Terminology - Graphics/Printing Terms
Graphic Design, Printing Services, Offset Printing.
4-Color Process - CMYK. - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black. Standard printing process for the offset printing industry; disc printing, brochures, flyers, etc…
.ai - A vector art file created in the software, Adobe Illustrator. This file type is acceptable to create large-format graphics.
Accordion fold - Folding paper by bending each fold in the opposite direction of the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect. This technique is commonly used for insert printing for cd jewel cases.
Acid-free paper - A paper containing no acidity or acid producing chemicals that degrades less over time than acidic papers.
Animated GIF - A type of GIF image that can be animated by combining several images into a single GIF file. GIF animation does not allow the same level of control and flexibility as other animation formats, but is extremely popular because it is supported by all Web browsers.
Animation - Television cartoon is one example of animation, which is a simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures. Computer animation has become one of the most popular assets for multimedia presentations.
Antialiasing - In computer graphics, this is a software technique for diminishing jaggies or stairstep-like lines. Jaggies occur because the output device (monitor and/or printer) is not high enough in resolution to represent a smooth line. Antialiasing reduces the prominence of jaggies by surrounding the stairsteps with intermediate shades of gray or color, but it also makes these lines fuzzier.
Aqueous Coating - The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. This results is a smoother, more blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged appearance.
Ascender - Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in "d", "b" and "h".
Backslant - Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.
Balloon - In an illustration, any line that encircles copy or dialogue.
Base line - The imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points, etc.
Bitmap - A graphic image consisting of rows and columns of dots. The density of the dots, known as resolution and expressed as dots per inch or dpi, determines the sharpness of the image. The computer translates the bit map into pixels for display on a monitor or ink dots for printer output. Unlike vector graphics or object-oriented graphics, which look the same even when you scale them to different sizes, bit-mapped graphics become ragged when you shrink or enlarge them.
Blanket - The rubberized surfaced material secured onto a cylinder onto which the ink is transferred from the plate and then to the paper.
Bleed - Any element that extends up to or past the edge of a printed piece.
Body - In typography, the main shank or portion of a letter character other than the ascenders and descenders.
Clip Art - Electronic images that are used as alternative to original illustrations or art. Clip art exists for many general and specific areas and is available in numerous file formats so that they can be inserted into different word-processing and graphics files.
Clone - A computer, software product or device that functions exactly like another, better-known product. This term is normally used to refer to personal computers not produced by one of the leading name-brand manufacturers.
Cold color - Any color that is toward the blue side of the color spectrum.
Collate - To gather sheets or printed signatures together in their correct order.
Color bars - A color test strip that is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It helps a press operator to monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration and dot gain. It can also include a Star Target, which is designed to detect inking and press problems.
Color correction - Using a computer to adjust, change or manipulate a color image, such as retouching, adjusting color balance, color saturation, contrast, etc
Color separating - The processes of separating the primary color components (CMYK) for printing.
Color transparency - Transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.
Coarse screen - Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.
Cyan - A shade of blue used in four-color process printing. The C in CMYK.
Descender - A term that describes that portion of lower case letters that extends below the main body of the letter, as in "p".
Desktop Publishing – Another term for Graphic Design, Creating materials to be printed using a personal computer, as opposed to taking non-electronic documents to a commercial printing company to be prepared for printing.
Die Cutting - The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.
Digital Proof - Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed with ink. Digital proofs are generally provided for approval before printing.
Dithering - The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. This results in a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a jagged or 'stair-step' appearance. Also a method used on ink jet printers where colors are produced by mixing colored dots in a randomized pattern.
DPI - dots per inch.
Drop shadow - A shadow image placed offset behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.
Duotone - A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one color photo.
Electronic Proof - A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the color separation negatives and passed through electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.
EPS - Abbreviation of Encapsulated PostScript, EPS is the graphics file format used by the PostScript language. The term EPS usually implies that the file contains a bit-mapped representation of the graphics for display purposes.
Flash Flash is a vector-graphic animation created by using the Flash animation application from Macromedia. It is a bandwidth friendly and browser independent, and when equipped with the necessary plug-ins, will look the same whether on an optical disc or a Web site.
Font - The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.
