Learning the language of the business forms industry is similar to learning a foreign language. Because there are so many people involved in the process of ordering and producing a form, opportunities for misunderstanding occur frequently. Mastering this language improves communication between you and Factor Forms, and ensures that both parties involved in an order are speaking on the same level. Accurate and effective communication minimizes reruns, saves time and phone calls, speeds up order processing and production, creates goodwill, and ensures that the product delivered to the ultimate user is the one ordered. With that in mind, it's time to proceed with an overview of the language of the business forms industry.
The glossary provides a brief overview of some of the most commonly used industry terms. Please read through this section so the terms and concepts become familiar.
Back Printing: the printing on the reverse side of a sheet or web. It is often produced with a lighter screen or in gray ink so the print will not show through to the front.
Blockout: a printed pattern that obscures image transfer on selected areas of a form or other printed piece.
Bottom Stub: a snap set in which printing or writing is oriented so that the stub is at the bottom rather than at the top or side.
Camera-Ready Copy: in photo-offset reproduction, copy suitable to be photographed by the camera. Copy should be clean, flat, and printed in dark ink. Screened areas, pantographs, light ink, or show-through from back copy normally render copy unsuitable for camera.
Carbonless Paper: any paper stock coated, manufactured, or treated to provide part-to-part imaging under pressure without the use of carbon interleaves. Chemical-mated systems require contact between two paper surfaces, each with a different, relatively colorless coating that reacts under pressure to form a visible image on one surface. Chemical self-contained carbonless paper has the two coatings manufactured onto the same sheet. Mechanical transfer carbonless paper relies on the physical transfer of pigmented material.
CB: abbreviation for "coated-back." It refers to carbonless systems (chemical-mated and mechanical-mated) that require the contact of two paper surfaces, each with a different coating. Under impact or pressure, the coating on the coated-back surface reacts with the coating on the coated-front surface to produce an image.
CF: abbreviation for "coated-front." It refers to chemical-mated carbonless systems that require the contact of two paper surfaces, each with a different coating. Under impact or pressure, the coating on the coated-back surface reacts with the chemical coating on the coated front sheet to produce an image.
CFB: abbreviation for "coated-front-and back." It refers to carbonless systems (chemical-mated and mechanical-mated) that require the contact of two paper surfaces, each with a different coating. A coated-front-and-back sheet reacts under impact or pressure to form an image on the coated-front side, and the chemicals on the coated-back surface of the paper react to form an image on an adjacent coated front surface.
Collator: in forms production, a machine used to assemble the parts of a form, either from sheets or from rolls. Operations such as fastening, punching, perforating, and folding can often be performed on the collator, too.
Composition: the prepress assembly of the components of a printed piece. Composition may include typesetting, paste-up, production of negatives, image assembly, or plate making.
Consecutive Numbering: on forms, numbers printed in a series to allow for control by the form user. The numbers are usually printed by a numbering machine or machines mounted on a press or collator. The sample purchase order supplied with this Home Study Course has a consecutive number produced on the press.
Continuous Form: a form manufactured from a continuous web and not cut into units prior to execution. A continuous form may be carbon-interleaved or carbonless. It may be either fan folded (flat pack) or non-folded (roll).
Copy: manuscript and text for reproduction. Also, "copy" can be a synonym for part (please see that definition) or ply.
Copy Change: a change in composition from part to part in a form set. Such a change may be classified as a major, intermediate, or minor change or as a blockout, deletion, or marginal word. The term can also refer to a variation in copy between different forms that are similar enough to be priced in combination. A change may refer to an author's correction, to a change after production has begun, or to a change when a reorder is placed.
Crash Numbering: consecutive numbering on forms using carbon or carbonless materials for image transfer. Usually performed on a collator, the number is struck upon the first ply and is transferred to the other plies by the carbon or carbonless material. Sometimes referred to as security numbering.
Crash Printing: the use of relief pressure to impress an image onto the second and subsequent parts of a form through the use of carbon or carbonless materials.
Crop Mark: in design, the lines drawn on an overlay or in the margins of an illustration to define the portion of the image to appear in the reproduction.
Cross Perforation: on continuous forms and snap sets, a perforation cut at right angles to the web direction.
