Printing and Mail House Glossary
Against the Grain – Used to describe the direction of the grain on paper. Against the grain is at right angles to the grain direction being used, as compared to with the grain.

Align – Lining up characters and images on a document using a base or vertical line as a reference point.

Amendments/alterations – Changes made to the copy after it has been set.

Backing up – To print the second side of a printed sheet.

Barcode – A series of bars, which represent letters, numerals, and other human readable characters which can be deciphered by mail sorting equipment.

Bitmap – A digital graphic image formed by tiny squares called pixels. The more pixels in an image, the clearer it appears.

Binding – This is the process used to keep your books and booklets together. There are many different methods of binding; the most commonly used are saddle stitch, perfect and burst bound.

Black – The colour of maximum darkness. For CMYK printing, you will get the deepest black possible by adding 30 – 50% cyan to 100% black. There is no other combination that produces a better black.

Blanket – A rubber coated fabric sheet that’s mounted on a cylinder of an offset press. It receives the inked image from the plate and transfers it to the surface to be printed.

Bleed – Printed image that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming. The file should be set up so that there is at least 3mm bleed, with the trim area clearly marked.

Borders – A margin around the edge of artwork. We recommend that all borders are more than 3mm wide on the trim edges.

Burst binding – Burst binding is similar to perfect binding, however it is more durable. The spine of each section is perforated during the folding process. Glue is then pushed up between the perforations during binding and the cover drawn on. Burst binding is used for books and booklets that are greater than 35 pages.

Caliper – The measurement for the thickness of a sheet of paper or board, expressed in microns or millionths of a metre. It’s also the name of the tool used to make the measurement.

Celloglaze – This is a plastic film heat bonded to printed products such as booklet covers or business cards. It can be either gloss or matt and can be applied to either both or just one side of an item.

Centring – Each file should be placed into a picture box and auto-centred, so the centre of your artwork is the centre of your trim.

Chalking – A powdering effect left on the surface of the paper after the printing process is complete. It’s the result of ink not drying properly and due to a fault in printing.

Coated – Printing papers that have had a surface coating to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity.

Cold lamination (gloss or matt) – Uses pressure sensitive adhesives to bind the film to the material being laminated. This is your best option when you are laminating heat-sensitive work.

Collating – The process of arranging your printed and/or other materials into a desired sequence and packing them for dispatch.

Colour mode – Colour mode/space/model must be CMYK (NOT RGB).

Colour separation – The process of separating a continuous tone colour into the four process colours for print production.

Concertina fold – A method of folding where each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect.

Corflute – A hollow fluted plastic board manufactured from lightweight extruded polypropylene.

Corner marks – Marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim.

Crash fold – Folding a document more than once, subsequent folds fold over previous folds. For example, an A3 sheet folded to A4 and then crash folded to DL for mailing.

Crease – An indent made in paper to make folding easier.

Creep – When the middle pages of a folded booklet extend slightly beyond the outside pages.

Cyan – The blue colour used in four-colour process printing.

CMYK – The abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The colours used in our full-colour printing process.

CTP – Computer-to-plate, a process of printing directly from a computer onto the plates used by a printing press, it eliminates the need for a separate film-to-plate exposure system.

Debossing – An inverted form of embossing. An image or decoration is recessed into the paper, so it’s lower than the paper surface.

Densitometre – An electrical instrument used to measure the density of a printed ink colour.

Die – A hardened steel stamp used to produce embossing effects.

Die cut – The process of cutting shapes in paper using a die, or shaped cutting tool.

Digital printing – Printing in which an image is applied to paper or another substrate directly from a digital file rather than using film and/ or plates.

Digital proofing – The final hard copy view of your artwork before it hits the press and your final chance to make changes. Digital proofing incurs an extra charge and is not compulsory.

Direct mail, fulfilment and mail merges – Common mail distribution techniques. Our distribution services range from small mail merges and lodgements, through to large print orders to multiple locations across Australia.

