Printing Glossary

PMS (Pantone Matching Systems)

The most popular color matching system used in the printing industry. A true PMS color is defined by a mixture of inks that will provide a specific color. PMS colors are designated by a color code and can be used to produce colors outside the CMYK gamut.


A page description language developed by Adobe Systems that tells a printer how an image is to be printed.

PPI (Pixels Per Inch)

Also referred to as Dots Per Inch (DPI), which is a measurement of resolution of an image before being converted to a “halftoned” or screened image for printing. The PPI 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.


A procedure used to ensure the submitted artwork is properly prepared for prepress and successful printing.


Electronic file preparation, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer prior to printing

Printer's Spreads

Multi-page documents made into two page sections, so they are imposed for printing, as compared to Reader's Spreads.

Process Colors

The four basic colors used in printing to simulate full spectrum color. Cyan (process blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), black (process black).

Process Color (Inks)

The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.


Provides the opportunity to review and approve the artwork prior to production. Proofs are offered in the form of a PDF or Hard Copy which must be viewed and approved prior to the production of the ordered product.