Technical Terms

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Bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of the page. A standard bleed is 1/8 of an inch on each side. This means that when designing something where the ink goes off the edge of the page you need to create the document 1/4 inch larger than the finished size. I.E. an 8.5 x 11 brochure with bleeds should be designed as 8.75 x 11.25.


CMYK is a subtractive color model used in color printing. The letters stand for the standard four colors used Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. CMYK can also refer to the printing process itself.

Crop Marks

Crop marks are lines placed at the edge of an image to indicate where the page should be trimmed. These marks otherwise known as trim marks are applied by the printer when the job is produced. There is no need to put crop marks on files you are submitting.

Digital Printing

Digital Printing technical refers to any image that is sent directly from a computer to a printer without intermediate steps such as printing plates. In the print production world digital printing usually refers to a dry toner applied to a page using heat and pressure. The several advantages of digital printing include, faster turn around times, shorter runs, and variable data. The quality of digital printing is rapidly improving.

Grain Direction

Grain is the direction in which the fibers in a sheet of paper line up. Grain direction is usually refereed to as short grain or long grain, based on whether the grain runs with the long or short edge of the sheet. The grain direction is important when folding since you get a better crease with the grain rather across it. Paper grain direction can also affect how a sheet goes through the press. You do not need to worry at all about the paper grain as we will position your job on the paper for the best possible result.

Offset Printing

Offset Printing is a printing technique where an inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the paper. There are several advantages to offset printing which include, more color possibilities, economical large runs, and larger sheet sizes. With our three different offset presses we are able to produce your job with the utmost quality.

PMS Color

PMS (Pantone Matching System) is a trademarked system for specifying ink colors by number. The catalog of several thousand colors is comprised of two parts. The first is individual numbered colors, and the second is similar process colors based on a CMYK build. Offset printing allows you to print any of the PMS colors using a specific ink, however digital printing is limited to the PMS process colors.


RGB is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three primary colors, red, green, and blue. The RGB model is used by computer monitors and most all electronic color displays. Since printing requires a subtractive color model RGB files are converted to the closest equivalent CMYK build. This is done automatically when printing if the file is not already converted to CMYK.