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Sign Magic



Glossary Of Terms

We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process. To help you gain a better understanding of what's happening to your project, we've compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry.

3 A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W
  • 3D (three-dimensional) engraving

    A routing procedure where the tool bit can be moved independently along the up-and-down z-axis while still traveling an x/y-axis tool path. 3D engraving can create relieves and hand-chiseled looks while removing material from a substrate.

  • achromatic

    Literally means without color. Black, white and grays are achromatic.

  • acrylic

    Generic term for a type of durable plastic commonly used in sign making. Noted for its excellent clarity, acrylic can also be manufactured in a wide range of transparent and opaque colors. Its ability to be easily machined, shaped and painted explains acrylic's popularity. Plexiglas® and Acrylite® are well-known commercial brands of the material.

  • ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)

    Legislation enacted by the U.S. federal government in 1991 with the goal of removing barriers that limit a disabled individual's ability to engage in normal daily activity in the physical, public environment. Title III of the ADA deals with related signage and wayfinding issues.

  • aesthetics

    The general perception of an sign's artistic merit or beauty, both on its own and in relation to its surroundings. The design, construction, materials and colors of a sign all factor into its aesthetic appeal.

  • aluminum

    A lightweight metal material used in sign panels, poles and frames. It is strong and durable in relation to its weight, and resistant to rust and corrosion.

  • ambient light

    The sum of all non-directional light in a given area emitted by all sources at a given time. A high level of ambient light can have an impact on a sign's readability, and can be a consideration in a sign's design. Outdoor sunlight creates a high level of ambient light.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    Legislation enacted by the U.S. federal government in 1991 with the goal of removing barriers that limit a disabled individual's ability to engage in normal daily activity in the physical, public environment. Title III of the ADA deals with related signage and wayfinding issues.

  • animated sign

    A sign that uses the sequential switching on and off of graphically arranged fluorescent lamps, cathode tubes, LEDs or incandescents so as to provide the illusion of movement. (See also chase [2].)

  • annual ADT (annual average daily traffic)

    The average number of vehicles passing a given location each day over the course of a year. This statistic can usually be obtained from your state or local roads department.

  • annual average daily traffic (annual ADT)

    The average number of vehicles passing a given location each day over the course of a year. This statistic can usually be obtained from your state or local roads department.

  • anodized finish

    A thin aluminum oxide coating applied electrochemically to the surface of a metal object. The coating hardens, protects and enhances the appearance of the object. An anodized finish can be created in a variety of colors.

  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute)

    A private, nonprofit organization in the U.S. that works to develop manufacturing and quality standards across multiple industries. The organization also works with the committees of other nations to develop standards that facilitate international trade and telecommunications.

  • applique

    A graphic element made separately then affixed to a cloth or fabric covering such as an awning.

  • architectural signage

    A term used to describe signage in a built environment having the purpose of providing wayfinding or other site specific information.

  • artwork

    Any and all logos, graphics and images used in creating a sign.

  • awning sign

    A projecting sign made of non rigid material such as heavy canvas supported by a framework that is attached to a building's substrate. The awning sign extends outward from the building and so provides shaded cover and protection from weather for customers and pedestrians. An awning sign will have lettering and/or graphics painted or screen printed on its exterior surface. It may or not be illuminated. (See also backlit awning and canopy sign.)

  • back-to-back sign

    A sign having two faces mounted in opposite directions. Pole signs typically have back-to-back faces. (Also called a double-faced sign.)

  • background panel

    A sign panel to which text or graphical elements are affixed.

  • backlighted letter

    An illuminated reverse channel letter where the light from the letter is directed against and reflected off the surface behind the letter thereby producing a glowing effect around the letter. (Also referred to as halo lighting.)

