Biz Printing USA – Advanced Graphics & Printing Services

Printing Glossary – Terms starting with S

# 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

Saddle stitch

The binding of booklets or other printed materials by stapling the pages on the folded spine.

Safety paper

A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.

Satin Finish

Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper


To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing


Electronic device used to scan an image


To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease


To crease paper with a metal rule for the purpose of making folding easier.

Screen angles

The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moiré patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45º, magenta 75º, yellow 90º, and cyan 105º.

Screen Density

Refers to the percentage of ink coverage that a screen tint allows to print. Also called screen percentage

Screen Printing

Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil

Screen ruling

A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.

Screen tint

A printed area of color created by dots of a certain screen percentage instead of using a layer of solid ink. Frequently used to create a colored area on the sheet, or tint the entire sheet instead of using colored paper.


Unwanted deposits of ink in the non-image area of a printed piece.

Selective Binding

Placing signatures or inserts in magazines or catalogs according to demographic or geographic guidelines

Self cover

A cover that is the same paper stock as the internal sheets.

Self Mailer

A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently

Separated Art

Art with elements that print in the base color on one surface and elements that print in other colors on other surfaces. Also called preseparated art


Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding qimages of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film

Serigraphic Printing

Printing method whose image carriers are woven fabric, plastic or metal that allow ink to pass through some portions and block ink from passing through other portions. Serigraphic printing includes screen and mimeograph

Service Bureau

Business using imagesetters to make high resolution printouts of files prepared on microcomputers. Also called output house and prep service


Undesirable transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the underside of another as they lie in the delivery stack of a press. Also called offset


Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint


Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and high-lights


To decrease the dot size of a halftone, which in turn decreases the color strength.

Sheetfed Press

Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press


The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the sheet over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.


Allowance, made during paste-up or stripping, to compensate for creep. Creep is the problem; shingling is the solution. Also called stair stepping and progressive margins

Show through

When the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side, a frequent problem with thin papers.

Side guide

The guides on the sides of a printing press that consistently positions the sheet sideways as it is fed through the press.

Side stitch

The stapling of sheets or signatures on the side closest to the spine.


A printed sheet with multiple pages on it that is folded so that the pages are in their proper numbered sequence, as in a book.


Compound mixed with paper or fabric to make it stiffer and less able to absorb moisture

Slip Sheets

Separate sheets (stock) independent from the original run positioned between the “printed run” for a variety of reasons


That quality of paper defined by its levelness that allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.

Soft Dots

Halftones dots with halos


Any area of the sheet receiving 100 percent ink coverage, as compared to a screen tint

Soy Inks

Inks made with soy oils instead of petroleum as the base. They are considered to be more environmentally friendly, a standard component of green printing.

Soy-based Inks

Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment

Specially Printer

Printer whose equipment, supplies, work flow and marketing is targeted to a particular category of products


Complete and precise written description of features of a printing job such as type size and leading, paper grade and quantity, printing or binding method. Abbreviated specs


Instrument used to measure the index of refraction of color

Specular Highlight

Highlight area with no printable dots, thus no detail, as compared to a diffuse highlight. Also called catchlight and dropout highlight


Back or binding edge of a publication Spiral Bind To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind

Spiral bind

A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.

Split Fountain

Technique of putting ink colors next to each other in the same ink fountain and printing them off the same plate. Split fountains keep edges of colors distinct, as compared to rainbow fountains that blend edges

Split Run

(1) Different images, such as advertisements, printed in different editions of a publication. (2) Printing of a book that has some copies bound one way and other copies bound another way


Paper that, due to mistakes or accidents, must be thrown away instead of delivered printed to the customer, as compared to waste

Spot Color or Varnish

One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet


(1) Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit. (2) Technique of slightly enlarging the size of an image to accomplish a hairline trap with another image. Also called fatty

Standard Viewing Conditions

Background of 60 percent neutral gray and light that measures 5000 degrees Kelvin the color of daylight on a bright day. Also called lighting standards


Short for photostat, therefore a general term for an inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone

Statistical Process Control

Method used by printers to ensure quality and delivery times specified by customers. Abbreviated SPC

Step and Repeat

Prepress technique of exposing an image in a precise, multiple pattern to create a flat or plate. Images are said to be stepped across the film or plate


A term for unprinted paper. See paper type descriptions

Stock Order

Order for paper that a mill or merchant sends to a printer from inventory at a warehouse, as compared to a mill order

Stocking Paper

Popular sizes, weights and colors of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant’s warehouse

String Score

Score created by pressing a string against paper, as compared to scoring using a metal edge


To assemble images on film for platemaking. Stripping involves correcting flaws in film, assembling pieces of film into flats and ensuring that film and flats register correctly. Also called film assembly and image assembly

Stumping (Blocking)

In the book arena, hot die, foil or other means in creating an image on a case bound book

Substance Weight

Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers. Also called sub weight


Any surface or material on which printing is done

Subtractive Color

Color produced by light reflected from a surface, as compared to additive color. Subtractive color includes hues in color photos and colors created by inks on paper

Subtractive Primary Color

Yellow, magenta and cyan. In the graphic arts, these are known as process colors because, along with black, they are the inks colors used in color-process printing

Super calendaring

A machine procedure that produces a very smooth paper surface that is exceptional for printing.

Supercalendered Paper

Paper calendered using alternating chrome and fiber rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet. Abbreviated SC paper


Taking an already printed matter and re-printing again on the same

Swash Book

A book in a variety of forms, indicating specific stock in specific colors in a specific thickness


Abbreviation for specifications for web offset publications, specifications recommended for web printing of publications

Synthetic papers

Any non-wood or cloth paper, usually petroleum (plastic) based.