The A4 format is the best known and most widely used paper format. It is one format from a series of formats all with the same proportions namely short side : long side = 1:√2.
A0 = 84 x 118.8 cm. The long side is always halved to get the next smaller format. There is also a B, C and a D series. These are less well known.
- RA0 860 x 1220 mm
- RA1 610 x 860 mm
- RA2 430 x 610 mm
- A0 841 x 1189 mm
- A1 594 x 841 mm
- A2 420 x 594 mm
- A3 297 x 420 mm
- SRA3 320 x 450 mm
- A4 210 x 297 mm
- A5 148 x 210 mm
- A6 105 x 148 mm
- A7 74 x 105 mm
- A8 52 x 74 mm
Paper size vs envelope size
- A4 landscape - EA4 220 x 312 mm
- A4 folded in half to 148 x 210 mm - EA5 156 x 220 mm
- A4 folded in three to 100 x 210 m - EA5/6 110 x 220 mm
- A4 folded in quarters to 148 x 105 mm - C6 114 x 162 mm
All operations required after printing to arrive at the final product.
In addition to A formats, B formats are also used, e.g. for posters.
- B0 - 1000 x 1414 mm
- B1 - 707 x 1000 mm
- B2 - 500 x 707 mm
- B3 - 353 x 500 mm
- B4 - 250 x 353 mm
- B5 - 176 x 250 mm
- B6 - 125 x 176 mm
- B7 - 88 x 125 mm
- B8 - 62 x 88 mm
When images, lines or areas must extend to the cutting edge(s) of the paper, this is called bleed printing. In practice, such 'bleeds' should always be at least 3 mm larger than the finished paper size, otherwise there is a risk of annoying white edges between the image and the edge of the paper after clean cutting.
Embossing in which the image is only visible because it is printed downwards or upwards in paper or cardboard. No ink, varnish or foil is used.
Relief printing is achieved by means of a (brass) blind embossing stamp and a contra-form. The printing result depends on the material to be printed, as well as the depth of the embossing stamp used.
The most common ways of attaching printed sheets to each other are stapling, gluing or sewing and possibly providing a binding or cover. Stapling involves inserting 2 staples into the spine of the brochure or booklet.
A coating layer is added to the paper. This layer fills the space between the fibres on the surface of the paper. As a result, the paper has a more even/smoother surface, making it very suitable for printing fine grids. Coated paper is also less translucent. If this layer is already applied during the passage through the paper machine, it is called machine-coated or mc (machine coated) paper.
Cutting the printed paper to the desired size.
The common abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, used as standard in four-colour printing. Opinions are divided on the origin of the K in CMYK. One group says the K is from blacK, a second group says the K comes from Key.
In theory, if you print the 3 colours (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) 100% on top of each other, you get full black. In practice, the 3 base colours turn out not to be completely pure. You don't get black, but a dark brown. The Key to still get full black is to add black (certain percentage). The black is then the key (Key) to solve the 'defect' in Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.
Creasing is making a fold line in paper, making it easy to fold in that place and preventing the paper from tearing.
Small horizontal and vertical lines outside the image, indicating where to cut to get the finished (or clean) size.
Darkness degree of a developed photographic image or ink coverage in a print.
The blackening of a surface or transparent layer. Density is literally density.
Cutting a shape from the printed material using a cutting die. In this way, non-rectangular formats can also be obtained. Think, for example, of quotation folders or a window in a front cover of a report.
Dispersion varnish is a layer of protective lacquer that can be applied over the printed material. The varnish seals the ink, preventing it from bleeding. Therefore, dispersion varnish not only protects the printed product, but also makes it more beautiful. The varnish is generally available in matt or gloss. You achieve a similar effect with lamination.
DPI stands for Dots Per Inch (but also Pixels Per Inch, actually PPI).
There is sometimes confusion in the graphics world about DPI and PPI. Where people in the graphics industry talk about DPI, they actually mean PPI.
DPI as Pixels per Inch (PPI):
Unit of resolution of output devices (such as imagers and printers) expressed in pixels per linear inch. The standard for colour images for offset printing is 300 dpi (ppi).
DPI as Dots per Inch:
The number of ink dots per linear inch that end up on the paper when printing. Dot is dot. In colour printing, the DPI in Dots per Inch is a multiple of the DPI in Pixels per Inch.
An image and/or text printed without ink and using a stamp, creating a relief in the paper. It can be used as a security feature in printed materials with value such as gift vouchers and the like.
the most common sizes are:
220 x 312 mm
156 x 220 mm
110 x 220 mm
110 x 156 mm
78 x 110 mm
280 x 400 mm
262 x 371 mm
240 x 340 mm
170 x 240 mm
120 x 170 mm
250 x 353 mm
176 x 250 mm
125 x 176 mm
324 x 458 mm
229 x 324 mm
162 x 229 mm
114 x 162 mm
114 x 229 mm
Digital description in which a document, text, illustration etc. is stored.
Examples include PDF, JPEG, GIF etc.
Finishing technique in which a thin colour or metallic foil is applied to printed material.
Printing process in which the colours are built up from the four basic colours CMYK, with these colours almost all colours can be created.
Also called stapled binding. Assembled quires that are stapled in the spine (often with a cover).
A file format for storing images in digital form. The abbreviation stands for Graphics Interchange Format, a pixel-based graphic file format. The number of colours in a GIF file is limited to a maximum of 256.
Used to indicate the weight of paper, in grams per square metre. Gram weight has nothing to do with the thickness of the paper. Handy formula is to divide the weight of a sheet by the length and width of the paper. For example:
The sheet weighs 5 g : 0.297 : 0.21 metres = 80 g/m², also called 80 gsm.
