• Abrasion: Marking or damage that can occur to the surface of a printed piece caused by friction or rubbing with adjacent items, usually as a result of shipping. Also referred to as 'rubbing.'
  • Against the Grain: At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. Also called "across the grain" and "cross grain." See also Grain Direction.
  • Aliasing: The appearance of jagged distortions in curves and diagonal lines in computer graphics because the resolution is limited or diminished.
  • Aqueous Coating: Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath.
  • Assembly: A wide variety of assembly services such as collating, filling, gluing, labeling, bagging, shrink wrapping, bag sealing, blister sealing, display assembly, package assembly, inspection, and bulk mail preparation are available.


  • Basis Weight: Weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a standard size for that paper grade.
  • Biodegradable: The degradation of material from naturally occurring microorganisms such as: bacteria, fungi or algae over a period of time.
  • Blanket: A rubber surfaced fabric that is clamped onto a cylinder of an offset printing press. The image to be printed is transferred from the printing plate to this blanket, and then transferred to the paper stock.
  • Bleach: A process used in paper making to whiten paper. Also a reference to the whiteness of the paper.
  • Bleached Kraft: As its name implies, Bleached Kraft is produced by the same process as natural Kraft with the addition of bleaching stage in the pulping process. This produces a material which is white in appearance but with some loss of strength against the unbleached one. Bleached Krafts are less widely used nowadays with the development of White Top Krafts.
  • Bleached Pulp: Any type of pulp whitened by an oxidizing treatment, usually with a hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide solution, or by a reducing treatment such as with sulfur dioxide or sulfites.
  • Bleed: Printing that extends beyond the edit of a panel or page.
  • Bitmap: A specific file type usually associated with artwork or photos that are made up of pixels. Images are "mapped" directly from corresponding bits in memory, hence the name. Examples are TIFF, Paint and PICT.
  • Board: A heavy-weight thick sheet of paper or other fiber substance (from 0.012 to 0.030 inches and up). Variations: cardboard (non-specific term), chipboard, fiberboard, paperboard, containerboard, boxboard, tag board.
  • Brown Kraft: This material is naturally brown in appearance and the shade varies depending on the location of the mill, the source of fiber and the pulping process.
  • Brightness: Defined as the amount of blue-white light that a paper reflects. This property is very subjective and individual to each buyer and end use since skin color and food are better reproduced on "warm" (yellow) whites and not blue whites.


  • C1S and C2S: Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.
  • CAD: Short for Computer Aided Design. Refers to the use of a computer and often a cutting table to design and create samples of cartons or other items.
  • Caliper: (1) Thickness of paper or other substrate expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils or points), pages per inch (ppi), thousandths of a millimeter (microns) or pages per centimeter (ppc). (2) Device on a sheeted press that detects double sheets or a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
  • Carton: A container made from paperboard. It is short for "folding carton." There are many different types, such as straight tucks, reverse tucks, auto bottoms. The word carton does not refer to corrugated boxes, rigid setup boxes, or shipping containers.
  • Channel: In prepress color management, there are two kinds of channels, color and alpha channels. Color channels are the fundamental building blocks of color images while alpha channels are created from selections.
  • Chipboard: A low quality, non-test paperboard made of waste paper for use where specified strength or quality is not necessary. May be bending or non-bending, used for corrugated pads, dividers or as filler in thicker paperboards. Also used in the manufacture or set-up boxes.
  • Clay Coated Board: A high grade paperboard, usually well suited for printing and converting into cartons. The clay coating refers to the fine kaolin clay surface of the paperboard. Various types include SBS (Solid Bleach Sulfate), CCK/SUS (Clay Coated Kraft or Solid Unbleached Sulfate, and CCN (Clay Coated Newsback).
  • CMYK: A method of representing color based on the standard printing inks of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. This is also known as 4-color process. Printing these colors on top of another will create a full-color image.
  • Coated Paper: Paper made with a layer of clay on top of fibers.
  • Coating: A liquid that is applied to the surface of a sheet in order to protect it. Coatings are usually referred to differently than varnishes, as coating tend to protect the surface and age better than varnish. Examples are UV or Aqueous.
  • Color Balance: Maintaining the ink film thickness to a uniform ratio so that an unwanted variance or bias is avoided.
  • Continuous Tone: Image in which colors and shades of gray smoothly merge into the neighboring colors or shades instead of producing distinct, sharply-outlined areas of color or shades. Camera-film photographs are continuous tone images, but the digital photographs are not. Almost all printing processes (except the Iris system and dye sublimation technology) are non-continuous tone. Also called contone.
  • Contract Proof: A proof that will be used as a final agreement between a printer and a customer about the representation of an image to be printed.
  • Crease: The effect of pressing a steel rule into paperboard via a die cutting machine creates a crease or score in the paper. This crease is how the carton folds into shape.
  • Crop: To eliminate part of an image.
  • Crossover: Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.
  • Curve: A line graph that controls the ratio of input to output values for grayscale values in an image. A curve is often used to control the brightness and contrast of images and is used to adjust the distribution of grayscale values in individual color channels to accomplish color correction.
  • Cutting Die: Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.


