From architecture to medicine and marketing, every industry has a set of well-defined terms–a jargon–that is not always easy to grasp or guess from the context. Printing is no different; there are a lot of terms you need to wrap your head around if you’re new to the industry.
To make printing easier to understand, we’ve come up with 5 of the most common terms you might hear and wonder what they really mean. Read on and make sure that next time you go printing, you ask for and get exactly what you had in mind:
The Basics of Printing Explained
Printing doesn’t have to be complicated. Even if there are hundreds of terms that sound impossible to remember, you’re only going to need a few. Here are the basics of what you need to know:
1. Resolution and DPI
Resolution is measured in DPI–or dots per inch–and it refers to the quality of an image. The more dots there are per inch, the better the resolution, and the clearer the image. For anything less than 300 dpi, the quality might be too poor to print.
Just like the name suggests, overprinting implies printing a new image on an already-printed item, text or image. When used intentionally, it can create special effects and impressive colours. In fact, this is how new colours get created when printing in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). You can choose to overlay bits of images and print them as such, to create special effects.
Although GSM is rather known in the mobile world, in the printing universe it stands for gram per square meter and it refers to the weight of the material that you print on. For example, the standard office paper is 80gsm.
Paper weight is important because you choose it depending on the purpose of your print. Typically, catalogs and magazines vary between 50 to 75gsm, so that the turning of the pages happens smoothly. Books are also 60gsm. On the other hand, index cards and file folders use Bristol Paper, which varies between 200 and 500gsm.
Bleed refers to the extension of the ink coverage on a page. In simpler words, all pages have a blank area, the trim edge that fits the entire page; this is what bleed is. Although the standard dimensions may vary according to the printer, it is recommended that the bleed should be at least ½ inch, preferably more.
Finish usually means one of two things–it’s either the material surface quality, or all the operations in post press (folding, binding etc.). When it comes to the quality of the material surface, paper can be coated or uncoated, matte or glossy. Usually, coated paper resists better over time, while uncoated one deteriorates easier. Moreover, coated paper can benefit from better protection and gain a fancier look with an additional UV coat, which cannot be applied on uncoated paper, as it would soak up the entire liquid.
If you are unsure of the dimensions or finish your need, please feel free to contact us now on 0113 898 0340 or visit our contact us page.