Auto Bottom Style Carton

Pre-glued folding carton bottom construction has multiple folded flaps which position themselves to form a composite bottom panel when the carton is upright.

Aqueous Coating

A transparent protective coat over a printed surface. This coating material contains polymeric components suspended, emulsified, or dissolved in an aqueous carrier. The volatile portion contains a minimum of 80% by weight water.

CNK (Coated Natural Kraft)

Paperboard that has a good printing surface and good strength because of Kraft backing and holds its shape when subjected to freezing and thawing, also called WCCK – White Clay Coated Kraft.

CCNB (Clay Coated Newsback)

A newsboard with a white clay coating on one side contains 100% recycled content. It is also called WCCN – White Clay Coated Newsprint.

Corrugated Fiberboard

A paper-based material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards. It is widely used in the manufacture of corrugated boxes and shipping containers, using “flute lamination machines.” The corrugated medium and linerboard are made of containerboard, a paper-like material usually over 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) thick. Corrugated fiberboard is sometimes called corrugated cardboard, although cardboard might be any heavy paper-pulp-based board.

Cutting Die

A heavy-duty wood form that holds the steel knives that cut, score, perforate, etc., the shape of a box. A cutting die is inserted into a cutting press to perform this action.

Die Line

An electronic template of the package that displays the outline, scores, perforations, etc., depending on the design style of the package.

Dust Flaps

The smallest flaps that are attached to either side of the opening of a carton. They are folded in before the tuck flap is inserted.

Folding Cartons

A folding carton (sometimes called a box) is fabricated from paperboard. The paperboard is printed (if necessary), die-cut, and scored to form a blank. These are transported and stored flat and erected at the point of filling. These are used to package a wide range of goods, intended either for one-time (non-resealable) use or as a storage box for the remaining goods.

Forest Stewardship Council®

FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC facilitates the development of standards, ensures monitoring of certified operations, and protects the FSC trademark so consumers can choose products that come from well-managed forests.


A small blank area in the print caused by foreign particles such as dust adhering to the printing plate or printing blanket

Ink Drawdown

To make sure you are not surprised by the appearance of a particular Pantone ink on a particular paper, you can ask your printer for an “ink drawdown.” The printer produces a drawdown by mixing your chosen ink and spreading a little on your chosen paper using a putty knife. While this thin film of ink won’t show you how text or screens of the color will look, it will at least give you a general idea of the final appearance of your printed piece.

Pantone Inks or Pantone Matching System (PMS)

A proprietary color space used in various industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

A file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else. PDF files are created using Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat Capture, or similar products. To view and use the files, you need the free Acrobat Reader, which you can easily download. Once you’ve downloaded the Reader, it will start automatically whenever you want to look at a PDF file.


A department that receives the artwork files from customers or graphic designers ensures that they will print properly on the printing press.

Printing Plates

Printing plates transfer an image to paper or other substrates. The plates may be made of metal, plastic, rubber, paper, and other materials. The image is put on the printing plates using photomechanical, photochemical, or laser engraving processes. The image may be positive or negative. Each color used in the artwork design required a separate printing plate.

Process Inks or The CMYK Color Model (four colors)

CMYK refers to the four inks used in some color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). Though it varies by print house, press operator, press manufacturer, and a press run, ink is typically applied in the order of the abbreviation.

Press Check

An opportunity for the customer, graphic designer, brand manager etc. to witness the printing of their product and give feedback to the Printing and Pre-press Departments if necessary.


A high quality print-out of the artwork for the package. Proofs are used to check the color accuracy of Process colors and other things such as text and image placement or spelling.

Top Sheet

A thin piece of paperboard that is generally printed then laminated to a corrugated material.

SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate)

A virgin paperboard that has not been subjected to use or processing other than that required for its manufacture and contains no recycled material but is fully recyclable. SBS is white on both the front and the back of the paperboard.


A printing blemish where the non-image area of the plate accepts ink random areas where that ink should not be applied.

Set Up Box/Rigid Box

A “set up” box (or rigid paperboard box) is made of stiffer paperboard, permanently glued together with paper skins that can be printed or colored. Unlike folding cartons, these are assembled at the point of manufacture and transported already “set-up.” Set-up boxes are more expensive than folding boxes and are typically used for protecting high-value items such as cosmetics, watches, or smaller consumer electronics.

Simplex Tray Style Carton

A general classification of folding cartons incorporating a solid bottom with sidewalls hinged thereto. The sidewalls are double the thickness of the paperboard, and the ends fold and lock into the sidewalls.

Stock Boxes

A box size and style that is produced in large quantities and “stocked” on the shelf until someone orders it.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)

As a non-profit, SFI is a comprehensive, independent certification program that works with environmental, social, and industry partners to improve forest practices in North America and fiber sourcing worldwide. It is based on fourteen core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.

Tuck Flap

The top or bottom flaps of a folding paper box (carton), which are inserted inside the container to hold the product in place.

Tuck End Carton

A carton consisting of four or more panels that are folded completely around to make a tube or box. To close the tube there will be on both ends either tuck flaps, seal and flaps or other type flaps or locks.

U.V. Coatings

It consists of monomeric and resinous vehicles that are polymerized in the presence of ultraviolet radiation with the end of a plastic film that shrinks photoinitiator. Traditional UV coating is extremely glossy, and there are options for dull UV coating and spot UV coating.


The cutout area on the face of a container is usually covered with a thick cellophane film, for the purpose of rendering the contents visible.