  • Debossing: An image that is depressed into the surface of paperboard. Opposite of "emboss."
  • Densitometer: Instrument used to measure density. Reflection densitometers measure light reflected from paper and other surfaces; transmission densitometers measure light transmitted through film and other materials.
  • Density: (1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding color, the relative ability of a color to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers.
  • Density Range: Difference between the darkest and lightest areas of copy. Also called contrast ratio, copy range and tonal range.
  • Die: A tool used to process a printed sheet. Usually made of wood, it contains steel rule and is used on a machine to cut cartons out of the paperboard. The word 'die' can also refer to foil stamping 'dies' and embossing 'dies', and other tools used in finishing.
  • Die Cutting: The process of cutting shapes from sheets of plastic by pressing a shaped knife edge into one or several layers of sheeting. The dies are often called steel rule dies and pressure is applied by hydraulic or mechanical presses.
  • Digital Printing: Can refer to many different types of ways of reproducing an image on a printed sheet, but for the most part represents a way of producing this printed piece without using printing plates. Can do variable data, customizing each print with individual data.
  • Digital Proofing: Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or inkjet.
  • Dither: The approximation of a color by a software program when it cannot reproduce the required color for whatever reason. The software averages the colors it can reproduce and substitutes. Dithering also occurs when a display monitor attempts to display images specified with more colors than the monitor is equipped to handle
  • Dot Gain: The increase in the size of halftone dots that occurs when an image is printed. If not compensated for, dot gain often results in images that print too dark.
  • Dot Size: Relative size of halftone dots as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used. There is no unit of measurement to express dot size. Dots are too large, too small or correct only in comparison to what the viewer finds attractive.
  • Dots-per-inch: A measure of the resolution of a screen image or printed page. Dots are also known as pixels. The typical screen display is 72 dpi, a laser printer can print at 300 dpi, and a plate setter can print at 2400 dpi or more
  • Double Bump: To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.
  • Double Dot Halftone: Halftone double burned onto one plate from two halftones. One shot for shadows while the second is shot for midtones and highlights.
  • DPI: Considered as "dots per square inch," a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, image setters and monitors.
  • Drawdown: A sample of a specific ink, usually on the stock to be run for the job.
  • Drill: In the printing arena, to drill a hole in a printed material.
  • Drytrap: Printing over dry ink, as opposed to printing over wet ink. This is accomplished by either running the sheets through a second time or energy curing the inks inline. Drytrapping offers more flexibility and better ink hold out than wet trap, but can cost more.
  • Dull Finish: Sometimes also referred to as "matte." Dull varnishes and coatings do not add any gloss to the printed sheet. Creates non-glare surface which increases readability.


  • Emboss: An image that is pressed into the backside of the paperboard, so that it is raised above the surface. Opposite of "deboss."
  • EPS File: Encapsulated PostScript file. A picture file format supported by Adobe Systems and third party developers. It allows PostScript data to be stored and edited and is easy to transfer between Macs, PCs and other systems. Will output only to PostScript devices.


  • Flood Coating: To coat the entire sheet with one particular coating type.
  • Foil Stamping: The process of transferring a foil to a sheet by pressing a heated die against the foil, which is against the sheet. The heat from the die causes the foil to release from its backing and transfer to the sheet in the shape of that die.
  • Font Files: Files containing information used in the creation, display and printing of type characters. There are several font file architectures including PostScript and TrueType. PostScript font files are the preferred font files to use for PostScript printing.
  • FTP: Short for File Transfer Protocol. A standard developed to browse directories and transfer large files over TCP/IP networks that utilizes either password authentication or anonymous access. Much more reliable than e-mail to transfer large files, which usually hits space limitations.


