IDFP creative design

Visual Identity:

Logo design and stationery


Design for digital

Promotional material:

Brochures, magazines,
newsletter and advertising

Specialist artwork:

Book cover design

Bespoke illustration

CD artwork

Image restoration

Design and translation:

DTP and translation package

IDFP Translation services

Contact IDFP


Tired of having your mind blown by jargon?

If you're planning your first design/print or internet project and need to get your head around the various words and phrases we keep throwing at you, then here is a useful glossary of some of the most common terms.

Design terminology

DPI/PPI - Dots or pixels per inch, referring to the resolution of an image
High resolution (hi res) - An image of 300dpi or greater for use in print
Low resolution (low res) - An image for use on screen, such as CD-ROM or the Internet – 72dpi
Illustrator - Industry standard design and illustration software from Adobe
InDesign - Industry standard software for graphic design and DTP from Adobe
Mac - Common abbreviation for Apple Macintosh computer
PANTONE® - Pantone Inc. is the world-renowned authority on colour and provider of colour systems for print
PDF - Portable document format - readable by the Adobe Acrobat software
Photoshop - Industry standard imaging software from Adobe
Quark Xpress - Industry standard desktop publishing and design software
RGB - Red, green, blue - screen or web based colour palette
Vector graphic - A non-photographic image such as a logo or digital illustration

Print terminology

Bleed - Margin outside the trimmed area of a page that allows for colours or images to print off the edge
CMYK (or process) - Cyan, magenta, yellow, black - the four inks used in standard full colour print
Coated stock - A material with a smooth, silky or glossy feel
Die cut - A specific shape or shapes cut out of the page
Digital press - A high quality laser-based printing press ideal for short print runs (for example 250-300 copies)
Embossing - An image or shape pressed into the stock so it lies above the surface
Finishing - A 'finish' applied to your printed material, such as a laminated coating, varnish or embossing
Gsm - Grammes per square metre, the weight of the paper stock
Lithography (litho) - Traditional, standard printing process
Metallic - Metal-based ink, for shiny metallic results
Perfect binding - Pages are bound by being glued down the spine
PP - Refers to the page count of a document, for example, a 28pp magazine
Self cover - When the front and back cover of a publication is printed on the same stock as the inside pages
Special colour - An additional colour such as a metallic or fluorescent ink
Spot colour - A specia link that has been custom mixed for the job
Stitching - Pages are held together at the spine by staples
Stock - The type of material on which a job is printed
Uncoated stock - Material without any coating, for a soft feel

Internet terminology

Here are just a few of the most common bits of internet jargon, to get started...

Bandwidth - the measure of speed/how much data can be transferred across your internet connection
BMP (Bitmap) - a common image file format for internet use
Browser - application in which to view websites (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera, Chrome etc)
Domain name - the chosen name you register for your website's address, or URL (see below)
Dreamweaver - website design software from Adobe
Flash - animation software from Adobe, used commonly to create animated graphics or banners for websites
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) - another common internet image file format
HTML - Hypertext Markup Language; a common programming code for websites
Host - the company providing the server space where your website is located
Hyperlink - a link from one website to another, or downloadable file
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) - A format for encoding a picture pixel by pixelfor web use
URL - Uniform Resource Locator, the proper term for a website address

All about image resolution

Digital and scanned images are made up of pixels – the more pixels per inch, the higher the image quality (resolution). Standard high resolution images are 300dpi (dots per inch). This is the minimum required resolution for print – which will give you a sharp, photo quality reproduction.

Images with a much lower resolution will look blurred or pixelated and will instantly let the look of a printed job down. However low resolution images (72dpi) are suitable for use on the internet due to their small file size.

Digital photographs

Photographs from a digital camera are generally technically acceptable for use, but check the image size and resolution before you send. If you have Photoshop, Paintshop Pro or Microsoft Photo Editor on your computer, you can check the resolution of your image by going to File > Properties or Image size.

Images from the Internet

Images from websites are unsuitable for print, as they are low resolution, designed for on-screen viewing only, and quality will be poor. It is also illegal to use any image found on the Internet without permission of the copyright holder. If permission is granted, then a high resolution version of the image is still needed.

Image file formats

There are three main file formats used iin most design and print work - TIFF, EPS and JPG.

TIFF (tagged image file format) files are the most suitable format for print. They are an uncompressed, good quality file that will give the best results.

EPS (encapsulated postscript) is the common format for vector based graphics, such as logos, that may need a transparent background. Vector graphics can be significantly enlarged without quality loss.

JPG (pronounced j-peg) is a commonly used compressed file, convenient for e-mail and are commonly used on the Internet due to their small file sizes.