Sign & Digital Graphics

2013 Buyer's Guide

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Terms of the Trade Die-Cut—A cut made with a steel rule die manufactured to cut a particular shape, commonly, when a large number of shapes with curved lines are to be cut. Also refers to the object that has been cut. Diffusion Pump—A vacuum pump consisting of a boiler, a jet assembly and a cooling chamber, designed to increase the speed of evacuation of a neon tube after bombarding. Digital Media Network—The term digital media network can refer to anything from multiple web sites, to multiple television stations being centrally owned and operated. With the reduction in cost of custom controllable media  players, a new breed of digital media network is emerging, known under many different terms. The industry appears to be settling on the term electronic digital signage  to describe these new digital media networks, where custom images are digitally delivered to sign-like devices located throughout retail environments, or the enterprise. Digital Multimedia Broadcast—The process of broadcasting multimedia over the Internet, or satellite, to be tuned in by multimedia receivers, or media players, capable of playing back the multimedia program. Through a process called multicast, a single broadcast can send programming to thousands of receivers, which can play back the content individualized to the location. This is one of the advantages of multimedia broadcasting over traditional video broadcasting. Directly Illuminated—A sign that is illuminated by a source other than ambient light; any lighted sign. Double Tube—Two neon tubes running parallel to each other, often used for outlining or borders. Directory Sign—An on-premise sign that identifies the names and locations of tenants in a multitenant building, or group of buildings. Double Face—A sign with two parallel but opposing faces. DirectX—Microsoft's universal graphics driver software for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT PCs. Some software depends on DirectX for it graphics playback functions, thus DirectX must be present on any PC that plays back some scripts. Dirty Color—A color made from four or more pigments. Dithering—A process that simulates color variations or shades of gray by alternating the sizes and shapes of pixel groupings. This reduces the contrast between dots of different colors/shades and creates a more-flowing, natural look. An alternative to halftone. Dmin/Dmax—Measurement of the density of a printed image; to be exact, ability of a tone to absorb light. Dmin is the lowest density measurement, while Dmax is the highest. The Dmin/Dmax scale is 0-6, although a pure carbon black  is 4 and most printers register a slightly lower measurement for blackest black. DM/PL—Programming instructions language used to connect a plotter  with a computer. DM/PL is used in software drivers from some sign programs. Digital Printer—A printing device that is capable of translating digital data into hardcopy output. Technologies employed in digital printers include inkjet, thermal transfer, electrostatic and laser photo-imaging. DOD (Drop On Demand)—Piezo printhead technology in which inkjet nozzles fire ink only when color is needed, instead of firing ink continuously and being deflected away from the substrate when not needed, as in continuous inkjet systems. Digital Video—A video that has been digitized so that it can be controlled from a PC and displayed directly on a computer monitor. DOOH (Digital Out Of Home Advertising)—refers to that portion of advertising delivered in locations other than the home. Primary examples include billboards, movie theaters, and gas stations. Diode—A solid-state device that allows electrical current to pass through it in only one direction. Think of it as a one-way valve for electrons. Direct Current (DC)—One of three varieties of electricity. Specifically, a current that always flows in one direction, around and around, as in the electricity that powers household batteries. See also Alternating Current. Directional Sign—Signs designed to provide direction to travelers. The Highway Beautification Act sets guidelines for the size, placement and content of true directional signs. Dot Gain—Effect produced when individual dots of color (as with an inkjet droplet) spread and become larger than their intended size, resulting in the darkening of a printed image. DPI (Dots Per Inch)—A unit of measure used to describe the resolution capability of a given piece of equipment by measuring the number of individual dots the device can reproduce in a linear inch. If the horizontal and vertical resolutions are different, typically both figures will be given. The higher the number of dots, the less easy it is to distinguish individual dots, making the image sharper. Double Back—A 180-degree bend used in neon tubes to produce such letters as R, E, F and G. Often used to describe the technique and placement of the electrode on a neon unit. Drag Knife—A cutting edge mounted to turn freely. With sign plotters, the combined movements of the  plotter head along the Y axis and the vinyl/ medium along the X axis causes the knife blade to turn to create straight lines and curves. Draw—The depth of the shaped letter or face from the original plane in the manufacture of plastic letters and sign faces by embossing, de-bossing, or vacuum-forming. Drawing Program—An application, often called a structured or vector drawing program, used to create and manipulate two-dimensional images and shapes as independent objects, as opposed to bitmap images. Dress—To prepare or put in a finished condition. In sign making, the faces, edges and corners of a sign and its art may all be dressed. Driver—Power supply for LED systems, providing low voltage output. Drum Scanner—Device utilizing a rotating drum, which artwork is mounted on. As the drum spins, light from the image enters a lens, allowing the image to be recorded in data as a series of fine lines. Because a drum scanner can record more digital information, it typically allows for easier image manipulation and a more detailed printed image. Dye—An organic-based colorant that may be dissolved in a liquid; esp., dye-based ink. Dye particles are much smaller than pigment particles. Dye Sublimation—Imaging process where colorants are vaporized with heat and pressure, and deposited on to a substrate to create an image. Typically it is a transfer process used in polyester-based fabric printing. Sublimation inks are mirror-printed on a donor material (transfer paper). The image is then sublimated onto the fabric using a heat press. Dynamic Digital Signage (DDS)—(See Electronic Digital Signage) Dynamic Range—Measurement of contrast from highlight to shadow; in some cases, the number of 106 • Mid-June 2013 • S I G N SBGuide.indd 106 & D I G I TA L G R A P H I C S 5/31/13 12:36 PM

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