Backlit sign

A sign consisting of a cabinet containing a light source surrounded by one or more translucent faces, illuminated for visibility.


An electric sign, not including the components and structure. A cabinet is made up of a face and back, or two faces, along with the edge. (Also called can)

Channel letter

The outline of a letter, with extended sidewalls that create depth, into which a light source is placed.


The decorated surface of a sign; the area on which the copy and art is placed.

Flexible face material

Translucent material, usually decorated and then stretched across a frame to form awnings, billboards and other types of signage.

LED (light-emitting diode)

A semiconductor diode that emits light when voltage is applied; a solid state lighting component, used in signage for EMCs, channel letter illumination, edge lighting glass or acrylic panels or for various decorative lighting effects.

Medium-density overlay

An exterior grade plywood with an average veneer on both sides.

Message Center

Any sign that displays changeable copy through electronic or mechanical means.

Monument sign

A free-standing sign sitting directly on the ground or mounted on a low base.

Open channel letter

A channel letter that has no face and in which the neon tubing is visible.

Pantone Matching System (PMS)

Standardized series of thousands of colors, each with specific color formulations and identification number.

Pole sign

A free-standing sign, usually double-faced, mounted on a round pole, square tube or other fabricated member without any type of secondary support.


Any free-standing sign that is not a pole or ground sign.


A metal structure enclosing the electric components of a sign.

Reverse channel letter

Channel letter which has a face and sides but no back, and is pegged out from a background surface. When the inside of the channel is lit, it produced a halo effect around the channel letter.


Elimination of material in a substrate, using a tool bit machined to remove material.

Wall Sign or Wall mount

A single-face sign mounted on a wall.