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Glossary of Terms

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F

Fabricate: To manufacture a sign or major sign components.
Fabricated letter: A dimensional letter typically fabricated from sheet metal.
Facade: The exterior walls of a building, typically the front or the most prominent side of the building.
Face: Typically refers to the visible message area of a sign. (Also called sign face)
Fascia sign: A flat sign that is mounted parallel to a wall or other vertical surface and typically does not project from the wall.
Fasteners: General term for nuts, bolts, screws, clips and any other mechanical device that are used to hold a sign together.
Fiber optics: Thin strands of specially manufactured plastic or glass used to direct light from a source to a given destination.
Fiber-optic display: A sign that utilizes fiber optics to create or illuminate the sign's message.
Fiberglass: A strong, lightweight material created from tiny glass threads woven into a fabric and then hardened using a special polyester resin. Fiberglass can be used to create sign components of varying sizes and shapes.
Filament lamp sign: An illuminated sign using incandescent tungsten filament lamps.
Fill pressure: A measure of the amount of inert gas pumped into a neon lamp.
Fingerpost sign: A post-mounted directional sign having one or more panels each of which point in the direction of a particular destination.
Fire retardant: A chemical compound applied to a material that reduces the material's flammability and retards the ability of fire to spread across its surface.
First surface: That element or layer that comprises the outermost surface of a sign.
Flag: A sign made of non rigid material such as canvas or vinyl, and having no enclosing or supporting framework. A flag is typically rectangular or triangular in shape, and is attached at one end to a pole. Often intended for temporary use, a flag can be screen printed or digitally printed. (See also banner and pennant.)
Flammability: The relative ability of a material or substance to support combustion.
Flange: On a sign, it typically refers to the 90 degree angle trim piece around the edge of a sign that holds the sign face in place.
Flashing sign: An illuminated sign having an intermittent or flashing light source as a means of drawing attention to its message.
Flat cutout letter: A non-illuminated letter cut from a metal sheet or plate stock.
Flat screen: Generic term for an LCD display.
Flex face: A sign face made of a flexible material stretched over a supporting frame.
Fluorescent lamp: A light source consisting of a glass tube lined with a phosphor coating and filled with mercury vapor. When an electric current is applied, the gas emits ultraviolet radiation that in turn excites the phosphor coating causing it to radiate visible light. Fluorescent lamps are more energy efficient than incandescent lamps.
Font: A set of letters and numerals sharing the same design characteristics. Examples of font sets include Times New Roman and Helvetica. (Also called typeface.)
Footing: The base of a sign's supporting structure. The footing is typically secured to a foundation or other anchor on a building or structure.
Foundation: A concrete substructure that anchors a sign and its supporting structure to the ground. Local building codes stipulate depth of foundations. (See also footing.)
Four-colour process: A printing process that uses the four essential ink colours of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) to create a full range of colours on a printed surface. (Also called process colour.)
Frangible sign mount: : A type of sign foundation or base that allows a sign pole or other attached support structure to break away cleanly if struck by a motor vehicle, thereby reducing the force of impact to the occupants of the vehicle. These are required by law in many areas. (Also called a breakaway foundation.)
Freestanding sign: A sign that is not attached to a building, has its own support structure and is typically secured to a foundation or with guy wires.
Frequency: The number of times a typical viewer has the opportunity to see a sign and its message over a given period, typically four weeks.