Glossary Beginnings Tips

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How do I find out what achromitic is?


Designating color perceived to have zero saturation and therefore no hue, such as neutral grays, white, or black. This term especially pertains to value scales in determining the lightness and darkness of an area.

How do I define artwork?


Any type of image that is of a high enough standard to be reproduced.

How do I find out about volume in design?


The appearance or reality of height, width and depth in a mass. In two-dimensional work, this is defined as the illusion of height, width and depth in shape. In three-dimensional work, this is more aptly defined with the actual form of the piece.

What is graphic design jargon?

Graphic Design Jargon

A small but concise list of certain terms and phrases relative to the Graphics field to help others and certain novice Graphicos with their undertanding.

How do I define cropping Ls?

Cropping Ls

L-shaped interlocking peices of paper or cardboard used by designers to place over photographs or transparencies to help in the decision making process of cropping.

How do I find out about Pamphlet-sewn binding?

Pamphlet-sewn Binding

A hand-sewn method of binding in which the stitches are hidden. Stitching can be done on the front or back of the booklet, off the spine edge. The knot that secures the thread is usually hidden in the inside center, but can be moved to the outside of the book to add an attractive design element.

How do I find out about corrugate cardboard?


A type of cardboard with grooves and ridges (flutes). It comes in single-wall or double-wall strength. In single-wall corrugate, flutes are exposed on one side; double-wall has two pieces melded together with the flutes on the inside. Great to use on the scanner for non-traditional forms of background textures.

How do I find out about Letterpress?


A method of printing that involves cast metal type or plates on which areas to be printed are raised above the areas that will go unprinted. Ink rollers touch only the raised areas, and then the metal plates are applied to the paper. The impression left by the cast metal plates is sharp and clear, though more subtle (and less expensive) than embossing. The oldest method of printing, it can be used for newspapers, magazines, books, packaging and specialty papers.

How do I define a bitmap?


Method of encoding a graphic image (text or illustration) as a grid map of pixels or printed rectangles.

How do I define bromide?


Paper with a photosensitive coating that is used when an image has to be reproduced photographically.

How do I find out about saddle-stitch?


A binding process in which a staple, or saddle wire, is put through the middle of the fold to keep the pages together; this process is usually used for thin pieces, such as pamphlets and small brochures.

How do I find out about Japanese sewn binding?

Japanese-Sewn Binding

A type of binding which consists of thread, yarn, string, ribbon, raffia, twine, rope, wire or other material hand-sewn through a pattern of holes. The material is looped and tied through holes in a continuous pattern. This creates a looser binding than a machine-sewn binding. Very time-consuming and expensive type of binding.

How do I find out about symbols in design?


This is an element of design that represents and/or communicates an idea or a message. The original symbols in cave paintings were perhaps used for communication or decoration. Today's symbols can be found in logos and branding.

How do I find out about visual texture?

Visual Texture

This is texture you can't touch, but that is rendered so that you can "feel" the shape with your memory of that tactile form or shape. Detailed visual texture is used in objects that are closer to the viewer than objects in the distance.

How do I define capitals?


The large, upper case letters of a typeface, as distinct from lower case letters.

How do I define body copy?

Body Copy

The main, straight text as distinct from headings, subheadings, footnotes, etc.

How do I find out about tactile texture?

Tactile Texture

the use of materials to create a surface in two- or three-dimensional work that can actually be felt. This is most evident in architecture and sculpture, but one can also see this in collage.

How do I define an en?


The term used to denote a 6-point measure; it is half as wide as an "em" in the same type.

How do I find out what a spectrum is?


This is the range of visible color you see when white light is passed through a prism. This color cannot be reproduced with paint, as paint is an object that also reflects light.

How do I find out about warm color?

Warm color

A color (hue) which appears to be closer to the yellow-red side of the color wheel. Warm colors denote heat, excitement, brightness. These colors also appear to "come forward" as opposed to cool colors, which appear to recede.

How do I define flat color?

Flat Color

Color or tints of colors that contain no continuously graded tones.

How do I find out about acrylic?

Acrylic Material

A durable, plastic-like material with 30 times the impact strength of glass. Acrylic comes in various thickness and colors and can easily be cut, engraved or screen-printed. Lucite and Plexiglas are common types of acrylics.

How do I define a format?


The size and shape of a publication on paper, Web, television, etc.

How do I find out about Surrealism?


This is an artistic style that is most common in fantasy art. The images are formed in the imagination or subconscious and formed in two- or three-dimensional work. The Surrealistic movement often represented these works in a realistic technique to give more credence to the images.

How do I find out what a triadic color scheme is?


Color scheme that uses three equqlly spaced colors on a color wheel. This scheme is used for high contrast.

How do I find out about airpressing?


The process of bonding one material to another using an adhesive and forced air.

How do I find out about silk-screening?


