Every industry has its own jargon. The marketing, print and design sectors are no exception. The glossaries below will help blossoming marketers to master those pesky industry specific acronyms.
Bitmap – A digital graphic image formed by tiny squares called pixels. The more pixels in an image, the clearer it appears.
GIF – Graphics Interchange Format, a highly compressed file format ideal for simple graphics with limited shading or colour variation. GIF format files of simple images are often smaller than if they were stored in JPEG format, but GIF format doesn’t store photographic images as well as JPEG. GIFs shouldn’t be used for files to be printed on an offset printing press.
JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group, a file compression format that allows high quality full colour or grey-scale digital images to be stored in relatively small files.
Pixel – A coloured dot that makes up an image on a computer or television screen.
PDF – Portable Document File, a type of formatting that enables files to be viewed on a variety of computers regardless of the program used to create them. PDF files retain the “look and feel” of the original document.
PPI – Pixels Per Inch, a measurement describing the size of a printed image. The higher the number, the more detailed the image will be.
Raster Image – Electronic representation of printable data using a grid of points called pixels. Each pixel contains a defined value about its colour, size and location in the image – this enables us to print, picture perfect.
RIP – Raster Image Processor, a production device used to convert a digital file into a raster image. The raster image is the electronic representation of printable data.
TIFF – Tagged Image File Format, a bit-mapped file format used for the reproduction of digitally scanned images such as photographs, illustrations and logos.
Vector graphics – These are images created using mathematical statements that define geometric shapes. You can move, resize, and change the colour of vector graphics without losing quality. Unlike bitmaps, vector graphics are not dependent on resolution so you can scale them to any size without losing detail or clarity.
Black – The colour of maximum darkness. For CMYK printing, you will get the deepest black possible by adding 30 – 50% cyan to 100% black. There is no other combination that produces a better black.
Colour mode – Colour mode/space/model must be CMYK (NOT RGB).
Colour separation – The process of separating a continuous tone colour into the four process colours for print production.
Cyan – The blue colour used in four-colour process printing.
CMYK – The abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The colours used in our full-colour printing process.
Densitometre – An electrical instrument used to measure the density of a printed ink colour.
Four-colour process – Printing using four colour separation plates – yellow, magenta, cyan and black. The inks are translucent and can be combined to produce a wide range of colours.
ICC – International Colour Consortium, established by the printing industry to create, promote and encourage the standardisation of colour.
ICC Profiles – Standard guidelines for colour management. The profile allows one piece of software or hardware to “know” how another device created its colours and how they should be interpreted or reproduced.
Key colour – In CMYK, the colour black is the key colour and represented with a K.
Pantone – The name of an ink colour matching system, created by Pantone Inc of USA.
PMS – Pantone Matching System, a standard that creates different ink colours by mixing inks with a minimal amount of base colour. A process guide shows how Pantone spot colours will appear when converted to process colours (CMYK).
Primary colours – The three main colours in the printing world from which all other colours are created, cyan, magenta and yellow.
Proof – Also called Epson Proof, a representation of the colour.
RGB – Red, Green, Blue, a model for describing colours that are produce by emitting light rather than absorbing it. They are known as additive colours because when they are added together they create all colours. RGB colours are what you see on your computer screen, these must be converted to CMYK for printing.
Spot colour – A colour that’s not produced with our standard four-colour process, the colour is printed using ink made exclusively. It’s used when you require a very specific ink colour.
Swatch – A sample of colours or paper stocks.
We aim to match colours to your requirements based on the Pantone® PMS Colour Chart.
With so many colours and shades to choose from, the Pantone® PMS Colour Chart gives you abundant flexibility in getting your imprinted logo and text colour perfect. For embroidery on promotional clothing and hats we will pick the right colours that suit your embroidery design.
If you would like to make use of specific PMS colours on your printed promo products, when ordering it is important to specify the PMS code below you would like.
