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Printing Glossary

The various methods used to secure loose leaves or sections in a book.
Blind emboss
A raised impression made without using ink, foil, or toner.
A metal frame in which letterpress type is "locked up" prior to printing.
A metal or plastic tool that is designed to make another material conform to it.
Die cut
A means of cutting paper by pressing sharp blades against the paper. The principle is similar to cutting dough with a cookie cutter.
Digital printing
A means of printing that sends the digital image to the paper without using a printing plate. Usually the image is created by toner, which is a fine pigmented powder; or magnetic ink, which is ink that is used in certain kinds of digital printing.
The raised impression made by squeezing paper under high pressure, between two metal or plastic dies.
Literally, this word means "cut into." Today, very little true engraving is done because of the expense and difficulty. Most metals and plastics are dissolved by acids or vaporized by laser beams.
The section of a printing press that contains the ink before it spreads onto the rollers.
Foil stamping
A process for stamping a design on a book cover, invitation, or napkin by using a colored foil with pressure from a heated die.
An illustration reproduced by breaking down the original tone into a pattern of dots of varying size.
A group of visual elements that form a visual pattern.
A communication between two surfaces achieved by stamping or pressing.
A colored liquid material for writing and printing.
The process of printing from an inked raised surface where the paper is pressed directly against this surface.
A method of printing developed in France in 1792 in which ink sticks to wax but is repelled by water. The water cleans away the excess ink, enabling the inked image to make an accurate transfer onto paper.
A means of printing where the ink is transferred (offset) from the plate to a rubber blanket, which then prints the image onto the paper.
A flat or cylindrical surface used to transfer an image to paper.
A test version of a typeset invitation or announcement that is used to check spelling, punctuation, and design before the item is printed.
Raised lettering (Also known as thermography)
When the inked image is still wet on the paper, a plastic powder is spread onto the wet ink. Then the image travels under extreme heat–approximately 400 degrees–and the combination of the ink and plastic powder melts together to form a smooth raised image.
A straight crease impressed into paper so that the paper folds correctly along the crease.
A powder used to develop a xerographic image. Toner is used in copiers, computer printers, and some small-format printing presses.
A continuous roll of printing paper used on printing presses that draw the paper from a roll instead of drawing the paper from a stack of separate sheets.