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.
  • Bichromate
    A photosensitive salt of ammonium or potassium bichromate used as a sensitizer in some screen printing stencil emulsions.
  • Bichromate direct emulsion
    A sensitized liquid emulsion used for making screen printing stencils by the direct method.
  • Bi-cubic interpolation
    Matrix for comparison of central pixels to surrounding pixels. Used to increase the apparent resolution of a digital image. Also refer to interpolation.
  • Bi-cutter
    A stencil knife with two blades usually with width adjustment for cutting parallel lines simultaneously.
  • Binder
    (1) That portion of the vehicle of an ink composition that, in combination with the pigments, forms the film; (2) The adhesive components of an ink that hold the pigment to the printed surface; (3) In paper, an adhesive component used to cement inert filler such as clay to the sheet; (4) Carrier or vehicle that fix the pigments in screen printing dyes onto the fibers of the fabric being decorated.
  • Binding
    The process of attaching loose sheets into multiple page document.
  • Binding varnish
    A viscous varnish used in the composition of inks to toughen the ink film.
  • Biocide
    A chemical agent or substance that kills or inhibits the growth micro-organisms.
  • Biodegradable
    Of a substance, capable of being decomposed by natural biological processes.
  • Birdnesting
    Top thread not following thread path or up and down substrate movement under needle caused by inadequate top thread tension or improperly stabilized fabric.
  • Biscuit
    An unglazed piece of clay that has been fired.
  • Bisection plane construction
    A display construction whereby two planes are connected by interlocking.
  • Bisque ware
    Ceramic ware that has been hardened by an initial firing but without color other than that produced by the clay in firing; unglazed ceramic ware that has been fired once.
  • Bit (b)
    A binary digit, 0 to 1, represented as a single on-off circuit.
  • Bit depth
    Maximum number of bits that are used to define a pixel that is a measure of the defined brightness range.
  • Bite
    The penetration of a substrate surface by ink, solvents, or an adhesive.
  • Bitmap
    A rasterized graphic image formed by a rectangular grid of pixels or dots.
  • Black (K)
    (1) The absence of all reflected light; the color that is produced when an object absorbs all wavelengths from the light source; (2) In four-color printing process black is required in the printing process because equal amounts of cyan, magenta, and yellow ink will not produce a true black, designated by the letter "K."
  • Black and white (B/W)
    Originals and printed material comprised only of black and white or tones of gray.
  • Black and white art
    Line art in black and white usually produced on smooth or textured board with pen or brush and black ink or generated by computer in black and white.
  • Black generation
    The reduction of the intensity of the process colors and replacing with a more intense black when separating an RGB color image into CMYK colors, typically referred to as GCR or UCR.
  • Black iron oxide
    An inorganic pigment with excellent fade and bleeding resistance, poor gloss, and good resistance to acids and alkali.
  • Black light
    Invisible infrared or ultraviolet radiation, a common name for ultraviolet rays which have a wavelength between 3200 and 4000 angstrom units.
  • Black light fluorescent tube
    Electrically activated tubular shape light source, high in actinic value that emits rays in or very near the ultraviolet band of the spectrum, used for exposing photosensitive stencil films.
  • Black point
    Scanned color that produces values of 0, 0, 0 in a scanner. (Ideally, black point is 0% neutral reflectance or transmittance), also refer to white point.