Category Archives: Glossary

What Is a Thumbnail Image?

By definition at Merriam-Webster Online:
thumb·nail noun [thuhm-neyl]

1. the hard covering at the end of a thumb: the fingernail of a thumb
2. computers: a very small copy of a larger picture on a computer

Since we all understand the first definition, let’s talk computers. A thumbnail image is a tiny graphics file. It is a small-scale, low-resolution image generated from the original image. Thumbnail images are created from standard size images and are used on webpages. The small size allows Web surfers quick access to webpage content. People would find retail shopping nearly impossible if it weren’t for the use of thumbnail images, and surfing pages with multiple images would simply take too long.

In many cases, thumbnail images are clickable, causing a larger image to load at the user’s discretion. This makes webpages user-friendly, saving the user from having to download large image files that he or she doesn’t need or want to see. With a page of smaller images, the user can click on only those images of interest and then download the large, original, high-resolution image file and not the small, low-resolution thumbnail image.

So, when designing your print documents, be sure to download the high-resolution image and not the thumbnail for the best quality image.

Are you Linked into Linking?

If you use Publisher, Quark or InDesign to create your publication, one of the options you have when placing images is to link them to your publication file. But what does that mean and why would you choose to do that?

Generally speaking images files are large and take up lots of storage in your computer. When embedded in a Publisher, Quark or InDesign publication, the file you are working on becomes larger and takes more memory and hard drive space. In most circumstances this is an acceptable practice, and while it will make the program respond slower, the average computer used today is able to process data so quickly you will not likely notice. The same can be said for the space used by larger files in that most computers have very large hard drives and expansive amounts of RAM so that the effect of these larger files is rarely a issue to the average user.

This brings us back to the question of when is linking a good idea? Linking allows all high resolution image files to remain in one centralized location such as a server. This is commonly used at companies that work with high volumes of large image files such as newspapers or magazines. The files remain on the server and are not being copied to individual workstations across the company network slowing it down. When the document is finally ready for printing, proofing or final print, the software then finds the original high resolution image file and sends it to the printer.

The drawback to linking files to a page layout program is that, if the link is ever broken the high resolution file can no longer be used when you need to print it. When this occurs you will see a warning like the one in Microsoft Publisher. It states Publisher cannot find the following linked picture. It then lists the image that is missing. Publisher then offers up three options, find the linked picture and update it, print the low-resolution picture currently displayed in your publication, or print an empty space in place of the missing picture. In that instance you will always want to find the original file as printing the low resolution image or an empty space would only possibly be useful for proofreading.

As you can see, linking images is best avoided for the average user of page layout programs since it amounts to more confusion. Simply inserting the high resolution graphic is generally the best bet. The files you will find on LPi’s Art and Media Portal are all designed to keep the file sizes compact to allow for quicker downloading while at the same time making your bulletin or newsletter look great!

A Graphic Arts Glossary #7

This is the seventh post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The seventh term in the series is grain.

Grain: A paper’s grain is the direction in which most of the fibers line up during the manufacturing process.

crossgraindirGrain is determined during the paper making process, when plant fibers, typically wood pulp, tend to line up in one direction or the other. Paper is identified as either grain short (grain is parallel to the paper’s short side) or grain long (grain is parallel to the paper’s long side), depending on how the paper is cut. It is easier to fold, bend, or tear the paper along the same direction of the fibers. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.

The eighth term in the series will be halftone.

A Graphic Arts Glossary #6

This is the sixth post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The sixth term in the series is font.

Font: a complete set of upper and lower case letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols of one specific typeface, size and style. Arial Bold 12-point is an example of a font.

A typeface is a set of characters which share common design features. Garamond is an example of a typeface. With the advent of digital typesetting, the two words “font” and “typeface” have come to be used interchangeably.

A font family is a set of fonts related to a basic typeface. A font family includes bold, italic, and bold-italic styles plus a range of sizes, weights and widths.

The seventh term in the series will be grain.

PROPER PUNCTUATION

Contemplating when to use a semi-colon and when to use a colon? Confused about when to use quotes and where to place punctuation? Below are the answers!

Colons are used before lists in sentences, after the greeting in a business letter, and to introduce long quotations.

We are in need of the following items for the food pantry: canned items, rice, baby formula, and cleaning supplies.

