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Below you will find a long list of common design and printing terms. If you need help with any terms you see on this site, these definitions should help - and if not, always feel free to contact us with questions!

To find a specific term, try Control-F (Windows) or Command-F (Mac) to search the page for the term.

Aqueous Coating (AQ)

It is used to protect and enhance the printed piece. Aqueous coating is applied to all 100lb gloss book and 100lb gloss cover.


A series of vertical bars and spaces that represent any numerical series, most often a correct ZIP Code for the delivery address on a mailpiece. The barcode facilitates automated processing by barcode readers and scanners. A barcode also can be used to convey information for Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation services. Barcodes that may be used for postal processing are POSTNET and UCC/EAN Code 128.


The finishing department, which performs operations on the printed product after it has been printed. The bindery operations are as follows: Folding, Binding, Stitching, Scoring, Perforation, Die Cutting, & Envelope Converting.


Different methods used to secure loose pages in a book is called binding. Saddle stitch is an example of binding.


Bleed must extend past the cut-line and will be trimmed from the product during the final cutting phase. When the image is required to extend all the way to the edge, bleed is needed to preserve the finished look and the quality of the final product. Please keep all text at least 0.125" inside the cut-line.

  • The bleed for Standard Products is 0.125".
  • The bleed for Booklets and Presentation Folders is 0.25".

We recommend using our templates whenever you can.


Booklets range from 8 to 52 pages printed on durable 100lb Book stock and are assembled in-house.


An outline around graphics, text or edge of a sheet.


Refers to the percent of light reflected back from a sheet of paper as measured by a light meter reading. Contrast is reduced and highlights are not as strong when paper with a lower brightness is used for a printed piece. Depending on paper brand the papers have different brightness grades, for example Tango has 91 brightness, Balboa ha 90 brightness.

Bulk Mail

Standard Mail or Third Class Mail.

Bumper Stickers

Perfect for outdoor use, our Bumper Stickers are printed on 4-mil premium white flexible vinyl film and coated with acrylic adhesive that's laminated to a 90# layflat liner. The film is designed to accept a variety of solvent based and curable inks. The liner offers excellent product layflat, adhering easily to most bumpers and enabling them to withstand a variety of environmental conditions. So go ahead and hit the streets with your brand, full speed ahead!

C1S paper

Paper coated one side. Not to be confused with UV and aqueous coatings or laminates, the terms C1S and C2S refer to paper coated at the manufacturing stage, prior to printing. Coated paper has a smoother printing surface and lower ink absorption than uncoated paper.

C2S paper

Paper coated on two sides. Not to be confused with UV and aqueous coatings or laminates, the terms C1S and C2S refer to paper coated at the manufacturing stage, prior to printing. Coated paper has a smoother printing surface and lower ink absorption than uncoated paper.

Card Stock

Also called cover stock. Mostly heavyweight papers are called cards stock. The thickness of card stock is indicated with point sizes such as 14pt, 16pt. Some people will also refer to 100lb gloss cover as a card stock.

Carrier Route

The address to which a carrier delivers mail. In common usage, carrier route includes city routes, rural routes, highway contact routes, post office box sections, and general delivery units.


The primary colors used in 4-color printing. CMYK are used to reproduce full color on the printed sheet. CMYK also called PROCESS COLOR

C: Cyan (Blue)
M: Magenta (Red)
Y: Yellow
K: Key (Black)


The mixture of clay materials that are applied to paper to improve the smoothness of the paper's surface and improve ink holdout during the printing process. Examples are Aqueous coating (AQ) and UV coating. UV coating adds a gloss finish to the product and also improves the vibrancy of the printed colors. Spot-UV can be applied to selected portions of the piece, while keeping the rest a matte finish.

Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS)

A service offered to mailers, service bureaus, and software vendors that improves the accuracy of matching to delivery point codes, ZIP+4 codes, 5-digit Zip Codes, and carrier route codes on mail piece. CASS provides a common platform to measure the quality of address matching software and to diagnose and correct software problems.


