Glossary of Printing Terms:B

B Setting

Bulb Setting

A shutter-speed setting on an adjustable camera that allows for time exposures.

When set on B, the shutter will stay open as long as the shutter release button remains depressed.



The measurement, usually in points, of the distance from the baseline of one line to the baseline of the following line. This is also called leading.




The Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland

The trade association for booksellers.

Back Cylinder Pressure

Additional pressure applied through the impression cylinder assisting the image transfer to the press sheet.

Back Lining

The fixing of a material, either paper or cloth, to the back of a book before it is bound. Reference: case binding.

Back Margin

A term referring to the margin which lies closest to the back of the book.

Back Slit

A slit in the liner of a pressure sensitive label, used to assist in the removal of the facestock from the liner. Also referred to as slit back and split back

Back Step Collation

The collation of book signatures according to reference marks which are printed on the back fold of each section.

Back to Back

Print applied to both sides of a sheet of paper.

Back-light or Back-lit

Light is being cast from behind the subject matter in the direction of the digital camera. Using a fill flash or compensating on the exposure will enable the image to receive the proper exposure.


Information printed on the back of a picture by the photofinisher.

The system standard requires the printing of frame number, film cassette number and processing date automatically on the back of each Advanced Photo System print; may also include more detailed information, such as customized titles and time and date of picture-taking.

  1. On a bound book, it is the back part that binds the book together, also referred to as the spine.

  2. A high-speed line or collection of lines that make up the main network connections for the Internet.

Backer Security Screen

A screen that is printed on the back of the check and contains the words “Original Document”. A light density screen is used, making it difficult to duplicate when copied or scanned.


That portion of a photograph or line art drawing that appears furthest from the eye; the surface upon which the main image is superimposed.


The backer material or carrier sheet of a pressure sensitive material. Generally has a release coating applied to allow the adhesive to release easily. Also referred to as the liner.

Backing Up
  1. In printing, to print the reverse side of a printed sheet.

  2. In computers, it is making a copy of your files on a separate disk so that you will have a copy of the files in case something happens to the original file.


Light coming from behind the subject, toward the camera lens, so that the subject stands out vividly against the background. Sometimes produces a silhouette effect.


Backprinting is any copy printed on the back side of the sheet.


Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.

Backstep Marks

Marks printed on signatures that indicate where the final fold will occur. When gathering and initial folding is completed, these marks appear as a stepped sequence.

Backstrip Label

A square or rectangular piece of paper or leather attached to the spine of a book, containing printed information about the book, such as author, title, and volume number.

Also known as Label.

Backup Copy

Duplicate of an original made in case of loss or damage of the original.


A slack, floppy area usually caused by gauge variation. The material has been stretched and is actually longer in that area.


A term given to the procedure of drying coatings onto papers.

  1. A principle of design that places elements on the page so that text and graphic elements are evenly distributed.

In layouts with an even balance the graphics don’t overpower the text and the page doesn’t seem to tilt to one side or the other.

  1. Placement of colors, light and dark masses, or large and small objects in a picture to create harmony and equilibrium.

Solid pressed packaging unit of pulp.


A graphic device often seen in comic books, balloons are boxes, circles, or cloudlike shapes that contain the words or thoughts of a character. These speech balloons or thought bubbles come in many shapes. Typically an extended or pointed portion of the balloon or a straight line points to the character speaking. Cloud-shaped balloons often indicate what a character is thinking rather than what is being spoken.

  1. Securing a specific quantity of a product with the use of a strip of paper or a rubber band.

  2. Steel, plastic or fiber bands are also used to secure materials such as multiple rolls of paper, skids of sheet stock and skids of finished product.

  3. Halftones and screen tints, output by imagesetters or laser printers, sometimes get a defect in them where parallel streaks (a stair steps effect) appear in the dot pattern.

  4. A strip of paper, printed or unprinted, that wraps around loose sheets (in lieu of binding with a cover) or assembled pieces.

  5. The operation of putting a paper band around loose sheets or assembled pieces.

  6. Metal straps wrapped around skids of cartons or materials wrapped in waterproof paper, to secure the contents to the skid for shipment.


The total amount of data that can be carried on a transmission circuit in a set time. The bandwidth is normally given in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz) or kHz, for analog devices, and bits or bytes per second for digital devices.


The extra flap on the back panel of an envelope, which is detached at the perforation before the envelope is mailed.

Bank Paper

A thin uncoated stock used for making carbon copies.

Banker’s Flap Envelope

Also called wallet flap; the wallet flap has more rounded flap edges.


A large headline or title extending across the full page width. On a news paper for example it would be known as a banner headline.

Banner Ad

Advertisement usually at the top or bottom of a web site page which leads directly to the advertiser’s web site.

Bar Code

A pattern of vertical bars and spaces which represent characters of data that are readable with optical scanning devices.

Bar Code Clear Zone

The lower right corner of an envelope or mailing piece which cannot contain any printing so that the encoding of bar codes or optical characters can be accomplished and read accu

Bar Code Read Area

The area within the bar code clear zone that the bar code must be printed. The left most bar must fall within a defined area and the bottom edge must be a required distance from the bottom.

Bar Code Scanner

A device used to read bar codes by the use of reflected light.

Bar Code Sorter

A machine, controlled by a computer, used to sort letters according to the bar code printed on the mail piece.

Bar Length

The bar dimension perpendicular to bar width.