  • backlit awning

    An awning sign that is lit from underneath by fluorescent or other high output lighting. The light shines through the awning fabric, illuminating whatever text or graphics are on it and providing effective nighttime readability. The light emanating from underneath the awning also provides light to the sidewalk or street below. (Also called illuminated awning. See also awning sign and canopy sign.)

  • backlit sign

    A sign where the sign face is illuminated from behind. (Also called illuminated sign. See also internally illuminated sign and exterior illuminated sign.)

  • ballast

    A fluorescent light fixture component, the primary function of which is to provide sufficient starting voltage for the lamp. A ballast may also serve to heat the fluorescent lamp electrodes, and control the amount of power to the lamp once it is operating.

  • ballpoint Braille

    Small plastic or metal beads that can be placed in the face of a sign to create informational Braille text as required by the ADA. (Also known as Braille bullets or Braille beads.)

  • banding

    The appearance of solid bands or patterns of visibly distinct colors within what should otherwise be a continuous and seamless color gradation. Banding can be caused by several factors, including low resolution artwork, a poor quality scan of the original artwork or improper calibration of the printer used.

  • banner

    A sign made of non rigid material such as canvas or vinyl, and typically having no enclosing or supporting framework. Often intended for temporary use, a banner sign can be screen printed or painted, and is commonly hung from a pole or mounted to the facade of a building. (See also flag and pennant.)

  • bench sign

    A sign mounted onto, or incorporated into a seat in a public area such as a bus stop bench. (See also street furniture.)

  • billboard

    A large (15 square feet in area or larger) outdoor sign used for advertising and typically seen along highways, main streets and other high traffic areas. An advertiser will rent a billboard and display their advertisement on it for a set length of time.

  • blade sign

    A type of projecting sign mounted such that the face of the sign is perpendicular to the normal flow of traffic.

  • bleed

    1. In screen printing, the term refers to the portion of a printed image or graphic which extends beyond the intended borders of a sign. This excess portion is trimmed away. 2. Sometimes used to describe the halation where sharply contrasting colors meet on an illuminated sign.

  • branding

    The process of creating a unique, positive and recognizable identity for a product or service. Along with marketing and advertising, creating a visual identity through signage is an important part of the branding process. (See also brand equity.)

  • brushed finish

    A textured, non-reflective polished finish applied to metal by lightly brushing the surface with an abrasive material or briefly applying a mildly corrosive chemical.

  • built-up letter

    A lettering technique in which the outline of the letter is made first and then filled in.

  • canopy sign

    A projecting sign made of non-rigid material such as heavy canvas supported by a framework that at one end is attached to a building's substrate and at the other end supported by one or more poles. The canopy sign extends outward from the building and acts as a roof over the area it covers, providing weather protection for customers, pedestrians and possibly even vehicles. A canopy sign will have lettering and/or graphics painted or screen printed on its exterior surface. It may or not be illuminated. (See also awning sign and backlit awning.)

  • carved letters

    Lettering that is chiseled, routed, engraved or sandblasted into the substrate of a sign face either by hand or by computer controlled machinery.

  • carved signs

    Any sign made by the routing, engraving, sandblasting or chiseling of lettering, shapes and/or patterns into the substrate of a sign face either by hand or by computer controlled machinery.

  • CAS (computer-aided sign making)

    General term for the use of design software and computer controlled manufacturing equipment in the sign-making process.

  • cast metal sign

    Any metal sign that is made through a casting process. Aluminum and bronze are commonly used for cast metal signs such as plaques.

  • changeable copy sign

    A sign where the copy on the face can be changed at will either manually using attachable letters, mechanically using a rotating panel or electronically via computer-controlled bulbs, LEDs or LCD screen, etc.

  • channel letter

    A three-dimensional letter formed out of channel into which a light source such as a neon tube may be placed.

  • CMYK

    Abbreviation for the ink colors cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black. Combinations of these four colors of inks are used in printing to create all other colors.

  • color separation

    The process of decomposing and separating a color graphic or image into its four constituent CMYK ink colors such that each color ends up with its own printing plate. The plates are then used in a printing press to reproduce the image on paper.