Decollate: to take the parts of a continuous form apart by hand or by machine called a decollator.
Depth: the dimension of a continuous form parallel with the direction of the web as it moves through the press or other manufacturing equipment.
Desensitize: the process of coating the CF surface of a carbonless paper or duplicating master with a material that inhibits image transfer. It also refers to the type of ink used in this process. Desensitizing is used for blockouts, copy changes, etc.
Designation: Words printed at the bottom or top of a form instructing the user about what to do with the parts of the form. These words are often printed in red ink.
Drilling: in production, punching through an entire lift of forms as a final bindery operation.
Encoding: In the banking industry, encoding is the imprinting of MICR characters on cheques, deposits, or other bank documents. It also refers to the magnetized recording of data on the magnetic strip on a bank card.
Face: the "front side" of a form, normally that which contains printing or the most important information.
Fan-A-Part Glue: special glue used in edge padding carbonless paper. Since this glue does not adhere to uncoated surfaces, individual sets can simply be "fanned" apart.
Fastening: a device or technique for holding together elements of a form (normally continuous forms). Fastening processes may be performed on the collator or as a final bindery operation. Also, fastening may be described in terms of type (staple, glue, sewing, crimp), positioning (marginal, corner, perforation), or function (permanent, flexible, temporary).
Flat Charge: in forms pricing, the charge that remains constant regardless of the quantity ordered. It is a one-time charge covering preparation, plate make ready, and other costs.
Form: the basic business tool (whether printed or electronic) for collecting and transmitting information. It is a catalyst for getting things done and a record of what was done.
Gap/Gap Space: another term for plate gap space (please see that definition).
Gripper Edge: in sheet-fed printing, the leading edge of a sheet of paper as the paper passes through the press.
Gripper Space: in sheet-fed printing, the amount of space needed for grippers (devices that pull the paper through the press) to grasp the leading edge (gripper edge) of the paper.
Head-to-Foot: orientation of back printing as related to front printing on a form. In head-to-foot orientation, the top of the copy on the backer is directly opposite the bottom of the copy on the face of the form.
Head-to-Head: orientation of back printing as related to front printing on a form. In head-to-head orientation, the top of the copy on the backer is directly opposite the top of the copy on the face of the form.
Impression: in production, one revolution of the printing cylinder. The term impression refers to the pressure created by the type, plate, or blanket as it contacts the paper and produces printed copy. In forms writing, the impression is the pressure or impact of the handwriting device or hammer of the typing mechanism required to produce acceptable manifolding.
Impression Cylinder: in a rotary printing press, the cylinder that presses the paper against the image to be offset (i.e., transferred). In both wet offset and dry offset, the impression cylinder presses the paper against the blanket cylinder (which has received the image from the plate wrapped around the plate cylinder).
Length: on continuous forms, the dimension measured between set perforations (preferably referred to as depth). On snap sets, it is the dimension running perpendicular (i.e., at right angles) to the stub.
Line Holes: the series of holes running parallel to the edge of the paper web and used to control paper in a manufacturing machine (press or collator) or forms writing machine, burster, or other end-user equipment. Typical specifications for line holes are 5 /32" (3.97 mm) diameter, 1 / 2" from center to center, and 1 /4" from the center to the edge of the paper.
Lithography: a printing process in which both the image and non-image areas are on the same plane. It is based on the principle that oil (ink) and water do not mix. The image is first transferred to a rubber blanket and then to paper.
Make ready: in production, the complete process involved in getting presses ready to run. Make ready includes roll mounting, plate mounting, inking, and registering and adjusting.
MICR: abbreviation for "Magnetic Ink Character Recognition." It is an automatic data entry system using characters printed according to strict specifications and read by a device that responds to the magnetic flux imparted by each character. MICR is used extensively on cheques and other documents in the banking industry.
MICR Clear Band: on a cheque, the area where the MICR characters appear. It is an area 5/8" wide along the bottom edge of the cheque and extending the entire length of the cheque. No extraneous MICR ink can appear in the clear band.
Negative: a reverse photographic image on film or paper in which the dark areas appear light and the light areas appear dark. Film negatives are used to make printing plates.
