right-cookies right-glossary
mobile-menu mobile-menu-arrow Menu

much more than just print


Glossary of Terms

There are many terms that we may use in discussing your project. Here is a concise list to make things a little less confusing.


Adobe In-Design – The industry standard graphic design and layout program. Used for producing the majority of our design and print work.

Adobe Illustrator – The industry standard illustration program. Used for producing the majority of our brand and vector work.

Adobe Photoshop – A software package used for manipulating images and photographs.

Adobe Acrobat (PDF) – The worldwide standard format for supplying print ready artwork.

Artwork – Any material or image prepared for graphic reproduction.


Backing up – Printing the second side of a printed sheet.

Binding – Fastening together assembled sheets or signatures along one edge.

Bleed – The allowance on artwork that extends beyond the trimmed and finished size, to ensure a clean cut off (usually 3mm).  A printed image (graphic) that extends beyond the trim edge of the paper.

Board – The term given to papers of 200 gsm or heavier.

Brochure – A pamphlet bound in booklet form.

Burst Binding – Performed by removing a small slot from the spine of the text at folding stage for the adhesive to flow into, allowing the sections to be glued into the cover.


CMYK – Cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The four process colours that are used in four-colour printed reproduction.

Collate – To gather sheets, signatures or page sections of a publication together, ensuring they are complete and in their correct order.

Colour proofing – A colour proof is a visual indication that colour separations will produce the required results.

Colour separating – The process of separating the primary colour components for printing.

Comb binding – A method of binding individual pages together using a plastic comb.

Computer to plate (CTP) – A process whereby the image is transferred directly from the computer to the printing plate, avoiding the production of film.

Creasing – A method of enabling thicker materials to be folded without cracking.

Creep – In a saddle stitched booklet the bulk of the paper causes the inner pages to extend further out than the outer pages when folded. When trimmed the inner pages are narrower than the outer pages. We have software to counter this.

Crop marks – Marks on each corner of a sheet indicating where the sheet will be guillotined to the finished size.


Digital file – An art file that resides on disk, usually in a native application format.

Digital Proof – Proofing using our digital printing press. Useful for brochure mockups on near job stock.


Embossing – A technique to raise the surface of an image or text to make it stand out from the page.

Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) – An image description format. EPS translates graphics and text into descriptions that can be used by the printer. The font and pictures themselves are encapsulated into the EPS code.


Finishing – Finishing embraces all of the steps of the production process after ink has been applied to the sheet.

Foil blocking – A technique to apply an image to paper or board using metal foil. This technique is normally used for prestigious literature.


Gatefold – A fold which turns in on itself from both edges to the centre.

GSM – Abbreviation of grams per square metre, a method of indicating or measuring the substance of a sheet of paper on the basis of weight in grams per square metre. Standard bond is around 80 GSM.


Hard copy – A physical proof which you can touch and feel as an alternative to a PDF or electronic proof which can only be viewed on a computer screen. Hard copy also refers to any item of artwork or text which is supplied on paper rather than as a computer software file.


Image manipulation – The technique of using computer software to alter or improve an image. Often used to remove blemishes or unwanted artifacts from photographs.

Image resolution – The fineness or coarseness of digitised image, in dots per inch (DPI).

Impose – To plan films of pages etc. into correct position prior to plate making.

Imposition – The correct sequential arrangement of pages to be printed, with all margins in proper alignment, for printing plate production.

Imposition schemes – Plans for the arrangement of the pages of a book so that they will follow in correct sequence when folded.

ISO – International Standards Organisation.


JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group. A highly compressed graphics format designed to handle computer images of high-resolution photographs as efficiently as possible.


Keyline – Black lines drawn on artwork indicating the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations, etc.


Laminating – The process of applying a plastic film to a printed sheet to enhance and protect it. Laminates are available in matt and gloss finishes.

Layout – A sketch of printed work, showing the proposed position of all the elements, roughs, thumbnails etc. of the final printed piece before it goes to print.

