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Printing Technical Terms Explained

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Whether you’ve recently had something printed or are planning on doing so, there are a lot of jargon terms that could quickly confuse a printing novice.

We’ve put together a list of some of our most commonly questioned technical terms to help you know exactly what’s going on with your print job.


Binding is usually a term you will hear when printing a book, though not exclusively. Binding is the joining of pages together with wire, glue or otherwise, creating the books spine.


Printing that extends to the very edge of a page after trimming is known as a bleed. You are advised to allow for a 1/8 inch of bleed, to ensure you get your desired results.


The thickness of a sheet of paper that is measured in thousandths of an inch or in points is known as caliper.


CMYK is an abbreviation for cyan (blue), magenta (pink), yellow and key (black), of which are the four processing colours used in printing.


A die is a tool used within the printing industry to cut, score, stamp, emboss and deboss paper or paperboard.


DPI stands for dots-per-inch. This is the measure of output resolution from monitor, imagesetter and printer.

End Sheet

An end sheet is attached to inside pages of a book to it’s front and back cover. It is also known as end papers or pastedown.

Fold Marks

Fold marks are added to printed matter to indicate where the paper should be folded. They are usually located at the top edges of the page.

Four-Colour Process Printing

Four-Colour Process Printing used CMYK to simulate full-colour images.


In books, magazines and similar, the inside margins towards the binding are known as the gutter. They are not visible once the printing job is complete.


To print over a previously printed piece, such as imprinting an employee’s name onto a newly printed business card.

Ink Jet Printing

Ink jet printing is a particular method of printing that involves spraying droplets of ink through nozzles that are computer-controlled.


The numbering of pages within a book, magazine or similar.

Are there any printing terms not mentioned here that you’re confused about? We can help! We ensure our customers know exactly what is happening to their product all the way through the process. If there’s something you want in particular, let us know and we’ll do what we can to produce the end result you require!

We use the latest technical equipment to give us the advance over our competitors. If you would like more information or a free quote regarding any of our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team today by visiting our contact page or by calling us on 01843 861314.

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