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Glossary of Technical Terms

Book Design, Layout, Printing, and Binding


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A long metal frame (galley) that holds several pages of text. It is easier to correct type in this form, before the text is transferred to page by page forms. See Galley proof.
Galley Proofs
Also “galleys,” are proofs made from the text in galleys. These are early proofs; proofs created near the finished version for final editing and checking are called “page proofs.”
More correctly Gamma compression or gamma encoding, is used to encode luminance values into video signals or digital file values and decode back into luminance values. As a practical matter, it refers to adjustments that can be made to correct the monitor to more accurately display images. In photography paper and film each have a nonlinear gamma that represent compression of the highlights and shadows; some films and papers have a straighter line, more linear, section between the highlights and shadows than others.
A foldout in a book or periodical.
To assemble signatures in the correct order prior to sewing.
Background which has been lightened.
The appearance of an unwanted and unintended image on a page often from the other side of the leaf.
The application of gold leaf to the edges of a book for decoration.
Short for glossy print: a photograph with a hard, shiny finish, preferred for reproduction work. Also for coated paper, such as magazines.
In typography, it is a graphical representation or unit: a character, numeral, punctuation mark, dingbat. For example, swash characters might include “ae” (two separate characters) as one graphic units: “æ” (one graphic unit).
See type.
In graphics, a gradual, bandless, blend of colors; an even gradation from low to high values, such as from white to black.
Predominate direction of the fibers in a sheet of paper.
A printing process in which the impression comes from intaglio plates, where the image to be printed lies beneath the surface, whereas in letterpress, the image lies about the surface.
In digital images, each pixel carries its intensity information only---no color information. Commonly there are 256 shades in a grayscale image running from pure white to pure black.
Also lorem ipsum. Dummy text used for page or text element design because it gives a normal looking word and sentence length distribution. Studies show that when actual copy is set, people are distracted from the overall graphic look or feel. Here are 25 words: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Proin facilisis nibh id magna. Etiam libero ligula, consequat et, dapibus id, dignissim quis, lacus. Duis cursus. See: http://www.lipsum.com
Blank space in the center where tw3o facing pages meet. See gutter margin
Gutter Margin
The inner margin of a single page.
The finest rule.
Half Binding
A half bound book has leather or, today, some different material, covering the spine and some portion of the front and back covers in from the spine. See full and three-quater binding.
Half Title
The first page of a book after the end papers. It has the book title only.
“Continuous” tone reproduction made by means of dots of varying sizes.
Halos A small light to white circles that appear in a digital image that has been oversharpened.
Handset Type that is set by hand, letter by letter, space by space, using a composing stick
Hanging Paragraph See paragraph.
Generally: type set apart from a section of text, serving as a title or description. Often display matter.
Centered head: a headlined centered between the margins of the page, text block, or column.
Chapter head: the heading for the chapter opening page. See Chapter PDF.
Cut-in Head:
a head placed in a box of white space cut into the side of the type page, usually set in a different type from the text. If it has a rule around it, it is a boxheading.
Running head:
is a headline placed at the top of the text pages showing the book, author, chapter, or subsection. See Running Heads PDF.
Side head:
a headline placed at the side of a page or column.
a heading that precedes a subdivision of a chapter.
Hickey A small blemish on a printed piece due usually to a contaminating particle on a printing plate.
Highlight The whitest part in a picture, typically lacking detail.
Similar to anti-aliasing. It is a mathematical instruction contained in outline font (vector), such as TrueType formats, that adjusts the type for better clarity and legibility.

Short for high resolution, hi res refers to the amount of detail an image holds. Not only are there no common standards for what constitutes hi res, but the same image can appear softer (low) or sharper (hi) irrespective of its dpi, depending on the monitor, printer, paper, ink or the sobriety of the viewer. Dpi is not the sole criterion for "good" or "bad" image resolution: Monitor images are typically 72 dpi. Although a 72 dpi 4X5 inch image may look sharp on a monitor, it holds far less information than a 300dpi 4X5 image, and it won't print well. However, a 300dpi 4X5 image could be converted to 72dpi, without resampling, and none of the detail or information will have been lost.