  • conforming sign

    A sign that has been legally installed in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations.

  • construction site sign

    A temporary sign, typically large and freestanding, displayed at construction site to promote and provide information about the company or companies involved in the project. These can include the contractor, architect, developer, etc. (Also called a job site sign.)

  • content neutral time, place and manner regulations

    Those sign regulations which specify, without consideration of the sign's content or message, how, when and where a sign can be displayed, including such parameters as height, size and location. (See also building code.)

  • corona treatment

    A treatment process that alters the static charge of material's surface, making it more receptive to the application of inks, coatings and adhesives.

  • corrugated board

    A sign board created by gluing a corrugated piece of material to a flat a piece of material, or between two flat pieces. The most common type of corrugated material used in sign making is plastic.

  • Cut-Out Lettering

    Lettering or graphic elements that are cut out of a material and replaced from behind with letters or graphics of another material.

  • dimensional letter

    Any letter, logo or symbol that has a raised profile in relation to the sign substrate.

  • directory sign

    A sign that provides an organized list of names of people, offices or facilities located within a given building or area. Usually located at a public access point such as a building lobby, a directory sign may provide simple text listings or also include maps and other wayfinding information.

  • drop shadow

    The visual effect of creating a false shadow behind a letter or object by placing a darker colored but identically shaped copy of it behind it but slightly offset up or down and to one side.

  • edge-lit sign

    An illuminated sign where the light source is positioned on the outside of the sign face along one or more of its edges such that the light shines back onto it.

  • electronic display

    Generic term for any type of electronic programmable display. (See also LCD sign.)

  • elevation

    A scale drawing of an exterior side of a given structure such as a building or sign.

  • emboss

    To create raised lettering or graphics in relief on the substrate of a sign through stamping, hammering or molding.

  • embossed plastic sign face

    A plastic sign face that has had three dimensional lettering or graphical elements vacuum molded (embossed) into its surface. (Also called pan face.)

  • engrave

    To incise (cut) a design into the surface of hard material such as metal using a handheld or machine controlled tool called a burin.

  • extrusion

    The process of forcing metal or plastic through a form in order to create a desired shape.

  • fabricated letter

    A dimensional letter typically fabricated from sheet metal.

  • face

    Typically refers to the most prominent message area of a sign but may refer generically to any message area. (Also called sign face. See also panel.)

  • fascia sign

    A sign mounted to a wall or other vertical surface. A flat sign that is mounted on a wall and the face of which runs parallel to the wall. A fascia sign does not typically project from the wall.

  • fiber-optic display

    A sign that utilizes fiber optics to create or illuminat the sign's message.

  • fire retardant

    A chemical compound applied to a material that reduces the material's flammability and retards the ability of fire to spread across its surface. Fire retardant does not make the material fire proof.

  • flat cutout letter

    A non-illuminated letter cut from a metal sheet or plate stock.

  • flex face

    A sign face made of a flexible material stretched over a supporting frame. (See also flexible face material.)

  • footing

    The base of a sign's supporting structure. The footing is typically secured to a foundation or other anchor such as a building's roof.

  • four-color process

    A halftone printing process that uses the four essential ink colors of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) to create a full range of colors on a printed surface. (Also called process color.)

  • front lighted letter

    An illuminated channel letter having a translucent face.

  • gateway sign

    A sign marking the entrance to a town, neighborhood, development, park or other public area. (Also called precinct sign.)

  • gilding

    The artful process of applying a thin layer of gold or gold-like material to a surface by mechanical or chemical means for the purpose of ornamentation. (See also gold foil.)

  • gold leaf

    A very thin type of foil made of gold and used in gilding.

  • gradation

    The smooth transition from one color to another color, from black to white, or from color to the absence of color. (Also called gradient.)

