Blog | A guide to understanding printing jargon

Have you ever been in the situation where you’re talking to a printer and feel yourself getting more and more confused by the language they are using? You are not alone. Approaching a professional printer can seem daunting when the terminology is unfamiliar.

To break down the language barrier, we have created a simple guide to printers’ terms and references to allow you to understand all aspects of printing and get exactly what you want.

Our handy guide includes four sections: artwork design and reprographics, paper and board, printing and finishing.

Artwork design and reprographics

First to be explored are terms associated with artwork design and reprographics. These include phrases such as base line, bleed and dummy. Did you know ‘dummy’ actually refers to an assembled proof, representing the finished printed item?

Paper and board

Terms related to paper and board are discussed next helping you to understand the perfect stock and finish for your product.

Printing process

We then explain the language used in the printing process. For example, ‘Aqueous’ coating refers to a clear coating process that protects the printed sheets and provides a clear seal to the printed surface.


The guide also gives examples of the language used in regards to the finishing process including the many different folding and binding methods such as the Endorse Fold, Concertina Fold and Gate Fold.

Our guide to printing jargon will give you a better understanding of the printing process, however, we do understand that mistakes can still happen. With this in mind, we always give you a chance to check your artwork (photographs, graphic images, text and other components arranged in electronic form for preparing a piece of printing) before we print to make sure that nothing has been misinterpreted.

Order your FREE Print Buyers’ Pack

We created the Print Buyers’ Pack to help our customers combat any confusion around professional printing and make it a process that was as easy as possible. As well as this useful dictionary for printing terms, the Pack also includes a handy guide on different colour formats, paper stocks and sizes of A paper all to help you make more informed printing decisions. To sign up to receive your free Print Buyers’ Pack visit here.