Sign & Digital Graphics

2012 Buyers Guide

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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 specifi c areas. Sheet Metal—Aluminum or steel in sheets or plates used as a sign substrate. Showcard—An interior sign utilizing a card stock substrate and often decorated with tempera paints. The standard showcard size is 28" x 44". 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. Silhouette—The overall shape of a sign, or a block of copy within a sign. Simulations—Since spot-color inks are made from unique pigments or dyes, many are outside the color gamut of four-color process printing. Out- of-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 fl uorescent 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 fi gure 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 that 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 fi le. 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. Spectrophotometer—A color measurement device using the distinct wavelength (spectral) values of light to indicate a spectral refl ectance, emittance or transmittance curve along the visible spectrum (380–720 nm). A more sophisticated device than a Colorimeter. Speedball Pen—A type of hand-lettering pen preferred by many sign artists for use on showcards because of its rounded point, and because the pen's ink container opens, making it easy to clean. Spindle—Device that holds the cutting bit during the routing or engraving process. Spooler—Area where data used in printing is held before going to the printing device. It may be part of the computer's RAM, or its hard drive. Spot Color—Color used for a specifi c need within a print. It may be a separate, special tone to match a corporate color, or it may result from the overlapping of colors within a halftone. Spot White—An application in which white ink is used as an independent color (usually for printing text on a non-white surface). Sprocket Feed—Process where material is fed through a plotter by aligning pre-punched holes along the medium edges with raised points along the ends of the plotter's motor-driven drum wheel. Also called tractor feed or pin feed. Sputtering—Occurs when the electrode in a neon tube, because of the heat and electrical forces, gradually erodes, blackening the ends of the tube near the electrode and decreasing gas pressure, eventually making the tube inoperative. squeegee—In screen printing, a fl exible blade mounted in a wood or metal handle and used to force ink through a stencil mounted on a screen. In sign making, a hard plastic or nylon blade used to apply pressure to increase surface adhesion between cut vinyl and the transfer tape or between the vinyl and sign face. Stencil—A thin sheet of material into which a design is cut; often used in various screen printing processes. Stepper Motor—A type of motor used on computerized routers and engravers to accurately move a cutting tool or lens in either the X or Y axis. Stippling—A method for taking out brush marks and creating a transparent look on windows. Mid-June 2012 85

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