Printing Glossary Alphabetical List

This glossary of printing terms was created by people working in today's printing industry and is brought to you by . It has been revised and edited and we have rewritten some technical descriptions in every day language to help the non technical person. Any suggestions that you may have on how we can improve this glossary will be carefully considered. Please send your comments and any new definitions to us at

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  • Acetate
    A clear plastic sheet used as a source for artwork and overlays, Cellulose Acetate Film, or safety film, is used in photography as a base material for photographic emulsions. It was introduced in the early 20th Century by film manufacturers as a safe film base replacement for unstable and highly ...   Read More
  • Additive Color
    Additive Color involves light emitted directly from a source or illuminant of some sort. The additive reproduction process uses red, green and blue light to produce the other colors. Combining one of these additive primary colors with another in equal amounts produces the additive secondary colors cyan, magenta, and yellow. ...   Read More
  • Airbrush
    An airbrush works by passing a stream of fast moving (compressed) air through a venturi, or filter pump, which creates a local reduction in air pressure (suction) that allows paint to be pulled up from an interconnected reservoir at normal atmospheric pressure. The high velocity of the air atomizes the ...   Read More
  • Anodized Plate
    In lithography, a plate manufactured with a barrier of aluminum oxide, which prevents chemical reactions that break down the plate; it provides optimum press performance.
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  • Artwork
    Artwork usually refers to the master file that the customer provides for an order. It can be provided in a variety of formats, depending on what the customer is asking for. For print-ready computer files the minimum resolution is 300dpi.
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  • Authors Alterations
    An Author's Alteration, or AA, is when a client requests a change in text or artwork after the project has already been submitted, approved and gone out for printing.
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  • Autoflow
    Autoflow is a type of text placement in which text flows continuously onto successive pages or columns. Additional pages are usually created as needed, depending upon the type of project.
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