Key Printing Terms

Key Printing Terms

CMYK - The 4 printing colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black. All required secondary colors can be obtained from the first three primary colors. Black enhances contrast and is applied separately.

Computer to Plate (CtP) - Procedure for producing printing plates directly from digital data. This technology is inexpensive, since no lithography stage is required.

Desktop Publishing (DTP) - Text and image processing on the computer using a scanner and a laser printer as the output medium. The rapid developments in computer technology mean that DTP is becoming increasingly popular.

Direct Capture Technology (DCT) - Scanner technology for recording image information directly without need for deflection using mirrors. This avoids stray light and distortions. It also improves image quality quite significantly.

Digital printing - Unlike conventional printing processes, digital printing does not require extensive preparation time. Digital data can be used to produce direct, high-quality printing. Digital printing is ideal for small runs.

Finishing - Also known as postpress. Covers all operations of a printing process required to turn the printed sheets into a finished product. These operations include cutting, folding, stitching, binding and packaging.

Gravure printing - Unlike letterpress printing, the areas to be printed - known as cells - are recessed in gravure printing technology. These cells are either etched or engraved onto the printing forms. The ink is pressed into the cells by means of a roller. Excess ink is wiped away and the image transferred to the paper by means of back pressure. Gravure printing is used for runs in excess of one million prints.

Job Definition Format (JDF) - New data format for exchanging information in the graphic arts industry. It supports complete, manufacturer-independent integration of all job-related and computer-based processes. JDF is Internet-compatible.

Lamination - Lamination involves covering the printed sheet with a high-gloss, matt, colored or embossed plastic film.

Layout - The position of the texts and images on a page is defined in the layout and so forms the template for the print product.

Letterpress printing - In letterpress printing, all printing areas are elevated over the non-printing areas. The image information is transferred by inking up the areas to be printed.

Linotype - Keyboard-operated metal composing machine which sets type in a metal strip as long as a line, as opposed to single characters.

Lithographic printing - See Offset printing.

Offset / lithographic printing - Offset printing is based on the principle that grease and water repel each other. The areas to be printed and those which are not to be printed lie on virtually the same level. The elements to be printed attract the ink and repel water; the situation is reversed for non-printing elements.

Print Production Workflow - Generic term for the workflow for producing print products. This is conventionally broken down into prepress, press and postpress/finishing.

Printing on Demand - Digital printing allows publications to be produced quickly as and when required. There is no need for expensive storage - small runs can be produced inexpensively and publications shipped immediately after the order has been received.

QuarkXpress - The standard desktop publishing program for the Macintosh computer.

Rotary printing - Printing technology where the printing form and press roller are in the form of cylinders. The printing stock travels between the printing form cylinder and impression cylinder and is printed during the process.

Scanner - Device for digitizing image and text originals.

Sunday technology - Patented procedure with the following features: Gapless blanket cylinder, shaftless drive technology and needle-less folders. Paper can be saved since no gaps are needed on the impression cylinder. Time can also be saved converting the press.

Web printing - Web printing prints paper reels. Web presses are particularly popular for large runs.