Gate fold - A three or four panel fold where the two outside panels fold inward to meet in the center. In an open gate fold, there are three panels, the bottom of which is twice the size of the folded panels. In a closed gatefold, there are four panels of roughly equal size where the outer panels are folded inward together.
Ghosting - Also known as gloss ghosting. A condition occurring during the printing process when vapors from drying ink on one side of a press sheet interact chemically with dry ink or blank paper on sheets in contact with or on the reverse side of the same sheet creating unintended faint images.
Graphic Design - the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, esp. to produce a specific effect.
Gutter - A blank space or margin between components on a printed piece or press sheet.
Halftone - Using small dots to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size and the number of dots per square inch.
Halftone screen - A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.
hue - The color of light or of a pixel. The property of color determined by the dominant wavelength of light.
Indicia - An image and/or text pre-printed on mailing envelopes in place of a stamp.
JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group. The international committee which created its namesake standard for compressing still images.
Justification - Adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line of text from end to end. Sometimes referred to as word spacing.
Kerning - The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.
Keyline - Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations, etc.
Layout - A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., during the process of graphic design of a final printed piece.
Leading - Space between lines of type. The distance in points between one baseline and the next.
Letterspacing - The addition of space between typeset letters.
Logotype - A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.
Mac OS - The operating system used by Apple Macintosh computers.
Magenta - One of the four process colors, or CMYK, the M is for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red color with some blue. Magenta, cyan and yellow are also the three subtractive primary colors.
Moiré - An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.
Morphing Morphing refers to an animation technique in which one image is gradually turned into another.
Object-Oriented Graphics This format represents graphical objects, such as lines, arcs, circles, and rectangles, with mathematical formulas. One of the most widely used object-oriented graphics format is PostScript. PostScript is a page description language (PDL) that makes it possible to describe and manipulate objects to a smaller or larger size and at various angles, and even change their shading and color.
Offset - An erroneous variation of the word "setoff". Ink that is unintentionally transferred from a printed sheet to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile when printed.
Offset printing - The most commonly used disc imprinting method, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the disc.
Opacity - Quality of opaqueness or transparency.
operating system - The primary software in a computer, containing general instructions for managing applications, communications, input/output, memory and other low-level tasks. DOS, Windows, Mac OS, and UNIX are examples of operating systems.
Overrun - Quantities of prints over the requested number of copies.
Pagination - The numbering of individual pages in a multi-page document.
PMS - The abbreviation of the Pantone Color Matching System to select specific inks for silkscreen printing.
PostScript - A tradename of Adobe Systems, Inc. for its page description language. This language translates a digital file from an application into a language a compatible printer or other device can use to create its output.
PPi - Pixels per inch.
Process printing - A system where a color image is separated into different color values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original color image.
Quark - Short for QuarkXPress, one of the primary computer applications used in graphic design.
Rasterize - to convert vector paths to pixel-based artwork.
Saddle stitch - The binding of booklets or other printed materials by stapling the pages on the folded spine.
saturation - The intensity or vividness of a color.
Screen angles - The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moiré patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45º, magenta 75º, yellow 90º, and cyan 105º.
Screen Capture The act of copying what is currently displayed on a screen to a file or printer. For graphics, the screen capture will result in a graphics file containing a bit map of the image.
Silkscreen Printing - Also called silkscreen process.a printmaking technique in which a mesh cloth is stretched over a heavy wooden frame and the design, painted on the screen by tusche or affixed by stencil, is printed by having a squeegee force color through the pores of the material in areas not blocked out by a glue sizing.
TIFF - Acronym for tagged image file format, it is one of the most widely supported file formats for storing high resolution bit-mapped images on PCs and Macintosh computers. Files in TIFF format end with a .tif extension.
Trapping - The overlapping of one color over a different, adjacent color to ensure that no white space is visible where the two colors meet, especially when there are slight variations in the registration of the two colors during the printing process. Or the process of printing wet ink over wet or dry previously printed ink.
Vector Graphics This method is based on using geometrical formulas to represent object-oriented graphics; the other method for representing graphical images is through bit maps, in which the image is made up of dot patterns. Vector-oriented images are more flexible than bit maps because they are scalable and can be resized and stretched. In addition, they look better on devices (monitors and printers) with higher resolution. Another advantage of vector graphics is that images often require less storage space than bit-mapped images do.