A method for decorating glass or wood. A rubberized stencil of the artwork is either hand- or computer-cut and applied to the substrate, which is then sprayed with a pressurized stream of sand or synthetic particles to texture the unprotected area. Once the desired depth has been achieved on the item being blasted, the stencil is removed, and if on wood, the surfaces may be painted. (See also etching, acid etching.)
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.)
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.
The relative purity of a given color due to the absence of both black and white. The less black and white in the color, the greater its saturation is said to be. Saturation is one of the three attributes of color along with brightness and hue.
- schematic design/schematics
A conceptual design developed at the beginning of a project which demonstrates a design approach or strategy.
Cutting or notching a material prior to bending it. Sufficient scoring of some substrates (glass and some thicknesses of PVC boards, for example) will also allow them to be broken cleanly without cutting them all the way through.
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, creating the print.
A stencil method of applying paint or ink to surfaces such as wood, paper, glass and metal, through fabric stretched over a frame. Can utilize a photographic process to create/control the resist for more precise imaging. The artwork is also cut into rubylith resist on computer-driven plotters or tables. (See also silkscreening.)
Open-constructed fabric used as a base material in coated and laminated fabrics.
A line formed by the joining together of two separate pieces of the same or different materials at their edges, as with flexible-face fabric material or wood, metal, or plastic sheet. (See also butt joint.)
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.
Earthquake or earth tremor loads.
A small line or embellishment finishing off the strokes of letters in some fonts. Well-known serif fonts include Souvenir, Times Roman and Garamond.
The general maintenance of a sign. It may include cleaning, repainting, replacement of bulbs or lamps and repairs, which may be provided on a regular basis under contract.
In an electric sign cabinet, a panel that allows ready access to the bulbs or lamps and the electrical connections for their replacement and maintenance.
In a sign or development code, the distance between the primary face of the sign and the property line or right of way. The distance is measured in a straight line from the base/bottom of the sign. Most municipalities require that signs comply with specified setbacks or that a variance from the regulations be applied for and secured.
A color made darker than the original by adding black to it.
Duplication of an image that is slightly offset. Drop shadow is a simple copy and offset; block shadow joins the outlines of the original and duplicate to create a 3D-relief effect; and cast shadow alters the shape and size of the duplicate to imitate shadows cast from varied placement of light, as the sun does on a sun dial.
Traditionally, drawings prepared by specific trades to describe the quantity, shape, size and materials and other details to be manufactured, built, or constructed. In signage, it now 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. The essential reason for shop drawings is to be sure the original design concept is accurately carried out in the construction process. (See also template.)
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.
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 sandwich 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 of advertising, identifying or communicating information about goods and services.
A horizontal area above a multi-tenant building entrances, architecturally designed to accommodate signage in a signcentric manner.
The enclosure of an electric sign, not including the components and mounting structure. (See also box sign and light box.)
An informal term for sign cabinet.
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.
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.)
A brand of specialized polymer foam cell products designed for three-dimensional signage applications, available in different densities and strengths. This open cell foam machines easily and holds shape well. When primed and painted, it can look like other more permanent materials.
Usually a site plan or floor plan indicating where signs will be placed (called "sign locations").
Usually a site plan or floor plan indicating where signs will be placed (called "sign locations").
An inventory or list indicating the quantities of signs and messages for each individual sign. Typically used as a contract document for final text and sign wording keyed to a sign location plan. Provides sign type, location reference and message.
Defines the style or use of each unique sign component in a system. Sign types are individually determined in each sign project. Sign type descriptions include the following building identification, directory, directional or guide sign, freestanding, monument, pedestrian directional, pedestrian informational, post and panel, regulatory, vehicular directional, elevator directory and room identifier.
Interchangeable terms used to describe signs. Any group of posted commands, warnings, information or directions.
A compilation of the drawings and specifications for each sign type; this is similar to the bid package. This document is helpful in ordering additional signs in the future and in maintaining the signage system as it was designed.
More detailed than a signage reference manual, this is a compilation of the drawings and specifications for each sign type, together with descriptions of the sign type’s purpose and the situations in which it might be used. A signage standards manual also includes information on the overall wayfinding program such as the wayfinding methodology, graphic standards and the information hierarchy used.
Architectural design of a building or structure that reinforces signage.
Building architectural design which makes the signage the prominent visual feature.
The overall shape or profile of a sign, or a block of copy within a sign.
