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3D Varnish

A transparent embossed varnish which can be applied with screen printing or digital techniques.



A book-making procedure 63 that involves sewing or gluing signatures and then adding a cover. The most common are hardbac binding and soft cover binding, with all their variants.


The positioning of graphic elements or images at the margins of the printed item on the trim line. These elements must go over the margin and extend beyond the limits of the page by at least 3 mm, to avoid inaccuracy at the trim stage causing white margins on the edge of the page. The extension of these elements is known as trim margin.

Blind embossing

Printing that impresses a design (embossed or debossed) on the paper without using inks. It is performed using a metallic die (cliché) and a counter-die, between which the sheet is placed.


Rigid paper with a grammage of over 450 g/m².

Bodonian binding

A variant of the hardback binding in which plates are made rigid cardboard, can or not be coated, while back is flexible, and covered with paper cloth remain exposed.

Bulky paper

Paper having a higher than average thickness at par grammage. It can be used to increase the bulk of a publication with few pages. It is less transparent than papers of the same grammage and normal thickness. The apparent specific volume is the ratio between the thickness, measured with a micrometer, and grammage of a sheet of paper. For example, Acquarello paper 160 g/m² is 232 microns thic and consequently has an apparent specific volume of 1.45.



Paper with a grammage between 220 and 450 g/m².

Cast-coated paper

Coated paper with a particularly smooth and shiny finish. To achieve this result, the coating is applied to the stock using a chrome- plated metallic cylinder with an extremely smooth surface, heated from the inside. Cast-coated cards are often used in the packaging field.

Cellulose (or pulp)

A fibrous substance of vegetal origin and the main ingredient of paper. It can be obtained from trees and plants using various extraction and processing systems. Papers are usually made up of a blend of different pulps.


A metal embossed matrix used in letterpress printing of images and in blind embossing.

Closed format

The size of printed matter when folded: for example, a 3 flap leaflet with a horizontal A4 open format has a closed format of 99×210 mm


Colour space that describes the colours obtainable with four-colour printing.

Coated paper

Paper with a coated surface layer, with a different composition depending on the required finish. Thanks to its smooth and low-absorbent surface, coated paper offers a better printing performance than uncoated paper. Available finishes include gloss, satin or matt, and versions can be coated on both sides or only one.

Colorimetric Profile (Or Icc Profile)

A file that contains the description of behaviour a given device in reproduction colour. The use these profiles allows for correct colour management different phases processing project, from settings to printing. On website www fedrigonicartiere.com you can download related Fedrigoni Special Paperss.


Processing that makes a paper adhesive, by applying an adhesive layer and protective film behind it. Arconvert is the company of Fedrigoni Group deals with converting.


A preparatory operation for folding, to mark the folding line with a crease and thereby avoid surface defects and cracks. It may be carried out simultaneously with diecutting. It is necessary when folding heavy papers and boards


Processing permitted by digital printing, in which each copy of the printout can be different from the others; it allows, for example, to print variable details on every single copy.


Die cutter

A metal die used to cut a sheet of paper into a particular shape. It is required in all cases where the desired shape is not a simple rectangle but has irregular or curved outlines. A die cutter can also be used for creasing and for envelope windows.

Digital printing

A printing system that makes it possible to produce printed matter without creating a plate, by direct processing of a digital file. There are three main types: electro-ink (such as HP Indigo), toner and ink-jet. Digital printing is a good solution for printing small print runs because it lowers the costs involved in traditional printing technologies (plates, start-up, waste, etc.). It is also used in print-on-demand systems and custom printing ( customisation).


Abbreviation of Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Standards Insti-tute). ISO 216


A process that uses glue to permanently join two or more layers of paper, paper and board. It can be used increase the overall grammage material, obtain sheets have different characteristics on sides, even bond printable non-printable materials. is especially in packaging stationery fields. To an optimal result, papers must similar weights grain direction perpendicular each other.

Dust jacket

A sheet of light printed paper used to protect the cover of a book, usually combined with a hardcover. In commercial publishing, the dust jacket is the real cover of the book.


Edge staining

A technique that allows you to colour the trimmed edges of the pages of a book. Born as a form of decoration and protection, it was originally made of gold.

Embossed paper

Paper characterised by surface patterns or marks in relief, created by passing the support between a steel cylinder, with the engraved mark, and a cylinder in soft material. The patterns may vary substantially, and at times may even resemble the surface of other materials (canvas, wood, etc.). Embossing is performed dry, after the paper production process, using an embossing machine. The surface textures may be present only on one side (single embossed paper) or on both sides.

