Glossary of Terms

Like any industry, ours uses a variety of terms. If you want to find out what they mean, you are in the right place! Simply click on a letter to see its list of terms. If the term you are looking for isn't listed in our glossary feel free to contact us so that we may help you as well as add it to our list.

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Rag Paper

Papers with a complete or partial content of cotton fibers.

Ragged Left

The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.
See Also: Flush Right, Right Justification

Ragged Right

The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.
See Also: Flush Left, Left Justification

Railroad Board

A thick, coated paper used for signs; usually waterproof.


See: Raster Graphics

Raster Graphics

A raster graphics image, digital image, or bitmap, is a data file or structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels or points of color on a computer monitor, paper or other display device. The color of each pixel is individually defined; images in the RGB color space, for instance, often consist of colored pixels defined by three bytes, one byte each for red, green and blue. Less colorful images require less information per pixel; an image with only black and white pixels requires only a single bit for each pixel. Raster graphics are distinguished from vector graphics in that vector graphics represent an image through the use of geometric objects such as curves and polygons.
A colored raster image (or pixmap) will usually have pixels with between one and eight bits for each of the red, green, blue components, though other color encodings are also used, such as four- or eight-bit indexed representations that use vector quantization on the (R, G, B) vectors. The green component sometimes has more bits than the other two to allow for the human eye's greater discrimination in this component.
The quality of a raster image is determined by the total number of pixels (resolution), and the amount of information in each pixel (often called color depth). For example, an image that stores 24 bits of color information per pixel (the standard for all displays since around 1995) can represent smoother degrees of shading than one that only stores 16 bits per pixel, but not as smooth as one that stores 48 bits (technically; this would not be decipherable by the human eye). Likewise, an image sampled at 640 x 480 pixels (therefore containing 307,200 pixels) will look rough and blocky compared to one sampled at 1280 x 1024 (1,310,720 pixels).
Raster graphics cannot be scaled to a higher resolution without loss of apparent quality. This is in contrast to vector graphics, which easily scale to the quality of the device on which they are rendered. Raster graphics are more practical than vector graphics for photographs and photo-realistic images, while vector graphics are often more practical for typesetting or graphic design. Early 21st century computer monitors typically display about 72 to 130 pixels per inch (PPI), and some modern consumer printers can resolve 2400 dots per inch (DPI) or more; determining the most appropriate image resolution for a given printer resolution can be difficult, since printed output may have a greater level of detail than can be discerned on a monitor.
In the printing and prepress industries raster graphics are known as contones (from "continuous tones") whereas vector graphics are known as line work.

Raster Image Processor

The Raster Image Processor (RIP) prepares input files for digital output. RIP refers to a physical machine, usually a computer with specialized software. The RIP converts vector image files such as PostScript and bitmap files into a single cohesive file that is defined by a binary dot pattern. This pattern is an extremely high resolution bitmap ready to output to film, plates or other printing media.
After undergoing the RIPing process, a single 150 line screen dot used on a printing plate may be made up of several hundred smaller dots. RIPing occurs in most high resolution output processes from inkjets to digital and offset presses.
Abbreviation: RIP
See Also: Bitmap, PostScript, Raster Graphics, Vectors, Vector Graphics

Raw Y Cb Cr and Alpha Sample File

The .ycbcra file extension is used for RAW image files that contain Y, Cb, Cr, and alpha samples. Generally, a specialized digital photo editing software is needed to process a RAW photo image and create a viewable picture format like a .jpg. The same programs that process digital RAW files can export them to typical photo formats like a .jpg, e.g. Adobe Photoshop.

Readers Pair

Two consecutive pages as they appear in a printed piece.

Readers Spread

Two consecutive pages as they appear in a printed piece.

Really Simple Syndication

RSS Feeds are frequently updated content such as blogs, podcasts, and news headlines. The benefit of RSS is the ability for people to aggregate feeds from multiple web sources into one place. They also allow an individual to subscribe or unsubscribe from a feed without the hassle usually associated with traditional email newsletter subscriptions.
Abbreviation: RSS


500 sheets of paper.


1. An open book's right page. See also verso. 2. The odd numbered pages (right hand side) of books.


Red is an additive primary color, complementary to cyan. It was once considered to be a subtractive primary color, and is still sometimes described as such in non-scientific literature; however, the colors cyan, magenta and yellow are now known to be closer to the true subtractive primary colors detected by the eye, and are used in modern color printing. Red is a color at the lowest frequencies of light discernible by the human eye. Red light has a wavelength range of roughly 630-760 nm. Lower frequencies are called infrared, or far red.
See Also: Additive Color Process, Primary Colors, RGB Color Model

Red Lake 'C'

A common pigment for paste and liquid red inks.


Any substance that softens and reduces the tack of ink.


The master roll of paper as it comes off the papermaking machine. It is in its original width and is then cut into smaller rolls.


The arrangement of two or more images in exact alignment with each other.

Register Marks

Any crossmarks or other symbols used on layout to assure proper registration.


The exact positioning of images with reference to each other or to margins, folds, etc., using precision visual reference lines (register marks) on the copy but outside the trimmed area or by a mechanical system using pins and dies.

Registration Marks

Other Term: register marks.

Relief Offset

Relief Plate

A printing plate where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. See also: flexography; letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.

Relief Printing

A method of printing where the areas to be inked are higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then placed in contact with the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the substrate. See also: flexography; letterpress; relief plate; relief printing.


Rendering (computer graphics) is the process of producing the pixels of an image from a higher-level description of its components.


Creating an exact duplicate of an original using a photographic method.


See knockout.

RGB Color Model

The RGB color model utilizes the additive color process in which red, green and blue light are combined in various ways to create other colors. The very idea for the model itself and the abbreviation "RGB" come from the three primary colors. Note that the RGB color model itself does not define what exactly is meant by "red", "green" and "blue", so that the same RGB values can describe noticeably different colors on different devices employing this color model. While they share a common color model, their actual color spaces can vary considerably.
See Also: Additive Primary Colors, Primary Colors

Right Angle Fold

A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

Right Justification

In languages that read text right-to-left, such as Arabic and Hebrew, text is commonly right-justified. Additionally, right justification is used to set off special text in English, such as attributions to authors of quotes printed in books and magazines, and is often used when formatting tables of data.
See Also: Flush Right, Justification, Ragged Left

Roll To Roll

A web press printing process where the roll of paper is printed and stored on a roll to be shipped.

Rub Proof

That stage of printed ink where the maximum dryness is achieved, and the ink will not smudge.

Rub Resistance

A material's ability to resist deterioration or destruction by rubbing.
Alternative term: Abrasion Resistance


A pigment somewhat redder than true magenta.

Ruby Character

Ruby characters are small, annotative characters placed above or to the side of a Chinese character when writing logographic languages. Typically called just ruby or rubi, such annotations are usually used as a pronunciation guide for relatively obscure characters. It is called an agate in the United States.
See Also: Agate Line


A term used to describe how well a paper runs on a printing press.


A term given to copy that accommodates the lines of a picture or other image or copy.

Running Head

A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.

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