Products & Services Resources & Support Company Info Contact Us Search Our Site
Griffin Screen Printing Resources & Support
Menu
Resources & Support

Glossary Of Terms

Glossary Of Terms

We take great pride in making our clients feel confident about their jobs during the production process. To help you gain a better understanding of what

A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V W
  • acrylic

    Generic term for a type of durable plastic commonly used in sign making. Noted for its excellent clarity, acrylic can also be manufactured in a wide range of transparent and opaque colors. Its ability to be easily machined, shaped and painted explains acrylic's popularity. Plexiglas® and Acrylite® are well-known commercial brands of the material.

  • adhesion

    The force that holds the surface of one material to another. The strength of adhesion is affected by the type and condition of the surfaces in question and the adhesive used. Generally the surfaces need to be clean and porous enough to allow for a certain amount of penetration by the adhesive.

  • adhesive

    A material or substance able to bind and hold two surfaces together. Examples include glue, epoxy and tape.

  • Adobe Acrobat®

    Popular software package used for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The advantage of a PDF file is that it allows anyone to view and print a document as it was originally intended without having to install the program or fonts used to create the file. Adobe Acrobat is a product of Adobe Systems®, Inc.

  • aesthetics

    The general perception of an sign's artistic merit or beauty, both on its own and in relation to its surroundings. The design, construction, materials and colors of a sign all factor into its aesthetic appeal.

  • aluminum

    A lightweight metal material used in sign panels, poles and frames. It is strong and durable in relation to its weight, and resistant to rust and corrosion.

  • ambient light

    The sum of all non-directional light in a given area emitted by all sources at a given time. A high level of ambient light can have an impact on a sign's readability, and can be a consideration in a sign's design. Outdoor sunlight creates a high level of ambient light.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    Legislation enacted by the U.S. federal government in 1991 with the goal of removing barriers that limit a disabled individual's ability to engage in normal daily activity in the physical, public environment. Title III of the ADA deals with related signage and wayfinding issues.

  • applique

    A graphic element made separately then affixed to a cloth or fabric covering such as an awning.

  • approach

    The distance at which a sign becomes readable to a viewer to the point where the sign is no longer readable as the viewer passes by.

  • artwork

    Any and all logos, graphics and images used in creating a sign.

  • awning sign

    A projecting sign made of non rigid material such as heavy canvas supported by a framework that is attached to a building's substrate. The awning sign extends outward from the building and so provides shaded cover and protection from weather for customers and pedestrians. An awning sign will have lettering and/or graphics painted or screen printed on its exterior surface. It may or not be illuminated. (See also backlit awning and canopy sign.)

  • banner

    A sign made of non rigid material such as canvas or vinyl, and typically having no enclosing or supporting framework. Often intended for temporary use, a banner sign can be screen printed or painted, and is commonly hung from a pole or mounted to the facade of a building. (See also flag and pennant.)

  • bid package

    Documents from a prospective customer that state for the contractor the requirements and conditions of the project under bid. These documents communicate such details as design intent, desired materials, installation criteria and other project specifics. They also include standardized bidding forms and bidding instructions. (Also called front end documents.).

  • blank

    An uninstalled sign panel with no lettering or graphics applied. (Also called an insert.)

  • bleed

    1. In screen printing, the term refers to the portion of a printed image or graphic which extends beyond the intended borders of a sign. This excess portion is trimmed away. 2. Sometimes used to describe the halation where sharply contrasting colors meet on an illuminated sign.

  • block color

    An area of solid color having no gradation.

  • border

    A line or band of color or material that defines that outer edges of a sign and/or elements within the sign.

  • brushed finish

    A textured, non-reflective polished finish applied to metal by lightly brushing the surface with an abrasive material or briefly applying a mildly corrosive chemical.

  • burnish

    To polish by friction, i.e. to rub with pressure. No abrasive compound or material is used when burnishing. (See also buff.)

