Sign & Digital Graphics

2013 Buyer's Guide

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Terms of the Trade Flat—In hand-painted signage, a brush made with medium-length ox hair bristles; called a flat because the bristles are cut flat and tend to remain that way when pressed to its full width; useful in maintaining even stroke widths. Flat sometimes refers to rigid substrates, particularly metal and plastic sheets, as they are received from the supplier; an undecorated substrate. In addition, the term describes a finish that is duller than matte, and has little reflective quality. Flat Panel Display—Refers to using flat panel electronic display devices, such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs) or plasma screen in place of traditional signs. Flatbed Printer—A digital printer designed to accommodate and print directly to various thicknesses of rigid substrates. Flexible-Face Material—Translucent  material, usually decorated and then stretched across a frame to form awnings, billboards and other types of signage. Flexible Metallic Tubing—A flexible conduit tube used to protect electric wiring. Flipper—A disk, door, cube or sphere that opens and closes electromagnetically, showing a colored or black surface used in some electronic changeable copy signs. Flood Stroke—In screen printing, inking the image areas of the screen between printing strokes. Foam Board—A type of lightweight, rigid board used for interior signs. Foam boards consist of a foam center sheet laminated on one or both sides by a variety of substrates. Focal Length—A term used to refer to the size or type of lens used in a laser engraver. Usually between 1" and 3". Different focal lengths determine the size of the "dot" the laser will engrave each times it fires. Focal Point—The spot in a design or layout that first catches the eye. In good design, the focal point and the main message the sign seeks to convey will be the same thing. Foil—A donor sheet of color used in thermal transfer printing. Font—Font refers to a single style of a particular typeface, but, since the advent of the computer and scalable fonts, not its size. For example, Bulmer regular, Bulmer italic, Bulmer bold and Bulmer bold italic are four fonts, but one typeface. 108 • Mid-June 2013 • S I G N SBGuide.indd 108 Footing—The (usually) concrete supporting base of a structure, as for a pylon or monument sign. Also called "footer". Force—The downward pressure made by a plotter on a blade tip to ease cutting through materials. Also, a measurable influence tending to cause movement with a sign, such as wind or gravity. Format—The workable space within which the art and copy must fit. Also, the shape and area of a sign face. Also, the type of software program in which a file is stored (ie. jpeg, pdf, eps, gif, bmp, etc.) Formed—Refers to a plastic face or letter that has been heated and shaped to give it dimension. Four-Color Process—Any printing method that utilizes the subtractive primaries plus black to create the illusion of different colors. Frames Per Second (FPS)—the speed at which an animation, film or video is displayed. The frames per second setting for an animation should be at least 12 to create the illusion of movement. Galvanic Isolation—No electrically conductive path from the AC input to the DC output. This is a safety feature to prevent shock should a person come in contact with a broken LED in a sign. Gamma—Measurement of the degree of contrast between the lightest and darkest tones of an image. Gamma is also noted as the slope of a curve in measurements of color values, and can be altered for display and output. Gamut Compression—Electronic editing of an image so that it can be displayed or output within the limits of a particular device. Gantry—Bridge on which the spindle assembly of certain computerized routers and engravers travels. The spindle usually travels along the length of the gantry for X-axis movement. The gantry may also be mounted on rails for movement along the Y-axis; with other machines, the gantry is stationary and the table itself moves along the Y-axis. This term is also used in inkjet printing to describe the bridge on which a scanning printhead assemblies is housed on certain flatbed printers. Gauge—A method for measuring the thickness of sheet metal. In the sign industry, most sheet metal ranges from 10-26 gauge. Free Radical UV Curing—The most common form of UV-curing ink chemistry, it employs a free radical reaction whereby a photoinitiator absorbs UV energy and generates an unpaired electron, beginning a chemical chain reaction (crosslink) with a double bond substance (monomers), causing the polymerization of UV ink. In free radical UV curing, the reaction ceases once the ink is no longer exposed to UV energy. GCR (Gray Component Replacement)—This is a color separation process in which black  ink is used to replace cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY) in mid-tone and highlight areas where the three inks overlap, in order to reduce ink consumption and drying time. Similar to UCR. Friction Feed—Process where material is fed through a printer or plotter by placing it between a motor-driven grit wheel and two tensioned pinch rollers. Genlock—In  electronic digital signage , a video device that synchronizes two video signals and enables them to be mixed; for example, to overlay a subtitle produced on the computer onto live video. FTP (File Transfer Protocol)—A standard protocol for transferring data over the Internet. To use FTP, FTP software must be set up on both sending and receiving ends of an FTP transmission, and the client (initiator) must have a username, password and a valid target address on the server. Gilding—The application of thin metal sheets to glass and other surfaces. See also Gold Leaf. FTP Server—A computer that can receive requests for an FTP link from a client machine, or the software on that machine that allows it to do so. This includes FTP server capability. Also called an FTP host. See also IIS. Gold Leaf—Gold manufactured into thin leaves, commonly available in a range of from 10-23 karats. G Galvanized—Steel or iron that has been protected by a zinc coating. Glass Sleeves—On some neon tube installations, clear glass units designed to add insulation to the electrodes and other wiring. Gradation—Transition between colors or shades, created by mixing percentages of a dominant and secondary color and then altering them in steps to create the change. Grit Wheel—The motor-driven roller that moves material through a friction-feed plotter. & D I G I TA L G R A P H I C S 5/31/13 12:36 PM

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