Bar Width

The thickness of a bar measured from the edge closest to the symbol start character to the trailing edge of the same bar.

Bar Width Reduction

Reduction of the nominal bar width dimension on film masters or printing plates to compensate for printing gain.

Barium Sulfate

Substance used as a standard for white, in lieu of the availability of a practical 100 percent reflecting diffuser.

Barn Doors

A device with two sets of thin metal doors (horizontal and vertical) placed before a light source to control the direction of ligh

Baronial Cards

A type of card stock that often has a beveled edge, used for announcements and invitations.

Baronial Envelopes

A baronial envelope is close to square in size, and has a pointed flap and diagonal seams. It is generally used for formal announcements.


In typography, Old Style is a style of font developed by Renaissance typographers to replace the Blackletter style of type. Based on ancient Roman inscriptions, these fonts are generally characterized by low contrast between thick and thin strokes, bracketed serifs, and a left-leaning axis or stress. There are two groups of Old Style typefaces: Venetian (Renaissance) and Garalde (Baroque).

Barrier Coat

A coating applied to the back of the facestock to help assist the adhesive in sticking to it and to prevent some adhesives from bleeding through or staining the facestock. It is only needed when using certain types of adhesives. Also refered to as primer or sealant coat.

Baryta Paper

A coated stock (barium sulfate compound) used for text impressions on typesetting machines.

Bas Relief

A three dimensional impression is which the image stands just slightly out from the flat background. References, blind emboss.


The number of different values that can be represented by each digit position; e.g., binary numbering or base 2 has two values for each digit position, 1 and 0. Base 10 numbering has 10 values, 0 through 9.

Base 14

Base 14 Fonts are specific common Type 1 fonts installed as a part of the Adobe Acrobat installation. The Base 13 fonts are these same fonts, minus Zapf Dingbats, and are found in most PostScript printers.

By default, when creating a Screen Optimized PDF with Distiller or any PDF from PDF Writer, the Base 14 fonts are not embedded in the document. Since these fonts are available in Acrobat Reader it is assumed that they will be available to any viewer and embedding would simply add unnecessarily to the file size. However, Distiller (4.x) settings and PDF Writer for Windows settings can be changed in order to embed the Base 14 fonts.

Base Art

The copy that is laid out on the artboard opposed to the overlays. It is generally the color that will print in black or the color to be used on the majority of the copy.

Base Color

A first color used as a background on which other colors are printed.

Base Film

The basic material for contact film in platemaking for photomechanical reproduction, to which film positives are stripped.

Base Negative

Negative made from copy pasted to mounting board, not overlays.

Base Stock

Manufactured paper that will be further processed as laminated, Duplex Cover, Bristol Cover, or off machine embossed papers.


The virtual line on which the text characters are set, not including the ascenders and descenders of the characters.

Baseline Shift

When type is raised above or lowered below the baseline of the text.

Basic Color

One of the three colors that cannot be attained by mixing. When equal amounts of two primary colors are mixed, a first-order secondary color is produced.

Every color model is comprised of three primary colors. The additive primary colors are red, green and blue (RGB).

The subtractive primary colors are cyan, magenta and yellow (CMYK stands for key and refers to black for contrast).

Each secondary color of the one color model is a primary color in the other.

A second-order secondary color is produced by mixing different amounts of two primary colors. Tertiary colors are a combination of different amounts of all three primary colors.

Basic Sheet Size

The sheet size used to figure the basis weight of a grade of paper. The basic sheet size varies for different grades of paper.

Basic Size

The standard size of sheets of paper used to calculate basis weight in the United States and Canada.

Basis Weight

In English system of units, basis weight is the weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a basic size. (Basic size differs from category to category of the paper. Basic size for Bond and Ledger is 20”x26”, book, offset and text paper have basic size of 25”x38”).

In metric system of units, basis weight is the weight in grams of a single sheet of area one square meter. Basis weight is also called as substance and grammage in metric system of units.

Batch Counter

A device on a sheeter, folder or stacker used to count a specific number of individual pieces and separate or mark them as a group.

Batch Scan

Scanning a number of similar images or text documents at one time.


The transmission rate over an analog telephone line. Baud rate is sometimes confused with the digital transmission rate (bits per second), which is usually higher than the baud rate.


A design school in Germany where the Sans Serif font was originated.


Bulletin Board System

An automated server which allows a client to connect to the server and then he client can then either enter files or messages or retrieve files or messages from the BBS.


Book Club

A book usually printed especially for a book club such as “The Book of the Month Club” or “The Literary Guild.”

These copies will usually have the words “Book Club Edition” printed on the bottom right corner of the front flap of the dustwrapper.

Occasionally, if the book club does not wish to do a separate edition they will have a publisher blind stamp the rear board and print a supply of dustwrappers without a price on the front flap and now without the bar code data on the rear panel.

Book Clubs are not solely an American phenomenon as there have been numerous British Book Clubs over the years.


Book Club Edition

A book usually printed especially for a book club such as “The Book of the Month Club” or “The Literary Guild.”

These copies will usually have the words “Book Club Edition” printed on the bottom right corner of the front flap of the dustwrapper.

Occasionally, if the book club does not wish to do a separate edition they will have a publisher blind stamp the rear board and print a supply of dustwrappers without a price on the front flap and now without the bar code data on the rear panel.

Book Clubs are not solely an American phenomenon as there have been numerous British Book Clubs over the years.


