Deckle Edge

Edge of paper left ragged as it comes from the papermaking machine instead of being cleanly cut. Also called feather edge. 


Instrument used to measure density. Reflection densitometers measure light reflected from paper and other surfaces; transmission densitometers measure light transmitted through film and other materials. 


(1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding color, the relative ability of a color to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibers. 

Density Range

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

Desktop Publishing

Technique of using a personal computer to design images and pages, and assemble type and graphics, then using a laser printer or imagesetter to output the assembled pages onto paper, film or printing plate. Abbreviated DTP. 

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. 

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. 

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 image twice so it has two layers of ink. 

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. 


Duotone is a halftone reproduction of an image using the superimposition of one contrasting colour halftone (traditionally black) over another color halftone. This is most often used to bring out middle tones and highlights of an image. The most commonly implemented colours are blue, yellow, brown, and red. Due to recent advances in technology, duotones, tritones, and quadtones can be easily created using image manipulation programs.


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. 


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

Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matte. Also called suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish. 


Simulation of the final product. Also called mockup. 


Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasize different tonal values in the original. 

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. 

Dust jacket, dust cover

The dust jacket (sometimes book jacket, dust wrapper or dust cover) of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers. Often the back panel or flaps are printed with biographical information about the author, a summary of the book from the publisher (known as a blurb), and/or critical praise from celebrities or authorities in the book's subject area. In addition to its promotional role, the dust jacket protects the book covers from damage. However, since it is itself relatively fragile, and since dust jackets have practical, aesthetic, and sometimes financial value, the jacket may in turn be wrapped in another jacket, usually transparent, especially if the book is a library volume.