Biz Printing USA – Advanced Graphics & Printing Services

Printing Glossary – Terms starting with D

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An essential part of the offset printing process whereby rollers distribute a solution to the plate that covers the non-printing area of the plate, repelling ink in those areas. Some newer presses use a waterless ink technology that does not use dampening.

Data Compression

Technique of reducing the amount of storage required to hold a digital file to reduce the disk space the file requires and allow it to be processed or transmitted more quickly


To press an image into paper with a die so it extends below the surface. The opposite of emboss where the image is raised above the paper surface.

Deckle edge

The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.


An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of ink or color.


The degree of tone, weight of darkness or color within a photo or reproduction measured by a densitometer.

Density Range

Difference between the darkest and lightest areas of copy. Also called contrast ratio, copy range and tonal range


A term that describes that portion of lower case letters that extends below the main body of the letter, as in “p”.

Desktop Publishing

Creating materials to be printed using a personal computer, as opposed to taking non-electronic documents to a commercial printing company to be prepared for printing.

Device Independent Colors

Hules identified by wavelength or by their place in systems such as developed by CIE. ‘Device independent’ means a color can be described and specified without regard to whether it is reproduced using ink, projected light, photographic chemistry or any other method


Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing

Die Cut

To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die

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.

Diffusion Transfer

Chemical process of reproducing line copy and making halftone positives ready for paste-up

Digital Dot

Dot created by a computer and printed out by a laser printer or imagesetter. Digital dots are uniform in size, as compared to halftone dots that vary in size

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 with ink.

Digital Proofing

Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or ink-jet

Direct Digital Color Proof

Color proof made by a laser, ink jet printer or other computer-controlled device without needing to make separation films first. Abbreviated DDCP


The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. This results in a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a jagged or ‘stair-step’ appearance. Also a method used on ink jet printers where colors are produced by mixing colored dots in a randomized pattern.

Dog Ear

A letter fold at the side of one of the creases, an indentation occurs


The smallest individual element of a halftone.

Dot gain

A term used to describe when dots are printing larger than they should.

Dot Size

Relative size of halftone dots as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used. There is no unit of measurement to express dot size. Dots are too large, too small or correct only in comparison to what the viewer finds attractive


Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors. Abbreviated DPI. Also called dot pitch

Double Black Duotone

Duotone printed from two halftones, one shot for highlights and the other shot for midtones and shadows

Double bump

To print a single area on the sheet twice so it has two layers of ink. Usually done on soild ink areas to increase the smoothness and/or density.

Double Burn

To expose film or a plate twice to different negatives and thus create a composite image

Double Density

A method of recording electronically (disk, CD, floppy) using a modified frequency to allow more data storage

Double Dot Halftone

Halftone double burned onto one plate from two halftones, one shot for shadows, the second shot for midtones and highlights


Printing defect appearing as blurring or shadowing of the image. Doubling may be caused by problems with paper, cylinder alignment, blanket pressures or dirty cylinders


Considered as “dots per square inch,” a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors


Sample of inks specified for a job applied to the substrate specified for a job. Also called pulldown


The drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.

Drop shadow

A shadow image placed offset behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.


Halftone dots or fine lines eliminated from highlights by overexposure during camera work

Dropout Halftone

Halftone in which contrast has been increased by eliminating dots from highlights

Dry Back

Phenomenon of printed ink colors becoming less dense as the ink dries

Dry Offset

Using metal plates in the printing process, which are etched to .15mm (.0006 in) creating a right reading plate, printed on the offset blanket transferring to paper without the use of water

Dry Trap

To print over dry ink, as compared to wet trap

Dual-purpose Bond Paper

Bond paper suitable for printing by either lithography (offset) or xerography (photocopy). Abbreviated DP bond paper

Dull finish

A semi-gloss finish on paper that is less glossy than gloss and more than matte paper.


The preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product, also called a comp.


A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one color photo.

Duplex Paper

Thick paper made by pasting highlights together two thinner sheets, usually of different colors. Also called double-faced paper and two-tone paper


Offset press made for quick printing

Dye sublimation

A photographic looking color print created by heating dyes on a substrate instead of using inks. Often used for proofing.


Brand name for photographic paper used to make blue line proofs. Often used as alternate term for blueline