Sign & Digital Graphics

2012 Buyers Guide

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Equalization—A processing technique where the range of colors in a fi le is expanded to produce a better image. Error Diffusion—Process where equal-size dots are placed, via computer calculation, based on an image's detail and tones. The result is a continuous tone image. Event—An action in a script; virtually everything that happens in a script is an event, including text, sounds, wipes, animations, etc. Expanded-Gamut Color—A system in which additional colors (usually light cyan, light magenta, light yellow, light black, green and/or orange) are used to supplement CMYK, in order to reproduce a greater number of colors. See also Hexachrome, hi-fi color. Extender—Added to an ink to improve its working quality or for extending the volume. Exterior Illumination—Illumination that is provided from a source separate from the sign itself, such as a spotlight. Also called indirectly illuminated. Extruded Acrylic—Acrylic produced by forcing acrylic resins through a specifi cally shaped die (see also Cast Acrylic). Usually avoided by laser engravers since it cuts well with a laser engraver but does not engrave well. Extrusion—A part created by forcing a raw material (usually metal or plastic) through a die to create a specifi c shape. F Facade—The front or principal entrance of a building. Face—The decorated surface of a sign; the area on which the copy and art is placed. Fiber Optic Display—A type of sign that transmits its message utilizing light directed through fi ber optic cable. File Compression—The process of condensing a fi le, video, or animation using special hardware and/or software so that it requires less storage space. In color management, the ability of a software to reduce the range of colors in an image to whatever can be reproduced on an output device is called "compression". Fills—Tool-path directions and methods for traveling through substrate to remove, or rout, material. Sweep or hatch fi lls remove material in consecutive, side-by-side lines; spiral fi lls trace the edge of area of material to be removed, then work inward to center in one path; island fi lls trace the edge, then work inward in separate, concentric paths. Flasher—A mechanical device designed to interrupt the electrical current in a sign at regular intervals, turning the light source on and off to create a fl ashing image. Flat—In hand-painted signage, a brush made with medium-length ox hair bristles; called a fl at because the bristles are cut fl at 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 fi nish that is duller than matte, and has little refl ective quality. Flat Panel Display—Refers to using fl at 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 fl at materials and 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 fl exible 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. Mid-J SIGN & DIGITAL GRAPHICS 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 fi res. Focal Point—The spot in a design or layout that fi rst 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. 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 infl uence tending to cause movement with a sign, such as wind or gravity. Format—The workable space within which the art and copy must fi t. Also, the shape and area of a sign face. Also, the type of software program in which a fi le 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, fi lm or video is displayed. The frames per second setting for an animation should be at least 12 to create the illusion of movement. GLOSSARY

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