Packaging Terminology

Don’t know what it all means? We’ve made it easy for you for you to understand with our glossary

Printing terminology

1-up

When artwork is supplied 1-up it is un-imposed. Each printed page is a separate page within the artwork file. When two pages are supplied on the same page in an artwork file, this is considered as being imposed or 2-up.

1 PMS Colour Printing

For a 1 PMS colour print job artwork must be supplied containing only one PMS colour. The PMS colours must be selected from the Pantone Solid Uncoated range.

2 PMS Colour Printing

For a 2 PMS colour print job artwork must be supplied containing exactly two PMS colours. The PMS colours must be selected from the Pantone Solid Uncoated range.

Acid Free

Product does not contain acid and is better for the environment and better for ensuring quality of colours and longevity.

Biodegradable

An item that can decompose or breakdown naturally, with microbial action.

Bleed

There are two types of bleed, External bleed and Internal bleed.

External Bleed

Is when an illustration, background or image is extended beyond the trim edge of the page. This allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your order is being cut to size. We require 3mm of external bleed on all files (5mm on all magazines/booklets and presentation folders).

Internal bleed

Is when all text/important graphics are kept a certain distance in from the trim edge. This is also sometimes referred to as a ‘text safe’ area. This also allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your order is being cut to size. We require 3mm of internal all files (5mm on all magazines/booklets and presentation folders).

bleed size

This is the size of your artwork including external bleed

Border

A margin/strip around the outer edge of the artwork. We recommend that all borders are a minimum of 5mm wide on all trim edges.

Celloglaze

This is a plastic film heat bonded to printed products such as booklet covers, business cards and postcards. This provides protection, as well as a matt or gloss finish. It can be applied to one side, or both sides of a printed item. Also sometimes referred to as laminate.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black)

These are the colours used for full-colour printing. Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are subtractive colours. If you combine cyan, magenta and yellow on paper, you will get what is perceived to be black. In order to get strong rich dark colours, black (K) ink is added in increasing proportions, as the colour gets darker and darker thus commercial printing is done in CMYK.

Coated Paper

Printing papers that have had a surface clay coating to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity. This paper is not recommended for overprinting.

Colour Mode

This is the colour setting used to create your artwork. Depending on the software you are using the default colour mode may be either RGB or CMYK. For full colour printing we require all artwork to be in CMYK colour mode.

Crop Marks

These are the black marks in the corners of your soft proof. These crop marks show where the job will be trimmed to size. Anything outside of the crop marks will be trimmed off.

Finish Size

This is the final size that your artwork will be trimmed to, e.g. the finish size of a DL flyer is 99x210mm.

Finishing

Any process that occurs after printing. This includes but is not limited to: trimming, folding, stitching, binding, gluing and laminating.

Folding

To bend the paper over itself so that one part of the sheet lies on over another part.

Greyscale

A range of grey shades from white to black, as used in a monochrome or single colour printing.

Half Fold

Method of folding where the paper is folded in half down the center of the page.

Imposed / Imposition

The arrangement or layout of pages on a printed sheet.

Laminate

This is a plastic film heat bonded to printed products such as booklet covers, business cards and postcards. This provides protection, as well as a matt or gloss finish. It can be applied to one side, or both sides of a printed item. Also sometimes referred to as celloglaze.

Low-resolution Images

If you have been advised that there may be low-resolution images in your artwork, this means that some or all of the images in your artwork are less than 250ppi. We recommend that all images be supplied at 300ppi for optimum print quality.

Perfect Binding

A form of booklet making in which all pages are glued along the spine using special adhesive (all of our perfect bound books are created with PUR adhesive). PUR adhesive offers a distinct performance advantage in comparison to regular glues.

Pixel

The coloured dots that make up the images on a computer or television screen.

PMS (Pantone Matching System)

PMS colours are standardized colours listed in the Pantone Colour Matching System. Each Pantone colour has a specific code which different printers and manufacturers can refer to in order to ensure colour consistency.

If you have ordered full colour printing but you have upload files that contain Pantone (PMS) Colours, these PMS colour will automatically be converted to CMYK. For this reason, artwork should always be supplied using CMYK colour mode.

PP (printed pages)

When we refer to PP (printed pages), we mean the actual number of printed pages not the number of sheets of paper. For example, an 8pp A4 magazine is 2 x A3 sheets, double sided, folded and saddle stitched to A

PPI (pixels per inch)

 For printing we recommend all artwork is supplied at 300ppi (300 pixels in every square inch). E.g. if you are printing a postcard that is 150x100mm (6×4 inches) you need 1800×1200 pixels for optimum print quality at 300 pixels per inch.

