Printing Glossary – Terms starting with A

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A4 Paper

ISO standard paper size 210 x 297mm or 8.3 x 11.7″. The common paper size used outside the US in place of 8.5 x 11.

Accordion fold

Folding paper by bending each fold in the opposite direction of the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.

Acetate

A transparent sheet placed over originals or artwork, allowing the designer to write instructions and\or indicate a second color for placement

Acid Resist

An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching

Acid-free paper

A paper containing no acidity or acid producing chemicals that degrades less over time than acidic papers.

Additive Color

Color produced by light falling onto a surface, as compared to subtractive color. The additive primary colors are red, green and blue

Against the Grain

Running a sheet of paper through a printing press at right angles to the grain direction of the paper, as opposed to with the grain. This is usually suboptimal for both press operation and registration of the 4 color process inks. Sometimes called cross grain.

Airbrush

A compressed air tool that sprays a fine mist of paint or ink, used in illustration and photo retouching.

Alteration

Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author alteration and customer alteration

Anodized Plate

An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use

Anti-aliasing

The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. This results is a smoother, more blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged appearance.

Anti-offset Powder

Fine powder lightly sprayed over the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave a press. Also called dust, offset powder, powder and spray powder

Antique Paper

Roughest finish offered on offset paper

Aqueous Coating

This clear coating is used to protect printed pieces. It provides a high-gloss surface that deters dirt and fingerprints. Aqueous coating improves the durability of postcards as they go through the mail, and protects business cards as they ride around in people’s pockets. It also looks beautiful on brochures, catalog covers, and stand-alone flyers.

Artwork

The original physical materials, including photos, graphic images, text and other components needed to produce a printed piece. Can also now refer to the electronic or digital components needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.

Ascender

Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in “d”, “b” and “h”.

Author’s Alterations (AA’s)

At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided. AA’s are considered an additional cost to the client usually