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An Expanded Glossary of Graphic Arts and Printing Industry Terminology Pt. 1

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   Go to Pt. 2

A

A/W - an abbreviation for Artwork.

Accordian or Z fold - a method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect.

Addendum - supplementary material additional to the main body of a book and printed separately at the start or end of the text.

Air - an amount of white space in a layout.

Align - to line up typeset or other graphic material as specified, using a base or vertical line as the reference point.

Alphabet (length or width) - the measurement of a complete set of lower case alphabet characters in a given type size expressed in points or picas.

Anodized plate - an offset printing plate with a specially treated surface to reduce wear during printing.

Apex - the point of a character where two lines meet at the top, an example of this is the point on the letter A.

Apron - additional white space allowed in the margins of text and illustrations when forming a foldout.

Art paper - a smooth coated paper obtained by adding a coating of china clay compound on one or both sides of the paper.

Art - in graphic arts usage, all matter other than text material eg illustrations and photographs.

Ascender - any part of a lower case letter extending above the x-height. For example, the upper half of the vertical in the letters b or h.

Authors Alterations or Corrections - changes made to the copy by the author after typesetting but not including those made as a result of errors in keying in the copy.

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B

Backing up - to print the second side of printed sheet.

Backslant - letters that slant the opposite way from italic characters.

Balloon - a circle or bubble enclosing copy in an illustration. Used in cartoons.

Banner - a large headline or title extending across the full page width.

Base artwork - artwork requiring additional components such as halftones or line drawings to be added before the reproduction stage.

Baseline - the line on which the bases of capital letters sit.

Binding - the various methods used to secure loose leaves or sections in a book; eg saddle-stitch, perfect bound.

Blanket cylinder - the cylinder via which the inked litho plate transfers the image to the paper. The cylinder is covered with a rubber sheet which prevents wear to the litho plate coming into contact with the paper.

Bleed - layout, type or pictures that extend beyond the trim marks on a page. Illustrations that spread to the edge of the paper without margins are referred to as 'bled off'. Please refer to our page devited to fully explaining Bleed.

Blind emboss - a raised impression made without using ink or foil.

Block in - to sketch in the main areas of an image prior to the design.

Blow up - an enlargement, most frequently of a graphic image or photograph.

Blurb - a short description or commentary of a book or author on a book jacket.

Board - paper of more than 200gsm.

Body - the main text of the work but not including headlines.

Body size - the height of the type measured from the top of the tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender. Normally given in points, the standard unit of type size.

Bold type - type with a heavier darker appearance. Most typefaces have a bold face.

Bond - a sized finished writing paper of 50gsm or more. Can also be used for printing upon.

Border - a continuous decorative design or rule surrounding the matter on the page.

Box - a section of text marked off by rules or white space and presented separately from the main text and illustrations. Longer boxed sections in magazines are sometimes referred to as sidebars.

Broadside - an original term for work printed on one side of a large sheet of paper. Also, a folding style where the piece is folded in half and then folded again in half at a 90 degree angle to the first fold.

Bullet - a large dot preceding text to add emphasis.

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C

Calendered finish - produced by passing paper through a series of metal rollers to give a very smooth surface.

Caliper - the thickness of sheet of paper or board expressed in microns (millionths of a metre). Also the name of the tool used to make the measurement.

Cap line - an imaginary line across the top of capital letters. The distance from the the cap line to the baseline is the cap size.

Caps - an abbreviation for capital letters.

Caps and Small Caps - a style of type that shows capital letters used in the normal way while the body copy is set in capital letters which are of a slightly smaller size.

Caption - the line or lines of text that refer to information identifying a picture or illustration.

Carbonless - paper coated with chemicals and dye which will produce copies without carbon paper. Also referred to as NCR (No Carbon Required).

Caret marks - an indication to the printer of an ommission in the copy indicated as ( ) showing the insertion.

Cartridge - a thick general purpose paper used for printing, drawing and wrapping.

Case bound - a hardback book made with stiff outer covers. Cases are usually covered with cloth, vinyl or leather.

