Graphics Glossary

Here are common words, abbreviations and technical terms used in the graphics industry. If there are any words missing, you can email and we will help to answer your question.!


The most common paper format in Europe. A0 is 841 x 1189 and corresponds to one m2. One A0 generates 16 A4 sheets. The A format is based on the principle of halving along the long edge. A1 is therefore 594 x 841 mm, etc.


The weight of paper in grams per sqm. One sqm is equivalent to A0. One sheet of A0 generates 16 A4 sheets.

Images, toner, lines and other objects that are to be positioned at the very edge of the page must have a bleed, which means they must go beyond the format of the page in order to avoid the risk of a visible edge on the paper when the print sheet is cut.


A basis weight of 170g is usually defined as cardboard (see also fine cardboard and graphic cardboard).

Typeface in a layout can be converted to character contours, which means they become object graphics and the typeface does not need to be attached. The conversion means the text is no longer editable.

Colour system used in four-colour printing and four-colour printers.

Coated paper has been provided with one or more layers of a mixture of chalk and clay for a smoother surface and good printing characteristics. Higher levels of coating and finer pigments provide higher image printing characteristics.

A colour sample sent to the factory to be used to match to the ink in production.

How much of the product’s printable surface is covered with ink.

The intended printing ink on the correct substrate that will be used in production. A sample produced prior to production to ensure the desired colour is in use.

Compression often occurs prior to the transfer of files via the Internet. The file is recoded so that it requires less memory (it becomes smaller) and can therefore be sent more quickly. The risk of a file being damaged during transfer is reduced when it is compressed.

When there is a higher basis weight, a folding mark is made before folding to avoid cracks and to obtain a good fold.

A print prior to production that gives a hint of final print results. Can be obtained when using CMYK.

Marks that indicate where the print sheet is to be cut.


Negative embossing lowers the motif in the material.

Printing press that prints directly from the computer without the need to produce printing plates.

Dots Per inch relates to the number of exposure points per inch and indicates the print resolution of the printer.

The smallest unit in typography, 0.376 mm.


Paper that is coloured, structured, shiny or transparent is considered to be effect paper. Used to create effect or if the print product is to convey a certain feeling.

There are three types of embossing. Positive embossing allows the motif to rise off the paper, negative embossing (blind embossing) sinks the motif into the material, and sculpted embossing is several levels both up and down.

Encapsulated PostScript is a file format for digital images and illustrations. Handles both object graphics and pixel graphics.


Flexographic printing is a printing method, a form of rotation pressure, using flexible rubber or plastic cliché. Products typically printed on using flexographic printing are plastic bags, labels, basic paper bags and corrugated cardboard.

Encompasses everything that happens to paper from printing to being a finished print product, e.g. folding, creasing, stapling. Bookbinding is a more traditional word for finishing.

Embossing filled with foil.

A foil surface is placed on the printed product, often partially.

The Forest Stewardship CouncilⓇ is an independent international membership organisation whose rules safeguard endangered animals and plants, the ability of the land to grow forest in the future, safe and sound working conditions for people working in the forest and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The FSC label means that consumers and companies can choose products made of wood that come from responsibly managed forests, i.e. forestry management that respects people and the environment.

Ask for Avisera’s FSC certified products (license number: C110916).


Graphic Interchange Format is a file format primarily used online.

The paper has been compressed to enhance the gloss and smoothness, which gives better image reproduction but may result in disturbing shine in text areas. The thickness, stiffness and opacity of the paper deteriorate. Also known as calendered paper.

Most grains adhere to the longitudinal direction of the paper during manufacture and create the paper’s grain direction. The paper is stiffer in the grain direction. If you place a piece of paper of the edge of a table, it bends most when the grain direction runs along the edge. If you pull a piece of paper hard between your finger and nail, there is the most impact on the edge that is perpendicular to the grain direction. The grain direction is important in relation to making impressions and folding paper. When making impressions and folding, the fold line must run in line with the grain direction in order to avoid cracks, which is particularly important with coated paper.

The weight of paper in grams per sqm. One sqm is equivalent to A0. One sheet of A0 generates 16 A4 sheets.


When a surface is printed with less than 100% ink it is a halftone surface. When a surface is printed at 100%, it is a fulltone surface.

High-density polyethylene. Properties that identify this type of plastic are its high strength, frosted appearance and high level of rustling.

An image with a sufficiently high level of resolution for printing. Standard 300 PPI


Collective term for settings and preparations that must be done in the printing press before obtaining an approved print sheet.

The creation, processing, modification or retouching of images using a computer.

The information density in a digital pixel-based image. Measured in PPI (Pixel Per Inch).


Alternative creasing for paper bags, where the bottom gusset is folded in the middle. Used to avoid the creasing line on the left side of the bag, that is created with the classic bottom fold.

