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.
  • Calibration curve
    A graphic representation of the calibration record.
  • Calibration cycle
    Calibration in ascending and descending directions.
  • Calibration log
    A record documenting when an instrument was calibrated and who performed the calibration procedure. (Other items that may be documented are temperature, relative humidity, and any other specific items of data beneficial in troubleshooting an instrument malfunction).
  • Calibration standard
    A reference material of a known or fixed value used to calibrate an instrument such as a calibration standard that can be traced to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
  • Calico die-cut transfer
    A cotton print fabric with heat seal backing; will adhere to cotton blends.
  • Caliper
    (1) The thickness of a substrate material usually expressed in mils or points, both being terms expressing thousandths of an inch. (0.050 is expressed as 50 point usually for paper stocks; or 50 mils when plastics are designated by thickness); (2) An instrument used to measure a substrate.
  • Calorie
    (1) The quantity of heat necessary at normal atmospheric pressure to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree centigrade; (2) A standard unit measure of heat, equal to 4.1840 joules; a thermal unit.
  • Calorific value
    The amount of heat measured in calories or Btu’s released by combustion of a unit quantity of fuel.
  • Camera
    A device for taking photographs, generally composed of a lightproof enclosure having an aperture with a shuttered lens through which the image of an object is focused and recorded on a photosensitive film or plate.
  • Camera angle
    The angle defined by the position of the subject matter in relation to the camera lens; viewpoint.
  • Camera back
    The paper/film-holding section of a process camera, used for holding photosensitive material to the filmback.
  • Camera exposure
    The subjecting of light rays reflected or transmitted by a subject being photographed, under controlled conditions of time and intensity, of a photosensitive film for the purpose of producing a latent image thereon.
  • Camera lens
    An arrangement of circular concave or convex pieces of glass that control incoming light rays by focusing them on a ground glass or photosensitive film.
  • Camera mount
    The trace or base where the camera is fixed or secured to eliminate vibration.
  • Camera process
    A camera designed to create a halftone image or color separations for photomechanical reproduction.
  • Camera shutter
    A device that controls time and amount of light that acts on sensitive material.
  • Camera-ready art
    (1) All printing elements prepared to be photographed; (2) An original design, completely finished as it is to appear in the reproduction.
  • Can top easel
    An easel for display cards that are to be placed on top of round metal cans.
  • Cancellation proof
    The final print in a fine art edition.
  • Candela
    A unit of measure indicting the amount of intensity developed by an artificial light.
  • Candela per square meter
    Unit used to define luminous intensity of a light source.
  • Canopy easel
    For simultaneously setting up a display card and supporting a canopy.
  • Cap printing machine (textiles)
    A specifically engineered device for printing onto the rounded surfaces of a cap using a flat or flexible curved screen.
  • Capability analysis
    Study of the ability of a process to meet established requirements.
  • Capability performance index (Cp)
    A measure of the relationship between the allowable process spread (part tolerance) and the actual process spread (natural balance).