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.


  • Thirty-two sheet poster (billboard)
    Larger outdoor poster approximately 305 x 406 cm (120 x 160 inches).
  • Thixotrophy
    The property exhibited by certain compounds to liquefy or have low viscosity, when agitated or stirred, but setups slightly when standing still; the ability of a material to thicken on standing but to regain flow with agitation.
  • Thixotropic fluid
    Liquid whose viscosity decreases as shear rate of agitation increases.
  • Thread
    (1) An individual mesh strand, fiber, or filament; (2) To feed web material through the various stations of an inline screen printing press, and onto the rewind mechanism; (3) Fine cord of natural or synthetic material made from two or more filaments twisted together and used for stitchery.
  • Thread contour
    The shape of a thread in cross section observed along the major axis.
  • Thread count
    A measure of how closely woven a fabric or mesh is, determined by the number of warp and weft threads per square centimeter or square inch; the number of threads per linear unit of measure.
  • Thread diameter (d)
    The measurement across the center of a thread, strand of fiber, or filament.
  • Three-color process
    A method of reproduction similar to four-color process except that the black printer is omitted.
  • Three-dimensional press
    A printing press capable of printing round, oval, or square containers and a variety of irregular shapes.
  • Three-point system
    Method for controlling tonal range in halftone photography; specifying highlight, shadow, and midtone dots on a tone reproduction.
  • Three-quarter automatic
    Refers to an automated press where substrate feeding is done manually, but printing and substrate removal functions are automatic.
  • Three-roll mill
    Grinding equipment with three rollers used to homogeneously prepare glass and ceramic powder mixtures with a medium.
  • Three-step overdyeing
    A process of dyeing, overdyeing, and stone washing garments to get a two-tone splotchy design.
  • Threshold
    A value to which a signal is compared when transforming from a multilevel value to a binary value. (In binary scan, parts of the image below the threshold record as black, while the part above the threshold record as white).
  • Threshold limit value (TLV)
    The airborne concentration level of a substance that below which no adverse health effects are observed. (TLV’s may be measured over an 9-hour workday/40-hour work week (TWA), or during a 15-minute average exposure (STEL); an exposure level under which most people can work consistently for 8 hours a day, day after day, with no harmful effects.
  • Tie dye
    Process where designs are created by tying the garment up with rubber bands or string into various configurations and applying dye to the garment to create multicolored patterns.
  • Tight pick
    A weft thread that had been woven under excessive tension, causing puckering of the mesh.
  • Tight release
    The level of adhesion between a release liner and the adhesive in a pressure sensitive material when the liner is difficult to remove.
  • Tiling
    The process of breaking down an image or page into sections for editing or printing purposes.
  • Time and temperature control
    A method of controlling the development of photographic film at a given time and temperature.
  • Tin lead plating
    The union of connections in a printed circuit by coating with a thin layer of solder, a tin/lead alloy to form a electrical conductor across the connection.
  • Tinctorial strength (tint strength)
    The relative ability of a pigment or dye to impart color to a printing ink.
  • Tint
    (1) A color or hue made lighter by adding white to the color; a degree of color lighter than normal; (2) A large area of specified dot size such as a 50% tint is a large area of exclusively 50% dots.
  • Tinter
    A concentrated color-base that is added to an ink in relatively small amounts to alter its color.
  • Tinting
    Means of applying shading or special effects to artwork.