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Adobe: A company name for a suite of several software applications.


.AI: Adobe Illustrator file (Vector file type)

Bevel: Adding a beveled effect to a graphic image gives the image a raised appearance by applying highlight colors and shadow colors to the inside and outside edges.


Bit-mapped (mode): The Paint graphics mode describes an image made of pixels where the pixel is either on (black) or off (white).

Bleed: A graphic element that extends to the edge of a final printed page. To print a bleed, the graphic is printed on oversized paper then trimmed.

Body Type: Generally sized from 9 point to 14 point.

Camera-ready Art: Finished and approved artwork that is ready to be made into a negative for a printing plate. May be a computer file or actual print and images on a board.


.CDR: CorelDRAW file (Vector file type)

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.

Color Separation: The process of creating separate negatives and plates for each color of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) that will be used in the publication.

Column Gutter: Fhe space between columns of type.

Comp (Comprehensive layout): A blueprint of the publication, showing exactly how the type will be set and positioned, and the treatment, sizing, and placement of illustrations on the page.

Copy: Generally refers to source materials (text) used in a publication.

CMYK colors: These four initials stand for the 4 colors that are widely used in printing that are C = Cyan, M = Magenta, Y = Yellow, K = Black

Creative Request (CR): A form that clients must fill out and select various options in order to sumbit a job to a Graphic Artist. Usual information include job type, description, size specifications, print instructions, copy input, photo input, graphics required and deadlines.

Crop Marks: Horizontal and vertical lines that indicate the edge of the printed piece.

Cropping: Cutting out the extraneous parts of artwork or an image, usually relating to a photograph.

Dingbat Typeface: Typeface made up of nonalphabetic marker characters, such as arrows, asterisks, encircled numbers.


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.

Dither: On digital halftones, the creation of a flat bitmap by simply rutning dots off or on. All dots are the same size there are simply more of them in dark areas and fewer of them in light areas - as opposed to deep bitmaps used in gray-scale images.

DPI (dots per inch): The unit of measurement used to describe the resolution of printed output. The most common desktop laser printers output a 300 dpi. Medium-resolution printers output at 600 dpi. Image setters output at 1270-2540 dpi. (Also see PPI.)

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 or distance to the object.

Duotone: 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; combining the two improves the detail and contrast.

Emboss: Embossing a graphic image adds dimension to it by making the image appear as if it were carved as a projection from a flat background.


.EPS: Encapsulated Postscript file. Mainly used by designers and commercial printers. The file is mostly used to transfer an image, generally a vector file into another application. It is scalable and can be used in any vector software.

Export: Exporting allows the user to save the file in another format to be opened in other programs.

Facing Pages: In a double-sided document, the two pages that appear as a spread when the publication is opened.


.FH: Macromedia Freehand file

File Formats:

.AI: Adobe Illustrator file (Vector file type)

.CDR: CorelDRAW file (Vector file type)

.FH: Macromedia Freehand file

.EPS: Encapsulated Postscript file. Photoshop or Illustrator (can be Vector or Raster file type)

.PDF: Portable Document file created by multiple software, opened in Adobe Acrobat (can be Vector, Raster, or Text file type)

.PNG: Portable Network Graphics file (Raster file type)

.PSD: Adobe Photoshop Document file. Can contain layers (Raster file type)

.JPG: Joint Photographic Experts Group (Raster file type)

.GIF: Graphic Interchange Format file (Raster file type)

.TIF: Tagged Image file. Can contain layers (Raster file type)

Flash: Vector graphic animation software developed by Macromedia that creates browser-independent graphics (graphics that look the same across all browsers).

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.

Four-color Process: Printing process that reproduces colors by combining, CMYK. 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.

GIF (Graphic Interchange format): GIFs are files with low resolution and is most widely used for web applications and emailing purposes. Almost all Web browsers that support graphics can display .GIF files. .GIF files incorporate a compression scheme to keep file sizes at a minimum, and they are limited to 8-bit [256 or fewer colors] color palettes.


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.

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.

Graphic Design: Visual representation of an idea or concept. The term is used as a collective name for all activities relating to visual design, including web design, logo design etc.

Gray-scale Image: A "deep" bitmap that records with each dot its gray-scale level. The impression of greenness is a function of the size of the dot; a group of large dots looks dark and a group of small dots looks light.

Gutter: In double-sided documents, the combination of the inside margins of facing pages; the gutter should be wide enough to accommodate binding.

Halftone: 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.


