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.


  • Direct fire
    A system of firing where burner gases are introduced into a lehr or kiln chamber in direct contact with the ware.
  • Direct halftone
    A halftone negative made by direct exposure through a halftone screen.
  • Direct illumination
    Images lit from the outside with floods, spots, etc.
  • Direct photoscreen stencil
    A photoscreen stencil made by coating light sensitive emulsion onto tensioned mesh, allowing it to dry, then exposing to a film positive preparatory to processing into a screen printing stencil.
  • Direct positive
    A photographic transparent positive made by exposing copy in direct contact with film, eliminating the necessity of making a negative first.
  • Direct print
    The imprinting directly onto the surface of a substrate.
  • Direct stencil (direct printing screen)
    Coating tensioned mesh with an emulsion, usually pre-sensitized, allowing the coating to dry, then exposing to a positive and developing to form the stencil.
  • Direct/indirect photoscreen stencil (combination stencil)
    A stencil made by adhering a gelatin coated sheet to the underside of tensioned mesh with a photo-sensitized emulsion applied from the print side through the mesh, after drying, the screen is exposed through a positive, developed, and the plastic support sheet stripped away.
  • Directional sign
    A display showing guidance information used both outside and inside buildings.
  • DIS
    Acronym for draft international standard. 
  • Disappearing guide
    A register guide (or stop) that mechanically retracts into the printing table on an automated press during the printing cycle.
  • Disappearing hook lock
    a device for connecting display elements.
  • Discharge agent
    A chemical zinc formaldehyde sulfoxylate that removes the color from a dischargeable substrate.
  • Discharge printing
    The printing of cotton garments that have been colored with a dye that can be dispersed and replaced by another color during the printing process.
  • Discoloration
    Any change from the original color or an unintended inconsistency of color.
  • Discrete component
    A thick film or thin film individually packaged electronic component or part having one or more films as resistive, conductive, and/or insulating elements.
  • Dishing
    Paper in piles where the edges are higher than the center, usually caused by absorption of atmospheric moisture by the exposed edges of the sheets.
  • Dispenser
    To distribute such as a device that feeds pressure sensitive labels either manually or automatically in convenient units.
  • Disperse dye
    A water-insoluble textile dye used on polyester or acetate.
  • Dispersing agent
    A material added to a suspended medium to aid in the separation of the individual, extremely fine particles such as pigments or colloids.
  • Dispersion
    (1) The condition of heterogeneous components in a colloid state, such as very finely divided particles of one substance suspended uniformly in the medium of another substance; (2) To break up a particle aggregate into separate particles without changing the particle size.
  • Display
    A device or group of devices so designed and arranged as to attract attention, particularly at the point of sale; to arrange a device or group of devices in public view.
  • Display board
    A thick paperboard used for screen printed advertising display, can also be foam-filled and laminated paper (or plastic) boards used for the same purpose.
  • Display pocket
    A pocket, usually on the face of a display for holding small folders and the like, or (on the face) for displaying its contents.
  • Display type
    Type set larger than the text used to attract attention.