M – 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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M Weight Weight of 1,000 sheets of paper in any specific size
Machine Coated Paper that has had a coating applied to either one or two of its sides during the papermaking process
Machine Direction Direction of lie of cellulose fibres dur to motion of papermaking machine – long way or web of paper. Also direction in which product is printed in reel-fed machine i.e. head or foot of label first, or wide edge or narrow edge leading along web
Machine Finish A paper finish that results from the interaction of the paper with the Fourdrinier process as opposed to post machine embossing. See also Fourdrinier
Machine Glazed (MG) Paper holding a high-gloss finish only on one side
Magenta Hue of a subtractive primary and a 4-Colour process ink. It reflects or transmits blue and red light and absorbs green light
Magnetic Black Black pigments containing black iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition
Mailing House Generic term used to describe a business who’s core activity is the collation and mailing out of printed matter on a large scale
Make-Ready 1. All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or bindery job, as compared to production run.2. Paper used in the make-ready process at any stage in production. Make-ready paper is part of waste or spoilage
Making Order Order for paper that a mill makes to the customer’s specifications, as compared to a mill order or stock order
Male Die Die that applies pressure during embossing or debossing. Also called force card
Management Information System (MIS) This is a computer system, linked to external production equipment and data capture/input devices for the purpose of gathering, collating and allowing for the analysis of production-related information
Manifold Paper which is thin, strong, and has a smooth surface and is used for duplicating or copying of substance un 45gsm
Manuscript (MS) An author’s original form of work (hand written, typed or on disk) submitted for publication
MARC Machine Readable Cataloguing – a standard bibliographic format used in libraries
Margin White space around the edge of the printed material
Mark-Up Instructions to a typesetter or printer, written usually on a “dummy”
Mask The blocking out of a portion of the printing plate during the exposure process.
Master Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press
Master Archive A collection of images which have been stored in their original captured state prior to optimisation
Match Print A form of a four-colour-process proofing system
Matt Art Art paper with dull eggshell finish
Matt Finish Paper finish with level, smooth-coated surface and little or no gloss
Measure The width of type as measured in picas. See also pica
Mechanical Camera-ready assembly of type, graphic and other copy complete with instructions to the printer. A hard mechanical consists of paper and/or acetate, is made using paste-up techniques, and may also be called an artboard, board or paste-up. A soft mechanical, also called an electronic mechanical, exists as a file of type and other images assembled using a computer
Mechanical Bind To bind using a comb, coil, ring binder, post or any other technique not requiring gluing, sewing or stitching
Mechanical Paper Paper containing a proportion of mechanical wood pulp
Mechanical Separation Colour breaks made on the mechanical using a separate overlay for each colour to be printed
Mechanical Tint Lines or patterns formed with dots creating artwork for reproduction
Mechanical Wood Pulp Pulp produced by grinding wood mechanically. Used for cheap papers i.e. newsprint, combined with larger proportions of chemical wood pulp for more superior qualities of paper
Memory Tendency of a substance to return to its original state. e.g. whether or not a piece of folded paper can return to its flat state without evidence of it having ever been folded
Metadata Descriptive textual data associated with an image file
Metadata Element An individual part of a metadata structure or schema . Contains a particular category of information, such as Date or Creator
Metadata Schema A structured set of metadata elements
Metafiles A file containing information that describes or specifies another file
Metallic Ink Ink containing powdered metal or pigments that simulate metal
Metallic Paper Paper coated with a thin film of plastic or pigment whose colour and gloss simulate metal
MFP In printing, MFP is a commonly used term to represent Multi Function Products which are devices that that have more than one function such as being able to print, scan and fax
Middle Tones / Midtones In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows
Mill Board High grade board, made from rope and other materials
Mill Finished Machine-finished or mill-finished. Paper that is not supercalendered
Mill Glazed Mill-glazed or machine-glazed paper. Applied to a large range of papers which are characteristically rough on one side and highly glazed on the other
Mill Roll Paper roll as delivered from paper mill
Millboard Board of high grade, made from rope and other materials and btown in colour. It is very hard, very touch and has a good finish. Used for the covers of better quality bound books
Misting Phenomenon of droplets of ink being thrown off the roller train. Also called flying ink
Mock Up A reproduction of the original printed matter and possibly containing instructions or direction
Moiré Undesirable pattern resulting when halftones and screen tints are made with improperly aligned screens, or when a pattern in a photo, such as a plaid, interfaces with a halftone dot pattern
Molleton A cotton fabric used on the dampening rollers of a printing press
Molybdate Orange An ink pigment made from precipitating lead molybdate, lead sulfate and lead chromate
Monochrome A Monochrome printer only uses one colour of toner. The term Monochrome Printing is quite often described as black and white printing as the toner is normally black and the paper is often white in colour
Moral Rights Gained after copyright clearance has been gained and may be concerned with derogatory use of images, not crediting the creator, use of only part of an image etc. Must be asserted by creator
Mottle Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also called sinkage or mealy.
Mull A specific type of glue used for books binding and personal pads needing strength
Mullen Testing A specific test of tensile paper strength; an important factor if web presses are used for printing
Multicolour Printing Printing in more than one ink colour (but not four-colour process). Also called polychrome printing
Multi-Purpose Tray (MPT) A multi-purpose tray is an input tray which can handle different types and sizes of media such as paper, envelopes, transparencies, labels etc