Printers Terms and Definitionsdiv>

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In this day & time, most anyone with a computer is capable of producing print ready files. How many people creating files for printers actually know how to give the printer accurate specifications when asking for an estimate?

Do you know what to say when the printer asks questions like – does it bleed or, are there lineups or crossovers? Not only do you create the files that the printer will use, but you also have to give the printer the specifications in order to get an accurate price. Understanding printing terminology & definitions is critical to getting an accurate price early in the design process. The lack of understanding in this area can cost significantly in both time & money. Here are a few of the most critical terms that could keep you out of trouble.

Finished Size – The size of the printed piece after it is folded, trimmed & ready for distribution.

Bleed – The amount of extra space required when ink runs off the edge of the page.

Lineups – Images that extend from one page to another that must line up with one another once the piece is folded or collated.

Process – Sometimes called four color process is the “process” of printing only 4 inks when combined will make almost any color. When looking at a photograph in a magazine there are only 4 colors that make up the photo in most cases.

Line Screen – Refers to the number of rows of dots per inch.

Self cover – When the cover of a book is the same paper stock as the inside pages.

Plus cover – When the cover of a book is a different paper stock than the inside pages.

Page count – The number of pages in the book once it is folded & bound. The rule of thumb is one sheet of paper unfolded is 2 pages.

For a complete list of terms & definitions you can visit this page . The book you will find there is what most printers use to train their new employees, and is highly recommended for designers & print buyers in major corporations.

Article written by: Jay Atkinson
He can be reached at:

See Also:
- Chain Printer vs Commercial Printer & why to use each
- Types of Digital Printing machines