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Printing Lingo: What is a Sombrero Hole?

A Sombrero Hole refers to a type of hole that is punched or die-cut into a product's packaging to allow the product to hang from a display hook. A sombrero hole gets its name because it resembles the silhouette of a sombrero, a style...

Printing Lingo: What is Sequential Numbering?

Sequential Numbering, also known as Consecutive Numbering, refers to the printing of ascending or descending identification numbers so that each printed unit receives its own unique number. Sequential Numbering is a popular feature on...

Printing Lingo: What is 4-Color Process Printing?

4-Color Process uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks. When applied in successive layers, these 4 ink colors create a full color image. 4-Color Process is the most widely used method for printing full-color images. All commercial...

Printing Lingo: What is UV Printing?

A printing press using ultraviolet light to rapidly cure the ink UV Printing refers to a commercial printing process that uses ultraviolet curing technology. Also known as Ultraviolet Printing, the UV Printing process involves special...

Printing Lingo: What is a Flood Coat?

In the print industry, a Flood Coat refers to any coating that covers the entire surface of a paper sheet or other substrate. As the name implies, Flood Coating is a term associated with coatings applied in liquid form. Flood Coating is most...

Printing Lingo: "Head-to-Head Printing" vs "Head-to-Foot Printing"

It is extremely common for books, brochures, and other print projects to be created from sheets of paper that have printing on both sides. Head-to-Head and Head-to-Foot are terms used to describe the relative orientation of the printing on...

Book Printing Lingo: What is Imposition?

In offset printing, the pages of books are commonly printed on large sheets of paper, with multiple pages printed on each side of these sheets. Known as signatures, these large sheets will be folded down and trimmed after they are printed. ...

Printing Lingo: What is a Physical Mock-Up?

Printed mock-ups help visualize the layout of the finished piece In the world of printing, a Physical Mock-Up refers to a representative sample that is created prior to production. Physical mock-ups are used to help evaluate the look, feel...

Book Printing Lingo: What is a Signature?

On certain book projects, the pages of the book are printed on large sheets of paper. Known as Signatures, these sheets have multiple pages printed on each side. Signatures are most often associated with long-run book orders printed on offset...

Book Printing Lingo: "Self Cover" vs "Plus Cover"

All softcover books can be produced as Self Cover or Plus Cover In the printing industry, the term "Self Cover" is used to specify a book or booklet that uses the exact same paper for its cover as it does for the interior pages. Conversely,...

Printing Lingo: What is an Accordion Fold?

The Accordion folding method works well for any size printed piece An Accordion Fold refers to a document folding method that uses a series of alternating folds to create multiple panels of a similar size. The parallel pleats formed by the...

Promotional Printing Lingo: What is a Buck Slip?

In the world of promotional printing, a Buck Slip refers to a small printed piece that contains a specific sales offer or marketing message. Sometimes called a buck insert or buck sheet, most buck slips are single, unfolded sheets that measure...

Printing Lingo: What Does "Radius" Mean when Referring to Rounded Corners?

An example of a Business Card with all four corners rounded "Rounded Corners" is a finishing technique used to improve the aesthetics and/or functionality of certain printed pieces. For example, business cards and promotional brochures...

Printing Lingo: What is Spot UV?

UV Coating is a tough clear-coat applied over printed matter. It is applied in liquid form, then exposed to Ultra-Violet (UV) light which bonds and dries it instantly…hence its name "UV Coating." An example of a large logo created with...

Book Printing Lingo: What is Comb Binding?

Comb Binding uses a plastic spine with a series of ring-shaped tines or "teeth" to secure a book's cover and pages Comb Binding, also known as Cerlox binding or Surelox binding, makes use of a cylindrical plastic shape that has multiple...

Book Printing Lingo: What is a Booklet?

Small softcover books, such as these pocket-size guides, are commonly referred to as Booklets Like many printing terms, the word "Booklet" can be somewhat ambiguous. Though formal definitions abound, they often conflict with each other on the...

