METROPOSTCARD.COM GLOSSARY D
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Daylight Paper (Printing Out Paper)
Daylight paper is a generic name for any type of photo paper that is printed out, that is the image appears and darkens to a desirable value after being exposed to sunlight. After the image is properly exposed it is then taken out from the light and fixed in a bath. Daylight papers were only used for contact printing.

Dead Level
The dead level is a term used in relief printing to refer to the areas of a substrate that are cut away by any means. This area will remain inert as only the original surface of this substrate will print.

Dear Doctor Card
A Dear Doctor card is a continental sized advertising card published by Abbott Laboratories during the mid 1950’s to promote the Barbiturate Sodium Pentothal. Each card’s salutation began Dear Doctor, and hundreds of thousands were sent out to health professionals and institutions. They were mailed from various locations throughout the world with images of exotic places; and their messages can be found in Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish in addition to English.

Decalcomania
Decalcomania, the making ofdecals, whose origin is often credited to the French engraver Francois Ravernet was a process developed in England during the 1750’s that allowed surfaces that could not be printed upon such as ceramics to receive printed designs. The basic principal was that the ink used for transfer had to be attracted to its new home more than the original surface it was printed on. This transfer was usually aided with the help of water, heat, or pressure. Decalcomania arrived in the United States in 1865 where the designs were most often printed on transfer paper through lithography. Though originally designed for application on unusual surfaces they eventually became a part of the normal printing process and were extensively used by retouchers in the production of postcards.

Decal Retouching
Retouchers spent so much time polishing out unwanted details and adding in desired elements that they began using decals to speed up their work. These tiny images of people, cars, and boats of all sorts could be purchased or manufactured in house. Many printing firms had these details drawn onto stones by there own artists that were then printed onto gummed transfer paper and stored as stock images. When a new composition required a car or person absent in the original image the retoucher could just go to a cabinet, remove the appropriate sheet, and cut out what he needed. If these decals were printed with a greasy transfer ink they could be directly applied to a polished stone, but if they were made with regular printing ink they were pasted to a transparency before it was exposed to a photosensitive substrate.

Deckle Edge
The uneven edge of a hand made paper is called a deckle. When pulp is poured onto a paper making screen and left to dry, the area that overlaps the frame’s inside bevel form a thin deckle. A sheet of paper with four deckle edges indicates it was made on a small mold, possibly by hand. If only two sides of a sheet of paper have deckle edges it means it was factory made in a long role and then cut into smaller sheets. In commercial printing the entire deckle is cut off to facilitate its passage through a press and insure proper registration. Papers with deckle edges are usually reserved for fine art printing that is done by hand. When the edges of paper are die cut or torn off in a manner that gives the illusion of a deckle, it is called a false deckle. This method was used on some postcards to impart an association with a fine art print.

Defender
Defender is a brand name of a photo paper and the Company that produced it. In 1896 Frank Wilmot founded the Defender Photo Supply Company in Rochester, New York. They had manufactured paper under the names Argo and Defender for real photo postcards from 1905 up until 1945 when the DuPont Company purchased them. Defender paper continued to be made until 1973 but it was of poorer quality.

Delft Blue
Delft blue is a very distinguishable hue placed on tin glazed ceramics from Holland, first used in the city of Delft in the 17th century. Its origins come out of the porcelain trade with China that was begun by the Dutch East India Company after 1602. Though a highly coveted commodity the Europeans had little the Chinese wanted in trade so they refused to give up the secret of porcelain production and it remained a luxury import. Eventually the potters in the city of Delft developed a blue and white, low cost substitute for Porcelain. It became so popular that it still creates associations with Holland today. Both printed and real photo postcards were manufactured in delft blue. While some publishers only used it with Dutch themes, others just incorporated the name to describe their monochrome color.

Deltiology
Deltiology, taken from the Greek logos (science), and deltion (writing tablet) is the study of postcards. The term was coined by Randall Rhoades of Ashland, Ohio in the 1940’s during a period of renewed interest and research into postcards. The term is meant to impart dignity to the act of postcard collecting so it is looked upon as something more than a hobby. It is not an internationally accepted term and is not used by most postcard collectors (deltiologists).