  • CAD (computer aided design) software

    Advanced software used in engineering and manufacturing to create and modify complex 3D technical drawings of a device and its components.

  • canopy sign

    A projecting sign made of non-rigid material such as heavy canvas supported by a framework that at one end is attached to a building's substrate and at the other end supported by one or more poles. The canopy sign extends outward from the building and acts as a roof over the area it covers, providing weather protection for customers, pedestrians and possibly even vehicles. A canopy sign will have lettering and/or graphics painted or screen printed on its exterior surface. It may or not be illuminated. (See also awning sign and backlit awning.)

  • CMYK

    Abbreviation for the ink colors cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black. Combinations of these four colors of inks are used in printing to create all other colors.

  • coated fabric

    Any fabric that has been treated or coated with a substance such as plastics, rubber or oils in order to make it stronger and/or more durable.

  • color contrast

    The subjective degree of difference in hue, intensity and saturation of two colors when seen next to each other.

  • color separation

    The process of decomposing and separating a color graphic or image into its four constituent CMYK ink colors such that each color ends up with its own printing plate. The plates are then used in a printing press to reproduce the image on paper.

  • construction site sign

    A temporary sign, typically large and freestanding, displayed at construction site to promote and provide information about the company or companies involved in the project. These can include the contractor, architect, developer, etc. (Also called a job site sign.)

  • content neutral time, place and manner regulations

    Those sign regulations which specify, without consideration of the sign's content or message, how, when and where a sign can be displayed, including such parameters as height, size and location. (See also building code.)

  • contrast

    1. The amount of difference between the lightest and darkest areas in an image or scene. 2. The visual characteristics of an object such as size, shape and color that make it distinguishable from other objects near it and the background it is set against.

  • copy

    As a whole, the written message on a sign. (See also artwork.)

  • copy area

    The area on a sign face that contains the copy.

  • corona treatment

    A treatment process that alters the static charge of material's surface, making it more receptive to the application of inks, coatings and adhesives.

  • corrugated board

    A sign board created by gluing a corrugated piece of material to a flat a piece of material, or between two flat pieces. The most common type of corrugated material used in sign making is plastic.

  • coverage

    1. The square surface area that a given amount of paint, glue or other applied substance will cover. 2. The percentage of people in a market that are reached by an advertisement in a given medium, e.g. print, radio, TV and signage.

  • decal

    Screen printed lettering and graphics that can be transferred and affixed to another surface through the application of water or heat.

  • denier

    A unit of measure for the weight of fiber. Specifically, it is the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of a given fiber.

  • density

    The ratio between the mass (weight) of a substance to the volume of space it occupies. In sign making, the term is commonly applied to foam boards and is expressed in pounds per cubic foot.

  • deposit

    In sign making, this refers to the amount of ink applied to the substrate.

  • design

    The clear and complete specifications for the appearance, structure and implementation of a sign. A design may include technical drawings, illustrations and written descriptions of the sign.

  • die-cutting

    The process of cutting material such as paper or vinyl using a steel blade (called a die) manufactured to cut a specific shape. The die-cutting process is typically used when a large number of items must be cut to the same shape or size.

  • directional sign

    A sign providing information, either written or visual, that helps direct a person to a destination.

  • directory sign

    A sign that provides an organized list of names of people, offices or facilities located within a given building or area. Usually located at a public access point such as a building lobby, a directory sign may provide simple text listings or also include maps and other wayfinding information.

  • double-faced sign

    A sign having two faces mounted in opposite directions. Pole signs are typically doubled-faced. (Also called a back-to-back sign.)

  • drop shadow

    The visual effect of creating a false shadow behind a letter or object by placing a darker colored but identically shaped copy of it behind it but slightly offset up or down and to one side.

  • dye

    Any of a range of soluble compounds used for coloring fabrics. (See also pigment and stain.)

  • enamel

    A colored, powdered glass-based compound that is fused to the surface of metal or glass for decoration and protection. An enamel finish is typically opaque.

