Decorating Glossary


Pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality, especially in response to an object or package. Aesthetics may include visual elements such as color, shape or particular design features of the object.


Absence of haze or cloudiness in a packaging material. PET and glass bottles offer great clarity; most polypropylene and HDPE bottles do not.


A devise used to seal off the opening of the bottle to prevent the loss of its contents. Also referred to as caps and lids; the closure may also have special features such as a dropper, sprayer, pump or pourspout.

Deco Lug

A small indentation or raised portion on the surface of a container, usually on the base. The lug provides a means of positioning the container for automated processes such as multi-color decoration or labeling.

Deco Templates

Documents that show the general surface area of the container to which either screen print or pressure sensitive labels can be successfully applied.

Deco Tooling

The custom fixtures required to hold packaging components as they move through the decorating process. Different sizes and shapes require custom Deco Tooling that conforms to their unique characteristics to hold it firmly in place for precise registration.


The plastic forming the opening of a bottle shaped to accommodate a specific closure. It is the portion of the neck which carries the threads, lugs or friction fit members to which the closure is applied, and includes the sealing surface.

Injection Molding

Process of turning plastic resin into parts that range from very simple to highly complex in shape. The molten resin is fed under pressure into a mold where it solidifies into shape when it comes into contact with the cold wall of the mold and then is removed. Most closures and many other packaging components are injection molded.


A surface which displays no gloss when observed at any angle.

Multi-Layer Bottle

A bottle that is co-extruded with two or more layers to contain oxygen sensitive foods or industrial chemicals. Multi-layer bottles can also house a layer of post-consumer resin (PCR) to incorporate recycled content.

Narrow Mouth

A finish of a plastic container in which the diameter is small relative to the diameter of the body. Narrow mouth bottles are typically used for liquids.


The part of a container where the shoulder cross section area decreases to form the finish.


A term describing a material or substance which will not transmit light.

Pad Printing

Used for printing across relatively small areas on plastic items and when the area to be printed is difficult to get at or is contoured.

Parting Line

A mark on a molding or casting where the halves of mold meet in closing.

Post-Consumer Resin (PCR)

Recycled plastic which has had a previous life as a commercial item or package, and which has been sorted, cleaned, and reprocessed into resin that can be used for new bottles or items.

Pressure-Sensitive Labels

Labels which are pre-printed on roll stock and applied to a container or closure in a manual or automatic process using adhesives. Pressure sensitive label adhesives are commonly made from water based acrylic adhesives, solvent based adhesives or hotmelt adhesives.


Generic term for raw plastic material, both petroleum-based and plant-based (bioresins).

Screen Printing (also called Silk Screen Printing)

A printing technique involving the passage of printing medium such as ink through a web or fabric, which has been stretched on a frame, to which a refined form of stencil has been applied. The stencil openings determine the form and dimensions of the imprint produced during the screen printing process.

Soft Touch

Decorating or molding process giving a “rubbery” or “velvety” soft feel to a bottle, applied over traditional plastic.

Spray Frost

Decorative coating that covers a bottle or other packaging component with a frosted appearance similar to etched glass. Spray coatings can also be used to apply colors in uniform coatings or in “fades” to achieve a variety of looks.

Surface Treating

Any method of treating a plastic to alter the surface and render it receptive to inks, paints, lacquers and adhesives. Examples of surface treating are chemical, flame or electronic treating.

UV Inks

Environmentally-friendly inks that are cured using UV light instead of harmful solvents such as those contained in conventional inks.

UV Stabilizer

Any chemical compound which, when a thermoplastic resin, selectively absorbs UV rays and minimizes chemical and/ or physical changes that may be engendered by UV.

UPC Codes

The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a specific type of barcode that is widely used in Canada and the United States for tracking commercial items in stores. UPC codes must be legible in order for scanning devices to read them properly.


Referred to as "displacement" and also as "capacity." (1) The amount of water displaced by a model of a bottle. Volume is used to estimate its capacity. (2) The about of product a bottle is designed to hold, i.e. up to the fill point of the bottle. (3) The over flow capacity, i.e. the amount of product a bottle will hold when filled to overflowing.