Density (Optical Density)
The optical density of a material refers to its ability to absorb light. The less reflective, the higher the density and the more dark and opaque it appears. Early postcards such as those printed in chromolithography had high density because light had to pass through many layers of ink.

Develop Out (DOP)
Developing out refers to the processing of any type of photosensitive emulsion, where the image only begins to appear after interaction with a chemical developer. Developing out photo papers were not popular when first introduced because their correct exposure time came down to guess work that would cost time and money with every mistake. This process was mainly used when photographs were being reproduced in large quantities within the controlled settings of a processing machine. As negatives grew smaller with more compact cameras enlarging became a necessity forcing the switch to developing out paper as the slower printing out papers could no longer be used.

Dextone
Dextone is a trade name for the early photochrome postcards printed by Dexter Press in the 1950’s. The poor optical blending in these cards tended to create a flat unnatural appearance. While individual colors might appear bright the overall effect was a dull look.

Dialect Cards
A dialect card is a postcard with a caption printed in a local or stereotyped dialect rather than with the proper spelling and grammar of the language. Under the guise of offering local color they were often used to disparage the group represented on the card by associating their unconventional speech patterns to ignorance.

Diapositive
A diapositive is a transparency. The term is sometimes specifically used in reference to lantern slides.

Diazo
In offset lithography most plates used in photomechanical reproduction are pre-sensitized with a coating of photosensitive diazo emulsion. After exposure these plates are developed with a solution made up of lacquer and a gum etch that dissolves the diazo away. The lacquer, which will attract ink is deposited in the areas exposed to light while the etch reacts with the rest of the plate allowing its grain to hold moisture. It can then be dampened and rolled with ink for printing.

Dichromate Colloid
A dichromate colloid is a gelatin or albumen that has been made photosensitive by the addition of a dichromate, most commonly potassium dichromate. These emulsions harden when exposed to light and become insoluble in water. This reaction is the foundation of most photographic processes. The Scott, Mungo Ponton discovered the effects of light on dichromate in 1839, while working in France, Alphonse Poitevin also noted the hardening effect of light on dichromated colloids in 1855.

Die Cutting
Die cutting is a method of using metal blades formed into a shape (Die) to cut designs into products that straight cutting tools cannot accomplish. Most dies have a male and female part. The male part cuts the design while the female part provides support for the substrate. This process is performed on a flatbed press after the product is printed. Die cutting was eventually adapted to rotary presses but they are less precise. Die cut postcards were most often made for advertising purposes and are considered novelties.

Digital
The term digital refers to the reduction of any type of information such as text, images, sound, or video in to a binary code of zeros and ones. Information recorded digitally can easily be manipulated and transmitted as there are no unique components.

Display Card
A display card carries an advertisement for a small brand product that is also attached to the card in some manner. Items were usually sewn onto the card or strung to its bottom. Most of these cards had prepunched holes in thei corners so that they could easily be hung up in stores. This concept began to be used in the 1850’s to sell steel pens, and it may have influenced the inception of oversized businessman’s cards.

Dithering
Different digital recording systems may not record information in the same manner, so a computer will need to add or subtract pixels of an image to simulate the missing parts of a color or a decorative pattern according to a formula that its program dictates. As a computer program fills in missing visual information it generally reduces the sharpness of that image. Dithering occurs most often when an image is resized for there can be no optical conversion just the manipulation of data. Since digital images are stored in lines, the recording of other types of linear patterns can often result in the creation of interference patterns when dithering is employed. This translation however can be further manipulated by the introduction of meaningless data in the form of a grain (noise) that can distort any moiré pattern to the point of making it disappear.

Divided Back
A divided back postcard is one whose back is divided in two segregating the left side for a message from the right side reserved for the address and postage. Great Britain was the first country to issue divided back postcards in 1902, followed by France and Germany. To keep its cards uniform with that of other nations the United States released new postal regulations on March 1, 1907 that divided the back of its postcards in half. This date is often referred to as the birth of the modern postcard for it created the same card format that we use today. Prior to this date only the address and postage was allowed on the back of postcards. The divide was first accomplished by printing a line down a card’s back. On some of the earliest cards of this period the dividing line is left of center, often accompanied by printed instructions of what could be written and where. Another later variation eliminates the line but the words Correspondence and Address are printed in the appropriate places. Many undivided back cards continued to be used after 1907 and one may need to look closely to see if the dividing line has been drawn in when dating cards. As time went on the concept of the divided back was so accepted that they could be properly used with nothing at all printed on their backs. By permitting messages to be written on the back of postcards, the entire front could then be dedicated to holding an image. This innovation greatly increased the popularity of postcards.

