A-Z of Print Terminology 2017-01-06T16:59:14+00:00


Airmail – Airmail is the overseas letter service or Royal Mail available of Publi Tariff mail.

Artwork – Original copy of graphic design including photos, type, embedded fonts etc. for the intent of printing.

Bleed – Is printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming; usually 3mm of bleed is required to ensure that white paper does not show after final trimming.

Crop Marks – Also known as trim marks, these are lines printed in the corners of the printed sheets of paper to show Gemini where to trim the paper.

CMYKCyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Key (black) are the colours that make up the full-colour process used by a printing press.

CreepThe shifting position of the page in a saddle-stitched booklet; creep moves the inside pages away from the spine.

Deboss – Where an image or text is pressed into the paper or board, so it lies below the surface.

Digital Printing – Refers to modern printing methods that use digital files, such as PDFs, instead of printing with plates. This is ideally suited to short runs, fast turnaround work and where personalisation is required.

DPI – ‘Dots per inch’ is a measurement of resolution of an image.

Emboss – Where an image or text is pressed out of the paper or board, so it lies above the surface.

Four-colour process – This is the system used to produce full colour printing. The four ink colours are cyan, magenta, yellow and black, which is often referred to as CMYK. The four inks are translucent and because of this can be over printed and combined in different percentages to produce a very wide range of colours.

FTP – ‘File transfer protocol’. This is a method for computers to transfer files from one computer to another.

GSM – ‘Grams per square metre’, which is an industry standard metric paper weight measurement.

Imposition – This is the layout of pages planned up on a large sheet, so they are in the correct order when the sheets are folded and trimmed; there are many different imposition layouts.

Make Ready – The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and set of printing plates.

Offset Printing – Sheet fed offset printing applies to all Gemini’s lithographic presses. It is where the paper does not come into direct contact with the printing plate. The inks are transferred from the plate to a blanket cylinder and then onto the paper, which protects the plate from being damaged.

Offset Lithography – This works on the basic principle that oil and water do not mix. A lithographic plate has non-image areas that absorb water; during printing the plate is kept wet, so the wet areas reject the ink and the ink stays just on the image area.

Pagination – The sequence of numbers assigned to pages in a book etc.

Pantone – This is the brand name for the industry’s leading colour matching system. Large ranges of ink colours are given numbers or names, which produce standard colour results across the printing industry. They provide a colour swatch book to indicate the numbers against each colour.

Perfect Binding – Consists of various sections of a publication that are glued together at the spine with a strong glue

Pre-flighting – A software programme procedure that checks and verifies that all components of an electronic file, such as a PDF, are present and correct prior to printing.

Proof – A printed, e-mailed, or on-line copy of the originally supplied artwork, which would have been ripped and manipulated through Gemini’s software programmes in order to format the project for print. This is normally the final sign off stage before going to print.

Resolution – Resolution is the measure of pixels in the display, usually expressed in measurements of width x height. For example, a monitor that is 1920 x 1080 is 1920 pixels across and 1080 pixels down. Higher resolution means more detail.

RGB – Red, green and blue are the colours used to combine online graphics via an electronic screen.

Saddle/thread sewn – A form of binding that stitches thread through the gutter fold of a publication.

Saddle-stitched – A form of binding that uses staple-shaped wires through the gutter fold.