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Glossary of advertising terminology

Here are some terms you may run across as you prepare a print advertisement:

Ad rep: Advertising representative

Bleed: In magazine advertising, this is when the art runs all the way to the edge of the page.

Blueline: In printing jobs, a photographic proof used to check how images are positioned and to show any problems encountered by the printer.

Body copy: The text portion of an ad, brochure, newsletter or flyer as distinguished from the headline, signature, or other isolated text element.

Body type: The typeface (font) you use for your text.

Camera-ready art: Your ad laid out and pasted up exactly as it will appear in print (also called a mechanical).

Circular advertising: Advertising that's printed out on a sheet of paper and mailed, handed out or stuffed in other printed materials, packages or shopping bags.

Closing date: The last day (or minute) a publication will accept your ad artwork for inclusion in a specific issue.

CMYK: An abbreviation for the colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black used in four-color separations.

Color separation: The process used to produce full-color ads. Color images are broken down into four parts -- cyan, magenta, yellow and black -- and each color is transferred onto a separate printing plate.

Concept: The idea or theme used to guide the advertiser in designing copy and visuals selected for an ad.

Copy: The advertising message, or text, including the headline, deck, subheads and body copy.

Deck: Text placed between the headline and the beginning of the body copy, usually in a type size smaller than the headline but larger than the body type.

Direct response: Advertising that solicits a direct sale or inquiry by announcing an address or a telephone number.

Display ad: Print media advertising that is set apart from the masses of small items in the classified ad section of a publication.

Display type: The large type in a headline, deck, or other attention-getting area.

Double trucks: Magazine ads in which two full-page ads face each other.

Drop-in ads: Newspaper and magazine ads used as fillers; usually just a name, logo, or slogan.

Duotone: The separation of a black-and-white photograph into black and a second color. This effect enriches the look of the photograph.

Fill: See Screen tint.

Flop: To make a mirror image of visuals such as photographs or clip art. Also called flip.

Frequency: The average number of times an audience sees your advertising message over a given period of time.

Gross Rating Point (GRP): Advertising exposures equal to 1 percent of the population of a market.

Gutter: The space formed by the inner page margins in a two-page spread: in other words, where the right margin of a left-hand page joins the left margin of a right-hand page.

Halftone: A reproduction process in which a screen transforms the tones of a photograph into dots of various sizes to prepare the photo for printing.

Hook: A word or phrase that grabs the reader, viewer, or listener's attention.

Insertion order: The set of instructions, including the publication date, ad size and requested placement on the page, that functions as a purchase order when placing an ad in a publication.

Kicker: A short text item that introduces an advertisement, usually set in smaller type and placed above the headline.

Landscape: The shape of an ad whose width is greater than its length (or height). See also Portrait.

Layout: The placement of ad elements --headline, visuals, body copy and signature-- to fit the size of the area the advertiser purchases.

Line art: A drawing or piece of artwork with no halftone screening.

Live action spot: Television advertisement or PSA in which live action provides the visual portion of the message. This can be expensive, so you may wish to opt for slide/announcer spots.

Live copy: A simple script that's ready to be read by a live on-air announcer

Logo: Usually, a small image, consisting of graphics and text, that represents a business. A logo provides a distinctive "signature" and helps to establish recognition of the advertiser's name and product.

Mask: To conform the shape of a photograph or illustration to another shape such as a circle or polygon.

Pantone Matching System (also called PMS): A system for specifying colors by number; used by print services and in color desktop publishing to ensure uniform color matching.

Portrait: Refers to the shape of an ad whose width is greater than its length (or height). The shape of an ad that is longer than it is wide. See also Landscape.

Preferred position: A requested location in a periodical. Most advertising media charge a higher rate for granting preferred positions.

Proof: A sample of a print ad exactly as it will appear in publication.

Rate card: A table listing available ad sizes based on variables such as size, number of times the ad appears, position on the page, and position in the newspaper.

Reach: Number of people exposed to an outdoor message.

Readership: The number of people who read a publication.

RGB: The colors red, green and blue, used by computer monitors to display the full spectrum of color.

Screen tint: In printing, the result of a solid color being broken up (screened) into dots to simulate a lighter color or shadow.

Signature: Your logo and tag line or slogan, usually placed at the bottom of an ad. Sometimes includes your address and phone number.

Slide/announcer spot: Television advertisement or PSA in which an announcer reads the script while 35-mm slides are used for the visual portion of the message. Cheaper to produce than live-action spots.

Slogan: A sentence or phrase used consistently to describe and sell a company's products or philosophy.

Spot color: A color not created by CMYK separations, usually specified by a Pantone swatch number.

Storyboard: A series of sketches or photos of each individual shot in a television piece. It helps the director figure out how the entire piece will flow and what sort of camera angles and staging need to be set up.

Subhead: A secondary-level heading used to organize body text. Sometimes called topic headline.

Twin-color process: A method of separating a four-color photograph into two Pantone colors supported by photo editing programs such as Photoshop.

Visual: A photograph, illustration, piece of clip art, or graph used to attract attention in an advertisement.

Chris Hampton