Foiling & Embossing Glossary
A-sizes: The international ISO range of metric paper sizes, the largest being AO (841x1189mm). The sizes reduce proportionally from AO by folding in half each time.
Antique: A high-quality, bulky paper with a rough finish.
Art paper: Coated paper with a gloss finish.
Artwork (Camera Ready): Reproduction-quality origination in high-contrast black-and-white, the original design, including text and or drawings used to reproduce the image with all blemishes and imperfections removed or corrected.
B-sizes: The international ISO range of metric paper sizes designed for work requiring a larger format than standard A sizes.
Bevelled Edge: The edge of an embossed or de-bossed image made to a specific angle to the paper's flat surface. Bevelled edges typically range from 30 to 80 degrees between the flat surface of the paper and that of the image. Usually used to allow die fixing toggles to secure the die.
Bleed: The printed area which runs over the trimmed edge of a page, this is usually 3 to 5 mm.
Blind Debossing: Lowering the image on a non printed surface. Indenting the substrate produce a lowered profile image.
Blind Embossing: Creating a raised profile image on to a substrate without a printed design on top of the embossing.
Block: A general term for metal relief printing plates and for the aluminium bases the hot foiling plates are attached too.
Border: Opposite of panel. Usually referred to as a line to be printed, stamped, embossed or de-bossed. It is open inside its perimeter, rather than solid.
Bunter (Post): Used to fix dies in place on a suitable bed. The bunters are screwed in place and the adjusting screws are turned with a bunter wrench to lock the die in the correct position.
Bunter Wrench: Used to move the adjusting screws on a Bunter Post.
Camera Ready: Artwork that is of a quality suitable for making negatives. Usually two colour black & white.
Chase: A holder for type and blocks.
Chiselled: A shape indented into embossed or de-bossed images resembling a V-shape.
Colour Register: Having design elements fit each other through various press operations, such as printing, embossing, foil stamping, folding or Die cutting.
Copy: Text content in an article, document, manuscript etc.
Creasing: To produce an indent across paper or card to help produce a clean preferable crack free fold.
Crop marks: Short lines printed beyond the required print area on oversize material, which indicates where the material should be trimmed.
De-boss(ing): Embossing in the opposite direction. The embossed image is lower than the face of the substrate, or in other words the impression is sunk into the material.
Density: The amount of blackness in the image of the artwork.
Dies: A metal plate engraved by hand or machine used to print foil onto various media and with its matching counterforce to emboss a 3D image on to the material (paper, card, thin plastics, metal foil etc).
Die Fixing Toggle Hook: See Toggle Hook
Die Plate: A holder with a smooth machined surface upon which a relief printing plate is attached.
DPI: Dots per Inch, normally referred to laser printed or imagesetter output and bitmap image resolution.
Dwell: The length of time metal type or a printing plate is in contact with the item being printed.
Embossing: A process of indenting paper, board, plastics and other flexible materials with a raised pattern or design.
Emulsion: A photosensitive coating on a negative film.
Filling in (infill): A printing fault caused in hot stamping where clear spaces are filled with foil e.g. in the centre of the letter "O".
Fluted Foil Dies: Embossing Dies designed to emboss and hot foil at the same time. These Dies will only hot foil the embossed image and nothing else (unless specifically designed to do so).
Foil: An extremely thin plastic film coated with pigment and heat and pressure activated adhesive.
Foil blocking: The process by which a foil is transferred to a substrate using a heated metal Die.
Foil Embossing Dies: See Fluted foil Dies.
Fold lines: Tick marks which indicates where a sheet is to be folded. This is often dotted, to distinguish between folding and trimming.
Font: A complete assortment of (metal) type characters of the same design. It is made up of varying quantities of each character. The digital versions of metal type, where the characters are electronic bits of data are software fonts. These software fonts are usually output on imagesetters and on laser and inkjet printers. These fonts are scalable so you can have various variants and any size and as many of any character you require.
Gold Blocking: see Hot Foiling
GSM: An abbreviation of Grams per Square Metre (g/m¬≤).
Gutter: The margin on a sheet which will be bound into a book or the gap between multiple images on a sheet.
Hairline: A very fine line.
Heat Tape: This tape is used for fixing hot stamping Dies. It is heat or acetone activated and best used with tweezers.
Hot Foiling (Stamping): The process by which extremely fine coating of colour pigment is impressed onto a substrate using heat and pressure, usually for decorative and promotional products, such as logos or company names and for printing stationery, Greeting cards etc.
Heat Gloves: Used to protect the hands when working on heated beds.
Imposition: The layout of pages on a flat sheet which, when folded, the pages will read in the correct order.
ISO sizes: International range of sizes for paper and envelopes.
Jacket: The removable cover of a book, usually more decorative then the bound cover and made of paper or thin plastic.
Kiss-cut: Usually referring to self-adhesive labels. Kiss cutting is where the adhesive label is cut without cutting through the backing paper. Thus enabling the self adhesive label to be peeled away leaving the backing release liner intact.
Lay Gauge: A guide bar for horizontal positioning of items to be printed.
Layout: Draft of an artwork, which shows the position, size, colour and other details for a final design.
Lamination: A matt, satin or gloss film applied to printed paper for protection or to achieve a particular effect.
Lower Case: Small letters as opposed to capital letters (Upper Case).
Machine proof: Proof produced on the same press, and by the same process, as the final job. This method is the most accurate of all the proofing processes.
