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Glossary of Printing Terms

Bleed - An image or printed color that runs off the trimmed edge of a page. Bleeds are created by trimming the page after printing.


CYMK - Cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The blending of these inks during printing creates full-color publications and images.


Dummy - An unprinted mock-up of a book, brochure, or "to-be-printed" piece.


Duotone - A two-color halftone of an image created with two screens, two plates, and two colors. Duotones are made by printing an image with two colors, generally black and a second color. The full range of tones are printed black and the middle range of tones are printed in the second color. The result is a striking image with more richness and depth than a one-color halftone.


Embossing - A shape is pressed into a sheet of paper with a metal or plastic die, creating a raised (embossed) image.


EPS - Encapsulated postscript file format. (See "vector")


File Compression - Condensing a file so it takes up less space. (See "lossless compression" and "lossy compression").


Foil Stamping - An image created by covering paper with a thin, flexible sheet of metal or other material. The foil, which may be clear or opaque, comes in a range of colors and is carried on a plastic sheet. Stamping separates the foil from the plastic and makes it adhere to the paper. Foil stamping can be combined with embossing or debossing as an added design element.


Hickey - An irregularity in the ink coverage of a printed page. Hickeys are caused by paper or pressroom dust or dirt on the printing blanket which prevents the ink from adhering to the paper surface.


Imposition - The arrangement of pages in a printing form so that, when the sheet they are printed on is folded and trimmed, the pages appear in proper sequence.


JPEG (.jpg) - Joint Photographic Expert Group. A lossy compression method used for storing large bitmap images and displaying images on the web.


Kerning - Adjusting the space between characters.


Leading - Space between lines of type. General rule of thumb is to add two points leading to your type size. For example, 11 point type with 13 point leading.


Lines Per Inch - The number of lines in an inch, as found on the screens that create halftones and four-color process images (for example, "printed 175-line screen"). The more lines per inch, the more detailed the printed image will be.


Lossless Compression - A compression method that reduces the size of a file without any loss of data.


Lossy Compression - A compression method that reduces the size of a file with varying or adjustable loss of data. JPEG is an example.


Moiré - A pattern created by printing several repetitive designs on top of each other. In multi-color printing, screens of colored dots print on top of each other. If the angles of the halftone screens of each of the colors are not properly aligned with each other, an undesirable, blurry pattern called "moiré" appears in the final image.


Resolution - A unit of measure. Image resolution measures the amount of data per inch in an image. Printer resolution measures the amount of detail that a printer or imagesetter can create. Scanner resolution measures the amount of detail that a scanner can capture.


RGB - Red, Green, Blue. These are the colors that create image you see on your monitor.


Pixel - PICture Element. The smallest unit of image data.


Scoring - Pressing a "channel" into a sheet of paper to allow it to fold more easily.


Self-cover - A booklet having a cover made of the same paper as the inside or text pages.


Vector - Drawn images, not photographic, composed of a series of points connected with straight or curved lines. These can be filled with color, gradients or patterns. These images are not subject to the resolution or sizing issues of bitmap images. They can be reduced or enlarged without losing image quality.


WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get. Software programs such as Adobe InDesign create publications that are WYSIWYG. Software programs such as Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word and Wordperfect are not WYSIWYG. Pages change dependent on font usage, print drivers, etc.