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Desktop Publishing Glossary
Desktop Publishing Glossary

Desktop Publishing Glossary




is the group of people your graphic design is going to be used to inform, persuade, educate or even entertain


Refers to distributing the weight of elements in a design.

Bitmap images

an object made of pixels or dots that are sometimes referred to as “raster files” or “painted images

Body type

Is the printed type that makes up the text in a layout.


Artwork found in a book that could be clipped out and used in your publication. Today it is usually sold as electronic artwork files that can be placed into your publication

CMYK (Process color)

printing four colors, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to create a full color image


Is a powerful element in communicating symbolic meanings, emotions to attract the reader’s attention. It is the visual sensation produced in the brain when the eye views various wavelengths of light

Color scheme

A selection of colors you want to incorporate in your design to enhance its message.

Color Triad

any three colors that are the same distance apart on a color wheel that form a triangle


is a space in a publication that is mathematically defined to be a certain height and width where graphics and text are placed

Comprehensive layout

is a full color layout that gives the customer a more detailed look at the finished product


used to keep the attention of the reader and to keep the reader’s interest moving from one element to another


to delete unwanted parts of an image so that the result is more useful

Desktop Publishing

Using a computer and graphic design software to layout and design a publication.

Digital Printing

Involves the output of an electronic computer file from the computer to the printer.

Display type

Is the type that is used to capture the reader’s attention and convey the main message.

Double-sided printing

Refers to printing on both sides of the paper.

Electrostatic Printing

is a process that requires the use of static electricity to transfer the image from the plate to the substrate


Adds variation or interest to a design.


a completed detail representation of the final product including all colors, images and text with proper margins and folds

Flexography Printing

This form of relief printing that uses rubber plates


An assortment of one size and style of Type

Formal balance

The placement of elements symmetrically so that the elements have equal weight on the page

Graphic Communications

The act of communicating visually; the exchange of information in a visual form, using printed words, drawings, photographs or a combination of these.

Gravure Printing

This printing process uses an etched cylinder to transfer ink to a substrate


Is the space placed between columns in a design to add breath or white space. Its width is usually two times the margin


it is an image that is comprised of dots


Is when the elements work together to achieve a pleasing and flowing design.


Are the elements in a layout that include the ornamentation, photographs, and artwork.

Informal balance

is achieved when the value, size, and location
of unequal elements on a page are changed.


Is a horizontal format on a computer screen, page or printed product.
Legal - an industry term that refers to a piece of substrate that is 11 inches by 14 inches


an industry term that refers to a piece of substrate that is 8 _ x 11 inches in size, also referred to A size paper by the American National Standard Institute


A form of printing in which ink is applied to the raised surface of the type. Then the type and substrate (paper) are pressed together leaving the image on the substrate


connects points to form a visual image


Imprinted space around the edge of the printed material.


the amount of space between or around objects

Visual Communications

Refers to any communication that does not involve speech. i.e. Writing, sign language, Morse code, body language

Offset Lithography

a form of printing in which the image is transferred to a rubber blanket, and from the rubber blanket to paper


Is the direction of the substrates width and height.

Page layout

is the placement of design items within the page

Panel layout

is the placement of design items within the panel or column

Pantone Matching System

a universal color matching system that is based on ink colors used in the printing industry, also known as PMS colors


Continuous tone image that could be either black and white or full color.


Upright or vertical format on a computer screen, page or printed product

Primary colors

These basic colors are combined to create all other colors as described in the theory of light. They are red, green and blue


A process involving the use of specialized machines (printing presses) to transfer an image from an image carrier to a substrate, usually paper. Most often, printing involves making duplicates in large quantities


The relationship between each element's size and shape.

Relief Printing

Is a type of printing in which the type is raised above the surface of the carrier.


Is visual movement and repetition that guides the reader.


Is a redrawn version of the thumbnail layout that closely resembles the final product.


increasing or decreasing the size of a graphic without altering its proportions

Screen Printing

A process in which ink is transferred through small openings in a screen that is created by a stencil. The ink only flows through the open image areas of the screen onto the substrate that is being printed

Secondary colors

Are produced by mixing pairs of primary colors. They are orange, green and violet.


Objects that have dimension (height and weight).created by a basic structure of lines. The three basic shapes are square, circle, and triangle

Single-sided printing

Refers to printing only on one side of a substrate.

Spot color

Is a technique in which the dot size is varied to produce different shades. This creates the illusion of multiple color printing


an industry term that refers to a piece of substrate that is 11 inches by 17 inches, also referred to B size paper by the American National Standard Institute

Tertiary colors

Are produced by mixing a primary and secondary colors. They are yellow-green, blue-green, red-orange, red-violet, yellow orange, and blue violet


Providing surface variation by spacing and changing the direction of lines, which can create a sense of feeling visually


is a series of simple and rapidly drawn designs for a layout


When all elements in a design are consistent and look as though they belong together.


refers to the light or darkness of a color

Vector images

Are made up of lines and curves defined by mathematical objects. Vectors describe an image according to its geometric characteristics and can be filled with color. These images may be created with the use of a computer and may be changed in size without losing detail

Visual Communications

Refers to using visual images or graphic images to help convey an idea or thought.

Visual Design

Refers to the application of proper methods to produce a product that is both artistic and functional. This technique is very important in order to communicate the message effectively.

White space

Area of a document that does not contain images or type. Also called negative apace


acronym for “What you see is what you get” referring to the relationship of the printed piece versus the look on the electronic monitor of the computer

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