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.
  • Blotting
    (1) To spot or stain; a spreading blemished effect; (2) To soak up or absorb moisture from a stencil that has been previously exposed, washed out, and adhered to the mesh with an absorbent material.
  • Blow back
    Reversal of the vacuum action of a vacuum printing table that aids in the fast removal of printed substrate.
  • Blow molding (BM)
    A method of fabricating where a parison (hollow tube) is forced into the shape of the mold cavity by internal air pressure.
  • Blow up
    (1) An enlargement of an original copy; (2) An oversize picture of a product or advertising message.
  • Blowing agent
    A chemical that is added to plastic and generates inert gases upon heating causing expansion.
  • Blue
    One of the three additive colors of light.
  • Blue printer (C)
    In process color reproduction, the film positive or printing screen for reproducing the color cyan. The letter C is used to designate this color.
  • Blue sensitive film
    Photographic film or emulsion which is sensitive to only the blue or ultraviolet portions of the spectrum.
  • Blueline
    A blue graphic image proof.
  • Blunging
    A mechanical mixing of clay or slip with water.
  • Blur (motion blur)
    Softening of image detail, usually Accomplished through software averaging of pixel values to soften edges.
  • Blurring
    A condition where the graphics are indistinct or appear out of focus; also refer to slur.
  • Blushing
    A milky or foggy appearance that sometimes develops as a transparent ink or coating dries due to the disposition of moisture from the air and precipitation of one or more of the solid components in the ink, usually found in inks that dry by solvent evaporation; also referred to as bloom.
  • BMP file
    A Windows bitmap file, with an extension ".bmp" that defines an image (such as the image of a scanned page) as a pattern of dots (pixels).
  • Board
    A heavyweight, thick sheet of paper or other fibrous material, usually in a thickness greater than 6 ml (0.006 inches).
  • Bodied oil
    A drying or semi-drying oil whose viscosity has been increased by heating or chemical reaction.
  • Body
    The viscosity, consistency, and flow of a vehicle or ink, as assessed subjectively; a long-bodied ink is thick, while a short-bodied ink is thinner and creamy.
  • Body label
    A decoration applied to the body of a bottle.
  • Boiled oil
    A linseed oil that has been subjected to a high temperature for a short period of time to increase viscosity and drying rate.
  • Boiling point (bp)
    (1) The temperature where a liquid boils under standard atmospheric conditions and the temperature at which a substance can be distilled; (2) The temperature where the vapor pressure of a liquid is equal to the pressure of the atmosphere; (3) The temperature at which a liquid changes into a vapor. (The lower the boiling point, the greater the potential for flammability).
  • Bolt
    A roll of screen mesh as it comes from the loom.
  • Bolting cloth
    Mesh woven of multifilament strands with two strands in one direction being twisted alternatively around each single strand of the opposite direction.
  • Bon a tirer (French)
    Meaning "good to print," this is the first press proof approved by the artist in a print edition.
  • BON maroon
    An organic pigment with good fade resistance, poor resistance to alkali.
  • Bond
    The degree of adherence to glass or ceramics of an unfired color.