  • engrave

    To incise (cut) a design into the surface of hard material such as metal using a handheld or machine controlled tool called a burin.

  • epoxy

    A very strong, two-part adhesive--resin plus hardening agent--capable of bonding together a wide range of materials, including woods, composites and metals.

  • etching

    The removal of selected portions of a layer of material from a substrate using a chemical or electrolytic process. Typically, a stencil is used to mark the areas to be etched and protect the other areas. (See also acid etching.)

  • eyelet

    A small metal or plastic ring that is inserted into a hole made in another piece of material. It prevents fraying of the material around the hole and provides a durable, easily threaded opening for rope or twine. (Also called a grommet.)

  • fabricate

    To manufacture a sign or major sign components.

  • face

    Typically refers to the most prominent message area of a sign but may refer generically to any message area. (Also called sign face. See also panel.)

  • fiber-optic display

    A sign that utilizes fiber optics to create or illuminat the sign's message.

  • fire retardant

    A chemical compound applied to a material that reduces the material's flammability and retards the ability of fire to spread across its surface. Fire retardant does not make the material fire proof.

  • flag

    A sign made of non rigid material such as canvas or vinyl, and having no enclosing or supporting framework. A flag is usually rectangular or triangular in shape, and is attached at one end to a pole. Often intended for temporary use, a flag can be screen printed or painted. (See also banner and pennant.)

  • flammability

    The relative ability of a material or substance to support combustion.

  • font

    A set of letters and numerals sharing the same design characteristics. Examples of font sets include Times New Roman and Arial. (Also called typeface.)

  • footing

    The base of a sign's supporting structure. The footing is typically secured to a foundation or other anchor such as a building's roof.

  • four-color process

    A halftone printing process that uses the four essential ink colors of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) to create a full range of colors on a printed surface. (Also called process color.)

  • freestanding sign

    A sign that is not attached to a building, has its own support structure and is typically secured to a foundation or with guy wires.

  • frequency

    The number of times a typical viewer has the opportunity to see a sign and its message over a given period, typically four weeks.

  • galvanized steel

    Refers to steel that has been coated with a thin layer of zinc for corrosion protection.

  • gauge

    A unit of measurement for the thickness of sheet metal or wires. The lower the gauge number the greater the thickness.

  • gloss

    An indicator of the amount of light reflected by the finish of a surface. A high gloss finish reflects 80-90% of the light directed at it. Semi gloss 50-75%. Satin 30-45%. Matte finish 5-15%.

  • gradation

    The smooth transition from one color to another color, from black to white, or from color to the absence of color. (Also called gradient.)

  • gradient

    The smooth transition from one color to another color, from black to white, or from color to the absence of color. (Also called gradation.)

  • grommet

    A small metal or plastic ring that is inserted into a hole made in another piece of material. It prevents fraying of the material around the hole and provides a durable, easily threaded opening for rope or twine. (Also called an eyelet.)

  • halftone

    The process by which a continuous tone image such as a photograph is reproduced and simulated using a pattern of printed or silk screened dots of varying size and equal spacing. At a normal viewing distance the reproduced image appears as continuous tone.

  • heat color-transfer

    A process of applying color to fabric whereby a pigmented resin is activated by heat and then pulled into the fabric with a vacuum applicator.

  • hue

    A given color's tendency towards any of the four base wavelengths of visible light: red, yellow, blue and green. For example, if yellow appears more dominate in an orange colored ink, then that color orange would be said to have a yellowish hue. Hue is one of the three attributes of color along with brightness and saturation.

  • ink

    Pigmented liquid used for screen printing, press printing, writing and drawing. Inks are either water-based or solvent-based depending on the application.

  • ink receptive

    Refers to any material that will absorb ink and bond with it.

  • interior sign

    Any sign located within a building or structure.

  • italic

    A font style characterized by a distinct slant in the letters and numbers. (Example: ABC123.)

