Glossary of Printing Terms:K



In four color process printing it is the abbreviation for black.


Mineral used in papermaking, as both filler and coating pigment.

Kappa Number

A term used to define the degree of delignification.


Kilobytes per second

A rate used to measure transfer times between computers on a network.

Keep Standing

To hold type or plates ready for reprints.



A thermometric scale used to measure light temperature. 0 degrees K is absolute zero (a hypothetical temperature representing the complete absence of heat); water freezes at 273.15 degrees K, which is 0 degrees C or 32 degrees F. The most common use of Kelvin temperatures in the graphic arts is to describe lighting sources for viewing and analyzing color. The color of light sources is measured in Kelvin temperatures. A standard balanced light source (neutral in hue and with the brightness of midday sunlight) measures 5000K.


To add or remove white space between two pairs of letters to improve the visual appearance of the letter spacing.

Kern Pair

Adjusting the space between two letters for better appearance. WA or VA look better when some of the space is removed.


To increase or decrease the spacing between letters to improve the readability of the word.

Key Codes

Code numbers printed on each piece in a direct mail package. They are used for double checking that the correct pieces are going into the mail package but the main purpose is to track response information accurately. Also referred to as source codes.

Key Mark or Trigger

A code bit(s) that tells the scanner if the code is in a position to be read; used with some fixed beam readers.

Key Plate

The plate that prints the majority of the copy or the most detail, generally the black plate. All other plates are aligned to this plate.

Key Word In Context


An indexing system in which the retrieval of titles is possible with as many keywords as the indexer considers useful.

Key Word Out of Context


A form of automatic indexing. As items are added to databases, keywords are extracted from their titles. Non-content words such as “the” are eliminated.


The input device to input information directly into a typesetter, computer, workstation or, as a stand-alone unit, to record it on paper or magnetic tape.


The use of symbols, usually letters, to code copy that will appear on a dummy.

  1. An outline drawing on tissue paper laid over the mechanical to show the placement, content, and approximate size of an illustration on an art board.

  2. The art of laying out and pasting up the art board.

  1. In databases, a keyword is a specific index record that identifies a record.

  2. In programming, keywords are reserved by a program because they identify specific commands or parameters.

  3. A word by which subjects can be searched on on-line services.


To terminate or erase a job.

Kill Fee

The money paid to a writer when the publication has contracted with the writer to write an article, but the article is never published.

Kiln Drying

Drying of green wood in kilns to required end use or trading moisture contents


K, Kb or KB.

A digital information unit of measure that equals 1024 bytes.

Kiss Cut

To die cut the top layer but not the backing of self-adhesive paper.

Kiss Die Cut

To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing.

Kiss Fit

In prepress, a term used to describe two abutting colors lacking trap.

Kiss Impression

The standard procedure for quality printing in which only light pressure is used for impressioning.

Kiss Pressure

The minimum pressure at which proper ink transfer is possible.

Kiss Register

In color printing, areas of color that touch without any overlap on the edges. Assumes perfect registration. Also referred to as kiss fit and butt register.

Klíc, Karel (1841-1926)

The Czech painter and graphic artist who invented helio engraving and copper gravure or rotogravure. After years of developing the technique, Klíc unveiled helio engraving in 1878 in Vienna, where it was adopted as a method for photochemically producing etched copper printing plates based on photographs.

Knife Cut Labels

See butt cut labels.

Knife/Chop/Refold Folder

A machine used to fold sheets, (multiple sheets or thin magazines) with the use of rollers and a steel blade.

Knocking up

To make the edges of a pile of paper straight and regular or flush.


An opening, left in a printed area, in which a figure or photograph may be placed. Reversing type or art out of the background so that when the type or art is printed in that area it will not interfer with the color you are trying to acheive.

Knockout Film

Alternate term for Masking material such as Rubylith.

Known Loss

A loss discovered before or at the time of delivery of a shipment.

Koenig, Johann Friedrich Gottlob (1774-1833)

The inventor of the flatbed cylinder press, the first major development in printing technology since Gutenberg. At the end of 1806, Koenig moved to London where five years later he would develop the flatbed cylinder press. By 1913 he had substantially increased press speed by using two impression cylinders, which meant that the carriage holding the printing form could be used in both directions.

Kokomo Filter

A colored filter that produces UV light when light is passed through it to expose blueline material.

Kraft Paper

A tough brown paper used for packing.

Kraft Process

Chemical pulping process that cooks down the tree to remove lignin, retaining the fibers for paper making. Free sheet papers are made in the kraft process.

Kraft Pulp

The predominant fiber used by the paper industry. It is obtained by cooking wood chips with the chemicals sodium sulfate and sodium hydroxide. The sodium sulfate is converted to sodium sulfide in the process. It is the sodium sulfide that is actually the effective cooking agent, but the word sulfate is still used as the title.

Kraft Sack Paper, Sack Paper

Paper used for the production of bags and sacks made from sulphate (kraft) pulp, with high strength properties


Facing board used, for example, as an outer ply in corrugated board


A brand of coated card stock often used for business cards.

Kurzweil, Raymond

Born in New York in 1948, an inventor, scientist and entrepreneur whose theories and creations have had far reaching impact. Kurzweil studied computer engineering and literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His work has given rise to a range of inventions, including electronic musical instruments (synthesizers), reading machines for the blind, voice-recognition systems and a machine that instantly translates from English into German. In the 90s Kurzweil published controversial books that often focused on the evolution of technology and the implications for humanity in the future.


Key Word In Context

An indexing system in which the retrieval of titles is possible with as many keywords as the indexer considers useful.


Key Word Out of Context

A form of automatic indexing. As items are added to databases, keywords are extracted from their titles. Non-content words such as “the” are eliminated.

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