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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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A built-up surface beneath the screen, used to ensure good contact between the stencil and the screen during adhesion.


The process of physically locating, connecting and protecting circuits, devices or components.


An object made of silicone rubber that is used to transfer ink from an engraved plate to the substrate.

pad transfer printing

A method of transferring images from a photoengraved plate, made of steel or plastic, to a round, irregular, or flat surface with a silicone rubber pad.


The layers of felt, waterproof plastic, and black gray cloth applied to the surface of the printing table onto which adhesive can be coated to hold the textile substrate in position for screen printing.

page layout

The process and software that prepares artwork, text and other elements to be collected and prepared for printing within a specific area.


The assembly of printed matter into a page format.


A finite set of distinct colors that can be displayed by a video, printing, or computer system.

palette knife

A small, flexible blade with handle used for mixing small batches of ink or color on a slab; spatula.


A low, sturdy portable platform on which materials may be placed for handling in quantity.


An emulsion or film that is sensitive to the light of all visible colors.


(1) A section of the crown of a cap. (2) Division of a job based on a device's production area. Also called a tile.

panel program

A service where the manufacturer provides apparel parts to be decorated and returned for assembly.


A device used to reduce or enlarge images proportionately.

Pantone Matching System (PMS)

A registered trademark of Pantone, Inc.; a color matching system for choosing and matching specific spot and process colors.

Pantone® system

A patented printing ink color matching system involving a range of stock colors with which, by intermixing in prescribed combination and amounts, an ink mixer can obtain a wide range of tints, tones, shadings, and intermediate hues. (Trademark of Pantone Inc.).


A sheet of fibers (wood) manufactured on a fine wire from a water suspension.

paper abrasion test

Paper used to determine dry rub, wet rub, wet bleed, smear, and rub qualities, incorporating several types of motion, also used for the testing of surface areas, under a variety of load conditions.

paper conditioning

To bring paper temperature and moisture content into equilibrium with the atmospheric conditions of the pressroom.

paper equilibrium tester

An instrument used to indicate maximum changes likely in size or shape of stacked, wrapped paper, once the wrapping has been removed.

paper stencil

A screen printing stencil made of thin paper that is adhered to the mesh.

paper thermometer

A strip of heat sensitive paper that indicates achieved temperature; also refer to temperature tapes.


One of the two broad subdivisions of paper that is generally 12 points (0.3 mm/0.012 inch) or more in thickness.

para red

An organic red pigment used in ink manufacturing.


The difference between the field-of-view seen through the viewfinder and that recorded on the film.

parallel-receding press

A screen printing press where the top frame assembly rises up and back or in some models, up and sideways simultaneously, while remaining parallel or horizontal.

parallelogram easel

An easel used in the construction of three-dimensional displays that requires assembly with parallel sides.


Controllable variables that describe the conditions of a process.


(1) Historically, a sheet made from the skins of goats; (2) An artificial paper made to resemble original; refer to vegetable parchment or vellum.

parian ware

A soft porcelain composed of one part china clay and two parts feldspar, used for making statuettes.


A hollow molten plastic tube from which an object is blow molded.


A set of binary digits where the total numbers of digits in each expression is deliberately kept odd or even by the addition of an extra digit whenever necessary.


Solid or liquid matter generally between 0.001 micron and 1000 microns in size.


Smallest unit; a substance that consists of a minute particle of solid or liquid matter, usually suspended in air.


A linear, highly crystalline polymer that is deposited from the vapor phase by a process similar to vacuum metalization, used as a conformal coating for silicone rubber keypads and electronic assemblies.

pascal (Pa)

A basic unit of pressure equal to the pressure resulting from a force of one Newton acting uniformly over an area of one square meter (N/m2).