CMYK: Stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black)—the four inks used in the subtractive color model of four-color printing; generally speaking, all the colors created on press result from varying combinations of these four inks.

Color model: System for creating, defining, or describing colors; commonly used color models are CMYK and RGB.

Crop marks: Marks that show where the printed sheet should be cut or folded.

CTP: Computer-to-plate; a method that avoids the use of film.

Digest-size: Catalog measuring roughly 5” x 7”.

Digital printing: Method of printing in which the data and images are printed directly from the computer onto paper.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol; a mean of transmitting files on the Internet.

GIF: Graphic Interchange Format, a file format used primarily online that can contain up to 256 colors.

Gravure: Short for rotogravure; printing method in which the images are imprinted onto paper directly from the impression cylinder; generally provides greater color range and can use a cheaper paper stock than offset printing.

Hickey: A small bubble or obstruction on the printing plate that produces a small circle on the page; also called a halo.

Halftone screening: Using dots of ink of varying sizes to create gray tones.

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group, a method of compressing or formatting images.

Moiré: An unwanted wavy or screenlike pattern that occurs on press because of the way that the halftone dots that create the image are arranged.
Offset: A method of printing in which the printing plate transfers the image onto a rubber blanket that in turn transfers the image to the paper; more cost-effective for smaller books and print runs than gravure printing.
Perfect binding: Using glue to bind the edges of the catalog together, rather than stapling them together.

Preflighting: Reviewing and analyzing digital files before inserting them into the prepress workflow.

Registration: When all the inks are aligned correctly for optimal image reproduction.

RGB: Stands for red, green, and blue—the three inks used in the additive color model, which is generally used for screen displays and digital representations.

Saddle-stitching: Stapling the spine of a catalog or magazine to keep the pages together.

Self-cover: Use of the same type of paper for the cover as for the inside pages.

Signature: A folded sheet of paper that consists of a set number of pages. All signatures are multiples of four, with 16-page signatures the most common; also called forms.

Slim-jim: Catalog measuring roughly 6-1/8” x 11-1/2”.

Soft proofing: Reviewing a document on a computer monitor rather than on paper.

Spot colors: Specially mixed inks that create special colors that cannot be exactly replicated by CMYK inks.

Stochastic screening: Method of image reproduction that varies the distance between the halftone dots, rather than the size of the dots themselves, to create gray tones; also called FM screening.

TIFF: Tagged Image File Format, used for creating and storing digital images.

Trim size: Final dimensions of the width and length of a catalog.
Variable printing: Method that allows the content of each page to be changed without losing printing speed; also called personalized printing.