Image size
File Size
Original 300dpi 4" X 5" 5.2MB
Resized-no resampling to 72dpi 72dpi 20.8" X 16.7" 5.2MB
Resized-resampled 72dpi 4" X 5" 360KB
The resized-resampled image won't print well, but will look okay on a monitor.
The resized-no resampling image won't print well at 20.8" X 16.7", but if printed at 4" X 5" it will be identical to the original image.
Horizontal Scale
In computer typesetting, adjusting the horizontal proportion of type—to compress or expand. See Type PDF.
Hot Press
A method of foil stamping by heating the type or die.
Also word division. Breaking words at the end of a sentence to make the word and letter spacing of a line of type more uniform.
A high resolution, large format, computer output devise. Commonly: it converts digital image files to film from which lithographic plates are made for offset printing. An imagesetter can also produce large negative or positives for photographic printing or viewing.
The layout of pages on a large sheet, so that after printing and folding the pages will appear in the correct order in the correct orientation. Generally books sheets are multiples of 8 pages. See form.
1) All the copies of a book printed at one time. 2) The amount of pressure on a sheet on a printing press.
The name of a publisher, often with the place and date of publication, on the title page; sometimes including a colophon.
Starting or ending type inside the left or right margins.
Inferior Figure
A small numeral that prints partly below the baseline; see subscript.
The first letter of a page, chapter, or book set in a display type for decoration or emphasis.
The color bearing material used to print an impression on a page. Offset ink is very thick; whereas inkjet ink is very thin.
Inkjet Printing
Both low and high price printers that use tiny, variable sized, droplets of ink that are “sprayed” onto paper. Print-on-demand printers use sophisticated inkjet printers. The ink is notoriously expensive.
Ink Rotation
The sequence of ink colors in four color printing.
An extra printed leaf, sometimes folded, inserted or tipped into a book or magazine.
See gravure.
Unlike the preface or foreword, the introduction is considered part of the text.
International Standard Book Number, a 10 digit, unique numerical book identifier.
See type.
A protective wrapper, usually paper, that protects a clothbound book cover. It usually caries the blurb. Also dust wrapper, abbreviated d.w.
Jpeg (.jpg)
Joint Photographic Experts Group—a commonly used lossy compression method for digital photographs.
To space out lines of type to fill a specified measure.
Justify all lines
In computer typesetting, this forces the last line (or a selected line) to be justified.
Justify with center
In a justified block of text, if the last line is less than the full measure, it will be centered.
Justify with left
In a justified block of text, if the last line is less than the full measure, it will be flush left.
Justify with right
In a justified block of text, if the last line is less than the full measure, it will be flush right.
The part of the character extending beyond the body (sort) of type is called a kern.
In typesetting, kerning moves certain pairs of characters closer together, overlapping blank spaces: for example VA, but not EF. See tracking.
To purposely omit text or illustrations. Also, an order to break up the pages melt down the type.
(CIELAB, or L*a*b*) A color scheme that most accurately models the human eye. (RGB and CMYK are models based on output devices.) There are three channels; however unlike RGB or CMYK, one channel carries intensity information (similar to a black and white conversion of an image), and the other two channels carry the color information: channel a—negative values are green, positive values are magenta; channel b—negative values are blue, positive values are yellow.
Laser jet
Unlike an inkjet printer, the laser jet uses static electricity to temporarily hold toner particles, which are fused to the paper. Inexpensive and fast, but lacking the print quality of even the least expensive inkjet printers.
Latin Alphabet
Generally, Latin distinguishes our alphabet from other forms like Greek, Cyrillic, etc.
In digital editing software, these are analogous to acetates in animated cartoon making. Each layer (acetate) can be part of the whole, complete, blended, etc.
The conception of a finished job, complete with spacing, type specifications, etc.
A row of evenly spaced dots designed to carry the reader’s eye across rows of a table, such as a table of contents.
Extra spacing between lines of type. (Pronounced led). For example, 12/12 type (twelve on twelve) is solid, 12/14 type has 2 points of leading.
A hinged piece of paper consisting of two pages.
1) Descriptive matter accompanying an illustration; whereas a caption, it the title of the illustration or legend. 2) The key to symbols or marks on a map or chart.
Letter Spacing
Spacing between letters. See PDF.
Method of printing using a raised surface as the image carrier.
Two or three characters combined on a single type body: e.g. Œ or æ.
