W – 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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Walk OffA term given to the occurrence of plate deterioration of the image area during the printing process; usually occurs on long runs
Wash UpTo clean ink and fountain solutions from rollers, fountains, screens, and other press components
WasteUnusable paper or paper damage during normal make-ready, printing or binding operations, as compared to spoilage
WatermarkDesign pattern or symbol impressed into paper while being formed at the wet end of paper machine. Usually from wire design attached to dandy roll. Watermarks can be seen when paper is held to light e.g. bank notes
WebPaper making process winds paper on a rull or web. Direction of web is direction of run of paper on machine during manufacture. Web is important in work printed to register. Paper stretches more across web than in direction of web
Web BreakSplit of the paper as it travels through a web press, causing operators to rethread the press
Web DirectionDirection parallel to long dimension of mill roll
Web GainUnacceptable stretching of paper as it passes through the press
Web PressPress that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages). Also called reel-fed press
Web TensionThe term given to the tension or pull exerted by the web press on the web roll
Wedding PaperA soft paper that is thick and holds up well under embossing
Wet ProofProof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job. Also called strike off and trial proof
Wet TrapTo print ink or varnish over wet ink, as compared to dry trap
White Balance/td>An adjustment made by a capture device to correct for any colour bias due to the colour temperature of the light source
White-out-BlackThe process of having white text on a black background. Also called reverse out
WidowA single word or two left at the end of a paragraph, or a part of a sentence ending a paragraph, which loops over to the next page and stands alone. Also, the last sentence of a paragraph, which contains only one or two short words
Window1. In a printed product, a die-cut hole revealing an image on the sheet behind it.2. On a mechanical, an area that has been marked for placement of a piece of artwork.
Wipe on PlateA plate on which is wiped a light sensitive coating by a coating device; usually the first step in this type of platemaking
Wire MarkImpression of machine wire made to underside of web of paper during paper making process
Wire SideSide of the paper that rests against the Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to felt side
Wiro BindingSimilar to comb binding but using metal wire instead of plastic
With the GrainParallel to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to against the grain
Woodfree PaperMade with chemical pulp only. Paper usually classified as calendered or supercalendered
WoveA smooth paper made on finely textured wire that gives the paper a gentle patterned finish
WrinklesThe unevenly dried surface of printed inks
Writing Paper Another name for bond paper
Wrong ReadingAn image that is backwards when compared to the original. Also called flopped and reverse reading
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