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Colour and Image Terminology


Your printing vocabulary isn't complete until you know how to talk color and picture. Here are some terms you might need to know.

* Color break/break for color: To separate the parts of a project that are to be printed in different colors. This separation is done mechanically or by software.

* Color correction: Methods for improving color separations

* Color filter: The filters used to separate colors into red, blue, and green.

* Color key: The proofs of each layer of color.

* Color matching system: A system of formulated ink colors.

* Color separations: The process of preparing artwork, photographs, or other parts of your project for printing -- separating the images into the four primary printing colors.

* Contrast: A color's tonal change from light to dark.

* Cyan: The blue color in the four standard process colors.

* Densitometer: A device that measures the density of printing ink, used in quality control.

* Density: The degree of color or darkness of an image.

* Dot: Printed pictures are made up of many dots, often too small for the eye to see.

* Dot gain/dot spread: The difference in the size of dots between film and paper.

* Drop out: The portions of artwork that do not print.

* Duotone: A halftone picture made using two printed colors.

* Emboss: Pressing an image into paper to create a raised relief.

* Flood: To cover a page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating.

* Flop: The reverse side of an image.

* Foil: A metallic or pigmented coating used in foil stamping or foil embossing.

* Foil embossing: Using a die to emboss and press foil or pigment into an image.

* Foil stamping: Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper.

* Four color process: Using the four primary printing colors to create a printed color picture.

* Halftone: Converting a continuous tone to dots for printing.

* Hickey: Unplanned spots in a printed image thanks to dust, lint, or dried ink.

* Highlight: The lightest areas in a picture.

* Impression: Putting an image onto paper.

* Ink fountain: The reservoir on a printing press that holds ink.

* Knock out: To mask an image.

* Magenta: The red color in the four standard process colors.

* Mask: To block light from reaching parts of a printing plate.

* Mechanical: Camera ready art, all contained on one board.

* Mechanical separation: An overlay of mechanical art for each color to be printed.

* Middle tones: Tones in an image that are approximately half as dark as a shadow area.

* Moire: When screen angles cause odd patters in photographs.

* Negative: A film image that makes black areas white and white areas black.

* Non-reproducing blue: A shade of blue the camera cannot see, used in marking artwork.

* Offsetting: Using an intermediate surface to transfer ink. Can also mean when freshly printed sheets transfer images to each other.

* Outline halftone/silhouette halftone: To remove the background of a picture or silhouette an image.

* PMS: Pantone Color Matching System

* Process colors: Cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, black.

* Reverse: The opposite of what you see -- for example, the reverse of black print on white paper would be white print on black paper.

* Scanner: A device used to scan art, pictures, or drawings. Also, a device used to make color separations, halftones, duotones, and tri-tones.

* Shadow: The darkest areas of a photograph.

* Spot varnish: Varnish used to highlight a specific part of a printed sheet.

* Stamping: Foil stamping.

* Stat: The inexpensive printing of line copy or halftone.

* Step and repeat: Placing the same image on plates in more than one place.

* Tints: Shades of a single color or combined colors.

* Transparency: A positive photographic slide on film that allows light to pass through.

* Transparent ink: A printing ink that does not conceal the color underneath.

* Trapping: Printing one ink over another.

* UV coating: An environmentally friendly liquid laminate. It can be bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

* Varnish: A clear liquid applied to printed surfaces for protection.

* Vignette halftone: A halftone that gradually fades to white.

'Colour and Image Terminology' was brought to you by Advance Printing and Signs Pty Ltd...A true "one stop" PRINTING & SIGNAGE supplier. Want to save TIME, MONEY & STRESS on all your printing needs? Contact us on 02 9749 1966 at 38 Railway Street, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW Australia 2141

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