A comprehensive digital dictionary with terms from sign and related industries
Color gamut: The tonal range of colors that can be reproduced by a digital device.
Color measurement: The scientific determination of color. It uses specialized measuring machines to compare colors numerically. There is a CIE worldwide standard that helps the industry compare and match colors.
Color model: Also referred to as color space. A color model is a geometric or mathematical representation of visible colors. Well-known color models include, CMYK, RGB and HLS (hue, lightness, saturation).
Color profile: Also called device profile. This term refers to the relationship between the color models of the system devices.
Compression: The process of removing irrelevant information and reducing unneeded space from a file in order to make the file smaller.
Continuous tone: Like original photographs, drawings or paintings, continuous-tone images contain real gradients of grays or colors.
Cutting plotter: A vector-driven device (similar to CAS plotters) for cutting sign-making substrates. Recent designs include digital-print (inkjet) systems combined with cutting-plotter systems. (See also, Plotter and Printer/cutter.)
Default: An automatic decision that is made by computer software and hardware programs. The decision will automatically be carried out unless the user changes the default settings.
Densitometer: An instrument that measures transmitted or reflected light by indicating the percentage of a given area that is covered by halftone dots. This instrument is used to ensure consistency between films, proofs and printed pieces.
Desktop: In Mac and Windows, desktop simulates the top of the user's desk; the simulated environment appears on the computer monitor being used. The user's virtual desktop is organized through the tiling, cascading or overlaying of Windows.
DIC (device-independent color): The goal of DIC is to provide an independent, universal standard against which color spaces of all devices in a system can be referenced.
Digital camera: A lensed camera that uses a digital sensor for the film. Images are recorded on a disk and can be immediately output on a computer.
Digital color printing: To use multiple printheads that place specified colors of inks in predetermined places. The results are similar to photographs, but are often larger. In fact, some are billboard size.
Digital color-printing software: The computer programs that create digital color printing. The process uses mathematical algorithms to enlarge and print an image. Also, this software often includes add-on features such as color-calibration software, various pattern selections or a print-instruction screen. (See also, RIP.)
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