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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.

| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y

adhesive (glue) (cermet) (gum)

A substance capable of holding materials together by surface attachment.

adhesive bleed (ooze)

Adhesive exudation from pressure sensitive stock before or after processing to finished product, as a result of cold flow or clamp pressure.

adhesive residue

(1) Adhesive deposit remaining on substrate due to cohesive failure when a pressure sensitive material is removed; (2) Adhesive remaining on water-applied decal after application to a surface.

adjacency effect

(1) Property of the eye that causes the same color to look different when surrounded by or adjacent to other colors, such as a color will appear darker when surrounded by a lighter color, or lighter when surrounded by a darker color; (2) Alterations in exposure densities within a silver halide film emulsion that occur during processing at the conjunction areas of differing densities.

adjustable camera

A camera with manually adjustable distance settings, lens openings and shutter speeds.

adjustable focus

Describes a camera lens that has adjustable distance settings.

adjustable frame (adjustable mesh holder)

An adjustable screen printing chase with side members capable of moving toward or from the center of the chase, to which the mesh is attached for tensioning or register control; refer to retensionable frame.

adjustable stroke

A means of mechanical control of the distance that the squeegee travels in screen printing.


(1) The concentration of molecules of a particular kind of the inter-face between the pigment and vehicle in screen printing inks, can effectively remove a component such as the drier from an ink vehicle; (2) A surface phenomena, in which liquid or gaseous molecules are retained on the surface of another substance; (3) The adhesion of molecules to a surface; (4) An effect of light striking an object where the light energy is absorbed and re-emitted at longer wavelengths; (5) In optics, the loss in transmission of light, as through a transparent or translucent material.

advertising specialty

Any novelty item that can be imprinted, and usually given to customers as a promotional article.

affected facility

Within the meaning of the Clean Air Act (US), refers to a stationary source of air pollutants, or any apparatus to which a federal standard is applicable.


The attraction between an adhesive and an adherent.

after burner

An air pollution device that removes noxious gases and vapors through incineration.

after tack

Stickiness that develops in an ink film after it has apparently dried, or after a heat drying operation.

against the grain

At right angles to the grain direction of the paper.


Unit of measurement for depth of columns for advertising space; 14 agate lines equals one inch (2.54 cm).

agate burnisher

An agate tipped tool used for rubbing and polishing silver and gold decorations.

age resistance

To resist deterioration from oxygen, ozone, heat, light, or internal chemical action.


To collect or gather particles in a weakly bonded mass; a clustering of undispersed particles usually pigments.


To collect or gather in strongly bonded mass.


A means of comparatively categorizing adhesive products by degree of tackiness and speed with which bond occurs.


(1) The change or changes undergone by a material as a result of the passage of time; (2) (Steaming) The curing of screen printed decorations on textiles by application of moist heat to fix the colors into the fibers and to remove the stiffness (hand) induced by normally air dried imprints.


Keeping a solution, or a substance in a solution, in motion during processing.

air bells

(1) Surface defects in paper, sometimes called blisters or foam marks; (2) Air bubbles sometime found in photo emulsion after stirring in sensitizers.

air brush

(1) A pencil-shaped device for spraying liquid by means of compressed air, used for retouching photographic prints to improve tonal value, for spraying inks, or for producing special effects on film positives; (2) A tool found in most graphic software packages that provides the effect of spraying a paint air mixture over an image.

air bubbles

Bubbles of air adhering to the surface of a photographic negative, positive, carbon tissue, etc., when surface is immersed in solution.

air conditioning

Regulation by mechanical means of temperature and air circulation within a selected enclosed area.

air contaminant

Any substance of either man-made or natural origin in the ambient air such as dust, gas, fumes, mist (other than H2O), smoke, heat, and noise.

air knife (air jet)

The tiny holes or slots in the sheet, plate, or similar configuration within a drying system through which air is forced under compression onto the surface of freshly printed substrate to accelerate drying; also referred to as air jet.

air permeability

Relative ability of a material to permit air flow, or to breathe.

air pollutant

Dust, fumes, mist, smoke, and other particulate matter, vapor, gas, odorous substances, or any combination thereof.

air pull

Coating the ink over the screen without making an impression on the substrate; also refer to flood coat, flood stroke, flooding.

air recovery

A process of capturing airborne contaminants such as smoke, dust, and solvent vapors.

air-dried pigment

Pigment/resin combination capable of drying at room temperatures, with or without agitation of surrounding atmosphere by fan or other mechanical means.

air-gas ratio

Volume of air per unit volume of gas in a mixture supplied to a gas burner.

alabaster glass

A milky, white glass that diffuses light without fiery color.