Our A5 sized swatch creatively displays the most commonly used paper and board weights, all in gloss, silk, matt and uncoated finishes as well as including the most popular laminations. Simple but effective.

Now, specifying any new piece of printed marketing literature will be so much easier as you can see instantly how print will appear on any paper stock.

To order your swatch please email and you should have delivery within 5 working days.

Glossary of terms

‘A’ sized paper
The ‘A’ series of paper sizes is derived from the dimensions of an ‘A0’ sheet, which is 841mm x 1189mm. Business letterheads in most countries are usually produced on A4 sized paper. The ‘A’ series of sizes are defined by the ISO 216 standard. The full list of A sizes is listed below.

4A0 1682 x 2378 mm 66.2 x 93.6 in
2A0 1189 x 1682 mm 46.8 x 66.2 in
A0 841 x 1189 mm 33.1 x 46.8 in
A1 594 x 841 mm 23.4 x 33.1 in
A2 420 x 594 mm 16.5 x 23.4 in
A3 297 x 420 mm 11.7 x 16.5 in
A4 210 x 297 mm 8.3 x 11.7 in
A5 148 x 210 mm 5.8 x 8.3 in
A6 105 x 148 mm 4.1 x 5.8 in
A7 74 x 105 mm 2.9 x 4.1 in
A8 52 x 74 mm 2.0 x 2.9 in
A9 37 x 52 mm 1.5 x 2.0 in
A10 26 x 37 mm 1.0 x 1.5 in

The ISO ‘A’ series of paper sizes is used throughout the world except for countries using the US letter standard which are the United States and Canada. Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, the Philippines and Chile have officially adopted the ISO format, but in practice usually use the North American sizes.


Also known as ‘ink holdout’. The extent to which a material, such as paper, takes up moisture, or ink, in the printing process. A paper with a high hold-out level, or low absorption rate, will result in a sharper more clearly defined dot, and therefore images and graphics which also appear more clearly defined. A coated glossy stock of paper has a low absorption rate, whereas cartridge papers, or newsprint paper has a high absorption rate. Typically digital printers use higher absorption papers.

Acid-free paper

Acid free paper is paper that is made by a special process to eliminate the active acid pulp. The best acid free papers are also lignin and sulfur-free. The advantages of such papers are that they last much longer, and are less likely to turn brittle and yellow over time.


Additional material to the main body of a book or directory, and printed separately at the start or end of the text, or included as a loose insert.


The bond between the ink and the material on to which it is printed.

Art-lined envelope

An envelope that is lined with an extra fine paper. It can be coloured patterned, or foiled.

Art paper                                                                                                            

A high quality paper that has a smooth coating, for instance from china clay (kaolin) compound. The term ‘art paper’ is derived from the type of paper used by students for art or craft projects.


With lowercase letters such as ‘h’ and ‘b’, the ascender is the part of the letter that rises above the height of the letter ‘x’ in any given font.

Author’s alteration (Author’s corrections)

Changes to copy made by the customer after it has been sent to the printer or designer. Also known as ‘AAs’.



‘B’ size paper

The ‘B’ series of paper sizes is part of the ISO 269 international standard. The full list of sizes is below. The ‘B’ sizes are most commonly used for posters, books and catalogues for trade exhibitions.

B0 1000 x 1414 mm 39.4 x 55.7 in
B1 707 x 1000 mm 27.8 x 39.4 in
B2 500 x 707 mm 19.7 x 27.8 in
B3 353 x 500 mm 13.9 x 19.7 in
B4 250 x 353 mm 9.8 x 13.9 in
B5 176 x 250 mm 6.9 x 9.8 in
B6 125 x 176 mm 4.9 x 6.9 in
B7 88 x 125 mm 3.5 x 4.9 in
B8 62 x 88 mm 2.4 x 3.5 in
B9 44 x 62 mm 1.7 x 2.4 in
B10 31 x 44 mm 1.2 x 1.7 in

Bank paper

A paper with a weight of less than 50gsm, normally uncoated. Most often used when weight of paper is critical.


