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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


Additive color: A color model associated with the RGB (red, green, blue) method of representing color. Equal amounts of the primaries will combine to produce the perception of white light. This is normally used in video systems/monitors.

Adobe Illustrator™: A software package for designing and illustrating. Some features include: a complete set of drawing tools, on-screen drawing and EPS-file formatting.

Airbrush printer: A large, digital-print machine (for printing billboards, etc.) that uses compressed air to drive inks through the printhead.

Aliasing: The stair-stepped (jagged) appearance in printed diagonal lines.

Anti-aliasing: A technique that smoothes the printed appearance of stair-stepped (jagged) lines. One method is to fill the edges of the line with varying shades of color (or gray). This method averages the brightness values of the edges.

Application: A computer software program that performs specific functions such as page layout, word processing, accounting, drawing and spreadsheet formation.

ASCII (American standard code for information interchange) (pronounced as-kee): ASCII is a computer code used to transfer numbers and text data between computers that run different software applications.

Banding: In digital printing, this term refers to patterns on a print caused by insufficient color or gray-scale ranges within the output device's image processor, or insufficient information contained within the original scan. Banding is most noticeable in printed areas that fade from light to dark.

Baud: A measure of speed in data transmission. Baud has the same meaning as bits per second.

Binary: A system based on the numbers 0 and 1 as on-off switches. There is no middle ground; electrical signals are represented by electrical current being positive or negative, on or off. All computer data is based on the binary system.

Bit/byte: Measurements of computer data. The bit, or binary digit (0 or 1), is the smallest unit of information a computer can work with. Because computers represent all data in numbers or digits, they are digital devices. Thus, these digits are measured in bits; each electronic signal becomes one bit. However, to represent more complex data, computers must combine these bit signals into larger groups called bytes.

Bitmap: Generally, a bitmap is associated with graphics objects. The bits are a direct representation of the picture image. In a monochrome system, one bit in the bitmap represents one pixel on screen. With color (or gray-scale) systems, several bitmaps in the bitmap represent one pixel or group of pixels.


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