Terms

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Alteration:  Change in copy of specifications after production has begun.

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barcodeBarcode: Consists of a series of thin and thick black lines that when placed in defined patterns represent a numeric or alphabetic character. Various different symbologies identify the defined patterns. Barcodes can be one dimensional -- like the ones found on retail packages or two dimensional (known as 2D). 2D barcodes, which consist of a matrix of black and white blocks can contain large amounts of information. The most popular is PDF-417, developed by Symbol Technologies.

Bindery: The finishing department of a print shop or firm specializing in finishing printed products.

Bleed: an element that extends to the edge of the page. To print a bleed, the publication is printed on oversized paper which is trimmed.

Blind embossing: An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil.

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Carbonless:  Pressure sensitive writing paper that does not use carbon.

Clip art: ready-made artwork sold or distributed for clipping and pasting into publications. Available in hard-copy books, and in electronic form, as files on disk.

Coated paper: A clay coated printing paper with a smooth finish.

Collate: A finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order.

Color separations: The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colors.

Comb bind: To plastic comb bind by inserting the comb into punched holes.

Continuous-tone: Illustrations, photographs or computer files that contain gradient tones from black to white or light to dark.

Copy: All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product.

Crash number: Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set.

cropmarksCrop: To cut off parts of a picture or image.

Crop marks: Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.

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Density: The degree of color or darkness of an image or photograph.

Die: Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.

Display type: large and/or decorative type used for headlines and as graphic elements in display pieces. Common sizes are 14, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, 60, and 72 point.

Dot gain or spread: A term used to explain the difference in size between the dot on film v paper.

DPI: Dots per Inch. A measurement of resolution of the scanned image.

Drop shadow: Drop shadows are those shadows dropping below text or images which gives the illusion of shadows from lighting and gives a 3D effect to the object.

drumscanDrum Scanner: A type of scanner on which original artwork is attached to the outside of a spinning glass drum. The image is scanned by photo multiplier tubes (PMTs) and is captured to a disk file. This type of scanner gives the best quality result.

duotoneDuotone: a halftone image printed with two colors, one dark and the other light. The same photograph is halftoned twice, using the same screen at two different angles.

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Em space: a space as wide as the point size of the types. This measurement is relative; in 12-point type an em space is 12 points wide, but in 24-point type an em space is 24 points wide.

Emboss: Pressing an image into paper so that it will create a raised relief.

EPS File Format: Encapsulated PostScript file. A file format commonly used for photographic and drawn graphics. An EPS file is created and later placed onto a page layout in a page assembly program. 

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4-color-process: The process of combining four basic colors to create a printed color picture or colors composed from the basic four colors.
Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y), Black (K)

Feather: The process of adding a soften effect around photos

Flood: To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.

Foil stamping: Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper.

Font: a set of characters in a specific typeface, at a specific point size, and in a specific style. "12-point Times Bold" is a font -- the typeface Times, at 12-point size, in the bold style. Hence "12-point Times Italic" and "10-point Times Bold" are separate fonts.

Folio: a page number, often set with running headers or footers.

FPO Scan: A low-resolution photographic scan (usually 72 PPI) used for composition purposes only. After laser hardcopy is produced, the FPO image is replaced with a different (high-resolution) scanned image.

French fold: Two folds at right angles to each other.

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Gang: Getting the most out of a printing press by using the maximum sheet size to print multiple images or jobs on the same sheet. A way to save money. ghost

Ghosting: A faint printed image that is made by reducing the denser areas of a photo while keeping the detail of the Image.

Gradient: A function in graphic software that allows the user to fill an object/image with a smooth transition of colors, for example a dark blue, gradually becoming lighter or red, gradually becoming orange, then yellow.

Grain: The direction in which the paper fiber lie.

Greeked text: in page-assembly programs, text that appears as gray bars approximating the lines of type rather than actual characters. This speeds up the amount of time it takes to draw images on the screen.

Grippers Margin: The area of the sheet that can’t contain image because of the metal fingers on a printing press that holds the paper as it passes through the press.

