Print Glossary

Check out our print glossary to find out what certain print terms mean!

  • Bleed

    The bleed contains surplus artwork that usually extends at least 3mm past the trim. The bleed area will be trimmed off after the page is printed, but as the position of the trimming line can vary by a few millimetres, it is required to avoid unwanted blank edging around the artwork.

  • Copy

    Copy refers to the text used in any article or design intended to be published, including the headlines and body text.

  • CMYK

    The colours of the ink used to print are cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). These are known as CMYK colours.

  • DPI (or PPI)

    DPI stands for ‘dots per inch’, and is the unit used to measure the quality (or resolution) of an image. The more dots of ink there are in an image, the higher the DPI will be and the better it will look. Images on screen only need a resolution of 72dpi (or pixels per inch) to look crisp, but images for print usually requires images to be at least 300dpi.

  • GSM

    GSM stands for ‘grams (per) square metre’. This is the standard measurement for paper weight. Newsprint is usually 42-60gsm, whereas standard office paper is usually around 100gsm.

  • Gutter

    The gutter refers to the insides of margins, as well as between two facing pages. For example the empty space closest to the spine inside a book — in large publications the gutter needs to be wide enough to prevent text appearing to fall into the fold.

  • House style

    House style refers to the editorial conventions and design guidelines (including typefaces, formatting and design elements) as set by the publisher in order to maintain consistency across a publication.

  • InDesign

    Adobe InDesign is an industry standard software that Hurst Media use to design and layout advertorials, adverts and our publications.

  • Ink Transferral

    The ink used in newspapers is very dry so it can rub off very easily onto other pages or your fingers.

  • Ink coverage

    Ink coverage is the amount of ink on the page. There can be from 0-100% of each colour of ink, this means the highest ink coverage possible is 400% (100% of each of the four ink colours). The maximum ink coverage newsprint paper can take at any given point is 240%.

  • Lorem Ipsum

    Lorem Ipsum is a Latin passage of text that is used as filler, dummy or placeholder text until the actual copy is ready.

  • Newsprint

    Newsprint is the type of paper used to print newspapers. It is a relatively low-quality type of paper as it is cheap to produce en masse and has a distinctive off-white colour.

  • Orphan (and Widow)

    An orphan is a word that falls on its own line at the end of a paragraph. A widow short phrase or word at the end of its paragraph that lies at the beginning or end of a column.

  • PDF

    PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a file type commonly used to share digital versions of print pages, commonly using Adobe Acrobat software. You will likely be sent PDFs to approve proofs of pages from design and production staff.

  • Pixellation

    Something that looks pixellated has a blurry or mosaic appearance. If you supply low quality / low resolution images with a low DPI, they will look pixellated in print.

  • Preflight

    During the preflight, files are checked to make sure they meet the standards required for print

  • Proof

    A proof, usually supplied as a low-resolution PDF, shows the artwork intended for publication. Clients are supplied proofs to check copy and contact details are correct, and to approve when satisfied with the content.

  • Proof-Reading

    Checking spelling, grammar and accuracy of words in an article.

  • Raster image

    Raster images cannot be scaled up without losing resolution. It is important that any design process starts with the highest resolution image available before any changes are made to the image file. Always keep a back up of the highest resolution file. Raster images (also known as bitmap images) are made up of thousands of pixels that altogether form an image’s shape and colour — for example, a photograph. JPGs, GIFs, PNGs, TIFs, BMPs and PSDs are all raster image file types.

  • Registration

    In CMYK printing, each colour of ink is printed on a separate plate. Registration refers to how well the plates are aligned with each other. If the plates are slightly misaligned this will result in colours appearing to halo one another, or appearing blurred in photographs.

  • Resolution

    Resolution refers to the number of coloured squares (i.e. pixels or dots) per inch that are used to create a picture. A low resolution picture will look blocky or pixellated, whereas a high resolution picture will look clear and sharp.

  • Spread

    An article of images and words running across multiple pages, most commonly a Double Page Spread (DPS), composed of two pages side by side.

  • Sub-edit (sub)

    Sub-editing is more than proof-reading. It is a process of editing copy to fit the page and house style of the publication.

  • Text-safe area

    This is the recommended area in which to place important content such as logos and copy This guideline is set to ensure this content is not placed too close to the trim thus reducing its visual impact. Background content such as images or solid colours can extend past the text-safe area to the edge of the bleed.

  • Trim

    The trim refers to the finished size of a printed sheet or the edge of the paper. Often to ensure edge-to-edge printing, artwork is printed on a larger sheet and trimmed down to the correct final size.

  • Vector image

    Unlike raster images, the size and resolution of vectors can be increased without losing any quality. EPSs and AI files are vector file types. It is also possible to save vector images as PDFs. However if a vector image is exported as a raster-based format (such as JPEG or PNG) it can no longer be read back as a vector.

  • White space

    White space refers to the space around elements in a design. White space allows the elements to stand out to the user by ensuring there isn’t too much content crammed into a given space. The space isn’t necessarily white or any colour, it just refers to empty space.

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