British Columbia Printing & Imaging Association

The BCPIA is a trade association devoted to promoting and advancing the best interests of the printing industry in British Columbia. It is the voice of the printing industry and provides its members with one of the most dynamic partnership arrangements of any association in North America.



A book with a cover of any type, or a periodical that has a cover other than its published wraps.



The various methods used to secure loose leaves or pages in a book or magazine.

The methods that are commonly used are: tape or thermal binding, perfect binding, VeloBind, loose leaf binding, plastic comb binding, spiral binding, double loop binding, saddle stitch binding, side wire binding, sewn case binding and sewn soft cover binding.


The flat surfaces or rings at the ends of press cylinders that come in contact with each other during printing and serve as a basis for determining packing thickness.

Bearing Block

A device that holds the die in place in the die station.


The adjusting of spacing of type in order to correct the justification.


Blender-type machine used to pulverize pulp and for mixing additives and color to the stock.

Beater Sized

Process of adding sizing material to the pulp in the beater.


Mechanical treatment of pulp fibres to develop their paper technical properties, such as ability to bond each other


The folding (accordion) portion in some cameras that connects the lens to the camera body.

Also a camera accessory that, when inserted between lens and camera body, extends the lens-to-film distance for close focusing.

Belt Press

A large printing press that prints several pages in one pass.


The technique of using a screen tint on artwork or plates to create different tones or shaded effects. The screen tint may be made up of dots, lines or other textures.

Bending Chip

A recycled paperboard product used for making folding cartons

Beneficial Use

The use of a waste product that poses no threat to human health or the environment in another process that provides a positive benefit to the public and the environment; for example, the use of sludge, a by-product of paper manufacturing, in the composting of materials to produce a high-grade soil conditioner.


Best Engineering Practices

Techniques and/or methodologies that, through experience and research, have proven to reliably lead to a desired result.

A commitment to using the best practices in engineering is a commitment to using all the knowledge and technology at one’s disposal to ensure success.

Berne Conventions

An international agreement made in 1886 for the respect of copyright between participating nations.

Beta Site

A company or location that is involved in testing a product before it is actually released.

Beta Test

Testing a product under live operations prior to releasing.

Between-Set Perforations

The cross perforation that separates the individual continuous forms.

Between-The-Lens Shutter

A shutter whose blades operate between two elements of the lens.


A three-dimensional edge effect applied to the border of a graphic, such as buttons.

Beveled Edges

A binding technique in which the edges of the boards of the book have been cut to a slanted angle. Also known as beveled boards.

Bezier Curve

A mathematical function that provides for the generation of curves suitable for outlining graphics or characters of any typeface, style or size. There are at least 3 points to define the curve. The endpoints are called anchors and the other points are called handles. Almost all drawing programs utilize the Bezier curve.


An abbreviation for boldface, used to determine where boldface copy is to be used. Reference, boldface.

Bi-Directional Read

The ability of a scanner to read data from left to right or right to left.


Published every other month.


Published every two weeks or twice a month.


Biaxially oriented material, that is, oriented in the machine and transverse directions.

Bible Paper

A thin, lightweight, opaque printing paper with a basic size of 25” x 38”. Generally made from 25% cotton and linen rags or flax in combination with chemical wood pulp, bible paper typically has a long life. The name of Bible paper comes from it being the type of paper used for Bibles.


List of publications providing reference material on a particular subject, usually included in the endmatter of a book.

Bimetal Plate

A plate which is used in long print runs; the printing image is copper or brass, and the non-printing area is aluminum or stainless steel.

Bimetallic Plate

Plate in lithography used for long runs.

The printing image base is usually copper and the nonprinting area is aluminium or stainless steel, giving a harder wearing plate than the conventional aluminium litho plate.


Business Information Network

A joint venture between American Business Press and Competitive Media Reporting to provide methods of measuring advertising spending in B2B publications.


Base 2 numbering system used extensively by digital computers. In computer usage 0 usually means “NO” or “OFF” and 1 means “YES” or “ON.”


Promotional postcards bound into magazines that either advertise a product or offer a subscription to the magazine, intended to entice a response by readers.

Binders Creep

In saddle-stitch bindng it refers to the inner sheets of inserted spreads or signatures sticking out further than the one it is enclosed in. The inside pages or signatures move away from the spine.


The finishing department, which performs operations on the printed product after it has been printed. The operations includes cutting, punching, folding, trimming, gathering (collating), stitching, pasting, inserting, case binding, etc.

Bindery Punching

Drilling of holes through a stack of paper offline in the finishing department.



The various methods used to secure loose leaves or pages in a book or magazine.

The methods that are commonly used are: tape or thermal binding, perfect binding, VeloBind, loose leaf binding, plastic comb binding, spiral binding, double loop binding, saddle stitch binding, side wire binding, sewn case binding and sewn soft cover binding.

Binding Edge

The edge of a group of sheets or pages where the binding will be done.


BINary HEXadecimal. A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII files. This is needed because Internet e-mail can only handle ASCII.


Biodegradable waste is capable of being broken down into non-harmful products by the action of living things such as microorganisms.

Biological Durability

Natural resistance against fungi.


Basic Input/Output System

A built-in set of software routines that tests hardware at startup, and determines what a system can do without accessing programs from a disk. It initiates the operating system (OS), and supports the transfer of data among hardware devices such as the keyboard and how it outputs to the screen.


The regions of the earth’s surface, subsurface and atmosphere where living organisms exist.


Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee

BISAC, the Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee began as a result of a meeting to promote the use of the ISBN in the publishing industry.

It has been the main standards forum of the Book Industry Study Group since 1980, and is responsible for helping to develop and maintain technology and electronic commerce standards for the entire publishing industry.



Binary digit. The smallest unit of computer data represented by either a 0 or a 1. A number of bits together are used to represent a character to the computer.

Bit Depth
  1. The number of color bits per pixel. Images captured from digital cameras or scanners are recorded as pixels (picture elements), which are tiny square blocks of light that are merged by the human eye to form the image. Each pixel contains information about the colors recorded. The bit depth refers to the number of bits within each pixel and the corresponding number of colors within those bits. When more data can be recorded or captured, the bit depth is higher, which results in a greater range of color. If, for example, 24 bits of color are recorded, each image pixel will have 8 bits of data for each of the red, green and blue color channels. The higher the bits, the better the color reproduction, and consequently, the larger the overall file size.

The minimum bit depth is two colors, which is a 1-bit color depth. This means that every dot or pixel that makes up the image is represented by 1-bit of data. The color palette for the 1-bit image determines which two colors are displayed, out of the millions of possibilities. Bit depth increases exponentially. A 2-bit color depth contains four colors (2 × 2), a 3-bit color depth contains 8 colors (2 × 2 × 2), an 8-bit color depth contains 256 colors (28), and a 24-bit color depth contains 16,777,216 colors (224). Another way to express 24-bit color is that each of the three additive primary color channels used to reproduce color on a computer monitor (red, green, and blue), can each display up to 256 different intensity values, resulting in 16,777,216 colors (256 × 256 × 256). All of these colors give the display a photographic quality.

  1. Bit depth also refers to the ability of a scanner or digital camera sensor to record the spectrum of colors in the image.

The etching process in photoengraving requires the application of an acid; the length of time this acid is left to etch out an image is referred to as its bite. The more bites, the deeper the etched area.


A bitmap is made up of rows and columns of dots representing a graphic image in the memory of the computer. One or more bits of data represent the value of each dot whether it is filled or blank. The dots are called pixels, which are the smallest unit of a digital picture.

Bitmap Font Files

A stored pixel based image of a letterform at a specific size and resolution. On digital output devices such as terminal screens and line printers this format was an extremely fast and efficient way to represent a character’s image.

Modern digital devices vary in resolution and use intelligent software (commonly called a rasterizer) to generate images from outline font files.


An image formed (or appearing to be formed) by a rectangular grid of pixels. The computer assigns a value to each pixel, from one bit of information (black or white), to as much as 24 or 30 bits per pixel for full color images. Also used to refer to an image that has a too low resolution or linescreen for the output resolution (“That image looks bitmapped.”; line art scanned at 72dpi when it is to be printed at 2540dpi will be very coarsely bitmapped).

Bitmapped Font

This is a font made up of bitmapped letters, characterized by jagged edges, as opposed to the smooth edges of an outline font.

Bitmapped Graphic

A graphic or image represented as a matrix of picture elements or pixels.

Bits Per Second


A measure of modem speed.


The fourth color in four color process. It is the “K” in “CMYK”. Printing equal amounts of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow do not produce a true black so black is required.

Black and White

Originals or reproductions produced in single or monochrome color, generally in reference to artwork.

Black Liquor

Mixture of cooking chemicals and dissolved wood material remaining after sulphate cooking; recovered during pulp washing, concentrated by evaporation and burned in the recovery boiler to regenerate the cooking chemicals and generate energy

Black Patch

Material used to mask the window area on a negative image of the artwork prior to ‘stripping in’ a halftone.

Black Photo Paper

A black paper used to protect photosensitive materials.


Darkening a portion of a sheet of paper due to the excessive pressure of the calendar roll. Reference, calendar.


Blackletter is a style of typeface based on early written forms that features elaborate thick to thin strokes and serifs. The Gutenberg Bible, the first book ever printed with movable type, was set in a Blackletter typeface to mimic the manuscript writing of the time. Blackletter type is most often seen on diplomas, certificates, formal invitations, and in the nameplates of some newsletters and newspapers.


A term used to describe various forms of advance sales material, most commonly consisting of a selection of pages of text and illustration wrapped inside a proof of the bookjacket.

Blade Coating

Most widely used coating method in which excess coating material is scraped off by a blade.


Category of paperboard ranging in thickness from 15 to 48 points.


A fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber or polymer that is applied to a cylinder on an offset press, which receives ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.

Blanket Contamination

Unwanted matter that becomes attached to the offset blanket and interferes with print quality.

Blanket Creep

Movement of the blanket surface that comes in contact with the printing plate or paper.

Blanket Cylinder

A cylinder covered with a reinforced rubber sheet which transfers the image to the paper. It does this by coming in contact with another cylinder which is covered with the inked printing plate.

Blanket Pressure

The amount of pressure that the press blanket imposes on the paper being printed. Increasing blanket pressure can increase the amount of ink transferred to the paper. Decreasing blanket pressure will reduce the amount of ink to the paper.

Blanket Pull

The tack between blanket and paper.

Blanket Renewal

A mailing sent to all memebers requesting membership renewal. All members are sent the same mailing at the same time.

Blanket Smash

An area on a blanket that is debossed or compressed due to excessive pressure applied in that area.

Blanket to Blanket Press

A perfecting press that has two blanket cylinders that the paper runs through. Each blanket acts as an impression cylinder for the other.