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Hairline: A very thin line or gap about the width of a hair or 1/100 inch.

halftoneHalftone: in traditional publishing, a continuous-tone image photographed through a screen in order to create small dots of varying sizes that can be reproduced on a printing press. Digital halftones are produced by sampling a continuous-tone image and assigning different numbers of dots, which simulate different sized dots, for the same effect.

Hard return: a return created by the Return or Enter key, as opposed to a word-wrap, or soft return, which will adjust according to the character count and column width.

High-resolution Image: An image with enough detail (achieved through having plenty of pixels per inch) for quality reproduction and use in final film. How high the resolution should be depends on the image type: Line-art should have resolution of 600 PPI or above and photographs should have resolution twice the hue1anticipated halftone screen frequency.

Hue: The actual color of an object. Hue is measured as a location on a color wheel, expressed in degrees. Hue is also understood as the names of specific colors, like blue, red, yellow, etc.

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Imposition: Positioning printed pages so they will fold in the proper order.

Imprint: Adding copy to a previously printed page.

Indicia: Postal information place on a printed product.

Italic: any slanted or leaning letter designed to complement or be compatible with a companion roman typeface.

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JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group): A common compression method that shrinks a file's storage size by discarding non-important picture detail. Excessive jpeg compression can cause poor image quality.

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kerningKern: to squeeze together characters, for a better fit of strokes and white space. In display type, characters almost need to be kerned because the white space between characters at large sizes is more noticeable.

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Landscape (orientation): a page or layout that is wider than it is tall.

Leading: (pronounced "led-ding") the space between lines of type, traditionally measured baseline-to-baseline, in points. Text type is generally set with one or two points of leading; for example, 10-point type with 2 points of leading. This is described as 10/12, read ten on twelve.

Lines per inch: The number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone.

Linking Graphics: An important concept in page layout software that refers to the fact that page layout files do not actually contain graphics files within them. Even though the user positions graphics on the pages of the page layout file, there is only a pointer stored internally in the page layout file referring to the original hard disk location where the graphics file resides. It is an important note to make that while the user may see the graphic images on the page layout file pages, it is necessary to send the original graphic files along for film output.

Low-resolution image: A low-resolution image is a low-detail scan made from, for example a photograph.loupe

Loupe: A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film.

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Mid tones: The tones in a photograph that are approximately half as dark as the shadow area.

Moiré patterns: (pronounced "mo-ray") irregular plaid-like patterns that occur when a bit-mapped image is reduced, enlarged, displayed, or printed at a resolution different from the resolution of the original.

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offsetOffset printing: for high-volume reproduction -- utilizes three rotating drums: a plate cylinder, a blanket cylinder, and an impression cylinder. The printing plate is wrapped around the plate cylinder, inked and dampened. The plate image is transferred, or offset, onto the blanket cylinder. Paper passes between the blanket cylinder and the impression cylinder, and the image is transferred onto the paper.

Opacity: The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through. (The thicker/heavier the paper the higher the cost.)

Overprint: A term used to describe the characteristic of an overlapping foreground element allowing a background element to print in the same area. Overprint is the opposite of knockout. The overprint function is activated on an element by element basis in illustration software and can be selectively applied to the line and/or the fill of the object.

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Perfect bind: A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a telephone book, Microsoft software manual, or Country Living Magazine.

Perfecting press: A sheet fed printing press that prints both sides of a sheet in one pass.

Pica: a measurement used in typography for column widths and other space pixelspecifications in a page layout. There are 12 points in a pica, and approximately6 picas to an inch.

Pixel: The smallest building block within a scanned line-art or photographic image. A pixel is the small square picture element that is filled with a color, or black or white. Pixels come in various sizes and their size is expressed in terms of resolution. Resolution is measured in pixels per inch (PPI.)

PMS (Pantone Matching System): a standard color-matching system used by printers and graphic designers for inks, papers, and other materials. A PMS color is a standard color defined by percentage mixtures of different primary inks.

PNGPortable Network Graphics format: PNG (usually pronounced "ping"), is used for lossless compression. The PNG format displays images without jagged edges while keeping file sizes relatively small, making them popular on the web. PNG files are however generally larger than GIF files.

Point: a measurement used in typography for type size, leading, and other space specifications in a page layout. There are 12 points in a pica, and approximately 70 points to an inch.

PostScript: The computer language most recognized by printing devices.

