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.


  • Film mesh counter
    A piece of film with marked areas corresponding to mesh that allows the user to determine count per linear inch or centimeter when place on a backlit mesh.
  • Film negative/reverse
    A negative image made on photographic film.
  • Film positive
    A positive image made on photographic film.
  • Film processor
    Machine for developing and treating photographic films and papers to produce permanent visible images.
  • Film recorder
    A device that records digital image data on film. Typically this device is used to produce photographic color transparencies and negatives, but the term also applies to image setters which produce films for printing.
  • Film separation
    The failure of either a photographic screen printing stencil (film), or knife-cut stencil film to adhere properly to the fabric.
  • Film solvent
    Chemical used in removing knife-cut stencils or paper stencils from the fabric of the printing screen.
  • Film thickness
    The distance from one face surface to the opposite face surface of a film material usually measured in mils or microns.
  • Filter factor
    A number by which the exposure time is multiplied to compensate for light lost when light passes through a color filter on a camera lens.
  • Fin
    (1) A seam imperfection in glass; (2) The feather edge on flat cut glass.
  • Fine mesh
    Screen printing fabrics with relatively high mesh counts per centimeter or per inch and relatively small apertures between the threads.
  • Fineline resolution
    The relative ability of a photostencil to form lines of a specific thickness derived from an imaged film master.
  • Fineness of grind
    (1) The degree of dispersion of a pigment in a printing ink vehicle; (2) The fineness of pigment particle size measured with a grindometer or grind gauge.
  • Finish
    (1) The surface characteristic of a substrate; (2) The part of a container that holds the cap or closure.
  • Finished art
    Art that is complete in all respects; a true prototype of the anticipated reproduction; camera-ready.
  • Finishing
    Term generally applied to encompass post-press operations such as trimming, die cutting, and bindery.
  • Fire cracks
    Cracks in ware caused by local thermal shock.
  • Fire resistance
    Quality of a coating film to remain intact, resisting deformation by heat or flame.
  • Fire retardant
    A term indicating the ability of an ink or coating to (a) reduce the rate of flame spread on the surface of a material, or (b) resist ignition at high temperatures, or (c) prolong the time required by a substrate to reach its ignition, melting, or structural weakening temperature, under specified test methods.
  • Firing
    (1) A heat treatment process of fusing frit colors onto the articles to which they have been applied; (2) Subjecting a glass or ceramic article, either before or after decorating, to high temperature to harden the article or fuse the decoration.
  • Firing cycle
    Time and temperature firing curve in a lehr or kiln.
  • Firing range
    The range of firing temperatures in which a ceramic composition develops properties which make it commercially useful.
  • Firing temperature
    The peak temperature reached in a curing cycle.
  • Firing time
    The period the ware remains in the firing zone of a kiln or lehr to mature the article or the applied decoration.
  • Firing zone
    That portion of the furnace through which the ware passes and remains at or near the temperature necessary to mature the coating or decoration.