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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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Fixed sizes at which the aperture of the lens can be set; a number established by dividing the focal length of a lens by the diameter of the lens opening.

fabric (cloth) (textile)

Planar structure produced from weaving, knotting, felting, knitting, binding or otherwise combining natural or synthetic fibers or filaments.


An historical term originated by Oscar Turner to indicate screen printing and the industry as a whole. (As architecture is building design by an architect, fabritecture was intended to embrace several related industry terms such as fabritect to indicate a screen printer. It’s usage is now obscure and limited).


The better looking side of the fabric.

face channel

A lighted sign component with back, sides, and translucent face.

face cut label

A die-cut label where the matrix has not been removed.

face down

A decal designed for application to a transparent substrate through which the pattern or design can be viewed.

face plate

Synonymous with fascia or overlay, refers to the top most area of a membrane switch.

face print

Screen printing on the first surface of a transparent substrate, as opposed to printing on the back (reverse).

face slitting

Cutting through the face sheet of a pressure sensitive laminate without cutting through the backing. (Slitting is done lengthwise of a web, or crosswise, in straight parallel cuts to form strips of desired width).

face up

A decal designed for application to an opaque substrate that is read or observed from the same side as the application surface.

fade resistance

The property of a color or ink film that inhibits deterioration from environmental influences.


An instrument used to measure the lightfastness of inks and materials under controlled and repeatable conditions.


Partial or complete loss of color due to excessive sun exposure, humidity, or other environmental influences; a gradual "bleaching out" of the appearance of a color on a print.

Fahrenheit (F)

A widely used thermal scale in which the freezing point is 32 degrees and 212 degrees represents the temperature at which water boils at sea level.

faience ware

Earthenware with a transparent glaze.

fake color printing

The printing of a transparent ink of one color overall or portions of a previously printed other color to a darker tone than either of the original colors. A third color is thus produced and, depending on the transparency of the inks, the third color may be a secondary hue, i.e., yellow on red to produce orange.

fake duotone

Two color reproduction using a single halftone negative, usually black and the halftone screen tint for the background usually in color.

false body

A characteristic of an ink or coating which has more body or heavier viscosity that the pigment/vehicle ratio would indicate. A false body may be induced by adding a flocculent.

family mold

Multi cavity mold where each cavity forms one of the component parts of the assembled finished object.

fancy finish

Pattern textures in fine paper.


A unit of capacity that will store one coulomb of electrical charge when one watt of electrical pressure is applied.

Farmer’s reducer

A chemical solution of potassium ferricyanide and sodium thiosulfate that is used to reduce the density and increase the contrast of developed film. (Named after its inventor Howard Farmer).


Term used to designate the face or first surface of an item, as in "sign fascia."

fashion knit

A broad category of garments generally depending on the material, the material pattern, or the color of the material. Fashion knits range all the way from tricots through combinations of polyester/cotton to some pure cotton fabrics.

fast color

A color which is resistant to the action of external agents such as light, acids, and alkalis.


The stability of colored pigments or dyestuffs under adverse conditions of light, acids, alkalis, etc.


Color and oil mixtures that flow well; good flow characteristics.


Condition of stress in a material resulting from repeated flexing or impact.


An excess of ink deposit, which enlarges a defined area.


Acceptable acronym for the US Food and Drug Administration.

feather edge (feathering)

(1) The appearance of the edge of a printed area where the color or ink seeps out or is forced beyond the predetermined print edge, giving the edge a feathery ragged appearance or unsharp print edge; (2) Image editing technique that allows the softening of the edge around a selection.

Federal Standard 595 (US)

Color matching system developed by the US Government.

feed slots (pin feed)

Round or rectangular registration holes placed in pressure sensitive or web stock to maintain register by feeding the stock over a series of pins on a roller arrangement.


A mechanical mechanism that separates, lifts, and passes individual sheets of substrate to be printed from the stock pile to the printing base, by means of grippers, belts or suction devices.