The line formed by the bottom of capital letters in text.

Basis weight

A method used in countries using US paper sizes to measure paper weight. The basis weight of a paper is defined as the weight, measured in pounds, of 500 sheets of paper cut to a standard size.


The process of fixing sheets of paper together along one edge. Common forms of binding for books, magazines and brochures, are saddle stitching, perfect binding and wire-O binding.


The part of a printed image that extends outside the area to which the finished sheet will be cut (trimmed). If artwork such as an advertisement is supplied to a printer or publisher, and you want the image to extend to the edge of the page, it is essential to add some extra bleed, since it is difficult for printers to print exactly to the edge of a page.


Thick paper or card, with a weight of 200gsm or more.


The main part of text in a magazine or book, excluding headlines, stand firsts and picture captions, etc.


Bold (or bolded) text is text where the type is thicker than the text surrounding it, therefore making it stand out.

Bond paper

A cartridge paper with a weight of more than 50gsm. Most often used as business letterhead, and as copy paper for digital office printers.


The thickness of a paper stock, relative to its weight.

Bulk mail

In the USA, a term used to describe third class mail, where the printed material qualifies for reduced printing rates. In the UK, bulk mail can refer to the dispatch of any large quantity of mail through the postal system.


‘C’ sized paper

The ‘C’ series of paper sizes is part of the ISO 267 international standard. The full list of sizes is set out below. The most common use for the ‘C’ sizes are for envelopes.

C0 917 x 1297 mm 36.1 x 51.5 in
C1 648 x 917 mm 25.5 x 36.1 in
C2 458 x 648 mm 18.0 x 25.5 in
C3 324 x 458 mm 12.8 x 18.0 in
C4 229 x 324 mm 9.0 x 12.8 in
C5 162 x 229 mm 6.4 x 9.0 in
C6 114 x 162 mm 4.5 x 6.4 in
C7 81 x 114 mm 3.2 x 4.5 in
C8 57 x 81 mm 2.2 x 3.2 in
C9 40 x 57 mm 1.6 x 2.2 in
C10 28 x 40 mm 1.1 x 1.6 in

Cartridge paper

Rough or uncoated paper with high opacity and bulk, usually made from bleached sulphate wood pulp and esparto grass. Uses include envelopes, and as drawing paper.

Clipping Path

An outline, embedded into an electronic file, that tells an application which areas of a picture should be transparent.


Stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). These four colours make up the 4 colour printing process. Most commercial printing is done in CMYK, and is referred to as ‘four colour printing’. CMYK are subtractive colours: if you combine cyan, magenta and yellow, the result will be black. To obtain white, you have to remove each of the CMYK colours. (This compares with RGB, where if you combine these three colours, the result will be white.)

Cockle finish

A rough, uneven, hard paper finish. Most frequently found in bond papers. Simulates the feel of handmade papers.


To gather or arrange printed sheets in their correct order.

Colour separation

A process whereby a colour image is separated into its four process (CMYK) colours ready for printing.

Commercial printing

A term used for printers that produce a wide range of commercial products, ranging from business stationery and newsletters, to posters, postcards and flyers. Commercial printers also known as ‘jobbing printers’ (UK), or ‘job printers’ (USA) because each job is different.

Condensed  type

Where characters in text are relatively narrow in proportion to their height, making them seem taller.

Coated paper

Paper or board that has a smoother finish by virtue of being coated on one or both sides with a mixture of china clay and latex, and/or other materials. ‘Gloss art’, ‘silk art’ and ‘matt art’ are examples of coated paper stock. Coating methods include blade coating, air-knife coating, roll coating, brush coating and cast coating. The advantages of printing on coated paper are that colours tend to be brighter and the definition sharper, compared on uncoated papers.

Concertina folded

When paper is folded in opposite directions, giving a pleated, or ‘concertina’ effect. Also known as accordion fold.

Continuous stationery (UK) / Continuous form paper (USA)

Paper that is supplied perforated and fan-folded, which is then printed on dot matrix printers then ‘burst’ into individual forms. Typical uses include invoices, delivery notes, and statements.  Distinguishable by the sprocket holes down the left and right hand edges at half inch intervals (which are often removed after printing/processing).

