GLOSSARY E - J
GLOSSARY E - J
EDGE: The part of the sign that encloses the back and face or faces; the frame.
ELECTRIC SIGN: A sign that contains electrical fixtures or connections.
ELECTROSTATIC FILM (STATIC CLING): PVC medium treated with a small charge of electricity, enabling the sheeting to temporarily, but firmly, adhere to glass and similar smooth substrates.
EMBELLISHMENTS: Any addition to a sign face that provides a three-dimensional effect. Cut-outs, push-through shapes/letters, neon strips, and clocks are all examples of embellishments.
EMULSION: A semiliquid material that dries hard and is used in preparing stencils for screenprinting.
ENGINE-TURNED: Descriptive term as applied to metal and gold leaf finishes. Appearance of material altered by spinning (turning) a series of uniform circles into the surface in rows. The rows then overlap in a symmetrical orderly manner to produce a unique finish. Most commonly seen applied to burnished, gold leaf , or stainless steel surfaces.
ENGRAVING: A method of marking metal, plastic, or glass in shallow, negative relief utilizing a bit or graver. Engraving may be done freehand, using a pantograph, or by computer-driven equipment. The engraved area may be filled to create greater contrast.
EPOXY: A common form of adhesive (glue) that produces a very strong adhesive bond between substrates. Epoxy comes in liquid or putty form and in two parts. The epoxy base is intermixed with a catalyst immediately before application. Once the two parts are mixed, working time is limited.
EXTERIOR ILLUMINATION: Illumination that is provided from a source separate from the sign itself, such as a spotlight.
FABRICATE: To manufacture a sign or major sign components from raw materials or parts. Common steps in fabrication process include but are not limited to cutting, welding, grinding, machining, riveting, bending, rolling, sanding, polishing, routing, waterjet cutting, laser cutting, taping, painting, etc.
FABRICATED LETTER/NUMERAL: A dimensional letter that is usually fabricated from thin metal, joined, and soldered to appear solid.
FACADE: The front or principal entrance of a building.
FACE: See sign face.
FASCIA-MOUNTED SIGN: A flat sign that is mounted on a wall and whose face runs parallel to the wall . A fascia-mounted sign might project from the wall on which it is mounted. See also wall sign.
FASTENERS: Mechanical items, including nuts and bolts, that help hold a sign together.
FIBERGLASS: Shorthand term referring to glass-fiber reinforced polyester. It can be used in sheet form to compose sign faces and cabinets or can be cast into custom forms, both projecting and in relief. May also be called spun glass when used in dimensional forms.
FLAG: A piece of plastic or cloth, usually square or rectangular in shape and suspended by its top or one side. It may or may not be decorated; most often used as a temporary attention-getting device. See also banner.
FLUSH: To set lines of copy so that they are aligned perpendicular at a right margin (flush right) or left margin (flush left). When the copy is flushed both right and left (full flush), we more commonly say it is justified.
FOAM BOARD: A type of lightweight, rigid board used for interior signs. Foam board consists of a plastic foam sheet laminated on one or both sides by a variety of paper or plastic substrates.
FOAM TAPE: Typically double-sided adhesive tape used for mounting sign plaques, letters, or other sign materials to vertical surfaces. Comes in black or white and in various thicknesses (1/32" to 1/8" thick) and widths (1/2" to 1" wide).
FOCAL POINT: The area in a design or layout that first catches the eyes. In effective design, the main message the sign seeks to convey will often be located at the focal point.
FONT: A specific style and group of letterforms consisting of one complete set of letters, numerals, symbols, and punctuation used for composing written communications in a given typeface. Typically provided in digital form (formerly available in hot metal and photographic composed typography). Fonts come in various weights (i.e., light, regular, bold and black weights). Many fonts also are provided in italic formats. Fonts can be condensed (made to look narrower) or extended (wider).
FOOTING: The projecting base of a sign pole or pylon, including the portion that is buried in the ground. The footing bears all of the weight of the sign, keeping it straight and true while anchoring it against overturning moment. Normally engineered to withstand wind gusts of 90 miles per hour or more depending on geographic region. Also called foundation.
FORMAT: The workable space within which the art and copy must fit; the shape and area of a sign face. Also, format may describe the general make-up of a sign, such as: the format is a sandblasted wood sign with a push-through logo.
FOUR-COLOR PROCESS: See process color.
FRAME: In screen-printing, the wood or metal construction to which the mesh is attached.
FREEHAND: To draw by hand without the use of measurements or instruments.
FRICTION FEED: Process where material is fed through a plotter by placing it between a motordriven grit wheel and two tensioned pinch rollers.
FRISKET: An adhesive masking of paper or plastic used for (stencil-like methods of) painting, sandblasting, silkscreening, and other processes. Friskets may be hand-cut or digitally cut.