Halftone Screen: In traditional publishing, the screen through which a continuous-tone image is photographed, measured in lines per inch. Although digital halftones are not actually photographed through a screen, the term is still used to describe the size of the dots; the larger the dots (fewer lines per inch), the more grainy the image. Special screens can be used for special effects.

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.

Illustration: A drawing or a visual representation in form of a photograph, painting or a work of art that symbolizes an idea


Image Area: The area on a page within which copy is positioned; determined by the margins.

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

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.


.JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) (Raster file type): JPG files can vary in compression range. It can be saved on various resolutions scale based on the quality desired. For example, an image can be saved in high quality for desktop printing, in medium quality for Web use and in low quality for emailing. Quality of an image is affected when it is highly compressed. .JPG files do not have transparent background. It can be used in MS Word to create personalized letterheads.

Kern: 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.


Keywords: Words imbedded in a website’s home page that are found when one uses a search engine.

Knockout: In printing, when one color is to be printed immediately adjacent to another color; actually they are printed with a slight overlap.

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


Leading (pronounced "led-ing"): 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.

Ligature: In typography, characters that are bound to each other, such as "oe" and "ae." In professional typefaces, the lowercase "f" is also often set as a ligature in combination with other characters such as "fi" and "fl."

Line Art: Black-and-white artwork with no gray areas. Pen-and-ink drawings are line art, and most graphic images produced with desktop publishing graphics programs can be treated as line art. For printing purposes, positive halftones can be handled as line art.

Low-resolution Image: A low-resolution image is a low-detail scan made from, for example a photograph. Usually known as 72dpi/ppi, also to be of screen, web or proof quality.

Mezzotint: For a halftone, a special screen that produces connected, dusty-looking dots.


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.

Negative Space: In design, the space where the figure isn't - in artwork, usually the background; in a publication, the parts of the page not occupied by type or graphics.


Objected-oriented (mode): The Draw graphics mode. A set of algorithms describe graphic form in abstract geometrical terms, as object primitives, the most fundamental shapes from which all other shapes are made: lines, curves, and solid or patterned areas.


Oblique Type: Characters that are slanted to the right; sans serif typefaces often have oblique rather than true italics, which are a separate font.

Offset 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.

Orphan: In a page layout, the first line of a paragraph separated from the rest of the paragraph by a column or page break. Headings without enough type under them may be considered as orphans; there should be as much type below the heading as the height of the heading itself, including white space.

Outline: The outline is the outer edge of text or a graphic.

Outlining (fonts): The process of converting editable text (or a font) to a non-editable state know as a vector graphic.

Pasteup: the process of preparing mechanicals -- in traditional publishing, positioning and pasting type and graphics on a board (and overlays). In desktop publishing, page-assembly software enables the user to do electronic pasteup.


.PDF (Portable Document File): A universal file format that preserves the fonts, images, graphics, and layout of any source document, regardless of the application and platform used to create it. Adobe PDF files are compact and complete, and can be shared, viewed, and printed by anyone with free Adobe Reader software. PDF files can be used for commercial printing as well as desktop printing.

Pica: a measurement used in typography for column widths and other space specifications in a page layout. There are 12 points in a pica, and approximately 6 picas to an inch.

Pixel (picture element): the smallest unit that a device can address. Most often refers to display monitors, a pixel being the smallest spot of phosphor that can be lit up on the screen.

PMS Colors (Pantone Matching System): It is a famous and international color matching system used in printing industry to print spot colors. It specifies and blends the matching colors with help of the pantone number or name that assures the file is printed in the right color. It provides designers with swatches of over 700 colors and gives printers the recipes for making those colors.

.PNG format (Portable Network Graphics, 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 typography measurement 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.

Portrait (orientation): A page or layout that is taller than it is wide.

Posterization: For a halftone, the reduction of the number of gray scales to produce a high-contrast image.

PPI (Pixels Per Inch): A measuement of a digital image’s resolution or clarity relating to the pixels in a given space.

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 Color Separation: In commercial printing, used for reproduction of color photographs. The various hues are created by superimposition of halftone dots of the process colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

.PSD (Photoshop Document): A file format that contains graphics/photos created by an image editing software, Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop files are most commonly used by commercial publishers and image editors. A .PSD file contains a layered format which enables an image to be built with individual graphic elements that can be moved over and over to obtain a desired result. .TIF, .JPG and .GIF can be generated from a .PSD file.

Pull Quote: A brief phrase (not necessarily an actual quotation) from the body text, enlarged and set off from the text with rules, a box, and/or a screen. It is from a part of the text set previously, and is set in the middle of a paragraph, to add emphasis and interest.

Quark X Press: Software used by the publishing industry.


