Sign & Digital Graphics

2013 Buyer's Guide

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Terms of the Trade Ascender—In typography, a given typeface, the portions of the lowercase b,d,f,h,k and l, that extend above the height of the lowercase x. Aspect Ratio—The height-to-width measurement of an image as displayed on a monitor and ultimately printed. Can sometimes be altered when using a software's import/export feature and transferring an image from one computer to another. Ratio can also change with pixel size, although most computers use a 1:1 aspect. ATM Toppers—Video screens built into automatic teller machines that run advertising and other information independent of the ATM. Attribute—A distinguishing characteristic. The characteristics of color are such attributes as hue, lightness and saturation. Authoring Station—A machine used for authoring and publishing the scripts that are sent to media players. Authoring System—Software for assembling multimedia applications. Authoring Tools—Authoring tools can refers to software that helps multimedia developers create products. These are different from programming languages in that they attempt to reduce the amount of programming expertise required in order to be productive. Awning—A shelter constructed of non-rigid materials on a supporting framework which projects from and is supported by the exterior wall of a building. An awning may or may not be illuminated and/or decorated with graphics to serve as a sign. Axis—The geometric guidelines used to place a  coordinate that determines knife and/or tool paths for plotters and routers. Baked Enamel—A type of metal sign finish. A special enamel paint is sprayed or screen printed on the metal surface, dried, then cured. The result is an extremely durable surface similar to that found on many appliances. Balance—In design, the relationship between the design elements so that opposing forces have equal distribution of weight in the layout. Ballast—A device that operates as part of a fluorescent lamp and is designed primarily to provide sufficient starting voltage. Banding—A pattern of horizontal or vertical lines visible in solid colors, continuous-tone tints, gradations or images, instead of a smooth color or transition of colors. Banding can appear on computer monitors displaying an inadequate number of colors, or on printers with an improperly profiled printer or media. Bandwidth—The amount of data that is able to be sent over a network, measured in Kilobytes and Megabytes per second (Kbps and Mbps). Modern low bandwidth communications include dialup modems and ISDN, ranging from 56Kbps to 128Kbps, but actual downloading times are closer to 1/10th of this speed. High-speed cable modems, DSL, T-1, and Satellite are much faster, by factors of as little as 10 or even higher than 100. Banner—A sign usually made of fabric, vinyl or other non-rigid material with no enclosing framework. May be painted, screen printed, digitally printed or decorated with vinyl. Banner Finishing—Various applications used to complete a banner to include seaming, hemming, pockets, reinforcement, Keder Strip, clear tape, hook-and-loop tape (Velcro), grommet, etc. Vinyl welding equipment provides the means of fixing these applications along with double stick tape, adhesives, and grommet setting machines. Axis Swapping—The process where sign-production software temporarily transposes a plotter's X and Y axis. The function allows long, thin jobs along the X-axis to be cut across a vinyl sheet's width, saving material. Beta Testing—Testing a pre-release version of a piece of equipment or software by making it available to selected users. B Bevel—A three-dimensional effect that can be applied to text elements, clips or the edges of dimensional signs. Back Channel—A data pathway through which a media player sends information to the network manager. Backlit Sign—A sign consisting of a cabinet containing a light source surrounded by one or more translucent faces, illuminated for visibility. Bezier Curve—A line segment where the angle deflection is mathematically estimated. Bezier segments usually feature movable control points that allow nearly unlimited alteration of the segment to a variety of angles. Binder—A substance that binds two others together. For instance, lacquer is used as a binder 102 • Mid-June 2013 • S I G N SBGuide.indd 102 when painting with some metallic dusts, and many paints require binders. Bio-Solvent Inks—A type of solvent ink in which the alcohol-based carrier (ethyl lactate) is derived from renewable resources such as corn. Ethyl lactate is very low in harmful VOCs and is considered by the EPA to be a viable alternative to cyclohexanone. Bit Depth—In scanning technology, the amount of information a given scanner records for each pixel. The higher the scanner's bit depth, the more accurately it can describe what it sees when it looks at a given pixel. Most color scanners today are at least 24-bit, meaning that they collect 8 bits of information about each of the primary scanning colors: red, blue, and green. A 30-bit scanner would collect 10 bits per color. Bitmap—Refers to images made of rows and columns of monochrome or multi-colored pixels, or dots, for displaying or printing. Bitmap-image formats include, by filename extension first:  AI = Adobe Illustrator Encapsulated PostScript  BMP = Windows Bitmap  EPS = Encapsulated PostScript  GIF = Graphics Exchange Format  JPEG or JPG = Joint Photographic Experts Group PNG = Portable Network Graphic  TIF, TIFF = Tagged Image File Format Black—The color that is produced when an object absorbs all wavelengths of light rather than reflecting some of them as other colors. Black Generation—The addition of a black layer to the process colors cyan, magenta and yellow when converting an RGB color image to CMYK mode, usually handled in one of four ways: short-range black, used with camera/enlarger separations made through colored filters; long-range black, used in electronic scanners and separation software; UCR black; or GCR black. Blade—In  screen printing, the flexible part of a squeegee that comes into contact with the ink. Blank—Most commonly, an un-decorated sign face. May also refer to a sign face without any framing or cabinet. Bleed—In screen printing, the portion of the job that extends beyond the area of the finished print. Block Colors—Colors printed without gradations, tints or shades. Blockout—Specially formulated paint used to block out the crossover connections between  neon letters. Also a liquid type of mask & D I G I TA L G R A P H I C S 5/31/13 12:35 PM

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