15 printing terms every designer needs to know – Part 2


15 printing terms every designer needs to know – Part 2


07. Pigment based ink

Inkjet printers will generally use pigment based ink. This is able to produce up to 12 distinct colours. Pigment inks are used for archival art printing, for black-and-white photography or for colour photography which has a light tone. Colours tend to be less saturated than dye based output, however pigment based ink is more resistant to UV light and fading.

08. RIP

RIP stands for Raster Image Processor. RIP is a software accessory that works as an enhanced printer driver. This will produce the highest possible quality output for text, bitmap graphics and vector art. A RIP by no means an essential, but it can be useful when undertaking large format print jobs.

09. Solid ink

Solid ink is ink that is supplied in a solid form and is then melted into a wax before printing. This is for the most part used by Xerox. It can be useful for quick office output and basic proofing. However, it is not used so much for art or photo printing. Large format versions were available in the past, but are more difficult to find these days.

10. Solvent inks

 solvent inks

Solvent inks are effectively dye based inks with enhanced UV stability. This is good for printing on fabric, vinyl and canvas. Much like other dye based inks Solvent inks soak into and stain the product they’re printed on.

11. Cut sizes

The smaller sizes of paper, such as A4, are referred to as cut sizes. This is because they are produced by cutting down larger sheets to make the required smaller sized paper.

12. Finish

Finish is the texture and feel of paper. There are many types of paper finishes, for example: laid finish is a machine-made paper that mimics handmade paper, embossed finish presses a pattern into the surface of the paper, whereas matte paper have a dull surface that is particularly suitable for printing text.

13. Trim size

Trim size are the dimensions of the printed page after all the excess edges have been cut away. This is not to be confused to cut sizes mentioned above.

14. Saddle stitching

Saddle stitching is the process of folding sheets in half, with staples or stitching in the middle. The page count must be divisible by four.

15. Perfect binding

Perfect binding is a term given to the process when a block of paper is glued into a cover that wraps around it. An example of this would be a paperback book. A variation of this is PUR binding. PUR binding uses extra-strength, temperature-resistant glue.


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