Glossary Of Terms

The PRINTING United Alliance 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. PRINTING United Alliance 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 PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • Amyl acetate
    Used in some lacquer formulations because of low evaporation rate.
  • Analogous color
    Colors that appear next to the primaries on the color wheel; different colors related by having the same base for example blues and purples are analogous.
  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
    The systematic method of statistically evaluating experimental results in order to separate the sources of variation.
  • Anamorphic distortion
    Changing the perceived shape of an object in an image based on mathematically defined criteria.
  • Anchor coat (primer) (tie coat)
    A coating applied to the face material prior to the application of a pressure sensitive adhesive, to improve bonding (or anchoring) of printed inks.
  • Anchorage
    Specific adhesion of an adhesive agent to a face material or anchor coat.
  • Angle of attack
    The angle formed by the face of the moving squeegee blade and the plane of the screen, under pressure. (Due to the flexibility of the blade, this angle generally differs from the squeegee angle, which is measured without movement or pressure).
  • Angle of view
    That portion of a subject which is seen by the camera lens, as determined by the focal length of the lens.
  • Angstrom
    Used to express the length of light waves; a standard measure of a lightwave; a unit of length equal to one hundred millionth (10-8) of a centimeter. (The visible spectrum extends from red light, 7,000 angstrom units, to violet light, which is about 4,000 angstrom units).
  • Aniline dye
    Synthetic dyestuff made from coal tar or its derivatives.
  • Aniline point
    The temperature at which a volume of a hydrocarbon will dissolve an equal volume of aniline oil. (The aniline point is regarded as the temperature at which the mixture becomes homogeneous and is useful in evaluating solvent power).
  • Animation
    To make or produce, so as to create the illusion of motion.
  • Anneal
    To heat a material to a predetermined temperature and slowly cooling it to relieve stress and make it less brittle, also refer to temper.
  • Anodize
    An electrochemical oxidation of aluminum to form a porous aluminum oxide surface, which can be colored and is nonconductive, non-corrosive, and resistant to abrasion.
  • Anodizing
    The process of adding a protective oxide film to metal by an electrolytic process.
  • ANOVA
    Acronym for Analysis of Variance.
  • ANSI
    Acronym for American National Standards Institute; formerly the American Standard Association.
  • Anti-aliasing
    The removal or softening of image rough edges (jaggies) by averaging or blending of surrounding colors.
  • Antiforming agent
    Ink additive that breaks foaming bubbles that may occur during printing.
  • Antihalation
    A coating or backing put on a film or screen mesh to prevent blurring and/or spreading of light by reflection from the film base or threads. (In screen mesh, antihalation is achieved by dyeing the fabric various shades of yellow, orange, or red).
  • Antioxidant
    A chemical substance that selectively reacts with oxygen to inhibit or prevent oxidation.
  • Antique finish
    A natural or cream color, relatively rough finish on paper stock resulting from the use of long nap felts on the wet presses that are run with light pressure to give bulk, and with little calendaring pressure.
  • Anti-skinning agent
    Chemical substances that retards skin formation on the surface of an oxidizable ink; sometimes referred to as antioxidants.
  • Anti-static agent
    Medium which when added to the molding material or applied on the surface of the molded object, make it less conducting.
  • Anti-static solution
    Any liquid sprayed or otherwise coated onto a surface that tends to prevent or reduce the build up of static electricity.