Tech

FPO in Graphic Design

Printed placeholder images are not used often

In graphic design and commercial printing, FPO is an abbreviation for position only or for placement only. An image marked as FPO is a placeholder or temporary low-resolution image at the final position and size on the camera-ready artwork to indicate where a high-resolution real image will be placed on the final film or plate.

FPO images are commonly used when you receive actual photographic prints or other works of art to be scanned or photographed for inclusion. With modern publishing software and digital photography, FPO is an inherently historical term; it is now rarely used in daily practice.

Uses for OPF

Before the fast processor days, FPO images were used during the design stages of a document to speed up the process of working with files during multiple drafts of a document. Processors are now much faster than before, so latency is minimal even with high resolution images – which is why FPO is not used much.

FPO is often stamped on an image to prevent accidental printing of a low-resolution image or an image that the editor does not have. Images that should not be printed are usually labeled with a large FPO on each, so there is no confusion as to whether they should be used.

Newsrooms using paper in newspaper production dummy sheets—grids with columns on the top and column inches on the sides—prevents FPO images or drawings by creating a black box or box with an X on it. These mock pages help editors estimate the number of column inches needed for a particular newspaper or magazine page.

FPO and models

Although they cannot be labeled as such, some models contain images that may be considered FPOs. They show you where to place your images for that particular layout. The text equivalent of FPO images is placeholder text (sometimes irfan ipsumusually because it’s pseudo-Latin).

Sometimes, FPO is used in web design when an FPO tagged image allows coders to finish building a website without waiting for final website images. It allows designers to consider color palettes and image sizes until permanent images are achieved. In fact, many web browsers, including Google Chrome, allow optimized page rendering, where FPO placeholders fill the page and text wraps around it. Images appear in placeholders only after the download is complete.

modern analogues

While FPO embedding is not that common in an all-digital production cycle, common broadcast platforms retain traces of the practice. For example, Adobe InDesign, a leading design application for print projects such as books and newspapers, places images in medium resolution by default. To see the high resolution image, you have to manually change the image or adjust the settings of the application.

Open source publishing tools like Scribus behave similarly. They support placeholder images when editing documents to reduce processor overhead and simplify the proofing process.


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FPO in Graphic Design

Placeholder images in print aren’t often used

In graphic design and commercial printing, FPO is an acronym indicating for position only or for placement only. An image marked FPO is a placeholder or a temporary low-resolution illustration in the final location and size on camera-ready artwork to indicate where an actual high-resolution image will be placed on the final film or plate.

FPO images are commonly used when you’ve been supplied actual photographic prints or another type of artwork to be scanned or photographed for inclusion. With modern publishing software and digital photography, FPO is a term that is mainly historical in nature; it’s rarely used in everyday practice anymore.

Uses for FPO

Before the days of fast processors, FPO images were used during the design stages of a document to speed up the process of working with the files during various drafts of a document. Processors are much faster now than they used to be, so delays are minimal, even with high-resolution images—one reason FPO isn’t in use much.

FPO was usually stamped on an image to avoid accidentally printing a low-resolution image or an image the publisher did not own. Images not to be printed are usually labeled with a large FPO across each one, so there is no confusion about whether they are to be used.

In newspaper production, newsrooms that use paper dummy sheets—grids with columns along the top and column inches along the sides—block images or illustrations FPO by creating either a black box or a box with an X through it. These dummy sheets help editors estimate the number of column inches necessary for a given newspaper or magazine page.

FPO and Templates

Although they may not be labeled as such, some templates contain images that can be considered FPO. They show you where to place your images for that particular layout. The text equivalent of FPO images is placeholder text (sometimes referred to as lorem ipsum, since it’s often pseudo-Latin).

Occasionally, FPO is used in web design when an image labeled FPO allows coders to finish building a website without waiting for the final images for the site. It allows the designers to account for color palettes and image sizes until the permanent images become available. In fact, many web browsers including Google Chrome allow for optimized page rendering, wherein FPO placeholders fill the page, and the text surrounds it. The images only pop into the placeholders after they’ve been fully downloaded.

Modern Analogues

Although FPO placement isn’t as common with a fully digital production cycle, common publishing platforms retain vestiges of the practice. For example, Adobe InDesign—a leading design application for print projects such as books and newspapers, places images at medium resolution by default. To see the high-resolution image, you must manually override the image or tweak the application’s settings.

Open-source publishing tools, like Scribus, behave similarly. They support placeholder images during document editing to reduce processor overhead and streamline the text-review process.

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