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.
  • Secondary color
    (1) The subtractive primaries cyan, magenta, and yellow; (2) Color obtained by mixing theoretically equal parts of any two primaries such as orange from red and yellow, green from yellow and blue, and violet from red and blue.
  • Secondary standard
    All standards other than primary standards.
  • Seed
    An extremely small gaseous inclusion in glass.
  • Seediness
    A defect in a varnish caused by small particles that sometimes become visible when examined by transmitted light like a specked or sandy appearance.
  • Seger cone
    A three-sided pyrometric cone made from clay and chemicals and designed to bend at a specified temperature, used for determining firing temperatures in a kiln.
  • Selective texturing
    To create special effects on a matte or gloss film.
  • Selective transparency
    A process ink that absorbs certain parts of the color spectrum while reflecting others.
  • Self-adhesive product
    (1) A pressure sensitive material; (2) Converted pressure-sensitive decal or product protected by a release liner.
  • Self-extinguishing
    Capable of burning when in contact with a flame, but incapable of burning when flame is removed.
  • Self-locking spacer
    A part used in attaching cut-out to display background.
  • Self-solvent
    An ink formulated with the ability to dissolve dry films of itself by rewetting.
  • Self-stretching frame (self-stretching chase)
    Proper term is retensionable frame, frame is not actually self-stretching; refer to retensionable frame.
  • Self-stripping punch
    A tool for punching holes in display stock that automatically removes the waste from the punched hole.
  • Self-tensioning frame
    Proper term is retensionable frame, frame is not actually self-tensioning; refer to retensionable frame.
  • Selvage
    The edge of woven fabric that is finished to prevent fraying of the threads.
  • Semi-automatic flatbed press
    A screen printing press where the machine motion is automatic, the substrate is printed against a flat base plate, and the substrate is loaded and unloaded manually.
  • Semi-automatic machine
    Equipment where the machine operation is automatic but the substrate is loaded and unloaded manually.
  • Semiconductor
    A solid material such as silicon or germanium with conductive capacity intermediate between an insulator and a good conductor such as soft copper. (Both active and passive elements may be formed on a single semi-conductor crystal).
  • Semi-viscous
    A partially vitrified ware that has a degree of continuous porosity that is able to absorb water.
  • Sensitivity
    The degree of response of a photographic material to light.
  • Sensitivity guide
    A continuous tone gray scale with numbered steps used to control exposure; also refer to gray scale.
  • Sensitized emulsion
    Emulsion for making a direct method screen printing stencil to which a photo sensitizer has been added.
  • Sensitized screen
    A printing screen, the mesh that is coated with sensitized emulsion.
  • Sensitizer
    (1) A photosensitive chemical, usually potassium bichromate, aluminum bichromate, or diazonium compounds used for sensitizing photographic screen printing stencil films or emulsions; (2) A chemical added to a liquid emulsion to make it harden when exposed to ultraviolet light; (3) any chemical substance or mixture that causes a substantial number of persons to develop a hypersensitive reaction upon re-exposure to the chemical substance or mixture, through an allergic bodily reaction.
  • Sensitometer
    A device that measures the relative sensitivity of photographic materials to light.