Like in any industry, there are many words in which are used to describe a service, process or product; which might as well be written in a different language.
Whether you're interested in learning it bit more about the industry lingo, or are looking for an easy tool to look up terminology, Rileys has put together our very own dictionary for your viewing pleasure!
This library of words include terms used in the print, signage, web and graphic design practices to help you understand exactly what it is we're talking about!
A sign which is ordinarily in the shape of an "A" when folded out for display; easily moveable and freestanding, it is not permanently attached to the ground or any structure. Also referred to as a Sidewalk Sign or Sandwich Board Sign.
A transparent or translucent plastic sheet material of a variety of colors, used as a basis for artwork and overlays.
A product developed by Adobe systems to create PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Acrobat is an independent means of creating, viewing, and printing documents.
The condition of type and or art materials as they level up on a horizontal or vertical line.
The process of incorporating an image with a background to create the appearance of partial transparency. Alpha channels are used to create masks that allow you to confine or protect parts of an image you want to apply color, opacity, or make other changes.
(PREPRESS PROOF) A proof that uses ink jet, toner, dyes, overlays, photographic, film, or other methods to give a an idea of what the finished product should look like.
Abbreviation for Application Program Interface which is a set of routines, protocols, or tools that provide the building blocks to specify how software components should interact. An API is the bridge between applications and hardware or information.
Signage in a built environment that provides wayfinding or other site specific information.
An envelope that is lined with an extra fine paper; can be colored or patterned.
Design, graphics, images and logos which are used to create a product.
Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in "d", "b" and "h".
This is when graphics and/or text are not identical on both sides of a central line.
A projecting sign (from a building) displayed on or attached flat against the surface or surfaces, composed of a covering of rigid or non-rigid materials and/or fabric that rests upon a supporting framework. It has lettering and/or graphics painted or printed on its exterior surface. It often also functions as a shaded cover or protection from weather and may or may not be illuminated.
A sign which has two face fronts mounted in opposite directions. For example, a Pole Sign typically has back-to-back sign faces. See also Double Faced Sign.
Also referred to as "silhouette lit" or "halo lit" letter. This is an illuminated Reverse Channel Letter, which has an open or translucent back, so light from the letter is directed against the surface behind the letter producing a halo lighting effect around the letter.
A sign where the sign face is illuminated from behind. See also Internally Illuminated Sign.
Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.
A sign that is an air inflated object made of flexible material or fabric that takes on a three-dimensional shape when filled with air or gas. Balloon signs are restrained, attached or held in place by a cord, rope, cable, or similar method. See also Inflatable Sign.
This is the amount of a webserver’s network resources which a website is allowed to or can use. Like a road, the wider it is, the more traffic (users) it can handle. The narrower the road, the less that can use it. A website will use a lot of bandwidth when it gets a lot of visitors (users).
Extremely lightweight, durable mesh polyester banner material which is sewn, seamed and/or with grommets. This is ideal for large exterior wall murals or signage whereby wind and/or weight could be an issue using other substrates. Wind passes through the banner mesh material.
A Temporary Sign composed of light weight material such as cloth, canvas, plastic, fabric or similar lightweight, non-rigid material that can be mounted to a structure with a cord, rope, cable, or a similar method or that may be supported by stakes in the ground.
Used for indoor and outdoor Banner Signs. The durable scrim within the fabric makes the banner extremely durable for outdoor use. As with Banner Mesh, Banner Vinyl can be sewn, seamed and/or grommeted.
Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.
Various methods of securing folded sections together and or fastening them to a cover, to form single copies of a book.
On offset presses a fabric-reinforced sheet of rubber to transfer the impression from the plate onto the paper.
Extra ink area that crosses trim line, used to allow for variations that occur when the reproduction is trimmed or die-cut.
A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.
A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that has a standard size of 17x22 inches.
A board paper of various thickness; having a smooth finish and used for printing and drawing.
Refers to widows or orphans in text copy; any break that causes awkward reading.
An imaginary line upon which letters sit and descenders extend below the baseline.
A sign located on the seat or back of a bench or seat placed on or adjacent to a public right-of-way. A bus stop bench is a prime example.
A parametric curve that represents a vector path in computer graphics. They are frequently drawn using a pen tool and by placing anchor points which can be controlled to form shapes or lines.
A series of bits that forms a structure representing a graphic image. The color of each pixel is individually defined.
A large, outdoor Off-Premise Sign displaying advertising intended for viewing from extended distances, generally more than 50 feet. Typically seen along highways, main streets and other high traffic areas. Billboards are typically rented to display advertisements for a set period of time.
(FEATHER, TEARDROP OR FLAG) A Temporary Sign that is constructed of cloth, canvas, plastic fabric or similar lightweight, non-rigid material and that is supported by a single vertical pole mounted into the ground or on a portable structure.
When a graphic object extends through another in an unwanted manner. It is then trimmed so there is no chance for a white line on the edges.
The typeface used in the main text of a printed matter.
A sign that is typically enclosed in a square or rectangular structure that is with or without internal lighting. See also Light Box and Sign Cabinet. Also referred to as a Marquee.
Is a software application for retrieving, sharing and bridging information by visiting webpages and using web applications across the World Wide Web (“www.”). When you visit a website you are seeing it on a browser. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), Edge and Opera are all web browsers.
A sign structure consisting of the frame and face(s), not including the internal components, embellishments or support structure.
