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.
  • Process camera (process camera) (gallery camera) (copy camera)
    Camera designed to accurately photograph line, solid, halftone, colored copy and other objects to be reproduced by means of a printing method; also called gallery camera, darkroom camera.
  • Process capability
    The total range of inherent variations in a stable process.
  • Process colors (process inks)
    Inks of cyan, magenta, and yellow, semi-transparent specifically formulated for four color process screen printing. 
  • Process control
    A system using feedback to monitor and manage a certain procedure.
  • Process lens
    A lens having a long focal length, corrected for flat copy and used in a process camera, or made with pantograph, divider and other such device.
  • Process printing
    The printing from a series of two or more halftone screens to produce intermediate colors and shades, usually in four color process – yellow, magenta, cyan, and black.
  • Process temperature
    The temperature of the process medium, as recorded by a sensor.
  • Process wastewater
    Any used water which results from or has had contact with the manufacturing process, or for which there is a reasonable possibility of contamination from raw material, intermediate product, final product, storage transportation, handling, processing or cleaning.
  • Profile
    A database or file of values that apply to an imager defining its color capability for other imagers in the same process.
  • Profilometer
    An instrument used for measuring the degree of surface roughness.
  • Progressive proofs
    A set of press proofs showing the printing sequence and the result after each additional color has been applied.
  • Projection
    (1) A pattern or design enlarged or reduced by an optical system onto a second surface at a distance from the original design; (2) The method by which the original design is transferred to a distant surface by means of an optical system.
  • Promotional quality
    A garment that is lighter in weight and less expensive.
  • Proof (press proof) (test impression)
    A preliminary print made for inspection purposes to check details of the design using image carrier, substrate, and ink specified for the job; a prototype of the print job.
  • Proofing square
    A non-woven material used as a test print substrate in garment printing.
  • Proofreader marks
    A series of symbols and abbreviations used by a proofreader to mark errors on copy and to indicate corrections to be made.
  • Proportion scale (scaling wheel)
    A circular sizing tool for determining the dimensions of a piece of art when it is to be enlarged or reduced.
  • Proportional limit
    The greatest stress a material can take without deviation from the linear proportionality of stress to strain; referred to as Hooke’s law.
  • Proportional, integral, derivative (PID)
    A three-mode control where the controller has time proportioning (auto reset) and derivative action.
  • Propylene glycol
    An alcohol used in the manufacture of coatings and inks.
  • Protective coating
    A coating that protects the substrate and the printing on it from abrasion, sunlight, chemicals, moisture, or any combination of exterior influences; also refer to overprint varnish.
  • Protocol
    The established method for performing an experiment or test.
  • Prototype
    A full sized example that serves as a model from which other identical items can be produced.
  • Prototyping
    Method of constructing a one-of-a-kind membrane switch with little or no hard tooling.
  • Protrusion
    An undesirable raised area on a surface.