Prepress Department that imposes multiple jobs of the same type in a press layout, called a batch. Collecting is responsible for creating schedules that meet production deadlines and satisfy job turnarounds.

Collect on Delivery (COD)

A service for mailers who need to mail an article for which they have not received payment. The amount due the sender is collected from the addressee and the USPS returns the amount due to the sender.

Color Types

0:4 (0 over 4) - 1 sided full color on back envelope flap
4:4 (4 over 4) - 2 sided full color on front and on back
4:1 (4 over 1) - 2 sided full color on front, black on back
4:0 (4 over 0) - 1 sided full color on front
5:0 (5 over 0) - 1 sided full color on front
5:1 (5 over 1) - 2 sided full color on front, black on back
4:5 (4 over 5) - 2 sided full color on front and full color on back
5:4 (5 over 4) - 2 sided full color on front and full color on back
5:5 (5 over 5) - 2 sided full color on front and on back 

Color Proof / Epson Proof / Match Print

An image, created by using color inks. Showing what the final printed product will look like. Color proofs are called Epson proofs tand are a 80%-85% match with the final product.

Consecutive Numbering

Numbering a form, or a series of printed material where the number changes sequentially from one to another. Example, if the first one has number 201, the second will get 202, the third would be 203 and so on.

Crop Marks (Guide Marks)

Lines printed in the margin of sheet that indicates to the cutter and bindery where the finished product should be trimmed. They are also used to show what part of a photo should be used and what part should be cropped off.

Die Cutting

A specific shape like circle, star, etc (any designs that cannot be done by a straight cut) which is cut by a metal blade. Door hangers are a popular product which requires die cutting. We can accomodate shape sizes 13" x 10" and smaller, larger sizes must be sent out to other binderies.

Direct Mail

Another name for advertising mail sent to targeted markets. It can be any mail class, but it is usually Standard Mail.

Direct Mail Short Runs

Direct Mail postcards with UV on both sides. Available in 14pt and 16pt. You supply the mailing list and we'll take care of the rest by digitally printing the names & addresses of your recipients on the product and applying a UV coating to both sides. NOTE: This Direct Mail product is for quantities of 2500 and below

Dots Per Inch (dpi)

A measurement of resolution of input, output and display devices. 300 dpi means that when printed, each square inch of your image will contain 90,000 pixels (dots), the higher the dpi (the more pixels per inch) the more crisp the printed image will be. Our electronic (digital files) have to have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Anything less than that is considered as low resolution and may appear blurry when printed.


A process of imprinting an image by applying pressure to the back side of a material to change the surface, giving it a three dimensional or raised effect. Embossing can be referred to as raised lettering.

Finished Size / Trim Size

The size of a printed product after all production operations have been completed.


Operations to a document after it has been printed. The finishing operations could include bindery work such as, folding, trimming, binding, die cutting, inserting or any post press process that must be completed.

Flat Size

The size of a printed product after printing and trimming but before any finishing operations that affect its size, such as folding.

Flute Direction



The application of metallic gold or silver foil on paper using a heated die. The foil is adhered to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper. Our Foil Stamp Printing adds a custom touch to your printed product by applying a thin film of metal to paper that creates a high grade, eye-catching result.


The process of bending printed sheets in a specific area. Folding is one of our popular bindery jobs.

4-Panel Roll Fold

A type of fold where the piece is folded inward at one end and then folded inward again one or more times. It is as if you are rolling the piece up.

Accordion Fold

A sheet which has been printed on only one side then folded twice in right angles to form a W-shaped four page uncut section. Standard Accordion folds are offered as 4-panels. For 5-panel Accordion fold jobs submit a custom estimate. Accordion folds are usually available on 100lb gloss book papers. Such as, brochures and catalogs. 

Double Gate Fold

Single gate fold, with an additional fold on the center. 

