Ashfield Printing Derby Printer - Header
Image of a glossary

Print Glossary

specifications explained


Your handy guide to all the different printing and product specifications.

This glossary is listed by Product Category.
If you are looking for explanations of specific print terminology see Print Jargon Buster or if you need more info about what's included on your quote see Your Quote Explained.


4 Colour (Full Colour)

The technique used to print full-colour using 4 inks, cyan, magenta, yellow plus black (CMYK). The four inks are placed on the paper in layers of dots that combine to create the illusion of many more colours.

Black Only

Print which uses black ink only (sometimes referred to as mono).

Cut to Shape

Cut to a specific shape to add to the overall visual appeal (cut by machine – no form required)

Die Cut

Cut out using a pre-made die cutting form.

Digital Embossing

A new sensation! Digital embossing uses UV varnish to make printed work three dimensional, it can be specified in two depths: Low Lift and High Lift, depending on the effect you require and because the process is Digital, there is no lower limit on quantity. This effect really needs to be seen to be believed.


Engraving is the process of cutting grooves into the metal surface to create a design or lettering. All metal work is completed to a high standard and has a fully protected finish.


Etching is the process of using acid to cut into the unprotected parts of the metal surface to create a design in the metal. All metal work is completed to a high standard and has a fully protected finish.

Metallic Ink

Perfect for creating an eye-catching appearance. Metallic inks allow you to add the luxury and brilliance of gold, silver, bronze and virtually thousands of pearlescent and metallic colours to your prints.

Neon Ink

Available in a range of colours. These dayglow inks can be used to make your print stand apart from the crowd and is a sure way to get seen!


A great way to use your customer data to customise the content of the print you produce. Personalised printing enables you to tailor each printed item to match the likes and tastes of each customer.

Reverse Print (Subsurface Print)

Clear materials can be reverse printed so that the print sits protected, behind the clear material.

Spot Colour (Pantone®)

This process uses an ink colour which is ready-mixed to a particular colour (Pantone®). Spot colour is often used in corporate stationery, and where colour accuracy is deemed essential, for instance a company logo.

Spot UV 

A thick high gloss varnish which is applied to certain areas (or spots) of the print. Drawing attention and creating a vivid upmarket finish.




The banner is simply cut to size.

Grip Fittings

A quick and easy alternative to banner eyelets. Grip fittings require no tools, and the harder they are pulled, the tighter they grip.


Eyelets offer a reliable fixing method for banners, available in brass, steel and nylon in various sizes.


Welding the eyelets provides additional strength.



Wire Binding

This binding method enables the pages to be opened completely flat and allows for 360 degree rotation of bound pages.

Comb Binding

Is very similar to wire binding (pages can be opened completely flat with a 360 degree rotation) but instead of the metal spine a thicker plastic spine is used.

Saddle Stitch Binding

This popular method of binding involves staples being inserted along the spine, holding the folded pages together. This binding method is dependent on the paper thickness combined with the total number of pages.

Perfect Binding

The pages are bound together and then attached to the spine using a flexible adhesive. This is the binding used on paperback books.

Binding Screws

Providing the booklet with a prestigious upmarket finish.  One binding screw in the top left corner will create a booklet which fans out (like a swatch) whilst multiple binding screws can be use to create a booklet with pages that open out, in this case all pages must be pre-creased.  This is the only binding method which allows individual pages to be removed or changed.


Canvas Prints


Continue to Bleed

The printed image extends around the sides of the frame.


The sides can be printed to mirror the subject matter.


Unprinted (white) sides.

There is no cost difference whichever edge is chosen.


15mm Frame

Mounted on a 15mm thick wooden frame.

38mm Frame 

Mounted on a 38mm thick wooden frame.


Car / Window Graphics

Frosting Effect

Specialist vinyl graphics can be used to offer a low cost alternative to the traditional acid etching or sand blasting of glass whilst still providing an impressive end result.

Inside Fit

Window stickers to use on the inside of a window to be viewed from outside (known as INSIDERS).

Outside Fit

Window stickers that fix on the outside and viewed from outside (known as OUTSIDERS).

Contra Vision

One way window graphics. A message can be printed on one side whilst still being seen through from the other side. Tiny holes within the printed surface mean that from inside the view is unobstructed, but from outside only the window graphic is visible.

