Alphabetical Index to Glossary




AA Authors: Alterations, changes and other than corrections made by a client after the proofing process has begun. AAs are normally charged to a client as billable time.

Art Director: The person overseeing the visual creative and production process and managing others involved in the creative process.


Binding: The process of attaching loose sheets of paper into a book or other multi-page document.

Blueline: A printer's proof which is literally blue markings on white paper. All AAs and corrections should have been made prior to seeing a blue line. 

BMP (Bit Map image): A DOS graphics format that not generally used in professional printing or online design.


BRC (Business Reply Card): A postage paid postcard that is pre-addressed back to the sender.


BRM (Business Reply Mail): An envelope or other "letter size" mailer with postage paid and addressed back to the sender.


Burn: To expose light sensitive media to light. (i.e. burning a negative; burning a printing plate; or burning a CD).




Camera Ready: Type and artwork that has been pasted into position to be photographed for plate ready film.


Choke (Choking): When trapping colour closing the open spaces in a graphic to be filled with another colour.


CLUT (Colour Look Up Table): A set of conversion values for the display of colour images in an RGB environment.


CMYK: The acronym for the four process colour inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.


Colour Key: A printer's proof. It is four sheets of coloured acetate for examining the quality of process colour separations. This process is normally used when printing on a press capable of fewer than four colours at once. All AAs and corrections should have been made prior to seeing a colour key.


Colour Separation: Separating the areas of a piece to be printed into its component spot and process ink colours. Each colour to be printed must have its own printing plate.


Colour Space: The parts of the visible spectrum which can be reproduced in a given medium. (i.e. RGB for computer monitors, CMYK for print, web safe index colours for the world wide web)


Composite Image: A photograph or other graphic image, that is made of a combination of multiple images.


Conversion: The process of creating a three dimensional (3D) item from a flat sheet of paper. i.e. envelope conversion / box conversion


Copy: The prose or other text used in advertising and printed material.


Copyright (): A group of legal rights granted to the author or creator of written or visual work. All work appearing with the symbol or the word "copyright" is protected by its creator or his heirs. For more information, contact your attorney.


Copy Writer: The individual who writes the prose or "copy" for an advertisement or brochure.


Cromalin: A colour proofing system by DuPont. All AAs and corrections should have been made prior to seeing a Chromalin.




DAM (Digital Asset Management): Database systems used to track and manage computer files in computer graphics environments.


Desktop Publishing: A process for creating camera ready and plate ready artwork on a personal computer. Though once in vogue, this term is now usually associated with low end, less professional design.


Digital Imaging: The process of creating a digital copy of an illustrated or photographic image.


Digital Photography: The process of recording images using a digital camera or a conventional camera with a digital adapter.


Digital Printing: A system of printing, which involves linking printing presses and computers, bypassing the traditional route of making printing plates.


Dot Gain: A phenomenon, which occurs when wet ink comes in contact with paper. As the halftone dots are applied to the paper, the wet ink spreads, causing the dots to increase in size and halftones to appear darker. A number of factors affect dot gain.




Electronic Publishing: A process by which information is created and/ or distributed in electronic or magnetic formats. (i.e. CD ROM or web.) The usage of this term has expanded to include digitally created designs that are reproduced on conventional printing presses.


Em Space: A space equal to the width of the lower case letter "m".


Emboss: A mechanical process for raising an area of paper to create letterforms, shapes and textures.


Emulsion: The chemically treated side of photographic film. (The dull side not the shiny side.) Depending on the printing process involved, film will be requested as "right reading" emulsion up or emulsion down.


En Space: A lateral space equal to half an 'em space', roughly the width of the lower case letter "n".


Engraved Printing: Raised printing produced by a cutaway plate. A similar effect can be achieved with thermography.


EPS (EPSF): Encapsulated Postscript File. A vector based, computer graphics file format developed by Adobe Systems. EPS is the preferred format for many computer illustrations, because of its efficient use of memory and fine colour control.