Direct Mail Lingo: What is a Self-Mailer?

As its name implies, a Self-Mailer refers to any piece of direct mail that does not require an envelope. In lieu of the envelope, a self-mailer is designed so that address information and postage can be printed (or affixed) directly on it....

Printing Lingo: What is YUPO® Synthetic Paper?

YUPO® is a "Tree Free" synthetic paper manufactured by the Yupo Corporation, the world's top producer of synthetic paper products YUPO® is a popular brand of synthetic paper developed by the Yupo Corporation, the world's leading...

Printing Lingo: What is a Tyvek® Envelope?

Tyvek® is a synthetic material developed by DuPont™. It is created in sheet form using high-density polyethylene fibers. These plastic fibers are bonded together using heat and pressure to form a smooth, printable surface. Tyvek is...

Printing Lingo: Understanding Flat Size, Trim Size, and Other Size Terms

The printing world is full of terms. Some of these terms may be confusing to those new to printing. This is particularly true when it comes to terms that describe the size of a printed document, whether it be a business card, brochure, book, or...

Printing Lingo: What are Flip Cards?

A set of six Flip Cards with sealed-edge gloss laminate and binding ring Flip Cards are durable cards, usually created as sets, which convey printed information in a simple and convenient format. Used most often for reference or instructional...

Printing Lingo: What is a Door Hanger?

Door Hangers are a simple and cost-effective way to distribute a promotional message to a targeted geographic area A Door Hanger is a printed piece, usually rectangular in shape, that is created with a die-cut hole or hook that allows it to...

Printing Lingo: What is a "Soft Touch" Finish?

In printing, the term "soft touch" is often used as a generic reference to any finishing method that adds a velvety-soft feel to print materials. Unlike most design elements that appeal to the sense of sight, a soft touch finish allows a printed...

Printing Lingo: What is a Rack Card?

An example of a large display case used to hold multiple Rack Cards A Rack Card is a simple and cost-effective promotional piece, usually printed in full color on one or both sides of heavy cardstock. The standardized size of rack cards...

Printing Lingo: What is a Table Tent?

When placed in highly-visible areas, Table Tents are a simple and effective method for displaying a company's marketing message A Table Tent is a convenient, self-standing promotional unit created from printed and folded cardstock. As the...

Printing Lingo: What is Envelope Converting?

Envelope Converting refers to the process of transforming paper into envelopes Envelope Converting refers to the process of creating envelopes from sheets or rolls of paper. The paper is "converted" into envelopes using several steps,...

Printing Lingo: What is Duplex Printing?

In the world of commercial print production, Duplex Printing refers to the printing of content on both sides of a sheet of paper. It is a term most often associated with projects produced on Digital printing presses (a related concept, called...

Printing Lingo: What is a Perfecting Press?

A Perfecting Press is an offset printing press that applies ink to both sides of a sheet of paper during a single pass through the press. All web presses (roll-fed presses) are perfecting presses, because the paper only flows through the...

Printing Lingo: What is an NCR Form?

An NCR Form is a multi-part form constructed from carbonless copy paper (aka NCR paper). NCR Forms allow multiple copies of a handwritten or impact-printed document to be created simultaneously. NCR Corporation, a global leader in consumer...

Printing Lingo: What is a Kiss Cut Label?

Self-adhesive postage stamps are a common example of the Kiss Cutting method. The perimeter of each stamp is cut cleanly for easy removal, but the liner sheet remains uncut. Kiss Cutting is one of the most popular methods for creating...

Printing Lingo: What is Finishing?

In printing, Finishing refers to value-added operations that are performed after the ink has been applied to the paper. Some finishing operations can occur before the printing comes off the press (inline), but many finishing operations are...

Printing Lingo: What is a Die Cut Decal?

Die-Cutting adds interesting shapes and contours to decals Decals provide the ideal method for affixing an attention-getting logo, slogan, image, and/or promotional message to products, containers, print materials, and many other surfaces....

Printing Lingo: What is Screen Printing?

