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The Heidelberg website glossary explains, in alphabetical order, a multitude of terms relevant to printing, as well as some terms used in Heidelberg's product catalogue.

Simply click on the letter of your choice to access the information you need.

I code
A label technology sold by Philips for the identification of objects using transponders that respond to radio waves. These transponders are less than 0.5 millimeters thick, can be applied in stickers measuring up to 2 by 2 centimeters, can store up to 512 bits of data, and use the scanner’s radio waves to obtain the energy they need to function.
ICC (International Color Consortium)
An association of manufacturers of prepress products dedicated to promoting color management or device-independent color processing. Fogra oversees the organization.
IDE Alliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance)
Founded in 1966 as the Graphic Communications Association (GCA), this non-profit organization promotes the development of IT standards in the publishing industry and currently has over 300 members.
Ifra
An international association based in Darmstadt with over 3000 members from the publishing industry, the primary objective of which is to promote the exchange of technical information and experience. Ifra coordinates research projects, workgroups, symposia and seminars. The Ifra Expo exhibition devoted to newspaper production is held in October each year.
Illustration printing paper (magazine paper)
Paper made from chemical pulp and, in some cases, a minimal amount of wood pulp. This is a coated stock that is often calendered. It offers opacity similar to that of wood pulp paper, features excellent non-aging properties and does not yellow.
Illustrator
A graphic design and drawing program designed and manufactured by Adobe.
Image area (layout area)
Refers to the area of a page to be filled with text and/or images. The image area is determined according to aesthetic criteria and the nature of the printed material. The layout of an image area is part of the field of macrotypography.
Image Control
A component of the Prinect workflow concept designed by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, which is the world's only quality assurance system in the print process that measures complete print sheets using spectrophotometric technology. After comparing the results with the values of the OK sheet, the color deviations that have been identified are fed online to the press in order to adjust the ink zone settings. This method processes a thousand times more information than is possible using print control strips.
Image cut out
An image with the background removed.
Image processing software
Software for editing the content of images that are digitally encoded, that is created using graphics software or read by a scanner). A distinction is made between the processing or editing of layout features (size, location, etc.) and of intrinsic features (color scheme, gray levels, etc.). Back to top


Imposition form
The layout sheet comprising all pages on the press sheet. The number of pages on the individual imposition forms varies according to the total number of pages of the printed product.
Imposition proof (layout proof)
Proof used to review the content and completeness of the various elements of a printing copy. In contrast to a blueprint, this proof is in color, although the colors are not binding. Large-format inkjet printers are mainly used for printing imposition proofs of this kind.
Imposition sheet
Determines the position of the pages on the printed sheet.
Imprimatur
The official approval by the client that printing of the product can begin. The phrases "good to print" or "ready for press" are also used.
Imprint
The information required by law regarding the publisher and printer of printed products or Internet publications. As a rule, the imprint also contains additional details, such as the name of the editor, the editorial address and a copyright notice.
Incubator
The term used to describe various methods of support for new companies to enable them to establish themselves in the marketplace. Professionals providing these services are usually paid in the form of shares in the new company.
Incunabulum (plural form: incunabula)
Term derived from Latin for works made using a movable letter technique prior to the 16th century. It is estimated that between 27,000 and 40,000 works were produced with this method in the 15th century. Incunabula usually have no title page, and there is often no reference to the printer, or year. Since it is assumed that early printers also produced their own type, the origin of incunabula can be determined by comparing the type used.
InDesign
Software package from Adobe for computer layout and typesetting comparable to QuarkXPress.
Initial
A letter placed at the beginning of a text, which appears larger and/or in a different font. In old handwritten material, initials are characterized by special colors and decorative elements. The first initial can be found in Greek and Copt scripts from the fourth century.
Ink acceptance
The amount of printing ink absorbed by the paper during printing. It may have an effect on the print quality and must be taken into consideration during preparations for the print run. Back to top


Ink density
A value measured by densitometers at the point in the spectral range where the ink is primarily absorbed. It is the reflection factor of a sample expressed as a logarithm, and directly related to the film thickness of the ink. See "densitometry".
Inkfountain
The device in a printing machine that supplies the block with the printing ink.
Inkjet printing
A printing process in which minute drops of ink are applied to the surface to be printed by means of a jet that operates with piezoelectric or thermal technology. Color inkjet printers now work with up to six colors and well over a hundred individual jets. Nowadays, depending on the process, they are capable of achieving the same results as high-quality four-color printing.
Inkjet paper
A surface-finished grade of paper designed to quickly absorb the tiny droplets of ink that an inkjet printer sprays in quick succession. It includes properties that prevent ink from running or smearing – brown-colored paper (also called sulfate paper) consisting at least 90% of virgin, generally unbleached sulfate pulp and known for its outstanding strength and durability.
Inline processing
The term used for print processes that take place directly on the press or the modules required for that particular stage of production. Inline processing can include coating, folding, stitching or quality control.
Intaglio process
Print process that involves the use of plates into which the print motif is engraved in the form of lines and dots and generally used for high-quality publications, securities and banknotes. It allows ink to be applied in thicknesses of up to 0.1 mm, so that the print can be felt in relief form, which in banknotes can help protect against counterfeiting.
Intaglio rainbow printing
A kind of artistic engraving; a general term for the drawing techniques that result in gravure plates: copperplate engraving, steel-plate engraving, engraving, etc. Rainbow or iris printing – a form of multicolor printing from a single printing plate that is inked in different colors in different areas for this purpose – originates from art printing, where it was developed and applied in conjunction with intaglio techniques.
Integrated publishing
The digital linking of all production stages in the print process, including electronic job input, prepress, press, postpress and preparation for dispatch. The International Cooperation for Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4), with over 100 member companies, strives to promote the integration of such computer-assisted processes within the graphic arts industry.
Integration
Refers to the free flow of data from one corporate division to another without having to pass through time-consuming and trouble-prone interfaces. Integration also permits companies to keep the same data available from various locations.
Interface
Noun: the connection between two applications or hardware devices, which facilitates data exchange. An interface can include hardware, software and can take place using similar or different categories of data. Verb: to make an appropriate physical connection between two pieces of hardware so that the equipment can communicate or work together effectively. This can be the plug or cable that links the PC to the modem, or software that connects text with tables, or even the keyboard, which acts as an interface between computer and user. Back to top


Intermediate cut
A stage in the postpress process, in which the signatures are divided into parts and a strip of material is cut out. This step is necessary with bled-off printed areas or images.
Internal drum exposure
A process by which the media to be exposed is drawn completely into a drum and fixed by a vacuum. The format is defined by the size of the drum and the writing head on the exposing laser which is centered on a spindle located in the drum. This laser exposes by constantly rotating and traversing the film or plate line by line.
Interpreter
A device usually referred to as an RIP that converts page description into a raster or vector output format. Other functions include assisting in printer to computer communications and driver and print management functions. The interpreter enables all input and output functions that are necessary for output on the printer.
Interpolation
A mathematical process to determine intermediate values within regularly structured series of numbers. Various methods are used for this purpose, depending on the nature of the series. In image editing, pixels can be “interpolated” in order to increase the resolution beyond the physical capacity of an input device.
IQ paper
A kind of sticker used to identify products and manufactured by X-ident GmbH of Düren. The labels are made of paper or plastic foil and, depending on the type, contain a transponder from the Philips’ I-code series or the Tag-It series from Texas Instruments. The size of the labels varies from between 5.5 by 10.5 centimeters to 10 by 15 centimeters. The stickers are available on rolls and can be printed using a special printer, which can also apply data for their application.
Iron gallnut ink
A very stable ink made from gallnut acid (also called tannin) and known since antiquity. Its name comes from the oak apple, which served as a source of tannin, and was used up until the dawn of chemical pigments in the recent past for all kinds of printed materials.
Irrational screening
Method of generating the optimum angles of screens for 4-color printing.
Irrational screening noise
Refers to randomly arranged, incorrectly read pixel values that usually result from electrical interference or device instability.
ISBN
An international , ten-digit standard numerical code for books that indicates language, publisher, internal publishing title number as well as a check digit. The ISBN system was launched in England in the mid Sixties. It was adopted in Germany in 1969.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A method for the uniform digital transmission of voice and data in local telephone networks, supplying users with more functions than a conventional, analog connection offers. In Europe, a normal ISDN connection has two data channels with a transmission capacity of 64 kbit/s each and a control channel with 16 kbit/s. If required, more channels can be connected and also bundled to obtain higher transmission capacities.
ISO (International Standardization Organization)
Organization headquartered in Geneva responsible for developing and synthesizing standards in all areas of technology except electronics. Germany is represented by the Deutsches Institut für Normung. Back to top


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