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Confused by any printing jargon?

Search by : All | A B C D E F G I J K L M N O P R S T V Z

Lining up characters and images on a document using a base or vertical line as a reference point.

Backing up

To print the second side of a printed sheet.


This is the process used to keep your books and booklets together. There are many different methods of binding; the most commonly used are saddle stitch, perfect, PUR and burst bound.


A digital graphic image formed by tiny squares called pixels. The more pixels in an image, the clearer it appears.


The colour of maximum darkness. For CMYK printing, you will get the deepest black possible by adding 30 – 50% cyan to 100% black. There is no other combination that produces a better black.


A margin around the edge of artwork. We recommend that all borders are more than 3mm wide on the trim edges.

Burst binding

Burst binding is similar to perfect binding, however it is more durable. The spine of each section is perforated during the folding process. Glue is then pushed up between the perforations during binding and the cover drawn on. Burst binding is used for books and booklets with multiple pages.


Celloglaze, or also known as cellosheen, this is a plastic film heat bonded to printed products such as booklet covers or business cards. It can be either gloss or matt and can be applied to either both or just one side of an item.


The abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The colours used in our full-colour printing process. 


Printing papers that have had a surface coating to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity. 


The process of arranging your printed and/or other materials into a desired sequence and packing them for dispatch. 

Colour mode

Colour mode/space/model must be CMYK (NOT RGB).

Concertina fold

A method of folding where each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect. 

Corner marks

Marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim. 

Crash fold

Folding a document more than once, subsequent folds fold over previous folds. For example, an A3 sheet folded to A4 and then crash folded to DL for mailing. 


An indent made in paper to make folding easier. 


When the middle pages of a folded booklet extend slightly beyond the outside pages. 


The blue colour used in four-colour process printing. 


An inverted form of embossing. An image or decoration is recessed into the paper, so it’s lower than the paper surface.

Digital printing

Printing by a plate-less imaging system. Printed sheets are produced directly from a computer file without being transferred onto printing plates. Perfect for small printing volumn, variable data, print on demand & personalised printing.

Direct mail, fulfilment and mail merges

Common mail distribution techniques. Our distribution services range from small mail merges and lodgements, through to fully automated ordering and distribution of large print orders to multiple locations across Australia.


The process of drilling holes in printed material.

Embedded fonts

A process that allows fonts to be viewed by all computers – even if they don’t have the same font installed. Essential for printing.


A process which produces images or decorations that are raised above the surface of the paper. 


Hot reverse and cold front (gloss or matt) - The covering and sealing of your print work.


Encapsulated Postscript File, a vector-based, computer graphics file format. EPS is the preferred format for many computer illustrations because of its efficient use of memory and colour control.

External bleed

When an illustration or image is extended beyond the edge of the page. Whirlwind requires a 3mm external bleed – anything that touches an edge must be extended a further 3mm past it. This allows for a small amount of movement in the printing process.


Any process that follows printing, including folding, stitching, binding, laminating.


When a printed document requires folding for completion, for example A3 folded to A4 or A4 folded to A5.

Four-colour process

Printing using four colour separation plates – yellow, magenta, cyan and black. The inks are translucent and can be combined to produce a wide range of colours.

Gloss cello

A clear, shiny finish that brings out and emphasises colours. It makes images look brighter, adds definition and radiance.


A permanent method of fixing multiple items together.


Grams per square metre, a standard measure of the weight of paper.


A machine used to trim stacks of paper. The guillotine-cutting blade moves between two upright guides and slices paper evenly as it moves down.

Image area

Any part of the design to be printed, stamped or embossed.


The arrangement or layout of pages on a printed sheet.

Internal bleed

We require 3mm of internal bleed or type area. We recommend that you keep your important information at least 3mm in from the trim to allow for a small amount of movement in the printing process.


Joint Photographic Experts Group, a file compression format that allows high quality full colour or grey-scale digital images to be stored in relatively small files.

Key colour

In CMYK, the colour black is the key colour and represented with a K.

Knife, forme cut or die cut

The process of cutting paper and card into different shapes after it has been printed. We can create just about any shape you can imagine.