  • G7 Master Printer: G7 Master status is granted to physical facilities qualified to use the G7 Proof-to-Print Process and uses the most modern technology, techniques and press controls to produce a close visual match from proof to print.
  • Gang Run: A printing run where different items are placed on the same sheet so that the setup costs are spread over multiple cartons, usually in an attempt to lower cost. However, quality and lead times can sometimes suffer as a result as the lowest common denominator becomes the rule for the entire sheet.
  • Gloss Finish: Available in UV, Aqueous or varnish, gloss finish refers to the shine, sheen or luster of the printed surface. UV usually provides the highest gloss followed by aqueous and then varnish.
  • Glue Flap: Structural element of a folding carton used for the application of glue to adhere one panel to another.
  • Gradation: The gradual shading of one color tint into another lighter or darker tint.
  • Grain Direction: The direction in which the pulp fibers are arranged in a sheet of paper. Grain direction is important in the design of folding cartons as tear strength is greater across the grain. For the most part, grain should run across the longest scores.
  • Gray Balance: The printing of cyan, magenta and yellow to produce a gray with no bias or tendency towards a particular hue.
  • Gray Map: A chart, usually a histogram, which shows the distribution and frequency of the grayscale value in an image.
  • Gray Component Replacement (GCR): A color separation process that uses black for the neutral gray portion of color instead of the cyan, magenta and yellow equivalent. The advantage is that variability should be reduced during printing as the press is not always trying to balance the cyan, magenta and yellow inks to maintain a neutral gray.
  • Gray Stabilization: The ability to maintain neutral gray during the reproduction process.


  • Halftone: Because printing presses and laser printers cannot produce gray, the reproduction of a continuous tone image, such as a photograph, is processed through a screen that converts the image into dots of various sizes to provide the illusion of gray.
  • Hard Proof: A color proof made on physical paper, often to be used as a 'contract proof.' Whereas a PDF or other proofs only viewable on a monitor are referred to as "soft proofs."
  • Hickey: A spot on a printed sheet, usually from dirt or bits of paper getting stuck on the printing plate or blanket.
  • Highlight: The lightest area of an image.
  • Histogram: A chart with highlight, mid-tone and shadow sliders that displays the frequency and distribution of grayscale values in an image. A histogram is often used for setting the highlight and shadow points in an image.
  • HSV: Hue, Saturation, and Value are used to describe the color of a pixel. Hue is the basic color determined by its frequency or wavelength of light. Saturation is controlled by the amount of white color added to the basic color. Value is the grayscale value or amount of black added to a pixel.


  • Image Resolution: The number of pixels per unit area in an image. Should be expressed as dpi (dots per inch) and not ppi (pixels per inch) which refers to output resolution.
  • Ink Balance: The interaction of the properties of the printing inks to produce a neutral gray.
  • Inkjet: A method of printing that uses minuscule jets to squirt droplets of ink onto a substrate.


  • Kraft (K): Kraft consists of at least 80% virgin chemical pulp fiber. It offers excellent strength and stiffness properties and excellent surface finish. Kraft Liner represents the top material grade in terms of physical properties used in the corrugated industry. In general these liners are made from softwood pulp (ISO 4046) although many sources of Kraft liner now also incorporate pulp from harder wood sources such as birch. Most sources of Kraft liner also incorporate recycled fiber in varying amounts, depending on the manufacturer. For the different material types, see Brown Kraft, White Tope Kraft, White Mottled Kraft, Bleached Kraft and/or Birch Faced Kraft.


  • Layer: A discrete portion of an image physically isolated from other portions of an image. Layers can be easily moved and manipulated separately from other layers.


  • Make-Ready: Preparations in the process of setting up a manufacturing run.
  • Mask: A portion of an image isolated through selection that can be protected from image alterations. Similar to an unsaved channel.
  • Midtone: The tonal values that falls midway between highlights and shadows.


  • Neutral Gray: Any level of gray with no apparent color bias or hue.
  • Neutralization: Adjusting a scanner and/or an image so that neutral portions of an image will be captured as neutral.


  • Offset Printing: The printing process of transferring an image via a metal plate to a rubber blanket, and then to the sheet. Usually referred to as 'offset lithography'.
  • Output Resolution: The dots per inch (dpi) of the output device.
  • Overprint: To print something over a previously printed or foil stamped sheet.


  • Pallet: An item used for handling materials. Usually made of wood or plastic, pallets are used to stack other items on to allow for ease of movement throughout a plant.
  • PDF: Portable Document Format. A platform, OS and application independent document format that allows for the viewing and printing of PostScript based documents without requiring the use of their native applications.
  • Pixel: Basic building block of a bitmap image.
  • Pixel Depth: The number of bits per pixel in an image. The pixel depth controls the number of shades of gray an image contains.
  • PMS: Pantone Matching System. A proprietary method of accurately describing colors across different media using preprinted swatches.
  • Point: Can be two things. 1) A term used to describe the thickness of paperboard. One point equals one thousandth of an inch. 2) A unit of measurement used to specify type sizes.
  • PostScript: A computer language developed by Adobe Systems. PostScript allows a programmer to create complex pages using a series of commands. Text and graphics can be controlled with mathematical precision.
  • Preflight: The testing and preparation of a digital file before it is sent to print. Pre-flighting chores can be streamlined considerably by the use of a preflight utility.