  • gradient

    The smooth transition from one color to another color, from black to white, or from color to the absence of color. (Also called gradation.)

  • grommet

    A small metal or plastic ring that is inserted into a hole made in another piece of material. It prevents fraying of the material around the hole and provides a durable, easily threaded opening for rope or twine. (Also called an eyelet.)

  • halftone

    The process by which a continuous tone image such as a photograph is reproduced and simulated using a pattern of printed or silk screened dots of varying size and equal spacing. At a normal viewing distance the reproduced image appears as continuous tone.

  • halo

    A glowing ring of light surrounding a object such as a channel letter which has been lit from behind. (See also halo lighting.)

  • hanging sign

    A projecting double-faced sign mounted to a wall or pole and hung from a bracket or support arm. (Also known as a projecting sign.)

  • heat color-transfer

    A process of applying color to fabric whereby a pigmented resin is activated by heat and then pulled into the fabric with a vacuum applicator.

  • hue

    A given color's tendency towards any of the four base wavelengths of visible light: red, yellow, blue and green. For example, if yellow appears more dominate in an orange colored ink, then that color orange would be said to have a yellowish hue. Hue is one of the three attributes of color along with brightness and saturation.

  • internally illuminated sign

    A sign that is illuminated by a light source contained within the sign structure or housing. (See also backlit sign and exterior illuminated sign.)

  • J-bolt

    A 'J' shaped bolt that is threaded on the long straight portion of the 'J.'

  • job site sign

    A temporary sign, typically large and freestanding, displayed at construction site to promote and provide information about the company or companies involved in the project. These can include the contractor, architect, developer, etc. (Also called a construction site sign.)

  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Exports Group)

    A common file format for color digital images. The JPEG standard utilizes a 'lossy' data compression method, meaning that in order to reduce the overall size of the file a small amount of sharpness from the original image is sacrificed.

  • lamination

    The process of binding together two or more layers of material by means of one or more of the following: heat, pressure and adhesive bonding. (See also delamination.)

  • line screen

    The resolutions of a halftone print measured in lines per inch. The higher the number of lines per inch, the higher the resolution of the resulting print. Most halftone printing is at a line screen resolution of 133 and 175 lines per inch.

  • liquid crystal display (LCD) sign

    A type of flat panel display that recreates an image or message through the manipulation of electrically sensitive crystals suspended in a liquid medium. Commonly used in electronic message centers.

  • luminous flux

    The total visible light energy emitted by a source in all directions, where the luminous flux is the radiant flux multiplied by the human eye's sensitivity. The unit of measurement for luminous flux is the lumen.

  • magnetic sheeting

    A layer of magnetic material laminated to a flexible surface material such as vinyl that can be printed with lettering and graphics. Magnetic sheeting is commonly used for temporary signage that can be placed on the side of vehicles or other metal surfaces.

  • marquee sign

    A permanent structure attached to the front of a building and which incorporates a large message center. Typically illuminated and often ornate in design, a marquee sign projects over the entrance of the building and provides a canopy over at least a portion of the sidewalk or street. Marquee signs are often used by movie theaters and concert halls.

  • MDO (medium density overlay)

    An exterior grade plywood sheet that has been given a resin-impregnated overlay on one or both sides to improve its paintability.

  • menu board

    A changeable point-of-purchase sign that provides a list of products and prices. It is a type of sign commonly seen in sandwich shops and other fast service restaurants where it is used to display the menu. (See also variable message sign.)

  • molded letter

    A letter created by heating a sheet of acrylic or plastic until it is pliable and then shaping it into the desired form using a mold of the letter. After the plastic cools, it retains the molded shape and any excess material is trimmed away.

  • monument sign

    A freestanding sign that stands directly on the ground or ground level foundation. A monument sign is often used to mark a place of significance or the entrance to a location. (See also low profile sign.)

  • negative space

    Empty or unused space (having no lettering or graphics) within the sign face. (Also called white space. See also positive space.)

