RACEWAY A metal structure enclosing the electric components of a sign, exclusive of the transformer.
RAIN LAP A method for applying printed paper or vinyl sheets by starting at the bottom of the area to be covered and working upward. As each strip is applied, it overlaps the one below it, preventing rain form getting into the seam and weakening the bond with the substrate.
RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY (RAM) Computer memory available to the user for creating, loading, or running programs and for the temporary storage and manipulation of data, with rapid access.
RASTER IMAGE PROCESSING See RIP.
READABILITY The quality of a sign's overall design that allows the viewer to correctly interpret the information presented on it. Also, the optimum time and distance in which this can be done. Letter size and style, legibility of typeface, color contrast between letters and background, and a sign's layout all contribute to readability.
RECLAIMING Removing a screen-printing stencil from a screen mesh so it can be used again.
REFLECTIVE SHEETING Film with very small glass or glasslike bead materials encapsulated below its surface, creating the ability to bounce light beams back to their source, such as from a car headlight back to the driver. The amount of light reflected, along with the angle of vision for which the reflective property is effective, is rated in different grades, such as promotional, engineer, and highway.
REFLECTORIZED SIGN A sign that has been coated with a highly reflective material. See also reflective sheeting.
REGISTRATION 1. In screen-printing, the correct placement of the image to be printed on the substrate. 2. In multicolor printing, registration also refers to the correct alignment of the colors with one another.
REGULATORY SIGNS Signs installed by various government bodies to inform the public with of traffic laws and other regulations.
RELIEF The projection of art from a flat surface. The shortened form of "bas-relief."
REMOTE CONTROL A method for changing the message on electronic changeable copy signs, whereby the data is provided to the control console by telephone.
RENDERING An artistic sketch or representation of a design concept.
RESIN TRANSFER A method of heating a colored 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 resolidifies, creating a permanent image.
RESOLUTION 1. 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. 2. In plotting, the degree of accuracy with which a plotter will place a knife-head in relation to a theoretical, perfect location of a coordinate.
RETAINER The projecting rim around the sign face that holds it in place.
RETARDER / RETARDANT An additive that slows the drying time of ink.
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 360 degrees because of the presence of an electric motor to drive its movable parts. All or a portion of the sign may revolve at a steady or variable speed.
RGB DISPLAY/SIGN Stands for red-green-blue. Any high-quality electronic screen display that makes use of the three primary colors to produce a full-color display.
RIP (RASTER IMAGE PROCESSING) Software or hardware used to convert data to specific information needed by a printer or other digital output device to produce finished output. Action referred to as "RIPping" the file.
ROOF SIGN A sign structure that is erected on or above a roof, or that is installed directly on a roof's surface.
ROUTER-CUT SIGN Describing a sign cut with a hand router or by a computerized router, using various shaped cutting blades (in a variety of sign materials).
ROUTING Elimination of material in a substrate, using a tool bit that has been machined for this purpose. In computerized signmaking, using a CAD/CAM machine, a tool is programmed to eliminate material along a tool path created along x-, y-, and z-axes.