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.


  • Digital halftone
    The process of obtaining various tones by breaking up the image into a graduated series of dots. The dots repeat in a regular pattern, creating the illusion of continuous tone. The digital printing process is controlled by the size and shape of dots.
  • Digital printer
    Any printing device that is capable of translating digital data into hardcopy output.
  • Digitize
    To transform a continuous tone image into computer readable data using a device called a scanner.
  • Diisobutyl ketone (DIBK)
    A relatively slow evaporating ketone used as a retarding solvent.
  • Dilatancy
    The property of some suspensions that increase in viscosity with increasing shear rates.
  • Dilatant fluids
    Fluids whose viscosity increases as shear rate increases.
  • Dilatometer
    Instrument used for measuring the coefficient of thermal expansion and melting point of glass and ceramic materials.
  • Diluent
    A reactive or non-reactive additive whose function is to extend the material to which it is added, but weakens the power of the active solvent.
  • Dilutable
    Solution that can be thinned or made weaker in strength with the addition of the appropriate solvent, water, or other liquid.
  • Dilute solutions
    A solution containing a small amount of solute in proportion to the solvent, the solute being dissolved by the solvent; also refer to concentrated solution.
  • Dimensional accuracy
    The ability to reproduce the dimensions of the original art identically in the printed image.
  • Dimensional stability
    The property of a material to retain its desirable basic qualities under production stresses and the influences of humidity fluctuations; to resist length, width, and thickness changes.
  • Dimple
    A slight depression or indentation in any surface.
  • DIN
    Acronym for Deutsches Institut für Normung e V, a German National Standards Body.
  • DIN rating
    A European scale by which the relative sensitivity of photographic films is identified.
  • Ding
    An indentation that can be felt such as a dent or nick.
  • Dinitrosaniline orange
    An organic orange pigment with good bleed and permanency.
  • Dioxazine violet RL
    A violet pigment with excellent lightfastness and bleed characteristics, resistant to acid and alkali.
  • Dipentene
    A true chemical compound having higher solvent power and slower evaporation rate than turpentine, largely used as an anti-skinning agent in inks.
  • Dipropylene glycol
    An ether alcohol used as a resin solvent in the manufacture of some printing inks.
  • Direct color separation
    Separations made directly onto a film through a halftone screen.
  • Direct current (DC)
    Electric current where the electrons flow in one direction.
  • Direct drive
    A feature of some screen printing presses, where the surface to be printed is synchronized with screen/squeegee movement such as by a rack and gear driven mechanism.
  • Direct dye
    A class of dye used on cotton and rayon that works directly on the yarn without the aid of a fixative; (economical, not colorfast, and color not as bright as fiber reactive dye).
  • Direct emulsion
    A liquid light sensitive polymer emulsion coated onto a tensioned screen mesh and used as a screen printing stencil.