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Printing Terms I - L


A powerful illustration and page-design tool that combines precise illustration and singlepage design capabilities in one package. It allows creating, manipulating, and refining artwork, drawing from scratch, autotracing scanned images, or entering precise object dimensions. It allows editing in a preview mode, adding and selecting points on curves, lines, and objects; snapping to any point; placing text along any path; and works with any text blocks of any shape. It generates separations automatically, and is for Mac,Windows, DEC, Silicon Graphics, and NEXT. Our company’s logo (displayed at the top-left of the first page of this document) was created in Illustrator.


(1) Any picture, drawing, subject, or reproduction visible to the human eye that portrays the original in the proper form, color, and perspective. (2) A picture formed by light. The optical counterpart of an original focused or projected in a photographic camera.

Image Area

On a lithographic printing plate, the area that has been specially treated to receive ink and repel water.

Image Carrier

The device on a printing press that carries an inked image either to an intermediate rubber blanket or directly to the paper or other printing substrate.


A sophisticated laser device that is capable of creating high-resolution text and graphics on film, paper, and on plates.


Assembling the various units of a page before printing and placing them on a form so they will fold correctly.

Ink/Water Balance

the appropriate amounts of ink and water required to ink the image areas of the plate and keep non-image areas clean.


The electronic device that enables one kind of equipment to communicate with or control another.


The official name for an international network of computer networks linked to provide and share information and resources.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)

The standards that have been established for communicating audio and digital data over intern

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

The compression scheme that is defacto standard on the Internet. Allows the user to control the compression ratio and reproduction quality at the point of compression.


The reduced spacing between various combinations of two characters to enhance their visual appeal. Certain combinations of characters have a greater need for kerning than others.

LAN (Local-Area-Network)

A series of computers and peripherals that are connected within a small geographic area by a common communications network.


A high-energy, coherent (single wavelength) light source. The small spot of light produced by the laser makes it possible to expose light-sensitive and photoconductive materials at high speed and high resolution.

Laser Printer

Printers that operate on the electrophotographic principle. An image is created by laser beam from digital data, and then it is transferred to the paper electrostatically.

Laser Scanner

A device that uses color filters, electronic circuitry, and beams of light to produce tone- and color-corrected separations from color originals mounted on rotating drums.


The amount of space that is below a typeset character and expressed in points. A 10 point character would have 3 points of leading, thus a line would occupy 13 points of space and is called 10/13 type. Leading affects readability. Extra leading makes copy more readable.

Line Images

Solid areas with no shading or tones, including type, drawings and diagrams.


An original brand of imagesetters by Linotype Hell Company. The Linotronic was the first PostScript high-resolution imagesetter.

Lossless Algorithm

A mathematical formula for image compression that assumes that the likely value of a pixel can be inferred from the values of surrounding pixels. Because lossless compression algorithms do not discard any of the data, the decompressed images is identical to the original.