The dispersal and decreased transmission of visible
light in its interaction with matter, resulting in the change
of its color.
The nature of objects as visual attributes, such as size, shape,
color, texture, glossiness, transparency and opacity.
Colors are often described by their attributes
of hue, saturation or chroma, and lightness.
Distinct pattern alterations, rather than a smooth transition
of colors or other effects in a gradient. Occurs in continuous
tone images when displayed using less than 24 bits of digital
information or if printing gradients without sufficient color
The absence of reflected light; the color that is produced when
an object absorbs all wavelengths from the light source.
When 100% of cyan, magenta and yellow are combined, the resultant
color should be black, but in reality produces a muddy gray
or brown. Therefore in four-color process printing, black is
one of the process inks.
The letter "K" is used to represent black in the CMYK acronym
to differentiate it from "B" for blue in RGB.
The measurement of the reflective quality of a medium. Different
brightness levels can cause changes in the appearance of color
on the medium requiring adjustments in calibration to achieve
Checking, adjusting and systematically standardizing the graduations
of a device.
In visual perception, when an area appears saturated with a
particular color or hue. For example, a red apple is high in
chroma; pastel colors are low. Black, white and gray have no
chroma. Part of the color model, L*C*H or lightness, chroma,
hue. Also referred to as saturation.
Commission International de l'Eclairage or the International
Commission on Illumination, which is the main world institution
concerned with color and color measurement.
The subtractive primaries cyan, magenta and yellow.
Coordination of the color matching between two or more digital
devices by means by hardware or software.
Visual mechanism in photo and graphics software to display color
measurements and make tonal changes in an image.
Photographic or electronic process for creating patterns of
plates for each component of a color space. In printing, for
example, separating the cyan, magenta, yellow and black components
of a page image.
An arrangement of the visible spectrum's continuum of colors
in a circle fashion, that has complementary colors, such as
red and green, located opposite from each other.
Materials used to create colors, such as dyes, pigments, toners
Device that measures color values in relation to a specific
set of standards, such as CIE. Enables measurement of differences
in colors more precisely than the human eye.
The "redless" process color. It absorbs all red wavelengths
and reflects all blue and green wavelengths of light.
Unit of measurement of the perceivable difference in a color
by the human eye.
Device used to measure the density of light by means of its
absorption by a substrate or surface of paper or film. This
is achieved either by reflection or transmission.
The ability of a material to absorb light. The
darker the material, the higher the density.
Printing device that translates digital data into hard copy
A process that simulates shades of gray or color variations
by differing sizes and shapes of pixel groups instead of an
ordered array of halftone dots. This reduces the contrast between
dots of different colors or shades and yields a more flowing,
The effect that is described when individual dots in a halftone
screen or other such patterns print out larger than their intended
size, resulting in a darkening of the image.
per Inch (DPI)
Measurement that describes the resolution of image files by
measuring the number of separate pixels represented either horizontally
or vertically in one square inch.
Colored chemical that dissolves completely in water or other
solvent; as opposed to pigments, which are insoluble.
Color printing technology that produces images by means of gaseous
dyes through a thermal printing driver.
Enhanced Gamut Color
When precisely diluted process colors, usually cyan and magenta,
are used with CMYK to create more vibrant colors and a continuous-tone
When additional colors, usually green and orange, are printed
with CMYK to match a greater number of colors than produced
by CMYK alone.
A glass tube filled with mercury gas and whose inside surface
is coated with phosphors. Once the gas is charged with electrical
current, radiation is produced which then energizes the phosphors
and causes them to glow.
Printing or other imaging with combinations of the subtractive
primaries of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These are deposited
as dots of different sizes, shapes and angles to create the
illusion of different colors.
The range of colors that can be interpreted by a color model
or generated by a specific device.
Also known as tonal-range compression. The coordinates of a
color space with a larger gamut are reduced to comply with the
smaller gamut of a destination color space. For example, the
gamut of photographic film is compressed for representation
in the smaller CMYK gamut in four-color process printing.
The transition between two colors or between black and no color
which is created by mixing percentages of the dominant and secondary
color and then alternating them to produce the desired effect.
The process of reproducing an image as a series of variable-sized
dots within a fixed grid.
Color-matching system from Pantone, Inc. that is used with hi-fi
color systems and devices.
Printing process that extends the tonal capabilities of most
printing presses by employing stochastic screening, six-color
printing and other techniques to expand the possible color gamut
beyond the traditional abilities of four-color processes.
The basic color of an object as defined by its angular position
in a cylindrical color space, or on a Color Wheel
Printing process where liquid ink is propelled at a substrate,
such as paper or film, to form characters and graphics. There
are three kinds of inkjet printing: thermal, piezoelectric and
Saturation, or reflective light, in relation to visible wavelengths
of light. The reflectance of wavelengths at high intensity generates
high saturation or chroma.
