abrasion resistance – The level at which paper can withstand continuous scuffing or rubbing.
absorption – The properties within paper that cause it to absorb liquids (inks, water, etc.) which come in contact with it.
accordion fold – A binding term describing a method of folding paper. When unfolded it looks like the folds of an accordion.
acetate proof – A transparent, acetate printing proof used to reproduce anticipated print colors on a transparent acetate sheet. Also called color overleaf proof.
acid-free paper – Paper that has no acidity and is also slightly alkaline, allowing it to last longer in an acidic environment.
acidity – Degree of acid found in a given paper substance measured by pH level. From 0 to 7 is classified acid as opposed to 7 to 14, which is classified alkaline.
against the grain – A right angle to which the fiber direction of a piece of paper lies. Folding with, not against, the grain is recommended.
air-dried paper – Paper that is dried by circulating hot air around it with little or no tension or restraint on the paper. This gives the paper a hard cockle finish typical of bond papers.
alcohol/alcohol substitutes – Liquids added to the fountain solution of a printing press to reduce the surface tension of water.
aluminum plate – A metal press plate used for moderate to long runs in offset lithography to carry the image.
announcement cards – cards of paper with matching envelopes generally used for social stationery, announcements, weddings, greetings, etc.
antique finish – A paper finish, usually used in book and cover papers, that has a tactile surface. Usually used in natural white or cream-white colors.
apron – Extra space at the binding edge of a fold-out, usually on a French fold, which allows folding and tipping without interfering with the copy
archival paper – Acid-free, resists disintegration. Used for documents that must last.
artificial parchment – Paper produced with poorly formed formation.
artwork – A general term used to describe materials prepared and readied for print.
ascenders – The tops of lower case letters such as: b, d, h and t.