Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster - The Artist's Print Room

The world of print can be a little daunting, with so many different terms and acronyms it can be hard to understand what everything actually means! Here we’ve gone through some of the key terms and phrases you may stumble across and produced this little jargon buster. Think of it as your new go to printing dictionary! If there are any that you think we may have missed or would like us to explain, please just let us know and we will continue to expand the list below. You can contact us here or submit your questions and terms via Facebook or Twitter.

Bleed – The area of printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming.

CMYK – Four base colours that are used in printing workflow. Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (which is black).

Colour Cast – Unwanted colour within an image that affects either the entire print or just an area of print.

DPI – Dots per inch.

Fine Art Paper – Usually acid free and is a high quality substrate. We look into fine art paper in more detail in our previous blog article.

Gamut – Limits of shades and hues that can be displayed or printed.

GSM – Base weight of paper per square meter.

ICC – This is a set of data that characterises a colour input or output device or alternatively a colour space. This is according to standards set by the International Color Consortium. Each individual paper type/printer combination has a different ICC profile.

JPEG – This stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group – they coined this term. A lossy compression type for digital images and often the most common format type for storing and transmitting images across the internet.

Limited Edition – A print that is limited to a predetermined print quantity, as outlined on the certificate of authenticity. We will be looking into limited edition prints in a future blog post.

Long Grain and Short Grain – The fibres of the paper run parallel to the long side of the paper in long grain or parallel to the short dimension if short grain. Useful information when producing books or folded items as it can affect the quality of the crease of the fold.

Open Edition – Similar or identical prints that do not have assigned numbers.

Photo Paper – A standard go to paper choice for more day to day printing. Not as high quality as fine art paper, however, still a popular option.

Proof – Test sheet or section of a print to reveal how the final print will look. Used to ensure colours are produced accurately.

RGB – Stands for red, green and blue.

Substrate – The material the print is on, in our case this would either be paper or canvas.

TIFF – The term was created by Aldus Corporation. A lossless file format for storing images. When submitting your artwork to us for printing, we request a TIFF file with no compression.