The Most Important Common Terms and Concepts In Printing Terminology You Should Know

Printing is a big world, it holds its own language with many terms. If you are just starting out in printing, getting to know all the different words and ideas might feel overwhelming. When you make promotional items for your company or work together with a special printing service, it’s good to learn some basic print-related words.

Printing Terminology CMYK DPI Lamination


DPI (Dots Per Inch)

DPI means how many dots you see in an inch when printing a picture or document. If the number of DPI is bigger, then what gets printed out will have more details and look clearer. Usually, for most items people print out they expect to see clear detailed pictures at 300 DPI resolution which is accepted as standard.

Lamination Film

A lamination film is a layer of protection put on printed things to make them stronger and last longer. It’s like a cover that you can see through, made from thin plastic material which gets sealed with heat onto the top part of the printed document. This film resists moisture, tearing and fading giving longer life duration for printed items while also improving their look.

It can give a shiny or dull look to the printed area, boosting colors and making it more visually pleasing. Lamination film is usually employed for things like posters, menus, ID cards and business cards in order to safeguard them from being damaged in places that have lots of movement.


CMYK and RGB are two types of color systems that are used in print and screen design. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (which is black) – this is the standard printing method’s color system. On the other hand we have RGB which means Red Green Blue. This is for things such as computer screens and TVs. When you create print materials, it’s important to convert RGB pictures into CMYK so the colors appear correct.


Bleed means the area beyond a printed document’s edge where ink extends past the cut line. This is important because it stops white lines from showing up at edges when we cut paper down to its final dimension. Design parts that touch the page border, they should also stretch into the bleed zone so there isn’t any unplanned white gap.

Crop Marks

Trim lines, also known as crop marks, are the lines drawn on the corners of a document to indicate where it should be cut. These lines assist in cutting the paper accurately and typically extend slightly beyond the bleed area.

Pantone Matching System (PMS)

The Pantone Matching System, also known as PMS, is an organized method for copying colors. Printers employ this system to guarantee a precise color match. Each color within the Pantone system is given a specific code or number so that designers and printers can communicate about color requirements with clarity (Design Shack, 2021). PMS colors are often used in creating brands and logos to maintain consistency across various printed items.

Coated vs. Uncoated Paper

The outer covering of coated paper has a glossy or dull layer, giving it a smooth and shiny look. However, uncoated paper does not possess this kind of finish and exhibits a texture that feels more natural when touched.

The choice to use either coated or uncoated paper is typically determined by the desired visual appearance and touch quality of the print, as well as factors such as how well ink gets absorbed into the surface or readability ease for readers.

Offset Printing

Offset printing is a usual method for big amounts of print work like pamphlets, periodicals and catalogs. This process transfers ink from a metal plate to a rubber sheet before it’s put on the material that needs printing. This printing way does not provide results that are common or top-quality directly, it is good for making many copies.

Digital Printing

Digital printing, a modern method of printing, allows you to print digital documents straight onto various materials like paper, thick paper, and plastic. It is not like traditional offset printing as it doesn’t require plates to print hence making it less costly for smaller to medium amounts of prints. The benefits that digital printing offers are quick completion times and the capacity to print different data. This makes it perfect for customized or as-needed print jobs.


Proofs are a form of document that the printer provides for checking and agreement before making final copies. This is how customers get to see their work in print, allowing them to review everything such as arrangement, colors and information for correctness and good quality. It’s very important you carefully examine the proofs for any errors or differences before you say yes to start printing.

Binding Options

Binding, this means how we hold the pages of a document together. It can be done in different ways, such as saddle stitching, perfect binding, spiral, or wire-o binding. The method for binding is chosen according to things like what kind of document it is, how many pages there are, and what purpose it will be for.

Knowing these common words and concepts in printing will assist you to communicate more easily with individuals who print, design or partake in creation of printed materials. If it is about producing promotional items for your company or collaborating on an artistic work, understanding the fundamental principles of how printing functions becomes crucial to attaining good outcomes and quality that satisfies all parties concerned.

Printing Terminology CMYK DPI Image2


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