Blanks or Boards

Heavyweight paperboard that is produced on cylinder machines. These paperboards have a thickness of more than .012 inch


Chemical, usually chlorine, used to whiten pulp.


1.Removal and/or modification of coloured components in pulp to improve brightness carried out in one or several consecutive stages.

  1. Chemical treatment to brighten, whiten, purify, refine, and balance pulp fiber.

Printed colors that extend past the edge of a page. To accommodate a bleed, the printer must print the bleed area larger than the final trim size. The page is then trimmed through to bleed area. Bleeds require more paper and production time, thus, printers charge extra for this service.

Bleed Allowance

To allow for deviations in cutting the paper to finished size an element that bleeds off the page is typically extended about 1/8” beyond the trim lines. The amount of bleed allowance may vary depending on the method of printing and the press used.

Bleed Through

When printing from one side of the sheet is visible on the other side due to ink problems opposed to show through where the problem results from lack of opacity in the paper. Also referred to as strike through.


The spreading of an ink or adhesive into an area where it is not suppose to be or through to the other side of the material. The spreading or running of an ink color, resulting from the exposure to a solvent.

Bleeding Ink

Bleeding ink prints in black but when exposed to any aqueous solution it will produce a red stain. A wet finger rubbed across the ink will instantly show the affect of the bleeding ink.


A tool or technique used in graphics to create a transitions from one color or tint to another. Another term for gradient.

Blind Emboss

A raised impression made without using ink or foil on the embossed image.

Blind Folio

When page numbers are not printed on the page.

Blind Image

A problem that arises in the lithography process when an image loses its ink receptivity and fails to print.

Blind Stamp

A colorless impression that is embossed on paper or on a cloth or leather binding. When it is found on a page, it typically signifies the owner’s name or the words “Review Copy.” When it is found on the binding, it is typically for decorative purposes. Also known as blind.


Blank impression made on book covers by binders’ brass, without gold leaf or foil.


Although seemingly dry, paper does contain approximately 5% moisture. In cases where there is excessive moisture, and the paper is passed through a high heat-drying chamber, the moisture within the paper actually boils and causes a bubble or blistering effect.


In binding, to impress or stamp a design upon the cover. The design can be blocked in coloured inks, gold leaf or metal foil (see blind). In printing, a letterpress block is the etched copper or zinc plate, mounted on wood or metal from which an illustration is printed.

Block In

To sketch in the main areas of an image prior to the design.

Block Resistance

The resistance of coated papers to blocking. Reference, blocking.


The adhesion of one coated sheet to another, causing paper tears or particles of the coating to shed away from the paper surface.

Blocking Out

To mask a section of an art layout before reproduction.


Printed solids or dense patterns in specific areas of a form, used to prevent readability of information written or imprinted in that area. Also used to prevent show through of data located in that area on the following parts.

Blow In

A printed piece that is inserted in a larger piece. The inserted piece is loose within the larger piece.

Blow Tank

The tank in which pulp is blown from digester.

Blow Up

To enlarge; usually a graphic image or photograph.


Promotional postcards “blown” into magazines by a machine after the publication has been bound. These either advertise a product or offer a subscription to the publication and are intended to entice a response by readers.

Blown On Labels

Blown on labels are labels that are removed from a liner and applied to the form by a suction or a blowing process. The labels are usually of a piggyback construction which allows the label to be reusable.


An enlargement; a print that is made larger than the negative or slide.

Blue Pencil

A light blue pencil that is used to mark up layouts and which cannot be reproduced by a platemaking camera.


Pre-press photographic proof made from stripped negatives showing color breaks as shades of blue. Blueline is a generic industry term for proofs made from a variety of materials with similar appearances. It may also be called a blackprint, blue, blueprint, brownline, brownprint, diazo, dyeline, dylux, position proof or silverprint.


Brief description of a person, such as a writer or speaker, appearing as part of an article by that person.


Bulk Mail Center

A mail processing plant that distributes Standard Mail that in bulk form and by piece.


Windows Bitmap file format built into Windows. It supports 1- to 24-bit depth and index color.


Heavier printing paper.

Over 200gsm – 300gsm, is a safe starting point.


Heavy weight paper used for mounting artwork, signs and other products that have a need for stability.

Also, another name for mechanicals.


Biochemical Oxygen Demand

When effluent containing biodegradable organic matter is released into receiving water, the biodegradation of the organic matter consumes dissolved oxygen from the water.

The BOD of an effluent is an estimate of the amount of oxygen that will be consumed in 5 days following its release into receiving water; assuming a temperature of 20°C.

  1. The main portion of the typeset page between the heading and the foot of the page.

  2. In reference to ink, it is the physical properties of ink referring to its density, consistency, form and viscosity. If an ink did not have enough body it would be too runny.

Body Size

The height of the type measured from the top of the tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender. Normally given in points, the standard unit of type size.

Boiler Plate

Blocks of repetitive type used and copied over and over again.


Typeface that has a heavy stroke to it.

Bologna Book Fair

The pre-eminent book fair for children’s publishers, particularly those buying and selling rights, held in Bologna in Italy each spring.

Bolting Silk Cloth

Mesh woven of twisted multifilament natural silk.


The edges of folded sheets of paper, which are trimmed off in the final stages of production.


The adhering together of two or more materials.

Bond & Carbon

Business form with paper and carbon paper.

