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Choosing the Right Sign Material for your Application

Posted by Anita Bihun on

Choosing the Right Sign Material for your Application

In our 40 years of working with our customers, the first place we start in determining your sign requirements is:
Where are you using the sign – indoors or outdoors?
This information helps us determine what sign material will work best for your application. 

The list of sign materials available to make your sign is long!  The wide variety of materials gives you many options for both indoor and outdoor signage. When you are tasked with the responsibility of signing a building, parking lot, construction site or school, how do you know what sign materials to use and where to use them?
This is where we come in! 

There are a number of factors to consider to identify the sign materials that best fit your need:

Is the sign being used for indoor or outdoor use?
As a general rule, of course, signs that will be used outdoors need to be made of a stronger, more durable sign material to withstand weather conditions, moisture and damage. The most common outdoor sign material is aluminum.  Aluminum is a quality outdoor sign material that is lightweight, durable and long-lasting, and is strong enough for post mounted signs. Aluminum is also a good option for harsh indoor environments. 

Signs for indoor use are usually made of plastic, most commonly either polystyrene or coroplast material. Both these materials are light weight and easy to install which make them a good option for indoor use.

Is the sign for temporary use or long-term use?
When choosing your sign materials, lifespan is one of the main considerations. The length of time you need your sign to last will help determine the material that best fits that time frame. Different sign materials have different lifespans that affect how long you can expect your sign to last.
Aluminum is an excellent sign material choice for a long-term use. Aluminum features a surface which is corrosion-proof and incredibly durable. This makes aluminum ideal for outdoor applications such as fence, building, job site, parking-lot and traffic signs.
Coroplast is the solution for temporary use. It is a light weight corrugated plastic material that is low cost for short-term outdoor signs such as construction site, job site and event signage.  The material can last up to 1-2 years outdoors depending on conditions.

Will the sign be mounted on a flat surface or post mount?
Outdoors: Signs mounted on a building or other flat surface, can be made of aluminum for smaller size signs. For larger outdoor flat mount signs, dibond aluminum is recommended. It is lighter weight than aluminum and is best suited for large flat surface mount signs.
Post mounted signs need to be made of aluminum or steel for the durable rigidity that is required.

Indoors: Indoor signs are generally made of lighter weight materials, such as styrene, sintra or coroplast, which makes for easy installation of your signs to a wall, door or hanging signage. 

What environment will the sign be exposed to?
Consideration of the environment your sign will be in is important to determine the right sign material.
Indoor environments can include anything from a harsh environment due to chemical exposure, moisture and high pressure washdowns to hot; cold; office; and warehouse environments. Knowing the environment your sign will be exposed to helps us determine the sign material that will hold up best in that environment.
All outdoor signs will be exposed to the elements to some degree. Will your sign be exposed to direct sunlight, rain, snow, heat, humidity, or wind?  Whatever your local weather conditions are like, we will factor this in to help determine the sign material that works best.

Please browse our Material Descriptions list

As you can see, when it comes to choosing the right sign material, it's important to consider all of these key factors to ensure durability, visibility, longevity and effectiveness of your signage.  We will work with you to choose the sign material that meets your needs and budget while still effectively providing the safety messages necessary to keep everyone safe.

For all your sign requests, please contact Matt Zelich

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