Glossary of Terms

What is the difference between CMYK and RGB? Why do my supplied photos have to be 300dpi for printing?

Below is a resourceful list of the most common terms used in website design, graphic design, and printing.

Although you may never actually be quizzed on these terms, it is good to know some of the basics when discussing your project with your design team.

Web Design

Banner Ad

A (most often graphic) advertisement placed on a web page, which acts as a hyperlink to an advertiser’s website.


A measure for the speed (amount of data) you can send through an Internet connection. The more bandwidth, the faster the connection.

Clickthrough Rate

The number of times visitors click on a hyperlink (or advertisement) on a page, as a percentage of the number of times the page has been displayed.

Content Management System

Also known as a CMS, the Content Management System is a backend tool for managing a website’s content that separates the content from the design and functionality of the site.


Data stored in a computer in such a way that a computer program can easily retrieve and manipulate the data.

DHTML (Dynamic HTML)

A term commonly to describe HTML content that can change dynamically.

DNS (Domain Name Service)

A computer program running on a web server that translates domain names into IP addresses.

Domain Name

The name that identifies a website. (yourwebsite.com)


A vector-based multimedia format developed by Adobe for use on the web. Not as popular as it once was.


A computer that provides web documents to clients or users. Also referred as [host] server.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

HTML is the language of the web. HTML is a set of tags that are used to define the content, layout and formatting of the web document. Web browsers use the HTML tags to define how to display the text.

IP Address (Internet Protocol (IP) Address)

An IP address is an identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Networks using the TCP/IP protocol route messages based on the IP address of the destination.


A word used by a search engine to search for relevant web information.

Meta Tags

Information placed in the HTML header of a Web page that provides information that is not visible to browsers. The most common meta tags relevant to search engines are keyword and description tags.

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)

A widely used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.


A plug-in is a third-party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It’s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site.

PPC (Pay Per Click)

A form of online advertising where an ad is placed on a website or search directory in which the advertiser pays when the ad is clicked.

Responsive Web Design (RWD)

The practice of building a website that is viewable on all devices and screen sizes, no matter how small or larger, desktop or mobile.


(Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication) A commonly used protocol for syndication and sharing of content, originally developed to facilitate the syndication of news articles, is now widely used to share the contents of blogs.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEM is often used to describe acts associated with researching, submitting, and positioning a Web site within search engines to achieve maximum exposure of your Web site. SEM includes things such as search engine optimization, paid listings and other search-engine-related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your Web site.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The practice of designing web pages so that they rank as high as possible in search results from search engines.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)



A method of sending audio and video files over the Internet in such a way that the user can view the file while it is being transferred.

TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Software to secure and protect website communication using encrypted transmission of data.


A uniform resource locator (abbreviated URL; also known as a web address, particularly when used with HTTP) is a specific character string that constitutes a reference to a resource. Most web browsers display the URL of a web page above the page in an address bar.

Web Spider

A computer program that searches the Internet for web pages. Common web spiders are the ones used by search engines like Google to index the web. Web spiders are also called web robots or wanderers.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)

A specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.

Graphic Design


In computer graphics, a bitmap or raster graphics image is a data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or another display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying formats. A bitmap corresponds bit-for-bit with an image displayed on a screen, generally in the same format used for storage in the display’s video memory, or maybe as a device-independent bitmap. A bitmap is technically characterized by the width and height of the image in pixels and by the number of bits per pixel (a color depth, which determines the number of colors it can represent).


Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.

Comp / Proof

A sample of what the design project will look like before it’s printed or finalized showing the layout of the text and graphics.

Compressed File

A file that has been compressed to occupy minimal storage space. (i.e.: .zip, .tar, .sit)

Continuous Tone

A black and white photograph is a good example of a continuous tone. They contain gradient tones from black to white which is called continuous tones.

DPI (dots per inch)

DPI is the number of dots (or pixels – PPI) that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch measure. The more dots per inch, the more detail is captured and the sharper the image. A typical image on the web is 72dpi whereas when printing, files must be 300dpi or higher at full size. Scaling a 72dpi image up to 300dpi is not recommended and will result in a blurry image.


Duotones are images made up of two colors. For instance, black and orange. The resulting image has greater depth and will give the viewer the impression that it contains more than 2 colors.


A complete combination of characters created in a specific type of one style and size. The set of characters in a font entails the letter set, the number set, and all of the special characters and marks you get when pressing the shift key or other command keys on your keyboard.

High-Resolution Image

An image with an extreme level of sharpness and clarity. Typically 300dpi and above.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group)

A common process for compressing digital images.

Low-Resolution Image

Don’t get us started!


A Monotone image is just that. An image made up of just one color.

Native File

The default file format used by a specific software application. (i.e.: Photoshop .psd, Illustrator .ai, Adobe .pdf)

PDF (Portable Document Format)

A file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications, making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient’s monitor or printer as they were intended. To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems.


An image is said to be rasterized when transformed from a vector image to a bitmapped image. When opening a vector image in a bitmap-based editing program, you are generally presented with a dialog box of options for rasterizing the image.


The resolution of an image is an important factor in deciding the attainable output quality. The higher the resolution of an image, the less pixilated it will be and the curves of the image will appear smoother.

Vector Graphic

Vector graphics allow the designer to expand or reduce the vector graphic in size without any loss in quality using curves, points, lines, and polygons.