Bond Paper
  1. A relatively high-grade paper stock generally used for letters, business forms, and copying. Some types of bond paper may have a rag content ranging from 25 percent to 100 percent.

  2. A strong, durable paper especially suitable to electronic printing and use in office machines including copiers and desktop printers. Bond paper has a basic size of 17” x 22” and a basic weight of 13 to 24 lbs. It is characterized by erasability, good absorption, and rigidity.

Bonded Leather

A material consisting of two layers of leather and a lining attached to each other by a chemical process or adhesive

Bonding Strength

A reference to a paper’’s ability to resist picking and tearing while it is being printed. The bonding strength improves if the paper fibers stick together uniformly and consistently.

Bone Dry

Moisture free or zero moisture.

Book Block

A term given the unfinished stage of bookmaking when the pages are folded, gathered and stitched-in but not yet cover bound.

Book Club


A book usually printed especially for a book club such as “The Book of the Month Club” or “The Literary Guild.”

These copies will usually have the words “Book Club Edition” printed on the bottom right corner of the front flap of the dustwrapper.

Occasionally, if the book club does not wish to do a separate edition they will have a publisher blind stamp the rear board and print a supply of dustwrappers without a price on the front flap and now without the bar code data on the rear panel.

Book Clubs are not solely an American phenomenon as there have been numerous British Book Clubs over the years.

Book Club Edition


A book usually printed especially for a book club such as “The Book of the Month Club” or “The Literary Guild.”

These copies will usually have the words “Book Club Edition” printed on the bottom right corner of the front flap of the dustwrapper.

Occasionally, if the book club does not wish to do a separate edition they will have a publisher blind stamp the rear board and print a supply of dustwrappers without a price on the front flap and now without the bar code data on the rear panel.

Book Clubs are not solely an American phenomenon as there have been numerous British Book Clubs over the years.

Book Fair

1.Exhibitions and conventions used by publishers as locations for meetings and business dealings. Many such fairs take place internationally, of widely differing purpose and focus.

2.An event or trade show where publishers promote their upcoming books.

Book Fold

Sheets that are folded and arranged so that they open in book form.

Book Industry Communication

Acompany set up by the Booksellers Association, the British Library, the Library Association and the Publishers Association to encourage the establishment of standards in the book trade. Among other activities, BIC has responsibility for bar codes and EDI standards.

Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee


BISAC, the Book Industry Systems Advisory Committee began as a result of a meeting to promote the use of the ISBN in the publishing industry.

It has been the main standards forum of the Book Industry Study Group since 1980, and is responsible for helping to develop and maintain technology and electronic commerce standards for the entire publishing industry.


Book Jacket

A removable paper wrapper that encloses a book to protect it from dirt.

Dust jackets date from the early 19th century, but they came into more common use in the early 20th century as a means to advertise the book to potential buyers.

Also known as dust Jacket or dust wrapper.

Book Paper

A general term to describe a type of paper suitable for printing, (except newsprint and bristol), especially offset printing. Book paper can have many different finishes and may be coated or uncoated. More opaque than Bond paper and good for 2-sided printing, book paper is also characterized by excellent folding qualities and durability. Book paper has a basic size of 25” x 38” and the basis weights range from 22 to 150 lbs. Offset papers are especially suitable for offset printing due to increased resistance to water and picking. Most book paper can be used on offset presses.


The paper cover wrapped round a hardback book, and normally the publisher’s main marketing tool; frequently film laminated for durability in handling.


A small book, generally with a soft cover.

Booklet Printing

The printing of a document with a different image on the left and right side of a page and on the reverse side, a different set of images on the left and right side. Then a group of different pages are folded and collated into the proper order to form a booklet. The pages are then bound together.


Just as a paper bookmark is used as a reminder of the page you are on in a book, electronic bookmarks are used to bring you back to a web site or other site you may want to return to.

Nearly all Web browsers support this feature which allows you to save or mark a Web site or document for later use.


A simple or elaborately designed label used to indicate ownership, which is usually found pasted to the inside of the front cover of a book. Bookplates were used as early as 1516, but did not become popular in England, France, and Germany until the 18th century. In America, they were not used before 1800 but have been fairly common since about 1840.


Based on the case-sensitive operators AND, OR, and NOT – serves as the basis of machine intelligence and, hence, computer searches.

Boot Up

The process of loading the first piece of software, usually the operating system, when the computer is activated.


A technique for loading a program in which the initial instructions of the program direct the loading of the rest of the program.

Borderless Printing

This is a printing technique, offered on specific photo printers, that allows prints to be generated without the frame (or nonphotographic dead space) that is often associated with print developing. It enables more photo surface area.


An outline around graphics, text or the edge of a sheet.


The process of skewing pages to compensate for paper thickness as it is folded. Primarily used on signatures designed for large web or large sheetfed presses.

Bottom-Weighted Metering

In digital cameras, light is measured by averaging the tonal values around the lower half of the picture setting and adjusting to a middle gray value in order to create the proper exposure.


An undesirable phenomenon in which the reproduction of book or magazine pages is off by as much as 1/16 of an inch.

Bounce 1

A registration problem, usually on copiers, where the image appears to bounce back and forth. A bounce usually occurs in one direction depending on how the paper is passing through the machine. This is usually accented by card stock (especially if it’s over the machine’s spec). When a customer refuses a job for whatever reason.

Bounce Lighting

Flash or tungsten light bounced off a reflector (such as the ceiling or walls) to give the effect of natural or available light.



