Print Like a Pro: Common Printing Terms You Should Know

Print Like a Pro: Common Printing Terms You Should Know

Print Like a Pro: Common Printing Terms You Should Know

Like with any industry, printing has many terms that a professional must familiarize themselves with. Knowing some common printing terms is critical to understanding what goes into a good print and enables you to engage with the medium in a more complete manner. Get started by knowing the basics and build upon your knowledge base to flesh out your understanding of printing.

RGB and CMYK Coloring

When dealing with prints, especially prints with complex images, you’ll need to have a good understanding of color. It’s not as simple as understanding the primary colors; a professional must understand what types of colors look good on different surfaces. Specifically, it’s vital to know the colors that look best on physical prints and what looks best on digital prints.

For this, you must refer to the terms RGB and CMYK. RGB (red, green, blue) finds use in digital media due to digital screens emitting light. Lighted screens produce more appealing colors with RGB. Meanwhile, CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) is for physical media. Be aware of these acronyms and why coloring is important, as it’s one of the cornerstones of printing.


Aside from colors, typography is another essential part of professional prints, and a critical term to know is kerning. Kerning is the space between individual characters on a page. Considering it ensures that characters on a page aren’t too close together or too spaced out.

Having characters too spaced out or too close can negatively impact readability, making it difficult for your intended audience to understand your print. It’s also important to understand that kerning is not a one-size-fits-all process; the amount of adjusting you must do can depend on the font.


When applying ink to a physical print, there’s always the risk of it smudging, thus ruining your design and requiring you to replace the ruined print. It’s essential to understand coating and how invaluable it is to the process.

Without proper coating, you not only risk immediate damage to your print, but you also severely decrease its long-term lifespan. You don’t want to invest time, money, and effort into a print that’ll rapidly decay due to a lack of coating.

Set Yourself Up for Success

If you want to print like a pro, be aware of common printing terms you should know, make your product the best it can be, and cultivate your knowledge base. And if you require a Boston printing company, don’t hesitate to reach out with any inquiries. We’re happy to assist with your printing needs.