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This graphic design glossary contains vocabulary that many designers use on a daily basis and may be confusing to new designers or non-designers who need to communicate with designers. Remember, the following terms are defined as they relate to graphic design and desktop publishing. This is a work in progress and updates are made frequently. If there is a term you think is missing, misrepresentedor incorrect
A
AI
Illustrator Document extension. See Illustrator.
B
Bleed
Bleed is the part of a printed document that is outside the bounds of the final size of the piece. It is used to make sure images and other design elements print all the way to the edge of the paper. It is the designer’s responsibility to set up the bleed in a document and an accepted standard is 1p6, or 1/4 of aninch, outside the size of the paper. When placing objects in a document that must go all the way to the edge of the page, make sure they extend to at least this quarter inch mark. Photoshop and Illustrator do not have an automatic way to add bleed, so it must be taken into account when setting up the page size. In layout programs such as InDesign, the bleed is set up separately from the actual pagesize; in other words, the bleed is in addition to the defined page size.
Bleedthrough
Areas with heavy ink coverage can soak through thin paper and show up on the other side. This is not the same as being able to see the printing on the other side just because the paper is thin. With bleedthrough, the ink actually soaks into the paper and appears in dark blotches on the other side. Check forthis at the press check.
Body/Copy
The body of a layout (also called copy or body copy) is the main text.
C
CMYK
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (or Key), the colors a printer works with, as opposed to the screen color space, RGB. This is also known as process color. CMYK is a subtractive color space; in other words, to make white, you take away all the colors. There is a gooddescription of the correspondence of CMY and RGB in The Quick and Easy Guide to Color Correction Part 2.
Compression
The process of an algorithm making file sizes smaller by combining similar data. Most of the time this is a good thing, but it can also cause severe loss of quality, especially in regards to images.
Comps
Also known as comprehensives, these are the step after thumbnails in thecreative process. This is usually where the designs are taken into the computer and the details such as backgrounds, color schemes and images are more thoroughly worked out. Comps are the “first draft” of design. Many times designers show several different styles in comps to a client and let the client decide on a look and feel that he or she desires. Then the comps go back to the designer with somefeedback and changes from the client and usually several rounds of this feedback process occur. Sometimes the client may ask (or the designer may want to present) mock-ups.
Crossover
Images and/or text running across two or more pages. Look to see that they line up when you go to a press check.
D
DPI
Dots per inch is the more exact way to define the resolution for a file that is to beprinted. Some use DPI and PPI interchangeably, though this is technically incorrect.
E
Elements of Design
The Elements of Design are Color, Shape, Size, Space, Line, Value and Texture
EPS
EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript (not to be confused with ESP: Extra Sensory Perception). A common file format for exporting Illustrator files, it contains a bitmap preview of the image as well asinstructions written in the PostScript language that describe how the object is to be printed. An EPS file is usually a vector, but sometimes people place photos in Illustrator and export them as an EPS, though I’m not sure why. Images for print should ideally be exported as TIFFs.
F
Font
Technically, a font is the complete collection of characters and glyphs, including numbers, symbols, accented...
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