Embossed printing

Printing that combines the use of inks with embossing, using the same system as blind embossing.


A sheet of resistant paper used in hardback binding; half of this quarto (four page section) is glued to the inside of the cover board, while the other side is partially glued to the book block.


Envelopes for correspondence are available in numerous sizes; the most common are presented in the diagram on page 64. To find out the complete range of envelopes produced by fedrigoni, consult the century swatch book.


Felt-marked paper

Paper with a slightly coarse texture (e.g. with a hammered or ribbed effect). The marking is performed in the paper machine while the paper is still moist, and may be applied to one or both sides of the sheet.

Finished format

The size of printed matter at the end of the production process, after trimming.


Relief printing system with cylindrical matrix made of photopolymer. The press can be fed sheet or roll. Suitable for printing pacaging of different materials, it is also used in newspaper printing.


A stage in the printing process in which the sheet passes through specific machines that fold it in several stages, in accordance with the required specification, to produce signatures or leaflets (see diagram on the right).

Four-colour printing

A system for the reproduction and printing of images and colours, that makes it possible to simulate a wide chromatic range through the combination of four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black, abbreviated as CMYK); intensity is set by the frequency or ruling of the halftone screen.


The side of the printing sheet which is printed first. Also known as recto.

FSC certification

Certification issued by the Forest Stewardship Council. It ensures that the production process of a material upholds FSC standards for raw materials, that they originate from forests that are correctly managed from environmental, social and economic points of view.


Grain direction

Alignment of the grain of the paper, so that in the production stage it is oriented in the running direction of the paper machine. The grain direction affects the quality of various printing and finishing operations, so it is important to check it before printing production. In most papers, the grain is oriented in parallel to the long side of the sheet. The second figure defining the measurements of a sheet indicates the side parallel to the grain direction. For example, the grain in a 64×88 cm sheet is parallel to the long side, while in an 88×64 cm sheet it is parallel to the short side.


The weight of the paper expressed in grammes per square metre. Grammage is used to distinguish between paper (40-150 g/m²), card (between 170 and 600 g/m²) and board (higher grammages).

Greaseproof (or resistant to grease)

Protective treatment inserted during the manufacturing of paper, useful in the case of objects that need to be handled a lot, such as labels, packaging and menus.

Gripper margin

A band on the long side of the printing sheet that is hooked by a gripper to be dragged inside the printing machine; for this reason it can not be printed.


Halftone screen

A break down of the image into a screen of dots of variable dimensions and frequency that makes it possible to simulate variations in grey and colour shades with a limited number of inks. Screen ruling, or frequency (measured in lines per centimetre or lines per inch) varies in accordance with the on-press performance of the paper: for example, newspaper printing uses a screen with a low frequency, of no more than 35 lines per centimetre or 85 lines per inch.

Hardback binding

Stiff cover binding. The cover elements (boards and spine) are lined with paper (or other binding materials, such as leather or cloth) and then secured to the body of the book (or book block) by the endpapers. The spine may be square (flat) or round (curved). 

Hot foil stamping (or foil blocking)

Printing by hot transfer of a pigment from a foil to the printed sheet. It ensures perfect covering and bright colours, and is especially used to obtain very realistic metallic effects. Recently, digital systems have been developed that achieve a similar effect.

Hp Indigo

A digital ink printing system that allows to obtain a result comparable to that of offset printing, using the principle of electrostatic charge. in addition to cmyk inks, it also allows the use of white and special colours. hp indigo machines are sheet fed (up to 72 × 52 cm) or roll fed (maximum width 76 cm). for an optimal result, they require the use of papers specially treated on the surface by the paper mill.



Distribution of the pages in a signature on the printing sheet. This procedure is generally performed using specific software prior to the production of the printing plates.


A different format element that is inserted into a publication. It can be, for example, a smaller dossier or a gate fold.

ISO 216

International standard defining the formats for printed matter, used in particular in European countries (see page 72). ISO 216 formats are divided into Series A and Series B and indicate finished formats of printed matter, in particular for correspondence. Series C, defined by the ISO 269 standard, refers the sizes of envelopes intended to contain Series A and Series B formats. The bestknown formats are A4 and A3. These formats are often known as DIN, after Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Standards Institute), that defined these measurements for the first time in 1922.



Print setting where the objects underlying a graphic element are not printed; it is the opposite of overprinting.

