Look up terms used in the product identification industry.



Text and/or graphics printed on paper with an adhesive backing and then cut to a specified shape and size. Similar to a decal; decals are printed on an adhesive backed film, where as labels are printed on adhesive backed paper. Label is commonly used as a generic term for Decals, Nameplates, Overlays, Legend Plates, and Tags, as well as labels.


See Lacquers on our Materials Reference Chart.

Lamicoid (also lamacoid)

A brand name of engravable phenolic sheet stock no longer being produced. The trademark was originally owned by Mica Insulator Corp. and later by 3M, Allied-Signal, Inc. and Norplex. Lamicoid (Lamacoid) has become a generic term commonly used for specifying 2- or 3-ply, laminated engraving stocks and/or the nameplates, tags, or legend plates produced from the stock.
See Phenolic Sheet on our Materials Reference Chart.


(1.) A process by which different materials are layered and then bonded together using adhesives, pressure, and/or heat.
See High Pressure Laminate on our Materials Reference Chart.

(2.) A film, adhesive, or substrate that is to be layered and then bonded to another film, adhesive, or substrate. Common laminates are pressure sensitive adhesive backings and clear films used to protect printed images from abrasion, chemicals, and/or fading.
See Laminates on our Materials Reference Chart.


Pronounced "led-ing", as in "lead pencil". Leading is the vertical space between lines of text. Like letter and word spacing, the right amount of leading makes text easier to read. Often expressed as a percentage of the vertical height of characters, it separates two baselines in text. For example, leading between two lines of 1" high characters, where baselines are 1.25" apart, is 125%. This means you have a 25% space between your lines.

Legend Plate

(1.) Legend Plate is most commonly used to refer to a push-button flag or a tag with a hole in it that fits around a push-button, pilot light, or selector-switch. Legend plates are typically rectangular, and/or round with one large hole near the center. The hole may or may not have a male (tab) or female keyway used to key or hold the legend plate in a specific orientation relative to the device it is labeling.
(2.) A generic term used for engraved nameplates or tags used to label the function of devices on and in electrical control panels. The engraved tags have the explanation (or legend) of what each device is, does, and/or how to use it.


The quality of a nameplate, label, decal, or sign's typefaces that allows it to be easily read and deciphered.
See Readability.

Lens Coating

See Doming on our Processes Page.

Lexan, Film

Trade name for Polycarbonate materials.
See Polycarbonate Film on our Materials Reference Chart.

Lexan, Sheet

Trade name for Polycarbonate materials.
See Polycarbonate Sheet on our Materials Reference Chart.


Also known as backing. A layer of paper or film that protects the pressure sensitive adhesive backing of an item until it is ready to be applied (or stuck). A silicone coating on the liner provides the typical easy removal of the liner.


An often-stylized group of letters, words, symbols, and/or graphics used to represent a business and/or its products.

Low Surface Energy (LSE)

Specifically low surface energy (LSE) plastics and a pressure sensitive adhesive’s (PSA’s) ability to bond to them. Surface energy defines the ability of a PSA to "wet out" plastic surfaces to allow adhesion. Surface wet out refers to how well a liquid or PSA flows and intimately covers a surface. Maximum adhesion develops when the PSA thoroughly wets out the surface to be bonded. The greater the wet out, the better the surface coverage and the greater the attractive forces between adhesives and plastic surfaces. Surfaces with high surface energy bond more readily because they are easier to wet with conventional adhesives than are low-energy surfaces.

Generally if water "beads up" into droplets on a plastic, it has a low surface energy, and adhesives will not thoroughly wet out or bond well to it. Low surface energy plastics include polypropylene, TPOs, and polyethylene. Historically, flashing was used to raise the surface energy of LSE plastics. More recently, some new PSAs have been developed to work specifically with a wide variety of LSE plastics. See flashing.

Water does not bead and will wet out High surface energy plastics such as ABS and polycarbonate. Similarly, conventional PSAs (which possess a LSE) bond well to these materials.


Trade name for Acrylic Sheet.  Similar to Plexiglas.
See Acrylic Sheet on our Materials Reference Chart.


The Roman numeral for 1000, "M" is often used as a unit of measure abbreviation for "1000", "1000 pieces", or "Per 1000 pieces".

Magnetic Sheeting

See Magnetic Sheeting on our Materials Reference Chart.

Manufacturer’s Nameplate

Also known as a data plate. A manufacturer’s nameplate typically contains the manufacturer’s name, logo and contact information, country of origin or manufacture, date of manufacture, serial number, voltage, full load amps, cycles, horse power, maximum pressure, associated drawing numbers, and/or other associated technical information that the end user of the product must know. The information found on manufacturer’s nameplates is commonly regulated in the form of a code or specification written for the specific product type, and the anticipated type of product user, by a governing body, industry association, council, etc.


A protective paper or film used to protect an item during final fabrication, inspection, and shipping. The masking is typically removed by the customer just prior to installation or application.

Matte Finish

Having a dull surface; not shiny. A matte surface has a low level of reflectivity.

Mattes, The

See Matte, Front Engravable on our Materials Reference Chart.


Trade name for Phenolic Sheet.
See Phenolic Sheet on our Materials Reference Chart.

Membrane Switch

In its most basic form, a membrane switch is composed of three layers: (1) A shorting pad (a film (or membrane) containing a contact (or conductor) in specific areas). (2) A spacer layer with holes that are aligned with the shorting pad contacts. (3) A printed circuit board (PCB). These three layers are laminated together to form small, low profile switches (or buttons) covered with a film to provide a smooth and/or slightly bubbled feel. The definition of membrane switch is usually expanded to include a graphic overlay laminated to the top of the three-ply switch. Common examples of membrane switches can be found on many microwave ovens and dishwashers.


The property of a material that causes it to shrink or return to its original dimensions after being formed, stretched, or subjected to temperature changes.


Trade name for Photosensitive Aluminum.
See Photosensitive Aluminum on our Materials Chart and Photo Anodizing on our Processes Page.


Trade name front engraved "Metals" plastic.
See Metals, Front Engraved on our Materials Reference Chart.

Metals, The

See Metals, Front Engraved on our Materials Reference Chart.


Trade name for Phenolic Sheet.
See Phenolic Sheet on our Materials Reference Chart.


A unit of measure for expressing the thickness of a film. One (1) Mil is equal to .001" or (1/1000"). The thickness of vinyl film when expressed in Mils typically includes the thickness of its adhesive.

Mill Finish

(1.) The surface finish of sheet metal upon exiting the production line rollers, slitters, etc. that produced it. Mill finish sheet metal may have minor surface imperfections or scratches. (2.) A characteristic of the ground (or milled) finish used on the rolls that produce sheet metal. This finish is transferred to the sheet metal under the pressure of the rollers.


Trade name for Polyester Films.
See Polyester Films on our Materials Reference Chart.


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