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Print On Demand Industry Terms

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By Becca - April 16, 2019- in Go-Getter Blog

To make your journey in the online marketplace easier, we created a list of terms that you might bump into when using CustomCat.
We present you an official print on demand jargon guide.


Affiliate marketing is an online sales tactic of earning a commission by promoting other people’s products or services. This can be best explained with social media. An influencer who persuades their online audience to use CustomCat as a POD provider. The influencer would make commission based off their sign ups.


API stands for Application Programming Interface.
With API, you make your website look the way you want. The ultimate advantage of using API is freedom of customization.
CustomCat’s API will automate sending orders from your online store or platform to our system without the need for any manual order submission.
Read when you should and shouldn’t use API here.


AVL stands for Approved Vendor List. As a part of the supply chain, each business is connected to various other businesses to get its materials.


AVS stands for Address Verification Software. This software automatically checks addresses based on city, state, and zip code. Get all the AVS details here.

All Over Print

All Over Print is referred to as a design that covers the entire surface of the garment.
Check out All Over Print Print Selling Guide to learn more.

Bespoke Technologies

Bespoke is the parent company. Companies within the Bespoke umbrella include MyLocker, CustomCat, SpiritShop, and Down With Detroit.


Transactions at the wholesale level are usually business to business.


Transactions on the retail level are usually business to customer.


CMYK diagram
Our printers convert print files from RGB to CMYK.
We recommend designing your file within the CMYK color space, but convert the file to RGB before saving.


COG is referred to as Cost of Goods. Cost Of Goods Sold is a calculation of all the costs involved in selling a product.


The delivery company that delivers orders.


Collections are used to group products to make it easier for your customers to find products. The basic categories include men, women, or children. You can play around with different types of categories – animals. When your customer clicks the animal category, all products related to animals will pop up for browsing.


CommerceHQ is an ecommerce platform similar to Shopify. For more information visit CommerceHQ vs Shopify to get a better idea of what CommerceHQ is all about.


Copyright ensures ownership of your design.
At CustomCat we do not assume responsibility for copyrighted images sent to us for decoration.
By downloading the app and opting to terms and agreements, you authorize the manufacturing of designs.

CustomCat Lite

CustomCat integrates with Shopify. As a seller, you have two options.
customcat pricing

Design Library

Design Library is a secure space to add your designs. Once you import designs to your library you can access those designs at any time.
For security reasons, our sellers cannot download the art file from their design library.


DPI = Dots Per Inch. DPI stands for printing dot density. The number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of one inch. Higher the DPI, the better the outcome.
We recommend using a high resolution .png (with transparent background) or .jpg 1200x1200px at 300 dpi.
We also accept vector files (.ai, .svg, and .eps).

DTG Printing

Direct to Garment printers hold the garment in a fixed position as ink is applied to the garment directly and is absorbed by the garment’s fibers.

Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is a retail method, where you as a seller don’t keep products in stock. Instead, when a customer makes a purchase, a third party (fulfillment center) directly ships the product to the customer.


Ecommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services online.

Ecommerce Platform

An ecommerce platform is a software application that allows sellers to manage sales.


Embroidery uses a needle to apply thread to a particular garment.

Export Templates

Export templates are used to streamline your exports.
For example if you want to sell a specific women’s hoodie, you can make a template with chosen variants and save it.
When you add a new design, instead of starting from scratch you can select a saved template and save yourself some time.
Export templates work great with light or dark garments. White logos can be added to dark garments and vice versa.


Fulfillment is a process of getting orders ready to be packaged and shipped to a customer.

Fulfillment Provider

Fulfillment providers hold inventory and fulfill customer orders for ecommerce sellers.

Full Bleed

We recommend your prints are full bleed because part of it gets trimmed during the printing process. So we want to make sure the area is not left blank.
full bleed


Integration is when we refer to a connection between CustomCat and ecommerce plug-in-play platforms (Shopify, WooCommerce).


Just in time.


MSRP stands for the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.


Mockup is an image that shows how your design looks on a particular product.

Multi-Channel Selling

Multi-channel selling is the act of selling merchandise on more than one sale channel.


Out of stock.

Pre-Treat Ink

Before we print we pretreat the garment with a solution to make sure the ink penetrates the garment correctly.
* Sometimes this can cause a vinegar-like smell. The smell usually disappears after the first washing.

Print File

Print file is a file that has all the specifications necessary to produce high-resolution prints.
Check out How to Prepare Print On Demand Print File Guide 

Print On Demand

Print on demand process is where the seller works with a supplier (CustomCat) to print products with designs to sell them on a per-order basis.

Profit Margin

The amount of profit you earn each sale. With CustomCat you’ll be charged product base cost depending which option you choose (CustomCat or CustomCat Lite), then you mark up the base cost to create favorable retail price in order for you to make profit. The difference is called a profit margin.


January, February, and March


April, May, and June


July, August, and September


October, November, and December


QC is referred to as quality control.


RGB color diagram
RGB is sometimes called an additive system – color tones are created by mixing Red, Green and Blue lights in various ways.
Scanners, digital cameras and computers use RGB spectrum to display color.


ROI stands for return on investment. ROI measures return on a particular investment relative to the investment’s initial cost.
ROI = (Current Value of Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment

Run Stitch

This is a basic stitch. It’s when the needle passes in and out of the fabric.


SKUs are codes that are used internally to get an in-depth overview of your sales.
*The zero is replaced with a unique design number.

Screen Printing

Your design is burned onto a screen and the ink is pushed onto your garment using a woven mesh screen. Screen printing is perfect for bulk orders.


Shopify is an ecommerce platform for online retailers.

Sublimation Printing

Dye ink is transferred directly onto the product with the help of heat.


Tags are used as a way to organize products in a Shopify store. Tags are also important for SEO rankings. For more information, check out how to use tags in Shopify here.

Tracking Number

This number tells you exactly what stage of the process your order is at.


The opacity is lower than 100%. We don’t recommend using transparent elements as they will alter the print outcome.
We suggest you create a solid file, and then create a layer mask and use a soft brush to feather the edges to accomplish a faded look.


The underbase is a white color applied first, it keeps your garment color from bleeding through.


In print on demand industry, we use variants with a product that comes in more than one option, such as size or color. Each combination of options for a product is a variant for that product.


WP stands for WordPress. WordPress is an open-source content management system known to be associated with blogging but it supports other types of content as well  – online stores, media galleries, and forums.


Woo stands for WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress that allows users to sell.
Anything else that you can think of? Let us know if this type of content is helpful in the comments!

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