Kraft cellulose/pulp

Pulp produced through a chemical process, whereby a more resistant pulp can be obtained from wood compared to other processes.


Laid Paper

Paper characterised by a pattern of lines, visible when holding paper against the light, resulting from variations in thickness. Originally made on a craftsman scale, laid paper is now specially made with machines and is mostly used as a correspondence paper. Typical laid paper comprises numerous narrow horizontal lines (known as laid lines) and less numerous vertical lines (known as chain lines).

Laser cut

A system in which the paper is engraved or cut by a laser beam that follows the design of a digital file. It can be used as an alternative to die cutting to obtain holes and shapes, or to cut very detailed drawings that can not be obtained with other systems.

Letterpress printing

Printing system with relief matrix, in which the text is traditionally set by hand with movable type in lead or wood and the images are reproduced with metallic k clichés. Currently, the production of relief matrices is mainly carried out starting from digital files using a photopolymer as support. Letterpress printing is a technique no longer used for commercial printing, but still much appreciated for fine art editions and publications.


Offset printing

A planographic and indirect printing process, where the printing surface comprises a metal plate marked with graphic elements by means of a digital procedure (Computer To Plate, CTP). Thanks to a chemical treatment of the surface, the printing areas attract ink and the free areas repel it. During the printing stage, the ink is transferred to a rubber roller and from this to the sheet of paper. Recently, UV and H-UV offset printing is becoming more popular. These techniques use special inks that are dried rapidly thanks to UV lamps inside the printing machine.


A physical feature of the paper that indicates how far it is able to not show texts and images printed on the opposite side. The opacity is related to the chemical composition of the paper and its thickness increases with the grammage.

Open format

For printed matter such as leaflets, the open format is the effective size of the printed item: for example, a 17×24 cm two-flap leaflet has an open format of 34×24 cm.


The assembly of sheets or signatures by inserting them inside each other. This technique is used, for example, when several signatures are combined for saddle stitch binding.


A setting by which a graphic element is printed above the one below; the result is a combination of the colours in two levels. The opposite setting is knockout.


Pantone Matching System or PMS

A colour identification system developed by the company with the same name, which has become a reference standard for printing with spot colours.

Paper machine

A paper-making machine beginning with pulp (of variable composition depending on the type of paper) to produce a continuous reel. It comprises a wet section (where the paper is formed) and a drying zone, where excess water is eliminated and final sizing takes place. Some processing operations, such as marking (felt-marked paper) and laying (laid paper), are performed inside the paper machine itself.

Perfect binding

A variant of soft cover binding where the gathered pages are milled on the side of the spine to promote absorption of the glue and then glued to the cover. It is fast and economical but does not allow flat opening. A number of recently developed technique (polyurethane glues or PUR) are able to overcome this drawback and ensure a stronger binding, especially when papers having surfaces unreceptive to glues (pearly, gummed, etc.) are used.

Plastic lamination

The application of a transparent protective film to printed material with a gloss or matt finish. It may be performed as a hot or cold process. Metallised plastic laminationcovering films (gold, silver and copper) and others offering particular effects (holograms, iridescence, etc.) are available commercially.

Pop up

A technique that allows you to create books with three-dimensional elements that open by flipping through the pages using complex systems of die cutting and folding.

Print run

The number of copies of a printed job.


A digital printing system that allows you to produce copies of a publication based on actual customer requests, avoiding printing an entire print run. It generally only allows a limited number of formats and bindings.


It indicates the possibility of obtaining a good print reproduction of an image on a given substrate, and is influenced by factors such as surface smoothness, absorbency and opacity.

Prototype (or dummy)

A sample of a printed product produced in few copies with the materials and packaging expected to be used before the final print run. It is used in particular in the editorial field. It can be made with unprinted pages or, thanks to digital printing, it can have the contents of the final print.


A type of polyurethane glue used in binding.



The pack in which sheets of paper are sold; for A4 and A3 formats, a ream contains 500 sheets. Printing formats (70 × 100 cm and 64 × 88 cm), on the other hand, are sold in reams (or packs) with 250 or 125 sheets, depending on grammage.

Recycled paper

Paper manufactured by re-using post-consumer waste, that is paper already previously printed and used. The percentage of recycled material may vary and virgin cellulose may be added to improve printability and whiteness. Recycled paper can be bleached through a chemical process known as de-inking.


Correct alignment of colours in the printing stage; it is particularly important in fourcolour printing.


Colour space that describes the colours displayed on a screen, obtained by the combination of red, green and blue light values. For printed projects, RGB colours must be converted into CMYK values, but remember that the printed result can sometimes be very different from the colour displayed on the screen.