Leaflet – A single or double sided sheet, usually containing information. A sheet can also be folded to make a four sided leaflet.

Lithography – A printing process in which the paper makes contact with the whole surface of the plate but the image areas of the surface are treated to receive and transmit ink to the paper.  The non-image areas are treated with water, which rejects the ink from the ink roller.


Machine coated – Paper coated during the papermaking process.

Metallic inks – Ink which contains metallic particles to create a metallic effect when applied to the sheet.

Mono – Single colour (black) printing.


Offset printing – A lithographic method of printing in which the ink is first transferred (offset) from the plate to a blanket and then transferred to the paper or board.  The most commonly used printing method.

Optimised – When a computer file is adjusted to improve its suitability for printing.

Overprinted – A term which describes when a colour is printed on top of another, usually it refers to dark text which is printed on top of another, lighter colour. It can also refer to text which is printed onto a previously printed flat sheet and is a technique which is often applied to multiple language versions of literature and to price lists.


Packaged File – A supplied file containing the base file, included fonts and all linked/included images.

Pagination – Numeric page ordering split between right and left facing pages.

Pantone – An international trademark palette for colour standards from Pantone Inc.

Pantone colours – A colour system of over 1200 standard colours developed by Pantone Inc.

Paper – The term given to ‘papers’ of less than 200gsm. Papers of over 200gsm are referred to as ‘boards’.

PDF – Portable Document Format – file created from artwork for use in proofing through to producing plates for printing.

Perfecting – Printing both sides of a sheet in one pass through the machine, or printing the second side of a sheet – backing-up.

Perfect binding – A term used to describe a binding process in which the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.

Perforated – A row of small incisions pressed into the paper surface to enable the paper to be torn accurately along the line of the perforation. Often used for tear off reply cards.

Plate – The metal (usually aluminium) plate that carries the printing image on a lithographic press.

PostScript – A page definition language (PDL) developed by Adobe Systems.  A page of text and/or graphics saved as a PostScript file is stored as a set of instructions specifying the measurements, typefaces, and graphic shapes that makeup the page.

Prepress – The preparation work required to turn camera-ready artwork into the printing plates needed for mass production (e.g. scanning, stripping and colour separating).

Process colours – The subtractive primary colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Proof – A copy of any work in progress, usually for checking and correcting.

Registration marks – Any cross marks or other symbols used on a layout to assure proper registration.


Quark Xpress – An industry standard design and layout program.


RGB – Red, Green, Blue. The colour space for producing websites, and any media to be displayed digitally on-screen. Artwork cannot be printed in RGB, only CMYK or Spot colours.

Registration – The quality of alignment of the coloured inks when applied to paper.

Run on – The quantity of printed copies above the original amount required.


Saddle stitching – (Saddle wire or wire stitching).  Binding printed materials with wire by stapling the pages on the folded spine to produce a booklet.

Scan – To convert images into files (usually TIFF or PDF) for placing into artwork for printing.

Self cover – A cover made from the same paper stock as the inside sheets.


Tick marks – Small marks printed at the edge of the image area to enable accurate trimming of a finished sheet.

Transparency – A clear, continuous tone original used for colour photographic images.

Trim areas – The area or amount of paper removed by cutting to the tick marks.

Trim marks – Guides that show where a document will be cut to fit the specifications of a final printed product.

Wiro binding – A method of binding individual pages together using a shaped wire which is inserted into punched holes and then crimped shut.


Wove – A smooth paper made on finely textured wire that gives it a gentle patterned finish.


File Formats

We accept all industry standard file formats including:

• Packaged In-Design (indd)

• Illustrator (ai)

• Photoshop (psd)

• Acrobat (pdf)

• Quark (qxd)

We can also work with many other file formats including:

• Word (docx)

• Publisher (pub)




If you are unsure about supplying a specific file format, please contact us for advice.