A book with a cover of any type, or a periodical that has a cover other than its published wraps.

Bound Book

A book in which the boards of the cover have first been attached to it, the covering of leather, cloth, or other materials being then affixed to the boards. Bound books are more expensive to produce and much stronger than cased books.


A pressure sensitive color film that is used to prepare color art.

Box Bar

a section of text marked off by rules or white space and presented separately from the main text and illustrations. Longer boxed sections in magazines are sometimes referred to as sidebars

Box Board

Board used in the manufacturing of boxes. This board paper can be made from wood pulp or waste paper, and it can be clay coated, lined or plain.

Box Cover Paper

A lightweight paper used expressly for covering paper boxes.

Box Enamel Paper

A glossy coated paper used to cover paper boxes.

Box Liners

A coated paper used on the inside of boxes, which are used for food.


British Printing Industries Federation

The trade association for the printing industry.


Bulk Packed onto pallets


Bits Per Second

A measure of modem speed.


A character “ }” used to group lines, or phrases.


A trick used by photographers to ensure proper exposure without a meter, or to ensure a more precise exposure when a meter is used. The photographer takes a series of images, one at the estimated or metered exposure, one slightly over, and one slightly under.

Brand Equity

A brand’s valuation, sometimes quantitative, based on an audience’s positive and negative perceptions of its quality, relevance, scale, influence and similar factors.

Brand Identity

The attributes, characteristics or personality that a brand aspires to communicate.

Brand Loyalty

When consumers’ disposition toward a brand is so favorable that it creates a barrier to exit, making it difficult for other brands to compete.

Brand Name

The title of a product, line of products or service established for trade in a commercial
marketplace. Most are designated and protected by trademark.

Brand Positioning

The simplest expression of what an organization wants its products or services to stand for in the mind of a target audience. It is the nuts-and-bolts idea upon which a marketing message is built.

Brand Strategy

The communications system that governs all points of contact with an organization’s (or product’s or service’s) stakeholders and directly supports the business strategy.


A brand is a collection of images and ideas representing an economic producer; more specifically, it refers to the concrete symbols such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme.

Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, print, design, and media commentary.


Roller with a handle on it, to spread ink on ink table, or make printed proofs.


Business Reply Card

Printed cards that meet all the postal requirements, size and printed information, for that type of mail. This card is returned, to the sender, by the recipient, at no postage cost. The sender pays the postage on the returned cards.


Business Return Envelope

A postage paid return envelope which is supplied to a customer so that forms or information can be mailed back to the company.

Break for Color

The separating of artwork according to the areas that print in different colors.


A router that makes a connection between two or more networks and forwards packets among them.

Bright Copy

Refers to the condition of a book; it is either a brand new copy, or in the same new and unblemished condition as when it was first published.

See also As New.


The reflectance of the paper that may correspond to how white it is, based on a 100-point scale. The higher a paper is rated on the point brightness scale, the better it provides contrast for black-and-white and color images.

Bristol Board

A strong heavyweight paper that is stiff and bulky, such as index and printing bristols. The thickness generally calipers at .006 or more. The name comes because this type of paper, originally made from rags, came from Bristol, England.


A strong heavy weight paper that is stiff and bulky. The stocks may be referred to as index, card stock and vellum with a caliper thickness of .006 or more.

British Council

The British government agency responsible for promoting British culture throughout the world.


A characteristic of paper indicating the resistance to tearing or breaking of fibers when it is folded.


Business Reply Mail

Reply mail pieces that meet all postal requirements for Business Reply Mail. The recipient can send the reply mail back to the sender without applying postage. Postage is paid by the sender when the mail piece is returned.

Broad Fold

A term given to the fold whereby paper is folded with the short side running with the grain.


A communications channel with a bandwidth that has data transmission speeds of 10,000 to over 1 million bits per second.


A sheet of paper, typically used for printing standard size newspapers in North America is a broadsheet. A Broadsheet has a sheet size of 17×22 inches. Any sheet in its basic size (not folded or cut)


A sheet of paper, usually of a larger size, that is printed on one side only. Examples include songs, poems, announcements of sales, and political declarations.


A heavily embossed paper.

  1. A printed promotional product that could be constructed as a flier, pamphlet or booklet.

How it is constructed will generally depend on how much promotional information needs to be included.

  1. A small work that is less than book-length, has paper wraps, and typically has a staple binding.

Also known as pamphlet.

Broken Carton

A carton containing a quantity of paper that is less than what a full carton would be.

Broken Ream

A ream of paper (500 sheets) containing a quantity that is less than a full ream.


Agent who supplies printing from many printing companies.


A photographic paper used in graphic reproduction, phototypesetting on which a photographic image is created.


A printing process in which the substrate is printed with a sizing ink and then, while it is still wet, a bronzing powder is applied to create a metallic appearance to the printed area.

Brownline Proof

A photographic proof made by exposing a flat to UV light creating a brown image on a white background. Also referred to as silverprint.


The user interface for the World Wide Web enabling search and retrieval of information. The most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox.

Bubble Jet

Typically, inkjet printing forms images by spraying tiny droplets of liquid ink onto paper. Small size and precision placement of the dots of ink produce very near photo-quality images. Two primary inkjet technologies are thermal bubble or bubble jet and piezoelectric. The former uses heat and the latter uses a crystal and an electric charge to apply the ink.

