Print Glossary

1-bit Black & White Bitmap

A type of bitmap image that contains only pure black or pure white pixels. Used in situations where shades of grey are not present as with scanned text or line drawings. Should be scanned at high resolutions above 1200dpi.


Adobe software product that converts page layouts into a standard format based on the Postscript language. It translates text, vector and bitmap information into PDF files which can then be viewed and printed on any machine regardless of platform. A useful format for printers as all images and fonts are contained and compressed in the same file enabling fast transfer over the internet. Files have a .pdf extension.


Aliasing is the visual stair stepping of edges (jagged edges) that occurs in an image when the resolution is too low. Anti-Aliasing is the smoothing and removing of aliasing effects by electronic filtering and other techniques such as blending of hard edges.

Alpha Channel

An image editing software channel containing information used to mask or partially reveal areas of a bitmap image. Useful to remove backgrounds from objects.


The "&" symbol which stands for the word "and". It is actually a stylistic combination of the letters that make the Latin word 'et' which means 'and'.

Art Paper

A smooth coated paper obtained by adding a coating of china clay compound on one or both sides of the paper.


Patterns (stripes) on a print caused by insufficient colour or greyscale ranges within the output devices image processor, or insufficient information contained within the original scan. Creates harsh, well defined transitions between different tonal ranges, where a smooth transition was required.

Beziér Curve

Curved line segments created by establishing endpoints or anchor points, and at least one transient point or node. A common method used to create irregular lines and shapes in design software.


A bitmap image is composed of a grid of dots (also called pixels or bits). All the digital photographs on your hard drive are bitmaps. If you zoom right up close in your software applications you will actually notice the image is composed of squares those are the bits. Bitmap images cannot be easily scaled up in size without loss of quality.

Black Generation

The calculation determining the degree of black ink to be added when separating an RGB colour image into CMYK colours.


A rubber-faced sheet onto which ink is transferred prior to that ink being transferred to the sheet to be printed. The process 'offset' is so called because the ink is picked up by the blanket from the inked plate and then 'offset' or transferred onto the paper.


When an image or design goes right to the edge of the printed sheet. The job is printed on oversize paper stock and the page's design extends around 3-5mm beyond the intended page size. The bleed is then trimmed off in the finishing process.<br />


The setting of computer system components to a standard which will produce the same colour results on each unit. Colour calibration is necessary on display monitors to achieve the same colour results on the printed output.

Camera Ready

An outdated term meaning artwork that doesn't need further alterations by the printer. The artwork was then used to make the printing plates via a photographic process, hence the term camera ready.


Charged Coupled Device. Light-detection device used in many scanners, digital cameras, and video cameras that generates electrical current in direct proportion to how much light strikes areas of the sensor. A CCD array is an arrangement of CCD sensors mounted in close proximity that allows for the simultaneous capturing of many pixels with one exposure.
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