  • Quartertone: Dot percentages that are near 25% printing dot size.


  • Raster Image Processor (RIP): A device or program that translates the instructions for a page in a page description or graphics output language to the actual pattern of dots (bit map) supplied to a printing or display system.
  • Registration: The positioning of one process onto another. Registration can affect how the printed sheet looks if the colors do not line up correctly. Registration can affect the die cutting, if the die does not line up correctly to the print.
  • Resolution: The sharpness of an image, sometimes quantified as dots per inch, or DPI.
  • RGB: Red, Green, Blue; a method of displaying color video by transmitting the three primary colors as separate signals. Also, RGB refers to a method of specifying color by its component proportions of red, green, and blue.


  • SBS: Solid Bleached Sulfate. A particular type of board well suited for printing. Made from virgin fiber, the sheet is white throughout and exhibits very good strength and has an excellent printing surface. Very high quality.
  • Score: A crease made in paper to facilitate the folding of the paper along that line without cracking or breaking.
  • Scanner: Electronic device used to digitize images.
  • Screen Angles: The angles at which halftone screens are overlayed with each other. The most common angles are black 45, magenta 75, cyan 105 and yellow 90.
  • Shadow: The darkest areas of an image.
  • Smoothness: Smoothness is particularly important when being used for printing, the smoother the paperboard. The better the image quality because of better ink coverage. Smoothness is measured using air leak methods – the greater the rate of air leakage at a specific air pressure from under a cylindrical knife placed on the surface, the rougher the surface.[10]
  • Soft Proof: A proof that is viewed on a monitor, as opposed to a "hard proof."
  • Spot Coating: The process of coating a particular area of a sheet, as opposed to "flood coating."
  • Stiffness: Stiffness is one of the most important properties of paperboard as it affects the ability of cartons to run smoothly through the machine that erects, fills and closes them. Stiffness also gives strength and reduces the propensity of a carton to bulge under the weight of settling flowable contents such as cereals. Although most paper strength properties increase with increasing sheet density, stiffness does not. A rule of thumb is that stiffness is proportional to the 1.6 power of sheet caliper. The species of fiber used has an effect on stiffness, other things being equal. Northern softwood species impart superior stiffness compared to southern softwoods. Other factors which affect board stiffness include coatings and moisture content.
  • Stock: Our inventoried stocks are shown in the Selection Guide. We reserve the right to substitute papers based on availability. Custom stocks are also available – call for pricing.


  • Tear Strip: A device incorporated into a package to help in opening or to provide a security function by deforming the package when opened.
  • TIFF: Tagged Image File Format. A file format for desktop computers used as an intermediary file format for both color and black and white images. TIFF is used to transfer documents between applications and computer platforms.
  • Tone: A color characteristic, describing its shade or lightness quality.
  • Transparency: The fourth characteristic, in addition to HSV, used to define a pixel. The transparency of a pixel determines the amount of background that shows through.
  • Typesetting: Our Electronic Prepress Services Department has a full library of Adobe® Type Fonts. When sending your typewritten copy, please specify which Adobe Font you would like to print on your order. If you do not specify a font, additional charges will be incurred. You will also want to provide a complete product layout at the time you send in your order. Typesetting is available for an additional charge and requires a proof. Please call for pricing.


  • Unsharp Mask: A software tool used to enhance the sharpness or focus of an image by selectively increasing the contrast between adjacent pixels along edges in an image.
  • UV Coating: Ultraviolet Coating. Cured with ultraviolet radiation, these coatings offer excellent gloss, rubs, and chemical protection and come in many different gloss levels and tactile ranges such as raised or sandpaper feel.
  • UV Inks: These are inks that are cured with UV energy instead of drying with heat energy like conventional inks. Advantages are no drying times as they are cured instantly and provide a very hard printed surface for good rub protection and the ability to be processed on many different types of substrates like foils, plastics, etc.


  • Variable Data: Any specific data that is not part of a static page and changes form to form or page to page.
  • Varnish: A protective liquid applied to a press sheet via a press. They offer many different looks such as tinted, dull or gloss. Varnishes do tend to yellow over time.
  • Vector/Outline: A type of file, typically line art and logos, that is created out of lines rather than dots. These files are very easily scalable. Vector images added to Photoshop images are rasterized or converted into pixels.


  • Waterbase Coating: Same as aqueous coating.
  • Wet Strength Board: Usually Kraft type material, specially treated to resist moisture. Often used in food packaging for freeze/refreeze cycles and beverage carriers.
  • Whiteness: It refers ideally to the equal presence of all color. A truly white sheet will reflect all wavelengths of visible light equally.