Focaltone: A proprietary colour matching system for process colour.


Foil Stamping: A mechanical process that results in the bonding of coloured foil to paper.


FPO (For Position Only): A low resolution image inserted into a layout to be replaced by a full resolution image before or during the prepress process.


FTP (File Transfer Protocol): The method for uploading and downloading files to/from internet server systems.




GASP (Graphic Arts Service Provider): Any of several vendors in the graphics workflow, including but not limited to: Designers, Prepress, Printers, and ISPs.


GIF: An eight bit (256 colours or shades of grey) or less computer file format. Though commonly used to post photographic images to computer bulletin boards, GIF files are almost never used for professional printing.


Graphic: A non text item (Illustration or photograph) to be printed.


Graphic Design: A process of problem solving, using visual elements (pictures and type) usually to communicate a concept or idea.


Graphic Designer: An individual who solves communication problems, using visual elements (pictures & type) to convey an idea or concept.




Halftone: A reproduction of a continuous tone image (i.e. a photograph or painting) using fine dots of varying size and spacing to reproduce the shades and textures of the original.


Hexachrome: A proprietary colour separation process, developed by Pantone, that uses six (6) instead of four process colours. (CMYK plus Orange and Green)


HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language): The scripting language which is the basis of the world wide web.


Hyperlink: An indexed piece of text which, when clicked with a pointing device (i.e. a mouse) prompts new information to be loaded to the viewers computer system.




Illustrator: An individual who draws or paints or otherwise creates original artistic images for use in commercial art.


Imagesetter: A high resolution device that prints directly to plate ready film.


Imposition: The process of positioning multiple pages on a flat sheet of paper to be printed at one time.


Inch: A unit of measurement equal to six (6) picas or seventy two (72) points. Normally used by design clients and printers.


Ipsum Dolorum: Also sometimes referred to as greek, it is a type that creates nonsense words and letterforms and used in a design to approximate the flow of written language  before the final text (copy) is available.




Java: A programming language developed and owned by Sun Microsystems. Java holds the promise of write-once-run-anywhere programming. (i.e. A program can be written on a Unix system and run on Windows or Macintosh computers).


JavaScript: A scripting environment similar to HTML (like HMTL, it is a subset of the SGML group of scripting languages).


JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group): A common standard for compressing image data for electronic delivery (CD ROM or Web). JPEG is not commonly used in printing because of data loss which leads to degraded images.




Kern: To adjust the lateral space between individual letters.


Keyline: A line, often a box around a graphic image.




Leading: The space, measured in points, between consecutive lines of type. (Originally from the strips of lead placed between lines of hot type.)


Lupe (Loupe): From the German word for magnifying glass, a lens used by photographers, printers, and designers to examine details in printed materials.




Match Print: A colour proofing system developed by 3M. All AAs and corrections should have been made prior to seeing a Match Print.


Mechanical Board: Mounted, camera ready artwork intended for use in traditional (non digital) pre-press.




Offset Printing (Offset lithography): Currently the most common commercial printing method, in which ink is offset from the printing plate to a rubber roller then to paper.




Paste-up: The process of physically adhering artwork, galleys, and other type to a paste board other substrate, usually with hot wax or other adhesive. Also, the product of the paste-up process.


Paste Board: The physical substrate, usually composed of a stiff paper board, used for composing camera ready artwork.


PDF (Portable Document file): A proprietary format developed by Adobe Systems for the transfer of designs across multiple computer platforms.


Perfect Binding: A book binding process where pages are glued together and directly to the cover of the book.


Photo CD: A proprietary format developed by Eastman Kodak for storing photographic images on a compact disc. Images can be easily accessed for use in professional printing.


PhotoCopy: A mechanical printing process that uses a light sensitive printing element, electrostatic toner and a heating element to fuse the toner to the paper.


Photo Illustration: An image, primarily consisting of a photograph or composite image containing a photograph.


Photo Plate: A light sensitive printing plate. The plate is developed like film, then used on a printing press.


