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Glossary of Terms



Raceway: A metal structure enclosing the electric components of a sign that may also serve as a mounting structure for the sign. (See also deck cabinet.)
Raster:  Matrix composed of individual pixels, used to form an image on a computer or television screen.  Raster images are pixel-based rather than math-based and as such are not fully scalable.  (See also vector.)
Readability: The quality of a sign's overall design that allows the viewer to correctly interpret the information presented on it. Letter size and style, legibility of typeface, colour contrast between letters and background, and a sign's layout all contribute to readability. (See also conspicuity.)
Readerboard:  A readerboard is a sign on which copy can be changed manually. It usually consists of a panel on which individual letters or images are mounted. It can also be placed so that it can be easily seen from a passing motor vehicle.
Recall: In signage, this refers to the ability of a viewer to remember the message even when they are not viewing it.
Recognition: Refers to the ability of a viewer to identify the message.
Reflectorized sign: A sign that has been coated with a highly reflective material that has the ability to bounce light beams back to their source, such as from a car headlight back to the driver.
Registered trademark:  A trademark that has been officially registered with the government by its owner. Indicated by the symbol ®. (See also trademark.)
Registration:  In multicolour printing, registration also refers to the correct alignment of the colours with one another.
Regulatory sign: Signs installed by various government bodies to inform the public of traffic laws and other regulations.
Relief: The projection of art from a flat surface.
Rendering: An artistic sketch or representation of a design concept.
Resin transfer: A method of heating a coloured resin material and printing it onto vinyl. The resin is sublimed, or momentarily turned into a gas without passing through a liquid state. The gas seeps into the vinyl and then solidifies, creating a permanent image.
Resolution: In digital images, the number of pixels shown on a screen; the higher the number of pixels in a given space (i.e., the greater the density of pixels), the more precise the pictured image.
Retainer: The projecting rim around the sign face that holds it in place.
Retardant: An additive that slows the drying time of ink.
Retractable awning: A cantilevered structure, entirely supported from a building, and constructed so that the awning cover and supporting frame retracts completely against the building. This relieves the awning from wind, rain and snow pressure and loads normally associated with fixed frame awnings or canopies.
Return: The sides of a channel letter.
Reveal: An indented detail on a sign.
Reverse channel letter: A channel letter that has a face and sides but no back, and is pinned out from a background surface. When the neon tube inside the letter is illuminated, it produces a halo effect around the letter.
Revolving sign: A sign that has the ability to turn through 360 degrees.
RGB Display: Any high-quality electronic screen display that makes use of the three primary colours red, green & blue to produce a full-colour display.
RIP (Raster image processing):  Refers to hardware and software that converts graphic files into a format that can be output to a printer or plotter to produce a finished output.  This action is commonly referred to as “RIPping” a file.
Roof sign: A sign structure that is installed directly on or above a building roof and is targeted at the distant or motoring public.  Many local sign codes have quite restrictive roof sign rules.
Router-cut sign: Describes a sign cut with a router using various shaped cutting blades.
Routing: The elimination of material in a substrate using a rotary cutting tool. (See also CNC router)