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.


  • Art print
    Printing of original or reproductions of artwork with any number of methods. Iris/Giclee/Inkjet, lithography, offset lithography, serigraphy being the major sources for Art Print production.
  • Art reproduction
    To make a reasonable facsimile of an art object. Could be reproduced in any of a number of methods; painted, inkjet, serigraph, offset lithography, sculpted, cast etc.
  • Art type
    Type faces, designs, and individual characters screen printed onto gummed acetate sheets. (The type or designs are cut from the acetate sheet and made to adhere to the copy by merely pressing on or rubbing gently), also refer to alphabet sheets.
  • Art work
    The original copy intended for reproduction, also refer to rough art and camera ready art.
  • Artifact
    Unwanted visual anomalies or defects generated by an input or output device, or by a software operation, that degrade image quality. See also aliasing, moiré pattern.
  • Artificial daylight
    Man-made light source that closely reproduces the color and spectral distribution of natural daylight.
  • Artificial fiber
    A classification of manufactured fibers made from natural sources such as wood or other plant material.
  • Artist's proof
    Prints or serigraphs from an edition that are owned by the artist and generally are not offered for sale. (They are of the same quality as numbered prints in the edition).
  • ASA rating
    The American Standards Association (US) scale by which the relative sensitivity of photographic films is identified, largely replaced by DIN and ISO rating scales.
  • Ascender
    The portion of a lower-case character that extends above the main body such as b, d, or h.
  • Aspect ratio
    (1) Ratio of length to diameter of a fiber; (2) Relationship of an image horizontal length and vertical height, designated with horizontal number first such as 3:2.
  • ASQ
    Acronym for American Society of Quality (USA), formally American Society for Quality Control (ASQC).
  • Association Connecting Electronics Industry
    Association of companies involved in printed circuit boards and electronic assemblies; refer to IPC.
  • A-stage
    An early stage in the reaction of a thermosetting resin where the material is still soluble in certain liquids and fusible, also reference B stage and C stage.
  • Astigmatism
    A reflective defect of a lens that prevents focusing of a sharply defined image and from bringing horizontal and vertical lines to a sharp focus at the same time on a flat surface.
  • ASTM
    Acronym for American Society for Testing & Materials (US).
  • Atmosphere
    (1) Climate or environment in a given place, generally a reference to temperature and relative humidity; (2) A standard unit of pressure, equal to 1.01325 x 105 newtons per square meter or 14.7 pounds per square inch or 760 mm of mercury.
  • Atomic absorption tester
    Laboratory equipment used for detecting the presence and concentration of metals such as lead and cadmium.
  • Attenuation
    A decrease in the maximum concentration or total quantity of an applied chemical during a fixed time.
  • Atto
    A prefix utilized in the Metric System of Measurement which denotes 10 to the negative power of 18 (10-18 ) or 0.000 000 000 000 000 001. Its symbol is a.
  • Attribute
    (1) A quality or distinguishing characteristic of a sensation, perception, or mode of appearance, distinction is made between chromatic and geometric appearance attributes, colors are often described by their attributes of hue, saturation, or mode of appearance; (2) Used in statistical process control (SPC) to denote characteristics that are qualitative.
  • Attributes data
    Qualitative data that can be counted for recording and analysis purposes.
  • Audiometer
    An instrument that measures hearing sensitivity.
  • Automatic conveyorized drying
    A widely used means of drying a screen print without racking that incorporates a conveyor belt with a drying or curing chamber.
  • Automatic feeder
    A device for picking up single sheets from a pile and moving them, one at a time into the printing area of the press to be printed.