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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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kangaroo easel

An easel with a built-in pouch.


A fine white clay used as a filler or coating pigment in papermaking; also referred to china clay.


A gum like copal resin used in making oleoresinous enamel and varnish.

kauri butanol value (KB value)

A measure of the solvent power of hydrocarbon solvents and oils using kauri gum butanol reagent;(values range from 20, petroleum naphtha, a poor solvent to 105, toluene, an excellent solvent).


Acceptable abbreviation for kilobytes per second.

Kelvin (K)

An absolute scale of temperature (Kelvin Scale) where the degree intervals are equal to those of the Celsius scale and where 0° or absolute zero equals —273.16° C. (Color temperature of light is measured in Kelvin).

kernel size

The number of pixels sampled as a unit during image manipulation and shaping.


Manipulating type character width and white space to achieve tighter fit or aesthetically pleasing results; also referred to as character compensation.


A class of strong volatile organic solvents such as acetone and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).


(1) Master layout or flat that is used as a positioning guide for color artwork and for image assembly of other film flats; (2) Any special quality of the surface or of a previous coat of ink, which assists adhesion of a subsequent coat. (A rough or abraded surface provides a mechanical key for adhesion of an applied ink or film).

key height

The measured distance from the base of a keypad to the top surface of the key.

key plate

In color printing, the plate used as a guide for the register of other colors, and normally contains the most detail.

key travel

The distance a switch moves to close an electrical contact.


An outline drawing or finished art, which shows maximum detail, to indicate the exact shape, position, and size for such elements as halftones and type.


Short line above the main line of a head, printed in smaller or accent type.


A large vat used in bleaching and dyeing of fabric.


To delete unwanted copy.


A furnace or enclosed heat chamber controllable by pyrometer or pyrometric cones for the firing of ceramic ware in static position.

kilo (k)

A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the power of three (103) or 1,000.

kilobyte (KB)

An electronic unit of measure equal to 1024 bytes.

kilocalorie (kcal)

A unit of measure of heat equal to 1000 calories or the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree centigrade.

kilogram (kg)

The standard for unit of mass and weight in the metric system; equivalent to 1000 grams (2.2046 pounds).


A unit of energy or work equivalent to the amount of energy needed to raise one kilogram one meter and is equal to 7.2334 foot-pounds.

kilometer (km)

A metric unit of length equal to 1,000 meters or 0.621 miles.

kilovolt (kV) (kv)

(1) A unit of electromotive force equal to 1000 volts; (2) A standard measure for the relationship between the intensity of an electromagnetic field and the distance between the electrodes generating the field used in electrostatic flocking.

kilovolts per centimeter (kv/cm)

A standard measure for the relationship between the intensity of an electromagnetic field and the distance between the electrodes generating the field used in electrostatic flocking.

kilowatt (kW)

A metric unit of power equal to one thousand watts or 1.34 horsepower.

kilowatt hour (kWh)

A metric unit of work or heat equivalent to the total energy developed by a power of one kilowatt working one hour.


Any unintended crease.


A small point of purchase display, fixture, structure, cart placed in the center of an aisle or merchandise area.

kiss cutting (face cutting)

The die cutting of a face material of a laminated substrate without cutting the support material.


Metric symbol for kilometers per hour.

knife bevel

Angle of the vertical cutting edge of a blade.

knife coating

A coating process for paper where a doctor blade, knife, or straight edge is used to spread and control the amount and thickness of a coating.

knife cut film

A lacquer or similar film temporarily affixed to a clear support sheet, where designs or images are cut either mechanically or manually with a sharp knife.

knife cut positive

A design or image cut into masking film that is usable in the same way as a film positive made by camera for making a screen printing photostencil.