Here is a list of printing terms explained in clear English. You will find many of these words and phrases used on this web site

Adobe Acrobat — A software programme that creates ‘PDF’ files in the ‘portable document format’. PDF files (i.e. files in the ‘portable document format’) can be read by Acrobat Reader, which is a free download from www.adobe.com. Acrobat Reader comes pre-installed on most computers. All digital printing jobs are printed from PDF files. If you submit your job on a PDF file, your file will normally go through the prepress process faster (and you will receive your proof more quickly).

Bindery operations — The process of cutting, scoring, folding, trimming, collating, stitching, tabbing, wrapping, etc. after your job has been printed.

Binding — The process of attaching sheets of paper to one another (e.g. by gluing paper sheets together to form a book, or stapling to form a booklet).

Bitmap — A computerised image made up of dots or pixels. Line art and drawings are usually saved as bitmaps. To stop artwork from looking jagged, bitmaps should be saved at a minimum of 1200 dots per inch (dpi).

Bleed — A gruesome sounding term that describes the harmless situation where printing goes right to the very edge of the paper. Whilst printed words almost never go to the very edge of the paper, some printed matter does (e.g. background colours on business cards and brochures, company logos, pictures and artwork). If the programme you are using does not support bleeds there is another way you can prepare your files for printing. Make your document 3mm too big in both dimensions. For instance, if the final size is 210mm x 297mm then make your document 216mm x 303mm. Draw guides on the layout that are 3mm from the edge all the way around. Now create your design with the idea that the layout will be cut off where those guides are . . . because that is precisely what is going to happen. Make sure that any photographs or backgrounds that you want to bleed go clear out to the perimeter of the document, past the guidelines. Then after we have printed your piece we will trim off that extra 3mm all the way around and bingo! You have colour all the way to the edges of your piece. It looks professional . . .

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