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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

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RGB (red, green, blue): RGB is an additive color model used in color monitors, conventional photo film and paper to create full color.

RIP (raster image processing): A process using mathematical algorithms to enlarge and print an image. Also, this software often includes "add-on" features, such as color-calibration software, various pattern selections, tools or a print-instruction screen.

Satellite communication: Radio communications between satellites or satellites and ground stations. Commonly used for long-distance telephone calls, including Internet or cell-phone type calls.

Scan-and-print: To produce "instant" posters, banners or other wide-format output, this type of inkjet system scales, interpolates and diffuses bitmapped images captured by a scanner. The purpose is to reduce the turnaround time and complexity in producing short-term display graphics.

Scanner: A hardware peripheral that illuminates, reads and then converts original text, artwork or film into digital data. Types of scanners include: flatbed or drum, and color or black-and-white.

SCSI (small computer system interface) (pronounced sku-zee): SCSI is a standard method of connecting devices to computers. For example, SCSI is used for connecting a peripheral device, such as an external hard drive or a tape backup system to a computer's port (outlet).

Service bureau: A company that typically offers film-output services. Also, a service bureau may offer design and output of digital color graphics.

Small format: Similar to a large-format in processing, just smaller prints.

Software: Computer programs that are necessary for all computer operations.

Spectrophotometer: Overall, an instrument that measures the spectral wavelength of color. Also, this instrument calibrates output devices or monitors, and measures dot gain and color density.

Spot colors: These colors are printed as solid areas and used when fewer than four colors are needed or when the four-color process (CMYK) is unable to accurately reproduce a PMS color.

Stochastic: An alternative to traditional halftone dots, this random-placement dot strategy is used to render enlarged images on large-format printing devices. Stochastic dots are uniformly sized "microdots," and their placement and frequency vary with the tone of the image.

Substrate: Ultimately, the material that receives the printed image. Sometimes, this term is called "media."

Subtractive color: Reflective color. The term refers to the CMYK color space used by conventional and digital printing devices to produce full-color printing. (See also, CMYK.)

Support: Various forms of technical assistance offered by hardware and software companies.

Systems-integrator: A company that integrates various products made by several manufacturers into a single operating system.

Thermal film: Heat-sensitive film that carries an image from a thermal imagesetter. When this clear film encounters heat, it turns black and is transformed to an imaged positive.

Thermal-transfer printer: A machine that digitally prints by transferring inks (resin or wax based) from a foil ribbon onto media such as paper or vinyl.

Tiling: The process of dividing a very large-format image into smaller sections that can be output on the digital device.

Topcoat: The coating applied to the surface of inkjet or other substrates during the manufacturing process. The topcoat enhances ink adhesion and other performance characteristics; it also helps to control dot gain, drying time and moisture resistance.

Turnkey: A bundled-product package that is operable right out of the box without any additional purchases.

Upgrade: To improve some aspect of a computer system. Upgrades include the newest versions of software applications, computer models or peripheral devices. Usually, upgrades are denoted by a version number.

UV inks: Inks that contain pigments or other methods to resist UV fade from direct sunlight and other UV light sources.

UV resistance: The resistance to fading under direct sunlight and other UV light sources.

Vector: An image plotted by lines on an X-Y axis. This image is different from a bitmap, which is composed of dots.

Virtual: Having the "appearance" of existence as opposed to actual reality, i.e. 3-D form.

Windows 95™: Microsoft Corp.'s recently released operating system.

WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) (pronounced wizee-wig): An acronym meaning that a computer file's output is actually what is seen on the monitor.


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