Continuous tone

An image that has continuous shades of colour or grey that are not broken up by dots. Continuous tones must be screened to translate the image into dots before they can be reproduced for printing. Also known as contone.

Crop marks

Lines put onto artwork to show which part of the image should be printed and where the edges should be cut.


Acronym for computer-to-plate; a process of by which the computer file containing text and graphics passes directly from a computer onto the printing plate used on offset printing, bypassing the film making stage.



See Embossing


Portion of a lowercase letter falling below its baseline, or below the bottom of the letter ‘x’ in any given font.

Die cutting

A process of cutting board or paper into customized shapes using a wooden ‘die’ or block. Inside the die are steel rules in the shape of the pattern required. Die cutting is often used when printing pocket folders or unusual shaped flyers.

Digital printing

When artwork is printed directly to the material from the digital file rather than via printing plates or film. Digital printing is almost always four-colour, and is most cost-effective for short runs, because set-up costs are low. However, run-on costs are generally higher than for litho printing processes.

Digital proofing

Proofs created directly from digital files instead of using film.

Dot gain

The amount that each dot within artwork increases when it is printed as compared with the dot’s size on the original photographic positive or negative. High dot gain results in darker colours or tones. More absorbent papers will usually cause higher dot gain.


Dots per inch. The higher the DPI, the better the quality of print, because the image will appear sharper on coated paper and board stocks. A high DPI will also mean the electronic file will be larger.


Process used by printers to create holes in paper ready for ring or comb binding.


A mock-up of a printed product made in the same grade, weight and finish and colour of materials as will be used in the final article.


When a one-colour image is used to create a two-colour halftone reproduction, resulting in a ‘tinted’ effect.


Elliptical dot

Dots that are elongated in halftone printing to produce an improvement in the gradation of  tones, particularly the mid-range tones, when printed.


A method of printing where an image or lettering is pressed onto the paper. The surface of the paper will then be either raised (or depressed known as debossing).

EPS file

Acronym for encapsulated postscript, an electronic file format. The advantages of using an EPS format, as opposed to say a TIFF format, is that you can break the EPS file apart and edit or remove elements of it using drawing and designing applications such as Adobe Illustrator.


Film laminate

A thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product to give it greater protection and/or aesthetic stand-out. Most often used to protect the outer covers of books and other products such as trade exhibition catalogues intended for long-term use. Common laminates used in commercial printing are gloss laminate (creating a high gloss finish), matt laminate (with a smooth finish) or soft touch (giving a velvet finish).

Finished size

The size of a printed product after it has been produced, as compared to its size laid out flat. Also known as ‘trim size’. Most relevant with small leaflets, such as an A3 sheet that is folded to create a 4-page A4 leaflet.

Flush cover

When the cover of a book or publication is trimmed to the same size as the inside pages. Where a cover contains a folded gatefold page (for example with the floor plan page of an exhibition catalogue or event guide), the cover cannot be flush because to do so would cut into the fold of the gatefold spread page.

Flush left

Where type is aligned vertically on the left side of a column. Also called left justified, or ranged left.

Flush right

Where type is aligned vertically on the right side of a column. Also called right justified, or ranged right.

Foil blocking

A process where a metallic foil (or pigment) is transferred onto a paper or board via pressure and heat. Sometimes known as hot stamping, or foil stamping.

Fold / Folding

Examples of types of folding include: concertina fold, French fold, gatefold, half fold, double gatefold, double parallel fold, map fold, parallel fold, roll fold, Z fold.

Four-colour process

The most common method for printing in colour. The full-colour effect is obtained by superimposing, or mixing, the four process colours of yellow, magenta, cyan and black.


Gate fold

An oversize page in a magazine or book that is folded one or more times so that it does not extend beyond the size of the rest of the pages in the publication. Normally, when folded, the gatefold will need to be slightly smaller than the other pages, to avoid the risk that the fold itself is cut during the trimming process.


