GLOSSARY T - Z
TACK: The stickiness of an adhesive under a given condition. Some adhesives require a particular temperature range for maximum tack.
TEMPLATE: A full-sized pattern, layout, or computerized output showing the exact size and placement of letters. Typically used for installing dimensional letters, signs, or architectural elements.
TEMPORARY SIGN: Any sign that is not intended to be permanently installed. Banners and signs at construction sites are good examples of temporary signs. Often, sign codes seek to limit the length of time a temporary sign can remain in place.
THINNER: Any liquid used to reduce the thickness of paint or ink.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL (3D) 1.A routing procedure where the tool bit can be moved independently along the up-and-down z-axis while still traveling an x/y-axis tool path. 3D engraving can create relieves and hand-chiseled looks while removing material from a substrate. 2. A multi-level or layer sign system
TINT: A color made lighter than the original by adding white to it.
TRADEMARK: Used by a business to distinguish itself and its products from competition. A trademark may include a name, symbol, word, or combination of those. Protected by the federal government and considered to have financial value, a sign maker should only reproduce a trademark with the company's permission and should discourage customers who seek to imitate well-known trademarks too closely. See also logo.
TRANSFER TAPE: A medium-tack adhesive coasted on translucent paper. Transfer tape is placed on weeded vinyl images still on the original carrier liner; the tack of the tape is stronger than the adhesion of the vinyl to the coated liner, so the image is pulled off the liner in a transfer to another surface.
TRANSLUCENCE: The property of a material such as vinyl, paint, or ink that allows the passage of some light through it without being transparent. Internally illuminated signs rely on translucent paints and vinyls.
TRANSPARENCY: The property of a material that allows light and images through and may also show a color tint.
TYPEFACE: The design of a given set of letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation, without reference to its size or width. See also font.
ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT (UV): Part of the spectrum ranging form 185 to 450 nanometers. UV has both a negative and positive influence on the sign industry. When UV strikes certain surfaces, such as the phosphors in neon and fluorescent tubes, it is transformed into visible light. UV is also used for curing some screen-printing inks and paints. On the other hand, UV light is the prime cause of pigment failure in some paints and vinyls, especially red ones.
VALUE ENGINEERING: Assessing a sign based on the cost of its material, design, installation, and maintenance, with the goal of getting the best value for the money.
VARIANCE: A method by which a government body formally deviates from the terms of its sign or zoning code. Typically, obtaining a variance for a sign requires the applicant to show that it would not be contrary to the public interest or that a literal enforcement of the regulations would result in unnecessary and undue hardship (due to conditions peculiar to the property).
VECTOR: In computerized signmaking, a line segment between two coordinates, on which a knife or tool path can be created for plotting or routing.
VECTORIZATION: A function of the process of tracing around a bitmap image to create an outline comprised of line segments, or vectors.
VHB: Tape produced by 3M. Very High Bond joining systems are applied between mated parts to eliminate the need for mechanical fasteners or welded attachments. This tape is available in many grades and thicknesses.
VINYL: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film that, in signmaking, is backed with an adhesive that creates a strong bond to a surface when pressure is applied. Many different integral colors are available with adhesives having different levels of aggressiveness (adhesion) for various applications from permanent to semi-permanent to temporary.
VINYL LETTERS: Letters cut from adhesive-backed material, in dozens of opaque, translucent, metallized, and transparent colors and patterns.
VISIBLE: Capable of being seen by the human eye. A sign may be visible without being readable or legible.
WALL MOUNT: A single-face sign mounted on a wall. Another name for a wall sign.
WALL SIGN: In the most literal sense, a sign that is painted on a wall. The term is often expanded to include flat signs that are placed on or attached to the wall of a building. These latter signs are also called fascia-mounted signs and wall mounts.
WATER RESISTANT: Describing a face that has been treated to make it resistant to the damage or deterioration caused by water.
WAYFINDING: The process of using spatial and environmental information to find one's way in the built environment. It can also be defined from the standpoint of the designer or owner and operator seeking to establish or improve the function of a particular environment. Wayfinding is not a separate or different activity from traditional signage design, but rather a broader, more inclusive way of assessing all the environmental issues which affect our ability to find our way. This word has gained popularity with the adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.). In its most literal sense, wayfinding is the ability of a person to find his or her way to a given destination.
WEED: The process of peeling extraneous vinyl or matrix way from a plotter cut, leaving only the sections representing the final image. Pulling the extra material away in one quick stroke is known as "rip weeding."
WEEP HOLE: A small opening or hole in the bottom of a letter or a sign cabinet, placed at the lowest point to prevent water from accumulating in a unit.
WINDOW SIGN: A sign that is mounted for display on a window, and intended to be viewed from the outside.