Understanding print jargon
We've been in the print industry for more than 20 years – so there isn't much we don't know.

Ream

500 sheets of paper.

Register

Accurate positioning of images on a sheet relative to one another.

Resolution

Refers to the degree of detail of an image. It is usually measured in dots per inch (dpi) or lines per inch (lpi). A high resolution gives a high quality image and vice versa.

Reversed Out

Type appearing white on a black or colour background, which is either a solid or a tint.

RGB

3 colour split (Red, Green, Blue). Typically used for web based images. RGB images must not to be used in artwork for print. Although RGB images can be converted to CMYK in the RIP process, unusual and unwanted results may occur.

RIP

Raster Image Processor. A processor which converts files into a format ready for printing.

Saddle-Stitch

When the pages of a printed document (i.e. magazine) are bound together using metal staples.

 

Scanner

The equipment, which converts colour transparencies or hard copy colour artwork into images on a Mac or PC.

Scans

The name given to colour transparencies or colour artwork, which have been converted to images on an MAC or PC.

Sealer

Alternative name for a coater.

Sealer Coating

A coating applied to printed matter, which is quick drying and protects literature from ink smudging and finger marking and gives a neutral finish.

Sealer Varnish

A varnish applied to printed matter to protect against finger marking and gives a neutral finish.

Self Cover

The paper used inside a booklet is the same as that used for the cover.

Set Off

During the printing process, this is the unintentional transfer of wet ink to another sheet.

Sheet Fed Press

Printing presses which are fed by separate sheets of paper, as opposed to paper on a roll. They are suitable for all types of commercial printing, particularly high quality work.

Show Through

The degree to which printing is visible through paper. Commonly seen on lightweight papers.

Shrink Wrapping

Method of packing printed products by surrounding them by plastic, then shrinking by heat.

Silk Coating

A coating applied to printed matter, which is quick drying and protects literature from ink smudging and finger marking and gives a silk finish.

Silk Varnish

A varnish applied to printed literature to protect against finger marking and smudging and gives a silk finish.

Solid Colour

An even colour, which is not shaded. Areas on a page with solid colours are known as solids.

Special Colour

A colour, which cannot be made up of the four component colours - CMYK. They are listed in a pantone colour swatch book. For example, if a corporate logo contains a special blue and is included in a brochure with photographs and text; this is termed a five colour job. (CMYK (pictures+text) + special blue = 5 colours)

Spread

Two or more adjoining pages that would appear in view on a sheet.

Spot Colour

Same as special colour.

Stock

Paper or card to be printed on.