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Jargon Explained



Artwork is the term given to the files that are sent to the printer.


InDesign is software that is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. It’s by far one of the most popular desktop publishing tools amongst designers.


DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, which technically means printer dots per inch. It’s commonly confused with PPI. Our printers will print at a resolution of 300 DPI – anything lower may result in an image that’s not totally clear.


PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch and refers to the density of pixels on digital displays.


Resolution is defined by the amount of Pixels (PPI-Pixels per Inch) or Dots (DPI-Dots per Inch) used to make up a picture. Higher resolution images tend to print more clearly, and lower resolution images will be slightly more blurry, perhaps with jagged edges. Our printers have the capability to print up to 600dpi, however we recommend that your images are saved as an effective resolution of 300dpi.


When images aren’t the correct resolution, you can see the individual square (pixels) that make up the image. Rather than smooth edges, this results in jagged lines and less crisp images.


The term given to a blank sheet of paper.

Page or printed page

A ‘Page’ in printing terms is one side of a leave (sheet of paper). For example, ‘2 page’ is the front and back of a page. So an A3 folded in half to A4 would be 4 printed pages.


A spread is the term given to two pages arranged side by side.


The gutter is the spacing between two facing pages. It’s important not to put too much information in the gutter, as there can be alignment issues caused by binding, which would alter the design slightly.


Bleed is the name given to the area around a printed page. When the specs allow printing to the edge, the bleed is used to ensure that there are no white gaps left when cutting. It’s essentially spare print that gets cut off, meaning that your lovely full bleed pages look exactly as they should.

Full bleed

Full bleed is the term we use when your design prints right to the edge of the paper.

Crop marks

Crop marks are the marks that show us where to trim your document. These are printed along with your design, before our cutters perfectly trim your document to the crop marks. You will find that when you include bleed you will also be asked to include crop marks, just to show where your design ends and the bleed begins.


This is the term given to the space between your design and the edge of the paper. In some instances we’re unable to print to the edge of the page so we ask for artwork to be supplied within the margins which forms the safe print area.

Safe area

This is the term we give to the area of the document where there is no risk to the artwork being lost in the gutter or cropped off the margins.


PDF is the acronym for Portable Document Format. It’s a common file format supported by most machines and is the format we use to print your files.



Greyscale images are made using only black ink or shades of black to produce greys.

Black and white

Black and white images can be created from greyscale images or by using CMYK colours.

Rich black

Rich black is a black made from a mix of CMYK inks. It’s often used to create warmer or deeper blacks and is produced by mixing other colours with the black ink. We don’t advise using rich blacks as more ink must be used, increasing the drying times and therefore the likelihood of smudging.

Pure black

Pure black is achieved by printing 100% Key (Black).

Registration black

Registration black should never be used in your artwork. It’s a black predominantly used by printers to check the registration. Registration black is made of 100% of each of the colours used when printing.


This acronym refers to the colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black (Key). CMYK are the inks we use in our digital presses. For more information check out this handy article we wrote here.


This acronym refers to the colours Red, Green and Blue used on digital displays. A full array of colours can then be created by mixing red green and blue lights. For more information check out this handy article we wrote here.


Registration refers to how well each of the printing plates are aligned with each other.

Spot colours

Spot colours are specially mixed inks (e.g. Pantone) and require an extra plate in the printing process. Unfortunately we don’t support the use of spot colours in our printing process so any spot colours will be matched as closely as possible using CMYK values.


Endorse folding

This is the term given when folding a sheet of paper twice. In the case of our Newspapers, it’s once down the spine and once in half for posting. In the term of our Poster Zines, fold in half and then in half again to create the page ordering.


GSM is an acronym for ‘Grams per Square Metre’. This is the standard measurement for paper weight in the UK. We tend to print on paper ranging from 55gsm-70gsm.

Print marks

These are marks used by printers to ensure your colours are correct as well as marking where to trim and fold elements.

Digital Proof

An on screen dummy copy of a publication, these are usually used to check the running order and proofread the publication on screen.


The term given to a blank sheet of paper.

Show through

Is the term given to areas of print where elements can be seen that were printed on the previous page. Traditionally, newspapers have higher amounts of show through due to the low gsm of the paper stock.


A type of binding usually using two metal staples.


A wooden frame used to transport large volumes of print.