FAQs for design and print

Sentio would like to offer some answers to FAQs for design and printing. We know that as busy marketers and business owners understanding design and print language can be difficult and frustrating for all to get to grips with. This is especially relevant when a project is needed with tight deadlines and time is not on your side.

Design terminology

The FAQs for design and print - we start with design first.

  • What is a high resolution, print-ready PDF?It is a file that is sharp and ready for print meaning the images and text are 300dpi (dots per inch) and suitable for printing. Please note images taken off websites cannot be used for print as they are low resolution and will print very poorly
  • What are dots per inch (DPI)?Measurements of print resolution indicating how many ink dots the printer can place in one square inch, the higher the DPI the sharper the image
  • What is bleed and why do I need it on my artwork?Bleeds allow you to run artwork to the edge of a page. On a press, the artwork is printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed down to size. If you do not allow at least 3mm of bleed, any misalignment while cutting will result with the artwork not running to the edge of the paper
  • What are crop marks and why do I need them?Crop marks are lines printed in the corners of your printed sheet or sheets of paper to show the printer where to trim the paper. They are used by commercial printers for creating bleeds where an image or colour on the page needs to extend all the way to the edge of the paper

Terms in printing

The FAQs for design and print - next we tackle the print side

  • What is Digital Printing?Low-cost method of printing best suited for short run jobs. It works directly from electronic data without the need for printing plates. This makes the process very quick but the print quality, although a good alternative is not on par with lithography. Also, you cannot use specific spot colours or metallic inks
  • What is Litho printing?The most popular print process, a metal plate is treated so that the image area attracts the oil-based inks, while the wet non-image areas resist them
  • What is CMYK?It is an abbreviation of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. These make up the standard 4 colour process used for printing in full colour
  • What does GSM mean?Grams per square metre. This is the standard measurement of weight for paper
  • What is a wet proof?This is a fully made up, printed proof. The same machine and materials will be used as for the finished product. Whilst this is quite expensive, it does leave you with an exact mock-up of what is to be printed. This is suitable for colour checking. Only recommended for large runs and specialist items
  • What is Seal or Sealer?A coating applied over the print to fix it. This helps prevent set off and smudging
  • What is Finished Size and flat size?The size once trimmed and folded is the finished size. The size before folding, after trimming is the flat size
  • What is a Self-Cover?Where the cover and text pages are on the same paper stock
  • What is matt/gloss/soft touch laminating?A thin plastic film is fixed to one or both sides of the paper. This creates a matt or a high gloss finish, depending on the intended purpose and personal preference. It also acts as a protective barrier if the print needs to be more durable or is likely to encounter a demanding environment
  • What is Spot Gloss UV Varnish?A high gloss finish applied to specific areas of print
  • What is Debossing?Where an image is pressed or stamped into the paper creating a depression as opposed to an embossed, raised impression
  • What does saddle stitched mean in brochure binding?Where a document is wire stitched on the spine, better known as stapled
  • Why are brochures printed in sections of 4?When printing brochures we print in sections of 4. Cover is 4pp (printed page) then sections are 4pp/8pp/12pp/16pp upwards

Paper sizes for printing / Use

A0 – 841 x 1189mm / Posters Point of Sale (POS) and Signs
A1 – 594 x 841 mm / Posters Point of Sale (POS) and Signs
A2 – 420 x 594 mm / Posters Point of Sale (POS) and Signs
A3 – 297 x 420 mm / Posters, leaflets and large magazine publications
A4 – 210 x 297 mm / Leaflets, brochures annual report and accounts and folders
A5 – 148.5 x 210 mm / Leaflets, brochures, folders greetings cards and 

A6 – 105 x 148.5 mm / Leaflets, brochures, postcards and greetings cards
A7 – 74 x 105 mm / Leaflets, brochures vouchers and greetings cards
A8 – 52 x 74 mm
 / Labels, tent cards, business cards and vouchers
A9 – 37 x 52 mm / Labels, tent cards, business cards and vouchers
A10 – 26 x 37 mm / Labels, tent cards, business cards and vouchers
DL – 99mm x 210mm / Brochures, Leaflets, greetings cards, calendars, and vouchers

Envelope sizes

Paper sizes used for envelopes. These correspond to A-sizes (e.g. C4 envelope will hold A4 sheets)

C3 – 324 x 458 mm
C4 – 229 x 324 mm
C5 – 162 x 229 mm
C6 – 114 x 162 mm
DL – 110 x 220 mm

Dummy and sample service

Sentio offers a FREE dummy and sample service. Please note these are for showing how a project will look and are not printed samples. Sentio can produce printed samples, but, will be charged as a one off cost.


Our paper partners are GF Smith and Fedrigoni 

For further information please call us on 01295 268649 or click here for a FREE quote or chat about your new project.

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