Printing Glossary


The process of stamping an image into paper so it sets below the surface of the sheet.


This is a device or template typically made out of metal that is used to cut, score, stamp, emboss, or deboss irregular shapes.

Die Cutting

A process by which a template is made out of sharp steel and used to cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard sheets. Usually die cutting corresponds to printed design elements.

Dot Gain

Phenomenon of halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing detail and lowering contrast. Also called dot growth, dot spread or press gain.

Dots Per Inch (DPI)

Also referred to as Pixels Per Inch (PPI), which is a measurement of resolution of an image before being converted to a “halftoned” or screened image for printing. The DPI of the image is determined by the number of discrete dots or pixels of information that fit into one inch. For optimal printing results, your image must be at least 300 DPI/PPI at the final output size. Please do not attempt to change a low resolution image to a higher one by changing the DPI/PPI in your image manipulation software. Doing so will result in a blurred output.


In the printing arena, to drill a whole in a printed matter, usually for applications like adding a string for a hangtag or 3 hole to fit in a binder.


Parts of artwork that are not reproduced

Dull Finish

Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper or on a final printed piece due to the application of inks or coatings that dry with a dull finish. Also called velour finish or velvet finish.


A product that is handmade by a graphic artist to show how the finished product will look. This is typically not created on the exact paper stock or with the actual printing method that the final product will be created with. Also sometimes called a mockup. Think of this as a sample designed to show trimmed size, folding and sometimes the selected binding method