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The Premier Digital Glossary

(December 1999) posted on Thu Dec 16, 1999

A comprehensive digital dictionary with terms from sign and related industries


CAD (computer-aided design): Software used to produce designs and drawings for architectural, engineering and scientific applications.

Calibration: Setting up a scanner, monitor, printer, etc., so that the system produces accurate and consistent results. Because equipment and systems vary, to calibrate is to normalize a system's internal and received information so that it presents predictable colors. If devices or consumables change, recalibration is necessary.

Card: A circuit board that performs a specific computer function (video display, sound or communication) between computers, via modem or on a network.

CAS (computer-aided sign-making): Refers to sign-related software and computer-driven, sign-making equipment.

CCD (charged coupled device): An electronic memory made of a metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) transistor than can store patterns of charges sequentially. CCDs are used in TVs and scanning devices because they're charged by both light and electricity.

CIE (Commission Internationale de l' Eclairage): An international color standards group sometimes known as the Intl. Committee on Illumination. In 1931, using a spectrophotometer to precisely measure color, this group defined a color model where numbers describe colors along three axes. Because this system can be used to store color information, it has become a crucial part of device-independent, digital-print systems. There are newer color models in addition to the CIE.

CLUT (color look-up table): Another term for a correction table, a CLUT is a color-management software reference file that maintains the proper calibration of devices, such as monitors, printers and scanners. (See also, LUT.)

CMS (color-management system): The process of using device calibration and profiling, software-based color correction, and other utility applications to obtain predictable, quality-printed output. The output must remain within the limitations of the different devices that make up a digital-production system.

CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black): The four colors in the four-color process. The primary additive colors, red, blue and green, when added together, produce white light. When overlapped, red and blue form magenta, green and red form yellow, and green and blue form cyan. These resulting colors are subtractive and when added together, they produce a dark brown. In order to create an accurate photographic reproduction, the color black must be added.

Color correction: The process of simulating the colors or original shade by using color-management software. Often, an inkjet printer serves as the CMYK output device. This process is important because spot colors cannot be acceptably reproduced with the CMYK color model without making adjustments.


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