This glossary of printing terms was created by people working in today's printing industry and is brought to you by MirPrint.com. It has been revised and edited and we have rewritten some technical descriptions in every day language to help the non technical person. Any suggestions that you may have on how we can improve this glossary will be carefully considered. Please send your comments and any new definitions to us at MirPrint.com.
C1S refers to a process where one side of a piece of paper is clay-coated to produce a smooth finish, such as the glossy side of a business card.
C2S is very similar to the C1S process, except this time both sides of the paper are clay-coated. This is not recommended if your intention is to be able to write on one side of the paper, as the glossy finish resists ink.
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. The name given to each day is known as a date. Periods in a calendar (such as years and months) are usually, though not necessarily, synchronized with the cycles of some astronomical phenomenon, such as the cycle of the sun or the moon. Many civilizations and societies have devised a calendar, usually derived from other calendars on which they model their systems, suited to their particular needs.
A calendar is also a physical device (often paper). This is the most common usage of the word. Other similar types of calendars can include computerized systems, which can be set to remind the user of upcoming events and appointments.
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The CMYK color model, often referred to as process color or 4-color, is a subtractive color model, used in color printing and can also be used to describe the printing process itself. CMYK refers to the four inks used in most color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). Though it varies by print house, press operator, press manufacturer and press run, ink is typically applied in the order of the abbreviation.
Color Process is a technique used to print full-color images, such as color photographs and is referred to as four-color-process or merely process printing. Four inks are used: three secondary colors plus black. These ink colors are cyan, magenta and yellow; abbreviated as CMYK. Cyan can be thought of as minus-red, magenta as minus-green, and yellow as minus-blue. These inks are semi-transparent or translucent. Where two such inks overlap on the paper due to sequential printing impressions, a primary color is perceived. For example, yellow (minus-blue) overprinted by magenta (minus green) yields red. Where all three inks may overlap, almost all incident light is absorbed or subtracted, yielding near black. It is because of this poor "subtractive" black that a separate black ink is used. The secondary or subtractive colors cyan, magenta and yellow may be considered "primary" by printers and watercolorists (whose basic inks and paints are transparent).
Two graphic techniques are required to prepare images for four-color printing. In the "pre-press" stage, original images are translated into forms that can be used on a printing press, through "color separation," and "screening" or "halftoning." These steps make possible the creation of printing plates that can transfer color impressions to paper on printing presses based on the principles of lithography.
A Commercial Printer is a printer capable of producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books, business cards, flyers and magazines. It can also be referred to as a job printer, due to the fact that each job is different.
A Contact Print is a photographic image produced from a film, usually a negative, occasionally from a film positive. The defining characteristic of a contact print is that the photographic result is made by exposure through the film original onto a light-sensitive material pressed tightly to the film.
In the dark, or under a safelight, the printer places an exposed and developed piece of photographic film, emulsion side down, against a piece of photographic paper, briefly shines light through the negative, then develops the secondary paper into a contact print. The image in the emulsion has been pressed as close as possible to the photosensitive paper.
Crop Marks indicate where a page will be cut (or trimmed) after printing. When artwork is supposed to extend all the way to the edge of the printed page after cropping, it's common to use a bleed. By extending the ink past the crop mark, you ensure that minor errors in registration or trimming don't produce an unsightly white line along the edge of the artwork.