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The definitive source for industry terms
When a term has more than one meaning, all explanations are displayed.
Back lining   The fixing of a material, either paper or cloth, to the back of a book before it is bound. Reference: case binding.  
Back margin   A term referring to the margin which lies closest to the back of the book.  
Back step collation   The collation of book signatures according to reference marks which are printed on the back fold of each section.  
Back to back   Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.  
Backbone   That portion of the binding which connects the front of the book with the back of the book; also called "back".  
Background   That portion of a photograph or line art drawing that appears furthest from the eye; the surface upon which the main image is superimposed.  
Backslant   Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.  
Backstep marks   Marks printed on signatures that indicate where the final fold will occur. When gathering and initial folding is completed, these marks appear as a stepped sequence  
Baking   A term given to the procedure of drying coatings onto papers.  
Balance   A term used to describe the aesthetic or harmony of elements, whether they are photos, art or copy  
Balloon   In an illustration, any line which encircles copy, or dialogue.  
Bank paper   A thin uncoated stock used for making carbon copies.  
Banker's flap envelope   Also called wallet flap; the wallet flap has more rounded flap edges.  
Banner   The primary headline usually spanning the entire width of a page.  
Barn doors   A device with two sets of thin metal doors (horizontal and vertical) placed before a light source to control the direction of light.  
Barrier coat   A coating that is applied onto the non-printing side of paper to add to the opacity of that paper. Reference opacity.  
Baryta paper   A coated stock (barium sulfate compound) used for text impressions on typesetting machines.  
Bas relief   A three dimensional impression is which the image stands just slightly out from the flat background. References blind emboss.  
Base   The support onto which printing plates is fixed.  
Base film   The foundation material onto which the film positives are stripped for making printing plates. Reference photormechanical  
Base line   This is a term used to describe the imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points etc.  
Basic size   This term refers to a standard size of paper stock; even though the required size may be smaller or larger.  
Basis weight   Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.  
Bastard   Any non-standard or abnormal element, i.e. a font that is different than the set of fonts in which it appears.  
Bauhaus   A design school in Germany where the Sans Serif font was originated  
Bearoff   The adjusting of spacing of type in order to correct the justification.  
Bed   The steel flat table of a cylinder printing press upon which the type sits during the printing process.  
Bending chip   A recycled paperboard product used for making folding cartons.  
BF   An abbreviation for boldface, used to determine where boldface copy is to be used. Reference boldface  
Bible paper   A thin but strong paper (opaque), used for bibles and books.  
Bimetal plate   A plate which is used in long print runs; the printing image is copper or brass and the non-printing area is aluminum or stainless steel.  
Binder's board   A heavy paperboard with a cloth covering that is used for hardback binding of books.  
Bit   Short for binary digit - the smallest unit of computer storage.  
Bite   The etching process in photoengraving requires the application of an acid; the length of time this acid is left to etch out an image is referred to as its bite. The more bites, the deeper the etched area.  
Bitmap   Images stored as a series of bits, in a grid type format when enlarged.  
Black letter   An old style of typeface used in Germany in the 15th century, also referred to as Old English (US) and Gothic (UK).  
Black out   Also referred to as black patch; a piece of masking material which is used in layout to mask an area leaving a window into which another element can be stripped.  
Black photo paper   A black paper used to protect photosensitive materials.  
Black printer   Refers to the film portion of the color separation process that prints black; increases the contrast of neutral tones.  
Blackening   Darkening a portion of a sheet of paper due to the excessive pressure of the calendar roll. Reference calendar.  
Blanket   The rubber surfaced material, which is secured onto a cylinder onto which the image is transferred from the plate and then again transferred to paper.  
Blanket to blanket   A printing method in which there are two blanket cylinders through press which a sheet of paper is passed and printed on both sides.  
Bleed   Ink that extends beyond the edges of a piece of paper is said to bleed off the sheet. In a printing project usually a bleed will cost more to produce than a piece that does not bleed. A bleed requires paper larger than the finished size of the piece to print on. Usually paper with no bleed can be printed on a sheet the same size as the finished piece.  
Bleed   Any copy, art illustration, photo  
Blind emboss   A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.  
Blind folio   A page that is counted in the overall counting of pages, but the number is not printed on the page.  
Blind image   A problem that arises in the lithography process when an image loses its ink receptivity and fails to print.  
