ramacartotecnica.com | GLOSSARY





Offset printing is one of the main technologies of printing.  Based on the repulsion between water and oil, it is a process of indirect printing; that is, the printing plate (normally aluminium) is not in direct contact with the paper.  The image is first transferred from the printing plate onto a rubber cylinder and from this onto the paper.


screen printing


This is a process of direct printing which is achieved by the transfer of the colour onto a cliché made of woven mesh that transfers the ink directly onto the card by means of some areas that are left clear of the blocked off part of the mesh.

hot stamping


Hot stamping is a system of direct web fed printing, in which the transfer of the foil is obtained with the combined effect of pressure, heat and stripping time. The foil is positioned between the material to be imprinted and the print die.


relief printing

Relief printing is a technique of printing carried out by impressing ink-free raised images onto the surface of the paper.  The impression is obtained by pressing the sheet between a raised or recessed plate: cliché and matrix. The reliefs can be subdivided into embossing and debossing.  Embossing is raised against the background while debossing is sunken into the surface of the material.

pad printing

Pad printing or tampography is an indirect printing procedure which allows the reproduction of drawings, writing and decoration both onto flat surfaces and concave, convex or other irregular surfaces in a simple way and with a high level of resolution and precision.  Essentially, it can be defined as a system that allows the transfer of 2D images or graphics onto 3D objects and surfaces.



Embossing is a direct printing process which is carried out by means of pressure and obtaining ink-free images protruding from the surfaces.  The impression is obtained by pressing the sheet between a raised die and a recessed die.

digital printing

A system of printing that does not use a matrix but directly processes a digital file.  This can be a good way of printing small quantities since it allows the saving of necessary costs associated with traditional printing technologies.


cast-coated paper

Coated paper with a particularly smooth and glossy finish, often used in packaging.

embossed paper

A type of paper on which a decorative design has been imprinted in relief by means of an embossing operation.  See embossing in the characteristics and techniques of paper production.

textured paper

Paper and card which have a relief design on one or both sides.  The texturing happens when the paper sheet is still damp and passes through rollers during the continuous paper production process.

recycled paper

Paper produced using post-consumption waste, in other words previously printed and used.

low density paper

Paper which has an above average thickness with respect to its gsm.  It can be used to increase the robustness of a volume of few pages. 

uncoated paper

Natural high quality paper used above all for limited editions.

laid paper

Paper characterized by a pattern of lines, visible in transparency, due to variations in thickness.

coated paper

Paper which has a patina on one or both sides, applied in the coating process, with the aim of improving the appearance, finish and printability of the paper.



Paper (card, cardboard) formed of several layers joined together.  The layering can occur wet, or dry with adhesive.  With equivalent gram weight paper, dry layered paper is more rigid than wet.  The layering operation can take place in the paper factory or in the card making process where a printed sheet is joined to card,  cardboard or other material.



Dry stamping which is carried out on card, in particular for covers, to facilitate folding and avoid defects and cracking on the surfaces.  The operation can be carried out using insertions in the typographic plate or by means of specific machines, flatbed or rotary presses. 

die cutting


Die cutting is a process that enables the cutting of sheets of paper or cardboard according to a determined design by means of a profile of cutting steel, contoured to the right shape thus obtaining personalized products.

laminated printing

Laminated printing is obtained by hot transferring metallic foil in various colours: gold, silver, bronze, multicolour. 



A film of glossy or matte transparent polyester that is applied after printing, with the objective of protecting the printed surface itself, guaranteeing less wear on the points of friction of the paper thus preserving the colour on the corners and the creasing.


Layer of glossy or matte protective material, which is added in the printing phase.

varnish with unvarnished areas

varnish applied only to some parts of the page, in order to highlight them.

uv varnish

A light layer of transparent water based varnish which is applied over the printing.  This type of varnish protects against scratches and rubbings during the subsequent processes.  It can be applied at the same time as offset printing or subsequently; it is possible to leave unvarnished areas using specific technical methods. 


glued binding

Also called milled, consists of milling the pages on the edge of the spine in order to facilitate the absorption of the glue, for then gluing them to the cover. 

stapled binding

Consists of folding and overlapping one or more signatures, joining them at the centre with metal staples.  This binding is efficient only with a limited number of pages (generally not more than 64), or with thin paper. 

spiral binding

Consists of joining a block of pages by means of perforations on the left side, through which is passed a metal or plastic spiral. 

creased binding

Binding with a hard cover.  The covers and the spine are covered with paper and then joined to the body of the book by means of the flyleaves. 

stitched binding

Binding in which the individual signatures are sewn at the centre and to each other before the glue is applied to fix the cover. 

paperback binding

Binding with a soft cover where the cover is glued directly to the book block.