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Help Settle an Argument Regarding Ordering Panfaces

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by lolfailure, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. lolfailure

    lolfailure New Member

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    I am having a disagreement with the installer at my shop on the terminology of some sign components and it's causing a bit of confusion. When he goes out to get measurements of existing cabinets he is bringing back the measurements of the trim size of the panface inside the sign and sometimes the retainer size plus measurements of the top extruded pan part of the panface which I have always known as the graphic or copy area. He is certain that this is called the "visual opening" however my understanding is that the visual opening is the distance from the inside edge of one retain to the inside edge of the opposite retainer. He claims that while this may be the case for flat faced signs that can have copy from retainer to retainer, the visual opening of a panface is defined differently because of the extrusion.

    Further he reasons that the trim size of the panface including the flange should be the only important measurements and that I should be able to extrapolate measurements of the cabinet he is surveying by adding about a quarter inch to the cut size. He claims that with other designers they had no trouble taking just these measurements and creating an accurately sized proof. I understand that the trim size is important for ensuring the sign is not too big or too small for the cabinet and his main focus is on preventing us from ordering a sign that is too big or too small to install once it's purchased and on a job site. But for the purposes of creating an accurate proof I am having difficultly using the graphic area+flange+sometimes retainer size or trim size to determine the size of the cabinet itself.

    Am I wrong? Or is he mixing up his terminology? If someone has the time, could you explain the most accurate way of ordering a panface for an existing sign cabinet?


    (Additionally, could anyone tell me if it is possible to determine the appropriate print size for a panface using perhaps the trim size/extrusion depth/flange size or does the manufacturing procedure vary too much to accurately estimate the angle of the extrusion? Sorry if this is a lot, I appreciate anyone who could take the time to help me understand this. It has been difficult to find other resources online that describe this clearly so I come here as a last resort!)
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Okay, without going batty with your explanation, you have the overall size and the live area size. Overall is what needs to fit into the lip to hold the faces in the retainer, while the live area is the area where the copy will be going. If you wanna get stoopid about it, you can continue to argue over meaningless junk, but if you two work at the same place , YOUR boss better make sure, y'all on the same page and create a standard y'all can follow to prevent mess-ups.
     
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  3. lolfailure

    lolfailure New Member

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    Unfortunately that's what I've come to expect from this place, a condescending reply that doesn't really resolve anything. Using different terminology to reiterate part of what I already said isn't helping me understand how we can get on the same page. He is giving me the "live area size" and "overall size" and expecting me to extrapolate the cabinet dimensions from that in order to create a proof and I am having difficulty explaining to him why that is difficult. If you cannot help me without "going batty" that's fine and please move on but there's no reason to be rude. I'm aware that the argument is stupid and I'm trying to educate myself so I can hopefully be more clear. Maybe I made a mistake calling it an argument? I didn't realize that would be taken so literally.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Well, it is Sunday evening...maybe
    Monday morning posts will make more sense. Lol

    I too would think just the cut size is important and the VO, as well as the depth of the pop-out.
     
  5. lolfailure

    lolfailure New Member

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    could you give me your definition of VO?
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    If you think that was condescending, then it appears you are evidently, in the wrong profession. Your original statement called it an argument, disagreement and all it really is, is you and your co-worker can't agree on anything. In my opinion, your co-worker is basically correct. You have some kind of mental block against working with others, whether it be your co-worker, your boss or people around here. You ask what is "VO" and yet you use it in your OP.

    Since we're non-helping and degrading to you, perhaps you could give us an actual VISUAL of your predicament . Show us what he gives you and what also you want ?? Try to help yourself, by providing us with actuals, instead of your wording, as you are very confusing to read.

    You don't give us any help by leaving your profile blank and not giving us some insight into your capabilities, either.

    :thankyou:
     
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  7. Jeff grossman

    Jeff grossman Member

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    They call it plastic coated cardboard- I got a good laugh at a clients expense( sorry Tom)
     
  8. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    When I survey, I give them the size of the overall panel, retainer sizes of the can, size of the flange on the face, depth of the pan and the visual opening (the area they can put graphics) I measure the outside dimensions of the can and figure out the face size that way, since that's really the easiest was to measure a pan face cause of the popout.
     
  9. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    I appreciate when a survey gives me three measurements in connection with a pan face—the cabinet size, the trimmed face size, and the flat area of the pan. Of these, the easiest to obtain is the cabinet size. So, why extrapolate? Is the extra time cutting into the profit on the job. If so, the job is being priced too low. It's possible that the installer just wants you to know that he is more knowledgeable than you and he's being an *ss about it. Or maybe he just likes using the word "extrapolate." A surveyor should give you whatever measurements you ask for rather than try to tell you how to do your job.

    It is difficult to work with people that are uncooperative. A person who is not a team player will always be an annoyance to work with, especially if you have a boss that will not instruct him to give you what you want rather than what he thinks you should have. Perhaps he is a wannabee designer and takes out his frustration on you. Or he's a hot dog who just wants to be more "expert" than you. Such a person can actually help you to appreciate someone that is easy to work with.

    Regarding terminology, many people I work with use wrong terminology, even people that have been in the business for years. Many call a monument sign a "marquee," for example, which can confuse a city sign code official that may be required to use terms with precision. Incorrect or inaccurate use of industry terminology is probably common in many trades. The problem, in part, is that people no longer read these days, and this has a tendency to lower people a little on the ignorant-meter.

    One newbie salesman I know insists that a "lighted" sign be called a "lit" sign. I'm okay with that, even though "lighted" sign has been an accepted term since I started in the 70s. On drawings, I actually use neither term. I call out an "internally-illuminated" sign, to match the city permit application language.

    The term "font" is now used incorrectly more than it is used correctly, both in and out of the sign and graphics industry. Consequently, people who use the words "font" and "typestyle" interchangeably are sometimes confused to learn that, in the US, a "font" is protected by copyright, but a "typestyle" is not. As the meanings between these terms continue to blur from popular usage, the definitions may eventually change permanently. But then, this is how language works, after all. It is never static, but constantly morphs and grows like a living, breathing animal.

    I have generally stopped making issues of correct terminology unless people ask my opinion. I just try to use words correctly myself to the best of my ability, especially in writing. When my salesman tells me he wants to use "Lexan acrylic" instead of "regular acrylic," I don't call him on it. I know what he means. Of course, I don't call out "Lexan acrylic" on a drawing because it makes me sound like a dufus. And I've stopped telling him that Plexiglas has only one 's' and should be capitalized. It just pisses him off.

    Regarding flanges, there is absolutely no standard for flange width, flange depth, or the angle of the flange return (I believe this is called the "draft" and is measured in degrees). I've worked in shops that do vacuum-forming and these dimensions often change due to a particular shop's standard practice, as well as what equipment and materials are being used, and even which person is making the face. Bigger companies that provide lots of pan faces to the industry will have some standardized measurements, however.
     
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  10. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Is the only issue you're having is figuring out the size of the cabinet? I think you answered this earlier in your post when he said to add a quarter inch to the cut size.
     
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  11. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Member

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    I still agree with Gino, even a shop 5 mins down the road might have a different way of describing different things. Hell, we have a guy in our shop that calls vehicle lettering a wrap. They know what they mean..

    So it’s essential that you and your install guy, or your boss, make a standard as to what you need your install guys to measure, and what terminology you use. No need to get pedantic about it, could be sorted in a single conversation instead of arguing about what’s called what.

    It shouldn’t be about what other designers needed, you need to properly explain what YOU need and make sure he knows what you’re talking about. Or he needs to explain why he’s only giving you x and y measurements.
     
  12. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Over all size plus 1/4" is your cabinet size
    Live area is your layout size
    Sounds like you guys "have a failure to communicate", The installer can call it anything he wants just as long as it gets the measurement right so it fits in. You just have to bring in your layout to the "live area" so it does not looked jammed up.
    Tell him to call it "layout area" from now on, problem solved. Live Area sounds like something at the zoo.
     
  13. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Just read Signbrad's post (smart man he is) on flanges on pan faces. I made pan faces years ago and you have to have less than a 90degree pan because when the vacuum pulls the heated plastic down a 90 is hard to release so every place is different on how the make their molds for easy release, especially if there are cutout copy on the mold.
     
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  14. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I like Brad and Johnny's term of "Live Area"... Asking someone for their "Visual Opening" could result in you getting slapped.
     
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  15. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Create a diagram with a spot for each measurement to be filled in.
    Then it doesn't matter what you call them
     
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  16. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    I think this is a food chain argument with installer being on the lower end and designer being the Alpha.
    You could tell by the way he tried to put Gino in his place with his growl.
     
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  17. lolfailure

    lolfailure New Member

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    I don't know where the idea comes from that I am difficult to work with here, my installer is skipping getting the overall size even though I am requesting it and he is using a changing definition of "visual opening" depending on if the sign is flat face or panface which is where it gets confusing: I think we should have a consistent definition as it relates to the opening of the cabinet and he disagrees and thinks it doesn't matter. I suppose calling it an "argument" has given the wrong impression: We aren't fistfighting and we get along perfectly well; I'm just trying to get some clarification on how the industry defines these things moving forward.

    My question here is whether that is a standard or something he is making up. Are all cabinets built to this specification? Part of the issue is that when if comes to scaling up an image of an existing cabinet the edges of the face are hidden behind the retainer so I can't use that to visually size things up. Is adding a quarter inch to the face's trim size always going to give me an accurate cabinet measurement?

    This is exactly my point to him, if he is already there getting measurements why not just get it anyway? He claims that he often forgets because nobody else ever asks for them. Appreciate this answer, it was very helpful. I am used to people using different terminology, we variously use ACM/Dibond/Omegabond for aluminum composite and it's fine but I have never heard of Visual Opening used for anything other than the inside retainer measurements of a cabinet. He agrees that this is the case for flat face signs but not pan faces, is that something you have encountered before?

    This seems to agree with my coworker, you're saying the visual opening could be defined as the extruded area where you put the graphics? And has nothing to do with the inside retainer measurements, correct?

    You couldn't be more wrong. Gino is a typically rude and unhelpful "power user", this isn't my first forum. But I appreciate everyone else who has added to this conversation.
     
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  18. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

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    Everyone knows that it goes:
    Sales Guy > Designer > Installer

    Except the installers... and the designers
     
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  19. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I guess so... But then again there were no textbooks or tests on this when I was learning so who really knows.

    I'm confused about the surveyor not getting the cabinet size though... that's how I measure the sign without removing the face... ya can't measure the face in place because of the extrusion... I wonder if he's removing these things to measure. I duno, that part confuses me.


    BTW, I hate installing crap that doesn't fit. We're the ones in front of the customer trying to fiddle with making stuff work. By the time you're out in the field, with a crane and a bucket and a crew of guys, you can't just cancel the job and bring it back for them to redo. Most of the time we're 20, 30 40 feet in the air with the wind blowing trying to get some swinging face to fit in place. No matter who is to blame, it's important you all are on the same page. The installer should be doing everything in his power to make sure you understand 100% what needs to happen. After all, they are the ones that loose when it doesn't go right.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Since you've made several accusations about me, may I make one about you ?? Whether ya like it or not, here goes.......

    This isn't my first trip around the block, either. I've seen your kind come and go (mostly go) here on s101 and in life in general...... and y'all have the same primadonna attitude. There's no helping you, unless someone strokes your ego and gives you sugar-coated answers, but to your liking. If you don't like my answers, regardless of how true they are, don't read them, but to make reckless claims and baseless allegations... I do believe that's what got you into this mess in the first place.

    Throwing some simple basic terms around, makes a designer.... NOT. Refusing to work with your fellow co-workers and find some common ground would almost be grounds for writing you up. You might try listening to yourself and figuring out what's really wrong with this picture...... :banghead:
     
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