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The Doxdirect Printing Glossary

Posted in Printing Tips and Tricks on 19 February 2014

In order to make things a little easier to understand, we have put together a few useful printing words and phrases within our printing glossary that we hope will be of use. If you come across any others that you think ought to be included we would love to hear from you.

The Doxdirect Printing Glossary

A Sizes (paper)

The most common paper sizes used in the UK for printing and stationery. The range includes tiny A10 (37mm x 26mm) all the way through to A0 (1189 x 841mm) and then keeps on going, eventually into B sizes. These are less common paper sizes which are used mainly for bigger jobs (posters/wall charts etc). The most familiar size being A4, which measures 297mm x 210mm. It is probably the most commonly used paper size for letters and correspondence in the UK and it is the standard paper size for most home printers.

Adobe Illustrator

Part of Adobes Creative Suite, Illustrator is a vector-based drawing program. Great for creating logos and line drawings, especially those that need to be heavily scaled.

Adobe Indesign

Part of Adobes Creative Suite, Indesign is primarily used for page layout. It is a great tool that pulls together text and images.

Adobe Photoshop

Part of Adobes Creative Suite, Photoshop, is a graphics-editing program. Particularly great for photo editing (the clue is in the name!)


The finished layout of a document that is made up of drawings and photographs, text etc. This is what our printers will print from.


Printing where the colour continues off the edge of the paper. For more detail see our previous blog post about crops and bleed.


This stands for Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Key (black) (K). Full colour printed images are made up of a mix of these colours. A CMYK split is generally used for print, whereas an RGB split is generally used on screen. CMYK are known as the process colours and is what is being referred to when you hear “four colour process”.

Crop Marks

Printed lines on the edge of paper indicating where the paper should be cut to produce the correct page size. For more detail see our previous blog post about crops and bleed.

Digital Printing

What we do best! It is a process where we can print straight from electronic artwork. This is ideal for shorter runs as it is quicker and far more economical.

In ye olde days before digital print, everything (so they tell me!!) would have to be printed lithographically (litho). Plates would be made up for each of the CMYK colours. It gives a lovely quality finish, however it is just not worth the time and money it takes up for short print runs. This is where we come in – we have a range of great digital printing machines including a lovely shiny Indigo, which is the best of the best when it comes to digital quality (so we like to think!).

Desktop Publishing

What you do best! Using your computer to create high quality printed documents. You create, whether it be on your PC or Mac. We print, and voila! A beautiful printed document lands on your desk or doormat in no time at all.


Us of course! The Doxtors of Doxdirect, here to meet your every printing need!


Dots per inch, which indicate the resolution of images. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution and better the quality of the image. The ideal resolution for print is 300dpi and 72dpi is generally the resolution used on screen.


Printing on both sides of a sheet of paper.


A plastic coating that completely encompasses the paper, providing a rigid, watertight covering for printed matter. The paper is placed in a plastic pocket which is then passed through a machine that fuses the pocket to the document. This is quite commonly confused with lamination.


All operations after printing (i.e guillotining, folding, binding, etc).


Grammes per square metre. Standard measure of paper weight.


JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. You would normally see it as the three letter extension on the end of the files you download from your camera such as filename.jpg as it is a type of file format for image files.


A thin plastic film used on the covers of printed literature to give protection, not to mention a lovely professional finish. It is fused to the cover using a combination of rollers and heat, and can be gloss or matt finish.


Portable Document Format. We love getting these supplied to us, as essentially what you see is what you get! A PDF is a special file type that combines all the elements of a document – images, drawings, layouts and text etc – into one file for easy delivery to the printer.


Running a dotted score into paper to allow the paper to be torn off easily.


Whether it be a PDF proof or a printed proof, this is a sample of work to be checked for errors before continuing with the print run.


3 colour split (Red, Green, Blue). Typically used for web based images.


Paper or card to be printed on.


A beverage that the Doxtors need in order to get through the day. Often supplied with cake (!)