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.


  • Gold ink
    A metallic screen printing ink which has the appearance of metallic gold.
  • Gold karatage
    A measure of purity or fineness of gold. (24 karat represents pure gold.)
  • Golden ratio
    A rule devised to give proportions of height to width when laying out text or images to produce the best optical appearance.
  • Golden rod paper
    A specially coated yellow or orange masking paper used to assemble and position negatives for exposure to press plates.
  • Goniometer
    An instrument used to measure contact angles of droplets placed on a substrate surface to indicate surface energies/wetting capabilities.
  • Gosudarstvenny J Komitet Standartov
    Standards organization in Russia.
  • Gothic style letter
    Letter that is without serifs, small spurs, or extensions at the terminals such as a sans serif typeface.
  • Gouache
    A method of painting with opaque colors that have been ground in water and mingled with a preparation of gum.
  • Gout
    A clump of any foreign body trapped in a fabric during the weaving process.
  • Gpd
    Acceptable abbreviation for grams per denier.
  • Gradation
    Gradual change of tones from one shade to another.
  • Grade
    To determine a type, category for various papers and cloth (Paper grade categories are bond, uncoated book, coated book, text, cover, board, and specialty).
  • Graduate
    A container or vessel with markings on it for measuring volumes of liquids; also called beaker.
  • Graft polymer
    Polymeric structure made by attaching monomers to long-chain molecules.
  • Grain (gr)
    (1) In paper, the direction in which the majority of the fibers lie; (2) smallest unit of weight used in American system of measuring based on the weight of a grain of wheat equal to 0.0648 gram; (3) fine textured appearance of a negative, print, or transparency resulting from the clumping of silver grains. (4) the smallest component of a photographic image. A single particle of silver or dye cloud. Collectively, the size of those particles.
  • Grain long
    The fiber direction in a sheet running parallel to the length of the sheet.
  • Grain short
    The fiber direction in a sheet running parallel to the short dimension or width.
  • Graininess
    An effect seen in the print as randomly occurring light and dark specks or grains, due to roughing of the edges of halftone dots, random specks of ink between dots, discontinuous ink films, or specular reflectance off inked fibers in the surface of the paper.
  • Graining
    The application and firing of one colored enamel over another to imitate a natural wood or marble finish.
  • Grainy
    Small variations in the surface appearance of paper often caused by irregular distribution of color.
  • Gram (g)
    Unit of mass and weight in the metric system; the weight of one cubic centimeter of water at standard conditions; 28.35 grams equal one ounce; 453.6 grams equal one pound.
  • Grammage
    The weight of a square meter of paper, expressed in grams per meter squared (g/m2).
  • Grams per meter
    (gsm) A unit of measurement for paper weight.
  • Grand format or superwide
    72" or greater width digital print machines or media. Their printing process was usually driven by air, but recent machines may piezo-print directly on a substrate.
  • Granite wash
    Chemical or mechanical process that takes dye out of a garment to create a cracked look.