Glossary Of Terms

The PRINTING United Alliance Glossary of Terms serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate, without it universal understanding would be impossible. Language and our ideas about how it is interpreted change rapidly. PRINTING United Alliance is aware of this and continues its effort to keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology. The definitions are for general reference only. Usage may vary between companies, individuals, or national and country customs. The information presented is as accurate as the authors and editors can ascertain and PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Automatic machine (automatic press) (mechanically fed)
    A machine that completes partial or full operation cycles by means of energy other than human motion. (A fully automatic screen press loads, prints, and discharges the print without manual effort on the part of the operator other than the switching on and off of the energy source, usually electricity, or controlling machine speed. In some cases, may include ink feeding).
  • Automatic peel
    A feature generally found on a larger automatic screen printing press, where the screen is lifted mechanically behind the moving squeegee, by a spring or cam device.
  • Automatic processor
    A unit where exposed photosensitive sheet material is fed to travel through the processing baths under controlled conditions, and be delivered fully processed and dried at the point of removal.
  • Autopositive film
    A film that develops a positive form from a positive original on exposure, or a negative image from a negative original by reflex exposure through yellow sheeting.
  • Autoscreen film
    Film that has a line halftone screen incorporated into the emulsion, and after exposure to an original, develops to a halftone image.
  • Auxiliary display
    Any type of point-of-purchase display that is in addition to general line of checkout displays, including floor displays, baskets, racks and counter displays.
  • Auxiliary racks
    Display fixtures that are in addition to general line racks, including checkout racks, and racks that can be attached to a general line rack.
  • Avoirdupois weight
    A system of weights and measures based on a pound containing 16 ounces, 7000 grains, or 453.59 grams, and an ounce weighing 16 drams.
  • AWG
    Acronym for American Wire Gauge.
  • Axis
    (1) A straight line, real or imaginary that passes through a body and about which the body may or actually does rotate; (2) Geometric guidelines used to place a coordinate that determines knife or tool paths for plotters and routers.
  • Azodye
    Any of various red, brown, or yellow acidic or basic dyes derived from nitrobenzene in an alkaline solution.
  • B stage
    An intermediate stage in the reaction of a thermosetting resin where the material softens when heated and swells in contact with certain liquids, but does not fuse or dissolve; also refer to A and C stage.
  • B?zier curve
    Curved line segments created by establishing endpoints or anchor points, and at least one transient point or node.
  • Back card
    A card unit attached to the back of a dump bin, floor bin, or counter merchandiser that projects above the merchandise and presents the selling message at eye level.
  • Back gray cloth
    Cotton fabric material placed over the waterproof layer on top of the felt padding on the screen printing table to prevent through printed dyes from being absorbed into the felt padding.
  • Back lighted display
    A printed display prepared on transparent material that can be illuminated from the rear to enhance attention value.
  • Back lighting
    The process of illuminating transparent artwork or screen printed transparency film from behind.
  • Back printing
    Printing on the underside or second surface of a transparent sheet or film; also referred to as reverse printing.
  • Back score
    A cut score made from the back of a display.
  • Back slanted letter
    Type that is slanted toward the left.
  • Back slit
    A cut or slit through the backing sheet of pressure sensitive film.
  • Backbone
    The back of a bound book connecting the two covers; also referred to a spline.
  • Back-etching
    A color correction technique for reducing the density of a continuous tone negative.
  • Background
    Area appearing behind the legend or principle subject of a print.
  • Backing
    Typically a non-woven material applied beneath material being sewn to increase fabric stability and support stitches.