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Monday, 22 August 2011


These terms are commonly used in the graphic design and web site design world. Most people however do not know what many of them mean. This list will help you be more confident and knowledgeable when you talk to your graphic designer or printer about your next project.

Additive Color
The additive primary colors are red, blue, and green. These additive colors represent the three main components of white light in the additive color module. Black is produced by the absence of the primary colors. In theory, any color can be created by mixing these three colors.
Animated GIF
A GIF graphic file, which consists of two or more images shown in timed sequence to give the effect of motion.
Animation is the creating of a timed sequence or series of graphic images or frames together to give the appearance of continuous movement.
Aqueous Coating
Aqueous Coating is a water-based coating applied after printing. It helps the underlying ink from rubbing off. Such a coating can give a gloss, dull or matte finish. It can be applied while the paper is still on the press, or after it's off press.
Bitmap Image (bmp)
A graphic image stored as a specific arrangement of screen dots, or pixels. Web graphics are bitmap images. A graphic which is defined by specifying the colors of dots or pixels which make up the picture. Also known as raster graphics. Common types of bitmap graphics are GIF, JPEG, Photoshop, PCX, Tiff, Macintosh Paint, Microsoft Paint, PNG, FAX formats, and TGA.
When an image or printed color extends beyond the trimmed edge of a page, it is called a "bleed." Bleeding ensures that the print extends to the edges of the paper. The paper is usually trimmed to the desired size after printing.
Camera Ready
Artwork or pasted up material that is ready for reproduction.
Stands for the colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. In print design, colors are defined as a percentage of each of these 4 colors. For example, the CMYK abbreviation for the color black would be 0-0-0-100. In contrast, display devices (i.e. computer monitors) typically define colors using RGB.
To gather separate sections or leaves of a book together in the correct order for binding.
Continuous tone
Black and white photographs often contain gradient tones from black to white which are called continuous tones.
Color Separations
The division of a multi-colored original or line copy into the basic process colors or yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
Digital Printing
Printing by plateless imaging systems that are imaged by digital data from prepress systems.
Stands for dots per inch. DPI specifies the resolution of an output device, such as a printer or printing press machine. Print resolution usually runs from 300-1200 dots per inch on a Laser Printer and 125-225 dots per inch for photographic images on a print brochure.
Duotones are made by printing an image with two colors, usually black and a second color. THe resulting image has more depth than it would have had with only a monotone color (mostly black ink on white paper).
EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)
In digital prepress, a file format used to transfer graphic images within compatible applications. A file containing structured PostScript code, comments and a screen display image.
Vector graphic animation software from Macromedia that allows Flash graphics to look the same across all browsers, as long as the plug-in is installed. One of the advantages of Flash animations is their relatively fast download time.
A rotary letterpress process printing from rubber or flexible plates and using fast drying inks. Mainly used for packaging.
Four Color Process
The printing process that reproduces colors by combining, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. If you look through a magnifying glass, you'll see that the printed image consists of dots in these four colors. These dots are printed on top of each other, next to each other or just close to each other, depending on the color and tonal values wanted. For example; by printing a blue dot over a yellow dot will give you green, etc. To create the shadows in the image, all the colors (with or without black - depending upon the intensity of the shadow) will be printed on top of each other to create a dark brownish color. The closer the colored dots are printed to each other, the darker it will appear. The further apart the colored dots are printed from each other, the lighter that part of the image will appear.
In animation, a frame is a single graphic image in a sequence of graphic images.
Stands for Graphics Interchange Format. GIF images are the most widely used graphic format on the web. GIF images display up to 256 colors.
Gravure Printing
Gravure image areas consist of cells or wells etched or engraved into a copper cylinder and the unetched surface of the cylinder represents the non-printing areas. The image cylinder rotates in a bath of ink. The excess is wiped off the surface by a flexible steel doctor blade. The ink remaining in the thousands of recessed cells forms the image by direct transfer to the paper as it passes between the plate cylinder and the impression cylinder. Gravure printing produces excellent reproductions of pictures, but slightly ragged type.
Grayscale images contains black, white, no color and up to 256 shades of gray.
High Resolution Image
An image with a high level or sharpness/clarity.
Abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language; a cross-platform text-formatting system for creating web pages, including copy, images, sounds, frames, animation and more.
A hyperlink, more commonly called a link, is a electronic connection between one web page to either (1) other web pages on the same web site, or (2) web pages located on another web site. More specifically, a hyperlink is a connection between one page of a hypertext document to another.
Abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group. File format for full-color and black-and-white graphic images. JPEG images allow for more colors than GIF images and are usually smaller in size.
Lithography (Offset Printing)
This is the major plate printing process. It uses thin metal plates with the image and non-image areas essentially on the same plane. There are two basic differences between lithography and other processes; (1) It is based on the fact that oil and water do not mix, and (2) is uses the offset principle in which ink is offset from the plate to a rubber blanket on an intermediate cylinder, and from the blanket to the paper on an impression cylinder.
The name of a company or product in a special design used as a trademark in advertising.
Low Resolution Image
A low-resolution image is a low-detail scan made from, for example a photograph.
Double printing; printing over an area that already has been printed.
In printing, copies printed in excess of the specified quantity.
Page Layout
An example of a page layout is the pages in magazines or brochures. Every single page layout was created on a blank page by placing text, text columns, images, etc. on the page. The whole design of a single page in a magazine is a page layout.
Pantone Matching System
The Pantone matching system is used for specifying and blending match colors. It provides designers with swatches of over 700 colors and gives printers the recipes for making those colors.
PDF (Portable Document File)
A proprietary format for the transfer of designs across multiple computer platforms. PDF is a universal electronic file format, modeled after the PostScript language and is device-and resolution-independent. Documents in the PDF format can be viewed, navigated, and printed from any computer regardless of the fonts or software programs used to create the original.
Perfect Bind
To bind sheets by trimming at the binding edge and gluing them to a paper cover.
The smallest picture element (used to display an image on a computer), that can be independently assigned a color.
Portable 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.
Primary Colors
The primary colors are combined to produce the full range of other colors (non-primary colors), within a color model. The primary colors for the additive color model is; Red, Green and Blue. The primary colors for the subtractive color model is: Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.
An image is said to be rasterized when converted from vector image to a bitmapped image.
In printing fitting of two or more printing images in exact alignment with each other.
Register Marks
Crosses or other targets applied to original copy prior to photography. Used for positioning films in register, or for register of two or more colors in process printing.
The resolution of an image is an important factor in determining the attainable output quality. The higher the resolution of an image, the less pixilated it will be and the curves of the image will appear smoother.
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.
Saddle Stitch
To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine.
Screen Printing
Formerly known as silk screen, this method employs a porous screen of fine silk, nylon, dacron or stainless steel mounted on a frame. A stencil is produced on the screen, either manually or photomechanically, in which the non-printing areas are protected by the stencil. Printing is done on paper or other substrate under the screen by applying ink with a paint-like consistency to the screen, spreading and forcing it through the fine mesh openings with a rubber squeegee. Recently, rotary screen presses have been introduced which speed up production considerably.
In printing and binding, the name given to a printed sheet after it has been folded.
Spot Color
Referrers to a method of specifying and printing colors in which each color is printed with it's own ink. In contrast, process color printing uses four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to produce all other colors. Spot color printing is effective when the printed matter contains only on to three different colors, but it becomes expensive for more colors.
Subtractive Color
A term describing the three subtractive primary colors; Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. As opposed to the three additive colors; Red, Blue and Green.
Thermal Printers (Thermography)
These printers use a transfer sheet that carries ink in contact with the paper or transparency, and a heated printhead driven by digital data that touches the transfer sheet to transfer images to the right points on the page.
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
A common graphic file format used for saving bitmapped images such as scans, photographs, illustrations and logos.
In printing, the ability to print a wet ink film over previously printed ink. In prepress, refers to how much overprinting colors overlap to eliminate white lines between colors in printing.
Trim Marks
In printing marks placed on the copy to indicate the edge of the page.
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.


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