Blanket – A rubber coated fabric sheet that’s mounted on a cylinder of an offset press. It receives the inked image from the plate and transfers it to the surface to be printed.
Borders – A margin around the edge of artwork. We recommend that all borders are more than 3mm wide on the trim edges.
Coated – Printing papers that have had a surface coating to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity.
Corner marks – Marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim.
CTP – Computer-to-plate, a process of printing directly from a computer onto the plates used by a printing press, it eliminates the need for a separate film-to-plate exposure system.
Digital printing – Printing by a plate-less imaging system. Printed sheets are produced directly from a computer file without being transferred onto printing plates. Perfect for small printing volume, variable data, print on demand & personalised printing.
Dot Gain – The apparent increase in dot size, or tone value, measured on the press sheet compared with the size specified in a digital file or measured on the film separations. The increase is both optical and mechanical and varies with the type of paper and line screen being used. Dot gain is higher with uncoated paper or newsprint.
Dummy – A mock-up made to resemble the final printed product using the planned grade, weight and colour of paper.
Green Printing – Green Printing is printing in a way which is environmentally friendly. This involves the use of more natural inks, recycled papers and energy conservation.
Impression – Refers to the number of plates hitting the press sheet.
Laser printing – A method of printing that uses a laser beam to produce an image on a photosensitive drum.
Lithography – A printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to oil. The printing plate is treated chemically when being made so that the image will accept ink and reject water.
Make ready – All of the work done to set up a job, before beginning a press run.
Offset – A printing method that transfers an image from an inked plate onto a rubber blanket covered cylinder and then onto the printed surface.
Overprinting – The process of printing over an area that’s already printed. Used to emphasise changes or alterations.
Printing plate – The surface that carries an image to be printed.
Quickset – Lithographic inks are designed to obtain a tack-free state as soon as possible after printing to minimise the chance of set-off.
Sheet fed – A printing press that prints single sheets of paper, rather than printing from reels of paper.
Viscosity – The properties of tack and flow in printing inks.
Web printing – A web-printing machine accepts that substrate in a large roll (the web), either in lithographic, flexographic, or gravure processes. These are very fast presses and are the most economic for long run and high volume work.
Wet trap – When varnish or ink is printed over wet ink. The application is said to be a ‘wet trap’.
Concertina fold – A method of folding where each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect.
Crash fold – Folding a document more than once, subsequent folds fold over previous folds. For example, an A3 sheet folded to A4 and then crash folded to DL for mailing.
Crease – An indent made in paper to make folding easier.
Parallel fold – A method of folding where two folds are parallel to each other. Two parallel folds produce a six-page sheet.
Roll fold – A fold that keeps rolling onto itself.
Z fold – A fold that looks like a Z.
Section – A printed sheet that is folded to make multiple pages. Multiple sections are placed together to make up a book. Individual sections are either saddle-stitched or perfect bound together.
If you’re having trouble visualising the folds, perhaps these illustrations will help.
Please find a chart of common paper size measurements below.
|Format||A series (mm)||B series (mm)||C series (mm)|
|A0||841 x 1189||1000 x 1414||917 x 1297|
|A1||594 x 841||707 x 1000||648 x 917|
|A2||420 x 594||500 x 707||458 x 648|
|A3||297 x 420||353 x 500||324 x 458|
|A4||210 x 297||250 x 353||228 x 324|
|A5||148 x 210||176 x 250||162 x 229|
|A6||105 x 148||125 x 176||114 x 162|
|A7||74 x 105||88 x 125||81 x 114.9|
|A8||52 x 74||62 x 88||57 x 81|
|A9||37 x 52||44 x 62||40 x 57|
|A10||26 x 37||31 x 44||28 x 40|
The tolerances specified in the standard are:
- 1.5mm for dimensions up to 150 mm
- 2mm for lengths in the range 150 to 600 mm
- 3mm for any dimension above 600 mm