Glossary of Printing Terms

Common terms and phrases used in the printing and packaging industy

ADHESIVE: The glue substance applied to the back as a pressure sensitive material for adhesion to surfaces.

BLEED: When the ink coverage of the copy runs beyond the cut edge of a label.

A label made with square corners and no spacing between labels.

CARRIER WIDTH: Measurement of the liner or backer from edge to edge of the label or roll.

COLOR CHANGES: Refers to the wash up and changeover of ink colors within a production run.

Refers to the mixing of ink colors to match a specific color requirement or PMS (Pantone Matching System) standard.

COPY: The printed image and/or wording on a label. DIE: The tool that cuts the shape of the label.

DIE CUT: Refers to the cut that produces a label shape. In rectangles, it distinguishes rounded corners from the square corners common to butt cutt labels and is a requirement for automatically applied labels.

DIE LINE: The outline of the die cut; often required to match artwork properly to the finished shape.

Condition in which the image is raised above the surface.

EXACT REPEAT: Usually means a label reorder to the exact specifications as previously followed without change.

FACE STOCK (MATERIAL) : Any paper, film, foil or vinyl material suitable for converting into pressure sensitive label stock. In the finished construction, this web is bonded to the adhesive layer and becomes the functional part of the construction.

FANFOLD: Finishing labels with a perforation and zigzag fold so that it can be imprinted or used as continuous.

FLEXOGRAPHIC PRINTING PROCESS: Method of rotary printing which employs flexible plates, rotary die cutting, rapid dry inks, in-line lamination and other converting operations.

FLOOD COAT: Solid ink coverage on a label.

FOUR COLOR PROCESS: The print combination of Magenta, Cyan (blue), Yellow and Black in dot patterns called screens, to produce a variety of graphics, images or photos in all the color shadings desired.

The variation of printed dots from lighter to darker as a single or in multiple colors.

The use of dots to create a lighter shaded version of a base color.

HOT STAMPING: A printing process in which the image is transferred to a label material by a combination of heat and pressure.

LAMINATION: The process of combining one or more surfaces together to accomplish a particular purpose.

LINER: The silicone coated base material used to facilitate release of the adhesive coated face while holding it together during printing, die cutting and automatic application. M: Represents 1000 in the printing industry.

The waste face material around the die cut edges of a label that is stripped away and discarded.

Also called “grayback” or “block-out” used to eliminate any show through of previous printing.

OVER LAMINATE: The application of a clear material for appearance or protection.

PERFORATION: A series of cut and uncut areas used to aid in tearing, folding, or some other facilitation.

Common term for pressure sensitive adhesives designed to give a permanent or lasting bond.

PLATE: The raised surface, usually of photopolymer or rubber, which transfers the ink to print an image.

: The correct placement of all colors and copy within a label or one color to another.

A type of adhesive that is designed for clean removal from a surface.

SCREENS: Any dot pattern used to produce various concentrations of color such as process, halftones or gradients.

VARNISH: A thin, liquid protective coating, either matte or glossy, that is applied to the product. It adds protection and enhances the appearance of the product. It can be applied as an all-over coating or it can be applied as a spot-coating.

Page 1 of 1


American Label Group, Inc.
705 Fentress Blvd
Daytona Beach, FL 32114.
(800) 504-8247