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GRAPHIC DESIGN GLOSSARY
 

GRAPHIC DESIGN GLOSSARY

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D

Data Exchange File (.dxf files): A tagged data representation of the information contained in an AutoCAD drawing file. The DXF file format is a native file format of AutoCAD. It has become a standard for exchanging CAD drawings and is supported by many CAD applications. DXF format is vector based and supports up to 256 colors.

Deckle edge:
The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.

Delete:
An instruction given to remove an element from a layout.

Descender:
In typography, the part of the letterform that dips below the baseline; usually refers to lowercase letters and some punctuation, but some typefaces have uppercase letters with descenders.

Design:
The arrangement of elements, both text and visuals, to visually and creatively communicate an idea or message.

Designer:
An artist trained to present information visually in a clear and creative manner. Most designers have a traditional fine arts background as well as skills in commercial art.

Desktop: The layer in a drawing where you can experiment and create objects for future use. This layer is outside the borders of the drawing page. You can drag objects from the desktop layer to the drawing page when you decide to use them.

Desktop publishing:
Setting type and arranging elements using a computer and software designed for this purpose. (Warning: often not done well by lay people!)

Diacritical mark: An accent mark above, below, or through a written character; for example, the acute (') and grave (`) accents.

Digital: A piece of information recognizable and therefore manipulatable and storable on a computer.

Digital Proof: Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed.

Die: An engraved stamp used for impressing an image or design.

Die Cutting: A method of using sharp steel ruled stamps or rollers to cut various shapes i.e. labels, boxes, image shapes, either post press or in line.

Die Cutting: The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.

Dimension line: A line that displays the size of objects or the distance or angle between objects.

Dingbat typeface:
A typeface made up of nonalphabetic marker characters, such as arrows, asterisks, encircled numbers.

Dingbats: Typefaces that consist of symbol characters such as decorations, arrows and bullets.

Discretionary hyphen: A hyphen that will occur only if the word appears at the end of a line, not if the word appears in the middle of a line.

Display type: Large and/or decorative type used for headlines and as graphic elements in display pieces. Common sizes are 14, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, 60, and 72 point.

Dither: For digital halftones, the creation of a flat bitmap by simply rutning dots off or on. All dots are the same size there are simply more of them in dark areas and fewer of them in light areas -- as opposed to deep bitmaps used in gray-scale images.

Dithering: Changing images to the Paletted color mode lets you use dithering to enhance color information. Dithering places pixels with specific colors or values relative to other pixels of a specific color. The relationship of one colored pixel to another creates the appearance of additional colors that do not exist in the color palette. You can use two types of dithering: ordered dithering and error diffusion. Ordered dithering approximates color blends using fixed dot patterns; as a result, solid colors are emphasized and edges appear harder. Error diffusion scatters pixels irregularly, making edges and colors softer. Jarvis, Stucki, and Floyd-Steinberg are conversion options that provide error diffusion.

Dot: The smallest individual element of a halftone.

Dot gain: Terms to describe the occurrence whereby dots are printing larger than they should.

DPI (dots per inch): The unit of measurement used to describe the resolution of printed output. The most common desktop laser printers output a 300 dpi. Medium-resolution printers output at 600 dpi. Image setters output at 1270-2540 dpi.

Drop cap: A design style in which the first capital letter of a paragraph is set in a larger point size and aligned with the top of the first line. This method is used to indicate the start of a new section of text, such as a chapter.

Drop shadow:
A shadow image placed strategically behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.

Dry mount: Pasting with heat sensitive adhesives.

Dummy: A term used to describe the preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product; also called a comp.

Duotone: A halftone image printed with two colors, one dark and the other light. The same photograph is halftoned twice, using the same screen at two different angles combining the two improves the detail and contrast.


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