Understanding print jargon
We've been in the print industry for more than 20 years – so there isn't much we don't know.

Understanding print jargonjargon-350x233

We've been printing for over 20 years and there's not much we don't know, but like most industries, the print world contains a whole language of acronyms, phrases and terms that can confuse even the most seasoned print manager.

A Sizes

The most common paper sizes used for general printing (UK & European), stationery and publications. These are the finished sizes that most print jobs are cut to after being printed on larger sized paper.


Finished layout of typesetting, drawings and photographs, made up in a format which is ready for the printer to print from.


Abbreviation for artwork.

Author's Corrections

Customer's corrections/changes made, normally at the proofing stage.


B Sizes

Paper sizes used mainly by the print industry. Larger than A sizes but in the same proportions.

Back Up

To print on the reverse side of a printed sheet.


A grid of pixels or printed dots generated by computer to represent type and images. 'Bitmapping' is a term often used to describe the effect where edges of a picture take on a blocky/jagged shape due to errors in image processing or poor resolution.


An area outside the finished size of printed material. When images or content go to the edge of the paper they have to extend beyond it into the 'bleed' area.


A rubber surfaced fabric (In offset litho printing) that is clamped around a cylinder on a litho press, to which the image is transferred from the plate and from which it is then transferred to the paper.

Blind Emboss

Process of raising letters or designs on card or tough paper onto which no printed image has been added.


To impress or stamp a design upon a cover. The design can be blocked in colour inks, gold leaf or metal foil. Most commonly used on case bound book covers.


While there is no internationally agreed rule, paper exceeding 170gsm is usually referred to as board.


Thickness of paper.