Printing Knowledge

Printing Knowledge

Art Paper:

A common name for a coated paper stock with good reproductive qualities for offset printing. Book Paper:A paper suitable for offset printing, generally with a high opacity as well as excellent folding qualities and durability.

Woodfree Paper:

Paper which contains less than 10% mechanical pulp; Good for one and two color jobs, or jobs requiring a lower reproductive quality of full color images.

Coated paper:

Paper is a senior presswork paper made of paper coated white paint.Mainly used for printing senior books of the cover and illustrations, color posters, various elegant advertisements, samples, commodity packaging, trademark, etc.

News paper:

An inexpensive paper made primarily of mechanically ground wood pulp rather than chemical pulp. Synthetic Paper:A paper-like material made of PVC and commonly referred to as ‘yupo paper’ with excellent reproductive qualities and a slick, smooth feel. Can be rather expensive.


The cutting of shapes from the substrate using a custom-made metal die and stamping machine. Embossing/Debossing: A die-stamping process resulting in a raised (Emboss) or depressed (Deboss) surface on the substrate. Embossing may be executed either without any printing to highlight the affected area (blind Emboss) or as a complement to a printed area, for instance where a logo is first printed on a surface and then embossed.

Hole Punching:

A process by which holes of a specified size are drilled through a finished, bound catalog or other printed material.

Hot Foil Stamp:

A process whereby a metallic foil is die-stamped on to a substrate (usually paper) to leave an imprinted logo, text or other graphic device in the color and material of the metallic foil. A popular technique for Book Titles, Name Cards and invitations, hot stamps are generally either gold or silver, but may be created in a wide range of metallic colors.


The punching of small holes (usually in straight lines) into a sheet of paper, to make a printed area easy to tear off. Used for vouchers, response cards, etc., various levels of ease in removing the perforated area may be achieved through the spacing between the holes.


A process whereby a crease is created in a straight line on the substrate, primarily used to allow for ease of folding.


Aqueous Coating: A water based coating whose protective properties lie somewhere above varnish and below UV coatings. Generally used to provide a finish with most of the protective capability of UV coatings, but with more of a satin finish. While providing a richer feel than Varnish, it is also more expensive and may be prone to more defects in the production process.

Film Lamination:

A clear plastic film sheeting that is heat sealed to the paper surface to provide an extremely hard and very protective finish which is even more resistant than UV coating, and at a lower cost to boot. Lamination is available in either matte or gloss application and, in gloss form, is even more glossy than UV Coating. While Matte lamination provides a dull, satin finish that tends to feel fairly rich, Gloss lamination, for some designers may be seen as too glossy or plastic, and therefore somewhat “cheap”.

Spot UV:

A UV coating used to cover a single photo or other isolated area. Spot UV works very well to highlight a photo, logo or other important design attribute, particularly if added to a matte surface, for added contrast. Can be expensive.

Spot Varnish:

A varnish coating used to cover a single photo or other isolated area. Spot Varnish works moderately well to highlight a photo, logo or other important design attribute, but does not create the high contrast effect provided by Spot UV. It is, however, much less expensive, especially if applied inline as a fifth color.

UV Coating:

A coating which, when cured under Ultra-Violet light, creates a glossy, highly protective surface with a rich, smooth feel. While not as protective as Lamination, UV is a very high quality finish, with a price tag to match. It is preferred for high end magazines, catalogs and books. While generally used as an “all over” coating, it can also be used as a Spot UV,


An oil based coating providing a mild sheen and protective qualities to printed material. Varnish may be added in-line when printing (wet trapped), or as an additional coating after the printed matter has dried (dry-trapped) and may be either gloss or matte. While usually added as an “all over” coating, it may also be produced as a Spot Varnish. Varnish is a relatively inexpensive procedure which, when dry trapped to gloss coated paper can provide a rich lustre to a print work, but has neither the protective qualities nor the shine of coatings like UV and Lamination.