Pre-flight

In digital prepress this is the procedure used to analyse or evaluate every component needed to produce a high quality print job.

Rasterized Fonts

If you have been advised that there may be rasterised fonts in your artwork, this means that some or all of the text in your artwork is made up of pixels rather than vector.

When creating text in desktop publishing software (e.g. Microsoft Publisher / Adobe InDesign), or vector software (e.g. Adobe Illustrator / Corel Draw), the text is made up of shapes which can be scaled indefinitely without losing quality. However, if a design is saved to an image file format (e.g. JPEG / Tiff), the text automatically becomes rasterised (it is no longer made up of vector shapes, it is now made up of pixels). This means that if you enlarge text it will lose quality.

High resolution rasterised text may look the same as vector text when printed. However if rasterised text is low-resolution it may appear blurry, jagged or pixelated. If the rasterised text is very low resolution it may appear so blurry and pixelated that it is no longer legible.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue)

This colour mode is the language of computer monitors and TV screens and is not suitable for printing. RGB is based on additive colours – combine red, green and blue light, and you get white light.

If you upload RGB files they will be automatically converted to CMYK. This automatic conversion can slightly change colours. For this reason artwork should always be supplied using CMYK colour mode.

Roll Fold

A method of folding in which the two panels on the edges of the page fold in over the center panel.

Saddle Stitched

 A form of binding commonly used to create magazines and booklets from 8pp to 72pp (printed pages). The magazine or booklet is stapled through the middle fold of its sheets using two wire staples.

Soft Proof

A digital PDF file created from the customers supplied artwork. A soft PDF proof is supplied for every order. The soft PDF proof allows the customer to confirm we are printing the correct file and that the trim marks are in the correct location. For every order the soft proof must be approved prior to printing.

Trim Edge

The edge along which the job will be cut to size.

Trimming Variance

Due to automated systems, there may be a small amount of movement during the printing and trimming of your job. This can result in your job being trimmed 1-2mm either side of the trim edge. For this reason we require 3mm for most items (5mm of bleed for magazines/booklets and presentation folders).

Uncoated Paper

Printing papers that have had a surface without clay coating, also called bond or laser bond. An example of an uncoated paper would be a letterhead.

Vector Text and Graphics

Text and graphics created using mathematical equations that define geometric shapes. You can enlarge vector text and graphics indefinitely without losing quality.

Z fold

A method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbor, giving a pleated effect.

Packaging terminology

Adhesive

Substance used to hold plies of solid fiberboard together; to hold linerboard to the tips of flutes of corrugated medium; or to hold overlapping flaps together to form the joint or to close a box.

Bending

Ability of containerboard or combined board to be folded along scorelines without rupture of the surface fibers to the point of seriously weakening the structure.

Blank or Box Blank

A flat sheet of corrugated board that has been cut, scored, and slotted, but not yet glued together.

Box Style

Distinctive configuration of a box design, without regard to size. A name or number identifies styles in common use.

Boxboard

 Types of paperboard used to manufacture folding cartons and set up (rigid) boxes.

Bundle

 Shipping unit of two or more boxes grouped together, usually with plastic banding.

Caliper

Usually expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils) or sometimes referred to as “points.” Caliper measurements are also used as an indirect measure of manufacturing quality.

Cardboard

Thin, stiff pasteboard used in the creation of playing cards, signs, etc. Term is often misused to refer to Boxboard (folding cartons) and Containerboard (corrugated boxes).

Case

Corrugated or solid fiberboard box as used by the packaging industry.

Chipboard

Paperboard generally made from recycled paper stock. Uses include backing sheets for padded writing paper, partitions within boxes, and the center ply or plies of solid fiberboard.

Compression Strength

Corrugated box’s resistance to uniformly applied external forces. Top-to-bottom compression strength is related to the load a container may encounter when stacked. End-to-end or side-to-side compression may also be of interest for particular applications.

Corrugated box’s resistance to uniformly applied external forces. Top-to-bottom compression strength is related to the load a container may encounter when stacked. End-to-end or side-to-side compression may also be of interest for particular applications.

Corrugator

Machine that unwinds two or more continuous sheets of containerboard from rolls, presses flutes into the sheet(s) of corrugating medium, applies adhesive to the tips of the flutes and affixes the sheet(s) of linerboard to form corrugated board. Continuous sheet of board may be slit to desired widths, cut off to desired lengths and scored in one direction.