Double Parallel Fold

A type of fold where the piece is folded in half and then folded in half again. The folds are parallel to each other.

French Fold (quarter fold)

A sheet which has been printed on one side only and then folded twice at right angles to form a four page uncut section. 

Gate Fold

When both sides of an oversize page fold into the gutter in overlapping layers. 

Half Fold

A sheet is folded in half.

Half-Tri Fold

A sheet is folded in half and then tri-folded.

Tri Fold

A fold where a three panel piece has both side sections folded inward, one on top of the other each section is approximately 1/3 the length of the piece. Also known as a C-fold or letter-fold.

Z Fold

A paper fold represented by back and forth folds into three panels.

Full Bleed

Printing that goes to the edge of all four sides of the page.

Gloss Finish

A coating on paper that provides a higher reflection of light, which results in a shiny appearance. Gloss coatings reduce ink absorption, which allows excellent contrast and color definition.

Gloss Paper

Paper with a gloss finish, usually used for higher quality printing. Examples are 100lb gloss book, and 100lb gloss cover. Paper with a gloss finish, usually used for higher quality printing. Examples are 100lb gloss book, and 100lb gloss cover. A strip of paper containing gray tones ranging from white to black. So gray scale refers to black and white printed material.


Metal finger like clamps that grab the paper to pull it through the press as the sheet is being printed.


The thinnest possible line or space that is visible.

Head to Head

Printing on the front and back of a sheet is setup so that the top of both sides is printed at the same end of the sheet. You would turn the sheet like the page of a book to read the reverse side.


Printing on the front and back of a sheet so that the tops of each side are printed at opposite ends from each other. The top of one side is opposite the bottom of the other. You would turn the sheet over from top to bottom to read the reverse side. Also referred to as head-to-tail or tumble. 


A spot on a printed sheet that appears as a small white circle with ink in the center, caused by particles such as dirt, dust, or bits of paper.


The printing of new copy on a piece that is already printed. Examples of imprinting are ink-jetting addresses on postcards after the actual card has been printed. Please note that we DO NOT imprint or inkjet on any paper with AQ or UV Coating. The only job that can be imprinted after printing is spot UV jobs and any jobs in this category, which are as follows: Spot UV on both sides, UV one side no UV on the other side, Spot UV on one side no UV on the other side. These jobs do not get UV or AQ coating after imprinting.

Ink Jet

A printing technology in which liquid ink is sprayed through tiny nozzles onto the paper in a pattern of dots, forming the image on the paper. Jobs with AQ or UV coating cannot be ink jet printed.


A letter, card, or similar item placed inside another mail piece (host piece).


The process of applying a film, often plastic or copolymer, to either one or both sides of a printed sheet. Lamination adds a gloss or silk finish to a printed product and provides durability, water resistance and tear resistance. Gloss Lamination: A high gloss film applied to one or both sides of a print product. Gloss lamination is optically clear, durable and is scuff, tear and water resistant. Silk Lamination: A dull matte film applied to one or both sides of a print product. Silk lamination give cards a luxurious smooth feel and may dull color and contrast slightly. Durable Silk lamination is tear and water resistant.


Printing a page so that when positioned for reading the width is greater than the height.

Line-of-Travel (LOT) Sequence

A sequence required for some Enhanced Carrier Route and carrier route rates in which mail pieces are arranged by ZIP+4 codes in the order in which the carrier serves the route. The mail pieces are sequenced in delivery order.

Line Screen

A transparent screen which has been etched with fine lines. It is used to convert a picture or photograph into a halftone dot pattern so that can be printed. We do our best to maintain the fidelity of your creative intent through the complex process of reproduction in print. While printing 200 lpi may be satisfactory, we have gone one huge step further with the adoption of Staccato (or FM) screening method that brings near photographic quality. Staccato eliminates halftone screen angles, rosettes, and screening moirÉ while preserving the desirable details in your artwork. Our Staccato screening process employs 20 micron dot size which is equivalent to 500 lpi.