A commercial screen printing press. Shown as its automated arm squeegees ink through a woven screen. Screen Printing is a time-tested stenciling technique used to apply inked images to a wide variety of substrates. Using a stencil, or a...

Printing Lingo: What is Die-Cutting?

Die-Cut Example: This creatively-designed promotional piece has a contoured edge as well as a uniquely patterned cut-out on the front cover In the world of printing, a Die refers to a thin, razor-sharp steel blade that has been formed into a...

Book Printing Lingo: What is PUR Binding?

The PUR Binding method adds tremendous flexibility and longevity to softcover books PUR Binding refers to a softcover book binding method that makes use of Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) adhesive. PUR Binding is a form of perfect binding,...

Book Printing Lingo: What Is Wire-O Binding?

Wire-O Binding produces a sophisticated and professional-looking document Wire-O Binding, also known as Twin Loop, Double-Loop, Double-O, Duo-Wire, or simply Wire Binding, is a popular method for joining the pages and cover of a bound...

Book Printing Lingo: What are the Margins of a Book?

This Diagram of an Open Book Illustrates the Concept of Page Margins The Margins of a book refer to the blank spaces that surround the printed content of each page. Each page in the book will have a top margin, a bottom margin, an inner...

Book Printing Lingo: What is the Spine of a Book?

The Spines of hardcover books and perfect bound books are often printed upon, because these types of books usually have spines wide enough to display printed information The Spine of a book refers to the outside edge of the book where the...

Printing Lingo: What is a Print-Ready file?

Print-Ready is a term used to describe a file that has all the specifications necessary to produce high-resolution printed output, without requiring any additional alteration or intervention. In other words, a commercial printer can use...

Printing Lingo: What are Crop Marks?

The Crop Marks placed at the corners of this artwork layout indicate where this business card (with bleed) will be trimmed after printing In printing, Crop Marks are thin lines placed at the corners of an image, page or artwork layout to...

Printing Lingo: What is a PDF file?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a file format developed by Adobe Systems in 1993 to standardize and simplify the sharing of electronic documents. Prior to the PDF, document files could only be exchanged between computers that...

Printing Lingo: What does Drilling mean?

This stack of paper has been Drilled with three holes In printing, the term "Drilling" refers to the process of creating round holes in paper using a rotating bit. Manual Punching vs Automated Drilling Unlike a manual punch, which...

Printing Lingo: What is a Proof?

A Proof is a close representation of how a piece will appear when printed A proof is a preliminary version of a printed piece. It provides a close representation of how the piece will appear when printed. Proofs are created to ensure that...

Printing Lingo: What does Collate mean?

Diagram A - Collated sets of documents In printing, the term Collate refers to the gathering and arranging of individual sheets or other printed components into a pre-determined sequence. Basically, Collating creates consistent, logical sets...

Book Printing: Portrait versus Landscape Orientation

Diagram A: a Book with a Portrait orientation is taller than it is wide Prior to laying out the pages and cover, you will have to decide whether a Portrait or Landscape orientation best suits your book project. A Portrait orientation...

Printing Lingo: What are Product Data Sheets / Fact Sheets / Spec Sheets?

Product Data Sheets convey a lot of detailed information in a very concise format A Product Data Sheet is a printed document used to describe the characteristics and features of a product. It is a great tool for conveying information about an...

Printing Lingo: What is a Trade Printer?

A Trade Printer provides printing to a resale partner, who then sells it to the end user A Trade Printer is a printing company that provides print materials to resellers at a wholesale rate. As a general rule, these resellers must be in a...

Printing Lingo: What are Sell Sheets?

The front of this two-sided Sell Sheet uses colorful images along with a bulleted list of features and benefits A Sell Sheet is a printed document used for informational and promotional purposes. As its name implies, a Sell Sheet is designed...

Printing Lingo: What is Miniature Folding?

Miniature Folding, or Mini Folding, is a specialized paper folding method that transforms a large sheet of paper into a very compact size. The miniature folding method is used when a great deal of printed information - such as detailed...

