Printing Terms to Remember for Becoming a Print Expert – Part I

Printing Terms to Remember for Becoming a Print Expert – Part I

For every designer, it is very crucial to be well aware of the process of printing. Over the years, a lot of printing terms and concepts have evolved. It can be quite a difficult task for someone, who is not aware of these printing terms to work in this printing industry. However, if you want your design to look exactly the way you want it to be, you need to get used to certain terminologies in the printing field. What are these terms? In this post, we will discuss some of the printing terms that you should be aware of. 

Printing Terms to Remember

Do you want your printing job to turn out well? If yes, then you need to understand certain printing terms, which would help you explain your design and print requirements to the commercial printer you are working with. Here are some of the terms that you should remember:

  1. Solid Ink: As the name implies, this is ink in the solid form. To use this ink for printing, it is first melted into the wax. Though solid ink is not that good for printing art or photo, it is mainly used for basic proofing.
  1. Pigment-based Inks: Pigment-based inks are becoming popular among the inkjets. These inks are mostly used in 12 distinct colors and are widely used in lightly toned color photography. These fading and UV light resistant inks are ideal for use in archival art printing. The colors in the pigment-based inks are less saturated as compared to those in the dye-based.
  1. RIP: RIP stands for Raster Image Processor. This is used to create a raster image, which is appropriate for printing. The processor converts files, such as text, image, or vector into a single file, which is of high resolution. This helps the printing equipment read the file efficiently.
  1. CMYK: CMYK refers to the inks of four colors used in the printing process. Each letter refers to the color as follows:
  • C = Cyan
  • M = Magenta
  • Y = Yellow
  • K = Key (Black)

It is mostly used for printing newspapers, brochures, magazines, business cards, etc.

  1. DPI: DPI is the short form for Dots per Inch. DPI determines the printing quality. How does it determine quality? Tiny dots are produced by a printer every square inch and an image is created. As the number of dots increases, the detail, accuracy, and hence the quality of the print also improves. Typically, most of the print jobs use 300 to 600 DPI as a standard. The selection of DPI varies depending on the type of printer and paper used.
  1. Dye Sublimation: Dye sublimation, which is also sometimes referred to as dye-sub, is a technology used for fabric printing. This printing technology can also be used for certain specialized applications. There are two ways of making prints with this technology – directly on a fabric, or first making the print on transfer paper, and then fixing it on the fabric with the help of a heat press.

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This is not all. There are a few more printing terms that you are required to have knowledge about. We will discuss the remaining terms in the upcoming blog post.

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