TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
A type of scanner used to capture the highest resolution from an image. Photographs and transparencies are taped, clamped or fitted into a clear cylinder (drum) that is spun at speeds exceeding 1,000 RPM during the scanning operation. A light source that focuses on one pixel is beamed onto the drum and moves down the drum a line at a time. Drum scanners can produce resolutions exceeding 10,000 dpi.
A giclee (zhee-CLAY) is a high-resolution reproduction done on a special large format printer. Giclees are produced from digital scans of artwork.
Giclees can be printed on any number of media, from canvas to watercolor paper to vinyl, to transparent acetates. Giclees are superior to traditional lithography in nearly every way. The colors are brighter, archival pigment and high-resolution. The range, or "gamut" of color for giclees is far beyond that of lithography, and details are crisper. Since giclee printers can use media in rolls, large print sizes are available, limited only by the length and width of the roll.
An imagesetter is a high resolution output device that can transfer electronic text and graphics directly to film, plates, or photo-sensitive paper. An imagesetter uses a laser and a dedicated raster image processor (RIP) and is usually PostScript-compatible to create the film used in computer-based reproduction work. Unlike the resolution on a home printer, which is probably between 300 - 600 dots per inch (dpi), the resolution on a typical imagesetter is 1270 or 2540 dpi with a maximum dpi of 4000.
A laminate is a material that can be constructed by uniting two or more layers of material together. The process of creating a laminate is lamination, which in common parlance refers to the placing of something between layers of plastic and gluing them with heat and/or pressure, usually with an adhesive.
A class of ink created by adding very finely ground colorants (derived from solid colored material) to a liquid solution. The colorants are insoluble - i.e. they don't dissolve in some solution to produce color the way dye ink does. The color of pigment ink is produced by the many tiny colored particles adhering to the top of the paper. The molecules of these pigments are relatively large, making it more difficult for them to break down. The result of this is that pigment ink tends to have superior fade and water resistance compared to dye ink.
Also known as silk-screening. In this process ink is forced through a screen following a stencil pattern. Each color of ink requires a separate stencil. It is used for such things as ring binders, t-shirts, bumper stickers, billboards, and floor tiles.
The main ingredient of solvent inks are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), organic chemical compounds that have high vapor pressures. Color is achieved using pigments rather than dyes for excellent fade-resistance. The chief advantage of solvent inks is the ability to print directly on flexible materials such as uncoated vinyl substrates, which can be used to produce vehicle graphics, billboards, banners and adhesive decals. Solvent inks produce vivid color which can withstand harsh outdoor elements such a sun and rain.
WIDE FORMAT PRINTING
A printer that prints on large paper, which can range from two to more than 15 feet in width. Such printers typically use inkjet technology to print on a variety of output, including premium glossy-coated paper, scrim vinyl, adhesive backed vinyl etc., for banners, signs, posters bumper stickers, etc.