The starting point of any printing job is designing the items that are to be printed. As design software has become more user friendly, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of material that is being designed by the end client themselves. Many of our clients have very talented employees that are producing impressive designs.
The first step in the printing process is to make sure that the art files are ready to go on press. Many times when discussing these files with the client, printing terms come up that the client may not be familiar with. The following are some of the more common terms and what they mean:
- Crops – Crop marks are small lines at the edge of a design that indicate exactly where the printed item needs to be trimmed. Crop marks are cut off in the trimming process and are not seen on the final print.
- Bleeds – When a photo or a design extends beyond the trim lines. Typically the image should extend at least 1/8” (0.125″) beyond where you want it trimmed.
- CMYK – The four basic colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) used to produce four color printing. When designing files for four color printing, all of the art should be saved as four color and not as individual PMS colors.
- Aqueous / Varnish – These are coatings that are applied over the inks to protect or highlight the printing. When printing on matte or dull gloss finish stock, you can use spot varnish on the photos to make the images jump off the page.
- Cross-Over – Art on one page of a book that carries over to the adjoining page.
- Back-up – Printing on the second side, or back of the sheet. The term is also used to describe adjusting an image on one side so that it aligns perfectly back to back with the image on the other side.
- Creep – Creep is when the middle pages of a bound or stapled booklet start pushing out. Size adjustments must be made to eliminate this problem.
- DPI – Dots per Inch – the higher the DPI the cleaner the image will be. Printing should be done at a minimum of 300 DPI.
- Grayscale – Printing only in shades of black.
Hopefully you will find the above snapshot of printing terms useful.
When discussing printing with your FNBR representative, if we use a printing term you are unfamiliar with, just let us know – we’ll be more than happy to go over it with you! Or if you need help with your design work our staff won’t rest until it is just what you imagined (or better!).