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.


  • Methyl alcohol
    Used in combination with ethylene dichloride as a solvent and thinner for some types of water-soluble blockouts used to remove lacquer knife-cut stencils from a screen.
  • Methyl Cellosolve
    One of the trade names for ethylene glycol mono methyl ether used in lacquer formulations, having high solvent strength for cellulose acetate; considered to be toxic.
  • Methyl chloride
    Used in combination with ethyl alcohol as a solvent and thinner with some types of water-soluble blockouts.
  • Methyl isobutyl ketone
    A solvent used in the manufacture of lacquer compounds and some resins such as vinyl.
  • Methyl violet
    A class of strong purple dyes and pigments.
  • Metric system
    An international decimal system of weights and measures.
  • Mezzograph
    A halftone screen with a grain formation instead of ruled lines.
  • Mezzotint
    The dots that form a contact screen for making simulated halftone effects that are irregular in shape and size and non-uniform in position.
  • Mg
    Acceptable abbreviation for milligram.
  • Mho
    Backward spelling of ohm, a unit of conductivity equal to the conductivity of a body where resistance is one ohm.
  • MIC
    Acceptable abbreviation for microscope.
  • Micro (?)
    Prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the negative power of six (10-6) or 0.000 001.
  • Microadjustment
    The fine tuning adjustments that allow for precise movement in all directions.
  • Microcircuits
    Electronic circuits produced with extremely small dimensional specifications, expressed in Angstrom units equal to 1/100,000 cm.
  • Microelectronics
    A technology dealing with the processes for producing electronic circuits by fabricating solid structures, printing circuits and various electronic systems, and components or parts of subminiature size.
  • Microlayer
    An extremely thin imprint usually as applied in subminiature circuit production.
  • Micrometer
    (1) Micron, defined as 10-6 meter; (2) Instrument used to measure thickness, or caliper.
  • Micron (?m)
    (1) A prefix utilized in the metric system of measurement that denotes 10 to the negative power of six (10-6) or one millionth (0.000,001) of a meter, 0.000039 inch. (2) A term used to express the wavelength of light or the size of a pigment particle.
  • Micro-registration
    A method of on-press adjustment that allows for very small changes in position and allows for the fine tuning of print registration.
  • Microwave drying
    A technique using ultra-short electromagnetic waves to transfer energy from an electromagnetic field to a polar dielectric such as screen printing ink generating heat to cause drying of the ink film.
  • Mid-tone (middle tone)
    The tonal range of color or graduations of grays that lie halfway between the lightest highlight and the darkest shadow.
  • Mid-tone dot
    A point in the middle gray area of a halftone that equals or comes close to the average of the nearly background area.
  • Migration
    The movement of a substance, ink, dye, or coating into another causing unwanted color change; also refer to dye migration.
  • Mike
    To measure the thickness of a substrate using a micrometer.
  • Mil
    A metric unit of length measurement equal to 0.001 inch or 25.4 microns.