Printing & Industry Terms

Browse through our ever growing list of printing industry terms and definitions. Use this as a reference aid when you come across industry terms you are not completely familiar with.


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”). The paper is then cut down to the correct document size.


Artwork that is black and white and has very clean, crisp lines, making it easy to scan and is suitable for photographic reproduction.

Color Match

Sometimes the factory will have to charge a small fee to custom blend a special color that you have requested. If you select from their normal colors, you will be able to avoid this fee.

Copy Change

A fee charged for changing the imprint copy on a product either at the time of the original proof approval or upon a re-order.

Drop Shipment

We ship direct from the factory to your location. An order shipped to more than one location will be charged a fee for each additional destination. This option is not available on all products.

Exact Rerun

Typically there is no setup charge on exact reruns of an order. An exact rerun means no change to artwork or color.


An image produced by breaking the subject into small dots of varying intensities of gray ranging from white to black.


The quantity printed in excess of the quantity specified is the overrun. The quantity printed under the quantity specified is the underrun. The industry standard on most products is + 2-5%, with the exception of paper and plastic bags. They can range from +10 to +25%. A Supplier bills based on the actual quantity shipped. Most suppliers print more than ordered in case there is a problem with some of the items so you do not have to leave someone shorthanded during an event.

Pantone Matching System (PMS)

A book of standardized colors in a fan format used to identify, match and communicate colors to produce accurate color matches in printing. Each color has a coded number indicating instructions for mixing inks to achieve that color. Please feel free to use our Ink Color Chart as a guide if you do not have access to a PMS Chart. Note: Computer video displays may not match industry identified color standards exactly. Always use current Industry Color Publications for most accurate color.

Paper Proof

Proofs are re-creations of the item you are ordering with your artwork shown. This re-creation can come in a black and white image on paper or as an electronic image with color. The proof is designed to give you the opportunity to verify the accuracy of the artwork and its size and location on the product. All of our non-rush orders receive a paper or electronic proof to make sure your order will be completed as desired.


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, just to name a few.

Pre-production Proof

An actual physical sample of the product itself produced with your artwork and sent for approval before an order goes into production. This process has high costs ($30.00- $200.00) due to the labor involved and having to slow production at the factory to make the sample.

Production Time

The amount of time needed to produce and ship an order after the proof has been approved. Stock products with a one-color imprint usually ship within 10-12 working days. Custom products and those with multiple color imprints can require longer production time.

Quantity Pricing

These are the prices for which we discount your items based on the quantity you would like to purchase. They are usually always clearly posted on our website.

Set-up Charge / Screen Fee / Plate Charge

A fee charged by the manufacturer for labor and materials needed to transfer your logo to the printing method. A screen-print requires a screen fee for every color. Deboss and hot stamps require a metal plate the machine uses to make your imprint. This is known as a plate or a die. Digitizing for embroidery is the most expensive process. A digitized tape is made so the stitching machine can recreate your logo on fabric. Many of these setups are outsourced to companies who specialize in correctly making the items. The fees are the costs for this service. Often times we will keep your plate, screen or mold on hand for a few years for reorders so you will not have to pay another setup charge in the future.

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