Book Printing Lingo: What is a "Softcover" Book?

The pages and cover of a perfect bound Softcover book are held together with a strong, flexible glue A softcover book refers to a book that has its pages bound within a pliable paper cover (like a paperback novel, corporate annual report or...

Printing Lingo: What is Paper Scoring?

Print Materials created from Heavy Paper or Card Stock, such as these Presentation Folders, require Scoring to ensure a clean, consistent Fold In the world of printing, Scoring refers to the process of making a crease in paper so it will fold...

Printing Lingo: What is a Reverse?

Top Illustrates Traditional Printing; Bottom Illustrates Reverse Printing In the printing industry, a Reverse refers to any text, logo or graphic that is produced using ink to form its outline, allowing the underlying paper color to form the...

Printing Lingo: What is UV Coating?

An interesting use of gloss UV Coating to add creativity and elegance UV Coating is a tough clear-coat applied over printed materials to 1) protect against scratches, tears and fingerprints and 2) enhance the brilliance of the ink colors. ...

Printing Lingo: What is Aqueous Coating?

Aqueous Coating is a popular type of clear top coat applied to printed pieces, such as brochures and flyers. It helps protect the ink and paper against scuffs, abrasions and smudges. In addition to protection, Aqueous Coating enhances the...

Printing Lingo: What does the term "Pre-press" mean?

Pre-Press Ensures Your Layout will Print as Intended Pre-press is a printing industry term for the activities that occur after a commercial printer receives an order and a corresponding graphics file from a client or graphic designer, but...

Printing Lingo: What is a C-fold?

The C-Fold, also known as the Letter Fold, is the Most Common Method of Tri-Folding a Document A C-fold is a document folding method that uses two parallel folds to create six panels of roughly the same size - three panels on each side of the...

Printing Lingo: What is a Z-fold?

The Classic Z-Fold is Commonly Used for Letters, Flyers and Brochures A Z-fold is a document folding method that uses two parallel folds to create six panels of equal size - three panels on each side of the paper. The two folds are made...

Printing Lingo: What is a Gatefold?

Diagram A: The Gatefold method is used for invitations and brochures A Gatefold is a document folding method that uses two parallel folds to create six panels - three panels on each side of the paper. The left and right panels are roughly...

Printing Lingo: What is Variable Data Printing?

Variable Data Printing is a cost-effective way to create Personalized Marketing Pieces Variable Data Printing (VDP), sometimes called Variable Information Printing (VIP), is a printing method which allows the printed content to change within...

Book Printing Lingo: What is Book Binding?

Examples of Softcover Books Created with the Perfect Binding Method Book Binding, also known as Book Bindery, is the process of assembling and securing written or printed pages within a cover. In most cases, the cover is thicker than the...

Printing Lingo: What is Resolution?

Example of an Image with High Resolution In printing, the term Resolution refers to the sharpness and detail of images. Higher resolution means more image detail. Lower resolution means less image detail. Generally speaking, resolution is...

Direct Mail Lingo: What is an Indicia?

Indicia Examples In the realm of direct mail, an Indicia (pronounced in-DEE-shuh) is an imprint on each mail piece that signifies the postage has been prepaid. A postal Indicia takes the place of a stamp or postage meter imprint and is...

Printing Lingo: What does "Up" mean…as in 2-Up, 3-Up, Multiple-Up?

In printing, terms like Two-Up, Three-Up, Four-Up, Multiple-Up etc. refer to the way artwork files and/or printing plates are designed, so that the printing press can apply more than one image to the paper at the same time. Example of an...

Printing Lingo: What does Registration mean?

Illustration of proper and poor Ink Color Registration. In the world of printing, the term Register refers to the spatial relationship between two or more elements of a printed piece. Registration (or Register) relates to the importance of...

Printing Lingo: What is Digital Printing?

The term Digital refers to the digits 0 and 1, which provide the basis for the mathematical language computers use to create, process and store electronic images. Digital Printing is the process of transferring these stored images directly onto...