Dot Gain – The apparent increase in dot size, or tone value, measured on the press sheet compared with the size specified in a digital file or measured on the film separations. The increase is both optical and mechanical and varies with the type of paper and line screen being used. Dot gain is higher with uncoated paper or newsprint.

DPID – Delivery Point ID – The DPID is an eight-digit number that is appended to all 8.8 million delivery addresses in Australia which uniquely identifies each delivery point to which Australia Post delivers mail.

Drilling – The process of drilling holes in printed material.

Dummy – A mock-up made to resemble the final printed product using the planned grade, weight and colour of paper.

DPI (dots per inch) – Dots per inch (DPI) is the measurement used to determine the amount of digital information in a bitmapped image, by counting the number of pixels per line in one inch. This measurement is used to determine the output resolution of a printer or image setter.

Embossing – A process which produces images or decorations that are raised above the surface of the paper.

Embedded fonts – A process that allows fonts to be viewed by all computers – even if they don’t have the same font installed. Essential for printing.

Encapsulation – hot reverse and cold front (gloss or matt) – The covering and sealing of your print work.

External bleed – When an illustration or image is extended beyond the edge of the page. We require a 3mm external bleed – anything that touches an edge must be extended a further 3mm past it. This allows for a small amount of movement in the printing process.

EPS – Encapsulated Postscript File, a vector-based, computer graphics file format. EPS is the preferred format for many computer illustrations because of its efficient use of memory and colour control.

Finished size – Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.

Finishing – Any process that follows printing, including folding, stitching, binding, laminating.

Flat size – Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.

Folding – When a printed document requires folding for completion, for example A3 folded to A4 or A4 folded to A5.

Four-colour process – Printing using four colour separation plates – yellow, magenta, cyan and black. The inks are translucent and can be combined to produce a wide range of colours.

Full colour – Same as four-colour process.

Gloss cello – A clear, shiny finish that brings out and emphasises colours. It makes images look brighter, adds definition and radiance.

Gluing – a permanent method of fixing multiple items together.

Grammage – Basic weight of paper in grams per square metre (gsm).

Guillotine – A machine used to trim stacks of paper. The guillotine-cutting blade moves between two upright guides and slices paper evenly as it moves down.

Gumming – Similar to gluing, however it is not permanent. The gum becomes sticky when wet.

GIF – Graphics Interchange Format, a highly compressed file format ideal for simple graphics with limited shading or colour variation. GIF format files of simple images are often smaller than if they were stored in JPEG format, but GIF format doesn’t store photographic images as well as JPEG. GIFs shouldn’t be used for files to be printed on an offset printing press.

Green Printing – Green Printing is printing in a way which is environmentally friendly. This involves the use of more natural inks, recycled papers and energy conservation.

GSM – Grams per square metre, a standard measure of the weight of paper.

Halo effect – When excess ink piles up around the outside edges of printed material. This causes the centre ink to seem lighter.

Hickies – Dust or paper particles sticking to the printing plate or blanket. These appear on the printed sheet as dark spots surrounded by a halo.

Holdout – A paper characteristic that prevents the stock from absorbing ink, allowing it to dry on the surface of the paper. A stock with better holdout results in a sharper image.

Hot spot – A printing problem which is caused by a piece of dirt or an air bubble interfering with plate making, leaving a weak area of ink coverage or significant dot gain.

Image area – Any part of the design to be printed, stamped or embossed.

Imposition – The arrangement or layout of pages on a printed sheet. When the sheet is printed both sides and folded, the pages will fall in their correct order.

Impression – Refers to the number of plates hitting the press sheet.

Insert – An instruction to the printer/mail house for the inclusion of additional copy.

Internal bleed – CBS Printing requires 3mm of internal bleed or type area. We recommend that you keep your important information at least 3mm in from the trim to allow for a small amount of movement in the printing process.

ICC – International Colour Consortium, established by the printing industry to create, promote and encourage the standardisation of colour.

ICC Profiles – Standard guidelines for colour management. The profile allows one piece of software or hardware to “know” how another device created its colours and how they should be interpreted or reproduced.

