofs look one of two ways. The first way is to mark copies of the production run as Advanced Reader Proofs. The second way is to have the production run includes a special cover run to print on the production cover that the book is an Advanced Reader Copy. See bound galleys.  
Aerate   This refers to a manual process whereby an air stream is blown onto paper sheets to reate a riffling effect that seperates the sheets as they fed to the printing press.  
Agate   A type size of 5 1/2 points. Reference agate line  
Agate line   In newspaper classifieds a measurement denoting 1/4 inch depth by one column width. 14 agate lines -one column inch. Air Large white areas in a design layout Airbrush A compressed air tool that dispenses a fine mist of paint or ink; used in illustration and photo retouching.  
Air   Large white areas in a design layout.  
Airbrush   A compressed air tool that dispenses a fine midst of paint or ink; used in illustration and photo retouching.  
Albion press   A hand operated printing press made of iron.  
Album paper   A wood pulp paper with an antique finish used for pages of photo albums.  
Albumen plate   A surface plate used in the lithography process; it has a photosensitive coating.  
Albumin paper   A coated paper used in photography; the coating is made of albumen (egg whites) and ammonium chloride.  
Alignment   The condition of type and or art materials as they level up on a horizontal or vertical line.  
Alkali blue   Also called reflex blue. A pigment used in carbon black inks and varnishes to improve luster.  
Alley   A term for a random coincidental path or a row of white space within a segment of copy.  
Alphabet length   The measured length (in points) of the lowercase alphabet of a certain size and series of type.  
Amberlith   Red-orange acetate used for masking mechanicals when photographing for plates. The amberlith area appears black to the camera and prints clear on the resulting film.  
American Paper Institute   An organization that correlates all paper related information.  
Angle bar   In "web-fed" printing (printing on rolls of paper as opposed to single sheets) an angle bar is a metal bar that is used to turn paper between two components of the press.  
Aniline   Oil based solvent (quick drying) used in the preparation process of dyes and inks.  
Animal sized   A technique of paper making which hardens the surface by passing the paper through a bath of animal glue or gelatin.  
Anodized plate In lithography   a plate manufactured with a barrier of aluminum oxide which prevents chemical reactions that break down the plate; it provides optimum press performance.  
Antigua   An eleventh. century Italian script typeface.  
Anti-halation backing   A protective coating used on film (non-emulsion side) which prevents light from reflecting back, haloing back into the emulsion.  
Antiquarian   A handmade paper (53 x 31 inches) largest known handmade paper.  
Antique finish   Paper with a rough sized surface used for book and cover stock.  
Antiskinning agent   An antioxidant agent used to prevent inks from skinning over in the can.  
Apron   The white area of text (or illustrations) at the margins which form a foldout.  
Aqua tint   A printing process that uses the recessed areas of the plate; ideal for graded and even tones.  
Aquarelle   The hand application of color through stencils onto a printed picture.  
Aqueous plate   Water soluble plate coatings which are less toxic and less polluting.  
Arc light   A light source produced by the passing of electric current between two electrodes; used in the production of plates in photolithography.  
Arms   Those elements of letters that branch out from the stem of a letter such as: "K" and "Y"'.  
Arrowhead   A symbol shaped like an arrowhead that is used in illustration to direct a leader line. Reference leader line  
Art lined envelope   An envelope that is lined With an extra fine paper; can be colored or patterned.  
Art paper   A paper evenly coated with a fine clay compound which creates a hard smooth surface on one or both sides.  
Art work   Any materials or images that are prepared for graphic reproduction.  
Artwork   Images or text ready for printing production. (see also Camera Ready Art). Not necessarily a Van Gogh.  
Artwork   All illustrated material, ornamentation, photos and charts etc.  
As to press   In gravure printing, (recessed areas of plate hold ink), a term used for proofs showing the final position of color images.  
ASA   A number set by the American Standards Assoc., which is placed on film stock to allow calculation of the length and "F" number of an exposure. Reference, "I" numbers.  
Ascender   Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in "d", "b" and "h".  
Assembled negative   Film negatives consisting of line and halftone copy which are used to make plates for printing.  
Assembled view   In illustration, a term used to describe a view of a drawing in its assembled or whole format.  
Autochrome paper   Coated papers that are regarded as exceptional for multi-colored printing jobs.  
Autolithography   A printing method whereby the image is hand drawn or etched directly onto lithography plates or stones.  
Autopositive   Any photo materials which provide positive images without a negative.  
Azure   The light blue color used in the nomenclature of "laid" and "wove" papers.  

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