A cache is a location, on your computer, where your computer stores information temporarily for quick access. This improves performance the next time your computer tries to do the same thing, rather than starting from scratch. However, if the cache becomes too full it will affect the overall speed of your computer operating. Browser Cache clearing allows you to clear local space and connect with updated websites.
CAD OR CADD
Computer assisted drafting or computer assisted design and drafting
The measurement of thickness of paper expressed in thousandths of an inch or mils.
A paper that is coated and then pressure dried using a polished roller which imparts an enamel like hard gloss finish.
CAST METAL SIGN
A metal sign made through a casting process. Aluminum and bronze are commonly used for cast metal signs such as Plaques.
Fabricated or formed three-dimensional letter that may accommodate a light source.
A cover that is added to a sign to conceal or decorate the base or supporting structure.
Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key color (aka — black); this color model (also called process color, four color) is a subtractive color model used in color printing.
Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.
Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.
Everything digital, how it appears down to the last detail is written in code. In computer programs, software and web development, there are many different types of code and coding languages – each is its own discipline.
To gather sheets or pages together in their correct order. (see Gather)
This term refers to a color test strip, which is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It is a standardized (GATF-Graphic Arts Technical Foundation) process which allows a pressman to determine the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration, and dot gain. It also includes the Star Target, which is a similar system designed to detect inking problems.
A legal sign in accordance with all applicable provincial and local regulations, when installed.
CONSTRUCTION SITE SIGN
An informational sign, displayed at a construction site. These are usually temporary, and can be freestanding to promote and provide information about the company and/or companies. These can include the contractor, architect, developer, etc. Also referred to as a Job Site Sign.
CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Shortened to CMS, is a software or a group of applications and tools which allows an organization to modify the content (text, images and files) of their website through a secure login via an internet browser.
Bits of information from websites, stored locally on your computer, serving multiple purposes such as storing information required for the website, and tracking visits.
A sign board created by gluing a corrugated piece of material to a flat piece of material or between two flat pieces. Plastic is the most common type of corrugated material used in sign making.
When the rubber blanket on a cylinder moves forward due to contact with the plate or paper. Result of added thickness of folded sheets being behind one another in a folded signature. Outer edges of sheets creep away from back most fold as more folded sheets are inserted inside the middle.
Markings at edges of original or on guide sheet to indicate the area desired in reproduction with negative or plate trimmed (cropped) at the markings.
Abbreviation for Cascading Style Sheet, is used hand in hand with HTML coding. It brings in style and design to the basic HTML code: Backgrounds, font sizes, colours, layouts and more.
The latest version of CSS bringing new design features which can be used in combo with HTML. Rounded corners, shadows, gradients, transitions and animations are just some of the new attributes relating to backgrounds, font sizes, colours, layouts. It is backward compatible with CSS.
The total weight of the materials used in a sign along with its supporting structure. The dead load, including its distribution within the sign structure, must be taken into account when calculating load bearing requirements.
An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of color.
The part of a lowercase letter that stretches below the body.
Design, letters or shapes, cut into metal (mostly brass) for stamping book covers or embossing. An engraved stamp used for impressing an image or design.
A method of using sharp steel ruled stamps or rollers to cut various shapes i.e. labels, boxes, tabs, image shapes, either post press or in line. The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.
Any letter, logo or symbol that has a raised profile in relation to the sign substrate. It can be either cut out, cast, molded or fabricated in material such as metal or plastic to create a raised condition.
The illumination of a sign by means of an external light source directed at the Sign Face. See also Exterior Illuminated Sign.
Any type that stands out from the rest of the type on a page which attracts attention of the reader.
In the printing process, the rubber coated rollers responsible for the distribution of ink from the fountain to the ink drum.
Abbreviation for Domain Name System. The DNS is a service which translates the Domain Name into the IP address and vice versa.
When changing where your domain is hosted, DNS servers across the internet need to update their records to know where to find your new domain. This process is called DNS propagation and can take up to 48 hours.
This is when you lighten or reduce part of an image by shading.
(NAME) Often used to mean the name of one’s website, a domain is an individual’s or organizations’ unique place on the internet. It is translated by the DNS server into an IP address which is used to connect to a website or service.
Darkening of halftone image due to ink absorption in paper causing halftone dots to enlarge. Terms to describe the occurrence whereby dots are printing larger than they should.
A sign with content on both sides, facing in opposite directions (two faces mounted in opposite directions). Pole Signs are typically double-faced. Also called a Back-to Back Sign.
DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD
A double page spread is a layout that extends across two pages.
DPI (DOTS PER INCH)
A term to describe the measure of sharpness within an image.
Pasting with heat sensitive adhesives.
Color reproduction from monochrome original. Keyplate usually printed in dark color for detail, second plate printed in light flat tints. A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one-color photo.
Refers to printing on both sides of the paper Refers to printing on both sides of the paper.
Paper which has a different color or finish on each side.
Any ink that acquires its color by the use of aniline pigments or dyes. Reference, aniline.
The rounded part of the lowercase letters such as ‘g’ and ‘q’.
EDGE LIT SIGN
A sign that has been illuminated by a light source positioned outside of the Sign Face. The light is along one or more of its edges so that the light shines back on to the sign.
Any sign containing or using electrical wiring or components.
ELECTRONIC MESSAGE CENTRE (EMC)
A changeable Copy sign that utilizes computer-generated messages or some other electronic means of changing Copy. These signs include displays using Incandescent Bulbs, LEDs, LCDs or other display technologies.
