Picture this: you need to send out print invitations for an upcoming event. You contact your graphic designer to make it happen. They start asking you questions with so many words and acronyms you don't know that you think they might be speaking another language. Sound familiar?

Well the fact is, they kind of are speaking another language. There's a lot of technical talk in the graphic design world so over the next two posts we'll be breaking some of it down!

This week we’ll be addressing words that might come up when you want to get something printed:

Crop marks - this is where your design will be cut.

Bleed - the area outside the crop marks where to which the image is extended to account for trimming. If you ignore the bleed question, you’ll likely have a big white line down the side of your printed item where the graphic didn’t extend far enough.

CMYK - Computers and digital cameras interpret color in something called “RGB.” (Red Green Blue) But printers PRINT in CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black - you may remember this from your home printer cartridges.) So it is important that your designer has set up your file for CMYK printing - otherwise the graphic may look different on the computer than it does coming out of the printer.

PDF - PDF stands for “Portable Document Format” and is simply the file type that most (paper) printers will need from a designer.

Now you'll be prepared for those print conversations with your graphic designer. But unfortunately your lessons in "Graphic Designer" are not over. File types are often a point of confusion for people (with good reason). So join us again next week and we'll get you the skinny on those.

amy mertz in form creationsABOUT AMY
Amy Mertz is our Creative Director, StoryBrand Certified Guide, and copy writer. When not in the office you can find her chasing down her toddler, searching the land for great coffee, or espousing the current books on her nightstand.