The following is by no means all of the terms that you may come across when dealing with your printer. What we wanted to do here is provide you with many of the most common terms so you can understand the catalog printing process better. Many of these terms are ones that you will not have to deal with at all as most catalog printers offer full service.
Bleeds: This is where your design calls for the ink to go all the way to an edge of the page. To determine the number of bleeds you have to count all of the edges the ink goes to. In other words, your page has a top, a bottom, a right, and a left edge. Each edge your ink will go to is one bleed.
Bluelines: This is a proof of your catalog on film that is used to verify that everything is correct.
Camera Ready Art: This are not your photographs. Those will be photographed as half tones. (See glossary term, Half Tones) This is about your artwork. It has to be provided to the printer on a board or paper ready to be photographed. If there is more than one color, each color has to be on a different sheet of paper or board piece. You should also include the composite where all of the colors are on one paper or board so the printer knows what the outcome should look like.
Color Key: This is an acetate film proof of your catalog. Each color is produced on a separate sheet, then laid over each other to make sure everything is in the right place. This method is generally less expensive than match print, but not as accurate. (See glossary term Match print.)
Composed Film: These are pieces of film that are ready to be stripped or put together with other pieces of film to make plate ready film. Plate ready film is used to make the plates your printer will print your catalog with.
Coverage Percentage: If your catalog has areas where there will be 100% ink coverage and you tell your printer, then they can use the correct press and processes to produce it for you.
Cover Ink: There are two types of ink to choose from for your cover. CMYK and PMS. If you are selling an industrial product you might use PMS, but for most products the cover uses the CMYK method for processing images.
Cover Stock: This is the heavier paper used for the cover of your catalog. It can also be used for the interior pages if you want to present your product better. High end products are usually sold in catalogs that use this higher quality paper throughout the catalog.
Design: The combination of everything from your photos to your fonts, layout, logos, artwork, and all to produce a piece that is ready to photograph and print.
Die Score or Cut: This is the method used to crease where your catalog will be folded. If your catalog has pockets this is the method your printer would use to “score” the crease where the folds are needed.
Emboss: This is where the printer creates a die and stamps your paper from the rear to make a shape stand out. This can be raised print or a logo, etc.
Foil Stamp: This is where your printer creates a die that is used to stamp metallic gold, silver, or other colored material onto your catalog pages or cover.
Fold Type: Whether your catalog will be folded in half from top to bottom, folded left to right like a magazine, or tri-folded like a brochure.
Half Tones: This is where the printer takes the photos you want in your catalog and scans them or shoots them with a camera that has a honeycomb lens. This converts your photograph to an image made up of many tiny dots that allow for correct printing of the photos.
Match Print: For high end product catalogs, this is the recommended method. Each piece of film contains one of your colors, then they are laminated together to make a single piece ready for printing. If the accuracy of the colors is important to you, then this choice is best.
Number of Pages: The number of pages you choose for your catalog. This is always in multiples of four.
Output Film: To rip your digital files and produce your art as film that is ready for print.
Output Ready Disk: This is a disk you provide to your printer as a complete product. The only thing they need to do is convert it from digital to analog film. The disk should contain a separate folder for images and one for fonts.
Perfect Binding: This is a binding process normally used for high-end product catalogs or catalogs that will be over 80 pages.
Perforate: If you want to have tear outs such as coupons, you would instruct your printer to perforate the edges of the tear out.
Quantity: The number of catalogs you need to have printed. The larger the quantity, the less each catalog will cost to produce, so you may want to order a few more catalogs than you need. They can always be distributed elsewhere.
Reflectives: This is where the printer makes a print from your photographs or your negatives.
Saddle Stitch Binding: This is a binding process normally used for catalogs that will be less than 80 pages and to save money over the perfect binding method.
Scans from Transparencies: Scanning is the process that takes your transparency and records your images as a digital file.
Set Type: Laying out your type onto a page. This term also applies to the selection of the right font and typeface for your layout.
Spread or Flat Size: This is the size of the paper that will be used to print your catalog on. Once folded it will become the Trim Size. See glossary terms for Trim Size.
Text Ink: This is the type of ink and the number of colors you will choose for the interior pages of your catalog. The two types of inks you can choose from is CMYK and PMS. If you will be using photos, you will likely be going with CMYK. If everything is text and few images, your printer may suggest PMS.
Text Stock Paper: This is the lighter paper your interior catalog pages might be printed on if you are trying to save money or you are selling an industrial or low end product.
Trim Size Folded: This is the final size you want your catalog to be. For instance, if you want an 8 ½ by 11 catalog, the printer uses 17 x 11 paper to print it, then folds it in half so it becomes 8 ½ x 11. Trim Size Folded is the term the printer uses to ask you the final outcome size you desire. Always remember that the width is always given before the length or height.
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