Follow Us: Twitter LinkedIn Facebook


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


A mark used with reference to containers which indicates "non-returnable."

naked glass

Plain ware prior to decoration.


An identification plate that can be engraved, etched, embossed or printed, and then affixed to a machine or device.

nano (n)

A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the negative 9 power (10-9 ) or 0.000 000 001; 0.1 Angstroms; symbol is n.

nanometer (nm)

A standard unit of distance used in measuring wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum (equal to 10-9 meter or 10 angstroms); one billionth of a meter.


One billionth of a second.


A complicated manufacturing process used to impart various high performance properties directly into the fiber, so that it will be inherent and not wash or wear out.


The soft or fuzzy surface of a brushed fabric or leather.

naphthenate driers

Compounds of naphthenic acid with metals, usually cobalt or manganese, used to accelerate oxidation of an ink film.


General anesthesia, or loss of feeling due to exposure to certain chemical vapors, may be accompanied by loss of consciousness.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

A set of maximum concentration levels for air pollutants established by the 1970 US Clean Air Act; particulate matter, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, photochemical oxidants, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides are among the substances regulated.

native files

Original computer files in their original application form for digital graphic or publication.

natural aging

A change, if any, in a material occurring when the material is exposed to normal environmental conditions.

natural fiber

Any fiber of vegetable or animal origin.


Acceptable acronym for no-carbon required paper.


Acceptable acronym for nondestructive testing.

neck lock

A display lock used in the setup of rectangular parts.

neck ring

A metal mold part that forms the finish of a hollow glass article.


Local reduction of a cross-sectional area of a tensile specimen that may occur during loading.


Slender piece of steel with a point, ball, taper or other shape on one end with a nearby hole or eye for thread used in machine sewing of fabrics.


A photographic image on film where the black values in the original subject are transparent and the whie values are opaque.

negative holder

A device designed to hold a film negative in proper position in an enlarger during exposure.

negative opaque

An opaque brushing consistency liquid used to repair pinholes or other blemishes on negatives.

negative plane

The plane within a camera that is occupied by the film when ready to expose after proper focusing and removal of the ground glass.

NEMA standards

Property values adopted as standard by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (US).


(1) A colorless inert gaseous element comprising 0.0012 percent of normal air; (2) a fluorescent, a color of ink or dye that is especially bright.


Placement of images of a job in an arrangement to minimize waste of material.


A group of machines linked via a central computer.

Neugebauer equations

A set of linear equations used to calculate the tristimulus values of halftone color mixtures and combinations when the dot area of the contributing colors are known.


(1) Any color that has no hue such as white, gray, and black; (2) the absence of acid or alkaline activity in a material having a pH of 7; (3) the presence of an equal concentration of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions.

neutral atmosphere

An atmospheric condition in a firing kiln that is neither strongly oxidizing or reducing.