Glossary of magazine terms and jargon

This is a glossary of terms and jargon used in magazines and magazine publishing. It has been quoted in Mag Scene, the careers guide from PPA Careers. NB: terminology varies between industries, titles and internationally
Use Ctrl-F to find specific words on this page.


:Delano   Agfa pre-press project management system. Web-based, so allows access by publisher and printer
device for checking film and print quality
digital printing
using digital data to produce pages without the use of film and plates
digital magazine  

a magazine delivered on the web or by email in a format that looks exactly like a print magazine. It may be a facsimile of a published title (eg Dazed & Confused) or a digital-only product (eg Monkey, which Dennis calls an emag)

digital magazine distributed online or through CD format
direct mail
marketing material sent direct to potential customers
avoiding use of film to produce printing plates, usually by 'burning' plates from digital data
display advertising
large adverts, usually sold in multiples of quarter to full page
companies that accept bulk quantities of publications, break them down into bundles with other magazines, and deliver to newsagents for sale
DM   abbreviation for direct marketing
part of a web address, for example .uk is a top-level domain; .com is another 
copying of printing film exactly, either for a duplicate set or to make a digital file
double-page spread. Abbreviation often used in media packs and on flatplans
page or magazine produced to evaluate its effect 
printing a second colour with black for visual effect, for example to mimic old sepia photographs
when an advert is seen more than once by the same reader in different titles; or two or more magazines have the same reader 
Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc. Typical storage capacity to 9.4 Gbytes (4.7Gb per side). Announced December 1995


ed/ad ratio
ratio of editorial to advertising pages. Usually expressed as proportion of 100 (typically 60:40 for consumer magazines), rather than number of pages
(1) senior person who implements editorial direction and policy, and controls budget and staff
(2) person who assesses, checks and prepares copy for publication
(1) material commissioned by editors from writers, photographers, etc
(2) an article expressing the views of the editor or publication policy
editorial assistant 
support staff for editorial department
editorial board
experts who adviser editorial staff on content and policy. On academic journals, may assess and vet articles 
see editor 
electronic publishing
1. Publishing using any electronic format or delivery system, such as online databases, videotext, fax, CD, datachip, disc, etc. Note that this term encompasses multimedia. 2. Use of electronic computers in a publishing process, eg DTP systems in print publishing
in typography, the width of the letter 'm' in a particular type size. Used to measure depth or line length of type. Commonly refers to a pica em, which is 12 points 
eMag   term used by Dennis Publishing to describe its weekly digital men's magazine Monkey, which was launched as an email-only product and looks like a printed magazine on-screen
EMEA   Europe, Middle-East and Africa

em dash
em (— )
en ( – )
hyphen -
u/score _

an em rule is a dash that is the width of the letter 'm'; twice the width of an en rule (which is wider than a hyphen). Not to be be confused with an underscore ( _ ) produced by Shift - (hyphen) on an English keyboard next to 0 (zero)  
Europe, Middle-East and Africa
coating on a sheet of film, which is light sensitive 
in typography, the width of the letter 'n' in a particular type size
end point   graphic device sometimes used at the end of the last line to signify an an article has ended
end stop   graphic device sometimes used at the end of the last line to signify an an article has ended
en rule
see em rule
act of encoding information so it cannot be read unless the reader has a key provided by the sender
EPIQ   Etude Presse d'Information Quotidienne (Kantar TNS) audits newspaper distribution in France
Encapsulated PostScript file format
Esky   mascot for Esquire in the form of a mustachioed gent. Appeared as a significant part of the US magazine's covers into the 1960s. Described on the Esquire covers website as 'a mischievous little man whose interests ranged from mountain-climbing to soldiering to — on one special occasion — trying to climb into Elizabeth Taylor's cleavage' (April 1952).
local area networking system
Mrs Exeter   character invented as role model for Vogue readers in their 60s in the US. In the UK, illustrated from March 1949 until 1952, when Margot Smyly was photographed for the part until the early 1960s. She died in April 2005
Exact Editions   software company developing digital magazines. The company launched three titles (The Spectator, Literary Review and The Scientist) in February 2006 and had 52 on the web by August 2007. See
number of pages in a publication
intranet to which suppliers and others are allowed access 
electronic magazine


the style or design of type 
facing matter
when ad advert is on a page opposite editorial
fact checker
editorial staff who verify factual statements in articles before they are published (US)
fair use 
ability to copy material freely without need for permission from the copyright holder
Fas-Fax   twice-yearly report of US publishers' sales estimates released by Audit Bureau of Circulations; important in confirming advertising rate bases
front half: the first half of a magazine
FIPP   International Federation of the Periodical Press represents 50,000 titles in 37 countries
firm sale
retailers pay for magazines whether they are sold or not
fixed costs
costs that do not vary with sales. For example, the cost of renting a building
flannel panel
humorous term (used in newspapers, which traditionally do not credit staff) for a magazine masthead panel listing publisher and staff details. (Flannel = hot air)
chart showing whether it is editorial or advertising on a page
Fleet Street   the English press; derived from the name of the street, running from St Paul's Cathedral to the Strand, on which many newspapers were based. Also known as the 'Street of Shame', because of the role of the press in bringing shame down on people. Most groups have left to go to such places as Canary Wharf
flightcheck   software system for ensuring that pages are complete before being sent for printing
flanker   marketing term for a product used to protect in addition to a company's main product to protect its market share
flush left/right
when text or a picture is aligned to one side of a page or column 
an advertising page facing (editorial) matter
a page number
a set of type characters, numbers and punctuation marks, in one face and size. 
in wordprocessing, the line of text that appears below the main text area. Usually used for page number, date, etc  
the size, shape, style and appearance of a publication 
four colour 
a printing process to produce a full range of colors by overprinting CMYK inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, black)

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