Glossary of Design Terms

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rag paper

Papers containing a minimum of 24% cotton or linen fiber (referred to as rag because recycled or new rags are used to make the fibers). These papers are generally made up in the following grades: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. American paper money is printed on 100% rag paper made up of 80% cotton and 20% linen fibers.

ragged left

Also called flush right, ragged left. Refers to type that is set with even word spacing, resulting in lines of varying length, all aligned to the right edge, resulting in the left edge appearing ragged. Because it is not used frequently, this arrangement may create an interesting layout, particularly for short copy. And, as with ragged right, you have the advantage of maintaining even word spacing. However, although visually interesting, this setting is more demanding of the reader. Since we are accustomed to reading from left to right, a ragged left edge increases reading difficulty, obliging the reader to pause a moment to search for the beginning of each line. Use this style only if the copy is very short, such as for captions; otherwise, the reader may lose interest.

ragged right

Also called flush left, ragged right. When type is set with even word spacing (and letter spacing), the lines will vary in length. If the lines of type are aligned on the left, the edges on the right will appear ragged—thus, ragged right. Conversely, if the lines of type are aligned to the right, the edges on the left will appear ragged—ragged left. Most poetry and typewritten copy appear this way. Because of the equal word spacing, the type has an even texture and is easy to read. The risk of white rivers flowing down the page is eliminated. This is especially appealing when the type is to be set in narrow columns. Moreover, since the lines can run either short or long, hyphenating words may not be necessary. The reader has no difficulty locating the beginning of a new line, because the lines are aligned at the left. The ragged edge on the right also adds visual interest to the page. The disadvantage with ragged right typesetting is that, unless the type is set well, the ragged edge can become a disturbing factor in the design. It is important that the ragged edge create a pleasing silhouette, convex rather than concave, and no two lines the same length. Compare to justified.

RAID

Abbreviation for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. A collection of hard drives (disks) that function as one system. They are often used for backing up data as well as processing vast amounts of data.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

The working space made available by the computer, into which some or all of an application’s code is loaded and remembered while you work with it. However, an item is memorized in RAM only for as long as your computer is switched on, or until you save it to the disk (hard drive). The amount of memory is important, since not only do some graphic programs require substantial memory to operate, some specific tasks may demand even more.

recto

This refers to the right page of an open book, magazine or other publication. Page 1 (and all subsequent odd numbered pages) are on a recto. Recto comes from Latin recto folio, meaning on the right leaf. Compare to verso.

relative colorimetric

This is a rendering intent which compares the extreme highlight of the source color space to that of the destination color space and shifts all colors accordingly. Out-of-gamut colors are shifted to the closest reproducible color in the destination color space. Relative colorimetric preserves more of the original colors in an image than perceptual.

rendering intent

A rendering intent determines how a color management system handles color conversion from one color space to another. Different rendering intents use different rules to determine how the source colors are adjusted; for example, colors that fall inside the destination gamut may remain unchanged, or they may be adjusted to preserve the original range of visual relationships when translated to a smaller destination gamut. The result of choosing a rendering intent depends on the graphical content of documents and on the profiles used to specify color spaces. Photoshop offers four rendering intents: perceptual, saturation, relative colorimetric and absolute colorimetric.

resolution

The degree of quality, definition or clarity with which an image is reproduced or displayed. As the number of pixels that make up an image is directly proportional to its detail and clarity, resolution is often used to indicate the PPI or pixel count of a file. For example: “What is the resolution of this document?” Meaning, what is the PPI of the document.

reversed type

Type that is set against a black or colored background, commonly used on advertisements or billboards, where there are only a few words. Because people are accustomed to reading black text on a white background and because white type on a black background has a tendency to sparkle, it is more difficult to read reserved type.

RGB

This refers to Red, Green and Blue, which are the Additive Primaries. They are the three colors of light that produce all the colors in the visible spectrum when added together in different combinations. Adding equal parts of red, blue, and green light produces white. The complete absence of red, blue, and green light results in black. This is how the human eye perceives color and is how computer monitors and TV screens present color.

Roman

1. Denoting the alphabet (or any of the letters in it) used for writing Latin, English, and most European languages, developed in ancient Rome.
2. Letterforms offa plain upright kind used in ordinary print, especially as distinguished from italic. Also, more specifically, letterforms with serifs derived from Roman stone-cut letterforms. Fonts also use this designation to distinguish from other variations such as bold or light.

roughie

A coined term meaning a rough design where final art has not been done but the basic elements are there, allowing one to see the composition, coloring, titling, etc., and thus see that the idea will work without spending the time to do the final artwork or layout.

RTF

Abbreviation for Rich Text Format. A format for transferring formatted text documents. It is an intermediate format between plain text and sophisticated word processing formats. All paragraph and character style attributes are retained in a Rich Text Format file.

running head

A book title, chapter head or author name that appears at the top of every page in a book.

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