Printer font: high-resolution bitmaps or font outline masters used for the actual laying down of the characters on the printed page, as opposed to display on the screen.

Process colors CMYK:  .

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Ragged left: Type that is justified to the right margin and the line lengths vary on the left.

Ragged right: Type that is justified to the left margin and the line lengths vary on the right.

Reader Spread: A term used in page layout software to describe the pairing of pages on the computer display. Pages are grouped in numerical order as a reader would encounter them while reading: 2 paired with 3, 4 paired with 5, etc. This is contrasted to printer spreads which describe the pairings as they may occur on a printing press before the binding of the book.

Ream: Five hundred sheets of paper.

Register: To position print in the proper position in relation to the edge of the regmarkssheet and to other printing on the same sheet.

Register marks: Cross-hair lines or marks on film, plates, and paper that guide strippers, plate makers, pressmen, and bindery personnel in processing a print order from start to finish.

Resolution: the crispness of detail or fineness of grain in an image. Screen resolution is measured in dots by lines (for example, 640 x 350); printer resolution is measured in dpi (for example, 300 dpi).

RGB (Red, Green, Blue): RGB is the model used to project color on a computer monitor. By mixing these three colors, a large percentage of the visible color spectrum can be represented.

Rivers: spaces between words that create irregular lines of white space in body type, particularly occurs when the lines of type have been set with excessive word spacing.

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Saddle stitch: Binding a booklet or magazine with staples in the seam where it folds.

Sans serif typeface: a typeface that has no serifs, such as Helvetica or Swiss. The stroke weight is usually uniform and the stress oblique, though there are exceptions.

Score: A crease put on paper to help it fold better.

Screen angles: Frequently a desktop publishers nightmare. The angles at which halftone, duo tones, tri tones, and color separation printing films are placed to make them look right.

Screen font: low-resolution (that is, screen resolution) bitmaps of type characters that show the positioning and size of characters on the screen. As opposed to the printer font, which may be high-resolution bitmaps or font outline masters.

Self-cover: Using the same paper as the text for the cover.

Serif: in a typeface, a counterstroke on letterforms, projecting from the ends of the main strokes. For example, Times or Dutch is a serifed typeface. Some typefaces have no serifs; these typefaces are called sans serif.

Side stitch: Binding by stapling along one side of a sheet.

Signature: A sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publication.

Small caps: capital letters set at the x-height of the font.

Soft Return: Similar to a carriage return but different: Activated in page layout software and in most word processors by holding the shift key and then hitting return. This will create a break in the copy forcing the keystrokes that follow to go to the next line but it will NOT define a new paragraph. Thiseps is most often used when a line break is desired but when proper formatting requires both lines to be in one paragraph.

Spot color separation: for offset printing, separation of solid premixed ink colors (for example, Black, red, blue, etc.);

Stet: Proof mark (let original copy stand).

Stock: The material to be printed.

Stripping: The positioning of film on a flat prior to platemaking.

Subhead: a secondary phrase usually following a headline. Display line(s) of lesser size and importance than the main headline(s).

Subscript: a character slightly smaller than the rest of the font, set below the baseline; used in chemical equations and as base denotation in math, and sometimes as the denominator of fractions.

Superscript: a character slightly smaller than the rest of the font, set above the baseline, used for footnote markers and sometimes as the numerator of fractions.

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Tabloid: Using a broadsheet as a measure, one half of a broadsheet.

Tag: Grade of dense, strong paper used for products such as badges and file folders.

Target Ink Densities: Densities of the four process inks as recommended for various printing processes and grades of paper. See also Total Area Coverage.

Template: Concerning a printing project's basic details in regard to its dimensions. A standard layout.

Text Paper: Designation for printing papers with textured surfaces such as laid or linen. Some mills also use 'text' to refer to any paper they consider top-of-the-line, whether or not its surface has a texture.

Thermography: Method of printing using colorless resin powder that takes on the color of underlying ink. Also called raised printing.

Thumbnails: Initial ideas jotted on virtually anything in regard to initial concept of a future project.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format): for digital gray-scale halftones, a device-independent graphics file format. TIFF files can be used on IBM/compatible or Macintosh computers, and may be output to PostScript printers.

