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Printing Terminology

Bleed -- The result of placing a graphic on the page so that the printing on one of more sides extends off the page edge.  Use of bleeds in design requires the use of stock that is wider than the finished size to which the publication will be trimmed.  The image should extend 1/8” beyond the final trim.
Camera-ready/output ready – A publication that is ready for offset reproduction without modification.  Camera-ready copy is ready to be Raster Image Processed to create printing plates for an offset press or to generate laser printed copies.
Caption – Copy printed with, usually directly below, line art and cartoons.  See also Cutline.
Case – Text can be lower- or upper-case, referring to whether a letter is capitalized.  Historically, typesetters kept lead characters for capital letters in the upper type case and the others in the lower type case.
Creative proof – The usually black-and-white proof of the publication, page by page, of the formatted text and other graphics.  Creative proofs are used for proofreading and to make design decisions.  See also Production/Matchprint Proofs.
Crop marks – The fine, intersecting lines that mark where an oversize press sheet will be trimmed to achieve final page size.
Cutline – Copy printed with, usually directly below, photographs.  See also Caption.
Desktop Publishing – Is neither “desktop” nor “publishing.”  The term is used to describe the use of computer hardware and software to generate files to be printed on offset or laser presses that will become brochures, booklets, etc.  Printing Services and the Office of Marketing Communications use both PC and Apple equipment with Adobe InDesign and a variety of peripheral software.  Microsoft Word files can be imported.
Document – Whatever you create with application programs – a file you can open, modify, view or save.  Compare File.
File – Any named, ordered collection of information stored on a disk.  Application programs and operating systems are files.  You also make a file when you create a document, give it a name, and save it on a storage medium.
Font – The same meaning as Typeface to traditional typesetters:  collection of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and other typographical symbols with a consistent appearance, size and style.  The size and style can be changed readily.
Font size – Normally, font size reflects the space between the tallest ascender and the lowest descender of a given font.  Exact font description criteria vary according to the font designer.  Font sizes are measured and described in points, with each point equal to 1/72 of an inch. 
Format – Format refers to the overall ordering and layout of material.  Paragraph formats usually include alignment, margins and tab settings.  Character formats include font, typestyle, font size and other style attributes.
Graphics – Information presented in the form of pictures, line art or other non-text images.  Compare Text.
Gutter – The white space between columns.  A standard gutter width is one pica, or 12 points (0.167”).
Hairline – A .24-point or thinner rule is called a hairline.  See also Rule.  Hairlines finer than .50-point should not be set unless the document will be printed on a high-end production device.
Hard return – Made by pressing the return key.  A hard return, or carriage return, normally creates a line break and identifies the end of a paragraph.
Justify – To justify a line of text is to fit the line to a box of column width, so that the text will have uniform left and/or right margins.
Leading – Pronounced “ledding” – the space between lines.
Linespacing – A traditional typesetting term for Leading.
Orientation – The position of text on a page.  Portrait orientation means the text is taller than it is wide.  Landscape orientation means the text is wider than it is tall.
Perfect binding – Any of several processes wherein glue is applied to the edges of collated sets to affix those sheets at the common side so that the set may be paged through, as in a book.  Printing Services provides on-campus perfect binding using a paper tape binding for documents produced on the high-speed duplicator in thicknesses ranging from 15 sheets to 125 sheets of bond paper.  Other forms of perfect binding are available commercially, but require more time and expense.
Pica – Pica is a base unit of measurement in American typography equal to 1/6th of an inch, used in composition and typesetting for describing sizes other than type characters, e.g., page width, gutters, margins, etc.  See also Point.
PMS Color – Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the most popular standard for describing the rainbow of ink colors that can be produced for publications.  Each varying shade of a color is identified by its corresponding number.  The University’s official purple, for example, is identified and referenced as PMS 269.  About a half dozen “parent” colors are used in varying combinations to produce all the others.  The cost to mix other colors varies from printer to printer; the Print Shop charges $20 to mix a custom color.  See also Washup.
Point – Standard unit of measure used to specify type sizes.  One point is 1/72 of an inch (approximately .013837 inch).  Type that is one inch high is 72-point type.  See also Pica.
Production/Matchprint Proof – A copy of a document to be printed that is produced by making a print from the processed file. Production proofs are the final proof available before production begins.  They are produced to verify the correct placement of graphics, to check the correct separation of ink colors, to verify layering and font techniques, and the instructions for folding, binding, and other finishing processes.  The costs of producing one set of production proofs are normally included in printers’ quotes for jobs that require them.  Author’s alteration requiring new production proofs will result in additional costs and perhaps in time delays to generate new production proofs.
Registration marks – Printed on the margins of the press sheet, registration marks are use to verify alignment of the printing heads on the press.
Resolution – Refers to the fineness of reproduction and the distinctness of visual elements defined in dots per inch (dpi).  The more dots per inch, the finer/higher the resolution.  The resolution of the computer is 72 dpi, low resolution printers are 300 dpi, Printing Services’ high resolution laser printers are 600 dpi, and Printing Services’ poster printer is 2400 dpi.
Rules – Vertical and horizontal rules are lines that are used as graphic elements on a typeset page.  Rules smaller than one-half point should not be set unless the document will be printed on a high-resolution output device.  See also Hairline.
Saddle stitching – Stapling at the fold that creates a bound set of sheets, as in a newsletter of more than four pages.  While universal definitions do not exist, a newsletter usually becomes a booklet or magazine when a heavier stock is used for the outside pages as a cover.
Sans serif  – Without Serif –  this text is set in a one of the University’s official fonts that has serifs .   Helvetica  is an example of a sans serif font family.  See also  Serif .
Scanned graphic – A bit-mapped graphic created using hardware that converts a two- or three-dimensional image into a collection of dots and stores it in a file format such as TIFF, JPEG, etc., so that an electronic publishing application can read the graphic documents directly from the file.
Screens – Screens of varying percentages (size and density of dots) are often used to highlight text areas through overprinting.  Also called Shading.
Serifs – Serifs are the short strokes that project from the main strokes of a character.  The “feet” at the bottom of this letter “M” are serifs.  See also Sans Serif.
Typeface – See Font and Font Size.