U-T San Diego: Advertising

Glossary: Advertising Terms

Print Advertising Terms

Ad send

A national service that provides the transfer of ads electronically to newspapers.

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A standard full-page newspaper size with an image area of 11.5 inches wide by 21.5 inches deep.

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Camera-ready ad

A complete ad, on high-resolution paper, ready to be placed in position on the page.

CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black)

The subtractive primaries, or process colors, used in color printing. Black is usually added to enhance color and to print a true black.

Color balance

The amount of cyan, magenta and yellow needed to produce a good reproduction with gray balance and satisfactory overprint colors.

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Digital ad

Ad produced on a computer desktop; must follow our digital ad guidelines.

Double-truck ad

Consists of two full-page ads that are on facing pages.

Dots per inch

The actual number of dots of ink generated by the halftone process contained in our inch of an image. Digital images measure pixels per inch or centimeter. The recommended pixels per inch is two times the accepted dots per inch to achieve the desired resolution.

DPI (dots per inch)

A standard printing term referring to the number of rows of dots per inch. Also called LPI or lines per inch. For ads running on newsprint, use 85-100 dpi; for glossy inserts, use 133 dpi.

Dot gain

In the printing process, each dot in a screened area (such as a halftone) increases in size by 30 percent due to the way ink is absorbed by newsprint. See Print Ad Specs.


Art rendered in two colors, ie. black plus one color, with midtones of varying densities of the combined colors.

Dummy layout

A detailed layout showing how the various typeset elements, illustrations, etc., will be arranged.

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EPS(Encapsulated PostScript)

A file format used to transfer PostScript image information from one program to another.

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Film negative

A piece of film with a reversed image, in which dark areas appear white, and vice versa.


Refers to the style of type used. Fonts come in three basic families: serif, sans serif and script.

Four-color process

The process of reproducing a color image using four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). See Print Ad Specs.


The number of times an ad runs in the newspaper (or other media) in a given amount of time.

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A smooth transition between black and white, one color and another, or color and the lack of it.

Gray balance

The proper amount of cyan, magenta and yellow to produce a gray scale with no apparent dominant hue.

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A photograph or art converted to dots so it can be printed on a press in one color, generally black, with midtones of varying densities.

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Separate advertising that is inserted into the newspaper. Full-run or ZIP code distribution is available every day. This is a useful way to target specific geographical areas within San Diego.

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JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

A group that has established a standard for the compression of bitmapped, scanned and rendered color images.

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The individual spaces between letters. Large type often requires manual kerning to keep the spacing equal.


A unit of measure (K) of digital information corresponding to 1,024 bytes.

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Line art

Black and white art with no midtones (grays). Generally refers to logos and pen and ink illustrations.

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Megabyte (mb)

A unit of measure of stored data coresponding to 1,024 kilobytes or 1,048,576 bytes.


In printing, the undesirable screen pattern caused by incorrect screen angles of overprinting halftones.

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The smallest proportion of a picture for which information is stored. Pixels are made up of bits. The smallest distinct unit of a bitmapped image displayed on a screen.

Pixels per inch / pixels per centimeter

Resolution standard for digital images. In many newspapers, files may contain no fewer than 170 pixels per inch to achieve the highest resolution desired for printing.

PPI (pixels per inch)

Refers to computer image file size. Also known as "resolution." Literally, PPI is the number of pixels per inch. The PPI resolution for images to be printed in the newspaper should be at least 170. See digital output guidelines.

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The alignment of different (color) films and printing plates to produce one printed image.

RGB (red, green and blue)

These are the additive colors. Used for online or web images only.

Run of press (ROP)

Run of press refers to an advertisment that is included in every edition and every market of the newspaper.

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Screen angles

The angles at which halftone line screens used for four-color, three-color and two-color reproduction intersect, measured in degrees. If these screens are not placed at specified angles, a moire pattern can result.

SAU (Standard Advertising Units)

A newspaper industry standard of display-ad sizes using standard column widths. See mechanical requirements.

Spot color

The adding of a color (other than black) to ads for the purpose of creating greater readership of that ad. Ads containing spot color may use one or two colors plus black.

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A section with a page size that is half of a broadsheet. Note: Due to our press configuration, tabloid layout size differs slightly from tabloid print size. See tabloid mechanical requirements.

TIFF (tagged image file format)

A file format for exchanging bitmapped images (usually scanned images) between applications.

TMC (total market coverage)

Usually consists of placement of an ad in a combination of a paid circulation newspaper and a free distribution product (which usually contains certain generic parts of the newspaper and advertising) sent to non-subscribers.

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A term derived from the trademark “Velox Print” for a high-quality screened photographic print used in the preparation of “line-art” mechanicals.

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Online Advertising Terms

Ad Units

A way of classifying online ad types. Ad units on the Internet include banners, buttons, micro buttons, pop ups, skyscrapers, text links, interstitials, superstitials, etc. Ad units are usually defined by the IAB as voluntary guidelines.

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A graphic that appears on a web page that is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers Web site. May be in a variety of formats including GIF, JPEG, Flash, HTML, Java, JavaScript & more.


Blog is short for the term Web Log. A blog is essentially a publicly accessible online journal that is frequently updated by a particular individual regarding a specific topic. The action of updating a blog is called blogging.


A computer software program that enables one to access and view text or graphical web pages on the world-wide-web.

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A click-through is the action of clicking on an online ad or text link. This clicking action will usually display a new web page.