Dot
In printing a dot usually refers to the individual element of a halftone image. Its size is determined by its relation to the density of the original image used to create the halftone. The dot may consist of several shapes, round, square, or elliptical, all dependent on the type of linescreen used to create it. The individual components of shading mediums such as benday are also referred to as dots. This term is sometimes generally applied to any type of small marking used to optically blend into a larger entity.

Dot Matrix Printing
Dot matrix printing introduced in 1970 is produced by a type of impact printing device that runs on digital technology. It transfers an image to paper utilizing the same principals of metal striking an ink soaked ribbon as a typewriter, only here there were no individual letters cast, only pins or wires that produce uniform dots. While the letters formed out of a dot matrix lack the definition and beauty of more carefully drawn type they can be used to create any font face or graphic design. The print heads in these machines come in various forms. Some contain pins in lines while other models have serial patterns but all are driven forward from spring action and levers powered by an electromagnet through a guide plate that keeps them properly aligned. The print head can either run up and down or back and forth depending on the printer’s design. As these printers are fed digital information they can easily be instructed to alter their image for each sheet of paper without slowing down production. These machines have not been used in the commercial printing of postcards but they are still employed to print messages and mailing addresses on them.

Double Tint
The double tint method often used to reproduce drawings in lithography became popular during the 1830’s. It employed two tinting stones, one to produce a very light field of warm color as in a flat tint, and another to print a slightly darker and more neutral color that would often represent shadows and sky. Sometimes these tints weren’t quite solid but made up of a dense series of small dots that created a more brilliant optical field. These markings could now be made to overlap or fade at their edges creating more nuances. Both substrates would usually have non-printing areas on them as well to produce pure whites. The third stone would act as a key and carry the details of the image in black. The Curt Teich Company used this process for their cards with the Doubletone trade name.

Doubletone Delft
Doubletone Delft is a trade name for a type of blue colored postcard distributed by the American News Company that were printed in black collotype over a light and medium blue lithographic tint. These cards were manufactured in Germany.

Doubletone Sepia
Doubletone Sepia is a trade name for a type of sepia colored postcard distributed by the American News Company that were printed in black collotype over a light and medium brown lithographic tint. These cards were manufactured in Germany.

Double Printing
Collotypes were sometimes made darker by double printing them. The plate would be inked then printed, then re-inked and printed again on the same sheet of paper during the same press run to insure proper registration.

Double Rolling
Double rolling was a technique used in conjunction with heliotype printing that made these images appear darker than their collotype cousins. A stiff ink that only adhered to the most light exposed areas was first used to create the dark shadows. It was followed by a thinner ink discharged from a composition roller for medium or light tones. The second roll brightened the image by picking up some ink off the light areas that was deposited by the first roll. At the same time it darkened blacks already present creating higher contrast and richer tones. Sometimes a color ink was used for the second roll to create complex monochrome prints. Though double rolling was first used with hand presses, larger steam powered presses were latter adapted for this technique.

Double Toning
Double toning is the practice of toning a photo paper with both a gold and platinum solution. This yields a neutral black rather than the brownish hue rendered by each toner individually.

D.P.O.
The initials D.P.O. are used to informally designate a discontinued Post Office cancel (postmark). Many small Post Offices in rural America were run out of small businesses such as a general store where the owner would take on the responsibilities of a postmaster for a only few minutes of the day. As our population grew and shifted to more urban areas many of these small Post Offices were closed down or combined to create new Federal facilities with full time employees. In other places whole communities have since disappeared leaving only postmarks behind. There are many who collect postcards just for their D.P.O. cancel.

D.R.G.M.
D.R.G.M. is a German abbreviation for Deutsche Reichsgebrauchmuster meaning Design Registered. It can be found on some German printed cards usually in connection with a number. It offers similar protections as a copyright notice for non utilitarian designs but only effective for a shorter period of time, 25 years in Germany.