Mag.: An abbreviated term for magnesium etched plates, the most popular and commonly available type of metal hot stamping Dies.
Magnesium Dies: Printing and Embossing Dies made out of Magnesium.
Make Ready: The preparation and correction of the printing plate or embossing Die, before starting the print or embossing run. This is to ensure a uniform and clean impression of optimum quality.
Mark-up: Instructions written on artwork or proofs for the printer to follow.
Monochrome: Single colour, normally black.
Numbering: Usually done offline, the process by which collated sheets are consecutively numbered, e.g. for Invoices.
Out of Register: Incorrect positioning of type, Dies or item to be printed on. When the print image is not central or not where it should be.
Over Run / Over's: Printing substrates in quantities larger than required (A must, if printing in multiple colours).
Pagination: Page numbering.
Pantone: A commonly used system of colour matching on coated and uncoated stock, also known as PMS.
Paper Board: A term sometimes used for lightweight boards usually below 300g
Perforating: Piercing a series of holes in to a sheet of paper, usually to enable tearing.
Pica: A unit of type measure equivalent to 1/6" or 4.23mm. One pica equals a font size of 12 points.
Platen Press: A Clam shell action as on the HF85 Digital Hot Foiler or Heidelberg platen press.
Plates: Dies or Blocks and / or metal plates on which the Die is attached too.
Platemaking: The process of making Photopolymer printing plates from, exposing film onto unexposed polymer plate, washing, drying and post exposing, to produce a finished ready to use plate.
Point Size: A unit of measure for type. Each point is 0.0139" or 0.353mm. There are 12 points to a pica and 72 points to an inch or 25.4mm (see pica).
Print Area: Area covered by the impression on the Die or type.
Print Bed: The material upon which the item being printed seats. This can also be called a bedding material or an impression sheet. Examples of such materials as card, paper, Presspahn, fibreglass etc.
Printing Platen: The Plate on which the Item to be printed is placed.
Proof: A pre production impression made for the purpose of checking the accuracy of the layout, setup, type matter, colour, overall look etc. This is done for in-house quality control and / or for customer final approval before full print run. It is also referred to as a "pull".
Presspahn: A light weight, extra hard, rolled and friction glazed board commonly used as a bedding material.
Pressure adjustment: The screws on the Hot Foiler used for the adjustment of the pressure exerted on the print product by the printing Die or type. It is also used even out the print impression.
Quoins: A locking device for type used in a chase which produces lateral pressure on the type, so that the forme may be locked up.
Ream: 500 sheets of paper of the same size, quality, and Grammage however; this can vary in some cases e.g. wrapping paper.
Register: The alignment of two or more images when printed sequentially on top of each other. The quality of the print image is dependent on the accuracy of the registration. When the print impressions are not in the precise position, then the print is referred to as "out of register". The precise colour to colour relationship in the printed image enhances the visual look.
Relief Printing: A method of printing, using a printing plate, which has a raised image, as used in hot foiling, flexo printing, and letterpress printing.
Relief depth: The height from the floor of the printing plate to the print face.
Rough Proof: A preliminary impression taken without any make ready preparations.
Run: The number of items to be printed.
Run-on: To continue printing on the same run.
Sans Serif: A font / type face that does not contain the short cross or spiral like terminals at the end of the stroke. An example of a sans serif font is Arial.
Score / Scoring: The creasing of paper or card, which prevent the risk of cracking the surface when folding them.
Separation: The separation of the different coloured elements of the proof for the purposes of block making. Each colour needs to have separate Dies.
Serif: Font characters in a type face that contains the short cross or spiral like terminals at the end of the stroke. An example of a serif font is Times Roman, the font used to set many newspapers.
Sheet fed: Printing in sheets as opposed to rolls of paper.
Spot Varnish: Varnish applied to a specific area on a printed sheet.
Short Run: Printing of a few items only.
Side Lay: A side stop on the print platen, to help correctly position the item to be printed, and is used in conjunction with the lay gauge.
Substrate: The material that is used to be printed on to e.g. paper, board, film etc.
Throat Depth: Specifically in hot foil, the throat depth is the maximum thickness of item that can be accommodated on your machine.
Tick marks: See trim marks.
Toggle Bit: Fits the screw on top of the Toggle Hook. Used in conjuction with a Toggle Key to tighten and adjust Toggle Hooks in the bed.
Toggle Hook: Used in a honeycomb heated bed to position dies. Toggle hooks are produced with a variety of head sizes to facilitate die placement and are available in standard and low profile heights to suit different bed depths.
Toggle Key: Holds a Toggle Bit to allow tightening and adjustment of Toggle Hooks.
Toggle Lockout: This happens when you incorrectly adjust the Hot Foiler. When the Hot Foiler print handle toggles to produce maximum pressure, the handle slip past the toggle and goes beyond loosing pressure. This produces a poor quality of print.
Trim marks: Trim marks are printed lines which fall outside the image area, and indicate where the sheet should be cut. They can also be used as a register marks and are sometimes called Tick marks.
Uncoated: Paper with no coating (china clay).
Varnish: A transparent coating applied for visual effect or protection.
Work and turn: Printing the front and reverse sides of a sheet using a single plate. Each sheet yields two copies of the same item.
Wove: A paper without inherent lines.
Z-direction: Perpendicular to the plane of the substrate. If the substrate is placed flat on a horizontal surface, then the Z direction would be vertical.