A printing process in which a mesh frame and a stencil are used, along with a squeegee, to apply ink to a surface. The ink prints the mesh areas, but the stenciled areas are not. Practically any flat surface can be printed using this process. There are some drawbacks, as this process can be time-consuming, especially if you're applying more than one ink color to the same piece. This process does not render detail well, either. If you use finer screen and thinner ink, you'll get a sharper image and the drying time will be lessened.

How do I define binding?


The term most often used when printed pages are secured in an outer cover.

How do I define compositor?


The person who, in the printing process, used to arrange type in a typesetting machine. The position has been replaced by computers and desktop publishing, or typesetting.

How do I find out about value-contrast?


Value-contrast refers to the relationship between areas of dark and light. The average eye can discern around forty variations in value. When areas are close together in value, this is "low-value" contrast. A white and black placed next to each other would be a "high-value" contrast.

How do I define bleed?

Blind Embossing

This is an embossing method that is not printed with an ink color before embossing.

How do I find out about melt-calendaring?

Melt-Calendaring Process

A method of manufacturing acrylic in which the acrylic is extruded from a machine and rolled between stainless steel belts under high temperatures.

How do I define a shape in design?


A shape is a two-dimensional mass. This is formed by enclosing a line, or by color or value changes that define edges. The latter technique forms what is called a "passive line."

How do I define a bleed?


An image that prints to the edge of the paper. A quarter inch overlap is usually allowed for trimming. It's not possible to print exactly to the edge of sheet of paper. In order for this effect, the printer prints on a larger piece of paper and trims the edges to create this effect.

How do I find out about raised printing?

Thermography (Raised Printing)

A printing process in which non-drying inks are used to print and then are dusted with a powder compound. The image is then placed under heat, which fuses the ink and the powder. This process creates and effect that is similar to engraving, but less expensive. Commonly used on stationery and business cards.

How do I define a center spread?

Center Spread

A doublepage spread occupying a central position in a magazine or other publication.

How do I define characters?


The word used in typography to describe letters, numerals, punctuation marks, or other symbols.

How do I make a shade from a color?


This term refers to any color mixed with a certain amount of black for a darker hue. Use this technique in monochromatic color schemes.

How do I define descenders?


The stroke that, in lower case letters, extends below the main part of the letter.

How do I find out about chipboard?


A material commonly used for packaging. Usually made of recycled paper and wood scrap pulp. Can be used for temporary canvases.

How do I find out about die-cuts?


A method that uses sharp metal tools to cut special and unique shapes from printed or unprinted material. This can be done on flatbed or rotary presses. Die-cutting can be a great design tool for projects made with chipboard, acrylic, corrugated or any other material stiff enough to stand up to the process. Greeting cards use this process often.

How do I define bembo?


The name used for a particular typeface.

How do I find out about trompe l´oeil?

Trompe L'oeil

French term meaning "to fool the eye." Objects are rendered with care, sharp focus and with realism to fool the viewer into believing the object painted is real. This technique is often used in interior design.

How do I find out about halftones?


reproductions of a continuous-tone picture, through a contact screen, which converts the picture into dots of various sizes and tone. Letterpress and offset printing produce images without tonal gradation, therefore making it necessary to convert continuous-tone values so they can be seen. The result is actually an optical illusion, making the printed halftone look as though it were printed with varying ink densities and values.

How do I find out about an accordian fold?

Accordian Fold

A paper fold which is a series of parallel folds that open in opposite directions to the previous folds. The result looks like an accordian. Used mostly in brochures and leaflets.

How do I find out about flexography?


A form of letterpress printing on a web press that uses flexible, wraparound rubber plates and fast-drying inks. Flexography produces brilliant color and is commonly used to print packaging, gift-wraps and shopping bags. This process is practical only for large runs and designs with few details because of its tendency to shift during printing.

How do I define an em?


The term used to denote a 12-point measure; it is twice the 6-point measure known as an "en."

How do I define columns?


An arrangement of text on lines, one above the other, with each line of roughly equal length.

How do I find out about kraft paper?

Kraft Paper

Strong paper, usually brown, made from sulfate pulp. Can be used in sketching, collage and as a non-traditional design material. Works well with raffia.

How do I define depth-gauge or depth-scale?


A rule for measuring lines of type at different point sizes. Also known as depth-scale.

How do I find out about offset lithography?

Offset Lithography

A printing method based on the principle that oil and water don't mix. Although both the image and non-image area lie on the same plane, the image to be printed is chemically treated so it will receive ink but repel water; the non-image area is treated to repel ink. To print, the ink is transferred, or offset, to a rubber blanket then rolled onto paper. This is the most popular of printing processes because it can print on a wide range of textures.

How do I find out about silicone?


A clear bonding agent. Because of its transparency, silicone is commonly used with acrylic surfaces so residue won't be seen. Find it in a hardware store.

How do I find out about machine-sewn bindings?