Some inkjet printers employ a hybrid dye-sublimation process. The color is contained in cartridges, heated, vaporized, and laid down a strip at a time rather a page at a time creating an effect closer to continuous tone than traditional inkjet technology.

Buckle Folder

A bindery machine in which two rollers push the sheet between two metal plates, stopping it and causing it to buckle at the entrance to the folder. A third roller working with one of the original rollers uses the buckle to fold the paper.


An undesirable effect that occurs when a sheet of paper has been improperly printed or folded, causing wrinkles.


An inexpensive stiff cotton fabric that is used to bind books.

It is often used in library editions because of its strength.


An extra insert in a direct mail package that is generally used to offer a special deal in addition to the main offer.


A mistake in the design or makeup of a computer system or program.

Bulb Setting

B Setting

A shutter-speed setting on an adjustable camera that allows for time exposures.

When set on B, the shutter will stay open as long as the shutter release button remains depressed.


A reference pertaining to the thickness of paper in relation to its basis weight. Paper that is thicker and less compact is considered high bulk paper. Paper that is thinner and compact is low bulk paper.

Bulk Circulation

Distribution of multiple magazine copies sent to an individual addressee.

Bulk Mail

Standard Mail or Third Class Mail

Bulk Pack

To pack printed pieces in boxes without prior wrapping in bundles.

Bulk Rate

The process of preparing and sorting mail to qualify for reduced postage rates. The lowest postage rates are available if you sort and automate the addresses on your mailing list. Bulk-Rate postage is lower than First-class, but Bulk-Rate has a longer delivery time.

Bulking Dummy

Unprinted sheets of actual paper folded in the signature size and signature number of a given job, to determine bulk.

Bulking Thickness

Thickness of a pack of sheets divided by the number of sheets in the pack


A large dot, round or square in shape, preceding text to add emphasis.


One or more colors added to the four color printing process to help strengthen a color or colors in a specified area of the printed piece.

Bump Color

Also known as touch plate.

Adds a special color, or accents a color within a specific imag area, for reaching optimal color match.

Commonly used to achieve bright reds.

Bump Exposure

A process used in halftone photography that entails the temporary removal of the screen during exposure. This increases the highlight contrast and diminishes the dots in the whites.


In order to receive postal discounts, your mail must be grouped according to postal zone, boxed in special containers according to postal standards. A bar-coded label attached tells the post offices equipment where the mail piece goes.

Buried Ad

An ad surrounded by other ads on a page.


1.Exposing a plate to the light source of a platemaker to create the image on the plate.

2.A technique for selective lightening of an area of a print by giving it additional exposure. This is accomplished usually by blocking the projected image during exposure using the printer’s hands, creating a small opening with them to let the light fall only on the selected image area. Because the hands cast a soft-edged shadow, this limits the ability to burn in small areas accurately. Sometimes this can be worked around by cutting an appropriately shaped hole in a piece of thin cardboard to wave over the picture.


Giving additional exposure to part of the image projected on an enlarger easel to make that area of the print darker.

This is accomplished after the basic exposure by extending the exposure time to allow additional image-forming light to strike the areas in the print you want to darken while holding back the image-forming light from the rest of the image.

Sometimes called printing-in.


Rubbing down copy to secure it to an artboard.


A tool used to rub galleys onto pasteup boards and smooth them out.


Creating a polished finish on paper by rubbing with stone or hand smoothing a surface.


When enough light penetrates through the masking sheet and exposes the film or plate beneath it. The masking sheet should prevent this but accumulated exposes can cause burnthrough.

Burst Binding

A binding technique that entails nicking the back fold in short lengths during the folding process, which allows glue to reach each individual leaf and create a strong bond.

Burst Mode

The digital camera can be set into a mode of rapid shooting or exposures of images. The speed for taking each shot will vary according to the resolution of the image. “Rapidfire” or the continuous shooting of images is referred to as the “burst rate.” Burst rates may be expressed as: 3 images in 1 sec intervals at 1792 × 1200 or 12 images in .5 sec intervals at 896 × 600.

Burst Perfect Bind

To bind by forcing glue into notches in spines of signatures, and then adhering a paper cover.


A piece of equipment used to burst apart continuous forms.


The process in which the individual continuous forms are separated from each other.

Bursting Perf

A fold perforation that permits mechanical bursting.

Bursting Strength

The resistance of paper to rupture as measured by the hydrostatic pressure required to burst it when a uniformly distributed and increasing pressure is applied to one of its side.


An interface between mainframe computers and peripherals consisting of two physical connections. The BUS connection carries data signals (for example, numbers, characters, and status information). The TAG connection carries control signals to synchronize communication between the host and a peripheral device.

Business Forms

Single or multiple part documents used by businesses to do day to day transactions, reporting and transmission of information. Examples: invoices, purchase orders, checks, bill of ladings, inventory records, proposals and personnel records.

Business Gift

Merchandise given by a business in goodwill, without obligation to its clients, employees, friends and the like.

Unlike promotional products, the business gift is not imprinted with the advertiser’s identification.

Butt Cut Labels

Labels that have no gap between them. Generally the facestock of the butt-cut labels run to the edge of the liner, eliminating the edge trim also

Butt Register

Register where ink colors meet precisely without overlapping or allowing space between, as compared to lap register. Also called kiss register.


Clickable interfaces that link users to another location.


A printed line, in an article, showing the name of the author. Generally placed at the beginning or end of the article.


A sequence of eight bits and can represent one alphabetic character or two number digits.

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