  • J-bolt

    A 'J' shaped bolt that is threaded on the long straight portion of the 'J.'

  • job site sign

    A temporary sign, typically large and freestanding, displayed at construction site to promote and provide information about the company or companies involved in the project. These can include the contractor, architect, developer, etc. (Also called a construction site sign.)

  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Exports Group)

    A common file format for color digital images. The JPEG standard utilizes a 'lossy' data compression method, meaning that in order to reduce the overall size of the file a small amount of sharpness from the original image is sacrificed.

  • lacquer

    A clear glossy coating applied to material for appearance and protection. Known for its ability to dry quickly. Similar to varnish but provides a harder finish.

  • lamination

    The process of binding together two or more layers of material by means of one or more of the following: heat, pressure and adhesive bonding. (See also delamination.)

  • landscape format

    An image or sign panel where the length is appreciably greater than the height is said to be in landscape format.

  • layout

    The overall arrangement of the graphics and lettering on the face of a sign.

  • letter spacing

    A typographic term for the space between letters and words.

  • line screen

    The resolutions of a halftone print measured in lines per inch. The higher the number of lines per inch, the higher the resolution of the resulting print. Most halftone printing is at a line screen resolution of 133 and 175 lines per inch.

  • line spacing

    A typographic term for the space between lines or blocks of text.

  • logo

    A visually distinctive name and/or symbol that identifies a business, product or service. (See also trademark.)

  • luminous flux

    The total visible light energy emitted by a source in all directions, where the luminous flux is the radiant flux multiplied by the human eye's sensitivity. The unit of measurement for luminous flux is the lumen.

  • magnetic sheeting

    A layer of magnetic material laminated to a flexible surface material such as vinyl that can be printed with lettering and graphics. Magnetic sheeting is commonly used for temporary signage that can be placed on the side of vehicles or other metal surfaces.

  • margin

    The space between the any lettering or graphics and the border of the sign face.

  • matte

    Having a dull or non-shiny surface or finish.

  • MDO (medium density overlay)

    An exterior grade plywood sheet that has been given a resin-impregnated overlay on one or both sides to improve its paintability.

  • medium density overlay (MDO)

    An exterior grade plywood sheet that has been given a resin-impregnated overlay on one or both sides to improve its paintability.

  • menu board

    A changeable point-of-purchase sign that provides a list of products and prices. It is a type of sign commonly seen in sandwich shops and other fast service restaurants where it is used to display the menu. (See also variable message sign.)

  • mesh

    1. Any fabric or woven material having a loose or open weave. 2. In screen printing, the material through which ink or paint is applied to a surface.

  • mildew resistant

    Refers to fabric that has been chemically treated so as to inhibit the growth of mold and fungus.

  • mock-up

    A full scale model of a structure. A sign mock-up is created to test and review in detail the appearance, legibility and other aspects of a final design. It is typically made of cheaper, less durable material than the final sign but given the same colors and finishes. (See also model.)

  • nameplate

    A small wall-mounted or freestanding sign made of plastic or metal that states the name, occupation and/or title of the occupant of an office, desk or building.

  • negative space

    Empty or unused space (having no lettering or graphics) within the sign face. (Also called white space. See also positive space.)

  • neoprene

    A type of synthetic rubber with good resistance chemical, oil, flame and abrasion. It remains flexible in cold conditions is commonly used for gaskets, cushioning and weatherproofing.

  • nylon

    A strong and durable synthetic material used in a wide range of fibers/fabrics, objects and coatings.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

    A U.S. federal government agency that monitors and enforces workplace safety laws.

  • opaque

    Describes any material or substance through which light does not pass, i.e. it is neither transparent nor translucent.

  • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

    A U.S. federal government agency that monitors and enforces workplace safety laws.

  • paint

    1. The general term for pigmented coatings that are applied to an object or surface while in a liquid state and then allowed to dry into a colored, protective finish. 2. The process of applying a liquid coating to an object or surface.

