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.


  • Dichroism
    The property of showing different colors depending on the thickness of the substrate or concentration of printed ink.
  • Die
    A tool for cutting out, forming, or stamping material.
  • Die board
    The plywood base into which the steel rule dies are inserted.
  • Die cut label
    Pressure sensitive label on a release liner from which the matrix has been removed.
  • Die cut prespaced
    The die cutting of pressure sensitive sheet to pre- determined patterns, the die being made to accurately space the portions on the sheet, then, application tape is applied to the facing to maintain the prespacing of the pattern or parts.
  • Die cut to liner
    The die cutting of a pressure sensitive sheet to the depth of the face layer only, without cutting the backing or support sheet.
  • Die cutting
    Process of blanking or cutting a sheet or roll stock to a predetermined shape.
  • Die line
    The line or marking on a tracing that indicates where the blades of the die should strike in cutting.
  • Die press
    (1) A manually operated machine for forming steel rule dies; (2) A die cutting press.
  • Die, male and female
    Convex and concave matching dies.
  • Dielectric
    A non-conducting or insulating material; a substance with electrical conductivity less than a millionth (10-6) of a mho.
  • Dielectric breakdown
    Any change in the property of a dielectric material that causes it to become conductive.
  • Dielectric constant
    Related to the force of attraction between two opposite charges separated in a uniform medium; determinant of the electrostatic energy stored per unit volume for each unit potential gradient, (plastics have a dielectric constant of 2.5 to 7).
  • Dielectric ink
    A printable compound which has insulating properties on drying, used for separating portions of circuits for encapsulating components or entire modules for protection from environmental influences.
  • Dielectric strength
    (1) The maximum voltage that an insulator can withstand, expressed in volts/mil, without allowing current to pass through; (2) Insulating value of material against the flow of electricity.
  • Differential pressure
    The difference in static pressure between two identical pressure taps at the same elevation located in two different locations in a primary device.
  • Diffuse dither
    A method for printing continuous-tone images on laser printers in which the grayscale information is represented by randomly located printer dots.
  • Diffuse transmission
    Process by which incident light that passes through an object and is redirected or scattered over a range of angles.
  • Diffusion
    Softening the detail in a print with a diffusion lens/disk or other material that scatters light.
  • Diffusion disk
    A flat glass with a pattern of lines or concentric rings that breaks up and scatters light from an enlarger lens; softens detail in a print.
  • Diffusion enlarger
    A type of enlarger that scatters light, distributing light evenly on the negative.
  • Diffusion transfer
    photographic method of transferring an image from an exposed donor negative paper to a receiver film or paper, in one step, using a film processor.
  • Diffusion-transfer base stock
    A paper with a high degree of wet strength and smooth surface to which a silver halide-gelatin emulsion is applied, produced on stock free from iron, copper, and sulfur and resistant to yellowing when exposed to a caustic solution.
  • Digital
    Image and line data that has been translated into numerical values for manipulation and reproduction.
  • Digital color printing
    One of several non-impact technologies where the image is formed by a computer controlled printer.. (Generally accepted to include: electrostatic, ink jet, laser photo, and thermal transfer.)