Driography
Driography was invented as an alternative method of producing litho-plates for photomechanical reproduction in offset printing. After exposure to a negative the plate is coated with an emulsion of diazo and silicon, and the silicon will only deposit itself on the non-image areas. This allows the plate to be rolled up with ink without dampening for the rubbery surface of the silicon will repel ink by itself without the need to use water.

Druckchrome
A Druckchrome is a trade name used by the American News Company for a type of German made tinted halftone printed over solid areas of lithographic RYB colors.

Drummer
A drummer is another less common name for a jobber.

Dry Plate
A dry plate is a clear glass plate coated with a silver bromide gelatin emulsion that is used after it has dried to create a photographic negative. Dry plates, invented by the English photographer Richard Leach Maddox in 1871, replaced the wet collodion process, where the emulsion had to be applied to the glass plate just before the picture was taken, then developed immediately afterwards. Because these new plates had a long shelf life they could be manufactured in quantity and sold as needed, and also developed at a convenient time. Dry plates were replaced when a way to coat flexible film with the same emulsion was invented and put into mass production by George Eastman in 1889.

Duel Dot
When two different color halftones needed to overlap on a single printed image different types of screen dots were often employed to avoid moiré interference patterns. Even with these differences each screen would still be rotated to a different angle from one another before being transferred to a printing plate.

Duograph
The duograph process, invented by Louis Levy in 1914 was used to create a rich looking monotone image in lithography. Two separate processing negatives are made from the same photograph with one exposed to capture medium to light tones, the other darker values. Each is then used to make a separate halftone plate with one halftone screen rotated 30-degrees from the other screen to avoid a moiré pattern. When printed together from one plate inked in a light neutral color and another in a darker color they produced a much richer looking image than could be achieved from black & white alone. The printed dots do not overlap, and together they produce optical shading. The further filling in of the white paper also resulted in a more solid looking image as those printed with more expensive techniques such as gravure. This process became very popular by the 1930’s for the fine reproduction of photographs, but it was not generally used to create postcards.

Duogravure
The duogravure process was an adaptation of the duograph process to intaglio.Two separate processing positives are made from the same photograph with one exposed to capture medium to light tones, the other darker values. Each is then used to make separate photogravure plates. When printed together from one plate inked in a light neutral color and another in a darker color they produced a much richer looking image than could be achieved from black & white alone.

Duotone
In the 19th century a second tinting plate was conventionally used to supplement black & white lithographic images in the same manner of drawings on colored paper. These duotones were not meant to create the illusion of natural color or to be a lead up to better color printing; they had practical applications in themselves. This added color helped reduce the unexpected starkness often found in a printed image since the stone or plate it was originally drawn on was grey or possibly even tan, but never white. Usually of a single light hue, this color field was sometimes scraped into to produce pure whites like the highlights added to a drawing with gouache or chalk. Ben day dot patterns were also often employed to create tinting plates because they could produce an unblemished continuous field with ease. This tonal effect was eventually taken up by postcard publishers, especially when it was seen that it could yield similar results when used in conjunction with halftones. This process helped solve the loss of subtlety in representing mid-tones created through crossline screening. Some methods were widely used in the trade while others became associated with specific postcard publishers. They also created a more striking look at a low cost that might arouse interest among potential customers looking for something untypical.

Dutype
A dutype is a lithograph similar to a duograph in that it is designed to create a vibrant monotone look through the printing of two differently colored halftone plates. Instead of creating two halftones at different angels from one another the same halftone image would just be printed twice, each time with a different ink and slightly off register so the dots did not overlap.

Dyes
Dyes are soluble colorants that have a tendency to soak into their substrates because they are used in a watery consistency. Traditionally made from vegetable matter, most dyes are now synthetically based providing more variety and greater permanence, but they are still particularly susceptible to the ultraviolet photons of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some cases this light will interact with the dye’s simple molecules causing them to decompose and fade. Other dyes are capable of turning certain wavelengths of the invisible spectrum into the visible, and transmit them back out. This is the basis of florescent colors and why the dye based inks of linen postcards look so bright.


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