  • panel

    Any visible surface of a sign on which copy and/or art is present. One or more panels make up the sign face.

  • Pantone Matching System (PMS)

    A standardized color scheme used in the printing industry to ensure the consistency of color from design to final print.

  • parapet

    A low wall built along the edge of a building's roof.

  • pigment

    A natural or synthetic insoluble compound used to infuse color into other materials such as paints and inks. (See also dye and stain.)

  • plastic

    A generic term for a wide range of synthetic materials which consist of long chains of polymers that are moldable and soften when heated. Many plastics used in the sign industry are of the thermoplastic variety, which means they can melt and solidify repeatedly.

  • Plexiglas

    The trade name for a brand of acrylic sheeting, which (like Kleenex) is often mistakenly used as a generic term.

  • plywood

    A common type of wood product sold in 4' x 8' sheets. Plywood is made of a number of thin sheets of wood laminated together with the grain of the adjacent layers perpendicular, except for the two outside plies, which are parallel to provide stability.

  • PMS (Pantone Matching System)

    A standardized color scheme used in the printing industry to ensure the consistency of color from design to final print.

  • point-of-purchase (POP) sign

    In-store advertising designed to stimulate impulse purchases by shoppers inside a store. The term applies to a store's internal sign system, as well as special displays and dispensers created by and for specific product manufacturers. Also known as "point-of-sale advertising."

  • polyester

    A synthetic fiber used for its strength and resistance to ultraviolet deterioration. It does not have the stretch and elasticity of nylon and, as a result, will often last longer.

  • POP (point of purchase) sign

    In-store advertising designed to stimulate impulse purchases by shoppers inside a store. The term applies to a store's internal sign system, as well as special displays and dispensers created by and for specific product manufacturers. Also known as "point-of-sale advertising."

  • portable sign

    A freestanding, on-premise sign, not designed to be permanently affixed in place. These could include free-standing signs or notices as well as point-of-purchase signs.

  • portrait format

    Proportion of a sign in which height is appreciably longer than width. (See also landscape format.)

  • positive space

    The copy and art on a sign face. The opposite of negative space.

  • poster

    1. A series of paper sheets printed for use on a billboard. Other substrates used for posters include plastic and cloth. 2. Also, a sign typically printed on paper and intended for indoor use. Other substrates used for posters include plastic and cloth.

  • powder coating

    A specific process for applying paint to a surface that creates a very durable protective surface.

  • primary colors

    The three colors from which all other colors can be created. In paint pigments, the primary colors are yellow, red and blue. In four-color process printing, all colors are mixed from yellow, magenta(red) and cyan(blue). In light, the primary colors are red, green and blue. See also RGB display, additive colors.

  • prototype

    Usually a full-sized sample that uses final materials, methods of construction, fasteners and finishes to test assembly, design, construction and appearance issues. Also used approve the "first sample" in a long production run.

  • quality assurance

    All those planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product or service will satisfy given requirements for quality.

  • readability

    The quality of a sign's overall design that allows the viewer to correctly interpret the information presented on it. Also, the optimum time and distance in which this can be done. Letter size and style, legibility of typeface, color contrast between letters and background, and a sign's layout all contribute to readability. (See also conspicuity.)

  • recall

    In signage, this refers to the ability of a viewer to remember the message even when they are not viewing it.

  • recognition

    Refers to the ability of a viewer to identify the message.

  • reflective sheeting

    Film with very small glass or glasslike bead materials encapsulated below its surface, creating the ability to bounce light beams back to their source, such as from a car headlight back to the driver.

  • registered trademark

    A trademark that has been officially registered with the government by its owner. Indicated by the symbol ®. (See also trademark.)

  • registration

    1. In screen printing, the correct placement of the image to be printed on the substrate. 2. In multicolor printing, registration also refers to the correct alignment of the colors with one another.

  • rendering

    An artistic sketch or representation of a design concept.

