If you’ve ever worked with a design firm on a printed brochure or marketing collateral, it may seem like they’re speaking a foreign language. The print design world consists of many words and phrases that are unknown to the local business owner. However if you don’t comprehend the basic terminology, you could end with a printed piece that does not look the way you desire. Worse, it might cause the feared (and costly) reprint procedure – an outcome no one desires.
To assist in making certain your print jobs come out right the first time, here’s a basic glossary of crucial print design terms.
Bleed. Print design experts refer bleed as a design element that extends past the edge of the paper. Graphic designers indicate a bleed by setting up the document with a bleed mark, typically determining 0.125 inches past the trim area of the last printed piece.
CMYK. Represents the ink combination most typically used in 4-color process or digital printing: cyan (blue), magenta, yellow and black (represented by the “K”). Images on print documents are printed in CMYK and must be converted from other color formats to CMYK prior to printing, unless it is a low-Pantone color run.
Pantone colors. Also referred to as Pantone Color Matching System (PMS), these consist of a set of universally accepted colors that every printer in the world can reproduce. Each Pantone color comes with RGB, CMYK, hexadecimal and Pantone color codes. Using these codes assists produce color consistency throughout digital and print business branding materials.
Crop marks. Printers typically fit several print pieces into one big sheet of paper. Crop marks suggest where the printer needs to make cuts to the last printed piece. They are likewise utilized to cut and separate the excess paper and other prints.
Digital printing. Likewise called 4-color procedure printing, digital printing is particularly for CMYK color. It is most cost-efficient for smaller amounts (for example 200 up to 1,000 pieces), as it requires less prep work for the printer.
Finish. This refers to the surface area quality of the paper used for the printed piece. Various kinds of paper have different surfaces, such as matte, appeal, glossy or textured surface. Typically utilized finishes consist of glossy and matte.
Balanced out printing. Offset printing is typically utilized for bigger print jobs of 1,000 pieces and up. The printer establishes a different plate for each color, and runs every print through each color plate to develop the last printed piece. This requires more setup on the part of the printer. However it allows both Pantone colors and CMYK to be utilized on the press, and allows for larger initial runs along with re-prints for larger jobs.
PPI/DPI. PPI simply means “pixels per inch”; DPI represents “dots per inch.” Both are used to communicate to a printing device the resolution of images, and since they refer to the same measurement and can be used reciprocally. There are two basic PPI measurements, with 72ppi referring to the best resolution for a computer monitor, and 300ppi referring the best resolution for printed output.
Print file images should be at 300ppi prior to sending out to print; otherwise they will look pixilated and blurry. If 300ppi images are printing blurred, it means they are too few pixels for the image print location, and a larger image is needed. Making the image larger in Photoshop will not fix the pixilation issue.
RGB. RGB is an acronym for “red, green and blue” – the colors that comprise all the color mixes seen on a computer screen. Images and documents set for screen viewing are typically in RGB. In order to utilize the images for print, they must be transformed to CMYK in Photoshop. It likewise assists to make sure they’re at 300ppi, as images taken from the Internet are typically set to 72ppi and may not be large sufficient to print.
Proof. After prepping the last design files, the printer sets up a printing proof, which is typically a digital file in PDF format. Reviewing a print sample is necessary for determining any design or content-related issues prior to the piece being sent out to press. As soon as you authorize a proof, you cannot make anymore modifications. The very best method to examine the digital evidence file (if it’s a PDF) is to open it and view it carefully in Adobe Acrobat. Do not print it for evaluation on your office or home computer system, as these printers use different inks and not up to par with expert printers. Viewing the proof on a computer system screen is the closest you can get to the actual end product. Any differences will be minimal.
If your graphic designer uses a term you do not comprehend, always request an explanation. Both of you and your finished print piece will take advantage of a much better understanding of basic print design terms.
Contact UPS Printing for all your design needs.
Printing, Marketing & Design
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582