Jog – To align sheets of paper into a compact pile before they go to the guillotine for trimming.

JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group, a file compression format that allows high quality full colour or grey-scale digital images to be stored in relatively small files.

Key colour – In CMYK, the colour black is the key colour and represented with a K.

Knife, forme cut or die cut – The process of cutting paper and card into different shapes after it has been printed. We can create just about any shape you can imagine.

Laminate – A thin transparent plastic coating that is bonded to paper or board by heat and pressure. This provides protection, as well as a matt or gloss finish.

Laser printing – A method of printing that uses a laser beam to produce an image on a photosensitive drum.

Line screen – The resolution of a halftone, expressed in lines per inch (lpi). Our line screen ruling for offset print is 175lpi.

Lithography – A printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to oil. The printing plate is treated chemically when being made so that the image will accept ink and repel water.

Machine glazed – Uncoated paper with a polished finished on one side only.

Machine varnish – A thin, protective coating applied to a printed sheet to reduce marking or scuffing.

Make ready – All of the work done to set up a job, before beginning a press run.

Matt cello – A non-reflective varnish applied to a printed surface to protect it. A matt cello has a slightly granular look and tends to make colours look more vivid.

Numbering – Printing sequential numbers on your printed material, from event tickets to limited edition series. Numbering can be printed in a number of different fonts and in black or red ink.

Offset – A printing method that transfers an image from an inked plate onto a rubber blanket covered cylinder and then onto the printed surface. This is currently the most common method of commercial printing.

Overprinting – The process of printing over an area that’s already printed. Used to emphasise changes or alterations.

Opacity – Characteristic of paper that prevents printing on one side from showing through to the other.

Overs – Additional paper/material required to compensate for spoilage during printing, binding and collating. Also used to refer to the quantity produced above the number of copies ordered.

Pantone – The name of an ink colour matching system, created by Pantone Inc of USA. Used worldwide.

Parallel fold – A method of folding where two folds are parallel to each other. Two parallel folds produce a six-page sheet.

PDF (Portable Document Format) – Format that allows documents to be passed from one computer to another in any platform. The documents can then be viewed on screen or printed.

Perfect binding – A popular binding method, in which all of the sections are glued into a separate cover, with a flat spine. Depending on the number of pages and the weight of the paper some documents may be too slim to be perfect bound and will have to be wire-stitched.

Perforations – A line of punched holes that allow a sheet of paper to be torn or folded accurately. You might also hear it called a perf.

Pixel – A coloured dot that makes up an image on a computer or television screen.

PMS (Pantone Matching System) – Internationally recognised standard for matching, coordinating and mixing printing inks to produce specially formulated colours.

Portrait – And upright image or page where the height is greater than the width.

Preflight – in digital prepress this is the test used to used to analyse or evaluate every component needed to produce a high quality print job. The process helps reduce the likehood of rasterisation problems and the subsequent production delays that they cause.

Presort Mail – Australia Post’s PreSort Letters service offers discounted postage rates for customers lodging more than 300 machine-addressed articles that are barcoded and sorted. This service is the most cost effective way to send fully addressed mail.

Primary colours – The three main colours in the printing world from which all other colours are created, cyan, magenta and yellow.

Printing plate – The surface that carries an image to be printed.

Proof – A test print that shows how the finished product will look.

Proof – digital – A proof that is generated electronically from the electronic file that will be used to print the job. Proofs can be used to represent black and white, process and PMS colour. Not considered to be colour correct.

PPI – Pixels Per Inch, a measurement describing the size of a printed image. The higher the number, the more detailed the image will be.

Quickset – Lithographic inks are designed to obtain a tack-free state as soon as possible after printing to minimise the chance of setoff.

Raster Image – Electronic representation of printable data using a grid of points called pixels. Each pixel contains a defined value about its colour, size and location in the image – this enables us to print, picture perfect.

Resolution – The number of pixels in an image. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and the better the picture. For a good quality print result, colour and gray scale raster images (pixel-based/scans) should be 300dpi (maximum 350dpi). Mono raster images (bitmaps) should be 1200 dpi maximum.

