Saturday, 3 June 2017

Here's what the words printers use actually mean...

If you're new to ordering printing online, chances are you're confused by the jargon and terminology used! Read on where we cover the terms you'll need to know if you're looking to order from an online printers.

This is where the printed design continues beyond the point where the paper is cut. This allows your printed image to go right to the edge. Usually, bleed is 3mm on all sides (so increase your artboard / canvas by 6mm in total for both width and height.

This is the four colours used in standard ink printing for full colour artwork. It stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K = key). All colours that are printed mix these four. 

Pantone Colour
This is a colour system where the 8 primary colours are mixed using a defined calculation, making a specific colour. Each 'Pantone' colour is given a reference, which printers can understand universally, meaning your colour is always printed the same. 

This is a screen-based colour system used to create colours on screen. It stands for 'Red, Green, Blue'. 

This is where an image is printed directly to the paper rather than using plates (as in litho).

Offset Printing
This is a printing technique where ink is spread on a metal plate with etched images, which is then transferred on to a surface (usually a rubber 'blanket'), and finally applied to the paper by pressing it against the blanket. Offset printing is usually used for printing large volumes of high-quality printing.

DPI (Dots Per Inch)
This refers to the number of printed dots that appear on an image (per inch). The higher the DPI, the clearer / finer the print will be (thus better quality).

Desktop Publishing (DTP)
This is the process where artwork is designed on a computer ready to be sent to print. DTP software allows the user to determine the fonts, margins, images etc. 

Direct To Plate (also DTP!)
This involves imaging printed plates from a digital file as opposed to using film. 

Duplex Printing
This means printing on both sides of the paper.

This stands for 'Encapsulated Postscript', and is a file format used primarily for graphic files. 

This stands for 'Joint Photographic Experts Group, and is a common format for images.

This is an electronic file format which includes fonts, text and graphics. It stands for 'Portable Document Format'. PDFs are the most widely used file format for printing. 

This is a widely used file format used for storing 'bitmap' images such as photos. 

A proof (either screen or printed) is a version of artwork sent to clients by printers to check and approve before printing. Proofs might include markups such as fold and trim lines. 

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