1. Trade name for a popular adhesive used in installation of letters and signs because of its elasticity, strength, reasonable curing time and its impermeable nature.
2. Any of a group of polymers characterized by wide-range thermal stability, high lubricity, extreme water repellence and physiological inertness, used in adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings, paints, electrical insulation and synthetic rubber.
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.)
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.
The substance applied to the substrate before gilding in order to make the gold leaf stick to the work surface, and its application. Today, the most common sizing used by glass gilders is made of gelatin capsules dissolved in boiling water and then strained.
The metal frame on which a sign is installed.
Foundation consisting of two bolts fastened between the foundation plate and the concrete footer.
An overlay sign added to an existing sign layout, as an additional message to the main sign, for example, a band across a corner saying "coming soon." Also a term for illegal posting of handbills and posters without permits.
The most common type of glass manufactured and the type used in most fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs. Soda-lime glass is made
from a combination of sand, limestone and sodium carbonate, and can either be clear or colored.
Refers to the ability of uncompacted soil to support a weight, such as the footing for a sign. The figure usually has to be obtained from an engineer (or soils engineer), and is expressed as pounds per square foot.
A petroleum-based liquid used to modify oil-based paints and inks and to remove them from sign components, frames and brushes.
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.
May include general requirements, products and execution sections for sign specification package. Similar to architectural construction format per CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) standards.
An extra-large outdoor sign that incorporates special lighting and/or motion effects, or an interior sales display that also includes special lights and motion elements.
A sign, either freestanding or wall-mounted, where the messages rotate in the wind. A spinner sign is not considered an animated sign.
A source of illumination for an extremely illuminated sign; a lamp with a strong focused beam directed toward a sign.
A strong, lightweight material created from tiny glass threads woven into a fabric and then hardened using a special polyester resin. Fiberglass can be used to create sign faces and cabinets of varying sizes and shapes. (See also fiberglass.)
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.
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.
Wood stain is a type of paint that is very thin, that is, low in viscosity, and formulated so that the pigment penetrates the surface rather than remaining in a film on top of the surface. Stain is predominantly pigment or dye and solvent with little binder, designed primarily to add color without providing a surface coating.
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.
Insulators that support a neon tube as well as hold it away from the background surface and provide some impact resistance. (See also supports.)
The structural supports found inside a sign cabinet.
The asterick symbol, indicating exit level, showing preferred route for gurney, emergency egress, etc., required by ADA next to floor indication on elevator control panels and elevator jambs.
A sign with a power cord for attachment to a source of electrical power that is not readily moveable or portable.
A thin sheet of material into which a design is cut. When a stencil is placed on another substrate and paint or ink is applied, the image represented by the cut-out portion of the stencil is printed on the substrate below it. Stencils range from metal to card stock to photo emulsions.
A method for taking out brush marks and creating a transparent look on windows. Paint is mixed with linseed oil to slow the drying process, then brushed on the surface to be stippled. A stippler is created by wrapping a piece of cheesecloth or other lint-free cotton rag around a wad of cotton, which is then either held firmly in the hand or securely attached to a short stick, taking care that the work surface of the stippler is wrinkle-free. Stippling is done by daubing the stippler over the wet, painted surface.
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.
Typically sandstone, granite, marble, limestone and other common decorative stone material. Letters can be stud-mounted to stone or they can be carved or incised into the face of the stone.
The measure of the change in size of shape of a body under stress, compared to its original size or shape. It is usually measured as the change (in inches) per inch of length.
A long, narrow banner included in interior or window displays only.
Advertising displays, many which provide a public amenity, positioned at close proximity to pedestrians for eye-level viewing or at a curbside to reach vehicular traffic. (See also bench sign.)
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.
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.)
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. (See also stroke.)
In the sign industry, a fabrication designed for and capable of supporting a sign. Can refer to internal or external skeleton (exoskeleton) of sign as well as support pole or mechanism.
Refers to polystyrene, a usually colorless rigid plastic that can be molded into objects, used in the manufacture of signs.
The material out of which the face is made. Wood, metal sheeting, paper, and acrylic are some examples of sign substrates. Also, the surface to which an awning frame is attached.
Insulators that support a neon tube as well as hold it away from the background surface and provide some impact resistance. (See also stand-offs.)
A universal symbol used in signage to indicate wheelchair or handicap access. The symbol consists of a blue square overlaid with a stylized image of a person in a wheelchair. (See also International Symbol of Access.)
The balance of design elements in which one side equals or mirrors the other.