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1st Surface - A reference to mounting on top of a substrate. Examples of 1st surface mounting would be reflective prints onto PVC, MDF, and other opaque materials.

2nd Surface - A reference to mounting on the bottom of a substrate. Examples of 2nd surface mounting would be a Lambda print mounted 2nd surface to a non-glare acrylic. The acrylic acts as a protective barrier to the print.

4-color process - Printing in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

6-color process - Printing in cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, yellow, and black.

8-color process - Printing in cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, yellow, light yellow, black, and light black.

Acrylic - A useful, clear plastic that resembles glass, but has properties that make it superior to glass in many ways. There are two basic types of acrylic: extruded and cell cast. Extruded or "continuous cast" acrylic is made by a less expensive process, is softer, can scratch easier and may contain impurities. Cell cast acrylic is a higher quality acrylic and U.S. domestic cell cast is a good choice for applications that require the best. Acrylic comes in clear, non-glare, frosted and colored. Extruded acrylic however is the best choice when mounting anything thicker than ¼” because the surface is more flat and cast acrylic tends to “dish” (uneven spots) with the thicker you go.

Banner material - A reinforced vinyl material (with or without scrim) in various weights, and styles good for interior and exterior hung banners or wall displays.

BioBoard™ - is part of the same family of products and is specifically designed for the printing industry. It offers the benefits of traditional sheet material and is extremely lightweight due to the special core properties. BioBoard™ can be easily cut, joined, and drilled with traditional tools and fasteners. Its light weight enables large sheets to be easily maneuvered and carried by one person. Your choice for an environmentally friendly printing substrate. Recommended applications include: Printing, substrates.

Bit-map - Mapped images to represent a graphic image in computer memory as a matrix of dots, or recreate the image on a computer screen from such a bit map.

Cardstock - A semi-rigid paper stock generally used in POP applications. An excellent economical way to produce awesome graphics.

Cleat - A routed out section on the back of a substrate so frameless mounting can occur.

Closed path - A vector line with no end points (circle).

CMYK - An abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The standard model for modern printing.

CNC Router - Computer numerically controlled router- The CNC router works like a printer. Work is composed on a computer and then the design or drawing is sent to the CNC router for the hard copy. This outputs a 3-dimensional copy of the work. The CNC router uses a cutting tool instead of an ink jet. The cutting tool is generally a router but other cutters can be used as well.

Color match - The process of matching a customer’s requested color to an actual printable color.

Continuous feed - High speed continuous feed production printers. Providing cost-effective high quality graphics.

Continuous tone - A continuous tone image is one where each color at any point in the image is reproduced as a single tone, and not as discrete halftones, such as one single color for monochromatic prints, or a combination of halftones for color prints i.e. Lambda graphics.

Coroplast - A fluted polypropylene (alternatively known as corrugated plastic) sheet made specifically for graphic displays. Recommended applications include: Point-of-purchase displays for medium term application life, signage for interior medium-term application life, and exterior short-term application life.

Dibond® - The ultimate substrate, is a rigid, durable aluminum composite material consisting of two pre-painted sheets of .012-inch aluminum bonded to a solid polyethylene core - a unique composition that makes it approximately one-half the weight of aluminum. Dibond® is an excellent replacement for aluminum, MDO, plywood, thick gauge plastics, and some laminated fluted/solid core sheets. Recommended applications include: digital printing, interior and exterior signage, exhibits and displays.

Digital Acrylic - Special coated clear acrylic that allows for direct to press printing.

Die cut - A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material using a press. Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create.

Direct-to-Press - Any digital printing press that prints directly to a rigid substrate or board.

DPI - A measure of the density of the image produced by a computer screen or printer. Full form dots per inch.

Dye-Sublimation - A thermal pressure process that transfers dyes to rigid and flexible materials including fabrics.
Float mount - An image mounted in the center of a larger substrate slightly raised. Can be 1st or 2nd surface.

FTP - File transfer protocol - The standard protocol used to transfer files across the internet, or a similar network, between computer systems.

Gatorboard - Gatorfoam® is the industry's leading heavy-duty foam board. It is comprised of extruded polystyrene foam bonded between two layers of wood-fiber veneer. The original, heavy-duty graphic arts board. Excellent reputation for great digital and screen printing. New, bright white face is the brightest board of its kind. Dent and scratch resistant. Recommended applications include: POP displays, exhibits and kiosks, framing, and interior signage, exterior signage.

Graphic Veneer™ - A flexible faced, embedded graphic trademarked to Pli Photo Lab, Inc.

Grand format - Any printer that prints in excess of 6 feet wide.

Hard copy proof - A paper proof.

High Res PDF - A high res (resolution) image that is intended for printing.

Inkjet - A technology of printing where droplets of ink are “jetted” using a specially designed print head.

JPEG - [ jáy pèg ] Joint Photographic Experts Group – A standard file format for compressing pictures by disposing of redundant pixels. A format for encoding high-resolution graphic images as computer files for storage and transmission.
Lambda Clear (D-Clear) - 7mil transparent film imaged using RGB laser technology from Durst.

Lambda Flex (D-Flex) - 7mil reflective polyester film imaged using RGB laser technology from Durst.

Lambda Metallic - 7mil metallic film imaged using RGD laser technology from Durst.

