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Printing Terms Every Designer Should Know


pantoneIf this is your first foray into printing marketing materials for your small business then you might find yourself a little baffled by the unusual jargon and terminology.

To help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of printing, we’ve created this glossary of terms for you.

Glossary of Printing Terms

DPI – DPI stands for dots per inch. The higher DPI the better!

Large Format – Sometimes known as “wide format”, large format printers print large format materials – like banners and billboards – on rolls up to 160cm wide.

Pantone – The Pantone Colour Matching System is an internationally recognised standardised colour system used throughout the industry which allows designers from all over the world to match and reproduce exact colours.

Cut Sizes – The standard sizes of paper you see – such as A4 – are actually cut down from larger sheets of paper using a commercial printing press.

Trim Size – Not to be confused with cut size, the trim sizes are the dimensions of the printed page after any excess has been cut away.

CYMK – An industry wide alternative to Pantone’s colour system, Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K).

RIP – A raster image processor (RIP) is used to create a high resolution image that is able to be “read” by printing equipment.

Bleed – The bleed area of a design allows you to incorporate some “wiggle room” into the printing process, so if the print process, or trimming process is off by a fraction of an inch, your image quality won’t suffer.

Finish – The texture and “feel” of any paper is called the finish. For example matte and gloss are types of finishes.

The team at Kwik Kopy is passionate about printing so if you would like to learn more about printing terms or if there’s anything we’ve missed off the list – give us a call today!

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