Cast coated - art paper with a exceptionally glossy coated finish usually on one side only.

Catchline - a temporary headline for identification on the top of a galley proof.

Century Schoolbook - a popular serif typeface used in magazines and books for text setting which has a large x-height and an open appearance.

Chalking - a powdering effect left on the surface of the paper after the ink has failed to dry satisfactorily due to a fault in printing.

Character count - the number of characters; ie letters, figures, signs or spaces in a piece of copy, line or paragraph used as a first stage in type calculations.

Close up - a proof correction mark to reduce the amount of space between characters or words indicated as (').

Coated - printing papers which after making have had a surface coating with clay etc, to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity.

Collate - to gather separate sections or leaves of a book together in the correct order for binding.

Color separations - the division of a multi-colored original or line copy into the basic (or primary) process colors of yellow, magenta, cyan and black. These should not be confused with the optical primaries; red, green and blue.

Column inch - a measure of area used in newspapers and magazines to calculate the cost of display advertising. A column inch is one column wide by one inch deep.

Column rule - a light faced vertical rule used to separate columns of type.

Compose - to set copy into type.

Condensed - a style of typeface in which the characters have an elongated appearance.

Continuous tone - an image in which the subject has continuous shades of color or grey without being broken up by dots. Continuous tones cannot be reproduced in that form for printing but must be screened to translate the image into dots.

Contrast - the degree of tones in a photograph ranging from highlight to shadow.

Copyright - The right of copyright gives protection to the originator of material to prevent use without express permission or acknowledgement of the originator.

Corner marks - marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim or register marks.

Cropping - the elimination of parts of a photograph or other original that are not required to be printed. Cropping allows the remaining parts of the image to be enlarged to fill the space.

Cross head - a heading set in the body of the text used to break it into easily readable sections.

Cursive - used to describe typefaces that resemble written script.

Cut flush - a method of trimming a book after the cover has been attached to the pages.

Cutout - a halftone where the background has been removed to produce a silhouette.

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D

Dagger and double dagger - symbols used mainly as reference marks for footnotes.

Dash - a short horizontal rule used for punctuation. See Em and En dash below.

Descender - any part of a lower case letter that extends below the x-height, as in the case of y and j.

Die - A cutting, scoring, foil, or embossing die. Also, a hardened steel engraving stamp used to print an inked image. Used in the production of good quality letter headings.

Display type - larger type used for headings etc. Normally about 18 point or larger.

Double page spread - two facing pages of newspaper or magazine where the textual material on the left hand side continues across to the right hand side. Abbreviated to DPS.

Downloadable fonts - type faces which can be stored on a disk and then downloaded to the printer when required for printing. These are, by definition, bit-mapped fonts and, therefore, fixed in size and style.

DPI (Dots Per Inch) - the measurement of resolution for page printers, imagesetters, and platesetters. Currently most page printers work at 300-1,200 dpi and imagesetting systems operate at 2,400 dpi and above.

Drawn on - a method of binding a paper cover to a book by drawing the cover on and gluing to the back of the book.

Drop cap - a large initial letter at the start of the text that drops into the line or lines of text below.

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E

Egyptian - a term for a style of type faces having square serifs and almost uniform thickness of strokes.

Em - in printing terms it is a square unit with edges equal in size to the chosen point size. It gets its name from the letter M which originally was as wide as the type size.

Em dash - a dash used in punctuation the length of one em.

Embossing - relief images formed by using a recessed die.

En dash - a dash approximately half the width of an em dash.

En - a unit of measurement that is half as wide as an em.

End papers - the four page leaves at the front and end of a book which are pasted to the insides of the front and back covers (boards).

Exception dictionary - in word processing or desktop publishing this is a store of pre-hyphenated words that do not conform to the usual rules contained in the hyphenation and justification program (H & J).Some programs, PageMaker for example, only use an exception dictionary.

Expanded type - a typeface with a slightly wider body giving a flatter appearance.

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F

Face - an abbreviation for typeface referring to a family in a given style.

Filler - extra material used to complete a column or page, usually of little importance.