A fault in the printing process when faint, ‘ghost-like’ images can be seen on the material. Ghosting can be caused by: 1) uneven capacity of ink on the rollers during the printing process; 2) the transfer of faint image from the front of one sheet to the back of another (known as ‘chemical ghosting’); or 3) the faint repeat of an image from the same side of the paper (mechanical ghosting).

Gloss art paper

A coated paper that appears shiny and reflects a relatively large amount of light. Like with other types of coated paper, gloss art does not absorb ink, with the ink drying by oxidization. Gloss art is commonly used for brochures, leaflets, and magazines. It is not recommended for printed products like reference books and directories which readers may wish to write on, because pen marks will smudge.

Graduated screen tint

A screen tint that changes density or fades into another colour gradually and smoothly, not in distinct steps. Also called a vignette, degrade, gradient, or ramped screen.

Grain (of paper)

The direction of fibres in a paper. It is usually recommended to fold with the grain, and not against it.

Gravure printing

A type of printing typically used for very long runs of catalogues or magazines, packaging printing, security printing and decorative printing where a high image quality is required. The process, intaglio, involves using an etched copper cylinder which contains indented cells that hold the ink before it is transferred to the paper. The cylinder is then rolled onto the paper. Also known as rotogravure printing.


A range of grey shades, from black to white. In printing, grayscale uses only a black halftone plate.


An abbreviation for grams per square metre (also known as ‘grammage’). Grammage is the most common way globally (except for countries using US paper sizes) to express the mass per unit area of a paper stock. For example, a typical office copy paper stock might be 80gsm. Therefore an A3 sheet (which is one eighth of a square metre) will weigh 10 grams.

H - I - J - K

Half perf

A perforation line that extends across some, but not the  entire width of the paper.


Most photographs, paintings, or similar pictorial works reproduced in books, magazines and newspapers are printed as halftones. A halftone is a tonal gradation made up of dots of varying sizes with equal spacing.

Halftone Screen

A grid of equidistant lines and spaces used when photographing an original image for plate or block making.

Hard copy

A copy or proof that has been produced on paper or other physical substrate. (As opposed to a soft copy, which is a digital version of the material is viewed on screen.)


Acronym for inside back cover of a publication such as a magazine, catalogue or book. Also known as ISBC.

Ink holdout

See Absorption.


Acronym for inside front cover of a publication. Also known as ISFC.


An output device used by printers to produce high-resolution separated images to film.

Inkjet printer

A type of digital printer that sprays ink droplets onto paper or other substrates.

Japanese B Series of paper sizes

In Japan there are two series of paper sizes commonly used. The JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) A-Series and the JIS B-Series.  The JIS A-Series is exactly the same as the ISO standard A-series. However the Japanese B-Series is completely different from the ISO B-series, being 1.5 times the size of the ISO/JIS A-series papers

JIS B0 1030 × 1456 mm 40.55 × 57.32 in
JIS B1 728 × 1030 mm 28.66 × 40.55 in
JIS B2 515 × 728 mm 20.28 × 28.66 in
JIS B3 364 × 515 mm 14.33 × 20.28 in
JIS B4 257 × 364 mm 10.12 × 14.33 in
JIS B5 182 × 257 mm 7.17 × 10.12 in
JIS B6 128 × 182 mm 5.04 × 7.17 in
JIS B7 91 × 128 mm 3.58 × 5.04 in
JIS B8 64 × 91 mm 2.52 × 3.58 in
JIS B9 45 × 64 mm 1.77 × 2.52 in
JIS B10 32 × 45 mm 1.26 × 1.77 in
JIS B11 22 × 32 mm 0.87 × 1.26 in
JIS B12 16 × 22 mm 0.63 × 0.87 in


Describes text that is aligned, or flush, on both left and right hand margins. Justified text is most commonly used in books, magazines and newspapers.


The adjustment of space between characters in text. Kerning takes account of the natural shape and slope of letters (for example ‘WA’ and ‘VA’), to improve the appearance and of the text and make it easy to read. Typesetting software programs, such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress, allow both manual and automatic kerning based on pre-set preferences.