An electrostatically charged (static cling) thin material used for lettering and graphics on smooth surfaces like glass, and mirrors. The removable material firmly adheres to the smooth surfaces via the static charge but can be peeled off with relative ease.
A unit of measurement equaling 12 points or 4.5mm.
Process of transferring all the data of a font or image into the file itself.
EMBOSSED PLASTIC SIGN FACE
A vacuum molded (embossed) plastic sign that has three dimensional lettering or graphical elements on its surface. Also called Pan Face.
A light sensitive substance used as a coating for film; made from a silver halide compound. This side should face the lens when the film is exposed.
A term that describes a glossy coating on paper.
That stage of the photographic process where the image is produced on the light sensitive coating.
Stands for Encapsulated Post Script. This is a graphics file format used to transfer PostScript documents that contain an image, within another PostScript document.
The part of a letter which extends above the mid line, such as ‘b’ or ‘d’.
EXTERIOR ILLUMINATED SIGN
A sign that is illuminated by a light source that is directed towards, and shines on the Sign Face. Also called direct illumination.
A small icon, designed unique to each website, displayed in browser tab by the web address bar and used to quickly identify a website when saved under favorites. Favicons are generally 16x16 pixel .gif or .png file formats.
A dimensional letter which can be fabricated from sheet metal.
Typically the front exterior wall of a building. The customer facing side.
The portion of any elevation of a building extending vertically from the grade to the top parapet wall or eaves, and horizontally across the entire width of the building elevation.
FIBER OPTIC DISPLAY
A sign that uses Fiber Optics to create or illuminate a sign’s copy.
Manufactured plastic or glass wires used to transport and direct a light source to a given destination.
A fault in printing where the ink fills in the fine line or halftone dot areas.
A multi-paneled, multidirectional sign with all sings mounted to a post, providing direction to a destination.
A sign with an intermittent or flashing light source. Generally, the sign’s message is constantly repeated, and the sign is most often used as a primary attention-getting device. Government highway departments frequently use flashing signs to improve highway safety.
In lithography, the assembly of photographic negatives or positives on vinyl acetate for exposure in vacuum frame in contact with sensitized metal press plate.
A Sign Face made of flexible material stretched over a supporting frame. See also Flexible Face Material.
A printing technique where printing plates are made of rubber or soft plastic material and then stretched around a drum on the press that rotates.
Also called liquid ink; ink with a low viscosity.
A bound book or booklet etc. having the cover trimmed to the same size as the text.
Papers that have a surface resembling metal.
Markings at top edges that show where folds should occur.
FOLIO OR PAGE NUMBER
Number of page at top or bottom either centered, flushed left or flushed right often with running headline.
The supporting base of a sign that is typically anchored to a foundation or a building’s roof.
The rollers that come into direct contact with the plate of a printing press.
A printing technique that creates colors by combining, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
Refers to animation. A frame is a single graphic in a distribution of graphic images. The speed of an animation is judged by frames per second.
FREESTANDING SIGN OR YARD SIGN
A Permanent or Temporary Sign that is not attached to a building, has its own support structure and is placed on the ground or is attached to a supporting structure, post or pole or with guy wires.
FRONT LIT LETTER
An illuminated channel letter having a translucent face.
The range of colors available to a particular output device or a given color space, such as a laser printer or an image setter. If the color range is too wide for that specific device, it is indicated as ‘out of gamut’.
The bundling of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.
A type of fold in which the paper is folded inward to form four or more panels.
An entrance sign to a town, neighborhood, development, park or other public area.
Image which appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print due to local blanket depressions from previous image areas on a letterpress rotary machine as well as on an offset press.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format ) images display up to 256 colors. It supports animation and allows an individual palette of 256 color for each frame. The color limitation makes the GIF format inappropriate for reproducing color photographs and other images with consistent color. GIF images are compressed using the LZW lossless data compression method to decrease the size of the file without corrupting the visual quality.
An orange colored paper with gridlines, used to assemble materials for exposure for platemaking.
GOOGLE TAG MANAGER
A tag management system, offered by Google, which allows you to quickly and easily add and update tags and code snippets on your website or mobile app, without the need for a Web developer to do so. The tags are intended to aid in traffic analysis (Google Analytics) and Marketing Optimization (AdWords) of the website.
An area of image where halftone dots range continuously from one density to another.
Direction of fibers in a sheet of paper governing paper properties such as increased size changes with relative humidity, across the grain, and better folding properties along the grain.
A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through the various stages of the printing process.
The grippers of the printing press move the paper through the press by holding onto the leading edge of the sheet; this edge is the gripper edge.
A Freestanding Sign with no visible support structure.
A highly polished stainless steel metal letter with a curved face.
In book production, the white space formed by the inner margins of a spread near the books spine.
A cross sectional shaped Dimensional Letter (like an "H") that allows for neon tubing mounting within the letter.
Tone graduated image composed of varying sized dots or lines, with equidistant centers.
A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.
A back lit sign, where the light source is located within or behind the sign creating a halo of light effect surrounding the sign.
A Double-Faced Sign mounted to a wall or pole, projecting from a bracket or support arm.
The permanent reproduction of the output of a computer or printer. For example: teleprinter pages, continuous printed tapes, computer printouts, etc.
Imperfections in presswork due to dirt on press, trapping errors, etc.
An image with an extreme level of sharpness/clarity.
