Printer’s Glossary

Essential vocabulary regarding paper.

Files – Layout


There are many technical terms in the world of printing, which are all important to master in order to be able to successfully complete a project. In this section you will find essential vocabulary about paper and how it is used to print a book.
Coated paper⮯

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)⮯

Recycled paper⮯
Uncoated paper (or offset paper)⮯

Coated paper

Coated paper is a paper whose fibers are covered with a mineral layer. The surface has a smoother appearance than offset paper. It is also more opaque and typically whiter. Coated paper also offers better printability, especially for high-resolution and high-detail images. The surface of the paper can have a matte, satin or glossy appearance. See our article on paper types to learn more. See our article on paper types to learn more.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)

Non-profit organization whose objective is to protect forests and biodiversity by setting standards that paper producers and manufacturers are required to meet throughout the processing chain. The FSC issues a certification that guarantees the origin of cellulose fibers and the manufacture of paper.

Logo FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)

Source : FSC


Direction in which the fibers (usually wood) that make up the paper are oriented. Looking at the paper with a good magnifying glass, you will be able to observe this tangle of hair-like fibers, all oriented in the direction of travel of the machine in which the paper was produced. In order for your book to be more flexible and easy to open, the fibers of the paper should always be parallel to the spine of the book.

Fibres de bois (source : Richard Wheeler - Zephyris)

Source : Richard Wheeler (Zephyris)


Collection of illustrations or photos that are printed on a paper that’s different from the rest of the book. A silk coated paper is often used. Once printed, the insert is assembled in the correct location within the book and bound as a single block.

Recycled paper

Paper cannot be recycled more than two or three times. The paper we use for books has therefore only been recycled once or twice. After that, the recycled paper will be used for construction (gypsum boards or cellulose wadding insulation) or to make cardboard boxes. See our article on paper types to learn more.

Uncoated paper (or offset paper)

Uncoated paper is paper that contains only fibers. Its surface is porous and irregular and provides very good reading comfort for black and white books. See our article on paper types to learn more.

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