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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.

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CIE standard illuminate that represents a color temperature of 6504ºK, the color temperature that is most widely used in graphic art color-viewing booths.


 Highest level of density.


Lowest level of density.


A trademark term for synthetic polyester textile fiber.


 A barrier placed on the squeegee side of the screen to hold the print ink in a confined area.

damar (dammar)

A fossil resin used as an ingredient in screen printing varnishes and lacquers.

dandy roll

A wire cylinder in papermaking that creates the watermark, texture, or special effect on a sheet.

danner process

A mechanical process for continuously drawing glass tubing from a rotating mandrel.

dark reaction

(1) The forming of a gel like substance, premature polymerization of UV ink without being exposed to a UV light source; (2) A slow chemical change that occurs in light sensitive emulsion or coating when the material is stored.

dark spot

A concentration of pigment in one spot that can be caused by a depression in the printed substrate material.


An illumination technique that lights the specimen surface from an oblique angle to highlight surface problems.


A room where actinic rays of light have been excluded used for manufacturing, handling, and developing light sensitive materials.

data processing

The manipulation, recording and handling of data by means of electronic equipment.

daylight camera

A self-contained graphic art camera that does not have to be operated in a darkroom.

daylight fluorescence

The phenomena of increased color brilliance where the wavelengths of other colors in the spectrum converge.

daylight illuminants CIE

Series of spectral power distribution curves based on measurements of natural daylight and recommended by the CIE in 1965. Values are defined for the wavelength region 300 to 830 nm.


Acronym for direct current; refer to current, direct.

DCS (Desktop Color Separation)

Computer file format including four EPS files for CMYK; a graphics file appropriate to the operating platform for screen display.

dead finish

A smooth non-glare finish.

dead front

Cosmetic feature of a graphic overlay where the display is visible only when backlit.

dead match

An exact matching of a mixed color with a sample or previously match batch.

dead stretch

The net increase in length after a plastic material has been elongated without breaking, and allowed to relax.

dead white

A neutral white without any visible tint.

dealer’s privilege

A two-sided p.o.p. unit which carries an advertisement on one side and a message from the dealer to his customers on the reverse.


A technique for impressing a design or texture into a material.


(1) Testing and/or correcting errors; (2) to bring any newly installed unit of equipment up to operating mode dependability.


The process of removing rough edge deformations caused by cutting and/or drilling dielectric supports for printed circuits.

deca (deka)

A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the power of one (101); symbol is da.

decal (deca)

An abbreviated form of decalcomania, the French designation of a design printed on specially prepared paper for transfer to a substrate. Also see cement-type decal, duplex decal, heat release decal, simplex decal, varnish-on decal, water slide decal, decalcomania.

decal adhesive

A clear, screen printable, water soluble compound printed over the face surface of decal for face-down adhesion on a transparent substrate for viewing through the substrate.

decal varnish

A specially formulated fast-setting varnish used for adhering certain types of decals usually intended for outdoor exposure.

decalcomania (decal)

An abbreviated form of decalcomania, the French designation of a design printed on specially prepared paper for transfer to a substrate.

decalcomania paper

A specially coated absorbent paper made of cotton fiber mixed with chemical wood pulp, having a smooth, uniform finish and with a good wet strength and finished as a simplex or duplex decal paper.


To remove liquid and leave the solids behind in a liquid slurry.


A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the negative 1 power (10-1) or 0.1; symbol is d.

decibel (dB, db)

The logarithmic acoustical unit scale used for expressing transmission gains, losses, and levels, and for measuring relative intensity of sound.