H – Glossary of Print and Design Terms

Welcome to our comprehensive glossary of print and design terms. We are continually seeking to grow and improve this glossary, so if you spot any definition you do not agree with, a term that is missing, or have any comments in general, please email our reference team.

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Hairline Register Printing registration that lies within the range of plus or minus one half row of dots. It is the thinnest of the standard printers’ rules
Hairline Rule The finest weight of rule used in page layout. The use of Hairline is not recommended. A hairline will reproduce at the finest possible resolution of which the output device is capable. In the case of a desktop 600 dpi printer the rule will print as a fine rule
Half-Scale Black Black separation made to have dots only in the shadows and midtones, as compared to full-scale black and skeleton black
Halftone 1. The reproduction of continuous-tone-images, through a screening process, which converts the image into dots of various sizes and equal spacing between centers or dots of equal size with variable spacing between them.2. A photograph or continuous-tone illustration that has been halftoned and appears on film, paper, printing plate or the final printed product
Halftone Paper A high finish paper that is ideal for halftone printing
Halftone Screen A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing
Halo Effect Faint shadow sometimes surrounding halftone dots printed. Also called halation. The halo itself is also called a fringe
Hand Scanner A hand held, generally low quality, device for digitising images
Hard Dot The effect in a photograph where a dot has such a small degree of halation that the dot shows quite sharp
Hard-Sized Relative term used to indicate the maximum size of paper
HCI Human Computer Interface
Head Margin That space which lies between the top of the printed copy and the trimmed edge
Head(er) 1. The margin at the top of the page.2. The main text title of a publication, usually on the title page
Head-to-Head Imposition with heads (tops) of pages facing heads (tops) of other pages
Head-to-Tail Imposition with heads (tops) of pages facing tails (bottoms) of other pages
Heat-Set Web Web press equipped with an oven to dry ink, thus able to print coated paper. Hexachrome A six-colour printing process. The colours used are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Orange and Green. Digital Presses may use Purple instead of Green
Hickey A term used to describe the effect that occurs when a spec of dust or debris (dried ink) adheres to the printing plate and creates a spot or imperfection in the printing. Also called bulls eye and fish eye
High Bulk Paper Paper stock that is comparatively thick in relation to its basis weight
High Key Halftone A halftone that is made utilizing only the highlight tones down through the middle tones
High-Fidelity Colour Colour reproduced using six, eight or twelve separations, as compared to four-colour process
High-Key Image (Photograph) Photo whose most important details appear in the highlights
Highlights The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots
Hinged Cover Perfect bound cover scored 1/8 inch (3mm) from the spine so it folds at the hinge instead of along the edge of the spine
HLS Abbreviation for hue, lightness, saturation, one of the control-control options often found in software, for design and page assembly. Also called HVS
Hollow That space on the spine of a case-bound book between the block of the book and the case binding
Hopper Alternate name for the box on a finishing machine where folded sections are loaded in order they can be bound into a publication
Hot Melt An adhesive used in the binding process, which requires heat for application
Hot Spot Printing defect caused when a piece of dirt or an air bubble caused incomplete draw-down during contact platemaking, leaving an area of weak ink coverage or visible dot gain
House Sheet This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in his shop
HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language) A method of tagging text in order it can be presented on the internet
Hue Hue is the wavelength of light reflected or transmitted from an object. However, hue is more commonly known as the actual colour, such as red, yellow, or blue