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.


  • EMI shield
    A printed conductor pattern or separate aluminum or copper film used in a membrane switch to reduce the effects of electromagnetic and radio frequency interference.
  • Emission curve
    Curve plotted on graph to indicate variances to and from peak performance of emitted light or other rays.
  • Emission factor
    The average amount of pollutants that will be emitted per unit of material manufactured.
  • Emission standard
    The maximum legal amount of a pollutant allowed to be discharged from a single source, either mobile or stationary.
  • Emissivity
    The ratio of energy emitted by an object to that emitted by a theoretical object that radiates the maximum amount of energy at the same temperature such as a blackbody.
  • Emulsifying agent (emulsifier)
    Material used to facilitate the preparation of emulsions and to improve their stability.
  • Emulsion
    A liquid or semi-liquid light sensitive compound usually of silver halide grains in a thin gelatin layer.
  • Emulsion side
    The side of the photosensitive stencil or photographic film that is coated with the light sensitive material.
  • Emulsion speed
    The rate of response to light under standard conditions of a light sensitive material.
  • Emulsion up
    Refers to a photographic film positive or negative where the emulsion side is placed facing up for direct contact with a photostencil.
  • En space (N) (en quad) (nut)
    One-half the width of an em; a unit of measure in printed matter that is one half the width of an em.
  • Enamel
    (1) In glass decorating, a dry powder substance composed of a mixture of frit and inorganic pigment; (2) A screen printing ink or coating the dries hard and glossy; (3) A coated paper with a glossy surface.
  • Enamel stock
    Coated paper with a hard, glossy surface usually obtained by calendering the clay impregnated surface.
  • Encapsulated ink
    Ink or ink particles covered or enclosed with a coating to produce a free flowing dry system that can be activated by thermal change or physical pressure such as scratch and sniff ink.
  • End point density
    The highlight and shadow densities representing the desired dot reproduction at both ends of the halftone range.
  • Endothermic
    A chemical change or transformation that absorbs heat.
  • Engineer grade
    A second grade reflective sheeting made to specifications for a variety of uses including highway signs; also referred to as diamond grade.
  • Engineered prints
    Cut-sheet transfers (not continuous rolls) that may be individual products such as bath rugs or individual parts of a garment.
  • Engineering control
    Any equipment, material, or process that reduces the source of a hazardous exposure.
  • Engineering grade plastic
    Plastic with properties suitable for engineered product requiring up to 125°C (257°F).
  • English finish
    A grade of book paper that has a smooth non-glossy paper finish.
  • Englobe
    A slip or liquid clay used for decorating.
  • Engobe
    A slip coating applied to a ceramic body to mask the body color.
  • Engraving
    Any recessed printing plate that is produced by an etching or cutting.
  • Enlargement (enlargement) (blow-up)
    A reproduction or copy larger than the original; also called blowup.