Non-Impact Printer: a printing device that uses techniques other than mechanical impact to produce an image. It may be described by the type of media used (plain paper, coated paper), by process (electrostatic, magnetic, electro sensitive, electrolytic), by method of image generation (laser, multiple styli), or by method of image transfer to the paper (direct, as in ink jet, or indirect, via reusable photo conductive or magnetic material).
Padding: gluing the end of a stack of paper. Some snap sets are carbonless paper with one end padded.
Part: one ply or copy within a snap set or continuous form.
Perforation: a series of cuts or holes manufactured on a form to weaken it for tearing. A perforation can be described by how it is made (press perforation, machine perforation), by the cutting device used (blade perforation, wheel perforation), by its direction on the finished form (cross perforation, vertical perforation), or by its function (stub perforation, between-set perforation).
Per M: the standard reference for "per thousand," a common method of pricing forms. ("M" is the Roman numeral for 1000.)
Plate: the surface from which a print is made and that bears the image to be reproduced. A plate may be made of metal, rubber, synthetic rubber, photo polymer, or plastic, and it is treated to carry an image to the printing surface on the press.
Plate gap: on a printed piece, the image-free area resulting from the need to lock the ends of the plate to the cylinder. Plate gap is normally 1/2" (though it may vary), and the intervals for it are determined by the press cylinder circumference. Plate gap runs across a continuous form and runs the length of a snap set. Also called gap, lockup space, cylinder gap, gap space, and plate lockup.
Point: a unit of measurement designating either type size or the thickness of paper. With type size,one point equals.0138",and there are 12 points in one pica. With paper thickness, one point equals 0.001".
Proof: a sheet of printed copy that is a representation of a printed piece. Both appearance and composition accuracy are examined and corrections are marked on the proof itself.
Quotation: a statement of price, terms of sale, and description of goods or services by a vendor to a prospective purchaser.
Register Form: continuous forms folded in a zig-zag manner. It often refers to continuous forms packaged in small, predetermined quantities.
Registration: with forms, the alignment of one element of a form in relation to another. It may refer to the relation of the printer to the paper, of a perforation to the form edge, or of one ply to another.
Reverse: any material printed so the original background becomes the inked image and the copy itself is left unprinted (showing the color of the paper). Examples of a reverse are the column headings (Quantity, Item Number, Description, Discount, Net Price, and Amount) on most invoices.
Running Charge: the charge directly related to the variable costs of production, such as length of the press run. It is normally charged on a per thousand ("per M") basis.
Set off: the unintentional transfer of ink from one printed sheet to another. Also called offset.
Shrink Wrap: the plastic coating wrapped around forms to protect them before they are used.
Snap Set: a form set with glued stub construction designed for rapid form separation and removal of carbon (if any) in one operation. A snap set is normally non-continuous, and it may use carbonless paper rather than being carbon-interleaved.
Step-and-Repeat: in the graphic arts, a technique to produce multiple images with extremely close tolerances on a film or plate. It also refers to a pantograph that has symbols or logo types repeated over and over.
Stub: the fastened portion of a snap set. It is separated by a perforation, and separating the stub usually removes the carbon interleaves, too. Stubs are described by their location on a form (top stub, bottom stub, side stub) or by the way they enter the forms writing machine (leading stub, trailing stub).
Stub Depth: on snap sets, the distance from the edge of the stub to the stub perforation, usually 3/4" or 5/8" with carbon-interleaved snap sets and 1/2" with carbonless snap sets.
Tint: a general shading applied to a form. A tint is usually a low-percentage flat screen or an extremely light-colored printed solid.
Tipping: attaching one piece of material to another with an adhesive. Tipping can be performed by hand or by machine.
Torn-out Size: the size of a form set after removing the stub(s).
Typeface: the design of the characters in a font.
Upcharge: a charge over and above basic charges. Upcharges are incurred for special procedures or materials such as special fastenings, mill roll changes, etc.
Void Pantograph: a special screened pattern used to combat fraud related to the copying of negotiable documents on color copiers. When the original document is photocopied, a warning or "void" mark appears on the copy.
Web: a continuous ribbon of paper that unwinds from a roll and threads through the press.
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