A tall Freestanding Sign tall visible by motorists from a distance.
The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots.
A color space that stands for hue, lightness, and saturation.
A large-scale Temporary or Permanent Sign that covers all or a major portion of a multi-story blank or unfinished wall, building or structure.
A web host (or email host) is a service provider company, to which website owners pay a fee, for them to host their Domain address, physically store all the files of their website, and to provide the bandwidth for the information traffic to and from their website.
A color space stands for hue, saturation, and brightness.
Abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language, HTML as a programming language is the standard building block for the web. Currently HTML 4 is the most widely used version. Over the next ten years we will expect a shift to HTML5.
The latest version of HTML, once universally accepted, will allow for a more dynamic and complex web experience. This language is still rarely used as only approximately 15% of North Americans will be able to properly view pages developed using this language.
Abbreviation for HyperText Transfer Protocol; this is the text before the domain name of website in the address bar. HTTP is a protocol for information transfer on the internet.
Similar to HTTP, this is an abbreviation for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (or over SSL (Secure Socket Layer)); this is a secure method (encrypted connection) for information requests between browsers and servers.
One of the three primary attributes of color. A hue is a variety of color such as red, blue, green, or yellow.
A link from a hypertext file, document or webpage to another location, file, document or webpage. Generally these can be text or images, and are emphasized in some way: by an underlined, a different font colour or weight.
The form the pointer assumes when the text tool is chosen.
This is short for “Inline Frame”. An i-frame is an HTML document within another HTML document, meaning it is a floating frame used to display a webpage(s) within another normal webpage (one that isn’t a frameset page).
A sign characterized by the use of artificial light, either projecting through its surface (internally illuminated), or reflecting off its surface (externally illuminated).
An image map is an HTML document containing multiple clickable hyperlinks.
That portion of the printing plate that carries the ink and prints on paper.
Laser output device for producing professional-quality text with extremely high resolution.
A layout of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper order after press sheets are folded and bound.
Product resulting from one cycle of printing machine. The pressure of the image carrier, whether it be the type, plate or blanket, when it contacts the paper.
Markings pre-printed on mailing envelopes to replace the stamp.
The device which stores and meters ink to the inking rollers.
A set in or back from the margin.
A printer that electrostatically sprays tiny ink droplets onto paper.
Extra printed pages inserted loosely into printed pieces.
Inversion of the tonal values or colors of an image. On an inverted image, black becomes white, blue becomes orange, etc.
An informational sign, providing designation or direction, some examples include parking, restroom, and entrance and exit signs.
A three dimensional sign, filled with air or gas and made of flexible material or fabric. A temporary sign for special events or promotions like a Balloon Sign.
INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED SIGN
An internally illuminated sign, meaning the light source is contained inside the sign structure or housing. See also Backlit Sign and Exterior Illuminated Sign.
An Abbreviation for Internet Protocol Address. Very simply, the IP address refers to the actual address that a domain name translates to (also see "domain"). The IP number is the computer or device’s real address.
A coated stock finished in mother-of-pearl.
JOB SITE SIGN
A construction site sign providing information about the architect or development Company and/or companies. The sign is temporary and typically large and freestanding. Also referred to as a Construction Site Sign.
To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming.
Vibrating, sloping platform that evens up the edges of stacks of paper.
(JOINT PHOTOGRAPHIC ELECTRONIC GROUP) A common process for compressing digital images.
To make a line of type a certain length by spacing out the words and numbers.
Modifying the horizontal space between letters.
Any frame in which a specific aspect of an item (its size, location, color, etc.) is specifically defined.
A keyline is another name for a rule, line, or even a frame border. Keyline options can be set through design software applications to adjust the width, to be solid or dotted, or to show different patterns.
A coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.
A clear gloss coating applied to printed material for strength, appearance and protection.
A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.
A tool within graphic software that permits the user to gather, organize, and re-edit their artwork.
The artwork arrangement of lettering and/or graphics on the Face of a sign.
(LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY) A flat panel display that recreates an image and/or message by emitting electrically sensitive crystals suspended in a liquid medium. Commonly uses in Electronic Message Centre's (EMCs).
(LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE) An electronic device that emits light when electrically charged to create patterns that can produce changing video displays. May be used to create an Electronic Message Centre (EMC).
Refers to the amount of added vertical spacing between lines of text.
One piece of paper in a publication.
A technique of printing where movable type is inked and then pressed against paper to create an impression. Also called block printing.
A self-enclosed rectangular sign whose structure has an internal light system that illuminates the Sign Face. See also Box Sign and Sign Cabinet.
LIGHT POLE BANNER/SUPPORT POLE BANNER
A temporary Banner or sign that is designed to be attached to a permanent light pole or other pole structure whereby the temporary sign element can be changed without modifying the permanent structure.
A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.
The process of printing that utilizes flat inked surfaces to create the printed images.
Refers to a form of data compression where the detail is maintained and no data is lost after file downsizing. The lossless compression method is often used in TIFF and GIF formats.
LOW PROFILE SIGN
A Freestanding Sign which is close to or sitting on the ground. See also Monument Sign.
The brightness of an area arranged by the amount of light it reflects or diffuses.
The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.
Process of adjusting final plate on the press to fine tune or modify plate surface.
Guidelines in a page layout software that shows a user the body copy areas. It also allows the user to indicate the dimensions. Margins are not supposed to be printed.