Commas are used in a number of ways.

A. In a series of three or more words, phrases or clauses.

We ate cotton candy, popcorn, and ice cream.

B. After introductory words.

However, this project can succeed with everyone ‘s help.

C. To separate adjectives.

The speaker was friendly, knowledgeable, and articulate.

An apostrophe is most commonly used to take the place of a missing letter in contractions.

It doesn’t hurt to proofread twice.

It is also used to create possessive nouns.

The pitcher’s jersey number was retired in honor of his outstanding career.

Semi-colons are most often used to connect independent clauses that are not connected by coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.).

Exercise helps prevent high blood pressure; a healthy diet is also beneficial.

Quotation marks are placed around a person’s exact words.

Fred said, “Cleveland is my favorite city.”

Unless the entire sentence is a question, the punctuation marks go on the inside of quotation marks.

When did Alice ask “who changed the schedule?”

Quotation marks are also used around the titles of short stories, poems, songs, articles and chapters.

We’re not talking sausage links here

When speaking to us here at LPi, you will likely hear us use the term “link” or “hyperlink” as in “click on the link” but what does that mean?

The terms “link”, “hyperlink” and “hypertext” all refer to the same basic idea, that is a way to quickly change the internet web page you are viewing or quickly jump to other content from the document you are on. 

If you use the Art & Media Portal, then you have been taking advantage of this technology that has been around since the 1960’s! 

Once on LPi’s home page www.4lpi.com, you can find lots of links. Let’s focus on just the Art & Media Portal for this explanation. There are a few ways to find the Portal. One is to simply click on the Customer Login button at the top of the page and click on the link for the Art & Media Portal Login. You can also scroll or move down to the bottom of the page and look for the words Art & Media Portal. As you move your cursor over those words you should see it change into a small hand that is pointing at the link. Click on it. There, you have just used a link! 

In the paragraph that begins with “Pay a visit to…” there is another link that will redirect you to the Portal. If you click on it you will be taken to a different web page, that of the Art & Media portal. After logging in with your username and password you will see all the content we provide for the creation of your bulletin or newsletter. What you are seeing are lots of links. When you click on the Download button, that is a form of hyperlink. As you look over the page for different clip art or perform a search for a specific image and decide you want to go back to the initial starting point on the Portal here’s a tip: on the top of the page you will see the words, “Art & Media Portal”. Move your cursor over the words and as you see it turn into the small pointing hand just click. You’ve just used another form of a link. 

 While they may not be as filling as sausage links, hyperlinks can be a part of a fulfilling web experience!

A Graphic Arts Glossary #5

This is the fifth post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The fifth term in the series is ellipsis.

Ellipsis: a series of marks (as) used to indicate an omission, a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence. The most common form of ellipsis is a series of three dots.

Tip: to insert an ellipsis into a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher document, simply type three (3) periods and press the space bar once. Word or Publisher will convert the three periods into an ellipsis.

The sixth term in the series will be font.

A Graphic Arts Glossary #4

This is the fourth post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The fourth term in the series is dot gain.

Dot gain: Dot gain is a phenomenon that causes printed material to look darker than intended. When ink, which is liquid and has a tendency to spread, is applied to paper, it is done using a series of dots. A halftone is an image (e.g., a photograph) composed of a pattern of dots. The dots create an optical illusion by varying in size so that the tone appears continuous when viewed from a distance. Bigger dots look darker and smaller dots look lighter. Dot gain occurs when some of the ink is absorbed by the paper causing the dots to expand in size. Because dot size is directly proportional to tone, this will make the image look darker overall.

The example above simulates the effect of dot gain on newspaper stock.

The fifth term in the series will be ellipsis.

A Graphic Arts Glossary #3

This is the third post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The third term in the series is color bars.

Color bars: A color test strip that is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It helps a press operator to monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration and dot gain. It may also include a star target, which is designed to detect inking and press problems.

In the example above the four squares represent the four process colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

The fourth term in the series will be dot gain.

A Graphic Arts Glossary #2

This is the second post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The second term in the series is base line.

Base line: An imaginary horizontal line on which upper case letters, lower case letters, punctuation marks, etc., stand.

In the example above the base line is highlighted in red together with the ascenders.

The third term in the series will be color bars.

The image above is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.