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Specialty Graphic Imaging Association
SGIA Glossary

Definition Glossary

Sixth Edition

Language and our ideas about how it is interpreted change rapidly. The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is aware of this and continues its effort to keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology. This publication represents the most recent changes.

| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y

B stage

An intermediate stage in the reaction of a thermosetting resin where the material softens when heated and swells in contact with certain liquids, but does not fuse or dissolve; also refer to A and C stage.

back card

A card unit attached to the back of a dump bin, floor bin, or counter merchandiser that projects above the merchandise and presents the selling message at eye level.

back gray cloth

Cotton fabric material placed over the waterproof layer on top of the felt padding on the screen printing table to prevent through printed dyes from being absorbed into the felt padding.

back lighted display

A printed display prepared on transparent material that can be illuminated from the rear to enhance attention value.

back lighting

The process of illuminating transparent artwork or screen printed transparency film from behind.

back printing

Printing on the underside or second surface of a transparent sheet or film; also referred to as reverse printing.

back score

A cut score made from the back of a display.

back slanted letter

Type that is slanted toward the left.

back slit

A cut or slit through the backing sheet of pressure sensitive film.


A color correction technique for reducing the density of a continuous tone negative.


The back of a bound book connecting the two covers; also referred to a spline.


Area appearing behind the legend or principle subject of a print.


Typically a non-woven material applied beneath material being sewn to increase fabric stability and support stitches.

backing adhesive

An adhesive applied to the back surface of a membrane switch, 0.002 to 0.005 thick, to attach it to the application surface.

backing sheet (carrier)

Support aid such as the plastic or paper support sheet of knife-cut stencil film, indirect photoscreen stencil film, camera film, and the support sheet of pressure sensitive laminations.

backing up

Printing the reverse side of a sheet that has already been printed on one side.


An extremely heavy, uneven application of color at one edge of a print.


Movement beyond actual adjustment in a device, usually when a screw type adjustment cannot be locked into the adjusted position.


A device used to separate one light source from another.

baffle mark

A seam on a bottle resulting from an imperfect mold joint between the blank mold and the baffle.


To convert an organic coating film from a liquid to a continuous, hard, dry film by the application of heat.

baked enamel

A type of finish, usually screen printed or sprayed on a metal surface with enamels containing resins, dried, and then baked at a high temperature to prolong the life of the coating.


To dry or harden by subjecting to heat, usually a temperature above 65.6° C (150° F).

baking cycle

The time and temperature combination used to develop maximum properties of an organic film.


(1) A device for weighing material in the preparation of processing compounds and solutions; (2) Harmony and equilibrium of graphic elements due to placement.

ball mill (mill) (paint mill) (pebble mill)

A rotating cylinder containing smooth pebbles, porcelain balls, or steel balls in which organic pigment or inorganic ceramic material is ground in either a wet or dry state.


A step up transformer with a range of capacitors for regulating line voltage to a lamp housing.


A projector used to project an image onto a drawing surface to enlarge or reduce photos, sketches, or drawings.

balsam (copaiba)

A natural resinous liquid used as a color vehicle.


(1) Application of banded decoration to glass or ceramic items with a banding wheel; (2) Undesirable harsh, well defined transitions on a print.


The range of wavelengths between two identified limits, expressed in the same units as wavelength (nm).

banned heavy salts

Metal substances that are controlled by government restrictions (US) such as chrome, lead, arsenic, selenium, and antimony.


A sign made of fabric, plastic, or other non-rigid material that has no enclosed framework.


A standard unit of pressure equal to 105 newtons per square meter or 0.98697 standard atmosphere.

Barcol hardness

A hardness value obtained by measuring the resistance to penetration of a sharp steel point under a spring load, gives direct readings on a 0 to 100 scale; also refer to Shore hardness.

barium crown glass

An optical glass containing soda (Na2O), lime (CaO), and silica (silicon dioxide) composites.