Tips from a durable outdoor sign printer to choose the best custom sign materials

So Many Options: The Top Tips for Choosing Custom Sign Materials

You have your message. You know what you’re selling. You know it’s a quality product.

Now you just need to let the world know what you already know.

The easiest way to do that is through a custom sign. Whether it’s a window sign, a menu board, or a sign for over the door, you need your sign to stand up to years of business.

Here’s a quick way to know what type of sign materials you need to use for your custom sign. Ask yourself these questions:

Is It an Outdoor Sign?

The sign material needs to stand up to the elements. This means you need to know if it’s going to be outside or not. Sunlight, wet weather, and other daily wear-and-tear means that outdoor signs need to be hardier than indoor signs.

Some good outdoor options include:

  • Sintra Board: This weatherproof, rigid material is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It does not warp or bend. It’s easy to print on and often provides a nice matte finish. It’s a good choice for a permanent outdoor sign.
  • Coroplast: This material is the brand name for corrugated plastic or plastic cardboard. It is ultra-light, and one of the most economical options. This is best used as a temporary outdoor sign.
  • Dibond: This aluminum composite is two aluminum sheets with a layer of polyethylene between them. It is extremely durable and can be cut into a large variety of shapes. This provides many options for signage. It is noncorrosive, and weather-resistant. You can choose from a gloss or matte finish.

There is a larger variety of sign materials for indoor signs. Placement of signs will have the largest impact on what material you can choose.

Does It Need to Be Double-Sided?

If your sign is hanging on a wall, no problem. You can choose almost any sign material. However, if your sign needs to be double-sided, you have some restrictions.

For a double-sided sign, you should avoid:

  • Lexan: This is a polycarbonate sheet material that is very UV-resistant.
  • Magnetic: This sign will have one magnetic side that allows it to stick to metals, such as cars, as a means of hanging the sign.

Does It Need to Be a Custom Shape?

Some sign materials are easier to cut than others. Some only come in a stock shape.  If you want a custom shape for your sign, there are a couple of materials you’ll have to skip over.

Pass on the following for a custom shape:

  • Foam Core Ultra: This material is a piece of foam coated on both sides with plastic. It is very lightweight and scratch resistant.
  • ARMOUR-Wood: This is two pieces of aluminum with a solid wood core.
  • Alumalite: This is a panel of aluminum composite with a corrugated polyallomer core.

Know Your Sign Materials

You need your sign to deliver your message clearly. Don’t let your message get lost by a bad sign design that warps or cracks because it is made from the wrong sign materials.

Use this quick guide to help inform your sign material decisions.

Need more help deciding the right custom sign for you? Contact us for answers to all your questions or for a free quote.


Are you looking for quality outdoor signage to increase your visibility? As a durable outdoor sign printerAZ Banners offers affordable, professional outdoor banners, signs, and more that will hold up to the elements. Get started on yours today by requesting a quote online or calling 480-718-0544!

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