  • open channel letter

    A channel letter with returns that project forward from face of letter such that the neon tubing is visible.

  • pan channel letter

    A dimensional letter that is constructed with integrated face, back and sidewalls so as to make the letter appear as a single solid unit.

  • pan face

    A plastic sign face that has had three dimensional lettering or graphical elements vacuum molded (embossed) into its surface. (Also called embossed plastic face sign.)

  • Pantone Matching System (PMS)

    A standardized color scheme used in the printing industry to ensure the consistency of color from design to final print.

  • parapet

    A low wall built along the edge of a building's roof.

  • pennant

    A triangular flag. (See also banner.)

  • Plexiglas

    The trade name for a brand of acrylic sheeting, which (like Kleenex) is often mistakenly used as a generic term.

  • plywood

    A common type of wood product sold in 4' x 8' sheets. Plywood is made of a number of thin sheets of wood laminated together with the grain of the adjacent layers perpendicular, except for the two outside plies, which are parallel to provide stability.

  • PMS (Pantone Matching System)

    A standardized color scheme used in the printing industry to ensure the consistency of color from design to final print.

  • point-of-purchase (POP) sign

    In-store advertising designed to stimulate impulse purchases by shoppers inside a store. The term applies to a store's internal sign system, as well as special displays and dispensers created by and for specific product manufacturers. Also known as "point-of-sale advertising."

  • pole sign

    A freestanding sign, usually double-faced, mounted on a round pole, square tube, or other fabricated member without any type of secondary support.

  • POP (point of purchase) sign

    In-store advertising designed to stimulate impulse purchases by shoppers inside a store. The term applies to a store's internal sign system, as well as special displays and dispensers created by and for specific product manufacturers. Also known as "point-of-sale advertising."

  • positive space

    The copy and art on a sign face. The opposite of negative space.

  • post and panel sign

    A sign panel with one or more posts.

  • poster

    1. A series of paper sheets printed for use on a billboard. Other substrates used for posters include plastic and cloth. 2. Also, a sign typically printed on paper and intended for indoor use. Other substrates used for posters include plastic and cloth.

  • powder coating

    A specific process for applying paint to a surface that creates a very durable protective surface.

  • PPI (pixels per inch)

    The number of pixels in a raster image that will occur in one line in the span of one inch. The higher the PPI, the greater the resolution and the less distinguishable each pixel becomes.

  • pylon sign

    A freestanding sign that is not a pole or ground sign.

  • raceway

    1. A metal structure enclosing the electric components of a sign, exclusive of the transformer. 2. An electrical enclosure that may also serve as a mounting structure for the sign. (See also deck cabinet.)

  • readability

    The quality of a sign's overall design that allows the viewer to correctly interpret the information presented on it. Also, the optimum time and distance in which this can be done. Letter size and style, legibility of typeface, color contrast between letters and background, and a sign's layout all contribute to readability. (See also conspicuity.)

  • readerboard

    A readerboard is a sign on which copy can be changed manually. It usually consists of a panel on which individual letters or pictorials are mounted. Like a window sign, it can advertise special prices or items. It can also be placed so that it can be easily seen from a passing motor vehicle.

  • resolution

    1. In digital images, the number of pixels shown on a screen; the higher the number of pixels in a given space (i.e., the greater the density of pixels), the more precise the pictured image. 2. In plotting, the degree of accuracy with which a plotter will place a knife-head in relation to a theoretical, perfect location of a coordinate.

  • return

    The sides of a channel letter.

  • reveal

    An indented detail on a sign.

  • reverse channel letter

    A channel letter that has a face and sides but no back, and is pinned out from a background surface. When the neon tube inside the letter is illuminated, it produces a halo effect around the letter.

  • revolving sign

    A sign that has the ability to turn 360 degrees because of the presence of an electric motor to drive its movable parts. All or a portion of the sign may revolve at a steady or variable speed.

