The PRINTING United Alliance Glossary serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate. Without it, universal understanding would be impossible.

To keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology, PRINTING United Alliance has developed this glossary of terms. 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.
  • Combing
    The process for removing short fibers and impurities from fabric that has been carded, generates a softer hand or feel.
  • Combining
    Contacting different negatives such as a line shot and halftone shot to the same sheet of film in proper position and register.
  • Combustible liquid
    A liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8 degrees C (100 degrees F), but below 93.3 degrees C (200 degrees F).
  • Combustion
    Rapid oxidation or burning.
  • Combustion chamber
    Enclosure where fuel is burned to provide heat; (2) part of a furnace or kiln.
  • Combustion product
    Matter resulting from combustion such as flue gases, ash, and water vapor.
  • Commercial register
    In process color reproduction, an allowable misregister, not more than one row of dots.
  • Commercial waste
    All solid waste emanating from a business establishment.
  • Common cause
    A source of variation that effects all the individual values of the output of a process.
  • Compatibility
    The ability of ink, film, substrate, and/or solvents to function together in harmony.
  • Complement
    Two colors that, when combined create neutral gray.
  • Complementary colors
    Reference to the Munsell color wheel, any color directly opposite from a selected color is complementary to the chosen color, including tints and tones. (Complementary colors neutralize or accentuate each other, diminishing or enhancing the attention value of the print).
  • Compliance colors (non-toxic colors)
    Inks that conform to US governmental regulations by not containing any Of the banned heavy metal salts.
  • Compliance date
    The date that a business is required to meet applicable pollution control requirements (US).
  • Component
    An ingredient in a formulation; a part of the whole.
  • Composing stick
    A hand tool where foundry type is assembled and justified.
  • Composite
    (1) An art layout where all color separations are shown in one piece of copy, usually black and white; (2) A homogeneous material created by the synthetic assembly of two or more materials to obtain specific characteristics and properties.
  • Compound
    (1) A combination of elements in a stable molecular arrangement; (2) To mix pure vinyl with plasticizers, stabilizers, lubricants, colorants, or other ingredients before it can be properly processed.
  • Comprehensive art work
    Design produced primarily for customer approval of layout, not necessarily camera ready. (Color work may be indicated by overlays to show color areas over the black and white base design).
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA)
    A US federal program enacted and designed to cleanup identified environmentally damaged sites, commonly referred to as the Superfund Program.
  • Compression
    The process of removing irrelevant information and reducing unneeded space from a file in order to make the file smaller. Compression can cause losses and distortion, depending on the method.
  • Compression molding
    Plastic molding process where the molding material is liquefied in the mold, shaped, and cured under pressure before being ejected, typically used with thermoset plastics.
  • Compressive strength
    The maximum ability of a solid material to withstand a compressive load; resistance to crushing or shattering.
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD) (Computer Aided Graphics) (CAG)
    System used to generate and reproduce full-color designs, artwork, photographs, etc., through use of a computer, plotter, printer, keyboard, etc.
  • Computer graphics
    The interactive production and layout of graphic material, text and images, by means of computer keyboard, light pen, digitizer, mouse, and other hardware/software integration.