ILM Designs FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions & Jargon Buster

What is bleed? How much should I add?

Adding bleed means that your colours or pictures are printed right to the edge of the paper and you do not end up with a white edge after trimming. We usually suggest 3mm bleed on all sides.

What does CMYK mean?

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (Key), the four process colors and the main colour format used for printing. Screen colours are referred to as RGB, which is Red, Green and Blue. Colours will often appear differently on screen to print.

What does dots-per-inch or dpi mean?

DPI is the measure of the resolution of input devices such as scanners and output devices such as printers and monitors. Generally printed media would be 300 dpi whereas screen images used for a website images would be 72 dpi.

What is embossing?

An image is pressed into paper so it is raised above the surface.This makes printed material feel very good quality.

What is an EPS file?

An Encapsulated Post Script (or EPS file) uses vector infomation (complex mathematics) to store information on your file. EPS file types generally use less storage space than photographs.

What does gate fold mean?

A folded sheet of paper where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.

What does GSM mean?

The unit of measurement used for paper weight (grams per square meter). As a rule you might find a business card is around 350 - 400gsm and a magazine page might be around 70 - 80gsm. The higher the GSM the thicker the paper.

What is does laminate mean?

Lamination is a thin transparent plastic coating applied to paper (usually on covers or thicker products). It provides protection against scratches or water damage.

What is offset printing?

A printing technique that transfers ink from the plate to a blanket, then onto paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

What is pagination?

Pagination refers to the number of printed pages (pp). So if your catalogue has 48 pages plus a cover it will be reffreed to as 48pp + 4pp cover.

What is self-cover?

Self cover means that the same paper is used for the cover as well as the internal pages.

What does trim size mean?

Trim size is the size of the finished product. So the products may be A4 but it will be printed on a larger piece of paper and trimmed to finish, this allows for bleed areas to be trimmed off.

Got a question for us?

This is by no means an exhaustive list of printing terms, so if you have a question for us please feel free to ask.


Get in touch

Feel free to contact our friendly team for a chat

ILM Designs
Unit 14 Oak Court
Sandridge Park
St Albans

Tel: 01727 731840