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Can You Speak Print?

Can't Speak Print Cover
We know print can sometimes be confusing, so here is your guide to many terms we commonly use as your local carbon-balanced printer.


Bleed Bleed – Ink that extends beyond the intended trim area to ensure no blank paper is showing, usually 3mm. 
Crop Marks
Crop Marks

Lines on corners of the PDF file to define the print area, indicating where the finished item is to be trimmed.

CMYK – Colour model using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (another word for black) inks for full colour printing.

RGB Diagram RGB – Red, Green Blue – the colour you see on your screen when designing for print. CMYK is used to print it.
Artwork Icon Artwork – Simply another word for the design or images to be printed.
Proofing Icon Proofing – The Process of reviewing and confirming a version of the print or design before final production.
Font Icon Font – A set of characters with a specific typeface, size and style for text representation.
GSM Icon

GSM – Grams per Square Metre – Measures paper weight. The higher the GSM, the heavier the paper.

Micron Printing

Micron – Micron is a measure of paper thickness (1micron = 1/1000th of a millimeter). The higher the Micron, the thicker the paper.

Finishing Icon Finishing – Post print production processes including: cutting, binding, laminating, or folding to complete the final product.
Finished Size Icon Finished Size – The final size of a printed piece of work after trimming or binding is complete.
Gutter Icon Gutter – The space between printed pages in a book or leaflet that allows for bleed, trimming and binding.
Crease Icon Crease – A fold ridge formed by applying pressure to the paper on the fold line, to create a neat fold.

Laminating – The process of sealing paper by applying thin film to paper for protection and durability. Available in matt, gloss or soft-touch finishes.

Perfect Binding
Perfect Binding – A binding method where individual pages are glued to the cover to create a square spine, as per a standard paperback book cover.

Saddle stitched Print

Saddle Stitched – A binding method where wire staples are stitched through the fold line of the spine to hold a booklet together.

Spot UV Printing

Spot UV – A clear varnish is applied and cured using Ultra Violet light to produce a raised, glossy effect to a specific area or ‘spot’ on the design. A great way to make the product stand out.


Foiling – A specialist finishing process that uses a metal die to apply metal foil onto the surface of printed paper using heat and high pressure.

Die Cut Printing

Die Cut – A finishing process uses a die or blade to cut through the paper stock to create custom shapes. This process can also create scores and creases to the sheet.

Embossed and Debossed Printing

Emboss/Deboss – A specialist finishing process using a die to stamp a raised (emboss) or sunken (deboss) design onto the surface of the paper stock.

Now you can speak print, do get in touch if we can help at all with your next project.

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Print for Life’s Big Moments

At SAPC we can help with print for all of life’s big moments, for business, family or pleasure. Do get in touch to get your project started.