Look up terms used in the product identification industry.



A liquid coating made up of pigment suspended in a vehicle or binder. Common paint vehicles include resins dissolved in solvents or water. Paint dries or cures to a hard film that bonds the pigment to the surface.

Paint Fill

Also called color fill. The process of paint filling is the filling of a recessed area with paint. Recessed areas to be filled are usually created by engraving or etching. (See Engraving and Etching on our Processes Page)


When the finished size of a large graphic product is impractical to ship or exceeds the size of available substrates or equipment, the product is produced in sections (or panels). These panels are assembled after production by applying them next to one another in much the same way as wallpaper is hung.

Panel Tag

A relatively small nameplate, decal or label used to label devices on the back panel (or panel mounted inside) of an electrical control panel. Panel tags typically label a device number that corresponds to a schematic, assembly drawing, and/or a bill of material. The definition of panel tag is also frequently expanded to include Legend Plates and any Nameplate, Decal, or Label mounted on or near a control panel.

Pantone Matching System (PMS)

A standardized series of thousands of colors, each with specific color formulations and identification numbers. PMS colors are duplicated in swatch books and in computer-graphics programs to allow exact duplication of colors in printing and other processes.


See Paper on our Materials Reference Chart.


A series of small incisions made in a material to facilitate tearing or folding along a pre-determined line.


The speed with which gasses (and liquids) can pass through a self-adhesive film. The amount of printing on an adhesive film also effects the film’s permeability; the more printing ink coverage on a piece of film, the less permeable the film will be.
See Outgas.


See Phenolic Sheet on our Materials Reference Chart.

Photo Anodizing

See Photo Anodizing on our Processes Page.

Photo Etching

See Etching on our Processes Page.


See Photo Anodizing on our Processes Page.

Photosensitive Aluminum

See Photosensitive Aluminum on our Materials Reference Chart.


A pictorial symbol commonly found in safety, regulatory, and environmental graphics. Examples of common pictograms are: No smoking (a cigarette in a circle with a diagonal line through it) and Attention (an exclamation point inside of a triangle.)


A label & liner adhered to the top of another label. The entire unit can be applied as one label and the top (or piggyback) label can be applied elsewhere at a later point in time.


A compound used to color other materials such as inks, paints, and dyes. Pigments are insoluble, finely ground particles and may be organic or inorganic.

Pipe Marker

Typically a decal which identifies the contents, temperature, and/or pressure of a pipe, as well as arrows to indicate the direction of flow. Because pipe markers usually wrap completely around a pipe, printed information is usually printed multiple times on the decal (or marker) to allow viewing from different angles or different sides of the pipe.


A general term for a wide range of synthetic materials which consist of long chains of polymers that are moldable and soften when heated.
See also Thermoplastic and Thermoset.
See our Materials Section for more info on the types of plastics we carry.


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


A computer-controlled device that moves a cutting tool to a series of X and Y coordinates, cutting the outlines of letters and/or graphics which can then be weeded.
See Weed.
See Vinyl Cutting on our Processes Page.


(1.) A unit of measure for expressing the height of type (a font). One (1) point is equal to .01389" (1/72 inch).
(2.) A unit of measure for expressing the thickness of paper or card stock. One (1) point is equal to .001" (1/1000 inch).

Polycarbonate, Film

See Polycarbonate Film on our Materials Reference Chart.

Polycarbonate, Sheet

See Polycarbonate Sheet on our Materials Reference Chart.


See Polyester Film on our Materials Reference Chart.


The black areas of a film positive will be printed and the clear areas of a film positive will not be printed. The opposite of a film negative.

Positive Space

The copy and art on a nameplate, label, decal, overlay, legend plate, or sign. The opposite of negative space.

Pre-Spaced Decal

A layout of individual letters and/or printed graphics cut from an adhesive backed film on a single liner. All of the pieces (letters and/or graphics) are removed from the liner and applied at the same time using transfer tape. The transfer tape holds all of the pieces together in their pre-spaced locations.
See Transfer Tape.


An adhesive that reacts when pressure is applied to the surfaces it is between.

Primary Colors

The three colors from which all other colors can be created. In paint, the primary colors are yellow, red and blue. In process color, the three colors are yellow, magenta (red) and cyan (blue). In light, the colors are red, green and blue.

Process Color

The three primary colors of printing - yellow, magenta (red) and cyan (blue) - plus black. When printed as halftones in that order, they create a full range of natural colors. This type of printing is also known as four-color process printing.


(1.) A scaled, black and white print of a product that is to be printed, engraved, etched, etc. A proof may include additional information such as production notes or dimensions.
(2.) The process or act of verifying that something was produced correctly. As in to proof read.
(3.) A trial sheet of printed material that is checked against the original or master, and on which corrections are noted.


(1.) A first or experimental working model of something to be manufactured, usually on a large scale. (2.) A full-size example to serve as a model from which other similar or identical pieces will be produced.


See Teflon on our Materials Reference Chart.

Push-Button Flag

Another name for Legend Plate. The term comes from the "flagging" of push-buttons, pilot lights, and/or selector switches.


Polyvinyl chloride (or Vinyl) is the most common plastic in use in the world. PVC is extruded or cast as sheet or film goods. These substrates are available in a variety of colors and thicknesses and are weather and chemical resistant. Vinyl film is typically backed with an adhesive that will create a strong bond when pressure is applied.
See PVC Foam Sheet and PVC Sheet (semi-rigid) on our Materials Reference Chart.


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Phone: 800-962-2376 (440-259-2581)   Fax: 800-453-2441 (440-259-2580)
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