Lambda Print (D-Print) - Photo print paper imaged using RGB laser technology from Durst.

Lambda Trans (D-Trans) - 7mil backlit film imaged using RGB laser technology from Durst.

Line segment - A vector line with two end points.

Linear feet - Linear means "a straight line" so a straight line from point A to point B is the linear distance.

Low Res PDF - A low res (resolution) image not intended for printing. Intended to be viewed on screen for file accuracy and design changes.

Machined edge - Natural edge of material left after cutting with the CNC router.

Magnetic vinyl - Vinyl coated magnet, generally found in a roll stock for direct to press printing. Used in POP and corporate environments. Think “giant magnet”.

Magnification test “mag test” - Magnification is the enhancement of size of an object being viewed. An example of this would be a wall mural. We will take a certain section of the mural and magnify it up to full size in a sample piece so the customer will have an idea what the image will look like at full size.

Matrix - In our industry this is an Excel spreadsheet containing information needed to produce a quote.

MDF - Medium-density fiberboard: a wood-substitute material used in interior decoration. Often primed and painted and used as secondary substrate or for direct to press printing.

Outline fonts to paths - Converting the live text (fonts) in a document to outlined paths.

Overlaminate - Refers to an adhesive backed film applied to the surface of a printed piece to protect it from dirt, scratching, and ultra-violet rays.
PDF - Portable document format - A file format for representing documents in a manner that is independent of the original application software, hardware, and operating system used to create those documents. A PDF file can describe documents containing any combination of text, graphics, and images in a device-independent and resolution independent format.

PETG - Polyethylene terephthalate (aka. PET, PETE, PETG) is a plastic resin of the polyester family. PETG is a clear amorphous thermoplastic that can be injection molded or sheet extruded. It can be colored during processing. PETG can be semi-rigid to rigid, depending on its thickness, and it is very lightweight. The main virtue of PETG is that it is fully recyclable. Unlike other plastics, its polymer chains can be recovered for additional use. It makes a good gas and fair moisture barrier, as well as a good barrier to alcohol and solvents. It is strong and impact-resistant. It is naturally colorless with a high transparency. Recommended applications include: PETG is used as a Midrange priced product between Acrylic & Polycarbonate. The clarity of PETG is comparable to Acrylic & Impact Resistance of Polycarbonate. Also is used in Signing, Glazing, POP Displays, etc.

Pixel - The smallest element of an image that can be individually processed in a video display system.

Plus (+) white technology - A term used to describe a printer that uses white ink.

PMS color - Pantone Matching System - a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics.

Polished edge - High gloss edge of acrylic achieved by either buffing or flame polishing the edge.

Polycarbonate - A strong synthetic resin. When you need a clear, rugged sheet for the toughest applications. Excellent for uses including transit shelters, protective laminations, window glazing, unbreakable windows, and optical components. High optical clarity, UV stability and low distortion. Recommended applications: Direct print for interior or exterior signage.

POP - Point-of-purchase display, retail environment.

PPI - Pixels per inch.

PVC - A hard-wearing synthetic resin made by polymerizing vinyl chloride. Used for direct to press printing or substrates for print mounting.

Raster graphics - Computer graphics in which an image is composed of an array of pixels arranged in rows and columns. Opposite of Vector graphics.

Resolution - The quality of detail offered by a TV or computer screen or a photographic image.

RGB - An output device which displays images using red, green, and blue color.

Ring around - A chase around chart method used to drill down to a color match.

Rush Charges - Overtime charges incurred to push thru work given with a short lead time.

Self adhesive vinyl “SAV” - A thin sheet of vinyl with adhesive on back. Used in direct to press printing.

Signblank - A term used for a blank sign or substrate- generally used in our industry for aluminum signblank. Standard thicknesses are .040, .060, .080 and they come in 48” x 96” sheet size. Recommended applications include: interior and exterior signage. Generally used as a substrate with SAV or Lambda products.

Soft proof - A digital screen proof.

Solvent ink - A pigmented ink carried by a solvent base.

Square feet - A unit of area measurement equal to a square measuring one foot on each side; 0.0929 square meters.

Styrene - Styrene-based materials offer unique characteristics of toughness, high performance, versatile design, simplicity of production, and economy. They provide excellent hygiene, sanitation and safety benefits. And many styrene-based products offer superior insulation qualities for use in building construction where they provide energy conservation. Clear and non-glare styrene is available. Recommended applications include: POP, display graphic protector- lighter, less expensive and less dangerous than glass.

UV ink - Ink that dries or cures when exposed to ultra violet light.

Vector graphics - The representation of separate shapes such as lines, polygons and text, and groups of such objects, as opposed to bitmaps. The advantage of vector graphics ("drawing") programs over bitmap ("paint") editors is that multiple overlapping elements can be manipulated independently without using different layers for each one. It is also easier to render an object at different sizes and to transform it in other ways without worrying about image resolution and pixels. Opposite of Raster graphics.

Webbing - A strong, woven material of hemp, cotton, or jute, in bands of various widths. Generally used for banner reinforcement.

Wood Veneer - Thin sheets of wood generally used on cabinets and plywood. Excellent designers tool for mounting onto MDF and then printing directly.