What is the difference between “spot colours” and “four colour process”?
A spot colour is colour that can be assigned a PMS (Pantone Matching System) number. Example: Reflex Blue and Pantone 287 are spot colours and not a mixture of colours. Four colour process is a combination of CMYK (C (cyan), M (magenta), Y (yellow) and K (black) to produce a variation of colours.)

What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?
RGB refers to the primary colours of light, Red, Green and Blue that are used on your computer screen and on websites, but cannot be used for most printing methods.

CMYK refers to the primary colours of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. CMYK or spot colours are require for printing. Many, but not all programs have the capability to convert the layout/images from the RGB to the CMYK.

What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Matching System also known as PMS colour system is a popular colour matching system used by the printing industry to print specific colours. PMS match book is a book of colour where each PMS colour has its own name or number that helps you make sure your colours are the same each time you print.

What is Pleasing Colour?
Colour that the customer considers satisfactory even though it may not precisely match original samples, scenes or objects.

What are Separations?
Usually in the four-colour process arena, separate film holding images of one specific colour per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film.

What is a “bleed”?
A “bleed” is when the ink prints to the very edge of the paper. When using “bleeds” you must allow for the art to extend 1/8″ beyond the page border. We then print the job on an oversize stock and trim off the excess, showing the illusion of printing off the edge of the paper.

What is a Proof?
Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.

What is a pdf?
Pdf stands for Portable Document Format and is a file format that maintains formatting, fonts and graphics to be viewed universally. Commonly used for proofs.

What is Encapsulated PostScript file?
Computer file containing both images and PostScript commands. Abbreviated EPS file. Commonly used for logos but cannot be opened with most consumer software.

Why is common consumer software not suitable for offset printing?
Many software produce images in RGB colour that are suitable for digital print but not most other types of printing methods. Many programs also convert images to a lower resolution for easier file handling. Once the resolution is reduced it cannot be enhanced.

What is a Saddle Stitch?
Two staples added into the center of the piece on the fold line. Comic books, magazines and newsletters are typically saddle stitched.

What is a Self Cover?
Usually in the book arena, a publication not having a cover stock. A publication only using text stock throughout where the inside pages and the front and back cover are on the same paper or stock.

What is Perfect Bind?
To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also called adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind. Most phone books are perfect bound.

What are the different Fold Types?
The type of fold used to complete your print job. A Letter Fold is a paper folded in thirds. A “Z” Fold differs in that the parts do not overlap but form a Z at the end. A Parallel Fold is a half fold; Double Parallel folds in half and then half again vs. A right angle where the second fold is done on a 90 degree angle from the first. Accordion Fold is just more panels than the Z and similar. A Gate Fold is where the two end panels meet in the center panel being the width equal to both end panels and a double gate folds in half towards the center after the initial gate fold.

What is the difference between coated and uncoated stock?
Uncoated stock is a rough porous type of paper. It is normally used in newspapers and tends to be less expensive. Coated stock has a smooth glossy finish. Printing on this type of paper will sharpen your text and graphics layouts. Coated stock, however, can be a bit more expensive. The ink sits on top of a coated stock but soaks into an uncoated stock so colour may appear different on the different papers

What is Carbonless Paper?
Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing. NCR is a brand of carbonless paper

What is Cover Paper?
Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.

What is Grain Long Paper?
Paper whose fibers run parallel to the long dimension of the sheet. Also called long grain paper and narrow web paper.

What is Grain Short Paper?
Paper whose fibers run parallel to the short dimension of the sheet. Also called short grain paper and wide web paper.
What are the common finishes or texture of paper?

Laid Finish
Finish on bond or text paper on which grids of parallel lines simulate the surface of handmade paper. Laid lines are close together and run against the grain; chain lines are farther apart and run with the grain.

Linen Finish
Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.

Vellum Finish
Somewhat rough, toothy finish.

What is UV Coating?
Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

What is an Over Run?
Additional printed matter beyond order. Overage policy varies in the printing industry. Advance questions avoid blind knowledge.

What is Page Count?
Total number of pages that a publication has. This includes any unnumbered pages often found at the beginning or end of a booklet.

What is a Makeready?
All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or bindery job, as compared to production run.

What is Prepress?
Camera work, color separations, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called preparation.

What is a Printing Plate?
Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. The screen printing is also called a plate.

What is Register?
To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.

What are Register Marks?
Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.

What is Reverse Print?
Type, graphic or illustration reproduced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the underlying color or paper to show through and form the image. The image ‘reverses out’ of the ink color.

Usually in the four-color process arena, separate film holding images of one specific color per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colors through film.

What are the different types of printing?

Method of printing on a web press using rubber or plastic plates with raised images. Also called aniline printing because flexographic inks originally used aniline dyes. Abbreviated flexo.

Offset Printing
Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

Serigraphic Printing
Printing method whose image carriers are woven fabric, plastic or metal that allow ink to pass through some portions and block ink from passing through other portions. Serigraphic printing includes screen and mimeograph.

Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose nonimage areas repel ink. Nonimage areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.

Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.

Screen Printing
Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.

Web Press
Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel-fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages).