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PVC and Corrugated Plastic

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Laser Sharp Printing & Signs,

1420 East 57th Avenue, Vancouver, BC   V5P 2A9   

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​Computer File Terms

Printing Terms

Sign and Banner Terms

CMYK/RGB:  electronic displays use an RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colour mode; printers use a CMYK mode.  Because of this, printed colours may look different from display colours.  See more here.

dpi: “dots per inch”. Refers to the number of coloured “dots” or “pixels” that are in each square inch of your image. Images with more dots per inch are said to have a higher resolution and result in better print quality.  Higher resolution (300 dpi) files are larger and better.

pixelated:  often, when you print or enlarge a low resolution image, it will appear fuzzy and the edges will look boxy and jagged.  This is because there were not enough boxes of colour (pixels) per inch in your image and when enlarged, they have become visible - the image has become “pixelated”.

a graphic computer file that is made up of lines and nodes, rather than pixels.  Vector files can easily be enlarged and changed without any loss of quality.  Vector files are required for cut vinyl jobs.

black and white print:  If you ask to have your document printed in black and white, a “grayscale” setting is used.  Any non-black part of your document will print as a shade of gray, and any black block will have a somewhat dull appearance.  If you want a vibrant, rich black, ironically, you need to print in colour.

book/text: “book” or “text” paper is the standard paper used for the pages in booklets and calendars.  It is also used for flyers and brochures.  Book/text is lighter than “Cover”

brochure: not just a folded flyer, a brochure is laid out and designed to be folded and reveal information in an organized way when the reader opens it.    

carbonless form: remember carbon paper?  We used to put it between two forms so that whatever was written on the first page was copied to the second.  Carbonless forms work the same way, but without using the annoying carbon paper.  Great for order forms and invoices.

cover/card stock:  heavy/thicker paper used for business cards, greeting cards, rack cards, tear cards, menus, and covers for calendars and booklets.  The thickness of cover stock is often measured in points (pt) our pounds (lb) - see below.

crease: whenever you fold a heavy paper, particularly card stock, there is a risk that the paper and/or print will crack.  To attempt to prevent this, it is important to crease the card, putting a small channel in the paper that helps it to bend along a straight line without cracking.

design: every print job starts with an electronic file.  If you don’t have that file, or if the file you have is not of the appropriate quality, a print ready digital file (artwork) will have to be created for you.  We refer to that process as “design”.  Basically, we just mean creating artwork so you have something to print that meets your needs.

duplex:  double sided.

gloss:  paper or vinyl with a shiny coating.

hard copy:  a printed sample of your order.  You  can expect subtle variations in the way your document looks on your computer monitor or phone and the way it looks after printing. If you have concerns about the quality or colours of your print, you need to request a printed sample (hard copy proof) to make sure everything is correct.

perforation: a spiked wheel is rolled across the paper or card to make tearing along the line easy.

pt/lb: points and pounds are measures for paper. “Basis weight” is the weight, in pounds, of 500 sheets of paper in its basic sheet size (which, unfortunately, is not the same for all types of paper).  In simple terms, a heavier paper is often thicker and denser, so that it feels stiffer and is not as easy to see through as lighter stock.  Points are used to measure thickness, and every point is equal to .001 inch, so a 12pt card stock is .012 inches thick.

proof: a digital proof is an electronic copy of your print file, showing how it will appear.  If you have submitted your file online, your proof will not look significantly different from what you sent, unless you have asked for changes to the artwork. When you approve the proof for print, you take responsibility for any errors.

saddle stitch:  for booklets and calendars - refers to 2 staples being placed along the spine or fold to create a booklet.

tear card: a cardstock flyer with a perforation along the bottom to allow the bottom portion to be torn off.  Ideal for including a business card or coupon with your flyer/rack card design.

variable data: Save money on design and preparation work by allowing us to combine your basic artwork with information that will be different on each copy.  A good example is a name tag: you send a design for your tag as a pdf file and a list of names and or pictures/logos in an Excel file and we combine them at the time of printing.  This service is available for both digital (flyers, brochures, business cards, etc) and wide format printing (posters, banners, stickers, labels, etc).

aluminum sign blank: white, rectangular aluminum sheet with rounded corners, as is commonly seen in street signs regulating parking zones.

contour cut: our printer is able to print and image on vinyl and cut around the image to match its shape.

corrugated plastic:  plastic sign material made up of a series walled spaces, called flutes, side by side, covered by smooth plastic.  Corrugated plastic, or “coroplast” is lightweight and weatherproof.  Wire “H-stands” are great for corrugated plastic signs, but if you plan to use them, make sure to specify in your order that you need vertical flutes into which to slide the wires. Corrugated plastic signs have a bit of a bumpy, lined appearance.

cut vinyl: solid colours of vinyl sticker material are machine cut and mounted on signs, banners, magnets, windows, or vehicles.  
grommets: a press is used to cut a hole in a banner or sign and insert a metal liner, called a grommet, to protect the substrate from tearing.

hemmed banner: a banner reinforced along the edges with a double-sided taped hem, strengthening the edge and giving the banner a clean edge.

roll up banner:also called a retractable banner, a smooth banner that conveniently rolls into its stand when not in use.  Roll up banner stands come with their own carrying case, making them ideal for taking with you on a trip.  They set up and take down in seconds.

scrim banner:  vinyl banner material reinforced with a pattern of threads to increase its strength.

smooth PVC:  a ligthweight, rigid sign board made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride).  PVC board is durable, smooth, low gloss and is moisture and corrosion resistant.   A great alternative to avoid the bumpy appearance of corrugated plastic.

Laser Sharp Printing & Signs
1420 East 57th AvenueVancouver, BCV5P 2A9CA
Phone: 604-428-4028 Website: