Glossary of Terms

Posted on 24, March, 2020

Last Modified on 24, March, 2020

Glossary of Design, Print & Trade Show Terms


  • CMYK: CMYK is the color profile used in print. It stands for cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K).
  • DPI: DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and is a measurement of the number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of 1 inch. The higher the DPI, the higher quality a printed image will be. For our printing purposes, we request your artwork be a minimum of 120 DPI.
  • Pantone Matching System: The Pantone Matching System, or PMS, is a universal system that helps in color identification and matching. It uses a numbering system to identify colors, which means our printer can recognize and accurately print your color the way that you intended it.
  • Resolution: Resolution is a measurement used to describe the sharpness and clarity of an image or picture. A higher resolution means a sharper image.
  • Step and Repeat: The “step and repeat pattern” is a duplicate image pattern that includes two-to-three logos or designs in a row that repeat the same pattern. Step-and-repeat designs are most commonly used as a branding tool for companies at trade shows and special events where there will be a lot of photo opportunities.
  • Vector art: Vector art is created using vector illustration software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator. These programs create art that can be scaled infinitely without any loss of quality.


  • Tension Fabric: Tension fabric is a fabric cover that is stretched over a rigid frame. The material is designed to fit the design of frame it is being pulled onto. Industry-wide, this is also referred to as a pillowcase graphic.
  • SEG: SEG is short for silicone edge graphics. Silicone edge graphics get their name from the thin silicone strip that is sewn directly into the edge of the graphic. This strip is pressed snuggly into a recessed groove within a frame, which allows you to pull your graphic tight for a seamless, wrinkle-free appearance.
  • PVC: PVC is a common, strong but lightweight plastic used in construction. PVC signs are printed on a high-quality flatbed UV printer to ensure the high-resolution print-ready artwork you submit when you place your order is reproduced with clarity and vibrant colors. PVC is weather-resistant, making it a great option for outdoors.
  • Foam Core: Foam core, also referred to as foam board, is a lightweight and easily cut material. It consists of a board of polystyrene foam clad with an paper facing on either side. Foam core signs are printed with an intense UV printing process to produce a high-quality printed output that will not fade over time.
  • Max Metal:  Max metal signs are full-color aluminum signs that are printed with a powerful UV printing process for a vivid printed output.
  • Adhesive vinyl: Adhesive vinyl, or removable vinyl decals, easily adhere to any flat, clean surface. They can be removed just as easily to be moved to another surface without leaving any damage.
  • Corrugated plastic: Corrugated plastic refers to plastic-sheet products that are produced from high-impact polypropylene resin. It is a light-weight but tough material which can easily be cut. Corrugated plastic is great for outdoor and temporary signage.
  • Vinyl vs. Mesh vinyl banners: Vinyl banners are durable, full color prints on resilient vinyl material that can be used indoors or out. Mesh vinyl banners are made of the same vinyl material, but feature tiny perforations throughout to help decrease wind resistance. The miniscule holes throughout the vinyl will not disturb your custom image, but will decrease wind resistance and therefore increase graphic visibility.
  • Hook and loop: Hook and loop consist of two components: typically, two different lineal fabric strips which are attached to opposing surfaces. The first strip features tiny hooks, the second features smaller loops. When the two are pressed together the hooks catch in the loops and the two pieces bind. The pieces can be separated by pulling the two surfaces apart, making a "ripping" sound.
  • Grommets: Grommets are an eyelet placed in a hole in a sheet or panel. It’s purpose is to prevent the sheet or panel from being torn when a rope, cable, or chain is passed through the hole.
  • Window perforations: Window perforations are printed on a one-sided adhesive 6mil vinyl material. When applied to solid, clear surfaces, the custom printed side can be viewed from the front of it and the backside remains clear with perforations. Window perforations provide windows with privacy and can shade and cool down rooms with the black backing.
  • Window cling: Made of a durable adhesive 7.0 mil vinyl laminate, window cling stickers can be easily applied and adhered to any glass surface. The durable adhesive will not peel or rip once adhered.
  • Stay-flat vinyl: Our most popular choice for retractable banner stands. This is a durable selection for retractable banners that does not curl along the edges like traditional vinyl.
  • Bond paper: A heavy-weight paper, available in either gloss or matte finish on many items.
  • Polyester satin: A matte-finish, tear-resistant, polyester film with a solid gray backing for light-blocking capabilities. Another great curl-free option.


  • Dye sublimation: Commonly referred to as dye sub, dye sublimation printing is a two-step printing process that creates some of the most vibrant and durable prints we offer. Special inks are used to print custom images in reverse onto a transfer paper that is heat resistant. The paper is inserted into a heat press along with your fabric. The sublimation process takes the ink, which is a solid on the transfer paper, to a gas, by turning the ink back into a liquid and then turning it back into a solid that becomes part of the fabric. This printing process results in the ink being dyed into the substrate, which means it will resist fading and won’t simply scratch off.
  • UV printing: UV printing is a type of printing where ink is laid on a substrate. Once a UV ink is printed, it's exposed to concentrated UV light which solidifies the ink. Since UV ink is denser, it can result in higher print quality, reduced color bleed and sharper images. UV prints are durable and long-lasting.



  • Pop Up: Pop-up banners, or pop-up displays, consist of a fabric banner which is created by using a dye sublimation printing process. The hardware of pop-up banner displays is collapsible without having to remove the fabric graphic. Generally, pop-up banners are great when serving as a backdrop to a trade show or event because most of the dimensions are horizontal and are perfect for a step-and-repeat pattern design. Our pop-up banners are called “Quick Fabric”.
  • Point-of-Purchase: POP displays, otherwise known as point-of-purchase displays, are used mainly by retail stores in many industries to draw on the purchasing impulses of the consumer. They are often found at eye level for maximum consumer exposure. Point-of-purchase signage and displays are also used in concentrated areas of stores to help with branding and targeting.
  • Directional banners: Banners used for showing the location of or direction to something, i.e., a parking lot, restrooms, checkout, or coat check.


Trade Show

  • Drayage: In the trade shows world, drayage refers to the transportation of booth items such as displays and collateral from a carrier’s delivery vehicle to your booth space.
  • Cartage: Moving booth items over a short distance, and the fee charged for transporting freight.
  • Bill of Lading: A Bill of Lading is a document that states the terms between a shipper and a transportation company.
  • Advanced Receiving: This is the location set by the management of a show where freight is received before the start of the show. This is also where freight is stored before being transported to the show at the appropriate time.
  • Backwall: The rear of an exhibit.
  • Island Exhibit: A trade show display surrounded by aisles on all four sides.
  • Consignor & Consignee: A consignor is a person who sends goods, while a consignee is a person to whom goods are shipped.
  • Floor Manager: A Floor Manager is an individual that represents the management of a trade show, and who is responsible for the entire exhibition area. It is the job a floor manager to make sure the show runs smoothly.
  • Lead Tracking: Lead tracking is a system used to conduct follow-ups with prospects gathered during a trade show. This could be a manual or automated system.
  • Swag: Stuff We All Get, this refers to the promo items given away at a trade show or other event.
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