Photograph: An image or picture made by exposing light sensitive film with a camera.


Pica: A unit of measurement equal to twelve (12) points or one sixth (1/6) of an inch. Used by designers and other graphics professional for its precision.


Pixel Depth: The amount of data used to describe each coloured dot on the computer screen. i.e. Monochrome is 1 bit deep. Greyscale is 8 bits deep. RGB is 24 bits deep. Images to be printed as CMYK separation should be 32 bits deep.


Plate Ready Film: Final photographic film or other artwork used to "burn" printing plates. No addtional paste-up or stripping should be required if artwork is actually plate ready.


PMS colour (Pantone Matching System): A proprietary colour system for choosing and matching specific spot and process colours.


Point: A unit of measurement equal to 1/12th of a pica or 1/72nd of an inch. Normally used to measure type size or fractions of a pica for the design process.


Pre-Press: The various printing related services, performed before ink is actually put on the printing press. (i.e. stripping, scanning, colour separating, etc. . .)


Press Proof: A sheet of paper used as reference while printing.


Printing: The process of applying ink to paper.


Process Colour: The mechanical process of reproducing a full colour image with the three primary subtractive colour inks (CMYK/ Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) and black. When viewed under a lupe, the individual colour halftone dots can be seen in a process colour image.


Production Artist (Pasteup Artist): A skilled laborer who produces finished camera ready or plate ready artwork from the visual elements and instructions provided by the designer or client.




Reflective Art: Artwork which is neither digital nor transparent. Reflective art requires either scanning or camera work to be printed.


Registration: The quality of alignment of the different coloured inks as they are applied to paper. (i.e. If the inks can be seen to overlap improperly or to leave white gaps on the page, the printing is said to be "out of registration" or "poorly registered".)


Romance Copy (Sell Copy): Packaging copy which describes the benefits of the product inside.


RGB (Red Green Blue): The colours used by a computer monitor to create colour images on the screen.




Saddle Stitch: A book binding process where pages are stapled together through the spine of the book. Tradionally performed on V shaped saddle.


Sans Serif: A type face that has no tails or curled points (serifs) at the ends.


Score: To imprint a crease. It is preferable to score heavy paper before folding it, in order to avoid cracking.


Script: A type face that mimics the appearance of hand written text.


Sell Copy (Romance Copy): Packaging copy which describes the benefits of the product inside.


Serif: The curls and points that appear as adornments on some type faces.


Service Bureau: The facility that provides professional services to graphics and printing professionals. (i.e. plate ready film, matchprints, colourkeys, etc...)


SGML (Standard Graphic Markup Language): The parent scripting environment which includes subset languages like HTML, DHTML, XML and Java Script.


Signature (Sig): All pages of a book or other bound print job to be printed on a single pass through a printing press. On small presses it is two pages. On larger presses it is always a number divisible by 4 or 8 pages. (Bound pages are always in groups divisible by four, 2 outside and 2 inside pages.)


Spot Colour: Single colours applied to printing when process colour is not necessary (i.e. one, two and three colour printing), or when process colours need to be augmented (i.e. a fluorescent pink headline or a metallic tint).


Spread: A design that encompasses two or more facing pages (i.e. the center spread in the morning newspaper) Also, to spread the ink around a coloured object so that there is no gap between it and the next coloured object. (i.e. yellow text on a blue background.)


Style Sheet: A page or group of pages designating the type faces to be used in a design. i.e. Headlines, captions and body text.




Thermography: A printing process that results in raised type similar to engraved printing.


TIFF (Tagged Image File Format): A bitmapped file format used for the reproduction of continuous tone images such as photographs and illustrations.


Trapping: The process of closing gaps between different colour inks as they appear on the printed page. Trapping colour is achieved by use of chokes and spreads.




URL (Universal Resource Locator): The address of files and sites on the internet


Web Press: A high speed printing press that prints on both sides of a continuous roll of paper. Web presses are used for high volume printing such as newspapers and magazines.