Saddle stitch binding

A simple binding implemented by folding and assembling one or more signatures, and a cover as required, and joining them in the centre with metal staples. This binding system is only effective with a limited number of pages (in general no more than 64) or when very thin paper is used. When a booklet assembled in this manner does not have a cover in a different material, it is said to be self- covered.

Screen printing

Printing performed through a very fine mesh fabric screen mounted on a frame. The frame is treated with a photographic process to block the areas that must not be printed and leave the others free. The ink is pressed through the fabric and deposited on the sheet of paper below. Screen printing makes it possible to use very high coverage inks, including white, and to print on card/board, fabric or other materials that cannot be inserted into other printing presses.

Sewn binding

Binding in which the individual signatures are sewn in the middle and to each other before applying the glue to attach the cover. It is a strong binding that allows good opening of the book.

Shopping bag

A bag with handles or grips and side bellows. It may even be rather large: in this case, the bag is reinforced on the base and at the points where the handles are secured.


A sheet of printed and folded paper. Depending on the number of folds, a signature may have from 4 to 64 pages.

Singer machine thread sewing

Sewing that can be used to bind booklets or pamphlets with only a few pages. It may be made along the central fold of the booklet, thereby allowing complete opening of the pages, or at the edge; in this case, opening will be partial.

Soft cover binding

Binding using soft covers in which the cover is glued directly to the book block. The signatures can be assembled with glue (perfect binding) or sewn (sewn binding).

Specialty printing (or enhancement)

The set of special finishing techniques that allow to enrich printed matter with particular details. Includes techniques such as hot foil stamping, thermographic printing or spot varnish. Some of these can be realised with digital technologies.


The lateral part of the cover of a book, or other printed and bound material, corresponding to its thickness. It may be flexible or rigid, depending on the type of binding; its dimensions depend on the number of pages and the thickness of the paper. The spine has the title of the book to facilitate identification on shelves.

Spiral binding

A binding system that assembles a block of pages through perforations on the left side, into which a metal or plastic spiral can be inserted. Since it does not necessarily require the production of signatures, spiral binding makes it easy to bind pages of different materials and dimensions.

Spot colour (or solid colour)

Colour that is printed with specially formulated ink (for example a Pantone colour) and not with a combination of four-colour inks.

Spot varnish (or zonal varnish)

A varnish applied only to certain parts of the page, in order to highlight them over the surrounding portions.


The sequence of initial printing phases, from preparation of the plates, to calibration of the colour and the register. At the end of the startup stage, the print-run can be carried out.


Thermographic printing (or relief printing)

A printing procedure used to create a raised relief on inked parts by adding natural resin powders, which become thicker after heating in a special oven. A similar result can be obtained with recently introduced digital systems. It can be used for text, trademarks, simple graphic marks and in general for business cards and letterhead papers.


A system used in binding to glue a sheet, insert or flyleaf.


This operation cuts a printed article to eliminate excess parts (trim) to achieve the finished format.


Uncoated paper

The term used for papers which have not undergone particular surface treatments to distinguish them from coated, felt-marked, embossed and other such papers.

UV varnish

A varnish applied to printed matter and subsequently dried with UV rays in a drying unit, located in the final part of the printing press. It helps to ensure particularly bright and resistant results.



A layer of gloss, matt or neutral protective material added during the printing stage on the printing press, within the same offset machine that prints the actual inks. It can be applied to the entire surface of the page (overall varnish) or only to a part (spot varnish).


The side of the sheet printed second. Reverse side.



A texture or design visible against the light in a sheet of paper, generally used in banknotes or high quality letterheads. When it is a fixed point it appears in the same position in every single letter sheet.

Web offset (or rotary offset)

A machine for offset printing fed with paper reels rather than single sheets.

Wet strength (or wet-strength) 

A characteristic of certain papers that prevents disintegration when wet. It is essential for label papers, when the product may be immersed in water (for example, bottles of white or sparkling wine). To achieve this particular feature, small amounts of specific resins or polymers are added to the paper during the production stage.


Indicates a paper’s ability to reflect light and indirectly express its degree of brightness. High whiteness allows chromatically faithful reproduction of the original images. Low whiteness, on the other hand, is more appropriate for printing texts, since the lower reflection of light avoids reading fatigue. Various methods are available for controlling the whiteness of paper; the most common are ISO 2470 and CIE Whiteness (ISO 11475:2004).