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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

Digital imaging/digital printing: Digital imaging refers to the routines that take place before the output methods occur. These routines include: scanning, photo manipulation, color correction and RIPing. Digital printing, on the other hand, refers to a variety of computer-controlled output methods: inkjet, computer-airbrush, thermal-transfer and electrostatic printers and copiers.

Dithering: A graphics display or printing process that uses a combination of dots or textures to simulate an original image or an output device. The purpose is to create the impression of a continuous-tone gray-scale or color image.

Dot gain: A term that refers to the "weight gain" of halftone dots. During the printing process, the half-tone dots increase in size. Because this is an inherent part of the printing process, the effect of increased dot size should be anticipated ahead of time.

DPI (dots per inch): A measurement of linear resolution for a printer or scanner. For example, a resolution of 300 dpi means that there are 300 dots across and 300 dots down. A higher number of dots creates a finer resolution.

Drive: An internal or external assembly that can read and/or write electronic data using disk-storage media. For example, a disk operates much like a cassette recorder/player, with the cassette tape acting as the disk-storage media.

Driver: A small software program that links together the computer and its components and peripherals: printers, scanners and the monitor. The driver functions as a medium.

Dye sublimation: A printing method in which the color (toner or ink) is thermally converted to a gas that hardens on the special substrate used by the printer. When printers use this process, the output appears in the form of soft-edged dye spots that produce smooth, continuous tones.

Electrostatic printing: Printing large-format prints in a process similar to, but not the same as, color photocopiers. If properly done, (and laminated) the images are used for billboards, truck graphics, banners, signs or murals.

EPS (encapsulated postscript): A file type that allows the carrying of different information between software programs.

Error diffusion: In actuality, error diffusion is a random dot-placement strategy (or dithering method), spreading out the inherent failing until it is indistinguishable to the naked eye.

E-stat: A short way of saying "electrostatic."

Ethernet: A commonly used computer network for the movement of PostScript files from one computer to another.


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