I've just spotted this "scale" on the bottom of my box:

enter image description here

Does these two terms have any meaning or is this just as meaningless filling of space?

  • 1
    Its quality control, it should be cropped out from final work
    – joojaa
    Jan 9, 2018 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


These are printers marks and are used to measure how well printed the job is during and after printing. In this case, the job has been flexo printed, so the marks are specific to that process.

  • The solid (100) block is used measure the density of the ink being put down on the substrate.
  • The 3% is used to measure the minimum dot - this is the lightest screen that the press can print in a predictable and stable fashion.
  • The other percentages are used to measure dot gain. This is the phenomenon of the screen on the substrate being darker than the screen on the printing plate.

All of these are measured using a spectrometer (aka spectro) and you can learn more by searching the terms in bold if you are interested.

  • The IMPRESSION mark is used to visually judge the quality of the impression. This is how well the plate meets the substrate. Too heavy and the lines will be thicker than the gaps or in extreme cases the gaps will fill in. Too light and lines will appear thin or break up. If the lines are thicker in one direction then this would indicate slurring. This is when the plate moves (rubs) against the plate.
  • The ANILOX mark allows someone with a trained eye and magnifying glass to ascertain information about the anilox used to print the job. I’m not familiar with that specific type of mark, but I would image the screen frequency, angle and cleanliness could all be estimated by examining it.

All of these marks are only there to help produce better prints and are only of value to graphic designers if they know how to read them. They can be a very useful tool if a client doesn’t like a printed job because they can show whether the problem lies in the design or in the quality of the print.


Both terms are actually print terms. Neither of your symbols are useful for any form of calibration or anything, they are purely for visual aesthetic.


In printing, anilox is a method used to provide a measured amount of ink to a flexo printing plate. An anilox roll is a hard cylinder, usually constructed of a steel or aluminum core which is coated by an industrial ceramic whose surface contains millions of very fine dimples, known as cells.


Number of times a page or publication passes through the printing process to receive the complete image. In monochrome (single color) printing, only one impression is necessary whereas in multi-color printing two or more impressions are needed. It is also an alternative term for a printrun.

Each picture loosely correlates to the word's meaning. The roll for the anilox and the multiple shapes for impressions.

BONUS: The 3,10,50,70,100 are the halftone amounts.

  • 1
    Other than the definitions of the words, this answer is almost entirely incorrect. They are technical printers marks used for set up and quality control. They are neither purely aesthetic or meant to be visual representation of the words.
    – Westside
    Jan 9, 2018 at 0:27
  • 1
    ...and that’s the wrong meaning of impression for this context.
    – Westside
    Jan 9, 2018 at 0:29

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