Glossary Of Terms

The SGIA 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. SGIA 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 SGIA assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Mar resistance
    Property of an ink, coating, or substrate to remain unimpaired by slight abrasion, impact, or pressure; also called abrasion resistance.
  • Margin
    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.
  • Marking
    Another term for emblem or decal, also used as a generic term that including striping, accent, and trim pieces and die-cut lettering.
  • Marver
    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.
  • Mask
    A covering or coating used to protect, cover, or conceal.
  • Masking
    (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.
  • Masstone
    (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.
  • Master
    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.
  • Masthead
    Any design or logo type used as identification.
  • Mat
    The random arrangement of glass fibers used in reinforcing a molded shape such as an outdoor fiberglass sign.
  • Match Print proof
    (1) A four color print that estimates how the final print will appear; (2) A direct digital color proofing process that allows the printer to see the colors desired in the final print; (3) A 3M registered trademark.
  • Material
    Yard goods or cloth; substrate.
  • Material Choices
    Fabric choice for an awning or canopy depends on the application:
    • Interior or exterior
    • Illuminated (backlit) or standard commercial/residential project
    Fabrics used in illuminated awnings and canopies, for instance, contrast from other awning fabrics greatly in translucency and in the weight of the material. Fabrics and materials such as vinyl-coated and vinyl-laminated polyesters can be specified to maximize light translucency. Forgoing the interior illumination provides one the benefit of using heavier or other types of materials. The method of graphics application has to be compatible with the materials chosen for the job, so ask the manufacturer of the awning material what methods will work. There are heat-transfer films, the heat-sealed inset fabric method, sewn-in inset fabric, the use of eradication of fabric dye, pressure-sensitive vinyl application (either cut or digitally printed), screen printing and hand painting, all being used to decorate awning fabrics.
  • Material safety data sheet (MSDS)
    A product specification sheet that identifies chemical substances and other health and physical hazards encountered by employees handling the material.
  • Matte finish
    A dull, low-gloss, or no-gloss finish.
  • Matte stock
    A low-gloss or non-reflective stock material.
  • Maturing range
    Time/temperature range required when firing ceramics.
  • Maturing temperature
    The temperature where glass decoration must be held for a selected time to achieve the desired cure properties.
  • Maximum opacity
    The thickness of an applied ink film where additional amounts of ink will not affect reflectance measurements.
  • Maximum operating temperature
    The maximum temperature at which a device can be safely operated.
  • Mayer rod/bar
    A metal rod wound with a fine wire around its axis, used to draw an ink down evenly and at a given thickness.