With the ease of digital printing, it's not unusual to send printing projects to an online printer, either for a short-run or single piece, or for larger volumes of printing, such as when you've published a book. When you do upload pieces online for printing, you might have some questions about different terms or phrases you'll see, and understanding these will be important in ensuring your print job is done right. You also want to ensure you don't overlook any details in how the printing is done or what's required of you when uploading your drafts. Note a few questions you might have about getting projects printed online so yours are always done right.

1. What is a page and a leaf?

The term page refers to one side of a sheet of paper, whereas a leaf is the whole sheet. So, if a printing company asks how many leafs there are in your project, you need to understand that this is different than how many pages. A book or other project of 300 pages, meaning page 1 is on the front side of a sheet of paper and page 2 is on the backside of that same sheet, will have 150 leafs.

2. What is the bleed and why is it so important?

The bleed refers to how the mockup of your printing job actually extends past the actual size or margins of that paper. This is important because most jobs are printed on paper that is larger than what you want, and then trimmed down to size. If you don't have proper bleed on all sides of your job, the trimmer could cut one side a bit past the actual paper size or cut your job slightly off center. On the other hand, you might have a white border along one edge. Note the bleed size recommended by your printer and be sure you submit mockups that are just slightly larger than the actual finished size, to allow for this bleed.

3. What is the difference between resolution and PPI?

PPI refers to pixels per inch, or how many little squares of color, called pixels, make up a particular photo. The higher the PPI, the better the resolution of a photo. If you've ever enlarged a picture on your computer and it becomes blurry, this is due to a low PPI.

Many printing companies will ask for "high resolution" photos and if you're not sure what this means, ask them how many PPI are recommended for the project. You can then ensure you only use photos that are an acceptable PPI measurement.