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Written by Daniel Lummis

What are the Best Materials to Use for Outdoor Business Signs?

While most businesses today have transitioned to digital advertising, there are still brick-and-mortar stores that make use of outdoor signage. Outdoor signs help businesses draw in foot traffic by leading customers to your shop. It’s a tried and true method for advertising your products and services, especially if your store is located in a highly-populated area with plenty of pedestrian traffic.

One of the most important factors to consider when creating an outdoor business sign is the material it is made of. You want your signage to withstand the effects of inclement weather and remain in good condition for years to come. Let’s take a look at some of the best materials that you can use for your outdoor signage.

Aluminium

Aluminium is an ideal material for outdoor signs because of its inherent characteristics. It’s durable, lightweight, and affordable, thus making it versatile enough for all sorts of outdoor signages. Aluminium signs come in a variety of thicknesses, with the thinnest being a .040-gauge sign and the thickest being .125-gauge aluminium which is commonly used for heavy-duty highway signs.

Vinyl

Outdoor vinyl signs (banners) are quite inexpensive and are relatively easy to fit into your intended installation area. Whilst they have a limited expected life span of a few years, they are perfect for making creative outdoor signs to advertise an upcoming sale or to announce your store’s grand opening.

Vinyl signs are also used for creating custom signage for your marketing campaigns. Campaigns usually last for only 6 months and using outdoor vinyl can help you save a lot of money. With the right level of care, vinyl signs can last for up to 2 years.

Dibond

Dibond is an aluminium composite material that uses two painted aluminium sheets sandwiched around a core thermoplastic called polyethylene. The plastic core gives Dibond signs exceptional strength and with the aluminium sheeting on the outside, you can expect it to last longer than traditional plastic signs.

Dibond signs can also be cut into virtually any shape or size, allowing you to create unique signs that truly capture the attention of your costumers. Even though it generally costs less than aluminium, Dibond is great if you want a resilient yet versatile material for your outdoor signs.

Polyester

Polyester is mainly used for creating feather flags that are weather resistant and extremely durable. If you want to draw attention to your product or service, then a polyester-made feather flag is the way to go. You can use any design you wish and the flags come in different heights from 1.5 metres all the way up to 4.5 metres, and have a variety of base types dependent on the  area they are being used.

Acrylic

Acrylic is available in a number of different thicknesses and finishes. Sign makers normally use acrylic in range from 3mm through to 20mm thick. Opal Acrylic can be used in light box faces that illuminate at night. Clear or opal acrylic is used in the manufacture of very classy reception signs. Acrylic can also be cut and formed to various shapes and letters. Logos can be cut from acrylic and installed directly to a solid wall surface, or ‘stood-off’ the wall to create a 3 dimensional sign with depth. It can be laser cut, or router cut. Acrylic is a very long lasting and versatile material for creating outstanding looking business signs for a very reasonable investment.

Weatherproofing your outdoor signs

While the materials we’ve mentioned have excellent weather-resistance, not all of them are fully weatherproof. 

Outdoor wayfinding signs are usually made of aluminium or acrylic. To make these signs weather-proof, have them printed using a UV inhibitor. Specific signage printers should be printing with an outdoor suitable ink. Printed signage vinyl should always be protected with a clear vinyl over-laminate film. The ink will be protected from the sun’s rays and the design will last far longer compared to traditional printing ink.

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