Four printing terms you should know (part 5 in a series)

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In order to have a successful print campaign, you must learn the lingo of the discipline so that you may easily communicate with the suppliers who will become your marketing partners. Below we will discuss a few of the most important printing terms. This article is part of a series, and you can catch up on the printing terms that have already been defined by clicking on the links below.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four


The term “DPI” stands for dots per inch and references the resolution of of an image both on screen and in print. The higher the DPI, the more detail the image will have. For the best quality your images should have a resolution of 300 DPI or higher.

Dot gain

Contrary to popular belief, the term “dot gain” does not correspond to an increase in the resolution of an image. Dot gain is actually an unwelcome effect that is the digital equivalent of leaving an uncapped pen inside of a shirt pocket. Dot gain will usually lead to blurriness; therefore, to get a professional print, you will actually want to limit dot gain, not maximize it. Some symptoms of dot gain are a loss of detail in separations, colours shifting uncontrollably and screen tints printing too dark.


This refers to the way in which a piece of paper is laid out for printing. The orientation of a print is important when it comes to creating the right layout, ratio and sizing for a print job. Getting the imposition correct is also a great way for a business to save money; the more prints that can be done at once, the less money it will cost to get the job done.


This is when a printed sheet is folded to become the pages of a book or publication. These create a single unit of pages that are in multiples of four and bound together.

Are there any other printing terms you’d like us to cover? Let us know by commenting below!

Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House.

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