Self Cling

Uses static to hold the sticker in place without the need for adhesive, ideal if you need to peel and re-use the stickers

Self Adhesive

Ideal for permanent or semi-permanent use, long lasting and washable but can be removed


Ideal for using on cars and vans that are utilised for both private and business purposes and for sub-contractors.




Labels that have anti-microbial agents that help stop the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Cut to Shape (Die Cut)

Labels can be cut to specific shapes adding to their visual appeal or providing advanced fit.


The doming process creates an eye-catching 3D label, bringing the label to life through touch and aesthetics, whilst providing protection from the elements.


Used to create a "no label" look. These labels are often used to state instructions and ingredients on everyday items.


A clear film is applied to the print to protect it from chemicals or abrasion. Part lamination offers the chance to add information to the label before the laminate covering is fully applied. Such labels can be used for bus passes or product ID cards.

Pantone Colour Match

For exact colour requirements.

Tamper Evident 

Can be placed over seals and closures to guard against unauthorised access, used on electrical equipment or on everyday items to protect against fraudulent warranty claims. They are also used in the retail industry to protect against theft and tampering of packaged items. This type of label comprises of two layers. When the label is removed from the asset the top layer comes off easily leaving behind a bottom layer which is made up of an aggressive tackified acrylic adhesive. Once the top layer is removed a "void" or "chain" message will be left behind on the asset. These labels can be customised and bar-coded.


Labels that have a blockout background so that wherever they are placed the text or images underneath are not visible, even when held up to the light.



Matt Laminate

A highly textured finish which doesn't glare and doesn't reflect light.

Gloss Laminate

A clear film is applied to the surface of the print to give scratch-proof, resilient protection. Creating a colourful, vibrant, shiny finish to your print.

Lustre Laminate

Similar to a matt laminate this laminate has a low glare finish without loss of contrast.

Soft Touch Laminate

A tactile laminate that gives the print a velvety smooth feel.

Dry Wipe Laminate

A clear high gloss film which is added to the print to provide a dry wipe finish.

Mark Resist Laminate

A durable, hard wearing laminate that is added to the print to provide a mark resistant finish.

Anti-Graffiti Laminate

A thicker film which is resistant to most common cleaning solvents that can be added to print to help to protect against graffiti damage.

Anti Microbial Laminate

A thin clear film which contains agents designed to protection the print from infections such as: E.Coli, MRSA & Providencia Stuartii.




A hard plastic with excellent optical clarity, low UV sensitivity, good impact resistance and good overall weather resistance. Acrylic is often used as a glass substitute.


A lightweight yet tough, reusable and waterproof twin wall corrugated plastic sheet which is fully recyclable.


An aluminium composite board, ideal for signage. The panel combines two 0.3 mm aluminium surface layers with a polyethylene core and comes with a protective film on both sides.


A tough and hard wearing fabric which can be stretched over a frame to create a seamless finishes over large areas. Ideal for display stands.


A rigid, lightweight material with good chemical resistance and a low water absorption. It comes in a range of different colours but has a low impact strength. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Available in 2, 3, 5 & 10mm


We generally print onto aluminium or steel but we are happy to test print on various metals.


Refer to the paper section for more info.


A slightly more brittle form of acrylic.


A hard plastic which can be formed (bent) under heat, often used in bespoke POS. With a light transmission of 90%, the same as glass, PETG is just over half the weight and has a superior impact resistance. Coupled with an excellent fire rating, PETG is suitable for applications where more durability is required.


A hard plastic suitable for many applications. It is preferred over normal plastic because it is more durable and more resistant to shattering.


A rigid plastic with high strength, good chemical resistance and an excellent fire rating. PVC has low water absorption and good corrosion resistance. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.


A durable, tear resistant and weatherproof material. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.


NCR Forms


No Carbon Required forms contain paper which has been treated with a special coating. When glued together in sets of 2 or more sheets the paper reacts to the pressure of a pen so that whatever is written on the first sheet (or top part) of the form is copied onto subsequent parts of the form without the need for carbon paper. They can be numbered or un-numbered according to preference. Ideal for hand written invoices, delivery notes or forms when a duplicate is needed.

No of Parts

Number of duplicates required.

No of Sets

Total number of sets (of the parts) required.


25 or 50 NCR sets can be glued together along with a backing board to create a pad, once used all parts are removed from the pad.