Aqueous Coating

It is used to protect and enhance the printed piece. Aqueous coating is applied to all 100lb gloss book and 100lb gloss cover.


Printed colors that extend past the edge of a page. To cut the job to its actual size the processor has to make sure the job gets printed with 1/8 of an inch bleed some jobs may require more than that. For example if the job is a business card (3.5″ x 2″) the file size with bleed would be (3.625″ x 2.125″).

Card Stock

Also called cover stock. Mostly heavyweight papers are called cards stock. The thickness of card stock is indicated with point sizes such as 14pt, 16pt, and 18pt. Some people will also refer to 100lb gloss cover as a card stock (see also pt).


The primary colors used in 4-color printing. CMYK are used to reproduce full color on the printed sheet. CMYK is also called Process Color.

C: Cyan | M: Magenta | Y: Yellow | K: Black


The mixture of clay materials that are applied to paper to improve the smoothness of the paper’s surface and improve ink holdout during the printing process. Examples are Aqueous coating (AQ) and UV coating. UV coating adds a gloss finish to the product and also improves the vibrancy of the printed colors. Spot-UV can be applied to selected portions of the piece while keeping the rest a matte finish.

Color Types

4:4 – 2-sided, full-color on front and on back

4:1 – 2-sided, full-color on front, black on back

4:0 – 1-sided, full-color on front

Die Cutting

A specific shape like a circle, a star, etc. (any designs that cannot be done by a straight cut) which is cut by a metal blade. Vinyl stickers are a popular product that can utilize die cutting which follows the border of the design for a super-cool look.

Dots Per Inch (dpi)

A measurement of resolution of input, output and display devices. 300dpi means that when printed, each square inch of your image will contain 90,000 pixels (dots), the higher the dpi (the more pixels per inch) the more crisp the printed image will be. Our electronic (digital files) have to have a resolution of at least 300dpi. Anything less than that is considered low-resolution and may appear blurry when printed.

Finished Size / Trim Size

The size of a printed product after all production operations have been completed.

Flat Size

The size of a printed product after printing and trimming but before any finishing operations that affect its size, such as folding.

Gloss Finish

A coating on paper which provides a higher reflection of light, which results in a shiny appearance. Gloss coatings reduce ink absorption, which allows excellent contrast and color definition.

Gloss Paper

Paper with a gloss finish, typically used for higher-quality printing. Examples are 100lb gloss book, and 100lb gloss cover.


Printing a page so that when positioned for reading the width is greater than the height.

Matte Finish

A coated paper finish that is flat, not shiny like a gloss, but still keeps much of the ink from being absorbed by the paper and produces an excellent image. Matte/ Dull finish is applied to all 14pt jobs and 16pt jobs unless it is Spot UV.

Pantone Matching System (PMS)

A registered name for an ink color matching system used to compare, match and identify specific colors. To do so we use a Pantone book. It contains Pantone colors with their closest CMYK values.


Creating a series of holes so that the paper can be torn more easily along the line that is formed. Postage stamps and tear-off cards are common products that require perforation.


Checking a proof for errors or discrepancies from the original copy.

pt (Points) – Paper

When referring to paper or card stock sizes, 1 “point” (pt) equals 1/1,000th of an inch. 14-pt card stock (0.014″ thick) is commonly used for Business Cards and Post Cards. 16-pt card stock (0.016″ thick) produces a thicker, stiffer card.


The measurement of output quality expressed in pixels (dots) per inch on a computer monitor or dots per inch on printed media. For example, a monitor displaying a resolution of 800 by 600 refers to a screen capable of displaying 800 pixels in each of 600 lines, which translates into a total of 480,000 pixels displayed on the screen. When referring to printed media, a 300 dpi (dots per inch) printer for example, is capable of outputting 300 dots in a one-inch line, which means that it has the ability of printing 90,000 distinct dots per square inch (300 x 300).


The additive primary colors, red, green and blue, used to display color in video monitors. Printing with a file in RGB color mode will produce a washed-out appearance. Files need to be converted to CMYK before printing.

Silk Lamination

Silk laminated stock is very soft and has a luxurious silky and smooth feel. Silk lamination is water-resistant and also tear-resistant. The silk lamination is referred to the luxury side of printing. As they say… “smooth as silk”.

Silk lamination is a matte finish, not a coating. If you have an iPhone or any Apple product, the box is wrapped in silk lamination.

Spot Coating / Spot UV

Coating paper only in specific areas as opposed to all-over coating. In a Spot UV job the job gets a UV coating in only specific areas and does not get any AQ coating in any other places. Spot UV can be referred to as spot varnish.


A preset model that acts as a structure for setting up a similar product. Here at GINGALLEY we have lot of templates. The customers can download the templates online. If you do not see a template for a specific product, please contact us.

Turnaround Time

The accumulated time between receipt of an order and completion of the finished product. Here at GINGALLEY we offer different types of turnaround depending on the product, we have Next Day, 2-4 days, 5-7 days and 7-9 business days turnaround.

UV Coating

A liquid coating applied to the printed piece, which is then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. This coating is used to provide a protective coating to the printed image. Please note that you CAN NOT write or imprint on a UV coated jobs.


A thin, liquid protective coating, either matte or glossy, that is applied to the product. It adds protection and enhances the appearance of the product. It can be applied as an all-over coating or it can be applied as a spot coating.