RIP – Raster Image Processor, a production device used to convert a digital file into a raster image. The raster image is the electronic representation of printable data.

Roll fold – A fold that keeps rolling onto itself.

RGB – Red, Green, Blue, a model for describing colours that are produce by emitting light rather than absorbing it. They are known as additive colours because when they are added together they create all colours. RGB colours are what you see on your computer screen, these must be converted to CMYK for printing.

Saddle stitch – A form of binding commonly used by CBS Printing to create books and booklets from 8 to 64 pages. The book or booklet is stapled through the middle fold of its sheets using saddle wire.

Scoring – The process of making a line or a crease in paper or board so that it can be folded cleanly. Scoring is recommended when you require folding on stocks heavier than 150gsm. It minimises cracking of the ink and paper at the edge of the fold.

Scumming – A common printing problem that occurs when the non-image areas of the plate take on some ink. This often causes streaks on printed material.

Section – A printed sheet that is folded to make multiple pages. Multiple sections are placed together to make up a book. Individual sections are either saddle-stitched or perfect bound together.

Self cover – A cover printed on the same paper stock as the body of the publication.

Set off – A printing problem that occurs when wet ink from the printed side of the sheet transfers to the back of the sheet above it.

Sheet fed – A printing press that prints single sheets of paper, rather than printing from reels of paper.

Slurring – A printing problem caused by paper slipping during the printing process. It causes smearing of the image.

Spine – The binding edge of a book.

Spot colour – A colour that’s not produced with our standard four-colour process, the colour is printed using ink made exclusively. It’s used when you require a very specific ink colour such as a PMS colour.

Spot varnish – Varnish is applied to a particular spot on your printed material – not the whole thing. It creates a shiny effect on just this spot and nowhere else.

Stock – The general term for any paper or board that is used as a printed surface.

Strike-through – The term used to describe when ink soaks through a printed sheet and shows up on the back of the sheet.

Swatch – A sample of colours or paper stocks.

Transparency – The ability of an ink or coating to allow light to pass through it. Process colours are transparent to allow them to blend and create other colours.

Trapping – A process used in pre press to create an overlap between colours to allow for slight errors in the printing process. All vector elements are automatically trapped in our RIP process, and raster files are not affected.

Trim – Cutting the printed product down to the correct size.

Trim marks – The guide marks on the printed sheet that indicate where you want to cut/trim the printed sheet.

TIFF – Tagged Image File Format, a bitmapped file format used for the reproduction of digitally scanned images such as photographs, illustrations and logos.

Type style – Characteristic of a typeface, such as bold, italic or light.

Varnishing – A finishing process whereby a transparent ‘matt’ or ‘gloss’ varnish is applied over the printed sheet.

Vector graphics – These are images created using mathematical statements that define geometric shapes. You can move, resize, and change the colour of vector graphics without losing quality. Unlike bitmaps, vector graphics are not dependent on resolution so you can scale them to any size without losing detail or clarity.

Viscosity – The properties of tack and flow in printing inks.

Web printing – A web-printing machine accepts that substrate in a large roll (the web), either in lithographic, flexographic, or gravure processes. These are very fast presses and are the most economic for long run and high volume work.

Wet trap – When varnish or ink is printed over wet ink. The application is said to be a ‘wet trap’.

WYSIWYG – What-you-see-is-what-you-get (pronounced “wizzywig”). Refers to systems that allow you to preview your print work on screen, the printed page will look the same as the preview.

Z fold – A fold that looks like a Z.



A0 1189mm x 841mm

A1 841mm x 594mm

A2 594mm x 420mm

A3 420mm x 297mm

A4 297mm x 210mm

A5 210mm x 148mm

A6 148mm x 105mm

A7 105mmx74mm


B0 1414mm x 1000mm

B1 1000mm x 707mm

B2 707mm x 500mm

B3 500mm x 353mm

B4 353mm x 250mm

B5 250mm x 176mm

B6 176mm x 125mm

B7 125mm x 88mm