Joint Photographic Experts Group is a destructive compression method for images. Also works as a separate image format.


Just as with lacquering, the reasons for lamination can be functional or aesthetic. A plastic film is positioned to obtain a certain effect, e.g. protection from dirt and wear, writability, matt, glossy or a patterned surface. The best results are on coated paper as lamination requires a very even surface. Finger prints are less visible on lamination than on, for instance, UV lacquering.

Term describing graphic design.

Low-density polyethylene. Qualities that identify this type of plastic are its toughness and flexibility, and that it is soft and gentle.

Graphic symbol for a company, organisation, brand, etc.

An image with a low resolution that is often used as a indicator as it requires less storage. Replaced manually or automatically with a high resolution image prior to printing. A low resolution image is usually 72 ppi.


Unprinted surface near the edges of the product to avoid bleeding.

Plastic film placed on a printed product to obtain a matte surface. Used on paper products. Covers full surface.

Varnish placed on a printed product to obtain a matte surface. Used on plastic products. Can partially or wholly cover the surface.

Medium-density polyethylene. Even less sensitive than HDPE.

The thickness of plastic is measured using a tool called a Micrometer. 1 my = 0.001 millimetres.


Printing technique where the printing form applies ink to a sheet cylinder which then transfers it to the paper.

Opacity indicates transparency.

The number of printed items delivered in excess of the agreed volume.


A basis weight of under 170g is defined as paper.

During lamination, a sheet of paper or cardboard is glued to another surface using a press roll and glue. Commonly used in offset printing on corrugated packaging, where the sheet is first offset printed and then laminated.

Foiling, lacquering and lamination can be made partial, which means the effect is only applied to parts of the surface.

A punched line that makes it easier to tear and divide a page.

Standard format for the delivery of original graphics.

Minimum visual component of an image. The number of pixels per inch indicates the resolution of an image (ppi).

Pixel-based image. Should be enlarged by more than 20% when compromising on quality.

Shows who has produced the print job.

Colour system that describes colours. Used as spot colours. Also known simply as Pantone colours.

Page description language that is standard for graphic printing.

The number of pixels per inch. Describes the resolution of images, monitors and scanners.

Pre Production Sample – a sample produced for approval prior to mass production commencing. This sample may show a construction or printing result. PPS is most often cut using CAD on a cutting board or hand made.

Measured in dpi (dots per inch). The resolution of a specific print device.

Colours used for printing, most often Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK).

Proofs are a file sent for approval prior to production commencing. Everything from printing colours to text is checked.

If you do not use a rectangular or square shape, you must use punching. Rounded corners, windows and tabs are all examples of punching.


Raster points refers to the elements that build up a semitone area in, for example, offset or flexographic printing. A raster varies in quality from printing method to printing method. When flexographic printing on tape, raster points are visible with the naked eye when examined closely, and the same applies to plastic bags. Raster points in offset printing are of such a high quality that they cannot be seen without a magnifying glass.

The size of the plate that the cliché is placed around. Anything placed within the repeat length will then be repeated throughout the length of the product. In the case of colour printing, a so-called cliché joint will appear each time the repetition restarts.

Describes the density of information in a digital image.

Processing a photographic image.

Colour system used in monitors and digital cameras.


Printing technique where a fine-mesh fabric tensioned on a frame lets through ink which is distributed using a scraper. Screen printing is used on uneven materials such as fabric, polyester and non-woven material.

Small heels on letters found in antique fonts such as Times.

Offset printing technique where the printing press is fed with sheets of paper.

Printing ink in special colours, e.g. the PMS system. Often used in logos.

Name of the material the product is made from.


Common file format for digital images that can be saved with layers and without compression. Used when printing images.

Even hue across a surface.

Transition between a number of colours.


Imposition of double-sided printing where the print sheet is turned after being printed on one side in order to print on the other side using the same plate.

When the factory deliberately allows two colours to overlap each other to avoid any gaps in the event of movement during production.

The appearance of letters. Also known as fonts.


The paper has no coating layer on the outer surface.

The number of printed items delivered in below the agreed volume. The volume can vary due to production wastage that does not meet quality standards.


Instead of pixel or raster-based images and illustrations, you can create illustrations that consists of mathematical indications for lines and curves. Since these are based on numbers and figures, it is easy to enlarge and reduce illustrations as much as desired without any loss of quality. Often used in logos and usually created with software such as Adobe Illustrator. Also known as object graphics.


Loose sheets are put together with a spiral. Also known as spiral binding.

Paper can be different levels of white. This is because paper is both bleached and contains colour and pigment to add nuance in order to achieve the desire whiteness.


File compression.


ÅterBära ™ is a product label for 100% climate neutral packaging, developed by Avisera. Avisera have calculated the amount of emissions generated throughout the entire process, then offset all these carbon emissions by supporting certified tree planting in South America.

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