What is a Printer's Pie? Printers Pie has nothing to do with food! The term "printer's pie" refers to lead type. My career began as a apprentice print compositor. A compositor was the person who put the letters together in the old "hot metal" printing days. A page in a book was normally composed of individual letters made of lead. If these letters were knocked over or dropped, then this was referred to as a pie, pied type, or a printer's pie. Dictionary entry for “pie”: Printers' slang for a mass of type jumbled together. The mess of types formed when a quantity of type is spilt or dropped: a pied job.