Aesthetics: A term dealing
with form, design, and/or quality of construction of a particular sign,
building, site, or structure that produces a subjective impression of a level
of beauty or artistic value.
A-frame sign See Sandwich board.
Air Resources Board numbers
required by the State of California to identify off road diesel
Awning sign A building-mounted sign that
provides additional functionality as an overhead shelter.
Back lighted letter An
illuminated reverse channel letter with an open or translucent back so that
light from the letter is directed against the surface behind the letter,
producing a halo lighting effect around the letter; also referred to as
silhouette or halo-lighted.
Baked enamel signage A one-coat process
used for long term indoor and outdoor applications where a top-coat is applied
directly to a substrate material and baked to set the ink.
temporary sign of lightweight fabric or similar material that is mounted to a
fence, building, or hanging between structures. Promotional banners
include those used to announce grand openings or advertise special events.
Ornamental banners use images or colors of a decorative nature.
Bench sign A sign located on the seat or back of a bench
which is located on, or adjacent to, a public right-of-way.
Billboard A large, standardized third-party/off-premise structure
displaying advertising and intended for viewing from distances greater than 50
feet. Billboard/outdoor advertising displays include, but are not limited to,
bulletins, wall murals, wrapped posters, and sheet posters.
The intangible but real value of words, graphics, or symbols that are
associated with products or services offered by a business. Development of site
branding includes the presentation of signage and architecture to create a
unique awareness and memory by a potential customer of products or services
offered at that site.
fascia The portion of any elevation of a building extending vertically from
the grade to the top parapet wall or eaves, and horizontally across the entire
width of the building elevation, including slanted wall surfaces (sometimes
referred to as mansards).
Building-mounted sign A sign applied or attached to a
Canopy sign 1) A building-mounted sign functioning as a
marquee. 2) A sign mounted on a marquee or attached to, or printed on, the
fascia or valence of a canopy, awning, or marquee, or hanging from the soffit
(underside) of the structure.
Captive containment fleet Fleet vehicles which operate
exclusively within the following counties: Alpine, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn,
Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Plumas, San Benito, San
Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity,
Tehama, Yuba, and the portion of Sonoma County that lies within the boundaries
of the North Coast Air Basin.
Channel letter A fabricated or formed three-dimensional letter
that may accommodate a light source.
Conforming sign A sign that is legally installed in
accordance with federal, state, and local permit requirements and laws.
Conspicuity 1)The capacity of
a sign (or tape, like caution tape) to stand out or be distinguishable from its
surroundings and thus be readily observed. 2) The noticeable contrast between a
sign and its background, with the display having features that attract
attention to the sign.
graphics Material electronically cut by a computer to create a graphic,
like vinyl lettering, that can then be applied to another surface to create
self adhesive signage.
Content-Neutral Sign Code Consistently applicable, reasonable,
and nondiscriminatory sign regulations that specify when, where, and how a sign
can be installed, its specific parameters (height, size, and location) without
reference to the content of the message displayed. The regulations should
minimally ensure that the sign and its contents be easily perceived and
readable to intended viewers.
Contrast The difference or degree of difference between images
having similar or comparable brightness, colors, or typefaces.
Copy The words or message displayed on a sign.
Copy area That area which
encloses the sign copy.
Custom sign A sign designed, manufactured, and installed to
meet unique and specific requirements.
Daily Effective Circulation
(DEC)The average number of daily potential exposures to a display or group
of signs and basic measure in establishing cost-per-thousand exposures on
signs. DEC is determined by counting vehicles traveling toward the face of the
sign and then multiplying that number by the average number of people per car
during the hours the sign is visible. Pedestrian and mass-transit circulations
are not included. The basic traffic numbers can usually be obtained from state
departments of transportation.
Day-Glo A trade name for certain inks or lacquers that become
fluorescent when activated by the ultraviolet rays of sunlight.
Decals Graphics on specially
treated material that allow it to be transferred to a surface such as glass,
wood, or metal.
