To help you to understand packaging & printing terminology, please have a look at our glossary. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
4-COLOUR-PROCESS – the process of combining four basic colours (CMYK) to reproduce all colours of the spectrum when mixed in proper proportion.
2PT, 4PT & 6PT GLUING – a style of tray or carton that is glued in 2, 4 or 6 positions, this allows the item to be glued flat.
AQUEOUS COATING – a clear, fast-drying water-based coating that is used to protect printed pieces, typically applied to the entire printed sheet (usually by the last unit on a printing press).
BLEED – an area of ink or colour that extends past the perimeter of the area to be trimmed.
BOXBOARD – board manufactured from recycled paper and is often brown or grey in colour, mostly used for rigid boxes.
BLIND EMBOSSING – an image pressed onto a sheet without ink or foil.
CALIPER – the thickness of the board usually expressed in microns (1000 micron = 1mm). Paperboard folding cartons are usually 450-800 microns, corrugated cartons are general between 800-3000 microns.
CARRIER BOARD – a package generally used for multiple packaging of cans, bottles and other unit containers, and incorporating a handle or other means of carrying, usual a wet strength board.
CLAMSHELL – a one-piece box with the ability to be entirely closed on itself to house a product.
CMYK – abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colours, when combined together in varying proportions can be made to produce the full colour spectrum. In contrast, display devices, such as computers monitors or TVs, typically define colours using RGB method.
CORRUGATED BOARD (CORRUGATED FIBERBOARD) – a paper-based material consisting of a fluted (wavy) corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards, widely used in the manufacture of corrugated boxes and shipping containers.
COUNTER DISPLAY BOX – a box that usually sits on a counter or shelf at a cash register, containing multiple units, and the top of the box folds up and inward to display information about the product.
CREASE – a score or impression in a substrate that facilitates folding and bending.
DIE CUTTING FORME – the tool made to cut and crease the specific shape and size required for your boxes from the appropriate cardboard or corrugated board.
DEBOSSING – a process where the logo or design is slightly pressed into the paper.
DIELINE – a diagram of a package design showing all events, such as folds, creases, cuts, perforations and bleeds.
DIE-CUTTING – the process of cutting the shape of the box out of a larger piece of cardboard.
DPI – considered as “dots per square inch,” a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, image setters and monitors.
DUST FLAPS – the unglued side flaps that extend and turn down into the carton upon closure to keep dust and other foreign particles out.
EMBOSSING – process of imprinting paper to create a raised pattern or design.
FINISHES – printed paper or board can be coated using machine varnish (matt or gloss), UV varnish (high gloss) or film laminate (high gloss or matt).
FLAP – extension of the side wall panels that, when sealed, close the remaining openings of a box, usually defined by one scoreline and three edges.
FLEXOGRAPHY – type of rotary printing using flexible plates and fast drying, water-based inks.
FLUTE (FLUTING) – the wavy, rippled sheet that fits between two linerboards of a piece of corrugated fiberboard. The most popular are E-flute (1.5mm approx) & B-flute (3mm approx).
FOIL STAMPING – the application of pigment or metallic foil, often gold or silver, to paper where a heated die is stamped onto the foil, making it adhere to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper.
FOLDING CARTON – a generic term for any style of pack which can be supplied flat.
GLUE FLAP – the flap on the end of a carton that is applied with glue and adhered to the opposite end to form the carton.
GRAIN – the direction of the majority of the fibers in the board.
GREYBACK – The generic name for a duplex board, so called due to the greyish colour on the uncoated side caused by the unbleached recycled content.
GSM – it stands for Grams per Square Metre and gives the density of the board or paper.
IMAGE RESOLUTION – the sharpness of an image; the number of pixels per unit area in an image expressed as dpi (dots per inch).
KRAFT – a paper or board containing unbleached wood fibers (brown in colour).
LAMINATE – to cover with plastic film.
LITHO-LAMINATE – to bond or glue a sheet of paper or paperboard to a fluted board.
MAKEREADY – the work associated with set-up of equipment before running a job.
OFFSET PRINTING (LITHOGRAPHY) – a printing method in which ink is transferred from a plate to a smooth rubber “blanket” roller that transfers the image to paper (or cardboard).
OVERS – the extra printed products delivered to a customer over and above the net amount ordered.
PANEL – a face, side, top or bottom of a box.
PANTONE COLOUR – a library of printing industry standard colours which can be matched and reproduced accurately. Please note that lamination can distort final colour finish.
POP (POS) DISPLAY – the abbreviated name of the Point of Purchase (Point Of Sale) Displays, promotional displays often made of sturdy corrugated board, they have very visible signage and shelve the products they are advertising.
PRESS CHECK – an opportunity for the customer, Graphic Designer, Brand Manager etc. to witness the printing of their product and give feedback to the Printing and Pre-press Departments if necessary.
PMS – the abbreviated name of the Pantone Colour Matching System.
PROOF – any method of testing and verifying artwork prior to production of plates, dies and tooling.
REGISTRATION – the positioning of one process onto another. Registration can affect how the printed sheet looks if the colors do not line up correctly. Registration can affect the die cutting, if the die does not line up correctly to the print.
REVERSE OUT – print that is cut out of the background print revealing a different colour or the board/paper colour behind.
RGB – stands for the colours red, green, and blue. In web design, colours are defined in terms of a combination of these three colours. In contrast, print designers typically define colours using CMYK model.
SBS – stands for Solid Bleached Sulphate – a type of paperboard material commonly used to make box packaging. It is the highest quality and most expensive paper board substrate produced from bleached virgin wood pulp.
SHELF-READY PACKAGING – packaging that goes straight from the factory to point of sale without being unwrapped.
SINGLE WALL BOARD – a board combination comprising of: liner/flute/liner.
SLEEVE – material creased and glued to create a four-sided, rectangular tube that slides over a rigid box.
SLOT – a wide cut or pair of closely spaced parallel cuts including removal of a narrow strip of material made in a fiber board sheet, usually to form flaps without bulges caused by thickness of the material.
STOCK BOXES – cartons produced in larger quantities in advance and broken down into smaller quantities for sale.
STRIPPING – the removal process of the excess board created by windows or the nesting of cartons during die-cutting process.
SUBSTRATE – material onto which the print ink is ultimately applied, such as paper, board etc.
THUMB NOTCH (THUMB CUT) – a semi-circular cut made in the sides of the lid to facilitate its removal from the base of the box.
UV COATING – a high gloss liquid coating bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.
VARNISH – a clear ink applied on-press to printed surfaces for looks and protection.
WINDOW – a die-cut opening in a carton that allows the contents of the packaging to be seen, often covered by transparent film.