Terms we use in the design and production of the products we create and customise.

Here for you is an A-Z of terms you may come across on the site and in conversation with us. If you are curious in how we design and create, prepare artwork or you’d just like to know how it’s done just ask. Our passionate team always like to talk about the processes involved; how you can get the best results and the hand presses and machinery we use.

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Adobe Acrobat

A product developed by Adobe systems to create PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Acrobat is an independent means of creating, viewing, and printing documents.


A collection of files including a graphics file such as Adobe illustrator, inDesign or Photoshop and fonts and images for the purpose of printing. We recommend the Adobe Creative suite…

Find out more
Belly Bands

Strips of printed paper or thin card that are wrapped around our notebooks and journals. Primarily used to convey company or product information. These are often  personalised with the recipients…

Find out more

Products that break down and decompose over a period of time into carbon dioxide, water vapor, and organic material which isn’t harmful to the environment.


A term used when the print is to run past the trim marks. Usually set at 3mm or 5mm. When trimmed no unprinted paper is shown.

Book block

Formed when the pages of a book have been sewn or glued together, trimmed on three edges and ready to be have the case (book cover) added. It is also…

Find out more
Book cloth

A term used for cloth that is backed with paper and used for book coverings and packaging. …

Find out more
Brass die

A core component of debossing and foiling made using a Computer Numerical Controlled cutting machine (CNC) from a flat piece of brass. These machines can cut to .02 of a…

Find out more
Buckram cloth

A durable long lasting cotton cloth. Made with a stiffening agent and very strong due to the long fibres. Available in a range of colours and ideal for book coverings,…

Find out more
Case bound

This is the traditional method for notebook construction. Pages are sewn together into sections and end leaves are used to attached the pages (block) to the cover; also known as…

Find out more

CMYK is the acronym given to four colour used in printing. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The letter K refers to the word ‘Key’. The three colours are carefully ‘keyed’…

Find out more
Crop marks

Also known as trim marks these indicate where the document is to be guillotined.


Where text or a logo is pressed into the surface of the material leaving an indentation.


Used for debossing or hot foiling they are made from various materials such as brass of copper. These are created by a Computer Numerical Controlled cutting machine (CNC) or etched…

Find out more
Die tape

This is a heat reactive material that used to adhere the die to the head of the machine to ensure it stays in place while in use.

Digital printing

A term used to for short run fast turnaround printing direct from the electronic files such as a PDF rather than making plates to print from.


A term used when two papers or boards are bonded together to form a single sheet. Often used when the board stock required isn’t available in the desired weight /…

Find out more

The time the die is touching the surface of the material. Longer dwell times can change the colour of the material (if themo reactive). The longer the dwell the darker…

Find out more
Eco friendly

Items that are not harmful to the environment in manufacture or disposal.


By applying a combination of pressure and heat the surface of the material is pressed out (raised) using a die.

End papers

These are the pages that are used to affix the book block to the case (cover). One side of the endpaper is glued to the case (cover) and the other…

Find out more

The application of foils to a material, like a notebook cover or box lid using a die with a combination of heat and pressure. Foils are available in a choice…

Find out more
FSC accreditation

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. Products with the FSC logo indicate that the paper is made with, or contains, wood that comes from FSC certified forests or from post-consumer waste. It’s…

Find out more

The process of applying a foil (often metallic) as a decorative element to the outer edges of books or business cards to add a touch of elegance.

Gloss lamination

A finish applied to printed papers/card to give a shiny high impact and protective coating. Can be wiped clean, but is prone to showing finger prints.

Gloss paper

Papers that have a gloss coating on them creating a ‘glossy finish’ ideal for brochures and photographs. Note: Gloss papers are more prone to showing finger prints.

Grey board

Grey coloured board, 100% recycled used for hard back book covers and packaging. Used in “Paper over Board’ construction. A very versatile material to work with and available in various…

Find out more

Paper weights are shown in grams per square metre. This is the industry standard. The heavier the paper or card the greater the number. For example business cards tend to…

Find out more
Hot foiling

Where coloured foil is apply to the surface of material using a die with heat and pressure. Foil colours are limited so Pantone matching can be problematic. You can have…

Find out more
Laser engraving

The use of a laser to mark the surface of the material or to cut it.


A technique of printing where movable type is inked and then pressed against paper to create text. Also called block printing. We use this method for adding names to individual…

Find out more
Magnesium dies

These are more economical than brass and can be produced quickly. They are made using light sensitive coatings that are then chemically etched. Ideal for short run foiling and embossing. The…

Find out more
Matt finish

Non-glossy finish on paper or board. A matt finish can be applied to printed papers and can add a level of protection to the print. We use a soft touch…

Find out more

Pantone stands for PMS Pantone Matching System. Used especially in the design and print industry colours are given numbers and these are used by designer and printers to ensure the exact…

Find out more
Paper over board

A high quality coloured or printed paper usually around 135gsm is glued over a 2mm or thicker grey board to create rigid, high quality book covers or packaging. Both the…

Find out more

PDF is the acronym for “Portable Document Format”. It’s a file format developed by Adobe Systems in the 90’s to present documents, including text formatting and images that is not…

Find out more
Perfect binding

Sections or pages of a book are glued together along the spine. Popular with magazines and periodicals. The pages are collected and the edge to be bound is usually compressed…

Find out more
Pre production sample (PPS)

A sample that is produced to the full specification of the entire job and used for sign off before the full production run is made. This is often done if…

Find out more

PU refers to Polyurethane; a thermoplastic polymer. Used initially as an artificial leather material it has expanded into a multitude of colours and textures and gives really striking effects especially if…

Find out more

All of our hardback notebooks can be disassembled by simply removing the inner book block from the cover, taking any ribbon markers off and then putting in the paper recycling…

Find out more

RGB (Red,Green & Blue) is the colour model used to project colour on a computer monitor. By combining these three colours, a large percentage of the visible colour spectrum can…

Find out more
Saddle stitched

A cost effective and quick method of binding. Sheets of paper are gathered one inside of each other and stapled along the fold line to create a booklet. The staple…

Find out more
Singer sewn

A single line of thread sewn along the fold line leaving an exposed stitch. Stronger than saddle stitching (staples) and more stylish. You can also choose the colour of thread.

Soft touch matt lamination

A tactile finish that is applied to printed material that gives a subtle elegant and high quality look. Not as robust as gloss lamination and can mark more easily, but…

Find out more
Trim marks

Marks created on a print ready file to show the printer where to trim to once printed and collated.

Trim size 

The size of the material once it has been trimmed. The trim size is usually the finished size.

Type face

Is a complete set of characters with a common design. This is made up of a collection of fonts, each with it’s unique weights and styles. A good way to…

Find out more
Uncoated paper 

This is paper that doesn’t have a coating applied to it forming a smooth surface. Uncoated papers have a more tactile feel to them. Popular with designers, but not so…

Find out more
UV digital printing

Used for printing onto objects such as notebooks, pens, phone cases or pre made packaging. The print head moves back and forth over the object(s) staying the ink down and…

Find out more
Vector graphic

To enable us to best represent your artwork on our products, we request you supply a vector file. Vector files are images that are built by mathematical formulas that establish…

Find out more