Die cutting A
metalworking process which cuts stock without the formation of chips or the use
of burning or melting.
A method of printing using digital techniques in which the data and images are
printed directly from a computer onto a medium such as paper or vinyl.
Dimensional letter A cut-out, cast,
fabricated, or molded material such as metal or plastic in the shape of a
letter, logo, or symbol.
sign A sign designed to provide direction to pedestrians and vehicular
Directory sign A sign that
identifies the names and locations of tenants in a multi-tenant building or in
a development composed of a group of buildings.
Double-faced sign A sign with front and back
Double sided window decals Decals
printed on both sides (front and back) for use on clear glass doors and
Downsizing A change in law or
regulation that requires alteration in size or height of an existing sign.
EIN number Equipment
Letters, graphics, mechanical devices, fiber optics, lighting, cutouts,
extensions, structure coverings, vicinity landscaping, or any other
special-effect addition to a sign that will enhance its appearance and ability
to effectively communicate its message.
Extensions The area of design made as a cutout that
extends beyond the basic rectangular space of a sign face or message.
Face The surface area of a
sign on which an advertising message is displayed. A sign may have more than
Fascia sign A building-mounted
Flat cut-out letter A dimensional
letter cut from sheet or plate stock.
page Metal sheet in a placard book that displays images and is attached to
hinges so it can be turned like a page in a book.
Font A set of letters, numerals, and shapes that conform
to a specific set of design criteria.
Freestanding sign A sign that is not attached to a
Front lighted letter An
illuminated channel letter with a translucent face.
sign A freestanding sign with no visible support structure.
High-rise sign A tall freestanding sign,
usually of pole design and construction.
Illegal sign A sign unlawfully erected or maintained.
Interior signs Signs that are located
inside a building or other facility.
International Sign Association
representing manufacturers, installers, users, and suppliers of on-premise
signs and products.
physical attributes of a sign that allow for visual identification of its
letters, words, numbers, or graphics.
sign A sign labeled to indicate that the manufacturer of the sign is
identified on a list published by a nationally recognized testing laboratory as
producing signs in conformance with the applicable American national standard.
Logo A design or symbol that represents
a product, identity, or service.
Program (Federal) A program of national sign standards to provide travelers
along rural roads with business identification and directional information for
four essential motorist services: gas, food, lodging, and camping. The
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control
Devices (MUTCD) limits the number of establishments that may participate at
any one interchange to six. (Also known as "Specific Service
Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) A manual produced by the
Federal Highway Administration that
establishes, among other things, minimum size, height, and placement standards
to which a sign must conform to achieve readability and conspicuity; and, to
prevent traffic accidents. The manual specifically addresses three types of
signs: guide, warning, and directional. Although intended for public
transportation authorities, the manual is also directly relevant to private
Marquee A permanent canopy
often of metal and glass projecting over an entrance.
Marquee sign 1) A sign mounted on a permanent canopy. 2)
A traditional industry term for the variable-message section of a canopy sign.
3) An integral sign and permanent canopy.
Menu board A variable-message sign that allows a retailer
to display its products and prices.
area The area within a sign panel describing the space for a
Metal fabrication The cutting,
shaping, and assembling of metal.
sign A portable sign mounted on a trailer.
Monument sign: A large ground sign with low overall
Off-premise sign A sign directing attention to a specific
business, product, service, entertainment event or activity, or other
commercial activity that is not sold, produced, manufactured, furnished, or
conducted at the property upon which the sign is located. Also known as a
"third-party sign" or "outdoor advertising."
On-premise sign A sign whose message and design relates
to a business, profession, product, service, event, or other commercial
activity sold, offered, or conducted on the same property where the sign is
Overlay (Snipe) A paper strip
or price designation, such as a dealer imprint for a promotion, which is pasted
on the face of an existing advertising panel.
