Print has some strange words!

Print is full of all sorts of interesting words that can seem downright weird when you are new to the field. In order to make things a little simpler we have taken the liberty of defining a few of them for you.

Stock: Not the kind you use to make soup, but with just as wide a verity. Stock is the term used to refer to the papers themselves. When planning a print job, you may choose a standard, in-house stock that is readily available and usually chosen for a balance of quality and price; or, you can request help in finding a unique paper that will add to the effectiveness of your printed piece

Stock weight: No – this is not our paper getting on the scale in the morning…well, actually, it kind of is. The weight of the stock generally refers to how thick the stock is. So why isn’t it called stock thickness you wonder…Well, sometimes it is. But most of the time it is weight. Simply stated stock weight is determined by pounds per 500 sheets (one Ream of paper) of a standard size of sheet based on the group or category of papers the grade.

Bleeds: Sounds gory, right? Not to worry it isn’t gory at all. Bleeds are actually the 1/8”  that your design extends past the set trim line. This extra space ensures that color and design go all the way to the edge of your finished product.


 The area of print outside the 2 trim marks


Traps: No cheese in these.  Traps are used to ensure that there aren’t unsightly white gaps left between two different colors in a design element.

Saddlestitch: Do print shops really stitch saddles? No we don’t – makes it sound that way though. Really, saddlestitching is the binding of a book with staples, widely used for books under 64 pages. The term comes from the fact that stapling is generally referred to as stitching in the print world, and the fact that the book is draped over a saddle like machine for stitching.

Score: Great! Something sports related! But a hit and a miss. Scores are used on thicker stocks that fold or convert in some fasion. It is a depression that is created on a sheet of paper that helps to guide the fold. It helps folds appear more uniform and straight. They also decrease the amount of cracking that can otherwise happen when folding thicker stock.

Perfect bind: This bind had better be perfect! The name says it should be. Perfect bound books are ideal for paper bound books or catalogs. The pages of a perfect bound book are glued to the cover with a strong adhesive. Cover stock can range from stock of the same thickness as the text of the book, to harder cardstock.


 Perfect bound booklets



What are some of the other print terms you have always wondered about? Let us know and we will shed more light on the subject.


Contact us for a quote: