Page Layout Terminology

I took the time to have a look a the terminology used in the publishing world to describe elements of page layout. I found this useful as I didn’t previously understand the different phrases used for different elements.

Alley – the space between columns within a page, not to be confused with gutter, which is the combination of the inside margin of the two facing pages

Banner – The title of the periodical, which appears on the front cover of the magazine and on the first page of the newsletter. It contains the name of the publication and serial information, date, volume, number.

Bleed – when the image is printed to the very edge of the page

Block Quote – a long quotation – four or more lines – within body text, that is set apart in order to clearly distinguish the author’s words form the words that the author is quoting.

Body/Body Copy – the main text of the work but not including headlines.

Boosts – picture boost pic promoting a feature or story in the later pages.

Strap Boost – as previous, but with a strapline, not a picture.

Byline – a journalist’s name at the beginning of a story.

Callout – An eplanatory leabl for a illustration, often drawn with a leader line pointing to a part of the illustration

Center of visual interest (CVI) – the prominent item on a page usually a headline, picture or graphic.

Column Gutter – The space between columns of type.

Copy – Main text of a story.

Cross Head – a few words used to break up large amounts of text, normally taken from the main text, typically used in interviews.

Cutlines – Explanatory text usually full sentences, that provides information about illustrations. Cutlines are sometimes called captions or legends.

Deck – A headline is made up of decks, each set in the same style and size of type. A multi deck heading is one with severl headings each different from the next and should not be confused with the number of lines a heading has. A four line heading is not the same as a four deck heading.

Drop Cap: A large initial letter at the start of the text that drops into the line or lines of text below.

Feature – a longer, more in-depth article.

Facing pages – in a double-sided document, the two pages that appear as a spread when the publication is opened.

Flush left – copy aligned along the left margin.

Flush right – copy aligned along the right margin.

Golden Ratio – the rule devised to give proportions of height to width when laying out text and illustrations to produce the most optically pleasing result. Traditionally a ratio of 1 to 1.6.

Justify – the alignment of terxt along a margin or both margins. This is achieved by adjusting the spacing between the words and characters as necessary so that each line of text finishes at the same point.

Kicker – The first sentence or first few words of a story’s lead, set in a font size larger than the body text of the story.

Masthead – magazine term referring to the printed list, usually on the editorial page of a newspaper or magazine, that lists the contributors. Typically this would include the owners, publishers, editors, designers and production team. The masthead is often mistakenly used in reference to the flag or nameplate, which actually refers to the designed logo of the publication

Negative space/white space – the area of page without text, images or other elements.

Noise – A noisy image or noisy scan is one where there are random or extra pixels that have degraded the image quality. Noise in a graphics image can be generatyed at the scanning stage, by artificially enlarging an image by interpolating the pixels, or by over-sharpening a digital photograph. Noise can sometimes also be found in photographs taken by some  cheaper digital cameras.

Overline – introductory headline in a smaller text size above the main headline

Pull Quote  – A brief phrase (not necessarily an actual quotation) from the body text, enlarged and set off from the text with rules, a box, and/or screen. It is from a part of the text set previously, and is set in the middle of a paragraph, to add emphasis and interest. A quote or exert from an article that is used as display text on the same page to entice the reader, highlight a topic or break up linearity.

Recto – right-hand page

Rivers – a river is a typographic term for the ugly white gapes that can occur in justified columns of type, when there is too much space between words on concurrent lines of text.

Running head – A title or heading that runs along the top of a printed publication, usually a magazine.

Sell – short sentance promoting an article, often pulling out a quote or interesting sentence.

Splash – main front page story.

Standfirst – will usually be written by the sub-editor and is normally around 40-50 words in length. Any longer and it defeats its purpose, any shorter and it becomes difficult to get the necessary information in. Its purpose is to give some background information about the writer of the article, or to give some context to the contents of the article. Usually, it is presented in type size larger than the story text, but much smaller than the headline.

Strapline – similar to a subhead or standfirst, but used more as a marketing term.

Talkie Headline – a quote from one of the people in the story used as a headline

Tag line – A short memorable line of cover text that sums up the tone of the publication

Tombstoning – in page layout, to put article side by side so that the headlines are adjacent. The phenomenon is also referred to as bumping heads.

Top Heads – headlines at the top of a column.

Widow – last line of paragraph appearing on the first line of a column of text.

Wob – white text on a black or other coloured background.

DesigningWithType_Parts of a pageExtracted from Designing with Type: A Basic Course in Typography by James Craig


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