Print Acronyms that Every Marketer Should Have in Their Arsenal

Oftentimes it might seem as if we are robots - at our Color Castle you’ll hear us use lots of letters and sometimes it sounds like we’re speaking a different language. Maybe you've heard some of these acronyms in a meeting, or saw them in a blog post on social media.

Marketing and advertising shorthand is extensive (and intense!) We know how it can feel to be inundated with another industry’s alphabet soup. To help provide a little guidance, we thought we’d put together our top Custom Color acronyms. To all marketers, graphic designers and print buyers – you’re welcome.

Without further ado – from A to Z – our print acronyms that marketers should have in their arsenal.

AM – Account Manager

Our Account Managers are the They’re also referred to as Customer Service Representatives and Happiness Heroes. For any and all printing jobs, our clients are paired with AM’s – these account managers enter jobs and see them through the completion process. They are fantastic communicators and work to help their customers understand what is the most efficient solution for printing problems. Our AM printing posse has over 130 years of experience in the printing industry – that’s a lot of ink knowledge to share with you.

C3 – Custom Color Corp       

Most times, our company is referred to as CCC, C3, or CC.

CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and BlacK

Many people know CMYK – it’s the four process colors that are used in printing. C is for Cyan (blue); M is for Magenta (red/pink); Y is for Yellow, and K is for Black. Sometimes you’ll hear 4-color processing, full-color printing or process printing. They all mean the same thing. At Custom Color, we even have white ink.

DPI – Dots Per Inch

Dots Per Inch measures the sharpness of an image. When expanding a photo for large format print, it is important that DPI is accounted for. For the most detailed output, full-size images should be 150 DPI and half-sized images should be 300 DPI.

DS/SS – Double Sided/Single Sided

Double sided is the use of both sides. Single sided is the use of only one side. Sometimes our customers will choose to have graphics printed double-sided so that graphics can be seen on both sides. Printing double sided is dependent on the material and the degree of bleed-through. If a print is hanging on the wall, customers opt for single-sided use.

DSF – Digital Store Front

Some of our franchised customers opt for our Digital Store Front service – an eCommerce site branded for specific clients. Marketing teams like AMC and Complete Nutrition send us their corporate-approved artwork. That artwork gets uploaded onto DSF and franchise locations can login to purchase signs, floor mats, flags, and any other items that the corporate marketing team produces.

G1, G2, G3, G4 –Teleios Grandes

We’ve lovingly nicknamed our Grande textile printers. Because we have three of these workhorses, we refer to them as G1, G2 and G3. These fabric printers are the most advanced direct to fabric printer to date. Our banner soft, display graphic, flag, micro layer and backlit luxxe are all printed on our Grandes.

G7 – G7 Master Qualification

Unlike our other terms, G7 doesn’t represent words. You’ll see G& in our email footers and on our website – we’re pretty proud of this system certification. G7 Master Qualification means that our software system can calibrate a printing device to meet the G7 grayscale definition using four 1-D curves. Basically it means that our colors are spot-on…every single time.

L3-PO – Larry L. LeggPO

You know, the Star Wars character C-3PO? We have one too – it’s our Principal of Prepress, Larry.

NDA – Next Day Air

This term can often be heard coming from our shipping department. UPS Next Day Air guarantees overnight deliver for day-definite shipments. This is ideal for shipments that need to arrive earlier in the business day and is guaranteed for on-time delivery, which is extra assurance for our customers.

PDF – Portable Document Format

Another common acronym – pretty much everyone is familiar with a PDF. A PDF is a file format used to exchange documents, independent of device or resolution. 

At Custom Color, our prepress system runs on PDF versions of artwork. We can receive art in many different formats, but for the sake of font protection, it’s best to submit PDFs to us. For print ready perfection, check out the graphic in The Prepress Process.

PMS – Pantone Matching System®

Ensuring that colors are accurate is critical for design and print. The Pantone Matching System is a standard ink color system used by commercial printers, like us. If the Pantone name or number is indicated, we can assure that the final print will be spot on. Referencing a PMS swatch book helps designers understand what the color will look like when the file is printed, as sometimes colors look different displayed on a monitor.

RGB – Red, Green, Blue

RGB are the three primary additive colors for display devices and scanners. The RGB color space constructs all the colors from the combination of the red, green and blue colors. We use CMYK for print (see above.)

RIP – Raster Image Processor

Rest in peace to pixelated graphics thanks to raster image processors. A RIP is a software that converts vector graphics into raster graphics or bitmaps. In large format, large images are essential. Our RIP software enlarges images without loss of clarity.

Printing terms can be terrifying – especially when it comes to perfecting your final print. This list of terms is in no way comprehensible of printing terms for all print providers – if you think of one, let us know because we’d love to add it to our list.