  • resolution

    1. In digital images, the number of pixels shown on a screen; the higher the number of pixels in a given space (i.e., the greater the density of pixels), the more precise the pictured image. 2. In plotting, the degree of accuracy with which a plotter will place a knife-head in relation to a theoretical, perfect location of a coordinate.

  • retardant

    An additive that slows the drying time of ink.

  • roof sign

    A sign structure that is erected on or above a roof or that is installed directly on a roof's surface.

  • sandwich sign

    A moveable sign not secured or attached to the ground or surface upon which it is located, but supported by its own frame and most often forming the cross-sectional shape of an A. (Also known as sidewalk sign.)

  • sans serif

    Any typeface that lacks serifs. In most sans serif fonts, there is little differentiation between the width of strokes within the letter. Helvetica and Futura are familiar sans serif fonts.

  • scoring

    Cutting or notching a material prior to bending it. Sufficient scoring of some substrates will also allow them to be broken cleanly without cutting them all the way through.

  • screen

    A frame over which fabric is stretched for use in screen printing. The screen supports the stencil or emulsion through which the ink is forced by the squeegee, created the print.

  • screen printing

    Graphic application method capable of printing great detail and color on a variety of substrates such as paper, plastics, aluminum, vinyl and banner materials.

  • second-surface

    Refers to a sign made of a clear substrate, such as acrylic, where the art is applied in reverse on what can be an interior face of the sign, providing extra protection from the environment. Some large exterior signs are painted that way,as are many smaller identification, wayfinding, restroom and evacuation signs that are subject to handling on a regular basis.

  • serif

    A small line or embellishment finishing off the strokes of letters in some fonts (like this one). Well-known serif fonts include Souvenir, Times Roman and Garamond.

  • shop drawings

    Drawings prepared by trades to describe the quantity, shape, size, materials and other details of a product's construction. In signage, it refers to drawings prepared by fabricators describing their intended methods of construction and sequence of assembly to be reviewed by designer and owner for approval prior to construction and fabrication. Shop drawings help assure that the original design concept is accurately carried out in the construction process.

  • sign

    Any device, structure, display or placard which is affixed to, placed on or in proximity to, or displayed from within a building to attract the attention of the public for the purposes fo advertising, identifying or communicating information about goods and services.

  • sign code

    A sign code may be part of a government body's land use planning regulations, or it may be a separate document designed to interact with other land use codes. As part of the police powers granted to local governments, a sign code normally seeks to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public. Sign codes may regulate size, placement, illumination, structure and aesthetics of sign content and design.

  • sign face

    Typically refers to the most prominent message area of a sign but may refer generically to any message area. (Also called face. See also panel.)

  • signage

    Interchangeable terms used to describe signs. Any group of posted commands, warnigns, information or directions.

  • silkscreening

    One of the oldest and simplest forms of printing. A print is made using a squeegee to force ink through stencil or emulsion that is supported by fabric that has been stretched over a frame to create a screen. Several synthetic fabrics have replaced silk as the fabric of choice for screen printers. (See also screen printing.)

  • single face sign

    A sign consisting of one face, rather than back-to-back faces on a common frame or back-to-back messages on the same piece of material.

  • solvent

    A petroleum-based liquid used to modify oil-based pains and inks and to remove them from sign components, frames and brushes.

  • spacer

    Any device used in mounting letters or signs that separates them from the surface to which they are being installed. A spacer allows letters to be pinned out.

  • specifications

    May include General Requirements, Products and Execution sections for sign specification package. Similar to architectural construction format per CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) standards.

  • squeegee

    1. In screen printing, a flexible blade mounted in a wood or metal handle and used to force ink through a stencil mounted on the screen. 2. In sign making, a hard plastic or nylon blade used to apply pressure to increase surface adhesion between cutting vinyl and the transfer tape or between the vinyl and sign face.

  • stainless steel

    As the name implies, this is a special steel alloy that is made more stainless than regular steel, due to higher concentrations of chromium and nickel.