Printing Lingo: What is Offset Printing?

Offset Printing is a widely used commercial printing technique that produces consistent and high quality printed materials. As a general rule, this technique is used for production runs of 1,000 or more pieces. The offset printing method is...

Printing Lingo: What does C1S and C2S mean?

C1S is printing industry shorthand for "coated one side." Likewise, C2S means "coated two sides." These terms refer to coatings applied to paper by the paper manufacturer. Why is Paper Coated? Paper is coated to produce a smooth printing...

Printing Lingo: What is a "Presentation Folder?"

Example of a Presentation Folder with Full Color printing on the Front and Back Covers A Presentation Folder, sometimes referred to as a Pocket Folder, is a sturdy folder used to store and organize documents such as those distributed during a...

Printing Lingo: What is a "Gang Run" or "Combination Run?"

A Gang Run refers to printing multiple jobs in the same press run A Gang Run, also known as a Combination Run or Combo Run, is a term for printing multiple jobs in the same production run on a printing press. By printing similar jobs from...

Printing Lingo: What does "CMYK" stand for?

CMYK Colors = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black What does CMYK stand for? What does CMYK mean? What is CMYK printing? I am frequently asked these and other similar questions about the "CMYK" acronym. Simply, CMYK stands for four...

Printing Lingo: What does "Embossing" mean?

This mouse photo was Embossed for a 3D look and also to provide texture to the fur In the printing industry, Embossing refers to a method of pressing an image into paper or cardstock to create a three dimensional design. Text, logos and other...

Printing Lingo: What is "Lamination" and why is it used?

In the printing industry, Lamination refers to the process of bonding a clear plastic film onto printed matter. It is most common to bond the film to both sides of the printed piece so that the piece is totally enclosed in plastic. Printed pieces...

Book Printing Lingo: What does "Perfect Binding" mean?

Perfect Binding is a widely used soft cover book binding method. With this binding method, the pages and cover are glued together at the spine with a strong yet flexible thermal glue. The other three sides of the book are then trimmed as needed...

Book Printing Lingo: Is Spiral Binding the same as Coil Binding?

Spiral Binding and Coil Binding are interchangeable terms for the exact same book binding method. This popular method joins the pages and cover of a book using a durable plastic or metal coil that is shaped like a long spring. The coil is...

Printing Lingo: What do terms like 4/4, 4/1, 4/0, 1/1 and 1/0 mean?

Terms like 4/4 , 4/1, 4/0 etc. are a sort of printing industry shorthand to express how many ink colors are applied to each side of a printed piece. 4/4 is pronounced "four over four" and means there are four ink colors applied to the front...

Printing Lingo: PMS Spot Colors vs Process CMYK Colors

Some printing customers like to set up their own artwork files and I admire and welcome their desire to be a part of the creative process. However, we occasionally receive artwork files that have been designed with software that is not...

Printing Lingo: What does "Saddle Stitch" mean?

To form a book, the Saddle Stitch method uses wire staples to secure folded sheets of paper In the printing industry, Saddle Stitching refers to a very popular book binding method in which folded sheets are gathered together one...

Printing Lingo: What does "Bleed" mean?

Of all the questions I am asked in a given week, questions about "Bleed" are definitely the most common. In printing, the term "Bleed" means that the ink coverage extends all the way to the edge of the paper. Examples of Ink Bleed on...

Printing Lingo: What does "Print On Demand" mean?

You may have heard the term "Print On Demand" and wondered what it was all about. Print On Demand refers to a printer's ability to produce books or other documents for a customer on an "as needed" basis. Print On Demand is currently popular...

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Formax Printing does an outstanding job printing anything and everything we send them. But the biggest reason I go to them time and again is the customer service. Our...

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We consider Formax a partner in every sense of the word. The staff is a pleasure to work with, and their attention to detail is greatly appreciated! Whether a large order...

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Formax knows everything about printing so I don’t have to. I have been working with them since 2000. As the Marketing Coordinator of a small company, I wear many...

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