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 the PPA. 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
densitometer 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)

digizine digital magazine distributed online or through CD format
direct mail marketing material sent direct to potential customers
direct-to-plate 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
distributor 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
domain part of a web address, for example .uk is a top-level domain; .com is another
dot-for-dot copying of printing film exactly, either for a duplicate set or to make a digital file
DPS double-page spread. Abbreviation often used in media packs and on flatplans
dummy page or magazine produced to evaluate its effect
duotone printing a second colour with black for visual effect, for example to mimic old sepia photographs
duplication when an advert is seen more than once by the same reader in different titles; or two or more magazines have the same reader
DVD 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
editor (1) senior person who implements editorial direction and policy, and controls budget and staff
(2) person who assesses, checks and prepares copy for publication
editorial (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
editor-in-chief 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
em 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)
EMEA Europe, Middle-East and Africa
emulsion coating on a sheet of film, which is light sensitive
en 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
encryption 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
EPS 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).
ethernet 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.
extent number of pages in a publication
extranet intranet to which suppliers and others are allowed access
e-zine electronic magazine


face 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
FH 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)
flatplan 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
FM an advertising page facing (editorial) matter
folio a page number
font a set of type characters, numbers and punctuation marks, in one face and size.
footer in wordprocessing, the line of text that appears below the main text area. Usually used for page number, date, etc 
format 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)