Jargon Buster
Jargon Buster: Artwork Terms

At Lemon Press, we understand that not everyone knows about printing and design, and so you may be baffled by the jargon we often use to describe some of our printed products. To cut to the chase and help you out, we’ve produced this handy guide to explain even the most baffling of terms.

It’ll make your life easier when searching for products, help you understand the design and print process and will ensure you are speaking the same language as your commercial printer.

Artwork Terms

Artwork – Original illustrative copy or layout ready for reproduction at prepress stage.

Author’s Corrections – Corrections made by the author on page proofs, which alter the original copy. The cost of making such alterations are charged by the printer, in contrast to printer’s errors or house corrections.

Bleed – The part of an image that extends beyond the Trim Marks on a page.

CMYK (or CYMK) – Letters which stand for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K). K is used for black to eliminate confusion with blue. Full colour printed images are made up of these component colours.

Colour Markup – Specifications on a piece of artwork to a printer, showing the required colours for the item to be printed.

Colour Separation – Division of colour into basic elements e.g. CMYK or flat pantone by a process of scanning or page make-up from a computer. Separate printing plates are needed for each colour.

Crop Marks – Small lines that show the document edge, essential for register and trim.

Desktop Publishing – The creation of artwork and print from your computer. Requires special software and a fairly powerful PC or Apple Macintosh.

Dot – The basic element of halftone. Dots per inch indicate the resolution of images.

Duotone – A photograph printed using two colours.

EPS – Encapsulated Postscript File is a file format that can be read across different programmes.

Fit – The alignment and registration of individual images or plates within a page.

Font – A set of letters, numbers and symbols that share a unified design. The design is called a typeface.

Four Colour Process – A method of printing in full colour by colour separation producing four colour plates for printing in cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Graduation – The smooth transition from one tone or colour to another or the range of values between black and white.

Halftone – Process by which continuous tone is simulated by a pattern of dots of varying size.

Impose or Imposition – To arrange pages so that when the sheet is folded the text will read continuously.

Layout – Overall design of a piece of printed work.

Machine Proof – A proof of the job from the printing press.

Monochrome – An image made up of varying tones in one colour (also duotone).

OPI – A process in which low resolution files are replaced automatically by high resolution files.

Original – Any matter or image intended for reproduction.

Pagination – The term given to numbering the pages of a book.

Pantone matching system (PMS) – A registered trade name, system of colour matching used in computer software, paper and inks.

Plate – A sheet of metal holding the image from which an impression is produced.

Postscript – A registered trademark of Adobe Inc., It is a page description language which describes the content and layout of a page.

Process Colours – The printing inks Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

RGB – 3 colour split (red, green, blue).

Raster Image Processing (RIP) – Making the dots that make up a halftone from a page description language such as postscript.

Registration Marks – A set of fine line crosses or other suitable devices added to original artwork to provide reference points for accurate subsequent multi-colour printing or finishing.

Resolution – The efficiency of a computer graphic in reproducing fine detail.

Retouching – Methods of altering the image on a computer or physical artwork, photography to change or alter an image.

Repro – Pre-press camera work, scanning and film make-up.

Sans Serif – Term used to classify a wide range of typefaces as those which are devoid of finishing strokes.

Screen Ruling – The number of lines per inch (or centimetre) on a halftone or tint screen, equal to the number of dots per inch on the printed image.

Spot Colour – A colour that is printed not using four colour printing, but printed using self-coloured inks such as Pantone.

Swatch – A colour specimen.

Tint – The effect of the mixture of white to a solid colour or the effect achieved by breaking up colour into a percentage using dots, which allow white paper to show through.

Trim Marks – Marks incorporated on a printed sheet, which indicate where the paper is to be cut or trimmed.

Typography – The design and layout of type.

X-height – The mean height of lowercase letters, such as c, e, o and x.

We hope that has helped clarify a few of the everyday artwork terms in use in the design and printing industry. If you would like to discuss your printing requirements, please contact us on 01527 510262 or email info@nulllemonpress.co.uk

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