Laid paper

Paper manufactured to have a ribbed, textured appearance. Frequently used as writing paper, it is often used to simulate the appearance of handmade paper with grids of parallel lines. Also known as a ‘laid finish’.

Laser printing

A method of non-impact digital printing that uses an intense beam of focused light (a laser beam) to produce images on paper. Most laser printers only print in black and white. Laser printers are mainly used for document printing in offices and are attached directly to desktop computers.


The overall visual appearance of artwork. Also used to describe how individual images and objects (for example the text, logos etc.) on that artwork have been arranged.


The amount of space between two lines of text, usually measured from baseline to baseline in point sizes. Adjustments to the leading can make text more readable and pleasing to the eye.

Listing paper

A type of continuous paper with punched sprocket holes at the edges, often used for computer output.

Lithography printing

A method of producing printed matter from a metal plate on which the design to be printed accepts printing ink with the other parts of the plate being ink repellent. The process is based on the principle that water has a natural aversion to grease. With modern offset litho printing the image on the printing plate is transferred (or offset) onto a flexible sheet (normally of rubber) which is then applied to the paper or other substrate. Offset litho printing is the most common method of commercial printing for quantities (print runs) of more than a few hundred. For shorter runs, digital printing will usually be cheaper, because set-up costs are lower. Litho printing first became popular in the early 1950s after an easy to use, storable photosensitive aluminium litho plate was developed. Also known as litho printing.

M - N - O

Manila paper

A tough brown paper, often used for envelopes and parcel wrapping paper. The word manila is because originally manila paper was made from manila hemp. Modern manila paper is mostly made from wood pulp substitutes and other fibres. Also known as manilla paper.

Matt art paper

A clay-coated paper with a dull, even finish. Also known as ‘matte art’ paper.


When an image is printed just outside of its correct position on the paper or substrate. When printing with more than one colour plate, misregistration will typically cause a gaps to appear, or blurred images.

Moiré pattern

An undesirable grid-like pattern caused by the misalignment of dots on a printed document. The moiré effect happens when the line screens, or dot patterns, of two different inks (or colour plates) have been output at the same angle and then overlaid on top of each other. Moiré patterns can also occur when a halftone image is scanned and then printed, as the dot pattern from the original image can clash with that of the new printed halftone.

NCR (carbonless paper)

An acronym for ‘no carbon required’. Used for business forms and similar where duplicate or several copies are required, so that when you write on the top sheet, the intermediate copies and bottom sheet will also carry an impression of the writing.   The top copy will be CB (coated back), the middle part(s) will be CFB (coated front & back), the bottom part will be CF (coated front). When placed together the two surfaces react and produce an image. NCR forms dispense with the need for carbon paper.

North American paper sizes

See US paper sizes.


Acronym for outside back cover. Also known as OSBC.


Acronym for outside front cover. Also known as OSFC.

Offset paper

There is no generally agreed definition internationally for the term ‘offset paper’. Some people define it as any coated or uncoated paper used for offset printing of books. Others define it more narrowly as a wood free uncoated paper with an ISO brightness of more than 80% and a weight of 40-300gsm. Also known as ‘book paper’.

Outline paths

A term used when designers, preparing an electronic file for print, convert fonts and graphics into a mathematical vector format. May also be called ‘curves’.


When a printer produces more copies that requested by the customer.  This is to allow for spoilages which have not occurred.

P - R


A range of specially mixed colours trademarked by Pantone, Inc, forming part of the  Pantone Matching System (PMS). Pantone colours are often specified by designers as an extra spot colour in printing in order to increase the accuracy of colour reproduction. Some Pantone colours can be recreated in CMYK (4-colour) printing. However, most cannot be exactly matched, which is why many corporate brochures, annual reports and similar products are printed in 5, 6, 7 or 8 colours in order to ensure a faithful reproduction of a company’s corporate branding.