Quick Time Video: Video streaming technology developed by Apple.

Ragged Right Alignment: Type set so that the extra white space in a line is set at the right, giving the text a ragged margin. Usually set with flush left.


Recto: In a double-sided document, the page that appears on the right side of the spread; an even-numbered page.

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).

Reverse: White or light-colored type of images on a dark background.

Revision: It is the process of editing or modifying such as an image or graphics published or produced earlier

Right-justified Alignment: Type set so that the text runs even on the right margin as well as on the left margin; the extra white space is distributed between words and sometimes between characters on the line.

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.

Roman Type: Book weight, regular, or in desktop publishing systems, called plain or normal type -- used for the body type in a text-intensive publication.

Rough: A refined thumbnail sketch for a publication design, done at actual size, with more detail. Roughs are often used for the first client review.

Run-around: Type that is set to fit the contour of an illustration, photo, ornament or initial.

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.


Scaling: Reduction or enlargement of artwork, which can be proportional (most frequently) or disproportional. In desktop publishing, optimal scaling of bitmaps is reduction or enlargement that will avoid or reduce moiré patterns.

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.

Screen (tint): In graphic arts, a uniform dotted fill pattern, described in percentage (for example, 50 percent screen).

Script: Connected, flowing letters resembling hand writing with pen or quill. Either slanted or upright. Sometimes with a left-hand slant.

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.

Sidebar: In newsletter/magazine layout, a related story or block of information that is set apart from the main body text, usually boxed and/or screened.

Small Caps: Capital letters set at the x-height of the font.
Solarization: A photographic image in which both blacks and whites appear black, while midtones approach white.


Spot Color Separation: For offset printing, separation of solid premixed ink colors (for example, green, brown, light blue, etc.); used when the areas to be colored are not adjacent. Spot color separations can be indicated on the tissue cover of the mechanical, or made with overlays.

Spread: In a double-sided document, the combination of two facing pages, which are designed as a unit. Also, the adjacent inside panels of a brochure when opened.

Stroke Weight: In a typeface, the amount of contrast between thick and thin strokes. Different typefaces have distinguishing stroke-weight characteristics.

Style Sheet: In desktop publishing program, style sheets contain the typographic specifications to be associated with tagged text. They can be used to set up titles, headings, and the attributes of blocks of text, such as lists, tables, and text associated with illustrations. The use of style sheets is a fast and efficient way to insure that all comparable elements are consistent.

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.

Tabloid-sized Page: A page that measures 11" x 17" - most often used in portrait orientation for newspapers. Not to be confused with an 11" x 17" spread, which is made up of two letter-sized pages.


Tags: For style sheets, delimited sets of characters embedded in the text or internally coded. Tags apply to paragraphs (text terminated with a hard return -- this includes titles and headings) and indicate the function of paragraphs. The actual type specification depends on the style sheet that is associated with the tag.

Tag Line: An associated line of text or catch phrase always written or accompanied by an organizations logo or product; also used as a slogan

Template: In page design, a file with an associated style sheet and all standing and serial elements in place on a master or base page, used for publication following the same design.

Text Wrap: The spatial relationship between blocks of text and graphics, or between two blocks of text. A text wrap may be rectangular (most commonly), irregular, or arbitrary.

Thumbnails: Miniature pictures sketched as first design ideas, like thinking on paper (or on screen).

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. Can contain layers (Raster file type). TIF is considered to be the most reliable format both for photos and documents though they are pretty large in size.

Tombstoning: In multicolumn publications, when two or more headings in the same horizontal position on the page.

Type Alignment: The distribution of white space in a line of type where the characters at their normal set width do not fill the entire line length exactly. Type maybe aligned left, right, centered, or right-justified.

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.

Type Families: A group of typefaces of the same basic design but with different weights and proportions.

UC & LC: Abbreviation for upper- and lowercase.


Unit: In typography, divisions of the em space, used for fine-tuning the letterspacing of text type. Different typesetting systems and desktop publishing software use different unit divisions: 8, 16, 32, and 64 are common. One unit is a thin space or a hair space.

Vector Graphics: Adobe Illustrator is used to create vector files drawn in paths or lines. Vector files follow a pattern of connected points that result in a much smaller file easy to modify without resolution loss vs. a raster image file. Vector-based art are scaleable objects that keep their proportions with quality [unlike bitmap images] when sized up or down. These objects can be moved around in full, or grouped together with other objects. In other words, a vector image is a combination of geometric shapes, made of outlines that are curved and joined at X Y coordinates or points.


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.
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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