Nameplate and Trim Glossary of Terms




Acrylic Adhesive A Synthetic polymer with excellent bonding characteristics.
Anodize The chemical polishing of metal to chemically harden the surface, giving a decorative and durable product.
Canadian Standard Association (CSA) An independent Canadian, (not-for-profit) product-safety testing and certification organization.
Carrier A material such as foam or mylar that is used between two layers of adhesive to give additional thickness and /or strength.
Choke When two or more color impressions are needed for an opaque background. The first background impression is slightly under-sized to avoid perfect registration.
Chroma  The quality that describes the saturation or percentage of a color. i.e. 95% red and 5% white as compared to 5% red and 95% white on the horizontal.
Chromatic Perceived as having a hue; not white, gray or black.
Clear Laminate Adhesive (caps) 2 mil or 4 mil clear mylar with adhesive.
Closed Cell Foam Foam with varying degrees of hardness depending on its density, it is compressed foam with no air pockets.
Coating A liquid composition applied to a sheet which is converted to a solid for protection or decoration of a surface.
Cold rolled A type of steel that cannot be hardened.
Color Spread The light and dark variation of color needed during a normal printing run.
Colorimeter An instrument designed for the direct measurement of color.
Customer's Substrate (Bezel) Any material the nameplate is being applied to, such as metals, high surface energy plastics, low surface energy plastics, etc.
Densitometer A sensitive, photoelectric instrument that measures the density of images or colors.
Doming An alternative name for Norlens.
Duo-lens A domed polycarbonate nameplate with multi-level graphics.
Durometer A measurement of the hardness of rubber.
Embittlement Material that turns brittle after testing.
Emulsion A mixture of two immiscible (unblendable) substances. One substance is dispersed in the other. Photo-sensitive emulsion is exposed to UV light to create the stencil image on a screen.
Etch To create graphics by eating into the material's surface.
Etch and fill To create graphics by eating into the material's surface and filling that area with paint.
Film Thickness The thickness of any applied coating measured either as wet or dry, by using film thickness gauges. Often described in units of one thousandth of an inch (0.0254 mm) thickness or one mil.
Flares Enlarging a printed graphic to be trimmed off by another color.
Flexlens A clear, flexible, urethane doming resin applied to decorated plastic parts or thin metal.
Flip/Flop The appearance of a material when viewed from a direction far from the viewing angle. This is evident when a sample is turned in the light. It may look light when held one way and dark when turned.
Four Color Process Yellow, magenta, cyan and black printed in halftones on top of each other to create a multitude of colors (also known as process color and 4-color printing).
Gloss A measurement of the amount of light reflected off a surface.
Ground An opaque or transparent color that is the base color of a pattern or woodgrain in the printing process.
Halftone A printing image composed of dots varying frequency, size or density.
Heat Activated Adhesive An dry film adhesive that is applied by using heat.
High Surface Energy (HSE) Substrates such as ABS, polycarbonate.
Hits  The number of impressions that are on the sheet.  Some colors need more than one impression, or hit of ink.
Hue The quality of color which describes the color red, green, blue, etc.
Lensing An alternative name for Norlens.
Linear A diamond cut on the edges of a rectangular or square part.
Lithography Printing process in which the image to be printed is rendered on a plate which is treated to retain ink while the non-image areas are treated to repel ink. The ink is transferred to a rubberized blanket and impressed upon the substrate. (Also known as litho or printing)
Low Surface Energy (LSE) Substrates such as polypropylene, polyester.
Mesh The woven material stretched across a frame for screen printing.
Metallic Inks which contain various sizes of flakes which have reflective properties and change the optical characteristics of the color.
Metamerism A condition when colors match under one light source but do not match under another light source. 
Munsell Identifies color in terms of three attributes: hue, value and chroma.
Necodome A process where emblems are created through layering and sealing of various pliable materials.
Negative Print Printing of a background dropping out lines or characters.
Norfrost Is what NE calls a smooth finish that is milky-white in appearance. 
Norlens Clear domed lens applied to a metal or plastic decorated part giving the part a very pleasing rich appearance.
NWG Process Northern Engraving Woodgrain Process used to reproduce woodgrains on aluminum.
Opaque Ink that does not allow the light to pass through it and it has good hiding characteristics.
Open Cell Foam Foam that is soft, like a cushion, with a density around 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound per cubic foot.
Parting Lines The area on a part where the front of the mold meets the back of the mold.
Pearlescent Colorant exhibiting various colors depending on the angles of illumination and viewing.
Phalynx Cut A diamond cut resulting in a diamond-shaped pattern 
Plate Used in lithography as an image carrier to transfer the image to the blanket in the printing press. 
Positive Print Printing of lines or characters.
Preps Generated artwork necessary to make litho plates or silk screens.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) An adhesive, which in dry (solvent free) form is aggressively and permanently tacky at room temperature, and firmly adheres to a variety of dissimilar surfaces.
Primer An adhesion promoter that is put on the surface of a substrate before the printing process.
Removable Mask Adhesive 1-mil polyester mask that protects the nameplate.
Rosette A diamond cut resulting in multiple flower petal designs in aluminum.
Saturation The attribute of color that determines its relative strength and departure from grey.
Scrim A film that allows us to coat two dissimilar adhesives.
Shade Adding black to a color.
Shot size The amount of plastic used to fill a mold on a molding press.
Silk Screens A printing method in which ink is forced through a fine mesh onto the printing surface.
Skive Cut A diamond cut that results in a extra-fine Zebra cut that looks very flat and bright.
Smooth surface A substrate that is smooth to the touch such as glass.
Soft-touch A screened or coated material with a rubber like consistency. 
Spectrophotometer An instrument that measures light at many points on the visual spectrum which results in a curve. 
Spot Color Individual inks formulated to print by themselves to match a specific color.
Star Cut A diamond cut resulting in a star-like points cut into parts.
Supported Adhesive An adhesive that uses a carrier in its construction for added strength and/or thickness.
Tensile The measurement of tension that a material can withstand without tearing.
Textures surface A substrate that is rough to the touch such as some molded plastics or ABS.
Thermoplastic Adhesive An adhesive that can be activated with heat, or remelted.
Tint A transparent layer of color.
Topcoat The protective coating over the decorated surface that gives it the gloss level.
Transparent Lacking hiding power permiting transmission of light thus allowing previous printing or substrates to show through.
Underwriters Laboratory (UL) An independent, not for profit, product-safety testing and certification organization.
UV/Solvent/Waterbase Inks UV inks are cured by ultraviolet light. Solvent and waterbase inks are cured by heat. 
Value The quality that describes the lightness or darkness compared to a gray scale.
Water Base Adhesive An adhesive with the main blend being water.
Zebra Cut A diamond cut resulting in a slightly curved stripe effect that can be fine or coarse.


Have a question about a nameplate or badge? 

The Nameplate FAQ page covers common questions in the following areas.

•  General Nameplate
•  Artwork Submission
•  Materials
•  Processes
•  Tooling
•  Adhesives
•  Assembly

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