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.
  • Packaging
    The process of physically locating, connecting and protecting circuits, devices or components.
  • Pack-up
    A built-up surface beneath the screen, used to ensure good contact between the stencil and the screen during adhesion.
  • Pad
    An object made of silicone rubber that is used to transfer ink from an engraved plate to the substrate.
  • Pad transfer printing
    A method of transferring images from a photoengraved plate, made of steel or plastic, to a round, irregular, or flat surface with a silicone rubber pad.
  • Padding
    The layers of felt, waterproof plastic, and black gray cloth applied to the surface of the printing table onto which adhesive can be coated to hold the textile substrate in position for screen printing.
  • Page layout
    The process and software that prepares artwork, text and other elements to be collected and prepared for printing within a specific area.
  • Pagination
    The assembly of printed matter into a page format.
  • Palette
    A finite set of distinct colors that can be displayed by a video, printing, or computer system.
  • Palette knife
    A small, flexible blade with handle used for mixing small batches of ink or color on a slab; spatula.
  • Pallet
    A low, sturdy portable platform on which materials may be placed for handling in quantity.
  • Panchromatic
    An emulsion or film that is sensitive to the light of all visible colors.
  • Panel
    (1) A section of the crown of a cap. (2) Division of a job based on a device's production area. Also called a tile.
  • Panel program
    A service where the manufacturer provides apparel parts to be decorated and returned for assembly.
  • Pantograph
    A device used to reduce or enlarge images proportionately.
  • Pantone Matching System (PMS)
    A registered trademark of Pantone, Inc.; a color matching system for choosing and matching specific spot and process colors.
  • Pantone system
    A patented printing ink color matching system involving a range of stock colors with which, by intermixing in prescribed combination and amounts, an ink mixer can obtain a wide range of tints, tones, shadings, and intermediate hues. (Trademark of Pantone Inc.).
  • Paper
    A sheet of fibers (wood) manufactured on a fine wire from a water suspension.
  • Paper abrasion test
    Paper used to determine dry rub, wet rub, wet bleed, smear, and rub qualities, incorporating several types of motion, also used for the testing of surface areas, under a variety of load conditions.
  • Paper conditioning
    To bring paper temperature and moisture content into equilibrium with the atmospheric conditions of the pressroom.
  • Paper equilibrium tester
    An instrument used to indicate maximum changes likely in size or shape of stacked, wrapped paper, once the wrapping has been removed.
  • Paper stencil
    A screen printing stencil made of thin paper that is adhered to the mesh.
  • Paper thermometer
    A strip of heat sensitive paper that indicates achieved temperature; also refer to temperature tapes.
  • Paperboard
    One of the two broad subdivisions of paper that is generally 12 points (0.3 mm/0.012 inch) or more in thickness.
  • Para red
    An organic red pigment used in ink manufacturing.
  • Parallax
    The difference between the field-of-view seen through the viewfinder and that recorded on the film.