Sign & Digital Graphics

2013 Buyer's Guide

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Posterization—Process of changing the number of colors in an image, usually to a lesser total. Can sometimes aid in speeding the RIP process by providing less information for rasterization, but can affect specific color integrity. PostScript—Graphics language that creates vector-based images that, by computer code, allows for proportional scaling. It's what makes most scalable type and artwork possible for most Windows- and Macintosh-based graphics software. Pounce Pad—A small fabric pouch filled with white chalk powder that, once a paper with perforations outlining a design is laid over the substrate, can be patted over, leaving behind powder marks of the design to be painted. Pounce Pattern—A full-sized pattern of any design to be painted. Once the pattern is created, the outline is perforated using a manual or electric tool. The pattern is then held firmly against the  substrate and the perforations patted with powder using a pounce pad, leaving an outline of the design. PPI (Pixels Per Inch)—In digital printing, describes how many of the pixels in a raster image will occur in one inch. The higher the number of pixels-per-inch, the greater the resolution and the less distinguishable each becomes. PPI (Pulses Per Inch)—In laser engraving, the number of times a laser beam fires per inch of horizontal travel. Preflighting—Checking a graphic file for potential problems before sending it for final output, essentially to find font, color and other problems. Usually done with software. Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA)—An adhesive that activates its adhesive properties only when pressure is applied to the surfaces it is to be adhered to. Sometimes used to refer to vinyl with a pressure sensitive adhesive backing such as in PSA vinyl. Primary Colors—Color that cannot be created by mixing other colors within the gamut of a given color space, but mix to create all other color combinations within that space. Red, green and blue (RGB) are additive primaries of emitted light, while cyan, magenta and yellow (CMY) are subtractive primaries of reflected light. Black  (K) is added to CMY to produce denser, truer black images. Primary Wiring—Electrical wiring that directly connects a device, such as a neon transformer, to the breaker box. Prime—To coat a raw substrate prior to the application of paint or adhesive. A primer coat prevents subsequent coats of paint or adhesive from being absorbed. Print Driver—Computer software that allows the computer to communicate with and control the actions of a printer or other output device. Printhead—The device in an inkjet printer that shoots droplets of ink onto the substrate. Printheads contain nozzles (grouped by color), and typically shuttle back and forth across the  substrate as ink droplets are forced out of the nozzles. Most printheads are either thermal or piezo (piezoelectric). Print Stroke—In  screen printing, a pass of the  squeegee across the screen in screen printing that forces the ink through the stencil onto the substrate. Process Color—The three primary colors of printing—cyan (blue); magenta (red); and yellow; plus black. When printed as halftones in that order, they create a full range of natural colors. Their printing is also known as four-color process or CMYK. Production Area—Space on a router or engraving table where the tool can touch the substrate and cut. Some tables may have non-production areas (or margins) for setting of clamps, etc. Profile—In color management, a data file that describes various characteristics and attributes of a computer monitor, printer ink and/or media, which when used in combination, yield predictable color results. Standards for the creation of profiles were established by the ICC. Projecting Sign—A sign that is attached to a building but extends beyond the building structure. PSA Vinyl—A type of vinyl film that has an pressure sensitive adhesive backing that adheres to a surface only when pressure is applied. Public IP Multicast Displays—A device capable of receiving an IP multicast transmission and displaying the contents, often used to update large numbers of visual display devices including digital signage. Pulsating DC—A rectified AC voltage without a filter capacitor. Pumping System—In  neon tube production, the pumping system is used to remove impurities from the tubes and fill them with rare gases. A pumping system typically consists of a manifold, vacuum pumps, rare gases, a bombarder and electrical controllers. Push Software—Software that pushes news and information from a broadcast server to a media player client. Push technology can be used to deliver vital information to screens without the player asking. Push-Through—A letter or graphic which is cut out, then pushed through a corresponding space that has been removed from the sign substrate. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)—The most common form of plastic in use today. PVC is extruded or cast as sheets, tubing or films. PVC films are commonly referred to as vinyl. Pylon—Any free-standing sign that is not a pole or ground sign. Q Queue—An electronic holding area, usually in random-access memory (RAM) or on a hard drive, where data waits before being sent to a printer for output. Synonymous with spooler. R Raceway—A metal structure enclosing the electric components of a sign. RAM (Random Access Memory)—The high-speed portion of a computer's data storage that is held on special chips for use in current applications or procedures. RAM is said to be volatile if the stored information is lost when power is disrupted. Raster Image—An image created by a collection of pixels arranged in a rectangular way. Rasterization—The process of translating data into a bitmap pattern for output by a digital printing device. Readability—The quality of a sign's overall design that allows the viewer to correctly interpret the information presented on it, and the optimum time and distance in which this can be done. Letter size and style, color contrast between the letters and background, and a sign's layout all contribute to readability. Reclaiming—In  screen printing, the removal of a stencil from the screen mesh so it can be used again. Reflective—The ability of a surface to return some or all of the wavelengths of light that strike it. S I G N & D I G I TA L G R A P H I C S • SBGuide.indd 115 Mid-June 2013 • 115 5/31/13 12:37 PM

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