Here are some terms commonly used in the graphic design and printing industries. You might find them helpful when talking to your design and printing professionals.

Acknowledgments: 1) Recognition or honour given to people who have influenced the book being published or who have made a difference in the life of the author. 2) Section of a book containing such recognition.

Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Acrobat is a cross-platform portable document format file for sharing visuals via email and the internet. Documents in this format have a .pdf filename extension.

Labels, captions or numbers, used on illustrative work.

Appendix: Part of book that follows a chapter (end-of-chapter appendix) or, more commonly, that comes after all the chapters (end-of-book appendix). An appendix contains supplemental material, such as tables or source material, which does not conveniently fit into a chapter.

The entire document, both printed text and illustrations which is to be reproduced by the printer.

Artwork Approval
The final draft version that is completely correct is approved in writing by the client. This step signifies that film artwork can be made and that further costs will be incurred as films, proofs or other outputs are created.

That part of the letter which extends above the main body, as in the letter b.

Backing up
Printing the reverse side of a sheet. Also called double-sided or duplex printing.

The position upon which rests the main body of type characters.

Body type (body text)
Typeface used for the main body of a publication. The continuous body copy of a page or book, as opposed to the headings.

Type which has a heavy black appearance.

Brief (Design Brief)
The major piece of communication of the scope and intent of the task. The Design Brief should communicate a reasonably detailed plan of the document or project and may include printing specifications. The design brief is used to create a quote, so should be as detailed as possible.

Dot or graphic, used as an ornamental or organisational device.  Often used to denote lists.

Capital or upper case letters.

A description underneath an illustration.

A symbol used in proof reading and markup to indicate an insertion.

A single letter, punctuation mark or space used in type.

Colour (reproduction)
Full colour printing or output is achieved using the four-colour process – a process in which three subtractive primary colours (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) are combined with Black to mimic the full range of visible colours. In offset printing, for each page or set of pages, a piece of film and a printing plate is made for each of the four colours. Documents may also be printed in one, two or three ink colours – sometimes referred to as ‘spot colour’ printing.

Colour of type
The appearance of type on the page, seen as a shade of grey. The ‘colour’ of type results from the amount of letter, word and line spacing. The more space, the paler the type will look.

Any material (typewritten manuscript, pictures or artwork) to be used in the production of printing.

Checking a manuscript for basic grammar, spelling and typographical errors, and inconsistencies in style.

Ownership of intellectual property such as printed matter, protected by law. The right to copy, repurpose or publish content of the copyrighted medium.

Tightening and reducing illustration dimensions.

The part of the letter which extends below the main body, as in the letter p.

Type design: The size, shape and width of alphabetic characters combined with appropriate line spacing to maximise readability and appeal.

Page design: Illustrations and text arranged on a grid to maximise presentation, comprehension and readability.

Document design: All the elements of page and type design applied in an overall style and combined with formatting, covers and binding to make a document of publishable quality.

A small drawing or artwork used for decoration in a publication.

Three dots (…) indicating an omission, often used when omitting copy from quoted matter.

A unit for measuring the width of printed matter, equal to the height of the type size being used.

A unit of measurement equal to half an em and approximately the average width of typeset characters, used especially for estimating the total amount of space a text will require.

Although one of a number of formats/standards, ePub is increasingly being accepted as the industry standard for eBook production. An extension of XML, it allows publishers to produce a single and interoperable digital file for use by different eBook devices.

Any device on which eBooks can be read, including dedicated readers (Kobo,Kindle etc), tablets (iPad), smartphones, notebooks, laptops. In Australia the market is dominated by the Kindle followed by the Kobo.

Extended type
Type whose width is greater than normal. Also known as expanded type.

Final (Finished) Artwork
Final artwork is the technically correct, accurately constructed, colour separated artwork which is ready for production. It includes production specifications such as colours used, trimming and folding and any special finishing requirements.

Finishing (Print finishing)
The processes other than putting ink on paper which may also be carried out by a printing company. These include: folding, binding, hole punching, varnishing, laminating and foiling.

Page number.

Traditionally, a Font refers to a collection of all the characters of a particular size and style of typeface (ie. the complete alphabet of one size of typeface). For example, 10 point Arial is one of the family of typefaces from the Arial font.