  • stochastic screening

    A silkscreening process that conveys the tone of a screened image by varying the number and location of dots rather than just varying the size of the dots within the grid.

  • stretching

    1. The process of securing mesh to a frame in screen printing. 2. The stretching of vinyl face material over a flex-face sign cabinet.

  • stroke

    A single movement of the hand or arm, or of a marking tool. Stroke refers to a pass of the squeegee in screen printing, and a pass of the brush in painting. (See also stroke width.)

  • stroke width

    The width of the major lines comprising a letterform. A wider stroke width is used to make a bolder letter; a narrower stroke width is used to make a lighter letter.

  • styrene

    Refers to polystyrene, a usually colorless, rigid plastic that can be molded into objects, used in the manufacture of signs.

  • substrate

    The material out of which the face is made. Wood, metal sheeting, paper and acrylic are some examples of sign substrates.

  • symmetry

    The balance of design elements in which one side equals or mirrors the other.

  • tack

    The stickiness of an adhesive under a given condition. Some adhesives require a particular temperature range for maximum tack.

  • tagged image file format (TIFF)

    Standard graphics file format used for scanned bit-mapped images.

  • target audience

    The profile of the most desired consumer prospects for a product or service, listed by characteristics such as demography, lifestyle, brand or media consumption, purchase behavior, etc. This is common to all media.

  • tempera

    Pigment mixed in a water medium, usually with a binder and adhesive. Tempera paints produce a luminous effect.

  • 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.

  • thumbnail

    A type of rough sketch of a design made prior to developing more finalized presentations. Some sign artists prepare several thumbnail sketches of a job, varying their layouts and fonts, before preparing one or two more complete ideas to take to a client.

  • TIFF (tagged image file format)

    standard graphics file format used for scanned bit-mapped images.

  • tiling

    The digital process of dividing a large image into individual sections to print with overlap.

  • tint

    A color made lighter than the original by adding white to it.

  • tone

    The effect on a color brought about by blending it with another color.

  • top coating

    The coating intended for the front, side or top of a fabric or membrane.

  • tracking

    The ability of a computer, at the operator's instruction, to add or subtract minute increments of space between letters. (See also letter spacing and kerning.)

  • 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 and registered trademark.)

  • transfer tape

    A medium-tack adhesive coated 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.

  • translucent

    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.

  • transparent

    The property of a material that allows light and images through and may also show a color tint.

  • trapping

    In screen printing, to overlap one color on another. Trapping may result in the creation of a third color in the overlap area, or, if opaque links are used, the edge of the first color may be hidden for purposes of registration. (See also bleed.)

  • typeface

    A set of letters and numerals sharing the same design characteristics. Examples of font sets include Times New Roman and Arial. (Also called font.)

  • UV resistance

    Ability to withstand decay due to the damaging effect of the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

  • vinyl

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film that, in sign making, 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.

  • visibility

    The quality of a letter, number, graphic, or symbol, which enables the observer to distinguish it from its surrounds or background.

  • wall mounted sign

    A single-face sign mounted on a wall. (See also wall sign.)

  • water resistant

    Describing a face that has been treated to make it resistant to damage or deterioration caused by water.

  • waterproof

    The use of the term in relation to treated cotton ducks is prohibited by the "Fair Trade Practices Act" unless the product shall be impervious to the passage of any water so long as the fabric may endure. "Water Resistant" is the proper designation for cloths treated to resist water penetration and leakage.

  • weave

    The configuration of threads running perpendicular to one another. A plain weave places weft thread over the warp thread in sequence, then reverses for the next row of threads.

  • 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."

  • white space

    Empty or unused space (having no lettering or graphics) within the sign face. (Also called negative space. See also positive space.)

  • word space

    Horizontal space between words.




Griffin Screen Printing
3825 W Montague Ave. • North Charleston, SC 29418
Phone: (843) 207-7880 • Fax: 888-470-4608
E-mail: info@griffinscreenprinting.com

In This Section