GATEWAY SIGN: Typically a sign at the entry to a neighborhood or large facility, graciously announcing the entrance to a grand destination. Also called precinct sign.
GAUGE: A measure of the thickness of sheet metal. In the sign industry, most sheet metal ranges from 10 to 26 gauge.
GILDING: Considered by many to be the highest form of sign art, gilding is the application of thin metal sheets to glass, signs, and vehicles. After the work surface is clean and the design is marked out, a gelatin sizing is brushed on the area to be gilded. The gold leaf is lightly applied to the work site using a gilder's tip and static electricity. After the entire area is dry, the gold leaf is burnished and holes and imperfections in the gild are filled. The final step, if the gild is reversed on a window, is painting the backs of the letters (and an outline) or outlining them if it is a direct gild. On outdoor application, a protective clear coat is sometimes applied when the gilding is on incised stone.
GLOSS: The shine on a smooth surface, such as paint or vinyl. Varying degrees of gloss are high gloss (also called "mirror finish"), semigloss, eggshell, satin, matte, etc.
GOLD LEAF: Gold manufactured into thin leaves; the gold used in gilding. Gold leaf comes between sheets of tissue, with each leaf 3 3/8" square. The leaves are packaged in books of 25, and a cardboard box of 20 books is sold as a pack. Gold leaf comes in a range of colors and karats, with 14 to 18 karat for use on interior applications such as glass. The best gold leaf, 23 karat, is reserved for exterior work on vehicles, signs, and architectural applications.
GRADATION / GRADIENT: Steps of transition between two colors or between black and white, created by mixing percentages of a dominant and secondary .
GRADE: The contour of the ground surface, whether in its natural state or after development. The placement of the signs is often measured as height above grade.
GROMMET: A reinforced metal eyelet found in banners used to receive cords or other fasteners.
HALFTONE: The process of converting images into a regular array of dots of various sizes with equal spacing between centers. Also the process of reproducing an image as a series of dots of various sizes within a fixed grid.
HANGING SIGN: A double-face sign that hangs from a bracket or support and projects from a wall, building, or pole. See also projecting sign.
HEADER: A separate board above the rest of a sign that gives it a headline or contains a different advertising message for the same product. Most often seen in point-of-purchase advertising.
HEAT-ACTIVATED: A type of adhesive that isn't sticky at room temperature but undergoes a chemical transformation when heated.
HEAT-BENDING: The process of heating any thermoform plastic, such as PVC boards, acrylics, laminates, etc., and then bending them to desired shapes.
HEIGHT: The vertical distance from the grade to the highest point of the sign face. Sign codes often limit allowable height of signs.
HIGH-PRESSURE LAMINATES: Papers impregnated with thermosetting melamine and phenolic resins bonded at high temperatures (some well-known brands are Formica, WilsonArt, and Nevamar, for example) which are available in sheet sizes up to 48" x 144" x 1/16" and come in dozens of standard colors and patterns. Now available with custom digital artwork embedment suitable for outdoor use as well.
HINGING: A vinyl installation process where a cut vinyl image, the carrier liner, and the transfer tape are placed on the target surface; a piece of masking tape is then attached to the top edge of the transfer tape. The liner is then slowly rolled off from the top edge and then the transfer tape (and vinyl image) are slowly smoothed onto the surface. A variation of this is to leave an exposed strip of transfer tape above the top edge of the liner, instead of separate piece of masking tape, to act as a hinge.
HUE: A particular variety of a color, such as a tint or shade. One of the components of color that can be specified by particular wavelengths.
IDENTIFICATION SIGN: A sign giving the name of the business for purposes of identification.
ILLUMINATED SIGN: A sign which is lighted by either an internal electrical source or external flood lights.
INCIDENTAL SIGN: Signs, usually smaller in size and of a noncommercial nature, that appear in almost every location the public might be found. Examples of incidental signs include hours of operation, location of rest rooms, and entrance and exit signs.
INK: The mixture of colored pigments in a suitable liquid used for screen-printing or digital printing. Inks are typically either water-based or solvent-based, and their selection is based primarily on the substrate to be printed. They form a solid surface after either curing or drying.
INK-RECEPTIVE: Describes a substrate that can be made wet by ink when printed and that will bond with the ink after drying or curing.
INSCRIBE: To write, print, carve, or engrave (words or letters) on or in a surface. To mark or engrave (a surface) with words or letters.
INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED: A sign that is lighted through the use of internal electric fixtures or lamp banks. See also back-lighted sign.
JOB SITE SIGN: See construction site sign.
JPEG (JOINT PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPORTS GROUP):A graphics file format designed for use with photographs and other color bitmap files. The JPEG format uses a mathematical technique to create files that are smaller than those created using other file formats, while maintaining a readable image.
JUSTIFIED: Describes copy that is set with even margins on the left and right (achieved by irregular word and letter spacing). See also flush.