Signage Terminology Made Simple: J to O

There is nothing worse than an industry so full of complicated jargon that both clients and contractors have difficulty navigating its vocabulary just to get the job done. Signage and graphic design are both no exception to this so we have decided to compile some important “words” to help everyone navigate the industry a little easier. When you want professional help, starting with the group that defines the terms of the industry (in practice and in writing) is the best place to start. And, Behrends Group is doing just that.

Sign Terminology

Logo – A logo is a type of emblem or graphic mark that becomes commonly associated with a company or organization that aids its public recognition. Logos and symbols have been used for centuries to create a more succinct language of communication and sometimes to communicate while traversing linguistics boundaries. These days, logos are an essential part of any marketing plan and are among one of the first things generated in the building of a new company. As it invokes the initial impression of a company, a logo should consider many factors including its own cultural promotion and the message it is trying to convey about the company it symbolizes. A logo is a core identifier of an organization and will appear on its letterhead, business cards, websites and, of course, signage.

LED – LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode, meaning a semiconductor device that emits a visible light when electricity passes through it. Most of these lights are monochromatic, meaning that it occurs on a single wavelength, tends to emit less heat and are generally energy-efficient. These types of lights are used everywhere nowadays, lighting LCD displays, refrigerators, flashlights, all kinds of buildings and signage. LED message boards and signs are growing in popularity because of their flexibility in what they depict, full colour applications, and the dynamic nature of their advertising potential. LED signs are low-maintenance and use technology that has a half-life of almost 100,000 hours. Customizable to the point of pixilation quality and angle viewing, LED signs are becoming more popular as the go-to sign for public advertising and communication.

Lost Wax Casting – Also known as investment or precision casting, lost wax casting is the process by which a duplicate of a metal sculpture is made. Though modern methods do not always necessitate the use of wax to create a mould of the original object, the jargon can still be used in the industry today. The process can involve making a model of the original sculpture which is then used to make a mould. Molten wax (or another medium) is then poured into the mould. When it solidifies, it is removed and dipped into a slurry of silica or sand to make a shell, drying before being dipped again. When a piece is larger, it requires a thicker shell so the process can be repeated a number of times. When this is ready, it is placed in a kiln that melts out the wax and leaves the shell only. The shell is tested for imperfections before being immersed in a container of sand for pouring. Molten metal is poured into the shell which is then allowed to cool and harden. After this, the shell is finally cracked and the metal duplicate is finally released. Various finishing techniques may be applied to perfect the duplication.

Lit Signs – Lit signs are increasing in popularity in urban centers as a way for companies and organizations to get noticed, even at night. In particular neighbourhoods, these types of lights might even be the legislated norm with more business communities looking for visual cohesion with one another, particularly in kitschy areas or new subdivision developments. There are a number of lit signs that Behrends Group has on the offer and as technology changes, we continue to diversify your choices. The most common type of lit sign involves LED Front Lit channel letters with trim around the face of the letters (also known as an integrated retainer). These signs are very common but variations do exist and can include: front lit channel letters with no retainer, thinner trim, as well as rounded over and resined faces. Some companies prefer halo lit signs which refers to both Front and Back Lit channel letters which offers a different look depending on your needs. Other custom options from Behrends Group include special retainers that are extra wide, acrylic-faced letters that have invisible metal sidings, and black acrylic facing with white illuminated edges. The possibilities are wide and if there is something in particular you are looking for, we can likely accommodate it.

Memorial Signs – A crucial part of traditional human grieving rituals involves honouring and memorializing loved ones in performative or permanent ways. These can include specific burial sites, funerary rites and permanent grave markers too. It has been popular to offer homage to your loved ones by marking their grave with a bronze or aluminum memorial plaque. At Behrends, we pride ourselves on helping people through the grieving process by offering custom memorial plaques that are long-lasting and preserve the memory of your loved ones. The level of personalization in their memorial is completely up to you. Whether you choose to honour them at their funeral by adorning their special burial place, or you choose some other reminder of them to grace a special place (such as a bench or sanctuary), we are able to use a variety of mediums to make sure we get your tribute just perfect. Additionally, using PhotoSculpt technology, we can add a hyper-realistic image of your loved one to whichever medium you choose. In exacting detail, the imagery adds a level of personality to your memorial and helps in coping with your loss as you will be regularly reminded of them by seeing their image. As a timeless investment, the image of your loved one will grace their memorial, continuing to bring the smiles and fondness that they gave so freely while alive.

Mounting- Once you have your beautiful sign or plaque, the mounting of it becomes just as important as its overall quality and production. Without the proper mounting that works best for particular types of signage and without the knowledge to back that up, other sign companies can leave you with less than desirable results. At Behrends Group, we have decades of experience determining the best mounting methods for putting up our brilliantly designed and manufactured products because we know our work is not done until everything is perfect. Depending on the style of sign or plaque and the space it goes into, we might use blind mounting, French cleat, flush, thru-face, pin with offset or other styles of mounting brackets and techniques. Our mounting techniques are really only limited to what you envision and where you envision it. Given our level of experience, we know what will work best for the most lasting results so your signage endures the test of time and changing aesthetics. Our installation team is professionally trained and always learning new techniques to make sure the final result looks great and is durable as well.

Niche Plaques- Similar to memorial signs, niche plaques refer to memorial markers for mausoleum spaces or urns. As cremation increases in popularity, people are finding innovative ways to honour the remains of their loved ones and the lasting impression of a bronze plaque works brilliantly for this purpose. Like grave markers or headstones, niche plaques allow for personalization of the final resting place for your loved one’s remains. These plaques are cast bronze and come with a variety of customizable options including fonts, finishes, and patinas. Names, dates, quotes and PhotoSculpt imagery can make this plaque unique, timeless and lasting to honour the legacy of your loved one, no matter how they choose to be held.