Every profession has ‘lingo’ or short-hand terms that are unique to that profession. What are some examples from your field that may not be well-known?

I’m an art director and graphic designer. Here are a few of mine…

Bleed: oversizing art/photography off the edge of a page, so that when it is  trimmed at the printer, the photo runs all the way off the edge. (If you don’t “bleed” your photos, sometimes the trim is a bit off the mark, and a thin line can be seen at the page edge. Bleeding the photo keeps this from happening.)

COB: Cut-Out Background. Used to describe a photo which has been edited to  isolate the subject from its background, making the background white (or  transparent). Also used as a verb: “We can COB that.”

Copy: non-headline text.

CMYK: Cyan Magenta Yellow Black, the four foundation colors used in process color printing. Every given color printed to paper using four-color process has a CMYK value. The two color modes of photos are CMYK and RGB. 100% of all four colors, mixed, yields Rich Black (a very heavy Rich Black).

FPO: For Placement Only. Used to describe a low-resolution or otherwise unready piece of artwork that is placed in layout temporarily, so the  composition can be evaluated.

Flag: the display title/logo of a magazine, presented on its cover.

Gutter:  the space between two pages in a multi-page bound document, like a  magazine. Usually a place to be conscious of when running a photo across  two pages; you want to make sure a person’s face, or text that you want  legible, doesn’t “fall into the gutter”.

Kern: visually tightening (or loosening) the space between two characters for better eyeflow.

Lockup: a combination of elements, usually a graphic and some text, making a logo. Logos are often comprised of a name set in a specific font, color and size coupled with a graphic in a very carefully designed arrangement. Sometimes a positioning line or “tagline” is involved. Lockups are meant never to be adjusted or altered, hence they are “locked up”.

Orphan: when a paragraph’s final word starts its own line, making the line  unattractively short. These need to be fixed before the project goes to press.

Rag: the flow of space around the non-justified side of a column of copy. You typically want to keep it as balanced and even as possible. Bad rag is a sign of poor editing. A full-justified column has no rag; a center-justified column has rag on both sides.

Raster: a graphic created as a grid of colored pixels. JPEG is an example of a raster format, and pretty much all photos have to be rendered as such. Raster images can only be resized to a certain point before the individual pixels start becoming noticeable, degrading the quality of the image. One uses Adobe Photoshop (or equivalent) to edit raster images.

RGB: Red Green Blue, the three colors used in televisions and display monitors. RGB has a different (and broader) color gamut than CMYK, meaning you can create more colors using RGB than you can with CMYK. 100% of all three colors, mixed, yields white.

Vector: a graphic created as a series of points connected by paths (vectors) resulting in an image. Most logos and illustrations are vector format; all fonts are vector format as well. Vector images (including fonts) can be resized to any dimension without a loss in resolution, because all the paths remain smooth no matter how big they’re rendered. EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is a common vector format. One uses Adobe Illustrator (or equivalent) to edit vector images.

Widow: the last few words of a paragraph, isolated at the top of the next column. These usually appear accidentally during layout as copy is being adjusted in the space. You have to fix these too (move them to the previous column somehow) before the project goes to press.

Craig Weiland’s answer to: Every profession has “lingo” or short-hand terms that are unique to that profession. What are some examples from your field that may not be well-known?

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