Printer’s Lingo

I remember one of my first projects I did for a client. It was designed beautifully, everything was approved and it was ready to go to print. I confidently and excitingly walked into a print shop with files in hand, but as I began to talk with the Customer Service Rep I quickly felt way over my head. She was questioning me about what needed to be done to my project and using terminology I did not understand.

With technology today it has never been easier for people to create their own artwork at home and we see a lot of that come into our shop. I do however notice that when I use the same terminology that was once used on me I now see customer’s eyes glaze over with the same confusion I once had.

So here is a list of general terms you may be asked while at your local print shop depending on your project…

“4up”, “2up” or “1up” – The amount of times the artwork can fit on a single sheet of paper.

“Bleed” or “Cut to Bleed” – it means having the color of the artwork go right to the end of the page (you need to have your artwork setup specifically for this).

“Double Sided” – to print on both sides of the paper.

“Z Fold” – Folding the paper in a Zig-Zag

“Drilling” – Drilling holes for things like a three ring binder.

“Creasing” – Making a small line to allow easier folding.

“Padding” – Using a special chemical to adhere a stack of pages together to make things such as scratch pads.

“Plates” – Film used for offset printing.

“Cut Lines” – Marks used to determine where the product will be cut at to make a certain size or bleed.

“Vector Art/Image” – This is a type of file made to never loose quality when re-sized (Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw are to major programs that make this type of file.).

I hope you find this to be helpful!


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