Painted wall sign A sign
painted directly on a building surface. If the sign is a third-party/outdoor
advertising display; it may be several stories high and designed for
letter A dimensional letter that is constructed with side walls, a back,
and a face, making the letter a solid integral unit with the side walls and
back having a pan-shaped cross-section.
face A plastic sign face molded into a three-dimensional shape. Also called
molded face, molded and embossed face, or molded and debossed face.
Parapet sign A sign mounted on top of
the parapet of a building.
sign A sign attached to a building or structure, or to the ground in a
manner that enables the sign to resist environmental effects and loads, such as
wind, and that precludes its ready removal or movement.
Pixel A digital image, or pel (picture element), that is
a physical point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable element in a
Placard A sign attached
to, or hung from, a vehicle or building to indicate information about a vehicle
or building contents.
Placard book A
changeable sign affixed to a vehicle and made with four quadrants with a flip
hinge allowing each of the quadrants to be changed (flipped).
Pole sign A freestanding sign with visible support
Portable sign A sign not
permanently attached to the ground or a building, and easily removable using
ordinary hand tools.
Post and panel sign
An unlighted sign that uses one or more visible posts to support the sign body.
Projecting sign A building-mounted sign
with its faces projecting from and perpendicular to the building fascia.
Push-through A letter or logo that is
cut out of a backing material as thick or thicker than the sign face material,
and then mounted on the inside of the sign face so that the backing material's
thickness extends flush with, or through and beyond, the front plane of the
Pylon sign A freestanding
sign with a visible support structure, which may or may not be enclosed by a
imageAn image formed by pixels on a computer screen.
Raceway An electrical enclosure
that may also serve as a mounting structure for a sign.
Readability Characteristics of letters, numbers or
symbols grouped together in words, sentences, or other meaningful relationships
which enable an observer to correctly comprehend the information content and
Recall The ability of a
viewer (or listener) to remember an advertising message which may be visual or
Recognition The ability of a
viewer (or a listener) to identify a message and connect it with a source (such
as. a particular advertiser).
sign A sign with a special surface coating that allows it to become visible
at night when light is reflected from its surface.
Regulatory sign A sign having the primary purpose of
conveying information concerning rules, ordinances, or laws.
Retro-reflective: The quality of a surface that reflects
light directly back toward its original source.
Return The sides of a channel letter.
Reveal An indented detail on a sign.
Reverse channel letter A fabricated dimensional letter
with opaque face and side walls.
sign A building-mounted sign erected upon, and completely over, the roof of
sign/A-frame sign A 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.
printing A printing technique in which ink in forced throgh a mesh screen
and onto a substrate resulting in a heavy ink deposit not possible with other
Sign Any device,
structure, fixture, painting, or visual image using words, graphics, symbols,
numbers, or letters designed for the purpose of conveying information or
Sign face The area
of a sign on which copy is intended to be placed.
Signage A system of place-based communication devices
and graphics intended to impart information.
Sign centric design Building or site design that makes
the on-premise signage the prominent visual feature of the building or site.
Single-face sign A sign with only one
Snipe (Overlay) A small,
added strip along a poster design to announce special or revised messages.
Steel rule die cutting A process used to
cut sheet materials including paper, cardboard, rubber, and plastic. The "die"
refers to a flat base, often made from very thick and dense plywood. Sometimes
aluminum and steel dies are used. "Steel rule" is a long razor blade, which is
slid into the slits in the die. A rubber pad is then glued, or attached, to the
die preventing the paper or material to be cut from getting caught into the
Temporary sign Any
sign not intended for permanent installation. Generally, these signs are
intended to be used for a limited period of time for purposes such as
announcing special events or sales, announcing the sale or rental of property,
supporting political positions, or presenting other miscellaneous or incidental
information or instructions.
cutting A process using heat and pressure to delicately cut pressure
Points, lines, curves, and shapes, or polygon(s) which to represent images in
computer graphics and based on vectors (also called paths, or
Vehicle wraps Graphics
completely or partially covering (wrapping) a vehicle for identification or
Window sign A sign that
is painted on, attached to, or suspended directly behind or in front of a
window or the glass portion of a door.