Type and typographic imaging Printing is the reproduction in quantity of words and pictures on page or document. Prepress is the first category of operations to accomplish the reproductions by printing, which is followed by press and postpress. Prepress is the series of operations involved in the preparation and assembly of all copy elements ready for printing on a printing press or digital printer.
Type Fundamentals Typefaces are usually available in 6 to 72 point, with a complete font in each size. Capital letters are called uppercase and small letters, lower case. In lower case letters, the upper stroke is called ascender, and the downward stroke is known as descender.
Type Families Some types have many variations, and these various styles are said to be in the same family. Examples of these variations in a type style are: light face, medium, bold, extra bold, expanded and condensed, with italic versions of each in most cases.
Printers’ Measurements The point and the pica are two units of measure universally used in printing in most English-speaking countries. Their use is primarily in typesetting. Type size is measured in points. Line length measure is in picas and points. The point measures 0,376 mm or approximately 1/72 of an inch. Points are always used to specify the size of type. The pica is used for linear measurements of type. There are 12 points to 1 pica, and approximately 6 picas to 1 inch. The em is also important in typesetting although not a part of the point system. It is the square of the type size and is used for measuring the quantity of type.
Digital typesetting Since the early 1980’s printing and publishing technology has been evolving digital methods of production. The bit becomes the building block of digital imaging . Scanners analyze images spot by spot to record the absence or presence of data. Most digital imaging devices use a laser. In the printing world, pictures are reproduce on printing presses as patterns of halftone dots.
An important factor concerns the reproduction of photographs and the relationship between spots per inch and halftone dots, or line screen. To create a halftone dot, that is, a specific level of gray as perceived by the human eyes, a matrix of about 10x10 of the printout unit’s spots is used.
Rasterization and imagesetters The monotype lasercomp in 1978 and the Linotype Linotronic in 1980 used lasers to output grids or raster images of type on film for printing. Because they could produce images as well as type, they were called imagesetters rather then typesetters.
Digital type All output devices today are raster based. This means that they create type and images as patterns of spots and dots on paper, film, plate and other substrates. Personal Computers Usually consisting of a keyboard, a video screen and a floppy disk, personal computers, also called workstations, have become the Model Ts of the electronics word. Easy-to-change software programs allow each unit to perform word processing, accounting and other functions for business or personal use.
Telecommunications Information stored in most electronic text systems may be communicated over telephone lines. Modems convert signals from these systems into telephone signals and then re-convert them at the other end.
Interfacing The linking of different devices is called interfacing. It may be accomplished by reading a recorder medium, accepting telecommunications, or simply connecting the units by cable. Mnemonic
Mnemonic means memory oriented. For example you can remember the colors of the spectrum with the name ROY G BIV for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Many typesetting commands are mnemonic in nature.
WYSIWYG This acronym for What You See Is What You Get refers to the images seen on the screen of a monitor. High-resolution monitors are over 72 dpi. Measured diagonally, a 19” monitor has an image of about 11”x14”. The goal has been to make the screen image look as close to the final printed image as possible.
Most video displays are now flat panel screens using LEDs or plasma technology. CRTs are being slowly phased out. Copy and art preparations Just as digital imaging has changed the mechanics of typesetting, copy and art preparations have been affected similarly. At one time, manuscripts were created on typewriters which then needed to be converted to type prior to typesetting and reproduction.
Imaging for graphic art Imaging is the most important step in the hierarchy of prepress operations. Since 1850, photography has been the principal imaging system for photomechanical platemaking. Principles of Light and Color