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.


  • Tinting strength
    The color intensity of an ink determined by the amount of white ink that can be added and still produce a light shade of the original color.
  • Tissue overlay
    A thin translucent paper placed over artwork for production or to indicate instructions, corrections, or color breaks.
  • Titanium dioxide (TiO2)
    A brilliant white powder used as an opaque white pigment derived from titanium ore.
  • TL-9000
    Quality system requirements for suppliers to the telecommunications industry.
  • TLV
    Acceptable acronym for threshold limit value.
  • TLV-PPM
    Acceptable acronym for threshold limit value — parts per million.
  • TLV-STEL
    Acceptable acronym for threshold limit value — short term exposure limit.
  • TLV-TWA
    Acceptable acronym for threshold limit value — time weighted average.
  • Toggle
    the act of switching back and forth from one file or display to another to compare two images.
  • Tolerance
    The amount of allowable deviation from exact, original specifications; a permissible deviation.
  • Toluene (toluol)
    Most powerful hydrocarbon solvent with a KB value of 105; an aromatic solvent of the ring hydrocarbon group most commonly used as a solvent for many synthetic resins and as thinner for coatings made from synthetic resins.
  • Tonal range
    (1) The entire area covering highlights, shadows, and all intermediate tones in a halftone; (2) The density difference of continuous tone images on either paper or film.
  • Tonal resolution
    The number of bits per pixel used in the digital representation of an image.
  • Tone
    (1) A degree of color made darker than the original hue by adding its complementary or black; (2) The degree of lightness or darkness in any given area of a print; (3) Color created when gray is added to a pure hue; a hue or color blended with gray, also refer to shade.
  • Tone compression
    A reduction in the density range of photographic material in order to match printing conditions, and improve reproducibility.
  • Tone curves
    A representation of the tonal range of an image showing the progress from black to white. Some image editors allow these to be adjusted for fine tuning of the image.
  • Tone line technique
    A process that converts continuous tone images into line reproductions that resemble pen and ink drawings.
  • Tone reproduction curve
    A graph depicting the relationship between the densities of the original and the corresponding densities of a printed reproduction.
  • Toner
    A highly concentrated pigment and/or dye used to modify the hue or color strength of a printing ink; also refer to tinter.
  • Tongue (tab)
    A piece of cardboard that projects from the edge of a display part for locking it into place when setting up.
  • Tooth
    (1) The surface quality of a paper that causes it to accept ink; (2) A slightly rough finish.
  • Top coated film
    Polyester film that has been coated on the print side to increase ink receptivity and adhesion.
  • Top frame
    The printing head assembly of a flatbed press that houses various sub-assembly parts such as the squeegee, flood bar, screen holding device, and off-contact / peel-off mechanisms.
  • Topcoat
    A coating applied to the surface of inkjet and other substrates to enhance ink adhesion, control dot gain, drying time, and moisture resistance.
  • Torr
    A unit of pressure equal to 1.316 x 10-3 atmosphere.