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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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M weight

The weight of 1000 sheets of paper cut to its basis size.


Acceptable abbreviation for milliampere.


The shredding of fibers, such as for use in a molding resin.

machine coated

Paper or board that has been coated with a mixture of a mineral pigment and a suitable adhesive during the papermaking process.

machine direction (grain)

Indicates the directional flow of a paper web from wet end to dry end on a papermaking machine; used interchangeably with grain direction.

machine finished

Any paper whose surface has been finished to a generally smooth to medium finish on a papermaking machine.

machine glazed

A paper with a high gloss finish on one side only.

magenta (M) (process red)

A purplish color; one of the four process color inks used in printing process.

magenta contact screen

A contact screen that has a dye instead of silver dot pattern, makes it possible to control halftone contrast by the use of color filters.

magenta printer

In process color reproduction the prepress material used to produce the magenta image.

magnesium carbonate

A very light odorless white extender used in some screen printing inks.

magnetic ink

Ink made from iron oxide pigments (ferrosoferric oxide (Fe3O4) in a special crystalline form, made for magnetic ink character recognition (MICR).

magnetic ink character recognition paper

Paper free of all metallic and magnetizable particles with superior strength, levelness, good stiffness, and propensity for flatness despite continual handling.


A device designed to produce very short radio waves in radio-frequency energized UV lamps.

make ready (set up)

The procedures necessary to properly adjust production equipment to perform a print or finishing operation; the act of making ready or setting up to print.


The arrangement of lines of type and illustrations into pages or sections.

male and female die

Convex and concave matching dies.

maleic resin

A hard synthetic resin formed by the reaction of maleic acid and modified resin.


A spindle or round device for supporting ware during printing.


A fiber from cardage, rope, or hemp plants used to manufacture strong tough papers.


An instrument for measuring the pressure of liquids and gases.


A preliminary model or prototype, usually smaller than the final work, designed to estimate, measure or gauge overall appearance during product planning.

mar resistance

Property of an ink, coating, or substrate to remain unimpaired by slight abrasion, impact, or pressure; also called abrasion resistance.


The white space extending from the printed edge to the edge of a sheet.

margin gluer

A device for gumming or applying adhesive to single wing easels, or edges of display parts that are to be adhered.


Another term for emblem or decal, also used as a generic term that including striping, accent, and trim pieces and die-cut lettering.


A slab of machine cast iron, lubricated by wax and oil on which the gob (gather) at the end of a blow pipe is rolled to form a cylindrical shape before blowing into desired shape.


A covering or coating used to protect, cover, or conceal.


(1) Technique of placing a mask in the path of light to stop passage, reduce the quantity of light, or modify a photographic result; (2) Technique that allows manipulation of one area of an image while other areas remain unaffected.

masking film

(1) Manual knife-cut film that does not permit passage of actinic light; (2) Photographic-light sensitive film for making masks for color correction.

mass flow rate

Volumetric flow rate times density such as pounds per hour or kilograms per minute.


(1) A color, viewed by reflective light, of a pigment-vehicle mixture, that is of sufficient thickness to obscure completely the background; (2) An area of solid color compared to a halftone print.


The original from which subsequent copies and comparisons are made.

master frame

A screen printing frame so designed that smaller screen printing frames may be affixed inside it for printing.