A sheet of A4 (210 x 297 mm) weighs 5 grams, then the simple formula is: the weight A4 (= 5 grams) x 16 = 80 grams.
Up to the weight of 179 g/m² we speak of paper, from 180 g/m² it is called cardboard. In even higher grammages, from 500 g/m², it is called board.
Greyboard made from unsorted waste paper, often used as a base board or base of a book binding.
Greyboard is hard, firm and generally above 400 gsm.
Method of parallel folding, folded alternately in opposite directions, also called zigzag folding.
Interior is the inner part of a brochure or magazine, for example. These are all pages excluding the cover.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is an image file compression standard, based on many colours (the file extension is *.jpg). The higher the compression the smaller the file, and the smaller the image quality too.
Printed matter is coated with a plastic layer to protect it (e.g. against fingerprints). Laminate comes in various types such as gloss and matt, but holographic laminate is also possible. A laminate is a good protection against breaking on the fold and abrasion resistance problems. A laminated product can be stored for a longer period of time. After treatment, you do not have to worry about deterioration due to moisture, dirt or other influences. Laminating is also known as plastification.
Another method of print finishing with (UV) lacquer or varnish.
The application of a transparent foil by means of heat and glue, this foil can be matt or glossy and additionally, if necessary, contain a structure (linen or leather).
The distance between the edge of the paper and the printed area.
A device that attaches to the cylinder of the printing press and thus automatically serially numbers the printed material. Used for forms, order forms, gift vouchers, etc.
A planographic printing technique based on the chemical principle that grease (ink) and water repel each other. From a flat metal or plastic plate, the image is first coated with moistening water (moisture) and then ink (grease), after which the printed image is transferred to the paper via a rubber blanket.
Overprinting involves printing layers underneath each other. This is mainly the case when black text is printed on a coloured surface. In a printing process, the different colours (CMYK) are printed one after the other. If a design contains a yellow area with black text, the yellow area would be printed first with the text cut out. If the black text should then be printed in the blanked-out areas, there is a chance that white edges will appear around the letters and characters. If the text is set to overprint, the yellow area is printed in full first, after which the black text is printed over it.
Pantone® colour (PMS colour)
The PantoneÆ Matching System is a system in which a colour can be named quite objectively by means of a number. There are fans for sale which, in addition to the colour numbers, also indicate the recipe for making the PMS colour for the printer. Most DTP software integrates the use of PMS colour. With these PMS colour inks, we can still apply 1 or more colours in, for example, commercial printing, without always having to use the more expensive full-colour printing.
A file written in this format can be viewed on any computer, provided the free Acrobat Reader programme is installed (www.adobe.com). This allows (printing) proofs to be sent digitally back and forth between computers without creating paper proofs. The PDF also embeds all the data of a document, eliminating the need for separate fonts and the like.
PDF-X-4:2008 is a standard preset of PDF. The X stands for eXchange; in principle, a PDF/X document can be processed by any printer. This means, for instance, that only CMYK colours are used, that all fonts are present in the PDF, that the document is not encrypted, etc. Please note that you still have to enter the bleed settings yourself; these are not exported by default in PDF/X.
Unfolded sheets of paper or products, they are still in their original format. Plano means 'flat'.
An image file format. The abbreviation stands for Portable Network Graphic. It was created to provide a patent-free alternative to the GIF format. PNG images, compared to other formats, take up little space. It is suitable for lossless image storage and especially for saving memory space for simple images.
The different colours in multi-colour printing are printed separately on top of each other. Each individual colour is a pass through a press, i.e. a print run. Full-colour printed matter consists of 4 print runs: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The 4 print runs can be carried out simultaneously on 1 press.
A raster image is an image composed of pixels. A raster image always has a certain resolution, e.g. 300 DPI. Photos are actually always raster images. A raster image cannot be enlarged infinitely without loss of quality.
The common abbreviation for Red, Green and Blue.
RGB is a set of colours based on the primary light colours and is 24-bit.
RGB colours are used for display on screens and are unsuitable for use in four-colour printing. RGB colours must be converted to CMYK colours in order to be printed.
During paper production, the wood fibres move in the running direction of the pulp due to the speed of the sieve. This ultimately determines the running direction of the paper. It is important for printers to know: the running direction of the paper for a book or annual report, for example, must always be parallel to the spine. If not, the pages will 'flutter'.
Would you like to know or test the running direction of paper?
Take a sheet of paper and make a tear in it. If the tear runs straight, this is the running direction. If a wavy tear appears, then the running direction is exactly perpendicular to the tear.
You can also do it this way: tear off a piece of the corner of a sheet of paper and wet it. The running direction is perpendicular to the curl the piece of paper gets.
In satin-finishing, paper is passed through a number of rollers. As a result, the paper fibres are rolled flat. Satin-finished paper is flexible paper with a smooth surface. Paper can incidentally be either coated or satinised.
Printing technique in which the ink is applied to the material to be printed through a screen. Almost any material - including plastic and glass - can be printed with screen printing. It is often used in the art world, but also for printing T-shirts, for example. Screen ink has good opacity, which means it can also be printed on dark surfaces.
An additional colour. This can be a colour in addition to black or an extra colour in four-colour printing.
Stands for Tagged Image File Format and is a file format for storing images. It was developed to store images from scanners and photo editing programmes. The format is flexible and can store images with a variety of properties.
The outer or top layer of paper or cardboard.
A high-gloss varnish that can be applied over all or part of the printing surface.
Vector graphics are the counterparts of raster graphics. They are composed of mathematical lines and shapes. As a result, vector images are resolution independent and can therefore be enlarged infinitely without loss of quality.