  1. The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and specifications prior to printing. This includes adjusting the infeed, grippers and guides, adjusting ink for proper coverage, registering copy, and matching the printed piece with the proof to be sure everything is correct. Also referred to as set up.
  2. The paper used while making all the necessary adjustments before printing the actual run. Also referred to as set up.


The non-printed areas around the image area of a page.

Offset Printing

The transfer of an inked image from a plate to a blanket cylinder, which in turn transfers the image to the printing material as it passes between the blanket and the impression cylinder and pressure is applied. Also referred to as offset lithography.

Open End Envelope

An envelope with an opening along its short dimension.

Open Side Envelope

An envelope with an opening along its longest dimension.

Out of Register / Off Register

When an image is not printing in the exact location that it is supposed to. When printing more than one color, if the colors do not line up properly, they are out of register.


Sending information from a computer to a printing device to produce a printed page is called output.


Printing an image over an area that has already been printed. In printing process colors, one process color is printed over another creating a secondary color, which is a combination of two primary colors. Sometimes in the files that customers send us there will be overprinting issues. Such as type or logos not printing. Customers should be aware that we do not check for this and their overprinting situation must be evaluated before sending the files to us.

Overruns / Overs

The quantity of items produced over the quantity that was originally ordered. Also referred to as any paper spoiled in the process of printing. For example if our batch is 1000 quantity batch we always overrun 150-200 sheets.

Pantone Matching System (PMS)

A registered name for an ink color matching system used to compare, match and identify specific colors. To do so we use a pantone book. It contains pantone colors with their closest CMYK values.

Paper Grain

The direction in which the fibers line up during the manufacturing process. It is easier to fold, bend, or tear the paper along the same direction of the fibers. Cut sheet laser printers generally use long grain paper in which the grain runs parallel to the long side of the paper, resulting in better performance through the laser printer.

Perfect Bound Books

Perfect Binding gives your booklets a more finished, refined look. A 10pt C1S cover (no coating) is bound with 80lb book (no coating) on the inside. The cover will be printed as 4:0 with the inside cover being blank and the inside of the booklet will be printed as 4:4. Perfect Bound Booklets are perfect for catalogs, manuals, presentations and proposals.


A printing press that can print on the front and the back of the paper in one pass through the press.


The process of printing both sides of a sheet of paper in the same pass through the press.


Creating a series of holes so that the paper can be torn more easily along the line that is formed. Postage stamps and tear-off cards are common products that require perforation.


The smallest unit of a digitized image created by a digital device, such as a computer, camera, or scanner. Pixel is short for "picture element." The more pixels per inch the better the resolution. On computer monitors, the display is divided into rows and columns containing thousands or millions of pixels. Each pixel is composed of three dots representing the three color channels of red, green, and blue light that are necessary for creating a color image on computer monitors and television screens. Because of their small size, the pixels appear to merge, simulating a continuous tone image, but when magnified they appear to be tiny square blocks of light, as shown in the illustration.


A metal or paper light-sensitive sheet that holds an image that has been photographically produced. During the printing process, the image area picks up ink, which is then transferred to a blanket and then to paper.


Payment for delivery service that is affixed or imprinted to a mail piece, usually in the form of a postage stamp, permit imprint, or meter stamp.


Authorization required to mail without affixing postage. A postage imprint, also referred to as an indicia (The imprinted area in the upper right corner of the mail piece that indicates postage payment), is used instead. An advance payment is made to the post office and postage payment is deducted from that deposit.

Presentation Folder

We offer different kinds of presentation folders, Inner pocket with round cut corner: (1 or 2, left & right pockets are optional) Inner pocket with straight cut corner: (1 or 2, left & right pockets are optional) Business card slit, left or right is also optional.


The process by which a mailer groups mail by ZIP Code so that it is sorted to the finest extent required by the standards for the rate claimed. Generally, presort is performed sequentially, from the lowest (finest) level to the highest level, to those destinations specified by standard and is completed at each level before the next level is prepared. Not all presort levels are applicable to all mailings.

