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&G A term in the binding process referring to folding and gathering
Face 1. 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 Duotone Halftone 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 Fold Paper folding that emulates an accordion or fan, the folds being alternating and parallel
Fast Colour Inks Inks with colours that retain their density and resist fading as the product is used and washed
Fat Face Type that is quite varied in its use of very thin and very wide strokes
Feeding the Boxes The process whereby an individual feeds folded sections into the boxes (or hoppers) of a finishing line for binding
Feeding Unit Component of a printing press that moves paper into the register unit
Felt A cloth conveyor belt that receives papers from the Fourdrinier wire and delivers it to the drier
Felt Finish The smoother side of paper, usually a soft weave pattern used for book papers
Felt Side Side of the paper that was not in contact with the Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to wire side
Fifth Colour Ink colour used in addition to the four needed by four-colour process
File Format The order and conventions by which data is laid down on a storage medium
Filling In A fault in printing where the ink fills in the fine line or halftone dot areas
Film The positive or negative used for making the printing plates, which incorporate all the text, line artwork and halftones
Film Coat Also called wash coat; any thinly coated paper stock
Film Scanner Most 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 Proof The last proof before sending material to the printer, showing all corrections
Fine Screen Screen with ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimetre) or more
Finish 1. Surface characteristics of paper.2. General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post-press operations
Finished Size Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size
Fist A symbol used in printing to indicate the index; seen as a pointing finger on a hand “+”
Fit Refers 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 Costs Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs
Flash Media Generic term used to describe compact storage devices used in digital cameras
Flash Point A term given to the lowest temperature of ignitibility of vapors given off by a substance
Flat The assemblage of negatives and positives that are used as a composite image to create the printing plate
Flat Back Binding Perfect- or thread-sewn binding whereby the back of the back is square (as opposed to bowed) once the cover has been drawn on
Flat Colour 1. 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 Size Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size
Flatbed Scanner A digitisation device delivering scanned image data to a computer, the glass face on which the original is placed being flat
Flatsam / Pankake Dry-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 Paper Paper that is patterned by sizing, and than coated with powders of wool or cotton (flock)
Flood To print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish. Also called painting the sheet
Fluid Ink Also called liquid ink; ink with low viscosity
Flush Flush left means the left ends of lines of type line up vertically; flush right means to line up the right ends of type
Flush Cover Cover trimmed to the same size as inside pages, as compared to overhang cover. Also called cut flush
Flushed Pigment The results of combining a wet ink pigment with a varnish and having the wet pigment mix or transfer over to the varnish
Flyleaf Leaf, at the front and back of a casebound book that is the one side of the end paper not glued to the case
Foil Emboss To foil stamp and emboss an image. Also called heat stamp
Foil Paper Metal foil laminated paper
Foil Stamp Method of printing that releases foil from its backing when stamped with the heated die. Also called block print, hot foil stamp and stamp
Foils Papers that have a surface resembling metal
Fold Marks With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges
Fold Memory Fold in paper which will not straighten out completely
Folder A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials
Folio (page number) The actual page number in a publication
Font A 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
Foredge The outermost (furthest from the spine) margin of a page. The foredge is where a book will be gripped by the reader
Form bond Grade 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 Rollers The rollers, either inking or dampening, which directly contact the plate on a printing press
Format Size, style, shape, layout or organization of a layout or printed product
Forwarding In the case bookwork field, the binding process which involves folding, rounding, backing, headbanding and reinforcing
Fountain Trough or container, on a printing press, that holds fluids such as ink, varnish or water. Also called duct
Fountain Solution In 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 Printing Colour 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
Fourdrinier A 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-up Number of similar items printed on one sheet of paper. Also called four-to-view, three-to-view, etc
Free Sheet Paper made from cooked wood fibres mixed with chemicals and washed free of impurities, as compared to groundwood paper. Also called woodfree paper
French Fold A printed sheet, printed one side only, folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section
Fringe A halo that appears around halftone dots
Frontlist A generic term used to describe books in their first year of publication
Fugitive Inks Colours that lose tone and permanency when exposed to light
Full-Range Halftone Halftone ranging from 0 percent coverage in its highlights to 100 percent coverage in its shadows
Full-Scale Black Black 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
Furnish The slurry mixture of fibers, water, chemicals and pigments that is delivered to the Fourdrinier machine in the paper making process
Fuzz A term for the fibers that project from the paper surface