A Short Glossary Of Printing Terms

Glossary of printing terms

Glossary Of Print Terms

Print terminology can be baffling at times and we have an entire help section to explain but here are the most common questions we are asked about.  For a full list of terms visit our Print Helpdesk to get straight into our products visit tradeprint.co.uk

What Does Set Off Mean?

Set off means exasperating little ink marks from where the ink is not drying properly and gets transferred to the sheet above.

What Is Coated Paper As Opposed to Uncoated Paper?

Coated paper is just that – a paper that has had a coat of something else applied. Usually, this means that the paper stock is silky to the touch. Most flyers and leaflets are coated. This tends to be either silk or gloss. This will change the way ink reacts to the surface so therefore how images will look.
Uncoated is, unsurprisingly, the opposite. Uncoated paper is in a more natural state, soaks up ink more readily meaning colours can be slightly darker.
We use FSC® certified paper stock because sustainability is important to us. Read more about this on our blog.

What Does Self-Cover mean?

Self-cover refers to a booklet cover that uses the same paper as the inside pages.

What’s The Difference Between CMYK and RGB?

The acronyms refer to the combination of specific ink colours that are mixed together to create the right colours for your print job.
CMYK is cyan, magenta, yellow and black – CMYK is the colour profile used in print.
RGB is a combination of red, green, and blue and is used in digital image creation. If you create a file online using an online design platform you may well get an RGB file as standard. If you try to print an RGB file our print process will convert the colours to CMYK and this may change the colours within your document. Choose to get a proof if this is the case so you can check whether this change works for you.

RIP Is A Print Term? What???

You’re right to question this one. In the print industry, we don’t think twice about it, but it does come over a little odd. RIP simply refers to Raster Image Processor which is a processor that converts files to print-ready files.

What Is A Hickey in Print…Really?

Yes, really. Printers have always had a sense of humour and what better way to refer to an unintentional blemish? These are an occasional blip in the printing process and may be caused by dirt, dried ink, or bits of paper leaving blemishes where you don’t want them or where they shouldn’t be.

What Does Saddle Stitching Look Like?

This is a way of binding the pages together with pre-trimmed wire thread staples at the fold. Saddle-stitched booklets look very smart and are a great cost-effective way to bind. These are ideal for page counts from 8-80 pages.

What Is Stock When It Isn’t In The Market? Riddle Me This!

Stock is the term we use to refer to paper or card. Stock has roots way back in history when it referred to trees and stumps, posts, stakes, and logs. Today, in regard to paper it means any fibrous material that can be used to make paper pulp and therefore paper/board. Of course, we have the second meaning of it as well, meaning “to keep in store for future use”: we stock all sorts of stock for your printing.

What is Simplex Printing and Duplex printing – is There a Difference?

Simplex printing simply refers to printing on one side of the paper whereas duplex printing refers to printing on both sides of the paper. (Often referred to as single or double sided)

Digital Printing or Offset Lithography?

Digital printing is where we receive print-ready design files, and we print them without the use of plates. This is a great option for fast turnarounds and short runs. This is a very cost-effective way of printing as the set-up time is lower than litho printing and there are no plates.

Offset lithography is a printing process where aluminium plates are used to take the ink and apply it to the paper and is generally used for printing big quantities and longer runs. The image is transferred from the plate to the paper via a blanket – hence offset.

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