Electromagnetic radiation in the spectral range that is detectable
by the human eye (approximately 380 to 720 nm).
Magenta/Light Cyan (LM-LC)
Muted or diluted forms of the two primary colors. When added
to CMYK these shades produce more variety in dot color and natural
continuous tone printing.
The attribute that makes an area emit or reflect
more or less light. Also refers to the perception by which white
objects are distinguished from gray, and light from dark objects.
Describes the brightness of an image.
The "greenless" process color. It absorbs all wavelengths of
green from light, while reflecting all red and blue wavelengths.
The measurement of wavelengths. Unit of length equal to 109
meters, or one millionth of a millimeter.
Describes the resistance of light passing through a substrate.
Unique numbering system for identifying colors created by combinations
of standard SWOP inks.
A value that expresses the degree of acidity or basicity of
Inkjet printing process employing the melting of solid ink plugs
and then spraying the droplets on media.
Inkjet printing process that uses electric pulses from
piezoelectric crystals to stimulate and force ink through
inkjet nozzles onto substrates.
Colorant that cannot be dissolved in a liquid. In inks, produces
sharper, darker images on a wider range of plain papers.
A tiny picture element that contains red, green and blue information
for color rendering on a monitor or scanner. Pixels on a screen
are similar to dots of ink on paper. Monitor resolution is described
in terms of pixels-per-inch (ppi), while printer resolution
is measured in dots-per-inch (dpi).
per Inch (PPI)
The number of pixels in a rastar image that occur in one line
along one inch. The greater the pixels, the higher the resolution.
Colors that are the bases for other colors. In light, the primary
colors are red, green and blue (RGB). In color photographic
printing, they are cyan, magenta and yellow (CMY). Black or
key (K) is added as a fourth ink to CMY printing to produce
denser, truer blacks and clearer, sharper images.
Term for a variety of short-run publishing processes that include
copier technologies and direct-to-press applications.
Triangular-shaped glass or other transparent material through
which, when light is passed, its wavelengths refract into a
rainbow of colors. A demonstration that light is composed of
colors and indication of the arrangement of colors in the visible
Cyan, magenta, yellow and black combined to create a new color.
Raster Image Processor (RIP)
Software and/or hardware used to convert digital printing to
information needed by a printer or other device to produce finished
output. This action is commonly called "ripping" (a file).
The ability of a surface to bounce back some or all of the wavelengths
of light that strikes it.
The number of dots or samples-per-inch that a device is capable
of recognizing or producing.
The additive primary colors: red, green and blue.
Color attribute that expresses the degree of departure from
the neutral gray of the same lightness. Also known as chroma.
The order in which inks are deposited by a printing device.
In CMYK inkjets the sequence is yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
A visual representation of a color's spectral data as the color's
"fingerprint". A spectral curve is plotted on a grid comprised
of a vertical axis of the level of reflectance intensity, and
a horizontal axis describing the visible spectrum of wavelengths.
The percentage of reflected light at each interval is plotted
as points on a curve.
The most precise description of the color of an object. Since
an object's color appearance results from light being changed
by it and reflected to the viewer, spectral data describes how
that reflected light was changed. The percentage of reflected
light is measured at several intervals across its spectrum of
wavelengths, which is then visually represented as a spectral
An instrument that measures the characteristics of light that
is either reflected from or transmitted through an object.
The spatial arrangement of electromagnetic energy in accordance
to size of wavelength.
The space where printing data is held in a computer's memory
or hard drive while queuing to a printing device.
for Web Offset Printing (SWOP)
Formulations for inks used in web offset presses.
An established and approved reference against which instrument
measurements are evaluated.
Cyan, magenta and yellow. The theoretical combination of the
three at 100% strength should produce black on white paper.
Their combination at varying intensities produces a gamut of
Combining two primaries at 100% creates either the red, green
or blue additive primary. Cyan+magenta=blue. Cyan+yellow=green.
The forces of cohesion at the surface of a liquid which encourage
the tendency of a liquid to reduce its exposed surface to the
minimum area. Molecules within a liquid are attracted equally
from all sides, but those near the surface experience unequal
attractions and are thus drawn towards the center of the liquid
mass by this net force.
Inkjet printing process where inks are heated in a chamber above
the print head to a temperature greater than their boiling point.
The heat alters and expands the characteristics of the ink,
which is then expelled through the head onto the substrate.
The acceptable difference between the known correct standard
and a set of measured samples. See Delta Error.
The internal resistance to flow exhibited by a fluid.
The region in the electromagnetic spectrum between 380 and 720
nanometers. Wavelengths within this span produce color as viewed
by the human eye. Shorter wavelengths create violets, purples
and blues, while longer wavelengths result in oranges and reds.
Measurement of light as a component of electromagnetic waves.
The wavelength is the peak-to-peak distance between two adjacent
light, and reflects all red and green wavelengths.
Pure yellow is the "blueless" color. It absorbs all wavelengths
of blue from