F – Glossary of Print and Design Terms

Welcome to our comprehensive glossary of print and design terms. We are continually seeking to grow and improve this glossary, so if you spot any definition you do not agree with, a term that is missing, or have any comments in general, please email our reference team.

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F&GA term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering
Face1. Edge of a bound publication opposite the spine. Also called foredge.2. An abbreviation for typeface referring to a family of a general style/td>
Fake DuotoneHalftone in one ink colour printed over screen tint of a second ink colour. Also called dummy duotone, duograph, duplex halftone, false duotone, flat tint halftone and halftone with screen and sometimes a colourized tiff
Fan FoldPaper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel
Fast Colour InksInks with colours that retain their density and resist fading as the product is used and washed
Fat FaceType that is quite varied in its use of very thin and very wide strokes
Feeding the BoxesThe process whereby an individual feeds folded sections into the boxes (or hoppers) of a finishing line for binding
Feeding UnitComponent of a printing press that moves paper into the register unit
FeltA cloth conveyor belt that receives papers from the Fourdrinier wire and delivers it to the drier
Felt FinishThe smoother side of paper, usually a soft weave pattern used for book papers
Felt SideSide of the paper that was not in contact with the Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to wire side
Fifth ColourInk colour used in addition to the four needed by four-colour process
File FormatThe order and conventions by which data is laid down on a storage medium
Filling InA fault in printing where the ink fills in the fine line or halftone dot areas
FilmThe positive or negative used for making the printing plates, which incorporate all the text, line artwork and halftones
Film CoatAlso called wash coat; any thinly coated paper stock
Film ScannerMost commonly for scanning 35mm film by mounting film in a holder which may be automatically drawn through the device. May use a linear array CCD or an area array CCD
Final ProofThe last proof before sending material to the printer, showing all corrections
Fine ScreenScreen with ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimetre) or more
Finish1. Surface characteristics of paper.2. General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post-press operations
Finished SizeSize of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size
FistA symbol used in printing to indicate the index; seen as a pointing finger on a hand “+”
FitRefers to ability of film to be registered during stripping and assembly. Good fit means that all images register to other film for the same job
Fixed CostsCosts that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs
Flash MediaGeneric term used to describe compact storage devices used in digital cameras
Flash PointA term given to the lowest temperature of ignitibility of vapors given off by a substance
FlatThe assemblage of negatives and positives that are used as a composite image to create the printing plate
Flat Back BindingPerfect- or thread-sewn binding whereby the back of the back is square (as opposed to bowed) once the cover has been drawn on
Flat Colour1. Any colour created by printing only one ink, as compared to a colour created by printing four-colour process. Also called block colour and spot colour.2. Colour that seems weak or lifeless
Flat Plan (Flats)Diagram of the flats for a publication showing imposition and indicating colours
Flat SizeSize of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size
Flatbed ScannerA digitisation device delivering scanned image data to a computer, the glass face on which the original is placed being flat
Flatsam / PankakeDry-gummed paper which glues when wet
Flexography (Flexo)Method of printing on a web press using rubber or plastic plates with raised images. Also called aniline printing because flexographic inks originally used aniline dyes
Flock PaperPaper that is patterned by sizing, and than coated with powders of wool or cotton (flock)
FloodTo print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish. Also called painting the sheet
Fluid InkAlso called liquid ink; ink with low viscosity
FlushFlush left means the left ends of lines of type line up vertically; flush right means to line up the right ends of type
Flush CoverCover trimmed to the same size as inside pages, as compared to overhang cover. Also called cut flush
Flushed PigmentThe results of combining a wet ink pigment with a varnish and having the wet pigment mix or transfer over to the varnish
FlyleafLeaf, at the front and back of a casebound book that is the one side of the end paper not glued to the case
Foil EmbossTo foil stamp and emboss an image. Also called heat stamp
Foil PaperMetal foil laminated paper
Foil StampMethod of printing that releases foil from its backing when stamped with the heated die. Also called block print, hot foil stamp and stamp
FoilsPapers that have a surface resembling metal
Fold MarksWith printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges
Fold MemoryFold in paper which will not straighten out completely
FolderA bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials
Folio (page number)The actual page number in a publication
FontA set of characters having the same typeface and characteristics such as size, spacing and italic
For Position Only (FPO)Refers to inexpensive copies of photos or art used on mechanical to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction
ForedgeThe outermost (furthest from the spine) margin of a page. The foredge is where a book will be gripped by the reader
Form bondGrade of writing/printing paper designed to provide strenght and manifolding qualities which are required for business forms. Made from chemical wood and/or methcnical pulp, and generally exhibits good perforating, folding, punching properties etc
Form RollersThe rollers, either inking or dampening, which directly contact the plate on a printing press
FormatSize, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product
ForwardingIn the case bookwork field, the binding process which involves folding, rounding, backing, headbanding and reinforcing
FountainTrough or container, on a printing press, that holds fluids such as ink, varnish or water. Also called duct
Fountain SolutionIn lithography, a solution of water, a natural or synthetic gum and other chemicals used to dampen the plate and keep non-printing areas from accepting ink
Four Colour Process PrintingColour printing by means of the three subtractive primary colours (cyan, magenta, yellow) and black superimposed; the colours of the original having been separated by a photographic or electronic process
FourdrinierA machine with a copper wire screen that receives the pulp slurry in the paper making process; it will become the final paper sheet
Four-up, Three-up, Two-upNumber of similar items printed on one sheet of paper. Also called four-to-view, three-to-view, etc
Free SheetPaper made from cooked wood fibres mixed with chemicals and washed free of impurities, as compared to groundwood paper. Also called woodfree paper
French FoldA printed sheet, printed one side only, folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section
FringeA halo that appears around halftone dots
FrontlistA generic term used to describe books in their first year of publication
Fugitive InksColours that lose tone and permanency when exposed to light
Full-Range HalftoneHalftone ranging from 0 percent coverage in its highlights to 100 percent coverage in its shadows
Full-Scale BlackBlack separation made to have dots throughout the entire tonal range of the image, as compared to half-scale black and skeleton black. Also called full-range black
FurnishThe slurry mixture of fibers, water, chemicals and pigments that is delivered to the Fourdrinier machine in the paper making process
FuzzA term for the fibers that project from the paper surface