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Print Lingo

Like all industries, the world of print can sometimes seem like it has its own language. So when you want to get your artwork print ready it is understandable to feel a bit lost with some of the printing terminology.

Here are a few explanations to what some of the lingo means:


Bleed refers to the extended ink coverage of artwork beyond the cut measurements/trim marks. Applying bleed to a design is important as it prevents any slithers of the material appearing around the edges if the cut is out by even a quarter of a millimetre.

Trim/Crop Marks:

Trim./Crop marks are the small lines applied to the corners of a design to indicate where the artwork needs to be cut. Applying trim marks usually appears as an option when you save your artwork as a PDF.


Resolution refers to how sharp and detailed an image is. A high resolution image will be a high quality, detailed image whereas a low resolution image can come out as low quality and blurry.


CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (black) and is the other name for the Four Colour Process. The Four Colour Process is the colour mode used in printing.

Flood Coat:

Flood Coating refers to the application of full coverage of an entire surface. This could be UV Coating, protective varnish coating or white-back coating for work printed on transparent material.

Spot Layer:

Spot-layer is similar to flood coating; however, instead of covering the entire sheet, spot-layer coating allows coverage of specific areas of the artwork.


The term ‘die’ within the print industry isn’t as morbid as one might think. A die is a thin blade shaped in a specific form needed for a job. Die-cutting is simply the act of using the shaped die to cut material.


Finishing includes a variety of options that are the extra bits that complete a printed piece. This can be cutting and trimming, scoring and folding packaging, laminating, collating, hemming and even attaching roller banners to stands.


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