Page number or specific information repeated at the bottom of each page.

Book sizes. Usually expressed in depth then width. Commonly used ones include:-

A: format of mass market paperbacks, most commonly with a trimmed page size of 181 x 111 mm;
B: a format for paperbacks particularly favoured for non-fiction and literary fiction, normally of a trimmed size 198 x 128mm;
B+ with a trimmed size of 208 x 135mm and
C: most often used to describe a large format paperback edition published simultaneously with, and in the same format as, the hardback original, normally with a trimmed size of 234x153mm.

The interior text of the book.

Greyscale reproduction
Greyscale reproduction uses only one colour of ink (black) on white paper. Unlike monotone printing, greyscale printing can be used for photographic images which have a range of tones (shades of grey).

A guide used by designers to organise the elements on a page in a consistent manner. It shows margins, column widths and image areas.

Grams per square metre. The unit of paper thickness (weight).

Title or information repeated at the top of each page.

House Style
A style of which combines typographical layout with editorial and corporate style. A house style is a combination of elements, which, when consistently applied across a number of documents, presents the corporate image of an organisation. The house style is used by a design, printing or publishing company to ensure consistent treatment of copy and images during typesetting and page layout.

General term for any form of drawing, diagram, or photograph included within a piece of print.

An illustration used in a document. It may be a photograph, a diagram, a graph or chart or a drawing.

Imprint Page
Name and address of the printer or publisher, along with the date and place of printing. The imprint page may also show the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and other library cataloguing data. The editor and designer may also be listed.

Inferior letters or numerals
Small letters or figures usually printed on or below the baseline as for example in the chemical formula H20. Also known as subscript.

International Standard Book Number.

A unique 13 digit machine-readable identification number which marks any book unmistakably. While every book needs an ISBN, not everything with an ISBN is a book because publishers often use ISBNs as general product identifiers for non-book product (eg calendars, dump bins etc). Australian agency is Thorpe-Bowker. Changed from 10 digits to 13 digits in January 2007.

Letters which slope forward are called Italic.

Spacing of words so that lines in a column of type are vertically aligned on the right as well as the left.
The adjustment of space between characters so that part of one extends over the body of the next. Kerned letters produce uniform letter spacing, which closes up any excessive space between such combinations as VA and Te.
Rows of dots or dashes used to guide the eye across the page. Used in tabular work, programs and tables of contents.

Legibility describes the characteristics that enable a typeface or page to be read or deciphered. A legible typeface is one in which the character shapes are easily recognised and deciphered. Not all typefaces are legible.

Line spacing or ‘Leading’
Pronounced “ledding”, the term refers to the spaces between lines of type. Traditionally the spaces were created by a strip of lead inserted between lines of metal type. Leading is usually measured in points.

Logo and logotype
A distinctive image or arrangement of letters which proclaim the identity of, or are associated with, a product or organisation. When images and type are combined, the image is generally called a ‘logo’. When the identity consists only of letters, it is generally known as a ‘logotype’.

Lower-case is also known as small letters. Indicated as l.c.

Space between the text or illustrations and the edge of the page.

The simplest (and cheapest) form of reproduction. Only two tones (colour values) exist – black and white. In printing, white is generally the colour of the sheet of paper, so only one printing plate is required. An example of monotone printing is a faxed page. Monotone reproduction is limited in its ability to reproduce photographic images well).

Offset printing
The most common technology used for mass production printing. Offset printing starts to become economical per unit around 1000 copies.

Last word of a paragraph that stands at the top of the following page by itself. To be avoided.

The numbering of the pages in a book.

Pantone (PMS) colours
The Pantone Matching System® is an industry standard colour matching system for the printing and publishing (including web) industries.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
A file format, created by Adobe Systems, typically used for saving documents that are comprised of more than a simple text element. PDFs allow for incorporation of images, graphs, hyperlinks, and other features and as such is sometimes used as final art. The format does not allow content to be edited or altered by the recipient.

The unit of measurement used in typesetting. Used principally for measuring lines. One Pica equals 12 points.

The standard unit for measuring type size and spacing, equal to about 0.35 mm. (72 points to the inch).

A term which refers to the production stages of printing plate creation and proofing as a preparation for printing or output.