A thin transparent plastic coating that is bonded to paper or board by heat and pressure. This provides protection, as well as a matt or gloss finish. 

Matt cello

A non-reflective varnish applied to a printed surface to protect it. A matt cello has a slightly granular look and tends to make colours look more vivid.


The best way to make your poster stand out is to secure it to another surface. We mount posters on a range of different materials.

  • Foamcore – A lightweight board made of rigid plastic foam
  • Corflute – A hollow fluted plastic board manufactured from lightweight extruded polypropylene.
  • Gatorfoam – A rugged, durable board with an exceptionally hard and smooth surface that resists dents and punctures.
  • Screenboard – A board with high rigidity and dimensional stability.

Printing sequential numbers on your printed material, from event tickets to limited edition series. Numbering can be printed in a number of different fonts and in black or red ink.


A printing method that transfers an image from an inked plate onto a rubber blanket covered cylinder and then onto the printed surface.


The process of printing over an area that’s already printed. Used to emphasise changes or alterations.


The name of an ink colour matching system, created by Pantone Inc of USA.


Portable Document File, a type of formatting that enables files to be viewed on a variety of computers regardless of the program used to create them. PDF files retain the “look and feel” of the original document.

Perfect binding

Whirlwind stacks single sheets of paper together, applies an adhesive to the binding edge and then wraps a cover around the pages. This binding method can be used on booklets and books that are greater than 35 pages.


A line of punched holes that allow a sheet of paper to be torn or folded accurately. You might also hear it called a perf.


A coloured dot that makes up an image on a computer or television screen.


Pantone Matching System, a standard that creates different ink colours by mixing inks with a minimal amount of base colour. A process guide shows how Pantone spot colours will appear when converted to process colours (CMYK).


In digital prepress this is the test used to used to analyse or evaluate every component needed to produce a high quality print job. The process helps reduce the likehood of rasterisation problems and the subsequent production delays that they cause.


Also called Epson Proof, a representation fo the colour.

Raster Image

Electronic representation of printable data using a grid of points called pixels. Each pixel contains a defined value about its colour, size and location in the image – this enables us to print, picture perfect.


The number of pixels in an image. The more pixels, the higher the resolution and the better the picture. For a good quality print result, colour and gray scale raster images (pixel-based/scans) should be 300dpi (maximum 350dpi). Mono raster images (bitmaps) should be 1200 dpi maximum.


Red, Green, Blue, a model for describing colours that are produce by emitting light rather than absorbing it. They are known as additive colours because when they are added together they create all colours. RGB colours are what you see on your computer screen, these must be converted to CMYK for printing.


Raster Image Processor, a production device used to convert a digital file into a raster image. The raster image is the electronic representation of printable data.

Roll fold

A fold that keeps rolling onto itself. 

Saddle stitch

A form of binding commonly used by Whirlwind to create books and booklets from 8 to 64 pages. The book or booklet is stapled through the middle fold of its sheets using saddle wire.


Making a line or a crease in paper or board so that it can be folded cleanly. Scoring is recommended when you require folding on stocks heavier than 150gsm. It minimises cracking of the ink and paper at the edge of the fold.

Spot colour

A colour that’s not produced with our standard four-colour process, the colour is printed using ink made exclusively. It’s used when you require a very specific ink colour.

Spot varnish

Varnish is applied to a particular spot on your printed material – not the whole thing. It creates a shiny effect on just this spot and nowhere else.


The general term for any paper or board that is used as a printed surface.


A sample of colours or paper stocks.


The ability of an ink or coating to allow light to pass through it. Process colours are transparent to allow them to blend and create other colours.


Cutting the printed product down to the correct size.

Trim marks

The guide marks on the printed sheet that indicate where you want to cut/trim the printed sheet.

Vector graphics

These are images created using mathematical statements that define geometric shapes. You can move, resize, and change the colour of vector graphics without losing quality. Unlike bitmaps, vector graphics are not dependent on resolution so you can scale them to any size without losing detail or clarity.

Z fold

A fold that looks like a Z.