Click-Through Rate

The response rate of an online advertisement, expressed as a percentage and calculated by taking the number of clickthroughs the ad received, dividing that number by the number of impressions and multiplying by 100 to obtain a percentage. Example: 20 clicks / 1,000 impressions = .02 x 100 = 2% CTR

Contextual Placement

Advertising in sections with editorial content related to your business


A Cookie is a piece of information or file that is stored on your computer by a web browser when you visit certain web sites. Cookies are stored as text files on your hard drive so the web site can identify who you are.


CPM is an acronym for Cost Per Mil, which stands for cost per thousand. It is the price paid by an advertiser for a content site displaying their banner 1,000 times.


CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. This is essentially a software management system that allows a company to effectively handle customer relations. An example of a CRM would be a customer database that contains detailed information that is available at anytime in order to better meet customers needs.

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Domain Name

The part of an Internet address including and immediately preceded by the domain extension. For example SignOnSanDiego.com is our domain name. The domain name is part of a web sites URL. Each web site has its own unique domain name.

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Flash is a graphic animation program from Macromedia. Use of Flash in programming enables movies and animation to move seamlessly across a Web browser.


A frame is when a browser window is divided into multiple parts called frames. Each of these frames have their own navigation and operate independently of each other.


A term used to describe the number of times the same advertisement is shown to the same visitor during a particular session or time frame. This can be accomplished through the use of cookies.


FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. It is standard operation for downloading and uploading files over the internet.

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A hit is the request for and delivery of a file on a server. This includes multimedia, graphics and even text. In other words every item on a webpage is counted as a hit when it is downloaded.

Home Page

The home page is the introductory page of a web site.


Hosting refers to the housing of a web site, email or domain on another server.


HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a coding language used to create web pages.

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Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the leading online global advertising industry trade association. IAB activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the online medium and educating the advertising industry about the use of online and digital advertising.


An impression is an online advertising term that refers to the number of times a banner is displayed on a web site.


An infosite is a dynamic, searchable web site about your business that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


An Intranet is a network that is only available within a company. It is usually private and should only be available internally to employees and approved partners.

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Link popularity

Checking your link popularity measures the quantity of sites that link back to your web site.


Links can be text or images on a web page that a visitor can click on to connect to another web page or document.

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Meta tags

A meta tag is a special element of HTML that describes the contents of a Web page. It is placed at the beginning of a web page's source code. Meta tags are very important for search engine optimization, and meta tags allow search engines to index pages by subject.

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Navigation is the process of moving from one web site to another or on a particular web site. This action is created by clicking on links wich take you to different sections of the web site. When developing a web site it is important to have excellent Navigation so visitors can easily move around your site.

New Visitors

A new visitor is someone with a unique IP address who is visiting a web site for the first time

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Optimization involves making changes to individual web pages in order to improve the positioning of that page with one or more search engines. Can also refer to changing the visual size and/or file size of an online photo to allow a web page or advertisement to load faster and more efficiently.

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Page views

A page view counts the number of times a specific web page has been accessed or viewed. Page views are often used to determine a Web site’s traffic.

Pop-under ad

A pop-under is a form of online advertising and is displayed in a new browser window behind your current browser window.

Pop-up ad

A pop-up ad is a form of online advertising that opens a new browser window in front of your current browser window.

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A process by which visitors to a web site are either requested or required to register certain details about themselves in order for complete access to the site to enable web sites to target advertisements to their registered users more effectively.

Rich Media

Rich media is a type of advertisement technology that often includes richer graphics, audio or video within the advertisement.

Road Block

A method by which an advertiser can “own” a Web page or section by purchasing the impressions inventory for a set time period so that only their advertisement will appear to visitors each time, or the first time that they visit a specific site or section of a Web site.

RSS Feed

Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary as it is also known is an XML format for syndicating Web content. A Web site that wants to allow other sites to publish some of its content creates an RSS document. A user that can read RSS-distributed content can use the content on a different site. Syndicated content includes news feeds, headlines, excerpts from discussion forums and more.


Ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any pages of the publisher’s site.

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Search Engine

A search engine is an online tool that allows users to search for information on the World Wide Web or within a specific Web site. Normally the user will type a word or phrase, also called a search query, into a search box, and the search engine displays links to relevant web pages or site content.

Search Query

A search query is a term that is typed into a search text box. This query may be a single word, part of a word, numbers, phrase etc.


Search engines use spiders to read web pages and seek other information in order to create entries for a search engine index.


A form of advertising in which an advertiser pays to sponsor a section or newsletter of a Web site. It may take the form of the typical banner and/or text that mentions “sponsored by.” Works best when the content of the sponsored web page is directly related to but not competitive with the advertisers products or services.


Static refers to an item that does not change or rotate.


Rich media advertisements that download in the background while a visitor is reading a web page and launch a browser window only when it has completely downloaded. They are attractive to advertisers as they permit larger and more interactive ads than a traditional banner.

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Text Links

Text that is hyperlinked to another Web page. Can be found on web sites or in newsletters and email. Often identified by appearing in blue with a line under it. When clicked on, the visitor will be taken to the page the text was hyperlinked to.


Traffic refers to the amount of user activity on a particular web site.

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Unique Users / Visitors

A term used to describe the total number of visitors or unique Web browsers that access a site over a certain time period, typically one calendar month.


URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL describes the address of a resource of the Internet. For example, the URL http://www.SignOnSanDiego.com is how you would access our web site.

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XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It’s a coding language primarily used for web pages allowing the author to extend and customize basic HTML code. Use of XML is meant to streamline and categorize a web site to ensure cross browser compatibility.

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Quick Links

  • For more contacts, visit our contacts page.
  • To learn more about online advertising campaigns, contact your account manager or Brett Sondrup at (619) 718-5228 or brett.sondrup@utsandiego.com.

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