Flag - the designed title of a newspaper as it appears at the top of page one. This is sometimes incorrectly refferred to the masthead (which is something completely different).

Flexography - a rotary letterpress process printing from rubber or flexible plates and using fast drying inks. Mainly used for packaging.

Floating accent - an accent mark which is set separately from the main character and is then placed either over or under it.

Flush left - copy aligned along the left margin.

Flush right - copy aligned along the right margin.

Flyer - an inexpensively produced circular used for promotional distribution.

Foil stamping - a process for stamping a design on a book cover without ink by using a colored foil with pressure from a heated die or block.

Font (or font) - a complete set of characters in a typeface.

Form letter - used in word processing to describe a repetitive letter in which the names and addresses of individuals are automatically generated from a data base or typed individually.

Four color process - printing in full color using four color separation negatives - yellow, magenta, cyan and black.

French fold - a sheet which has been printed on one side only and then folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.

Full measure - a line set to the entire line length.

Full point - a period or full stop.

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G

Gatefold - an oversize page where both sides fold into the gutter in overlapping layers. Used to accommodate maps into books.

Gathering - the operation of inserting the printed pages, sections or signatures of a book in the correct order for binding.

Gigabyte (GB) - one billion bytes. Usually describes either a quantity of digital data (documents) or of storage (such as memory or a hard drive). Since the early 2000s most consumer hard drive capacities are grouped in certain size classes measured in gigabytes.

Gloss ink - for use in litho and letterpress printing on coated papers where the ink will dry without pentration.

Gothic - typefaces with no serifs and broad even strokes.

Gravure - a rotary printing process where the image is etched into the metal plate attached to a cylinder. The cylinder is then rotated through a trough of printing ink after which the etched surface is wiped clean by a blade leaving the non-image area clean. The paper is then passed between two rollers and pressed against the etched cylinder drawing the ink out by absorption.

Greeking - a software device where areas of grey are used to simulate lines of text. One of desktop publishing's less clever methods of getting round the slowness of high resolution displays on the PC.

Gray scale - a range of luminance values for evaluating shading through white to black. Frequently used in discussions about scanners as a measure of their ability to capture halftone images. Basically the more levels the better but with correspondingly larger memory requirements.

Grid - A systematic division of a page into areas to enable designers to ensure consistency. The grid acts as a measuring guide and shows text, illustrations and trim sizes.

Guard - a narrow strip of paper or linen pasted to a single leaf to allow sewing into a section for binding.

Gutter - the central blank area between left and right pages.

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H

Hairline rule - the thinnest rule that can be printed, usually defined as a single device pixel. Not recommended for use because its size is impractically small when reproduced on high resloution devices such as platesetters.

Hairlines - the thinnest of the strokes in a typeface.

Halftone - an illustration reproduced by breaking down the original tone into a pattern of dots of varying size. Light areas have small dots and darker areas or shadows have larger dots.

Halftone screen - a glass plate or film placed between the original photograph and the film to be exposed. The screen carries a network of parallel lines. The number of lines to the inch controls the coarseness of the final dot formation. The screen used depends on the printing process and the paper to be used, the higher the quality the more lines can be used.

Hanging punctuation - punctuation that is allowed to fall outside the margins instead of staying within the measure of the text.

Hardback - a case bound book with a separate stiff board cover.

Head - the margin at the top of a page.

Helvetica - a sans serif typeface.

Hickies - a dust particle sticking to the printing plate or blanket which appears on the printed sheet as a dark spot surrounded by an halo.

Highlight - the lightest area in a photograph or illustration.

House style - The style of preferred spelling, punctuation, hyphenation and indentation used in a publishing house or by a particular publication to ensure consistent typesetting.

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I

Imposition - refers to the arrangement of pages on a printed sheet, which when the sheet is finally printed on both sides, folded and trimmed, will place the pages in their correct order.

Impression cylinder - the cylinder of a printing machine which brings the paper into contact with the with the printing plate or blanket cylinder.

Imprint - the name and place of the publisher and printer required by law if a publication is to be published. Sometimes accompanied by codes indicating the quantity printed, month/year of printing and an internal control number.