A variable message sign mounted on a permanent Canopy, which usually projects over an entrance. The sign is typically illuminated and often ornately designed. An example would be storefront signs at movie theaters and concert halls.
A property found in a page layout software that allows the user to create a constant page layout. Repeating elements—like page numbers—are created once on a master. This permits the user to stay clear of adding the numbers for each page manually.
Non-glossy finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.
Also called x-height. The imaginary point of all lowercase characters without ascenders.
A Variable Message Sign that allows a retailer to list products and prices. Commonly used to display menus at fast food restaurants.
The artboard of a sign that displays meaning through words and/or graphics.
A Variable Message Sign that allows for changes to be made either mechanically or electronically.
In a photograph or illustration, tones composed by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as opposed to highlights and shadows.
A Portable Sign mounted on a trailer or back of a truck. The sign may or may not be illuminated. Also called a mobile billboard.
A recreation of the original printed material; could possibly contain instructions or directions.
An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.
A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.
Offering the use of various communications such as text, sound, and still or moving images.
This is a database system running on the server and allows powerful access to multiple databases. Commonly integrated on the web via server side code.
A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood; also called cream, off-white or ivory.
Refers to a ‘no carbon required’ form created by National Cash Register. It is a multi-part form made of a type of paper which acts like a carbon so that whatever is marked on the top copy reproduces on the lower copies. Usually each copy is a different color, marked to identify their various uses, departments or destinations.
A sign manufactured utilizing neon tubing that is bent and formed into lettering and/or graphical shapes.
Film that contains the same images as the original print, except that all colors and shades are reversed. Reference, positive.
Also known as white space. The area of a page that doesn’t contain images or words.
Paper used in printing newspapers; not considered a high-quality paper.
Noise is a term used to describe the development of pixels that contain random colors.
When the basis weight of paper differs from the actual weight, the term nominal weight is used.
Outside back cover.
A Roman typeface which slants to the right. Often confused with italics.
Outside front cover.
A printing method that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper as opposed to directly inking from plate to paper.
A term for uncoated book paper.
A style of type characterized by slight contrast between light and heavy strokes and slanting serif.
A light bond paper used for typing and used with carbon paper because of its thinness.
The degree of a color or tonal value. The opacity of an image or object that can range from transparent (0% opacity) to opaque (100% opacity). The ability to edit the opacity of specific objects allows the designer to create images that seem to flow into and through one another.
A quality of paper that allows relatively little light to pass through.
Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.
OPEN CHANNEL LETTER
A Dimensional Letter that has no face and, if illuminated with a light source (such as neon tubing), is visible. A clear face for physical protection of internal components may be used.
A font format created by Adobe and Microsoft. Open Type font can include a set of glyphs defined as True Type or Type 1 curves.
The first line of a paragraph appearing on its own at the bottom on a page with the remaining part of the paragraph appearing on the next page.
An OS is an operating system. This is the system software that runs on a device (desktop computer/ tablet/ phone) and manages the computer hardware and software and provides basic functionality for the device.
Additional printed material beyond order. Over run policy differs in the printing industry, usually within 10% of the original quantity run.
A cover of a book that extends over the trimmed signatures it contains.
Layer of material taped to a mechanical photo or proof. Acetate overlays are used to divide colors by having some type or art on them instead of on the mounting board. Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.
To print additional material or another color over a previously printed image.
A document that is too large to copy on regular copying equipment; Anything over 12”x18” in size.
The process of gathering a specific number of sheets together and applying glue at one end to form a pad; this is done in the bindery department.
Deals with the setup and style of content on a page. An example of a page layout is the pages in magazines or brochures.
PAN CHANNEL LETTER
A Dimensional Letter that is constructed with side walls, back and a face. This makes the letter appear as a solid integral unit, with the side walls and back having a pan-shaped cross section.
A plastic sign face molded into a three dimensional shape. Also called molded face, molded and embossed face, or molded and debossed face.
Any visible face of a sign that has Copy and/or artwork present. A Sign Face is made up of one or more panels.
PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM
The Pantone matching system is used for defining and blending match colors. It accommodates designers with swatches of over 700 colors and gives printers the formulas for making those colors.
A sign mounted on or to the low protective wall along the edge of a roof, bridge or balcony of a building. A type of Building Mounted Sign.
A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin; used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.
A sheet that is larger than the cut stock of the same paper.
Stands for Portable Document Format. Developed by Adobe Systems in its software program, Adobe Acrobat, to serve as a universal browser. Files can be downloaded over the web and viewed page by page, provided the user’s computer has installed the application.
Markings usually dotted lines at edges showing where perforations should occur.
Binding process where backs of sections are cut off, roughened and glued together, and rung in a cover.
Punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard to facilitate tearing along a desired line.
A triangular flag or irregular piece of fabric or material, whether or not containing a message of any kind, commonly attached in strings or strands, or supported on small poles intended to flap in the wind. See also Banner.
A person attired or decorated with commercial insignia, images, costumes, masks, or other symbols that display commercial messages to draw attention to or advertising for an on-premise activity. Also known as a human mascot, sign spinner or human sign.
PERFORATED WINDOW VINYL
A perforated vinyl window wrap displaying graphics but allowing for one way viewing through the window. An optically clear laminate is often applied to increase durability. See also Window Sign.
