Glossary of Printing Terms
1-up – When artwork is supplied 1-up it is un-imposed. Each printed page is a separate page within the artwork file. When two pages are supplied on the same page in an artwork file, this is considered as being imposed or 2-up.
1 PMS Colour Printing - For a 1 PMS colour print job artwork must be supplied containing only one PMS colour. The PMS colours must be selected from the Pantone Solid Uncoated range.
2 PMS Colour Printing - For a 2 PMS colour print job artwork must be supplied containing exactly two PMS colours. The PMS colours must be selected from the Pantone Solid Uncoated range.
Bleed – There are two types of bleed, External bleed and Internal Bleed.
External Bleed is when an illustration, background or image is extended beyond the trim edge of the page. This allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your order is being cut to size. We require 3mm of external bleed on all files (5mm on all magazines/booklets and presentation folders).
Internal bleed is when all text/important graphics are kept a certain distance in from the trim edge. This is also sometimes referred to as a ‘text safe’ area. This also allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your order is being cut to size. We require 3mm of internal all files (5mm on all magazines/booklets and presentation folders).
Bleed Size – This is the size of your artwork including external bleed.
E.g. the size of a DL flyer including 3mm of external bleed is 105 x 216 mm.
Border – A margin/strip around the outer edge of the artwork. We recommend that all borders are a minimum of 5mm wide on all trim edges.
Celloglaze – This is a plastic film heat bonded to printed products such as booklet covers, business cards and postcards. This provides protection, as well as a matt or gloss finish. It can be applied to one side, or both sides of a printed item. Also sometimes referred to as laminate.
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black)
These are the colours used for full-colour printing.
Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are subtractive colours. If you combine cyan, magenta and yellow on paper, you will get what is perceived to be black. In order to get strong rich dark colours, black (K) ink is added in increasing proportions, as the colour gets darker and darker thus commercial printing is done in CMYK.
Coated Paper - Printing papers that have had a surface clay coating to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity. This paper is not recommended for overprinting.
Colour Mode – This is the colour setting used to create your artwork. Depending on the software you are using the default colour mode may be either RGB or CMYK. For full colour printing we require all artwork to be in CMYK colour mode.
Crop Marks – These are the black marks in the corners of your soft proof. These crop marks show where the job will be trimmed to size. Anything outside of the crop marks will be trimmed off.
Finish Size – This is the final size that your artwork will be trimmed to, e.g. the finish size of a DL flyer is 99x210mm.
Finishing – Any process that occurs after printing. This includes but is not limited to: trimming, folding, stitching, binding and laminating.
Folding - to bend the paper over itself so that one part of the sheet lies on over another part.
Greyscale - A range of grey shades from white to black, as used in a monochrome or single colour printing.
Half Fold - A method of folding where the paper is folded in half down the center of the page.
Imposed / Imposition - The arrangement or layout of pages on a printed sheet.
Laminate - This is a plastic film heat bonded to printed products such as booklet covers, business cards and postcards. This provides protection, as well as a matt or gloss finish. It can be applied to one side, or both sides of a printed item. Also sometimes referred to as celloglaze.
Low-resolution Images – If you have been advised that there may be low-resolution images in your artwork, this means that some or all of the images in your artwork are less than 250ppi. We recommend that all images be supplied at 300ppi for optimum print quality.
Perfect Binding – A form of booklet making in which all pages are glued along the spine using special adhesive
Pixel – The coloured dots that make up the images on a computer or television screen.
PMS (Pantone Matching System) – PMS colours are standardized colours listed in the Pantone Colour Matching System. Each Pantone colour has a specific code which different printers and manufacturers can refer to in order to ensure colour consistency.
If you have ordered full colour printing but you have upload files that contain Pantone (PMS) Colours, these PMS colour will automatically be converted to CMYK. For this reason, artwork should always be supplied using CMYK colour mode.
PP (printed pages) – When we refer to PP (printed pages), we mean the actual number of printed pages not the number of sheets of paper. For example, an 8pp A4 magazine is 2 x A3 sheets, double sided, folded and saddle stitched to A4.
PPI (pixels per inch) – For printing we recommend all artwork is supplied at 300ppi (300 pixels in every square inch). E.g. if you are printing a postcard that is 150x100mm (6x4 inches) you need 1800x1200 pixels for optimum print quality at 300 pixels per inch.
Pre-flight - In digital prepress this is the procedure used to analyse or evaluate every component needed to produce a high quality print job.
Rasterized Fonts - If you have been advised that there may be rasterised fonts in your artwork, this means that some or all of the text in your artwork is made up of pixels rather than vectors.
When creating text in desktop publishing software (e.g. Microsoft Publisher / Adobe InDesign), or vector software (e.g. Adobe Illustrator / Corel Draw), the text is made up of shapes which can be scaled indefinitely without losing quality. However, if a design is saved to an image file format (e.g. JPEG / Tiff), the text automatically becomes rasterised (it is no longer made up of vector shapes, it is now made up of pixels). This means that if you enlarge text it will lose quality.
High resolution rasterised text may look the same as vector text when printed. However if rasterised text is low-resolution it may appear blurry, jagged or pixelated. If the rasterised text is very low resolution it may appear so blurry and pixelated that it is no longer legible.
RGB (Red, Green, Blue) – This colour mode is the language of computer monitors and TV screens and is not suitable for printing. RGB is based on additive colours – combine red, green and blue light, and you get white light.
If you upload RGB files they will be automatically converted to CMYK. This automatic conversion can slightly change colours. For this reason artwork should always be supplied using CMYK colour mode.
Roll Fold - A method of folding in which the two panels on the edges of the page fold in over the center panel.
Saddle Stitched - A form of binding commonly used to create magazines and booklets from 8pp to 72pp (printed pages). The magazine or booklet is stapled through the middle fold of its sheets using two wire staples.
Soft Proof – A digital PDF file created from the customers supplied artwork. A soft PDF proof is supplied for every order. The soft PDF proof allows the customer to confirm we are printing the correct file and that the trim marks are in the correct location. For every order the soft proof must be approved prior to printing.
Trim Edge – The edge along which the job will be cut to size.
Trimming Variance – Due to automated systems, there may be a small amount of movement during the printing and trimming of your job. This can result in your job being trimmed 1-2mm either side of the trim edge. For this reason we require 3mm for most items (5mm of bleed for magazines/booklets and presentation folders).
Uncoated Paper - Printing papers that have had a surface without clay coating, also called bond or laser bond. An example of an uncoated paper would be a letterhead.
Vector Text and Graphics - Text and graphics created using mathematical equations that define geometric shapes. You can enlarge vector text and graphics indefinitely without losing quality.
Z Fold - A method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbor, giving a pleated effect.