Insert - an instruction to the printer for the inclusion of additional copy.

International paper sizes - the International Standards Organisation (ISO) system of paper sizes is based on a series of three sizes A, B and C. Series A is used for general printing and stationery, Series B for posters and Series C for envelopes.

ISBN - International Standard Book Number. A reference number given to every published work. Usually found on the back of the title page.

Italic - type with sloping letters.

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J

Justify - the alignment of text along a margin or both margins. This is achieved by adjusting the spacing between the words and characters as necessary so that each line of text finishes at the same point.

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K

 

Kerning - the adjustment of spacing between certain letter pairs, A and V for example, to obtain a more pleasing appearance. Not all DTP systems can achieve this.

Keyline - an outline drawn or set on artwork showing the size and position of an illustration or halftone.

Kilobyte (K) - 1024 bytes, a binary 1,000.

Kraft paper - a tough brown paper used for packing.

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L

Laid - paper with a watermark pattern showing the wire marks used in the paper making process. Usually used for high quality stationery.

Laminate - a thin transparent plastic coating applied to paper or board to provide protection and give it a glossy finish.

Landscape - work in which the width used is greater than the height. Also used to indicate the orientation of tables or illustrations which are printed 'sideways'. See Portrait.

Laser printer - a high quality image printing system using a laser beam to produce an image on a photosensitive drum. The image is transferred on to paper by a conventional xerographic printing process. Currently, most laser printers set at between 300 dpi to 1,200 dpi depending upon the model and print settings.

Layout - a sketch of a page for printing showing the position of text and illustrations and giving general instructions.

Lead or Leading - Extra space added between lines of type to space out text and provide visual separation of the lines. Measured in points or fractions therof. Twelve point type set on 14 pt. line spacing is said to be leaded +2 points. Named after the strips of lead which used to be inserted between lines of metal type. Modern practical usage has blurred the difference between leading and line spacing.

Legend - the descriptive matter printed below an illustration, mostly referred to as a caption. Also an explanation of signs or symbols used in timetables or maps.

Letterpress - a relief printing process in which a raised image is inked to produce an impression; the impression is then transferred by placing paper against image and applying pressure.

Letterset - a printing process combining offset printing with a letterpress relief printing plate.

Letterspacing - the addition of space between the letters of words to increase the line-length to a required width or to improve the appearance of a line.

Library picture - a picture taken from an existing library and not specially commissioned.

Ligature - letters which are joined together as a single unit of type such as oe and fi. Ligatures have long been supported on the Macintosh platform but is not fully supported on the Windows platform.

Lightface - type having finer strokes than the medium typeface. Not used as frequently as medium.

Line gauge - a metal rule used by printers. Divided into Picas it is 72 picas long (11.952in).

Line Spacing - The measurement between lines of type as measured from baseline to baseline. Measured in points or fractions therof. Twelve point type set on 12 pt. line spacing is said to be set solid. Modern practical usage has blurred the difference between leading and line spacing.

Linen tester - a magnifying glass designed for checking the dot image of a halftone.

Lining figures - numerals that align on the baseline and at the top.

Lithography - a printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. The photographically prepared printing plate when being made is treated chemically so that the image will accept ink and reject water.

Logo - short for logotype. A word or combination of letters set as a single unit. Also used to denote a specially styled company name designed as part of a corporate image.

Loose leaf - a method of binding which allows the insertion and removal of pages for continuous updating.

Lower case - the small letters in a font of type.

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Go to Pt. 2

The preceding text is taken from a glossary of printing and typesetting terms that was compiled by Henry Budgett (henryb@sco.COM). This glossary of terms associated with the typesetting and printing industries was put together as a series of articles in a newsletter called ``Desktop Publisher'' published between 1986 and 1989. Some entries have been updated and edited to reflect changes in technology. The material was gathered from a wide variety of sources and compiled by J K Johnstone who deserves credit for the original effort. The material contained in this glossary is originally the copyright of The Desktop Publishing Company Ltd.