Print technology
The technology used to create the character on a sheet of paper has changed radically over the years. The Letter press printed using type which was cast or punched from metal. Ink was transferred by the raised metal type to the paper. The ink rollers only touched the top surfaces of the raised areas of the type. This is called relief printing.

The Gravure process used a sunken or depressed surface in a metal plate to transfer ink images onto paper (the opposite of relief printing).
Offset Lithography uses a thin, flat metal or paper plate to transfer ink to paper. The printed image is separated from the non-printed areas by a chemical method based on the principle that grease and water do not mix.

Laser Computer printing is a further development of the photocopier which uses a laser to sensitise plain paper with tiny dots which make up the image or characters. The pattern of dots or pixels is stored in computer memory. This system lends itself to small operation desktop publishing and produces high quality results.

Proof (printer’s proof)
An impression or visual reproduction made from film or digital artwork which is used to check the progress and accuracy of a document prior to printing. The type of proof may vary according to needs.

Person who reads the type, checking it for spelling, punctuation and accuracy.

Capable of being read and comprehended easily. The number of words on a page and therefore the number of pages in a book varies according to the typeface and point size selected. This combined with the amount of space between the lines and the area of the page used for type, will determine the size, appearance and readability of a publication.

The fineness of detail of an image. In computer terms, resolution is related to the number of or density of pixels used to reproduce a digital image. Computer resolution is measured in dots-per-inch (dpi). For publishing, images for web work can be very low (72–96 dpi) but they need to be much higher for offset printing (300–600 dpi).

Streaks of white spacing in the text, produced when spaces in consecutive lines of type coincide. To be avoided.

Letters which stand up straight are called Roman.

Sans Serif
The Sans Serif letters do not have serifs or strokes. The name comes from the French word sans, meaning without. Arial, Helvetica and Verdana are all examples of Sans Serif typefaces.

The serif letter has short cross strokes that project from the ends of the main strokes of a character. The short stroke is called a serif. It is generally thought that typefaces with serifs are more readable when used in extended passages of text.  Bookman, Garamond and Times New Roman are all examples of Serif typefaces.

A proofreader’s mark, written in the margin, signifying that copy marked for corrections should remain as it was.

Superior letters or numerals
Small letters or figures usually printed above the main character as for example in the unit m2. Also known as superscript.

Tabular work (tables)
Information set out in columns.

Title page
Right hand page at the front of a book that bears the title, the names of the author and publisher, and sometimes the place of publication and other relevant information. Not the cover of a book.

A typeface is a set of characters which share a common design. For example, the Times typeface was designed by an Englishman, Stanley Morison in 1931 for use in the Times newspaper. He created a face which, in small sizes, can be easily read in columns of newsprint. For this reason, it is still in common use today. Most type terminology comes from the original setting in metal type.  Many hundreds of typefaces exist and are continually being designed, of which only about twenty are used with any regularity for books.

Type size
The height of type is most commonly measured in points (abbreviated pt). A point is approximately 0.35 mm. Be aware that type sizes (eg. 12 points) in one typeface may not appear exactly the same size as another typeface. This is because, in traditional metal type, the type character was placed on a metal block. The point size applied to the height of the block, not the character. The visual height of the characters could vary within the block area.

The art, general design and appearance of printed material using type.

Upper-case letters are also known as capital letters. Indicated as caps.
Vector (illustration)
A high end publishing industry computer based illustration method in which the shapes are described as mathematical points in space rather than pixels. This makes the image scalable without any loss of sharpness or detail. Only certain types of printing devices can utilise this format.

Also known as a ‘dummy’ or ‘progressive’. Sketches or samples of the work prepared before printing which show the progressive development of the design and layout of a document. Visuals may be presented as printouts or in digital form. A popular form of digital visual is Adobe’s Acrobat format which can be emailed and viewed on screen. In book work, a binder’s dummy is a set of blank sheets of paper bound as in the final document to establish the exact dimensions.

White space
Unoccupied space on the page. A desirable characteristic.

A widow is a very short line – usually one word, or the end of a hyphenated word – at the end of a paragraph or column. A widow is considered poor typography because it leaves too much white space between paragraphs or at the bottom of a page.