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  • Emily Steel | Omega's Marketing Manager

Print Lingo: A Glossary of Printing Terms

If you have ever worked with a commercial print shop, chances are you’ve heard a few words or terms that were completely foreign to you. As with many industries, the printing world has its own language of sorts, and for many, it can be difficult to understand. But never fear— Omega is here! We’ve compiled a glossary of some basic terms that will prevent you from feeling left in the dark when working with your printer.

Absorbency: The amount of liquid that a piece of paper can retain.

Acetate: A thin and flexible sheet of clear plastic that is commonly used to construct overlays.

Adhesives: Adhesives are compounds used in printing to make objects cling together securely.

Aqueous Coating: A transparent coating that is used to preserve printed objects by creating a high-gloss surface that increases durability.

Barcodes: A means of encoding data on a scannable, visible surface in a visual and machine-readable manner.

Bindery: The process of attaching, gluing, or otherwise linking a series of separate pages together to form a book, notepad, etc. Perfect binding, spiral binding, saddle-stitching, staple stitching, are all examples of bindery.

Bleed: After printing, the inks on the paper may bleed over the trim markings. This is referred to as "bleeding."

Caliper: A device used to measure the thickness of paper in thousandths of an inch, or mils.

Chemical Resistance: The ability of printed materials to resist interacting with substances with which they come into contact, ensuring no damage is done.

Coating: A specific liquid coating can be put to the paper to lessen the possibility of ink smearing after printing. It's especially useful for printed material.

Color Separation: The process of breaking down colors into their core elements.

Color Sequence: The sequence of printing inks in the press. This is also known as color rotation.

Creep: The movement or shift of margins in a document that occurs as pages are folded during the booklet finishing process. Creep can vary based on the thickness of the paper and the number of pages.

Crop Marks: Lines drawn on pages to indicate where the document or print will be cut.

Crossover: An image or rule on one printed page that extends to an adjacent folded page.

Damping: The process of applying water to the lithographic plate on a lithography printer before printing.

Debossing: The process of stamping a design into the surface of an item or paper, creating a concave imprint.

Die-cut: A Die is a precise, razor-sharp steel blade used in the printing industry to make many pieces of the same shape in an efficient and uniform way.

Digital Printing: