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.


  • Tablet (Graphics Tablet)
    An input device that uses a stylus or specialized mouse to write or draw on the tablet surface to communicate with the computer.
  • Tack
    (1) Condition of being sticky; (2) The relatively low splitting force of ink; (3) A large loose stitch used as a temporary fastener of fabric.
  • Tack rag
    A treated cloth used to remove dust or other foreign material from a surface. 
  • Tack surface
    A surface having a sticky feel.
  • Tack-free finish
    Any coating or ink that is not sticky to touch after curing or drying.
  • Tackifier
    An additive used to improve stickiness of an adhesive film; also refer to detackifier.
  • Tackmeter
    Instrument used to measure the stickiness of material by pressing two surfaces together under a known weight for a given time period, and then using a steadily increasing force to separate them.
  • Tactile response
    The sudden snap-back of a membrane switch.
  • Tactile signage
    High contrast, raised or incised sign intended for the visually impaired.
  • Tactile switch
    An assembly that provides a positive snap-action response.
  • Taffeta weave
    A particular type of weave for screen mesh where single strands in the width direction (weft) cross over then under single strands in the length direction; a plain weave.
  • Tag
    A strip made of cardstock, paper, or plastic attached to an item to identify, classify, or label it.
  • Tag stock
    Thin flexible cardboard available in white and a range of colors.
  • Take-off device
    A mechanical device for removing freshly printed substrates from the press.
  • Talc
    A hydrated magnesium silicate used to reduce gloss and give velvet finish in ink formulations.
  • Tamper proof adhesive
    A label adhesive that is extremely aggressive and will not permit removal in one piece.
  • Tamper proof label
    Pressure sensitive label material where removal after application is not possible without destroying the label.
  • Tank
    A production furnace for melting glass.
  • Tap out
    A spot of ink applied to a substrate with the finger, using a tapping action to distribute the ink evenly to approximate printing film thickness.
  • Taped neck
    An additional piece of flat knit generally sewn over the original seam, attaching the neck to the body of the garment.
  • Tapering
    To become gradually thinner or narrow towards one end; diminish, make smaller.
  • TAPPI
    Acceptable acronym for Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (US).
  • TAPPI (GE) brightness
    The reflectance of blue light measured under carefully controlled geometric, photometric, and spectral conditions.
  • Target
    The portion of the original to be scanned.
  • Tarnish proof label
    Pressure sensitive labels that are free of substances that might discolor or blemish copper or silver.