  • roof sign

    A sign structure that is erected on or above a roof or that is installed directly on a roof's surface.

  • router-cut sign

    Describing a sign cut with a hand router or by a computerized router, using various shaped cutting blades (in a variety of sign materials).

  • routing

    Elimination of material in a substrate, using a tool bit that has been machined for this purpose. In computerized sign making, using a CAD/CAM machine, a tool is programmed to eliminate material along a tool path created along x-,y-,and z-axes.

  • sandblasting

    A method for decorating glass or wood. A rubberized stencil of the artwork is either hand- or computer-cut and applied to the substrate, which is then sprayed with a pressurized stream of sand or synthetic particles to texture the unprotected area. Once the desired depth has been achieved on the item being blasted, the stencil is removed, and if on wood, the surfaces may be painted.

  • sandwich sign

    A moveable sign not secured or attached to the ground or surface upon which it is located, but supported by its own frame and most often forming the cross-sectional shape of an A. (Also known as sidewalk sign.)

  • sans serif

    Any typeface that lacks serifs. In most sans serif fonts, there is little differentiation between the width of strokes within the letter. Helvetica and Futura are familiar sans serif fonts.

  • screen printing

    Graphic application method capable of printing great detail and color on a variety of substrates such as paper, plastics, aluminum, vinyl and banner materials.

  • second-surface

    Refers to a sign made of a clear substrate, such as acrylic, where the art is applied in reverse on what can be an interior face of the sign, providing extra protection from the environment. Some large exterior signs are painted that way,as are many smaller identification, wayfinding, restroom and evacuation signs that are subject to handling on a regular basis.

  • serif

    A small line or embellishment finishing off the strokes of letters in some fonts (like this one). Well-known serif fonts include Souvenir, Times Roman and Garamond.

  • shop drawings

    Drawings prepared by trades to describe the quantity, shape, size, materials and other details of a product's construction. In signage, it refers to drawings prepared by fabricators describing their intended methods of construction and sequence of assembly to be reviewed by designer and owner for approval prior to construction and fabrication. Shop drawings help assure that the original design concept is accurately carried out in the construction process.

  • sidewalk sign

    A moveable sign not secured or attached to the ground or surface upon which it is located, but supported by its own frame and most often forming the cross-sectional shape of an A. (Also known as sandwich sign.)

  • sign code

    A sign code may be part of a government body's land use planning regulations, or it may be a separate document designed to interact with other land use codes. As part of the police powers granted to local governments, a sign code normally seeks to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public. Sign codes may regulate size, placement, illumination, structure and aesthetics of sign content and design.

  • silkscreening

    One of the oldest and simplest forms of printing. A print is made using a squeegee to force ink through stencil or emulsion that is supported by fabric that has been stretched over a frame to create a screen. Several synthetic fabrics have replaced silk as the fabric of choice for screen printers. (See also screen printing.)

  • single face sign

    A sign consisting of one face, rather than back-to-back faces on a common frame or back-to-back messages on the same piece of material.

  • snipe sign

    An overlay sign added to an existing sign layout, as an additional message to the main sign, for example a band across a corner saying "coming soon." Also a term for illegal posting of handbills and posters without permits.

  • spinner sign

    A sign, either freestanding or wall-mounted, where the messages rotate in the wind. A spinner sign is not considered an animated sign.

  • squeegee

    1. In screen printing, a flexible blade mounted in a wood or metal handle and used to force ink through a stencil mounted on the screen. 2. In sign making, a hard plastic or nylon blade used to apply pressure to increase surface adhesion between cutting vinyl and the transfer tape or between the vinyl and sign face.

  • stencil

    A thin sheet of material into which a design is cut. When a stencil is placed on another substrate and paint or ink is applied, the image represented by the cut-out portion of the stencil is printed on the substrate below it. Stencils range from metal to card stock to photo emulsions.

