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Documedia is all about the print, so what better way to appreciate the print than with some print terminology that means something completely different in a non-print world! Everyone loves a good play on words, and when it comes to enhancing one’s vocabulary, those double-entendre words make conversations more entertaining. During this time, many people are taking up new hobbies and sharpening some skills. If you’re one of those people who are taking advantage of the direction to stay-at-home, increasing your vocabulary could start here.
Today, the Documedia team is breaking down 10 printing terms that mean one thing to us but another thing to the outside world. We’ve already written a couple of articles about popular print terms for finishes and more, but the Documedia team is going to kick it up a notch by comparing the meaning of one term in two different industries, or in everyday use. Let’s take it back to elementary and get straight to the vocabulary!
1: AC In the plumbing industry, this is a no-brainer. A plumber who also does AC servicing might be wondering if your air conditioner has been serviced to withstand the upcoming SoCal summer, but this acronym in the print world has nothing to do with keeping your indoors cool.
Print Definition: AC stands for author correction (also known as author alteration, author amendments, client revisions, or client changes). In publishing, this terminology is a change made by a client after a printed material has gone to print for the first time. That is, an alteration occurs because the client wishes to make a change, not because of some error in printing.
2: Alley This word is a bonus because it’s also a homonym. But we’re not talking about that smart and pretty girl in your art class named Allison, who shortened her name to “Alli” because it just worked. We’re also not talking about that narrow passageway between or behind buildings that people walking alone late in the night might want to avoid.
Print Definition: Alley is a term for a random, coincidental path or a row of white space within a segment of copy. So while the definitions share similarities, we see that they’re not exactly the same.
3: Arms Today, you might be planning to workout arms or legs…or maybe not workout at all (yes, we believe walking to the fridge counts as some form of a workout). Or maybe you’re trying not to be up in arms about extended stay-at-home orders? I mean, after all, it is established for our protection…right? And, look, you’re using this extended opportunity to learn new words like never before! Let’s see what the print world thinks about arms…
Print Definition: Arms are those elements of letters that branch out from the stem of a letter, such as the letters “K” and “Y”. From a literal perspective, in the same way that the letter “O” looks like a circle, letters such as “Y” look like literal arms. In fact, “Y” looks like the literal representation of being ‘up in arms’ (we’ve all done it…spelled out “YMCA” with our arms protruding toward the sky to form that human letter “Y”). These letters with arms are important in the print world because, well, now we’re aware that a letter has arms. Depending on the client’s requests, the arms might need more attention to detail so as to not smear, blend into the next letter, or create some other print issue specific to armed letters.
4: Baking Here’s another bonus terminology with several different meanings! We all know what baking means in the food industry. If you don’t know, just ask Duff Goldman. Cakes, cupcakes, bread, and even non-sweets such as certain lobster and potato dishes all undergo the process of baking: to cook (food) by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface. (Are you getting hungry? Don’t worry…we are, too).
In the beauty industry, the term baking has taken on an entirely different meaning. When you hear a beauty guru comment that they’re going to “bake their face,” they don’t mean they’re going to use an oven to bake their face. According to Cosmopolitan, the term refers to letting translucent powder sit on your face for 5 to 10 minutes, allowing the heat from your face to set your foundation and concealer.
Print Definition: Baking in the print world has nothing to do with sweet treats or makeup. This is a term that’s been given to the procedure of drying coatings onto papers. Baking paper creates a more sturdy surface.
5: Bed Ah, the good ole’ bed. Let’s be honest: We all love our bed. Even those of us who might not be the best sleepers, our bed is still a place of comfort and relaxation after a long day of…walking to the fridge. With pillows, bedsheets, stuffed animals for some, and a variety of other decorations, we could agree that when we think of the word “bed” we think of sleepy time. Nonetheless, the print industry has an additional perspective.
Print Definition: The bed is the steel flat table of a cylinder printing press upon which the type sits during the printing process. So, maybe this could be viewed as a sort of ‘bed’ for the material you’re trying to print!
6: Bite Here we are talking about food again. You might have taken a bite out of that delicious brownie that just got done baking in the oven. Or maybe your arm is filled with bite marks after spending your evenings working out in the backyard because walking to the fridge isn’t a good-enough workout for you. Regardless of the context of the bite, we’re all aware that a bite has to do with a person or animal using their teeth to cut into something.
Print Definition: Now that that’s out the way, a bite deals with the etching process in photoengraving that requires the application of an acid; the length of time this acid is left to etch out an image is referred to as its bite. The more bites, the deeper the etched area. (Sorry, folks. There’s no literal with this one!)
7: Blanket First we had the bed now we have the blanket. How much more comfortable can we get!
Print Definition: In the print world, the blanket is nothing like a soft piece of fabric; actually, it’s a synthetic rubber mat used in offset printing to transfer—or “offset”—an image from a metal plate to the paper or other underlying substance or layer. You could try to use this as a literal blanket, but we can’t guarantee you’ll have the most comfortable sleep that night.
8: Blistering We get it—California heat is something serious (and, no, #Summer2020 is not canceled…at least not for us just yet). Nonetheless, the blistering heat of the SoCal sun will still prompt many to check their AC…pun intended. Then there’s the skin: when someone gets a blister, their skin fills with fluid and creates a bubble often caused by something rubbing or burning the skin. Clearly, heat is attributed to this word.
Print Definition: Heat is still involved with the print definition of blistering. Although seemingly dry, print paper contains approximately 5 percent moisture. In cases where there is excessive moisture, the paper is passed through a high heat-drying chamber and causes the moisture within the paper to actually boil, resulting in a bubble or blistering effect. Slightly more self-explanatory than the other terms so far.
9: Cameo In the fashion industry, a cameo is a method of carving an object such as an engraved gem, item of jewelry or vessel; the said item is typically oval in shape, consisting of a portrait in profile carved in relief on a background of a different color. In the entertainment industry, when someone makes a cameo, it means they’ve made an unexpected and brief appearance in a project that isn’t theirs. Someone playing a cameo role in a movie could be wearing a cameo piece of jewelry. Then there’s our definition of a cameo.
Print Definition: A dull coated paper, which is particularly useful in reproducing halftones and engravings. Quite different from the abovementioned terms, right. Perhaps it’s not as vibrant, but definitely different, and it serves its purpose in the print world.
10: Chase To chase, or to be chased? In this generation, this word has taken on many different meanings. Is it who you bank with? Is it a way to entertain a potential relationship without putting in a lot of reciprocated effort? Or did a dog chase after you when it saw you walking by his yard during your evening walk because the backyard just wasn’t good enough for a workout after all?
Print Definition: The chase is an (old) frame of steel, or cast or wrought iron, in which images are locked up for printing.
So, what’d you think about the new terms you’ve learned? Did you already know some of these? At Documedia, we believe that every professional job should also have an equal amount of fun involved! With this list of printing terms, we hope you were able to be entertained and learn a few things in the process.
The Documedia team takes great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process, that’s why we’ve compiled our glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry. We want to help you gain a better understanding of what’s happening to your project. And if you’re interested in starting a print project, reach out to us today. We’re located in Laguna Hills and are more than happy to accommodate all your printing needs.
We print everything but money! If you have any printing needs aside from money, let us know.