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.


  • Carbon dust
    Fine granules of carbon residue resulting from the oxidation of the carbon rods while arcing in a carbon arc light unit.
  • Carbon entrapment
    Darkening of applied color labeling enamel and/or development of spongy structure due to sintering of a glass enamel before the vehicle is completely oxidized.
  • Carbon rods
    Cylindrical rods made of carbon granules bound together into a solid form for use in carbon arc lamp.
  • Carbon tissue (pigment paper)
    A dyed or pigmented gelatin-based photographic material coated onto a paper support that is exposed, developed, and adhered to the screen printing mesh forming a stencil.
  • Carbon tissue process
    The technique involved in making a screen printing stencil of carbon tissue film by exposure of the sensitized sheet and subsequent development and adhesion to the screen printing mesh.
  • Carbon/graphite ink
    A specially prepared suspension of carbon black used when the conductivity of a metal base system is not required, often printed over silver circuitry to reduce silver migration.
  • Carbonized mesh
    Monofilament screen mesh with threads that have been treated with carbon or have carbon cores to prevent the buildup of static electricity through friction.
  • Carborundum
    An abrasive solution of silicon carbide, the finer grade of which is used to abrade the surface of monofilament mesh.
  • Carcinogen
    Any substance that has the ability to cause cancer in a living organism.
  • Cardboard
    Layers of paper laminated into sheets of varying thickness, generally 0.006 inch (0.15 mm) or greater.
  • Carding
    (1) The removal of foreign matter, short fibers, seed, and tangles from cotton before it is spun; (2) Process of cleaning ink off the screen mesh after a print run.
  • Caret mark
    A symbol (_) indicating where an omission in the copy should be inserted.
  • Carnival glass
    An iridescent decoration produced by applying metallic salt over a glass body.
  • Carousel
    A multicolor screen printing device that typically has multiple platens that rotate around a central shaft.
  • Carriage
    A scanner's imaging head that moves down a page to capture an image. Also called optical-imaging element, optical-imaging head.
  • Carrier frame
    Device on the press that supports the printing screen frame during the press operation.
  • Car-sign board
    A special grade of cardboard with a waste paper middle and liners of chemical wood pulp and/or shavings used chiefly for transit advertising posters.
  • CAS
    Computer-Aided Sign-Making. Refers to sign-related software and computer-driven, sign-making equipment.
  • Casein
    A protein substance usually obtained from milk used to make sizings, adhesives, and as a binder for aqueous pigment dispersion.
  • Cast (plastic sheeting)
    (1) Application of liquid plastic resins onto a moving belt or precipitating into a chemical bath to form a sheet; (2) An item shaped in a mold while in fluid or plastic state.
  • Cast coated paper
    Heavy clay coated paper dried under pressure against a polished cylinder to produce a highly glossy finish.
  • Cast film
    Plastic sheeting formed by spreading a molten mixture on a carrier sheet or web, baking at high temperatures to remove solvents, and fusing the material into a sheet.
  • Cast vinyl
    (1) Vinyl sheeting manufactured by coating the liquid compound onto a substrate, usually a polished chrome plated sheet, where it remains until it sets to form the plastic sheet; (2) Compounds such as vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate or similar esters, formed or molded into specified shapes, and sheets.
  • Casting
    The act of pouring slip into a mold; process of filling a plaster, metal, or sand mold to create an object.
  • Catalyst
    A substance that alters, initiates, or accelerates the velocity of a reaction between two or more substances without changing its chemical composition.