Graphic Arts Industry Glossary
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Dampener fountain - Alternate term for Water fountain on a press.

Dampening solution - Alternate term for Fountain solution.

Dampening system - In lithography, the mechanism on a press for transferring dampening solution to the plate during printing.

Dandy roll - In papermaking, a wire cylinder on papermaking machines that makes woven or laid effects on the texture, as well as the watermark itself. Used in the manufacture of better grades of business and book papers.

Data conversion - To change digital information from its original code so that it can be recorded by an electronic memory using a different code.

DDES - Acronym for Digital Date Exchange Specifications.

Deboss - To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface.

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

Deckle Edge - The wavy, feathery edge of a sheet of paper created during manufacture.

Decurling - The elimination of roll set (machine direction) curl by mechanical counteraction of stresses, often with the assistance of a decurling device.

Deep-etch - In offset-lithography, a positive-working plate used for long runs where the inked areas are slightly recessed below the surface.

Deflection - Deviation from a straight line under load. Fountain roll pressure against the anilox roll causes both to bend or bow slightly. Excessive bending of both or either one will result in uneven ink metering and subsequent nonuniform printing.

Defoamers - Chemicals added to a solution to prevent the formation of foam.

Delete - Removing unwanted images by way of honing, opaquing, taping out.

Delivery memo - Form sent by photographers and stock photo services to clients for signature to verify receipt of photos and agreement to contract terms.

Densitometer - An instrument used to measure the optical density of ink on paper. Used to insure consistent color and coverage within a press run and from press run to press run.

Density - The degree of darkness (light absorption or opacity) of a photographic image.

Density range - Expression of contrast between darkest and lightest areas of copy.

Depth (of a book) - The measurement of the book at its thickest point, including the covers.

Depth of field - Photographer term for relative sharpness of features in an image regardless of their distance from the camera when photographed.

Dermatitis - In lithography, a skin disease, characterized by an itching rash or swelling caused by photographic developers, chromium compounds and solvents.

Descender - That part of the letter which extends below the main body, as in "p".

Desensitizer - In lithographic platemaking, chemical treatment to make non-image areas of a plate repellant to ink. In photography, an agent for decreasing color sensitivity of photographic emulsion to facilitate development under comparatively bright light.

Design brief - Written description of how a printed piece is intended to look and the requirements for reproducing it.

Developer - In photography, the chemical agent and process used to render photographic images visible after exposure to light. In lithographic platemaking, the material used to remove the unexposed coating.

Diazo - Light-sensitive coating on paper or film for making contact prints of technical drawings.

Die - The form that contains the rules which are surrounded and held in place with wood. Those cutting tools to die-cut a specific part or parts.

Die classes - Cutting die types. These may be combined to form hybrid types of dies; these may be used successfully on more than one type of press. Most are made for one type of press. The best known types of dies, along with their variously known names are: forged die, steel rule die, flex die, machine die, mallet die, conglomerate die, and blanking die.

Die Cutting - Fabricating process to make any shape or geometric pattern, design, square, rectangle, circle, etc. through the use of steel rule dies, rotary or circular dies, thermal and clicker dies, as well as machined compound and progressive die tooling.

Die cylinder - In rotary die cutting, the rotating shaft that holds the die.

Die steel - (a) The strip steel used in making forged dies. (b) The strip used in making flex dies. (c) The flat ground stock used in making some machine dies.

Die stock - Same as die steel.

Dieboard - Used as the carrier for steel rule in cutting dies, usually hardwood plywood.

Diecut - A finishing operation involving the use of sharp steel rules or knives to cut a specific pattern into a substrate or to cut the substrate itself into a specific pattern. Diecutting is used to create pop-up books and games, and to cut flat printed sheets.

Die-cutting - The process of using sharp steel rules to cut special shapes for labels, boxes and containers from printed sheets. Die-cutting can be done on either flatbed or rotary presses. Rotary die-cutting is usually done in line with the printing.

Die-cutting press - Machine that holds the die, blanks or cuts the material into piece parts.

Die-cutting surface - Area to be die cut.

Die-making - The process of forming or manufacturing a cutting die. The action of manufacturing any of the die classes; to make a cutting die for converting purposes.

Dies bending - Male and female bending dies used to accomplish desired angle or curves when bending rule.

Die-stamping - An intaglio process for the production of letterheads, cards, etc., printing from lettering or other designs engraved into copper or steel.

Diffusion sheet - Frosted mylar used for dual purpose of flaring dots as an aid to registration and duping spreads and shrinks.

Digital color proof - An off-press color proof produced from digital data without the need for separation films.

Digital plates - Printing plates that can be exposed by lasers or other high energy sources driven by digital data in a platesetter.

Digital printing - Printing by plateless imaging systems that are imaged by digital data from prepress systems.

Digitized typesetting - In typographic imaging, the creation of typographic characters and symbols by the arrangements of black-and-white spots called pixels or pels.