Press Check

Printed sheets from the press that are pulled once all the make ready has been completed. The sheets are checked for quality and accuracy before authorization is given to go ahead with the full production run. Sheets may be pulled throughout the run to do press checks to assure that quality is being maintained. We DO NOT do press checks for customers.

Press Proof

A proof that is produced on the press using the inks and paper specified for that order. We do not produce press proof unless we want to check color for a rejected job.

Press Run

The total quantity of pieces printed during one printing.

Price Break

The order quantity level at which the price of the paper or printed material goes down.


The department in charge of making customers' files "print ready".


A copy of the artwork representing the finished product. It is used for review and approval.

  1. PDF proof. PDF proof is an electronic proof. We charge $5.00 to send the proof via email.
  2. Epson Proof. Is a printed proof, which also called hard copy proof it is a 80%-85% match with the final printed product and it is sent through mail for the customer to approve before the job is printed. The person in charge of sending the proofs to the customer is the person who is processing the orders.


Checking a proof for errors or discrepancies from the original copy.


Drilling of holes through a stack of paper. We use hole punching if a customer wants to have that on any printed piece. Applicable & popular sizes are 1/8" & 5/16". We can provide a different size, other than above mentioned, upon request.


A price, given by the printer or distributor, based on the specifications supplied for that product.

Register Marks

The printed marks used to align color separations for printing so that each color registers with each other.


The measurement of output quality expressed in pixels (dots) per inch on a computer monitor or dots per inch on printed media. For example, a monitor displaying a resolution of 800 by 600 refers to a screen capable of displaying 800 pixels in each of 600 lines, which translates into a total of 480,000 pixels displayed on the screen. When referring to printed media, a 300 dpi (dots per inch) printer for example, is capable of outputting 300 dots in a one-inch line, which means that it has the ability of printing 90,000 distinct dots per square inch (300 x 300).


The additive primary colors, red, green and blue, used to display color in video monitors. Printing with a file in RGB color mode will produce a washed out appearance.

Roll Labels

Roll Labels are great for packaging and promotions. Use them on bottles, as warning labels, or for branding. With different stock options, you will never run out of uses.


The turning or positioning of text or an image at different degrees of orientation on a page.

Round Cornering

Using a machine to die cut the corners of forms, cards and books to create a rounded corner.

Saddle Stitching

The method of binding the pages of a section where the folded pages are stitched through the fold from the outside, using a wire staple (stapling).


Samples of a completed job (a small quantity of the actual job) can be requested to be shipped to your billing address when drop shipping to your customer.

Satin AQ

Our Satin AQ is a water-based aqueous coating that helps seal and protect the printed product and provides a luxurious, satin finish.


A crease applied, in a straight line, to a sheet of paper to allow it to fold easier and more accurately. Based on our equipment we score any sizes between 3" x 4" (min) to 11" x 17" (max) on 100lb book and 14pt stock. Score in half is the most popular.

Set Up

  1. The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and specifications prior to printing. This includes adjusting the infeed, grippers and guides, adjusting ink for proper coverage, registering copy, and matching the printed piece with the proof to be sure everything is correct. Also referred to as set up.
  2. The paper used while making all the necessary adjustments before printing the actual run. Also referred to as set up.

Shrink Wrapping

A method of wrapping packages or products with a plastic film and then applying heat so that the wrap fits tight to the product. Shrink-wrapping is used to package a product in specific quantities and is also used for protection purposes. It also adds some stability to the product when storing. Also referred to as plastic wrapping.


Fifth color, pantone metallic coated 877c. Must be designed in a vector based graphics program. Acceptable file types are EPS, CDR, and PDF.

Skid / Pallet

A wooden platform used to hold stacks of paper or cartons. Used to store or ship materials or finished products.


