Sign & Digital Graphics

2013 Buyer's Guide

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s Glossary of industry terms Terms Trade of the A comprehensive glossary of terms and acronyms used in the fields of digital and electronic signage, wide-format inkjet printing and in traditional sign-making disciplines. Editor's note: Words within definitions that appear in italics are defined elsewhere within the glossary. Compiled by the staff of Sign & Digital Graphics A Abatement—In sign law, the removal or control of an annoyance; such as a sign not meeting a community's sign code. Absorption—The dispersal of visible light as it interacts with matter, decreasing its transmission and resulting in a modification of the matter's color. AC Ripple—When an alternating current voltage is rectified and filtered by a capacitor, the output waveform is not perfect like the direct current from a battery. There is normally a small periodic change in the voltage level superimposed on the average DC voltage. The larger the capacitor, the smaller this ripple will be. In a practical design, a capacitor large enough to limit the ripple voltage to 10% of the average DC voltage is considered a good rule of thumb. Also called, more correctly, a "ripple voltage." Acceleration—The force of a knife-plotter head moving from a stopped position to its fastest linear (straight-line) speed. Measured in grams, it gives the zero-to-60 indication of plotter speed, but a better overall indication is throughput. Acetate—A tough, clear plastic film that's ink-receptive. Acid Etching—Primarily used for marking glass, some surface material is dissolved in acid and removed, leaving an image behind. Acrylic—An extruded or cast rigid plastic characterized by its clarity and ability to accept color. Also a type of paint with an acrylic resin base. ActiveX—A Microsoft program for enhancing interactivity in Web browsers and other network-oriented software applications. Ad Channel—In electronic digital signage, network TV channels that exist for the sole purpose of advertisements. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)—Federal civil-rights legislation addressing the needs of physically impaired citizens. Sections dealing with signage include Title II, affecting government and public-sector activities, and Title III, involving the private sector. Additional rules are included in the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Addressable Resolution—Highest resolution that can be achieved by the imaging mechanism of a scanner or inkjet printer in reproducing an image. See also Optical Resolution and Interpolation. Additive Colors—An emissive color system using the  primary colors red, green and blue. Used in computer monitors, televisions etc. When the three come together in equal proportions, the end result is white. Also known as additive primaries. Adhesive—A material able to hold two surfaces together, often activated by heat or pressure. Airbrush—A device utilizing compressed air to generate a fine spray of paint. Aliasing—Visual stair-stepping of edges that occurs in an image when the resolution is too low for the size of the output. See also Jaggies. Alternating Current (AC)—One of the three basic forms of electricity. Specifically, a current that changes direction back and forth at some frequency—60Hz in the U.S.; 50Hz in Europe—as in the electricity that comes from a household wall socket. See also Direct Current. AMLCD (Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Display)—An electronic graphics display utilizing a grid of switching elements on the inside surface of a glass substrate, arranged in rows and columns.  Voltage is applied to each row, then removed, and applied to the next row in repeated cycles, resulting in a visible image. Animation—A sequence of frames that, when played in order at sufficient speed, presents a smoothly moving image, like a film or video. An animation can be digitized video, computer-generated graphics, or a combination. AnimClip—An animation in the FLC or AnimGIF format which has been loaded as a clip. Like clips, AnimClips can be moved and sized; like animations, their speed and other animation parameters can be controlled. See also MovieClip. Animated GIF—An animation in the GIF  format, capable of automatic looping playback. See also GIF. Anneal—To subject to great heat, and then cool slowly. Neon tubes are annealed after bending to reduce stress in the glass. Anodizing—Process by which a protective aluminum oxide layer is applied to an underlying metal using electrolysis. ANSI—American National Standards Institute, a nonprofit organization overseeing standards for products, processes, systems, and services in the U.S. Anti-Aliasing—In digital printing, the process of mixing various amounts of surrounding colors to pixels (or dots) forming lines or edges of colors. Helps eliminate the jagged look that sometimes occurs. Application Tape—See Transfer Tape. Aqueous Inks—Inks that use water as a carrier. Aqueous inks may contain dyes or pigments as colorants. Ambient Light—The light in a given area, excluding direct or internal illumination. Argon—An inert gas which, when mixed with mercury, is used in fluorescent lamps and neon tubes. Ampere—A unit used to measure electric current flow, also called amp or amps. Architectural Gauge—Thicker (1/4") plastic engraving  substrate designed mainly for sign making. Allows for deeper removal of material and appearance of greater depth. Anchor—In sign making, refers particularly to the fasteners used to secure awnings and fascia signs to facades. Animated Sign—A sign that shows motion or changes in copy or color by means of an electric or electronic switching device. See Flasher. Architectural Sign—A sign type, often part of a system of signs, associated with the architecture of a building or building complex, giving information about specific locations within, wayfinding and other features. S I G N & D I G I TA L G R A P H I C S • SBGuide.indd 101 Mid-June 2013 • 101 5/31/13 12:34 PM

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