Blistering   Although seemingly dry, paper does contain approximately 5% moisture. In cases where there is excessive moisture, and the paper is passed through a high heat-drying chamber  
Block   Illustrations or line art etched onto zinc or copper plates and used in letterpress printing.  
Block in   To sketch the primary areas and points of reference of an illustration in preparation for going to final design or production.  
Block resistance   The resistance of coated papers to blocking. Reference blocking.  
Blocking   The adhesion of one coated sheet to another, causing paper tears or particles of the coating to shed away from the paper surface.  
Blocking out   To mask a section of an art layout before reproduction.  
Blow-up   Any enlargement of photos, copies or line art.  
Blueline proof   A photographic process whereby fiats are exposed to black light and processed to create blue lines of copy which are proof read before a project goes to press. Also called "DYLUX".  
Body   A term used to define the thickness or viscosity of printer's ink.  
Body   The main shank or portion of the letter character other than the ascenders and descenders.  
Body size   The point size of a particular type character.  
Boldface   Any type that has a heavier black stroke that makes it more conspicuous.  
Bolts   The edges of folded sheets of paper, which are trimmed off in the final stages of production.  
Bond   A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that has a standard size of 17x22 inches.  
Book   A general classification to describe papers used to print books; its standard size is 25x38 inches.  
Book   A printed work which contains more than 64 pages.  
Book block   A term given the unfinished stage of bookmaking when the pages are folded, gathered and stitched-in but not yet cover bound.  
Books   Theses are paper back perfect bound books for sale in book stores. See Short Runs Books for additional information  
Bound Galleys   The bound galley are used for promotional purposes and are frequently sent to book reviewers prior to printing the book. Comments from these reviewers are frequently printed on the back of the production ("book store") version of the book printed after the review stage. Bound galleys are also known as CRANE'S, Uncorrected Page Proofs, and/or Advance Reader Copies. Bound Galleys are the pre-publication version of a soon to be published book. A bound galley may contain hand written editorial marks. It may be missing photographs, illustrations, charts, and even text that will appear in the final finished edition. The size of a bound galley is based on printing economics. Usually they are 5 3/8" x 8 3/8" and frequently are 6 x 9. If the book is on oblong bind or an odd shape and is part of the books story than they are made to fit that size. Crane's/Bound Galleys are not lithographed and reviewers know a bound galley from finished books. Reviewers want a bound galley and the information found on a bound galley cover. Printed usually using paper plates on duplicator printing equipment. Text papers are 50# white text stock print with black ink. Covers are 65# Color Cover stock printed with black ink. Typical sizes are 5 3/8"x 8 3/8 or 6" x 9". Run lengths are from 5 to 1000 copies.  
Bourges   A pressure sensitive color film that is used to prepare color art.  
Box cover paper   A lightweight paper used expressly for covering paper boxes.  
Box enamel paper   A glossy coated paper used to cover paper boxes.  
Box liners   A coated paper used on the inside of boxes, which are used for food.  
Brace   A character "}" "}" used to group lines, or phrases.  
Break for color   In layout design, the term for dividing or separating the art and copy elements into single color paste-up sheets.  
Bristol board   A board paper of various thickness'; having a smooth finish and used for printing and drawing.  
Broad fold   A term given to the fold whereby paper is folded with the short side running with the grain.  
Brocade   A heavily embossed paper.  
Brochure   A pamphlet that is bound in booklet form.  
Bronzing   A printing method whereby special ink is applied to sheets and then a powder is applied producing a metallic effect.  
Brownline proof   A photographic proof made by exposing a flat to UV light creating a brown image on a white background. Also referred to as silverprint.  
Buckle folder   A portion of the binding machinery with rollers that fold the paper.  
Buckram   A coarse sized cloth used in the bookbinding process.  
Bulk   A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.  
Bulk   A term used to define the number of pages per inch of a book relative to its given basis weight.  
Bullet   A boldface square or dot used before a sentence to emphasize its importance.  
Bump Exposure   A process used in halftone photography that entails the temporary removal of the screen during exposure. This increases the highlight contrast and diminishes the dots in the whites.  
Burn   A term used in plate making to describe the amount of plate exposure time.  
Burnish   A term used for the process of "rubbing down" lines and dots on a printing plate, which darkens those rubbed areas.  
Burst Binding   A binding technique that entails nicking the backfold in short lengths during the folding process, which allows glue to reach each individual leaf and create a strong bond.  
Byte   One byte is usually comprised of 8 bits. One byte is required to make up a single alphanumeric character.  

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