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.


  • Transfer adhesive
    A powdered/granular adhesive that is dusted on a wet plastisol transfers to increase adhesion properties.
  • Transfer film
    An indirect type photosensitive stencil film; refer to indirect printing screen.
  • Transfer ink
    (1) Ink that serves as the vehicle for sublimable dye that permits the dye to be printed onto a transfer paper for subsequent transfer to fabric; (2) Plastisol ink designed for use with heat transfer process.
  • Transfer paper
    A wide variety of papers on which a design is printed and which acts as a temporary carrier of the design until permanently attached to a substrate.
  • Transfer rate
    Speed at which data can be transferred expressed in kilobytes per second (Kbps) or bytes per second (Bps).
  • Transfer tape
    (1) A pressure sensitive adhesive unsupported, applied to a two-sided release liner; (2) Medium tack adhesive coated on translucent paper.
  • Transistor
    A solid state active device made of semi-conductor material such as silicon or germanium, used to control, amplify, or boost electrical current.
  • Translucent
    The property of a material to allow the passage of some light rays in a diffused manner.
  • Transmission densitometer
    Measures the fraction of incident light conveyed through a negative or positive transparency without being absorbed or scattered.  
  • Transmittance
    To pass light through a substrate.
  • Transmittance scale
    A measure of light passing through a material, interpreted on a percentage scale of 0 to100, reading the reverse of percentage dot area.
  • Transparency
    (1) A film positive, either black and white or in color; (2) A printed piece on clear or transparent sheeting with transparent or translucent ink for backlighting in a display; (3) A positive image on photographic color film; (4) A manually produced design on transparent sheeting.
  • Transparent acetate
    A clear plastic sheet made of cellulose acetate.
  • Transparent base
    A semi-paste compound used as an ink additive to make the ink/base mixture less sticky or tacky, and to improve the release of the print from the printing screen.
  • Transparent ink (translucent ink)
    Printing ink that permits the passage of light with minimal diffusion, so the reflecting design or object can be identified; a printing ink that does not conceal the color beneath, allows under colors to be seen.
  • Transparent label
    Pressure sensitive labels whose face material, adhesive and protective coatings transmit light so that objects may be seen through them.
  • Trap
    An area of overlapping ink where two different colors of ink meet.
  • Trapping of ink (color trapping)
    The property of a printing ink that makes it possible to superimpose one color on another, used to obtain a third color, a combination, or to hide the first by overprinting the second with an opaque color.
  • Travel
    The distance between a shorting pad and the circuit layer in circuit board construction.
  • Traveling thermocouple
    A long thermocouple design to run through a dryer or lehr to determine the temperature curve established by variances in different zones.
  • Tray
    A shallow, rectangular processing container for holding photographic chemicals.
  • Trend chart (r-chart) (run chart)
    A simple graph where a particular variable is plotted over time; also refer to r chart.
  • Triadic harmony
    Three colors spaced equally about a color wheel.
  • Trial proof
    Prints made prior to obtaining the desired quality of reproduction.
  • Triboelectricity
    Static electricity created by friction.