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Print Perfect Terminology

Print Perfect Terminology

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09 Jun 2015

Familiarise yourself with print terminology and get a more refined finish on all your products, as well as an upper-hand on your competitors. This glossary covers some of the most commonly used jargon used by designers and printers when creating your custom made business cards, posters and other print items. Take a look at our guide and get to grips with the terminology surrounding print so you can get your products printed perfect first time round.

1. Print Sizes

    A0    841mm x 1189mm
    A1    594mm x 841mm
    A2    420mm x 594mm
    A3    297mm x 420mm
    A4    210mm x 297mm
    A5    148mm x 210mm
    A6    105mm x 148mm
    A7      74mm x 105mm

Determine the purpose of the print item, including the level of impact you want to achieve, and from there you can then work out the size required. If you’re executing a big poster campaign you’re probably best with a size A0. Alternatively if you plan on sending out some flyers, A6 should do the trick.

Tip: The smaller the number, the bigger the size of the paper. 


DPI stands for ‘dots per inch’, and is typically used when describing the resolution of printing functions. The higher the DPI, the higher the resolution – and the more accurate and detailed your print.

Tip: The higher the DPI, the better the quality of the final print.


Broken down, CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). This is by far the most common colour combination used in printing. Key, or black, refers to the key plate which is said to add detail to a printed image – black adds definition and shadow into an image. If you’re designing in-house, it’s vital that all your materials are created in CMYK to get the best possible print finish.  

Tip: Designing your products in CMYK will give you the best printed finish. Read more on CMYK in our Colour Guide.


RGB is a collection of the primary colours: red, green and blue. This is the online graphic colour palette, which allows us to see a true representation of colour on TVs or monitors. Similar to CMYK, the RGB colour model is blended to create an array of other colours.

Jennie Talbot

About the Author

Hi! I’m Jennie, and I’m the Creative Lead at instantprint. I love using my design knowledge to inspire small businesses to think outside the box when designing their print.