Design Style

Style of fiberboard trays or caps having flaps scored, folded and secured at flange side walls forming the depth, as opposed to a slotted style having a set of major and minor closing flaps.

Die-Cut

Cut made with special steel rule dies. The act of making a part or container which is cut and scored to shape by such tools. Also, a box that is stamped out from a steel rule die, as opposed to being produced on a flexo folder gluer. Die-cut boxes provide greater design options and tighter size tolerances.

DIFOT

Delivery in full on time.

Dimensions

For regular slotted containers (RSC), box dimensions are expressed as length x width x height, always using inside dimensions.

Double Wall

Corrugated board construction where two layers of medium are glued between three layers of flat linerboard facing.

Facings

Sheets of linerboard used as the flat outer members of combined corrugated board. Sometimes called inside and outside liners.

Fiberboard

General term describing combined paperboard (corrugated or solid) used to manufacture containers.

Flaps

Extension of the side wall panels that, when sealed, close the remaining openings of a box. Usually defined by one scoreline and three edges.

Flexo Folder Gluer

Machine, usually capable or running at high speed that prints, folds, cuts, and glues sheets of corrugated board, converting them into shipping boxes.

Flute

The wavy layer of corrugated medium that is glued between the flat inner and outer sheets of linerboard to create corrugated board. Fluting generally runs parallel to the height of a shipping box. Flute sizes come in A, B, C, D, E, and F.

Joint

The opposite edges of the blank glued, stapled, wire stitched, or taped together to form a box.

Kraft

German word meaning “strength”, designating pulp, paper, or paperboard produced from wood fibers.

Liner

Creased fiberboard sheet inserted as a sleeve in a container and covering all side walls. Used to provide extra stacking strength or cushioning.

Linerboard

Flat sheets of paper that comprise the outer surfaces of a sheet of corrugated board.

Medium

Paperboard used to make the fluted layer of corrugated board.

Overlap

Design feature wherein the top and/or bottom flaps of a box do not butt, but extend one over the other. The amount of overlap is measured from flap edge to flap edge.

Pad

Corrugated or solid fiberboard sheet, or sheet of other authorized material, used for extra protection or for separating tiers or layers of articles when packed for shipment.

Palletizing

Securing and loading containers on pallets for shipment as a single unit load, typically for handling by mechanical equipment.

Panel

A “face” or “side” of a box.

Paperboard

One of the two major product categories of the paper industry, Containerboard and Boxboard. Includes the broad classification of materials made of cellulose fibers, primarily wood pulp and recycled paper stock, on board machines. (The other major product group of the paper industry is paper, including printing and writing papers, packaging papers, newsprint and tissue.)

Partition

Set of corrugated, solid fiberboard or chipboard pieces that interlock when assembled to form a number of cells into which articles may be placed for shipment.

Ply

Any of the several layers of linerboard or solid fiberboard.

Point

Term used to describe the thickness or caliper of paperboard, where one point equals one thousandth of an inch.

Puncture Resistance

Puncture resistance of combined board indicates the ability of the finished container to withstand external and internal point pressure forces and to protect the product during rough handling. This method is used on heavy double wall and triple wall as an alternative to burst.

Score or Scoreline

Impression or crease in corrugated or solid fiberboard, made to position and facilitate folds.

Scored and Slotted Sheet

Sheet of corrugated fiberboard with one or more scorelines, slots or slits. May be further defined as a box blank, a box part, a tray or wrap, a partition piece, or an inner packing piece.

Seam

Junction created by any free edge of a container flap or panel where it abuts or rests on another portion of the container and to which it may be fastened by tape, stitches or adhesive in the process of closing the container.

Set-Up Boxes

Boxes that have been squared, with one set of end flaps sealed, ready to be filled with product. An article that is packed for shipment in a fully assembled or erected form.

Slit

Cut made in a fiberboard sheet without removal of material.

Slit score

Cut made in a fiberboard sheet through only a portion of the thickness in a box blank to allow its flaps and sides to be folded into a shipping box.

Slip Sheet

Flat sheet of material used as a base upon which goods and materials may be assembled, stored and transported.

Slot

Wide cut, or pair of closely spaced parallel cuts including removal of a narrow strip of material made in a fiberboard sheet, usually to form flaps and permit folding without bulges caused by the thickness of the material.

Stacking Strength

Maximum compressive load a container can bear over a given length of time, under given environmental/distribution conditions, without failing.

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