PHP is a scripting language that exists on a websites server to allow for the development of dynamic web pages. PHP has been around since 1995 and is a well-documented and stable language, this makes PHP an ideal language to develop with. While PHP can be used as a general purpose programming language it is designed primarily to serve dynamic web pages.
Standard of measurement, 1/6 inch. 1 pica = 12 points 72 points = 1 inch.
The smallest picture content that can be individually assigned a color.
A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the side closest the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together. Also referred to as “cerlox”.
Reproduction of type or cuts in metal, plastic, rubber, or other material, to form a plate bearing a relief, planographic or intaglio printing surface.
The cylinder on a printing press on which the plate is mounted.
Making a printing plate from a film or flat including preparation of the plate surface, sensitizing, exposing through the flat, developing or processing, and finishing.
A plug-in is an add-on or add-in which extends the functionality of a specific feature to an existing computer program. They are usually third party designed and often used with blogging and CMS platforms.
Portable Network Graphics format. PNG (usually pronounced “ping”), is used for lossless compression. The PNG format displays images without jagged edges while keeping file sizes rather small, making them popular on the web. PNG files are generally larger than GIF files.
POINT-OF-PURCHASE (POP) SIGN
A form of interior signage that advertises a product at its point of sale or "point of purchase" location. It generally advertises product to spur impulse consumer purchases. Also known as point-of-sale advertising.
A Freestanding Sign (double-faced) that is mounted on a single round pole, or square tube without any type of secondary support.
A sign not permanently attached to the ground, building or other structure, which may be moved from place to place, including, but not limited to, signs designed to be transported by means of wheels. Such signs may include changeable copy that can be readily removed by hand tools.
POST MOUNTED SIGN
A sign that is attached to one or more sign poles.
POST AND PANEL SIGN
An unlit sign fabricated by using one or more visible posts to support the sign body.
Pixels Per Inch. A measurement of the resolution of a computer display.
Actual press sheet to show image, tone values and colors as well as imposition of frame or press-plate.
The quality of papers to show reproduced printed images.
Two consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.
Printing inks, usually in sets of four colors. The most frequent combination is yellow, magenta, cyan, and black, which are printed, one over another in that order, to obtain a colored print with the desired hues, whites, blacks, and grays.
A sign which involves an image projected on the face of a wall, structure, sidewalk, or other surface, from a distant electronic device, such that the image does not originate from the plane of the wall, structure, sidewalk, or other surface.
As opposed to a Wall Sign, a sign (frequently double-sided) that is attached to a building face or wall, and projects more than eighteen inches from the surface. Also called a Blade Sign.
A draft version used in printing as a guide to how the final product will look; to check accuracy of layout, type matter, tone and color reproduction.
A letter or graphic cut out of a backing material that is as thick or thicker than the sign face material, and mounted on the inside of the Sign Face so that the backing material’s thickness extends flush with or through and beyond the front plane of the Sign Face.
A Freestanding Sign that is not a Pole or Ground Sign.
An electrical enclosure that may also serve as a mounting structure for the sign.
The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.
The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.
An image is said to be rasterized when transformed from vector image to a bitmapped image. When opening a vector image in a bitmap-based editing program, you are generally presented with a dialog box of options for rasterizing the image.
A sign with panel where mounted letters and graphics can be changed manually. Often used to advertise special prices or events and placed so that the sign can be easily seen by passing motorists.
500 sheets of paper.
The odd numbered pages (right hand side) of books.
Vinyl that has been specifically treated to reflect when hit by artificial light at night, such as a vehicle’s headlights. Historically used for road and highway signs. With the advancement in manufacturing, reflective vinyl has also become popular for use in commercial business signage and vehicle wraps. Also referred to as vinyl reflective.
The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.
Any cross-marks or other symbols used on layout to assure proper registration.
A sign installed by a government body to inform the public of traffic laws and other regulations.
A copy or facsimile made by one or more processes in reprographics, not an original.
The technology of reproducing, through various processes, items outside the realm of standard copying; for example, items which may be oversize or damaged or non-reproducible by using standard copying methods.
A function accessible in image editing that permits the user to change the resolution of the image while keeping its pixel count intact.
The resolution of an image is an important factor in deciding the attainable output quality. The higher the resolution of an image, the less pixelated it will be and the curves of the image will appear smoother.
A framing member mounted around the perimeter of a Sign Face, and attached to the sign cabinet structure. It is designed to attach the face to the cabinet and/or intended to provide a decorating trim piece.
The sides of a Channel Letter.
An indented detail on a sign.
REVERSE CHANNEL LETTER
A fabricated Dimensional Letter with an opaque face and side walls but no back. A halo effect around the letter is produced when a neon tube inside the letter is illuminated.
A 360° sign that revolves on an axis via an electric motor driving its movable parts. All or just portions of the sign may revolve at a variable or speed.
(RED, GREEN, BLUE) RGB is the color model used to project color on a computer monitor. By combining these three colors, a large percentage of the visible color spectrum can be represented.
Rich media are banner ads that use technology more developed than standard GIF animation. For example: Flash, Shockwave, streaming video, etc.
Type aligned with its right margin. Also known as “flush right.”
RIGHT OF WAY (ROW)
The land on which a public thoroughfare is located and certain lands adjacent thereto. Permanent commercial signs are generally located on private land adjacent to the public right of way.
(RASTER IMAGE PROCESSOR) Transfers fonts and graphics into raster images, which are used by the printer to draw onto the page.
