GALVANIZING The process by which steel or iron is protected by a zinc coating or plating, achieved by hot-dipping the metal into molten zinc or by electrolysis. The galvanized coating protects the underlying metal for between 15 and 30 years, but requires a special primer before coating.
GATEWAY SIGN Typically a sign at the entry to a neighborhood or large facility, graciously announcing the entrance to a grand destination. Also called precinct sign.
GAUGE A measure of the thickness of sheet metal. In the sign industry, most sheet metal ranges from 10 to 26 gauge.
GFRC See glass-fiber reinforced concrete.
GILDING Considered by many to be the highest form of sign art, gilding is the application of thin metal sheets to glass, signs, and vehicles. After the work surface is clean and the design is marked out, a gelatin sizing is brushed on the area to be gilded. The gold leaf is lightly applied to the work site using a gilder's tip and static electricity. After the entire area is dry, the gold leaf is burnished and holes and imperfections in the gild are filled. The final step, if the gild is reversed on a window, is painting the backs of the letters (and an outline) or outlining them if it is a direct gild. On outdoor application, a protective clear coat is sometimes applied when the gilding is on incised stone.
GLASS SIGNS Painting, carving, sandblasting and/or etching are the most popular ways to decorate glass for signage.
GLASS-FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETE (GFRC) Concrete with an integral strengthening admixture of short alkali-resistant glass fibers.
GLAZE A ceramic coating matured to a glassy state on a formed ceramic article such as tile. This is achieved through application of intense heat in a kiln. The term also refers to the material or mixture from which the coating is derived.
GLAZING 1. The act or process of furnishing or fitting with glass. 2. A transparent or translucent color applied to modify the effect of a painted surface.
GLOSS The shine on a smooth surface, such as paint or vinyl. Varying degrees of gloss are high gloss (also called "mirror finish"), semigloss, eggshell, satin, matte, etc.
GLOSSIMETER A device used to measure the reflective degree of a surface, from specular (mirror finish) to matte (dull, nonreflecting).
GOLD LEAF Gold manufactured into thin leaves; the gold used in gilding. Gold leaf comes between sheets of tissue, with each leaf 3 3/8" square. The leaves are packaged in books of 25, and a cardboard box of 20 books is sold as a pack. Gold leaf comes in a range of colors and karats, with 14 to 18 karat for use on interior applications such as glass. The best gold leaf, 23 karat, is reserved for exterior work on vehicles, signs, and architectural applications.
GOOSE NECK The curved support for a light fixture normally constructed out of steel conduit. It is used on billboard and storefront signs as a traditional solution.
GRADATION / GRADIENT Steps of transition between two colors or between black and white, created by mixing percentages of a dominant and secondary .
GRADE The contour of the ground surface, whether in its natural state or after development. The placement of the signs is often measured as height above grade.
GRADE 2 BRAILLE Grade 2 Braille is similar to Grade 1 Braille, but it includes additional characters and character combinations representing contractions of certain words and word components such as "the" and "ation." Considerable care must be taken to translate grade 2 Braille correctly, using a computer-based or other translation program, and it must be proofread by a Braille proofreader to approve all final artwork.
GRID TUBES Neon tubes laid out in regularly spaced parallel or concentric lines for lighting translucent signs or channel letters.
GRIT WHEEL The motor-driven roller that moves material through a friction-feed plotter. The grit feed wheel is usually machined to roughen its surface and provide a better grip on the material; some are still coated with a coarse, fine-grit material to provide traction, hence the name.
GROMMET A reinforced metal eyelet found in banners used to receive cords or other fasteners.
GROUND SIGN A freestanding sign that is mounted on poles or braces, with no secondary support.