Digitizer - A computer peripheral device that converts an analog signal (images or sound) into a digital signal.

Dilatent - Having the property of increasing in viscosity with increase in shear. Dilatent fluids are solid or highly viscous when stirred, and fluid when undisturbed. The condition can occur in flexo inks but is normally considered highly undesirable and one to be avoided through formulation.

Dimensional stability - Ability to maintain size; resistance of paper or film to dimensional change with change in moisture content or relative humidity.

Direct mail - Mail designed to motivate readers to respond directly to senders with a purchase, donation, or other action.

Direct screen halftone - In color separation, a halftone negative made by direct exposure from the original on an enlarger or by contact through a halftone screen.

Dispersion - A uniform distribution of solid particles in a vehicle by mixing or milling.

Display type - In composition, type set larger than the text.

Distributing rollers - Rubber covered rollers which convey ink from the fountain onto the ink drum of a printing press.

Doctor Blade - In gravure printing, a thin-edged, flexible metal blade fitted on a rotogravure press that scrapes the excess ink from the surface of the engraved printing cylinder prior to printing.

Dog-ear - a corner of a page turned down to mark your place. In folding, occurs when you fold into a fold (such as a letter fold). At the side of one of the creases you get an indentation. It may look like a small inverted triangle. In binding process, an oversized, unfolded corner in a publication caused when a sheet in a pile of paper having a corner turned under is trimmed in the guillotine. After trimming, the corner of the defective sheet extends beyond the trim size of the sheet when the folded corner is then unfolded.

Dodge - To block light from selected areas while making a photographic print.

Dot - The individual element of a halftone.

Dot etching - In photography, chemically reducing halftone dots to vary the amount of color to be printed. Dot etching on negatives increases color; dot etching on positives reduces color.

Dot Gain - The tendency of the dots in screened images to print larger than they are on the film or the printing plate.

Dot Loss - Disappearance or reduction of a dot, either during exposure, development, or on the press.

Dot - An element of halftones. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made many dots.

Dots Per Inch (DPI) - A resolution measurement for printers meaning the number of dots in a screened image that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch measure. Generally, the more dots per inch, the greater the detail in the image.

Double bum - To expose a plate or proof to two negatives to create a composite image.

Double bump - To print a single image twice so it has two layers of ink.

Double burn - Exposing a plate to multiple images.

Double dot halftone - In lithography, two halftone negatives combined into one printing plate, having greater tonal range than a conventional halftone. One negative reproduces the highlights and shadows; the other reproduces middletones. This should not be confused with duotones, or printing with two black plates.

Double-Coated - Tape consisting of a carrier with PSA adhesives coated to both surfaces and usually supplied wound on a silicone release liner.

Double-double facet - In steel rule, a centered cutting edge with a 2 star bevel on each side.

Draw down - Sample of specified ink and paper, used to evaluate color.

Drier - In inkmaking, chemicals used in inks to accelerate oxidation which makes the inks harder.

Drill - To bore holes in paper so sheets fit over posts of loose-leaf binders.

Drop out - To eliminate halftone dots or fine lines due to overexposure during camera work or platemaking. The lost copy is said to have dropped out.

Dropout halftone - Halftone in which the highlight areas contain no dots.

Dry gum paper - Label paper with glue that can be activated by water.

Dry strength - Strength of paperboard at standard conditions.

Dryback - The change in print density, color, or finish of an ink film as it dries, generally attributed to a decrease in gloss.

Dryer - The auxiliary unit of printing press through which the printed substrate travels and is dried.

Dry-up - See catching up.

Dull finish - Characteristic of paper that reflects relatively little light.

Dull ink or varnish. Alternate term for Matte ink or varnish.

Dummy - A preliminary layout showing the position of illustrations and text as they are to appear in final reproduction. A set of blank pages made up in advance to show the size, shape, form and general style of a piece of printing.

Dummy - An unprinted mock-up of a to-be-printed piece, using the same materials as the final piece.

Duotone - A two-color halftone reproduction from a monochrome original and requiring two halftone negatives at proper screen angles. One image is usually in black ink and the other in color.

Dupe - To create an identical duplicate of an original piece of film.

Duplex paper - Paper having a different color or finish on each side.

Duplicating film - A film for making positives from positives, and negatives from negatives. In color reproduction, a special film used for making duplicates to film or paper transparencies.

Duplicator paper - A smooth, hard-surface paper made for use on spirit duplicators.

Duplicator - Small offset press using paper 12 x 18 or smaller (not to be confused with spirit duplicator).

Dusting - Offset press blanket whitening which may occur predominantly in early press units as an accumulation of fiber or coating dust on the press blanket.

DX - Double burn, can also mean any one of several additional exposures two times.

Dye Transfer - A full-color print made on specially coated paper from reflective art or transparency.

Dylux - DuPont trade name for photographic paper used to make blueline proofs.

Dynamic range - Density difference between highlights and shadows of scanned subjects.