Sign & Digital Graphics

2013 Buyer's Guide

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Screening—Method for positioning dots for reproduction of an image by a printer. The two basic methods are halftone, where dots of varying sizes are placed in an exact, evenly spaced order; and stochastic screening, where small dots of the same size are placed in a random-looking, variable-spaced distribution on an image. Halftone is also known as amplitude modulation (AM), and stochastic as frequency modulated (FM). Screen Printing—Historically one of the oldest and simplest forms of printing. A print is made by using a squeegee to force ink through a stencil or emulsion that's supported by fabric stretched over a frame. Although also referred to as silk screening, several synthetic fabrics have replaced silk as the fabric of choice. Seam—A line formed by the joining together of two separate materials by their edges, as with flexible face material or wood, metal or plastic sheets. Second-Surface—Refers to a sign made of a clear substrate, such as glass or acrylic, where the art is done in reverse on what will be an interior face of the sign, providing extra protection. Service Cover—In an electric sign cabinet a panel that allows ready access to the bulbs or lamps and the electrical connections for their replacement and maintenance. Setback—The distance between the primary face of a sign and the property line. Shadow—Duplication of an image that's slightly offset. Drop shadow is a simple copy and offset; block shadow joins the outlines of the original and duplicate to create a 3D-relief effect; and cast alters the shape and size of the duplicate to imitate shadows cast from varied placement of light. Shadow Point—The darkest tone in an image that is printable. Tones darker than the shadow point print as black. The opposite of white point. Sharpen—A process in image-editing software to improve the contrast of tones within an image. This can be a universal (all tone) operation or target specific areas. Sheet Metal—Aluminum or steel in sheets or plates used as a sign substrate. Self-Running Script—A script designed to run continuously; for example, to demonstrate a product or service, or provide information without interruption. Also continuous script. Showcard—An interior sign utilizing a card stock  substrate and often decorated with tempera paints. The standard showcard size is 28" x 44". Sequence—The operation of a flasher or chaser, or to the order and frequency of messages in an electronic changeable copy sign, or the pattern of an advertiser's billboard campaign. Also, the order in which inks are deposited by a printing device. Signing Schedule—Lists of all the signs to be installed, the locations where they are supposed to be placed and the information they should contain. Supplied by the architect, designer or contractor on major projects. Sequencer—A hardware device or computer software that is used to compose a musical score, transcribe it into a MIDI file and play or record the result using MIDI instruments. Often used to create audio portions of digital signage content. Silhouette—The overall shape of a sign, or a block of copy within a sign. Serial Communications—Method of sending information from a computer to another device (such as a plotter or printer) by sending one signal at a time through a cable. Serif—A small line or embellishment finishing off the strokes of letters in some fonts. Well-known serif fonts include Souvenir, Times Roman and Garamond. Server—Computers used for limited tasks. In networks, servers may act as a hub for storing programs used by different workstation computers; can also act as the machine solely for RIP purposes in large-format color printing. Simulations—Since spot-color inks are made from unique pigments or dyes, many are outside the color gamut of four-color process printing. Outof-gamut colors cannot be matched exactly on the press or printer. Spot colors can also be converted from their own individual inks to process colors, which are known as simulations. Single-Face—A sign consisting of one face, rather than back-to-back faces. Single-Pass Printing—Inkjet printing process that uses arrays of stationary printhead clusters (also called "color bars") instead of a shuttling printhead. A substrate passes beneath printhead arrays in a single pass. Not yet commonly applied to wide format printing. Sizing—The substance applied to the substrate before gilding in order to make the gold leaf adhere to the surface. Skeleton—The metal frame on which a sign is installed. Slice—Cutting of an image by means of using parallel lines to eliminate the image after alternating lines. Also called striping in some sign software. Smoothing—Method used to vary speed and movement of material and knife-head of a plotter, making for less-jagged transitions between nodes during cutting. Snipe Sign—A sign added to a structure where it is neither the main nor permitted sign. Soda-Lime Glass—The most common glass manufactured and the type used in most fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs. Soda-lime glass is made from a combination of sand, limestone and sodium carbonate. Soda-lime glass can be either colored glass or clear glass. Soil Bearing—Refers to the ability of un-compacted soil to support a weight, such as the footing for a sign. The measurable figure usually has to be obtained from an engineer, and is expressed as pounds per square foot. Solvent—A petroleum-based liquid used to modify oil-based paints and inks and to remove them from frames and brushes. Solvent Inks—Inks that use solvent as a carrier. Commonly used for printing onto vinyl, and offering good outdoor durability. Printers using solvent-based inks emit VOCs and should be ventilated. Spacer—Any device used in mounting letters or signs which separates them from the surface to which they are being installed. Special Event—In electronic digital signage  content, an event that is not associated with a file. Special events can be added like pages in the main menu, or like elements in the list menu. They are used to control a device or an element, for example, changing the volume of a sound. Spectacular—An extra-large outdoor sign that incorporates special lighting and/or motion effects, or an interior sales display that also includes special lighting and motion elements. S I G N & D I G I TA L G R A P H I C S • SBGuide.indd 117 Mid-June 2013 • 117 5/31/13 12:37 PM

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