Line Copy
Copy or images, for reproduction which contains only black and white, such as pen-and-ink drawings, type, etc.
Line gauge
Measuring rule used for copy fitting.
Lining Figures
See Numerals.
Also logo. One or more words or combinations of letters, graphic elements, often printed with control colors, that are used to identify a company; a trademark or registered mark.
Lorem Ipsum See Greek.
A compression program for digital images or sound files that allows the exact original data to be reconstructed (opened) from the compressed file. Zip, Png, or psd are lossless. See lossy.
A compression program for digital images or sound files that allows an approximation of the original file when it is reconstructed (opened). Jpeg is lossy compression. See lossless.
Lowercase The uncapitalized letters of an alphabet, e.g. a, b, c, d, etc.
Machine Finish See Paper.
Majuscule Large or capital letters.
In letterpress work, putting the typeform, zincs, etc. on the press, including leveling the types to get it ready for printing. More generally, getting a printing press ready to print a run.
Arranging type lines and illustrations into page form.
The white space around the printed page: the head, outside, foot, and back (inside) margins. The back margins of the two facing pages are the gutter.
In graphics a mask prevents light or ink from passing through areas of an image. Masking is an integral part of digital image editing and creation.
Master Pages
In pages setting software, a page layout, which may include images and text, that can be applied globally to an entire document.
A distinctive design, logotype, or style of type used to identify a company.
Paste-up of all the design elements—type, images—as a guide to the printer or as camera-ready copy.
As used, more correctly “illuminant metameric failure,” is where certain colors match under one light source but appear differently under another light source.
Midtone The tones of the image between the shadow ("black")and highlight ("white")areas where most of the image information is.
Minuscule Small letters, or lowercase
Moiré Pattern
An interference pattern: 1) caused by halftone screens that are out of alignment; 2) that appears when trying to remove a dot pattern in scanned halftone art or when reprinting halftone art copied from an originally screened and printed piece; 3) produced by certain patterns in art (striped shirts, wood cuts, etc.) when scanned. In digital art the effect can be exacerbated by choice of paper, ink, and image dpi.
Monospaced type Fixed width, non-proportional, type, e.g. Courier type.
In graphics, an image whose tonal values are inverted from the original—light areas appear dark, dark areas appear light. In a color negative not only are the tonal values inverted, but the colors are reversed—where red appears cyan, green appears magenta, and blue appears yellow.
In film, it’s film grain. In digital images some noise comes from camera sensors; some comes from low quality compression.
Nonlining numerals See Numerals.
Arabic numerals are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. When printed like that, where they are each Cap High, they are called lining numerals, or figures.
When they are printedwhere they print more like lowercase letters extending above and below the x-height, they are called non-lining or old style numerals or figures.
Roman numerals start I, II, III IV, V, VI VII, VIII, IX, X. In general, they are used in lower case for numbering, i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, the front matter of a book.
Oblique Letters that slant to the right.
A book made from standard size sheets, folded three times, forming 8 leaves, and 16 pages. Sometimes for books measuring about 6 X 9 inches. See folio and quarto.
Off-Center Text or display elements that are not centered on the page or relative to a margin.
A printing problem where wet ink is transferred from the top of one sheet to the back of another sheet.
Offset Printing
A printing process based on the repulsion of oil and water, where the inked image is transferred—offset—from the plate to a rubber blanket to the printing surface.
Old style
A term used to describe type styles developed in the early seventeenth century.
Old style figures
These figures vary in size and placement relative to the baseline, similar to lowercase: (see lining figures)
The quality of paper that prevents the type or image from showing through from one side of page to the other.
Operators Signs such as +, -, =, ±, used in mathematic or other scientific texts.
Optical Centering
The vertical adjustment of an element so that it appears centered: it may be different from measured centering, depending on the shape, color, weight of the element.
Orphan See Widow.
Outside (of page) The outside margin of a page, as opposed to the back (inside) margin or gutter.
Overlay A transparent paper or acetate flap that protects art work or gives printing or layout instructions.


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