Tint: Screening or adding white to a solid color for results of lightening that specific color.

Tip In: Usually in the book arena, adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process (separate insertion).

Tone Compression: Reduction in the tonal range from original scene to printed reproduction.

Total Area Coverage: Total of the dot percentages of the process colors in the final film. Abbreviated for TAC. Also called density of tone, maximum density, shadow saturation, total dot density and total ink coverage.

Touch Plate: Plate that accents or prints a color that four-color process printing cannot reproduce well enough or at all. Also called kiss plate.

Trade Shop: Service bureau, printer or bindery working primarily for other graphic arts professionals, not for the general public.

Transparency: Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through. Also called chrome, color transparency and tranny. Often abbreviated TX.

trapTrap: To print one ink over another or to print a coating, such as varnish, over an ink. The first liquid traps the second liquid.

Trim Size: The size of the printed material in its finished stage (e.g., the finished trim size is 5 1\2 x 8 1\2).

Typeface: the set of characters created by a type designer, including uppercase and lowercase alphabetical characters, numbers, punctuation, and special characters. A single typeface contains many fonts, at different sizes and styles.

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Uncoated Paper: Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.

Undercolor Addition: Technique of making color separations that increases the amount of cyan, magenta or yellow ink in shadow areas. Abbreviated UCA.

Undercolor Removal: Technique of making color separations such that the amount of cyan, magenta and yellow ink is reduced in midtone and shadow areas while the amount of black is increased. Abbreviated UCR.

Universal Copyright Convention (UCC): A system to protect unique work from reproducing without knowledge from the originator. To qualify, one must register their work and publish a (c) indicating registration.

Unsharp Masking: Technique of adjusting dot size to make a halftone or separation appear sharper (in better focus) than the original photo or the first proof. Also called edge enhancement and peaking.

Up: Term to indicate multiple copies of one image printed in one impression on a single sheet. "Two up" or "three up" means printing the identical piece twice or three times on each sheet.

UV Coating: Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

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Value: The shade (darkness) or tint (lightness) of a color. Also called brightness, lightness, shade and tone.

Varnish: Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.

Vector graphic: Vector graphics are drawn in paths. This allows the designer to resize images freely without getting pixilated edges as is the case with bitmapped images. The vector format is generally used for in printing while the bitmap format is used for onscreen display.

Vellum Finish: Somewhat rough, toothy finish.

Velox: Brand name for high-contrast photographic paper.

Viewing Booth: Small area or room that is set up for proper viewing of transparencies, color separations or press sheets. Also called color booth. See also Standard Viewing Conditions.

Vignette: Decorative design or illustration fade to white.

Vignette Halftone: Halftone whose background gradually and smoothly fades away. Also called degrade.

Virgin Paper: Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.

VOC: Abbreviation for volatile organic compounds, petroleum substances used as the vehicles for many printing inks.

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Washup: Removing printing ink from a press, washing the rollers and blanket. Certain ink colors require multiple washups to avoid ink and chemical contamination.

Watermark: A distinctive design created in paper at the time of manufacture that can be easily seen by holding the paper up to a light.

Web Press: Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also called reel-fed press. Web presses come in many sizes, the most common being mini, half, three quarter (also called 8-pages) and full (also called 16-pages).

Weight: denotes the thickness of a letter stroke, light, extra-light, "regular," medium, demi-bold, bold, extra bold and ultra bold.

White space: in designing publication, the areas where there is no text or graphics -- essentially, the negative space of the page design.

Widow: in a page layout, short last lines of paragraphs -- usually unacceptable when separated from the rest of the paragraph by a column break, and always unacceptable when separated by a page break.

Work and tumble: Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from the gripper to the tail to print the second side using the same side guide and plate for the second side.

Work and turn: Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from left to right using the same side guides and plate for the second side.

Word wrap: in a word processor or text editor, the automatic dropping of characters to the next line when the right margin is reached.

WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get): an interactive mode of computer processing, in which there is a screen representation of the printed output. WYSIWYG is never entirely accurate, because of the difference in resolution between display screens and printers.

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x-height: the height of the lowercase "s." Sometimes referred to as "body height." More generally, the height of the lowercase letters.