Luxury Printing Service At The Letter Press of Cirencester

Glossary Of Terms

A size


This is the metric measurement for paper: A4 is 210mm x 297mm, A5 is half that and A6 is half again. In preference to A5 The Letter Press offers Albert Quarto (8"x 6").

Albert Quarto (AQ)


Albert Quarto (AQ) This is a traditional paper size : 8" x 6", folded it fits into a C6 envelope. AQ is our A5 equivalent.



A black & white or colour image of a motif, picture or logo that the customer may wish to use. It must be presented to the typesetter in a usable format.



Angled cut to edge of card, used to show gilding to best effect



Where the printed area is taken right up to the edge of card or paper - see for example 'non bleeding line' on our Post Card order form.



An impression stamped forcefully onto card creating a relief effect. No ink is used in this process.

Coloured ink


Any ink, other than black, from our illustrated ink colours



A publishing and printers' term referring to the actual wording to be printed.



The Letter Press brand name for paper weight of 100gsm.

Deckle edge


A decorative edge given to paper or card that may be either torn or die-cut.



A steel block or copper plate with engraved text, required for all die-stamped stationery.



A traditional method of printing that provides particularly fine relief and detail of the image or text that has been engraved onto the die.

Digital colour


Reproducing a colour image on card has become increasingly easy and cheap to do. Digital colour as opposed to full colour lithographic printing works on the same principle as photocopying, the card is not required to go through the printing press four time as it is when printed lithographically, but only once. The disadvantages are that only a certain type of card can be used and the quality may not always be as good.



Printing on both sides of a piece of paper or card, therefore requiring two plates and two runs through the press.

Fabriano Medioevalis


An Italian brand of high quality mould-made paper and board which has a distinctive hand-torn edge.



Positive or negative film used to create the printing plates. Once the film has been made any changes to the copy will require the production of a new film.



Once a job has been printed it needs to be made ready for despatch. Any dirty or misprinted items are removed and the paper or card is cut, folded, and ribboned according to requirements. Envelopes of the correct size and colour are selected and the job is packed and addressed ready for shipping.

Fly card


A card with a single fold is known as a fly card. The dimensions always refer to the size of the card when folded.

Full Colour


A colour photograph or picture is reproduced by printing it in four colours, blue, red, yellow and black. This is known as full or four colour lithographic printing.



Two creases in a sheet of card that when folded brings the two outer sides together resembling double opening gates.



Silver, gold or other metallic foil can be applied to the edge of card to make it more attractive. The thicker the card the better the effect, bevelling (see above) also improves the result.



A unit of measurement used by the paper industry. It stands for grams per square metre.

Hole drilling


Where the customer wishes to add their own ribbons, holes can be drilled in place.



Sloped or slanted print.



Textured paper or card with a regular track pattern. Examples of laid paper can be seen in the Layout pages of the personal stationery section.



This refers to the orientation of a rectangular image. Landscape means the image sits on its long edge, portrait means it sits on its short edge.



A traditional way of printing, where a plate with the image standing proud of the surface is inked and then impressed onto the paper.
Traditionally it was not correct to indent the paper but it has now become fashionable to do so and can be requested if preferred.

Lined envelopes


Envelopes can be lined in paper or tissue to improve opacity and make the envelope more attractive. Paper and tissue linings are available to match most of our illustrated ink colours.



A more modern printing technique that is faster and more consistent than Letterpress but which is less suited to small print runs and heavy weight boards.



The Letter Press brand name for its range of heavier weight papers, from 120-135 gsm.

Metallic ink


Metallic inks are available in gold, silver or copper.

Non-lining figures


Older typefaces often have figures that do not sit flat on the base-line but sink below or rise above it (1 3 6 7 8 for example). This is because our numbers derive from Arabic unlike our alphabet which is Roman. In The Letter Press Personal Stationery range for instance typefaces 203, 204, 206, 207, 209, 213, and 214 all have non-lining figures.

Order of the day


A product developed by The Letter Press similar in format to an Order of Service. It is intended as a programme of events but can be used in whatever way the customer finds appropriate.



Refers to printing onto material that has either been previously printed or would not normally be printed. Envelopes, for instance are usually supplied blank but may either have the address of the sender printed on the flap , or, to go with reply cards, printed with the RSVP address on the front. Christmas cards can be overprinted inside with the customer's name and address.



A universal colouring reference system .



The printing plate carries the image to be printed and transfers it through the printing process onto the paper. Plates come in many formats depending on the type of printing machine and its size.



An area, usually square or rectangular that is embossed into the card. The thicker the card the better the effect.



See landscape.

Post Quarto


A paper size measuring 9" x 7 ", that falls neatly between A4 and AQ.



is an abbreviation for "pages": a page is one side of a sheet of paper or card. If folded the sheet becomes a booklet with 4 pages, a paper insert stapled into this booklet increases this to 8pp and another insert would give you a total of 12pp.



Before going to print a customer will often want to see what their job will look like; a proof allows them do this. A layout proof is a black and white laser printed paper version of their job. Where possible layout proofs are emailed, where in some instances representative colours can be illustrated in the pdf proof.

Raised ink


Also known as thermo or thermographic printing - see Thermography below.



Ribbons can be added to most designs for decorative effect. They are available in satin or organza and are stocked in most colours to match our ink range. Special ribbons can be sourced by The Letter Press or can be supplied by the customer.



Roman is an upright serif typeface (not on a slant like Italic, nor a handwriting style like Script). Times Roman is the best known of Roman typefaces but there are thousands more.



Rounding the corners of invitations to make them look smarter, to best effect with heavier weight cards.



The run-on is the extra quantity or set printed after the initial print-run, but printed at the same time. The run-on set is cheaper as all the start-up costs have been covered by the first set.



A typeface that resembles elegant copperplate handwriting. Shelley is a script typeface.

Second colour


To print a second colour requires a second sheet of film, a second plate , a change of colour on the press and for the paper to go through the press for a second time.



A serif is the small tick-mark that decorates the tips and ends of each letter of certain typefaces. More recently typefaces have been designed without serifs; these are known as sans-serif faces. Typefaces 203 and 215 are examples of sans-serif.



Ink smudging that can happen to a recently printed job if the ink is too wet or the card is handled too soon after printing.

Single card


This is a simple card with no fold.

Specialist boards


These boards are non standard and may be available in other colours, however they do not normally come with matching envelopes.



Also known as Thermo or raised print, this is a cheaper method than die-stamping of giving a raised surface to print. Powder is sprinkled onto the still wet ink which after heating fuse to create the relief effect.



A brand of card that is coated to give an ultra smooth and slightly glossy finish. It is our preferred choice of card for digital colour printing.



A smooth finish to the paper or card.