Helpful Terms

4-Color Process: a system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a color separation of 4 images, that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black, reproduces the original color image. These four colors can be combined to create thousands of colors.

Bleeds: printers cannot print right to the edge of a paper sheet. To create that effect, the printer must use a sheet, which is larger than the document size. Then the printer prints beyond the edge of the document size (usually 1/8?), then cuts the paper down to the document size.

Camera-ready: artwork that is black and white and has very clean, crisp lines that make it easy to scan and suitable for photographic reproduction.

Debossing: depressing an image into a material's surface so that the image sits below the product surface

Die-casting: injecting molten metal into the cavity of a carved die (a mold)

Digitizing:  specialized process of converting two-dimensional artwork into stitches or thread. A particular format of art such as a jpeg, tif, eps, or bmp, cannot be converted into an embroidery tape. The digitizer must actually recreate the artwork using stitches. Then it programs the sewing machine to sew a specific design, in a specific color, with a specific type of stitch.

Drop Shipment: an order shipped to more than one location will be charged a fee for each additional destination.

Embossing: impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface

Embroidery: stitching a design into fabric through the use of high-speed, computer-controlled sewing machines.

Engraving: cutting an image into metal, wood or glass by one of three methods--computerized engraving, hand tracing, or hand engraving.

Etching: using a process in which an image is first covered with a protective coating that resists acid, then exposed, leaving bare metal and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface.

Hot Stamp: setting a design on a relief die, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface.
Imprint Area: the area on a product, with specific dimensions, in which the imprint is placed.

Laser or Foil Stamp: applying metallic or colored foil imprints to vinyl, leather or paper surfaces.

Less than Minimum: the fee charged for ordering 50% fewer items than the quantity listed in the minimum or first column. This option is not always available on all products.

Pantone Matching System (PMS): a book of standardized color in a fan format used to identify, match and communicate colors in order to produce accurate color matches in printing. Each color has a coded number indicating instructions for mixing inks to achieve that color.

Paper proof: Impression of type or artwork on paper so the correctness and quality of the material to be printed can be checked.

Personalization: imprinting an item with a person's name using one of several methods such as mechanical engraving, laser engraving, hot stamping, debossing, sublimation, or screen printing, to name a few.

Pre-production Proof: an actual physical sample of the product itself produced and sent for approval before an order goes into production.  Additional cost and production time is added for this.

Screen Printing: an image is transferred to the printed surface by ink, which is pressed through a stenciled screen and treated with a light-sensitive emulsion. Film positives are put in contact with the screens and exposed to light, hardening the emulsion not covered by film and leaving a soft area on the screen for the squeegee to press ink through. (Also called silk screening)

Vector File: a graphic file that store image data as a formula that can produce an image scale-able to any size and detail. (Also called EPS file)