Printing jargon

Some printing jargon

A2, A3, A4 etc.

Paper sizes: A2 is 594x420mm
Half of A2 is A3 (420x297mm)
Half of A3 is A4 (210x297mm) photocopy size etc.


a photo, illustration or heading, reproduced on photo-graphic paper, usually after reduction or enlargement. Used in paste-up


Body copy

the plain text of an article or book as opposed to the headings, captions etc..
Camera-ready art, or 'finished art': your completed publication, ready for printing.


the text of your publication.


finished sheets of type-setting, usually in long rolls.


grams per square metre. Weight used in specifying paper stock eg. photocopy paper is usually 75-80gsm, the cover of a paperback is often about 230gsm.


a photo that's been converted into a series of tiny dots for printing. Also called a screened photo. Newspapers use 65 dots to the inch, magazines generally prefer 125 dots to the inch. Instant printers prefer about 85 dots to the inch (maximum).


the 'worked-out plan' of a publication, often made by sticky-taping down a photocopy of the typeset columns, and showing where headings and photos will go.


finished art-work given to a printer, and the process of producing it.


a photocopy of the typesetting, used for proofreading (checking for errors).


the type of paper; specified as weight (in gsm), whether gloss or matt, and whether white, tinted (coloured) or coated.


Printer instructions

  • deadline
  • print-run
  • paper size (called the "trim")
  • paper type and weight ("stock")
  • folding, stapling, trimming
  • colours
  • number of pages
  • are the covers on a different paper or with extra inks?