Dictionary of printing terms

Dictionary of printing terms


Cut line, coloring, folding or varnishing... All this seems very difficult if you are not familiar with printing terms and are hearing them for the first time. For us, printing professionals, printing terms are like a second language. We thought it would be helpful to provide a little clarification in the article as well.

CMYK. This is one of the most important printing terms to know, as this is the color scheme that must be chosen when creating a layout in order to achieve the expected color in the finished product. CMYK—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black—is a combination of ink colors used in printing. The remaining colors are created by overlaying the primary ones. However, documents and images viewed on the screen are usually based on the RGB color scheme (red, green and blue). Because it is the preferred color mode for digital design, many graphic design programs set RGB as the default color mode. Don't forget to switch to CMYK because that is the main printing standard.

Coated paper. If you want paper with improved reflectivity, opacity, and vibrant images, we recommend coated paper, which comes in glossy and matte finishes. It has a smoother surface and looks professional. In turn, uncoated paper looks more natural.

Digital printing. The most preferred printing method for single or short-run items. The digital file is sent for printing without prior prepress preparation. This method makes it possible to receive exclusive and personalized products. If previously digital printing was associated with inferior quality and a limited scope of application, today’s technologies allow digital printing of almost any product, and the quality is quite comparable to analog printing.

Offset printing. Traditional technology for medium and large runs. Instead of printing from a digital file, it requires the production of printing plates - separate for each color (in full-color printing, CMYK colors are usually used). The print is put through all the plates to get all the colors needed and create the finished product. Setting up an offset print job takes longer, but allows the press to use CMYK and Pantone colors.

The Pantone color system, or PMS, is a standardized color matching system that is widely used around the world. It was developed to help printers and designers define and control colors for printed projects. Using Pantone inks allows you to get accurate color, regardless of the printing equipment and its settings. This is especially important if the corporate style requires the presence of a specific corporate color.

Die-cutting. A type of finishing that allows multiple parts of the same shape to be created efficiently and consistently. Thus, you can give unusual shapes to business cards, flyers and any other products, or make cardboard boxes.

Folding. A printing synonym for the word "folding". The choice of folding is especially important when it comes to products with a variety of fold types, such as booklets.

Vacquering. Another option for finishing the print. The application of various varnishes makes it possible to increase the service life of the print, as well as give it unique tactile and visual properties. Hybrid varnishing deserves special attention - the use of several types of varnish at the same time. In our offices you can see first-hand how great it looks!

Without a basic understanding of printing terminology, you could end up making the wrong decisions and your printing project not turning out as expected. At Wolf Printing, we are always happy to explain our language and help you understand what we need from you to ensure the highest quality print for your printing project. In addition, you can always contact our Design Exchange and get a ready-made design solution adapted to all printing requirements.