G – 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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Galley ProofA proof of text copy before it is pasted into position for printing.
Gamma CorrectionUsed to calibrate devices, smoothing out any irregularities between input and output signals
Gang1. To halftone or separate more than one image in only one exposure.2. To reproduce two or more different printed products simultaneously on one sheet of paper during one press run. Also called combination run
Gate FoldA sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers
GatheringAssembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence; see also collate
Ghost HalftoneNormal halftone whose density has been reduced to produce a very faint image
Ghosting1. Phenomenon of a faint image appearing on a printed sheet where it was not intended to appear. Chemical ghosting refers to the transfer of the faint image from the front of one sheet to the back of another sheet. Mechanical ghosting refers to the faint image appearing as a repeat of an image on the same side of the sheet.2. Phenomenon of printed image appearing too light because of ink starvation
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)Graphic Interchange Format: A bitmap file format widely used on the Web, it has a limited colour palette (256 colours) which makes it more suited to graphics rather than photographs. It can also be animated
GildingMostly in the bookwork field, gold leafing the edges of a book
GlassineA strong transparent paper
GlossConsider the light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g., paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish)
Gloss InkInk used and printed on coated stock (mostly litho and letterpress) such as the ink will dry without penetration
GlyphicA carved as opposed to scripted typeface
GoatskinTerm used to describe Goatskin Parchment. A thick, durable stock used for the production of archival material
GoldenrodAn orange coloured paper with gridlines, used to assemble materials for exposure for platemaking
Graduated Screen TintScreen tint that changes densities gradually and smoothly, not in distinct steps. Also called degrade, gradient, ramped screen and vignette
Grain1. Paper fibers lie in a certain direction, this direction is called the grain.2. In a photograph. On monochrome film it is the structure, clumps of silver atoms, present after exposure and development. In the print it is the negative of this – the printed gaps between the clumps
Grain DirectionDirection in which the cellulose fibres tend to lie relative to the motion of the papermaking machine. Paper has stronger physical properties in machine direction and less dimensional variation if exposed to changes in humidity
Grain Long PaperPaper whose fibres run parallel to the long dimension of the sheet. Also called long grain paper and narrow web paper
Grain Short PaperPaper whose fibres run parallel to the short dimension of the sheet. Also called short grain paper and wide web paper
Grained Paper A paper embossed to resemble various textures, such as leather, alligator, wood, etc
GrammageBasis weight of paper in grams per square meter (GSM)
Graphic DesignArrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colours and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message
GraphicsVisual elements that supplement type to make printed messages more clear or interesting
GravureAn intaglio or recessed printing process. The recessed areas are like wells that form the image as paper passes through
GreaseproofWood pulp paper made translucent by prolongued beating of the pulp
Grey BalancePrinted cyan, magenta and yellow halftone dots that accurately, reproduce a neutral grey image
Grey Component ReplacementTechnique of replacing grey tones in the yellow, cyan and magenta films, made while colour separating, with black ink. Abbreviated GCR. Also called achromatic colour removal
Grey LevelsNumber of distinct grey tones that can be reproduced by a computer
Grey ScaleA number of greys ranging from black to white. An eight bit greyscale image could have 254 greys between black and white
GreyboardsCase boards, mainly produced in Holland, which are of a higher quality than chip boards
Grind EdgeAlternate term for binding edge when referring to perfect bound products
GrindoffApproximately 1/8 inch (3 mm) along the spine that is ground off gathered signatures before perfect binding
GripperA series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process
Gripper EdgeEdge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheeted press, thus going first through the press. Also called grip, feeding edge and leading edge
Groundwood PaperLow cost papers such as newsprint made by the mechanical pulping process as opposed to chemical pulping and refining
GSM (Grams per Square Meter)The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square meter)
GuillotinePaper trimming machine
Gummed PapersPaper with adhesive backing which can be supplied already gummed. A general term for label paper finished with an adhesive coating to one side
GummingIn platemaking, the process of applying a thin coating of gum arabic to the non-printing areas of a lithographic plate
GutterThe binding margin of a book or the spine of a folder which allows for paper to be stored inside