  • stroke

    A single movement of the hand or arm, or of a marking tool. Stroke refers to a pass of the squeegee in screen printing, and a pass of the brush in painting. (See also stroke width.)

  • stroke width

    The width of the major lines comprising a letterform. A wider stroke width is used to make a bolder letter; a narrower stroke width is used to make a lighter letter.

  • styrene

    Refers to polystyrene, a usually colorless, rigid plastic that can be molded into objects, used in the manufacture of signs.

  • substrate

    The material out of which the face is made. Wood, metal sheeting, paper and acrylic are some examples of sign substrates.

  • tagged image file format (TIFF)

    Standard graphics file format used for scanned bit-mapped images.

  • three-dimensional (3D) engraving

    A routing procedure where the tool bit can be moved independently along the up-and-down z-axis while still traveling an x/y-axis tool path. 3D engraving can create relieves and hand-chiseled looks while removing material from a substrate.

  • TIFF (tagged image file format)

    standard graphics file format used for scanned bit-mapped images.

  • tint

    A color made lighter than the original by adding white to it.

  • tone

    The effect on a color brought about by blending it with another color.

  • tracking

    The ability of a computer, at the operator's instruction, to add or subtract minute increments of space between letters. (See also letter spacing and kerning.)

  • trademark

    Used by a business to distinguish itself and its products from competition. A trademark may include a name, symbol, word or combination of those. Protected by the federal government and considered to have financial value, a sign maker should only reproduce a trademark with the company's permission and should discourage customers who seek to imitate well-known trademarks too closely. (See also logo and registered trademark.)

  • transfer tape

    A medium-tack adhesive coated on translucent paper. Transfer tape is placed on weeded vinyl images still on the original carrier liner; the tack of the tape is stronger than the adhesion of the vinyl to the coated liner, so the image is pulled off the liner in a transfer to another surface.

  • transformer

    Electrical equipment that converts input voltage and current to a different output voltage and current. In general, a transformer is any apparatus that continuously increases or decreases the voltage of a power supply. They are an important element in all neon signs, due to the high voltage required. (Fluorescent lamps require a specialized type of transformer unit called a ballast.)

  • translucent

    The property of a material such as vinyl, paint or ink that allows the passage of some light through it without being transparent. Internally illuminated signs rely on translucent paints and vinyls.

  • transparent

    The property of a material that allows light and images through and may also show a color tint.

  • tri-color LED

    An LED that displays only the colors red, yellow and green.

  • UV resistance

    Ability to withstand decay due to the damaging effect of the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

  • variable message sign

    A sign on which the copy can be changed, either manually through the use of attachable letters (usually plastic) or electronically using incandescent bulbs or light emitting diodes. (See also marquee sign, readerboard. changeable copy panel, changeable copy sign, electronic message center, menu board.)

  • variable plank sign

    A variable sign that consists of a frame within which pre-printed sign planks can be assembled.

  • vinyl

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film that, in sign making, is backed with an adhesive that creates a strong bond to a surface when pressure is applied. Many different integral colors are available with adhesives having different levels of aggressiveness (adhesion) for various applications from permanent to semi-permanent to temporary.

  • vinyl letters

    Letters cut from adhesive-backed material, in dozens of opaque, translucent, metallized, and transparent colors and patterns.

  • visibility

    The quality of a letter, number, graphic, or symbol, which enables the observer to distinguish it from its surrounds or background.

  • weed

    The process of peeling extraneous vinyl or matrix way from a plotter cut, leaving only the sections representing the final image. Pulling the extra material away in one quick stroke is known as "rip weeding."

  • white space

    Empty or unused space (having no lettering or graphics) within the sign face. (Also called negative space. See also positive space.)




Sign Magic
P.O. Box 329 • Oldsmar, FL 34677
Phone: 727-725-0022 • Phone: 813-889-0022
E-mail: sales@signmagic.com

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