Glossary of Printing & Digital Media Terms

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Term Definition

To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface. Also called tool.


Pressing an image or texture into a substrate. See also: embossing.


In papermaking, the width of the wet sheet as it comes off the wire of a paper machine.

Deckle Edge

Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut. Also called feather edge.


To take a digitally compressed data file and return it to it's original state.

Deep Etching

The etching or removal of any unwanted areas of a plate to create more air or white space on the finished product.


The sharpness or clarity of an image. The resolution of a digital image.


"Fade" in French. A halftone image where the dot size gradually changes from small to large. See also: vignette.


The process of separating fibers from printed recovered paper by the action of heat, chemicals, and mechanical treatments to detach ink from paper followed by removal of ink, coatings, fillers, unwanted materials and contaminants.


An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.


(1) Unit of measurement of the perceivable difference in a color by the human eye.( 2) The mathematical distance between two colors. To calculate the delta-E of any two colors, you need to know their LAB values. Once you have these values, calculate the distance between the two points in the Lab color space.

Demand Printing

Printing only the amount of material that is needed immediately, rather than printing and storing large quantities from which small quantities are drawn from time to time. Demand printing frequently uses digital printing presses. The higher cost of printing on demand is offset by the savings resulting from eliminated storage and waste costs since large quantities do not need to be stored and out of date stock thrown away. An added benefit of demand printing is the ability to make changes in the printed material more frequently. Other Term: on-demand printing.


A term that describes a standard sized printing paper measuring 17.5 x 22.5 in.


Instrument used to measure density. Reflection densitometers measure light reflected from paper and other surfaces; transmission densitometers measure light transmitted through film and other materials.


See Murray-Davies equation and Yule-Nielsen factor

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