Printing terminology

Printing terminology




Here we have a simple guide to introduce some basic print terms that you might encounter. It may be you have good intentions, but the technical jargon just makes you want to give up. A little knowledge is all you may need to have a healthier working relationship with your printed products. So are you ready for your printing terminology 101? Great! Here is our short list to get you started.

  1. Artwork — Simply refers to the electronic image that you want the printer to reproduce.
  2. Bleed — We don’t want this happening on our printed materials. Bleed means the ink goes all the way to the edge of the paper and therefore bleeds out, so when its trimmed there is no white edge.
  3. Collating — After you are happy with your print-outs, the next step is putting the total number of print-outs in the correct order. Quite important especially in the case of a high-suspense novel!
  4. Composites — Each image on a print out is made up of many colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, spot colours, varnishes etc…). When all these colours are put on top of one another, the resulting colour is called the composite.
  5. Die — You know how not all print outs are done in the same boring rectangular manner? Sometimes they are shaped like a heart or a circle or an animal. Clients can get really creative in here and request an variety of shapes. A die is the mold pertaining to the exact form the client wants the finished product to be. It can be made from either wood or metal.
  6. Die Cutting — Now that you know what a die is, die cutting is the process of creating those unique shapes on paper.
  7. Digital Proof — This comes from a digital press. It simply is the representation of what the client will get from the printer. It’s sort of a way for the client to see what the end product will look like and breathe a little easy. It’s a way to reassure them that you know what you’re doing and the end result will be fantastic.

There you have it, here are just a few of the basic printing terms that you may encounter during your journey. Good luck and happy printing!

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