A river is a typographic term for the white gaps that can appear in justified columns of type when there is too much space between words on concurrent lines of text. Rivers are particularly common in narrow columns of text, where the type size is relatively large.
A term used to describe how well a paper runs on a printing press.
A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.
A sign mounted on, and supported by, the main roof portion of a building, or above the uppermost edge of a Parapet wall of a building and which is wholly or partially supported by the building.
Stitching where the wire staples pass through the spine from the outside and are clinched in the center. Only used with folded sections, either single sections or two or more sections inset to form a single section.
A moveable sign, whose cross-sectional shape most often forms an A. The sign is not secured or attached to the ground or surface upon which it is located, but supported by its own frame. Also known as an A-Frame Sign or Sidewalk Sign.
A style of typeface that means “without feet.”
A smooth delicately embossed finished paper with sheen.
The intensity of hue. The quality of difference from a gray of the same lightness or brightness.
A design or program is said to scale if it is relevantly efficient and reasonable when applied to larger situations.
Technique of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.
A section of code that is written to perform a specific function on a website. The code will vary based on the type of script, its use and the language it is written in.
Impressions or cuts in flat material to facilitate bending or tearing.
A software or program that is used to search for resources on the World Wide Web, via specified words. Common search engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask and AOL. The idea is similar to the yellow pages
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
Shortened to SEM, is the process of improving the visibility of a web page on a search engine via paid advertising, contextual advertising and paid inclusion.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Shortened to SEO, this is the process for improving the visibility of a web page on a search engine (i.e. Google) via a natural (organic) process (for example, following web standards in coding, or strong content).
Generally, the distance between a fixed object (for example, the outward most edge of a sign) and the pavement edge line of its adjacent roadway.
Shadow detail refers to the amount of detail held in the dark areas of an image. If the shadow is lightened too much in an attempt to expose more detail, you run the risk of reducing the overall contrast of the image.
To reduce in color strength, as when halftone dots become smaller; opposite of “thicken” or “dot spread.”
A problem that occurs when the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side.
A horizontal area above a multi-tenants’ building’s entrances, architecturally designed to accommodate signage in a sign-centric manner.
The enclosure of an electric sign, excluding the components and mounting structure. See also Box Sign and Light Box.
The area of a sign on which text or Copy is intended to be placed.
Building architectural design that reinforces signage, making it the most prominent visual feature.
Printed sheet (or its flat) that consists of a number of pages of a book, placed so that they will fold and bind together as a section of a book. The printed sheet after folding.
A sign with only one face plane.
Is literally a map indexing all the content on a website, to help users to find the information they need on the site. This can be useful for SEO.
SMALL HANGING BLADE SIGN
A sign attached to the underside of a Canopy or Marquee. Also known as an "Under Canopy" or "Under Marquee" sign.
That quality of paper defined by its levelness which allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.
An overlay sign added to an existing sign layout as an additional message to the main sign. For example, adding "opening soon". Also a term for a sign illegally tacked, nailed, posted, pasted, glued, or otherwise attached to trees, poles, stakes, fences, or other objects without a permit.
Back edge of a book.
A Freestanding or Wall Mounted Sign where the messages rotate in the wind. A Spinner Sign is not considered to be an Animated Sign.
A binding whereby a wire or plastic is spiraled through holes punched along the binding side.
Two pages that face each other and are created as one visual or production unit.
Small area printed in a second color.
A sign with a power-cord for attachment to a source of electrical power that is not readily moveable or portable.
A term for unprinted paper or other material to be printed.
A term defining the three subtractive primary colors: cyan, magenta, and yellow. As opposed to the three additive colors: red, blue, and green.
The material out of which the Sign Face is made or graphics are applied. Substrate examples include vinyl, wood, plastics, fabrics, metal sheeting, paper, acrylic and glass.
Any petroleum based waterproof papers with a high tensile strength.
A Freestanding Sign which is ordinarily in the shape of an upside down "T" or some variation thereof, which is readily moveable and is not permanently attached to the ground or any structure. See also the definition for A-Frame Signs.
The adhesive quality of inks.
A sign (or area of a sign) that conveys a message through raised or engraved letters or graphics for access by the visually impaired.
A tag has multiple meanings. In general, it is a label attached to someone or something for identifying or providing more information. In information systems, it is a keyword word assigned to a piece of information - metadata. In coding a tag is used to specify how an element should look and behave. These markup characters indicate where it starts < > and ends </ >. Tags are used in blogs, image metadata, google analytics and much more.
Refers to a printing project’s basic details with regard to its dimensions. A general layout.
A paper's ability to withstand pressure.
A high quality printing paper.
A term used in page layout software, specifically to the way text can be shaped around the edges of images.
A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and while the ink is still wet, it is lightly dusted with a resinous powder. The paper then passes through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.
(TAGGED IMAGE FILE FORMAT) A graphic file format used for storing images . TIFF is a commonly used file format for high color depth images.
TIME AND TEMPERATURE DISPLAY
A Variable Message Sign which displays current time and temperature in a stationary or alternating manner. Some also display simple messages.
A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.
Tolerance is the range of pixels a tool in graphic software functions in. Or the range of shade or color pixels a Magic Wand selects, etc.
Tones can be redistributed during the scanning or image editing process. To lighten dark images or to darken light images.
Dry ink; the material used in most photocopiers to create the reproduction image
The rough surfaced finish of papers such as vellum or antique.