A way to measure text size. The most common size nowadays for a pica in typography is the contemporary computer pica which is 4.23333mm, or 0.166667 inches. There are 6 picas to an inch, and 72 picas in a foot (i.e. exactly 0.3048 metres). The pica is subdivided into 12 points. There are also two other definitions of a pica used in typography internationally: the French pica, which is 4.512mm; and the American pica, which is 4.2175mm.


An abbreviation for ‘picture elements’. A single point in a digital graphic image and the basic unit of programmable colour on a display screen.

Perfect binding

A method of binding that uses ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) adhesive to fix the printed pages together. These pages are then bound to the cover page, creating a rigid, rectangular spine.


A measurement used in modern typography to measure text size and the space between lines of text. Commonly referred to as a pt, in desktop publishing there are 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch, and 864 points to an international foot.


A ‘page description language’ (PDL) technology owned and developed by Adobe Systems Inc., that describes the fonts, graphics and layout of a page. The PostScript code is used to produce a printout or film from that page.



Acronym for pixels per inch.

Process colours

The term ‘process colours’ normally refers to the four process colours of CMYK:  cyan (‘process blue’), magenta (‘process red’), yellow (‘process yellow’) and black (‘process black’). With offset litho printing, to recreate the full range of colour and tonality in the original artwork, each colour is printed separately on the press, one on top of another. Process colour printing is the recreation of colour by combining two or more of the CMYK colours.


A pre-production print of any work in progress, used to check for errors and colour reproduction.

PUR binding

PUR binding is a stronger, but more expensive, alternative to perfect binding as a way of fixing together pages of a book, directory or similar publication. PUR binding, so-called because it uses polyurethane reactive adhesive, is more suitable for products which will be used more intensively and over a longer period of time, as the pages are less likely to fall apart than perfect binding. To the untrained eye, perfect binding and PUR binding will look almost identical however.


500 identical sheets of paper.

Registration marks

Registration marks are required on artwork to ensure perfect alignment, or registration, of the separate plates during the print process. They also help the printer to trim (cut) the paper more accurately.


An indication of the sharpness and clarity of an image. It is normally measured by the number of dots per inch (DPI) in an image or photograph. The higher the DPI, the better the resolution and print detail.


Acronym for red, green and blue. RGB is an additive colour model used by computer monitors, digital cameras and scanners in which red, green and blue light are added together in various ways to produce a range of different colours. To produce white, you add all the colours together. Before artwork can be printed on a four-colour press, RGB files need to be converted to CMYK, although care should be taken when doing this because some RGB colours, particularly bright, vibrant colours, cannot be reproduced in CMYK.  Digital printing can automatically convert RGB files while printing.


Saddle stitching

When a book or brochure is bound through the centre fold using metal wire staples. Typically used for booklets or magazines up to about 64 pages. Also known as saddle wire or wire stitching.

Satin finish

A smooth coated paper with a finish that is slightly more reflective than that classed as ‘matte’. Also known as silk art, or silk finish.


A mechanical crease or channel made into a sheet of paper or board to ensure it folds more easily, and to help prevent it cracking.


A series of ink dots that, when printed, appear as a solid colour. Colours can be deepened by increasing the frequency (or density) of the dots, and vice versa.

Screen angles

The angles at which a screen intersects with the horizontal line of a press sheet. An optimized screen angle will avoid unwanted patterns (or moiré) when printing solid or graduated colours. The following angles are commonly used by printers: cyan 105 degrees, magenta 75 degrees, yellow 90 degrees,  and black 45 degrees.

Screen ruling

The number of lines per inch (or centimetre) on a half-tone or tint screen. Equivalent to the number of dots per inch on the printed image. Also known as screen frequency, screen size, screen value or ruling.

Sheet-fed press

A press that prints from sheets of paper (as compared to a web press, which uses rolls of paper). The advantages of sheet-fed printing, compared with web printing, include: being able to achieve special finishes such as spot UV varnish, higher reproduction quality, and being able to use much heavier paper stocks or boards.

Silk art paper

A coated paper similar to matt art, but with a smoother finish and a slight sheen. Also known as satin finish.