25 or 50 NCR sets are put together to form a book. Retains one of the duplicate parts within the book, other parts have perforations so that they can be removed.

Loose Sets

Parts glued together and then supplied loose as sets.


Paper (Stock)


Paper with a coating to give it a shiny finish adding extra vibrancy. Glossy papers generally offer the widest colour range and best resolution, but they suffer from glare which can be a problem under certain lighting conditions.


Paper with a matte coating to give it a smooth finish. Excellent for usage where light reflections can be an issue because it doesn’t create any glare. Matte papers will generally have slightly duller colours and less contrast compared to gloss papers and are often not quite as durable.

Uncoated (Plain)

Paper which doesn’t have a coating and is therefore not as smooth as coated paper. Premium quality uncoated papers are used for business stationery and are becoming increasingly popular for use in prestigious brochures and catalogues. Ideal if you need to hand write personal information onto your print.

Textured (uncoated)

Textured papers are a tactile way to create interest. Variations in paper can include homemade papers, rice paper and papyrus.

Iridescent, Pearlescent & Metallic

These upmarket papers provide the finished print with a luxurious sheen, and there so many different effects to choose from.


Waterproof, tear proof material which is designed for outdoor use. Ideal for posters.

Self Adhesive

Paper with an adhesive backing, simply peel the back off and affix where required.


Paper Thickness


Grams per Square Metre, is a measurement of paper thickness/density.


Newspaper: approx 35-50gsm
Regular copy/printer paper: approx 80-100gsm
Photo prints: approx 250gsm
Cereal box: approx 350gsm

Microns (μm)

The gauge used to describe plastic thickness, the higher the gauge/microns the thicker the plastic.


Bank card : approx 760micron
Plastic bottle: approx 300microns
Shelf wobblers: approx 370microns



Point of Sale (Floor) Displays

Freestanding displays, designed to hold product or store literature. When shelf space is limited these floor standing display units provide a perfect solution. They also provide a platform to get additional messages across whilst gaining the customers attention.

Counter Displays

Available in many different sizes and designs, these stands provide a great merchandising opportunity. Ideal for telling customers about new products or services and promoting impulse buys.

Leaflet Holders

Freestanding leaflet holders/dispensers are available in a range of sizes and materials.

Shelf Wobblers

Cut to shape POS that can sit on the shelf or attaches to the shelf edge. Shelf wobblers (danglers) are a proven Point-of-Sale staple to catch the eye of the consumer as they move down that aisle.

Shelf Strips

Fit snugly into the channels on the edge of store shelves. They can be whatever length you want, they are hard-wearing and eye-catching.

Shelf / Bay Dividers

Used to divide shelves into different product areas. Available in a wide range of different materials to fit individual requirements.

Hanging Signs

Suspended from the ceiling or wall brackets. Available on a range of different materials, an array of different fixing accessories can also be supplied.



Cut Letters

Each letter is individually cut out and mounted internally or externally. This is a very popular form of signage that offers a striking 3D effect. Available in a range of materials, including acrylic, plastic and stainless steel.

Rigid Signs

Available on a large range of different coloured boards including PVC, Vinyl, Fabric, Canvas, Foamex, Correx, Dibond and MDF. Great if you want to include a full colour image.

A Boards

Durable and hard wearing our A Boards are designed to get your message across. Includes A-boards, A-frames, sandwich boards & swing signs.

Health & Safety Signs

Made in self adhesive vinyl and rigid PVC in both white and photoluminescent as well as non reflective plastic for Tactile Signs.

Metal Signs

Ashfield can manufacture metal signs, nameplates, badges and keyfobs. All metal work is completed to a high standard and has a fully protected finish. Holes for fixing and UID / Bar Codes / Serial Numbers can also be added.


Glow in the dark signs which have excellent brightness, even in total darkness. Traditionally used for Fire Safety Signs and Health and Safety Signs.


Day-glow, eye-catching and attention grabbing. Available in a range of different colours. Often used in advertising, applied to dark backgrounds to make a greater impact.


Ideal for signs that need to be seen day or night. Background tends to be white or yellow with black lettering.



Custom Wallpaper

Your designs or photographs printed directly onto specialist wallpaper.

One Big Image

Create one huge image covering the whole wall by joining up strips.

Repeating Pattern

Design a repeating pattern which can be printed and used just like conventional wallpaper.


Our Latest Blog Posts

Share On