Machine-sewn Bindings

A method of binding in which a booklet is sewn down the spine or side-stitched down the left side on a heavy-duty sewing machine. Since machine stitching is tight, the process requires a strong thread. Machine-sewn bindings are less expensive, since the process is quicker and requires less handwork.

How do I find out about texture in design?


This is the surface quality of objects that appeal to the sense of touch. In graphics, this is defined by tactile work in three-dimensional work or tactile and visual texture in two-dimensional work.

How do I find out about perfect binding?

Perfect Binding

An inexpensive binding technique in which pages are glued together rather than sewn. This method is primarily used for small manuals, paperback books, magazines and thicker brochures.

How do I define ascenders?


The stroke that, in lower case letters, rises above the main part of the letter.

How do I find out about value patterns?

Value Pattern

The variation of light and dark values without the use of color. The patterns and their arrangements give clues to the focal point in a piece as well as the contrasts. If you take a piece containing color and reduce the piece to grays, you can better see the value patterns involved in the work.

How do I find out about vanishing points?

Vanishing Point

This is the point where parallel lines appear to converge on the horizon line. There can be more than one vanishing point, depending on the view. This tool is also used to create a direction for the eye to follow in both two- and three-dimensional work.

How do I define a font family?

Font Family

All related styles and versions of a typeface. For example: Arial, Arial Narrow, Arial Bold, Arial Italic, etc.

How do I find out about the process of Benday?


A technique involving laying a screen of lines, dots or other textures on top of an image to obtain various shadings and tones; since this reproduction method was commonly used in the early part of the 20th century, it's often used to achieve a "retro" look.

How do I find out about fly sheets?

Fly Sheets (Fly Leaves)

In bookbinding, endpapers that are not pasted to the covers of the book.

How do I define baseline?


The invisible line on which letters stand.

How do I find out about secondary color?

Secondary Color

A mixture of any two primary colors. The formula from the color wheel is P + P = S. For example, Red and Blue = Violet.

How do I know what my format is in design?


A format is any surface on which the elements and principles of design are applied to create a message. The "layout" or "structure" is the way these elements and principles are placed on the format. Your format will often be dictated by the client's budget, the medium of the message, the quantity of information, your audience and the end use of the product. Take time to consider all the restrictions and information before you begin the creative process!

How do I define a dummy?


A mock-up of a publication before printing.

How do I find out about subractive color?

Subtractive System

This is the result of working with colors in pigments. Since the work is done with a physical substance, this can only be combined to create the visual sense of color. The reflected wavelength of color from the pigment gives the viewer the percieved color.

How do I find out about value in artistic terms?


Value is just another word for the lightness and darkness of an area. This is how we perceive forms. If a room was pitch black, we would become disoriented, as there would be no light falling on areas in order to give us visual clues to where we are, or if other objects where in the room with us.

How do I find out about pointillism?


The technique of color mixing based on the juxtaposition of small bits of pure color. The placement of two colors next to each other often gives the illusion of a third color.

How do I find out about hand-tied binding?

Hand-tied Binding

A method of binding in which thread, cord, yarn, ribbon or other material is looped around the cover of a booklet and tied by hand, requiring either a small quantity or many sets of hands. This type of binding is flexible and is commonly used for restaurant menus. This is a fairly lose type of binding not practical for booklets with a large number of pages.

How do I find out about value emphasis in design?

Value Emphasis

When using values within a work, a high-contrast delivery will give a point of focus. A high key area within a low key area will stand out and appear close to the viewer.

What are Chicago Screw Posts?

Chicago Screw Posts

Available in metal and plastic, and consist of two pieces, "male and "female." Chicago screws add an industrial look to a piece and are a good choice for a flexible binding technique. The weight of the parts requires a thicker or heavier piece to work will as a binding method.

How do I find out about ASCII?


ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Exchange. This is a computer generated alphanumeric character program which enables a computer to store characters as numbers.

How do I find out about symmetry in design?


This is an element of composition where there is a perfect division of elements, color, value or balance within a two- or three-dimensional piece of work.

How do I find out about cell-cast process?

Cell-Cast Process

A process by which acrylics are made. The acrylic material is cast between glass plates, then baked. This process produces the highest quality acrylics.

How do I find out about a silhouette?


This is an enclosed area that is usually in high contrast to the area's background. Most often used as representative of a face, tree, etc. Can be also used in symbolism, such as a logo or a brand.

How do I define a drop shadow?

Drop Shadow

A tint or solid color laid under and to one side of a letter form or illustraion to give the effect of a shadow.

How do I find out about embossing?


Embossing is done after printing with two metal embossing dies, one relief (like a rubber stamp) and the other recessed. With extreme pressure and heat, the paper is placed between the two dies to create a raised image. Forms of embossing include:

Blind: - embossing done on an un-inked area
Debossing - creates a recessed image
Foil-embossing - embossing done with a foil overlay

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