Show through

The extent to which the printed image or text is visible from the other side of the paper. Lower opacity papers have more show through.

Solid area

An area of a printing sheet completely covered by ink.

Spot colour

An additional colour to the four process colours of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Each spot colour requires its own separate printing plate. Spot colours are typically used to reproduce an organization’s corporate colours accurately. Spot colours cannot be used in digital printing, as digital printers are limited to the four process colours.

Spot UV varnish

See UV varnish.


Two or more adjoining pages in a publication.


An instruction to a printer nullify or ignore a proof-reader or editor’s correction or deletion on a proof, and revert to the original version. From Latin, stet, which means “let it stand”.

Stretched A5

168mm x 240mm (6.614 ins x 9.448 ins). A common size used when printing exhibition guides and other similar publications.

T - U - V


Acronym for tagged image file format. TIFF (.TIF) is a commonly used format for image, photographs, illustrations and logos. TIFF files are popular because they can be exchanged easily between applications and computer platforms.


A solid colour that has been reduced in strength and made to look ‘more white’ either by reducing the number of dots in the screen, or by adding white ink.


A chemical powder used in photocopying machines and laser printers to impose text and images onto the paper. The powder is melted by the machine’s fuser unit and bound onto the paper.


A slight overlapping that can be created at pre-press stage between two adjacent colours in order to prevent gaps from appearing along the edges of an object because of misregistration on the printing press. An element of misregistration will always occur in the printing process, depending on the quality of the machinery used and the skill of the operators. Designers should therefore set the trapping on their artwork accordingly.


Slang for a typographical error.

Uncoated paper

Uncoated papers and card is often used for printed items that are hand-written on, such as letterheads, compliment slips, and invoices. With uncoated paper, the ink ‘dries’ by being absorbed into the paper and, as a result, the same colour will look different printed on uncoated paper compared with on coated paper (where the ink is not absorbed). Uncoated papers are also less dense than coated papers, for the same grammage. For example, a 24-page booklet on 100gsm coated paper will be thicker than the same number of pages using an uncoated stock. Uncoated paper is also sometimes referred to as bond or cartridge paper.

US paper sizes

Standard paper sizes used in North America (USA, Canada, and sometimes also in  Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Philippines, Costa Rica and Chile) for printed publications and business stationery such as letterheads. The US paper size system is based on inches. Common US paper sizes include:

ANSI A or US Letter 8.5 x 11 in 215.9 x 279.4 mm
ANSI B or US Tabloid 11 x 17 in 279.4 x 431.8 mm
ANSI C 17 x 22 in 431.8 x 558.8 mm
ANSI D 22 x 34 in 558.8 x 863.6 mm
ANSI E 34 x 44 in 863.6 x 1117.6 mm
US Legal 8.5 x 14 in 215.9 x 355.6 mm
Junior Legal 8 x 5 in 203.2 x 127.0 mm
Government letter 8 x 10.5 in 203.2 x 266.7 mm
US Ledger 17 x 11 in 431.8 x 279.4 mm

UV varnish

A varnish applied after printing and produced with ultra violet light to give a high gloss finish. Often UV varnish is only applied to certain areas of the page (for example to emphasize a logo, image or wording) in which case it is referred to as spot UV varnish.  Often used in conjunction with a matt laminate.

Vector graphic

A computer generated image formed by points, angles and curves, which can also be filled with colours and blends. Because the picture is made using mathematical formulae, it can be reproduced at almost any size.


A design, a pattern or image embedded within a paper which becomes visible when the material is held up to the light.


W - X - Y - Z

Wire-O binding

When books, directories and brochures are bound with double loop wires along the binding edge. The advantage of Wire-O binding is that the publication can be laid out completely flat when reading, or folded back on itself.

Wood-free paper

Paper made from chemical pulp, rather than mechanical pulp. Wood free uncoated papers are generally regarded as high quality, with a natural look and feel. Typical uses of wood-free uncoated paper are books, teaching materials, notebooks and colour pictures. Also known as tree-free paper.

Z fold

A type of fold that creates a Z pattern.