A paperboard jacket that fits over the four sides (top, bottom, and two parallel sides) of a letter tray in order to keep the mail inside the tray from falling out.


Cutting paper by the use of a cutting wheel. Paper may be slit into smaller sheets or a web of paper may be slit into narrower rolls. A slit can also refer to cuts made that do not divide a sheet. For example, on a presentation folder smaller diagonal slits can be made on the pockets where business cards can then be displayed.

Spiral Binding

Book binding that consists of a spiral wire or plastic that is wound through holes. Also referred to as coil binding. Here at 4over we do not offer that service.

Spot Coating / Spot UV

Coating paper only in specific areas as opposed to all over coating. In a Spot UV job the job gets a UV coating in only specific areas and does not get any AQ coating in any other places. Spot UV can be referred to as spot varnish.

Spot Color

Printing with one or more solid colors, generally black ink is used with the addition of other colors. It is used to add highlight and add color to a printed product without having to print with four-color process.


  1. To assemble and combine film or negatives to produce the final film for plate making. This process is now done electronically by many companies, bypassing the manual process altogether.
  2. In reference to labels it is the removal of the matrix or waste material from around a pressure sensitive label after it has been die cut.

Swatch Book

A booklet containing samples of paper or ink colors.

Tax Exemption

For tax to be exempt on all orders, a valid and applicable resale certificate form is required. A state tax license does not qualify as a resale certificate. California does not accept resale certificates issued by other states. If shipping to California, please provide a BOE230 form. If you are shipping to Canada, a goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) will be collected, as this tax is required by Canada. Please check with your tax adviser for additional information and clarification. Please download, complete and return the appropriate form(s). Forms can be e-mailed to- or uploaded via our resale certificate page (login is required). Tax forms for your state can be downloaded HERE


A preset model that acts as a structure for setting up a similar product. Here at 4over we have lot of templates, for each product. The customers can download the templates online. See all of our templates now...


A container used in postal facilities to hold letters and First-Class Mail flats. It is used as a basic unit of mail quantity for purposes of preparing mail to a qualify for discounted postage rates. Also see full flat tray, full letter tray, less-than-full tray, and overflow tray.


  1. The process of cutting the product to its finished size. The excess that is cut off is also referred to as the trim.
  2. Combining various roll sizes to be slit from a full width roll from the paper machine so that an acceptable percentage of the salable width will be used.

Turnaround Time

The accumulated time between receipt of an order and completion of the finished product. Here at 4over we offer different types of turnaround depending on the product, we have Next Day, 2-4 days, 5-7 days and 7-9 business days turnaround.


The process of converting text into type used for printing.


The part of the spectrum where the wavelength of light is shorter than the wavelength of visible light.

UV Coating

A liquid coating applied to the printed piece, which is then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. This coating is used to provide a protective coating to the printed image. Please note that you CAN NOT write or imprint on a uv coated jobs.


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.


The provider of a product or service. Also referred to as supplier.

Window Envelopes

An envelope with a die cut opening that is intended to have information show through from the piece inside the envelope.

Work and Tumble

A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and the sheet is turned from front to rear so that you are using the opposite edge as the gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.

Work and Turn

A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and then the sheet is turned over so that you are using the same gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.


Zipping is a way to compress electronic files A compressed file is considered "zipped."

ZIP Code

A system of 5-digit codes that identifies the individual post office or metropolitan area delivery station associated with an address. ZIP+4 is an enhanced code consisting of the 5-digit ZIP Code and four additional digits that identify a specific range of delivery addresses.

ZIP+4 Code

A nine digit numeric code composed of two parts: (a) the initial code: the first five digits that identify the sectional center facility and delivery area associated with the address, followed by a hyphen; and (b) the four-digit expanded code: the first two additional digits designate the sector (a geographic area) and the last two digits designate the segment (a building, floor, etc.)

ZIP+4 barcode

A nine-digit POSTNET barcode consisting of 52 vertical bars. Also see Postal Numeric Encoding Technique.