Traffic generally refers to the amount of visitors to a web page or site. In website hosting, there is always a limit on the amount of traffic allowed to visit a website at one time, before it becomes congested. That limit is usually called the bandwidth (how much of the server or network’s network resources you are allowed to use).
Inks that do not block out the colored inks that they print over, but instead blend with them to create intermediate colors.
The process of printing wet ink over printed ink which may be wet or dry.
Marks placed on the sheet to indicate where to cut the page.
The size of the printed material in its finished stage.
To print on both sides of the paper with the images head to foot.
A typeface consists of a series of fonts and a full range of characters such as, numbers, letters, marks, and punctuation.
The art of arranging type—which includes letters, numbers, and symbols—so that it is pleasing to the eye. This includes not only the font that is used but how it is arranged on the page: letter by letter, size, line spacing, etc.
Papers that are not smoothed by going through the calendaring process.
This is paper that doesn’t have a coating applied to it for smoothness.
A sign designed to be mounted underneath a Canopy.
Abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL specifies the known location of a resource and provides a means for retrieving it. For 99% of people, this is demonstrated by the use of a website address (such as ) to pull information from a server. This info is displayed in the address bar at the top of the web browser.
A term used to describe how many similar sheets can be produced on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.
A glossy coating applied to the paper surface and dried using ultraviolet light. It is glossy and adds a certain level of protection to the printed material.
Signs containing two faces of approximately equal size, erected upon a common or separate structure, positioned in a "V" shape, with an interior angle between faces of not more than ninety degrees.
This refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of a color.
VARIABLE MESSAGE SIGN
A sign that includes provisions for message changes.
Special administrative procedure by which one may obtain an exception to zoning rules such as height, setback and type of use.
A clear shiny ink used to add gloss to printed pieces. The primary component of the ink vehicle. Reference, vehicle.
Vector graphics allow the designer to expand or reduce the vector graphic in size without any loss in quality using curves, points, lines, and polygons.
Any sign permanently or temporarily attached to or placed on a vehicle or trailer in any manner so that the sign is used primarily as a stationary identification or advertisement sign. Also referred to as a vehicle wrap or vehicle graphics.
A finish of paper that is rough, bulky and has a degree of tooth.
A term given to the left-hand or even-numbered pages of a book.
A Variable Sign displayed on a monitor, display or television screen.
(FLEX/FLEXIBLE FACE) A substrate upon which an advertising message is rendered, either by computer production or hand painting.
The prominence of a letter, number, graphic, or symbol, to the observer, to distinguish it from its background or surroundings.
Any piece of art or messaging which is printed on a material/substrate (e.g., vinyl or canvas), which is then applied directly to a wall, but can also be applied to almost any non-porous, flat, smooth and dry surface (e.g., doors, ceilings, windows, furniture, cabinets, etc.).
A sign that is in any manner affixed to any exterior wall of a building or structure and that projects not more than eighteen inches from the building or structure wall. Also known as a Fascia Sign.
The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from all of the printing elements (rollers, plate, ink fountain etc.) of a press.
A translucent logo that is embossed during the papermaking process while the paper slurry is on the dandy roll. Reference, dandy roll.
Directional signage enabling a person to find his or her way to a given destination.
The roll of paper that is used in web or rotary printing.
Cylinder printing machine in which the paper is fed from a continuous reel, as opposed to sheet fed.
A color table containing only 216 out of a possible 256 colors, used to accurately match the colors of graphics and pictures in cross-platform web browsers.
A web server is an integral part helping deliver content accessed over the internet. It serves content over HTTP (or HTTPS) to users. When you access content through a web browser, the browser is connecting to a web server.
The term given to the tension or pull exerted by the web press on the web roll.
The range of a stroke’s width. Also knows as semi-bold, light, and bold. Some typeface families have many weights like ultra-bold and extra-light. Associated to the heaviness of the stroke for a specific font, such as Light, Regular, Book, Demi, Heavy, Black, and Extra Bold.
One of a handful of reference illuminants used to define the color “white”. Based on the application, different definitions of white are needed to give sufficient results.
WHITE POINT ADJUSTMENT
A white point adjustment establishes the amount of highlighted detail in an image.
A small element that performs a specific function in a graphical user interface.
Refers to whether the basic typeface has been lengthened or compressed horizontally. The typical variations are Condensed, Normal, or Extended.
A single line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page or column.
Any sign viewable through and/or affixed in any manner to the surface of a window or exterior glass door such that it is intended to be visible and readable from the public way or from the adjacent property. This includes window paintings and signs located inside a building but visible primarily from the outside of the building.
WIRE STITCHING OR STAPLING
To fasten together sheets, signatures, or sections with wire staples. 3 methods... saddle stitching, side stitching, and stabbing.
A piece of material that is not going to be printed from but indicates the desires and requirements needed to do the job.
A smooth paper made on finely textured wire that gives the paper a gentle patterned finish.
Another name for bond paper.
Papers made to reproduce well in copy machines and laser printers.
A process for making copies of written or printed material, pictures, etc., by the action of magnetic attraction rather than ink and pressure. Tiny, negatively-charged particles are spread on a positively-charged receptor (drum or belt) then transferred to paper to form a copy.
Abbreviation for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. XHTML is fundamentally the same as HTML 4.0 but is written to comply with XML rules.
Abbreviation for Extensible Markup Language, it is a set of rules for humans and software (or machines) to follow to allow for more accessibility and usability in handling data.