At Hype Signs we are always their to provide free advice to customers including which materials will suit your requirements best. To give you a head start we’ve put together a basic guide to sign materials to help you make the right choice.

Aluminium Composite Signs

Aluminium Composite also known as ACM can be used for a large number of sign applications from internal plaques and exhibition stands to outdoor shopfront signage.  If your looking for a medium/long term sign with great weather resistance then ACM is definatley a good place to start.

Key Benefits/Disavantages

  • Cheaper and lighter than Aluminium
  • Internal and external use
  • Available in 3 and 4mm thickness for varying applications
  • Available in a range of standard colours plus can be flood coated to nearly any colour
  • Low thermal expansion compared to plastics

PVC Foamboard Signs

PVC Foamboard such as Forex and Foamex is another very versatile material.  Available in a range of colours in 3mm, 5mm and 10mm thickness it is a cost effective solution to many sign applications.  Foamboard can be used internally and externally due to its low moisture absorbtion qualities and benefits from being much lighter than most sign substrates.  If you are looking for an affordable business sign that wont be subject to extreme heat changes then PVC foam board could be for you.

Key Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Cost effective
  • Internal and external use
  • Available in 3mm, 5mm and 10mm  thickness
  • Available in a range of standard colours plus can be flood coated to nearly any colour
  • Suitable for direct printing
  • External use best suited to shaded areas

Acrylic Signs

The use of Acrylics for sign substrates has been reduced greatly since the introduction of Aluminium Composites which handle thermal expansion better and are less costly.  That said however if you are looking for a high class internal sign for your business reception or shop or  flat cut letters to use with stand offs on your chosen substrate,  acrylics can really look the part.  Available in a large number of colours and thickness’s

Key Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Internal and external use (does suffer from thermal expansion)
  • Available in range of thickness’s
  • Available in a large range of standard colours
  • High end look ideal for prestigious signs
  • Expensive when compared to alternative materials

Aluminium Signs

Although more costly Aluminium is still popular in the sign industry for use in products such as sign trays.  It has very good life expectancy and can be formed into a variety of shapes both 2D and 3D.  If you looking for a high quality, long term sign for your business, shop or organisation then aluminium is a good choice.  We are able to powder coat your signs to any RAL Colour before adding vinyl graphics, flat cut letters or built up 3d letters to really give the wow factor.

Key Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Internal and external use
  • Available in any RAL Colour to order
  • Long lasting
  • More costly than some alternatives

Corrugated Plastic (Correx)

Used primarily for short term applications Correx makes a great choice for those on a tight budget.  Made up of fluted plastic, Correx is extremely light and easy to handle when installing.  This materials is great for short term site boards which can be displayed by tradesman for the duration of short term projects.

Key Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Internal and external use
  • Can be flood coated to most colours
  • Very affordable
  • Short term/temporary use only
  • Doesn’t have the wow factor of high priced substrates
  • Panels require a solid surface to fix to

Cut Vinyl

Not all vinyl is equal!  When it comes to choosing vinyl for your signs or vehicle graphics their are a number of things to get right.  Vinyl generally comes in two forms, Calendared or Cast.  Calendared Vinyls can then be split into two further groups, Monomeric or Polymeric.

Monomeric Vinyl

Monomeric vinyls are the most cost effective, due to the make up of these vinyls they are really not suitable vehicle graphic and fascia signs, short term outdoor and interior work are the realm of the Monomeric film.  Due to the way these vinyls are made they will often suffer from shrinkage revealing the adhesive beneath, dirt will quickly stick to this leaving an unsightly black outline.

Key Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Low Cost
  • Limited Colours
  • Not suitable for outdoor or long term applications

Polymeric Vinyl

Polymeric vinyls are produced with added polymers to reduce shrinkage and as such do not suffer as severely as Monomeric in this regard.  Although better in performance than the Monomeric, caution should still be taken when using this vinyl for vehicle graphics, this vinyl may not be suitable for recess’s where stretching in will be required, in these instances a Cast vinyl is recommended.

Key Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Lower cost than cast vinyl
  • Not suitable for use on vehicle recess’s

Cast Vinyl

Cast vinyl is made using a totally different method to calendered vinyl and as such benefits from different properties.  When considering vehicle graphics it is important to ensure that anything that will need to be installed across recess’s in your bodywork or over rivets will more often than not require a cast product.  Cast vinyl is also more resistant to colour fade and chemicals and can be manufactured to specific colours on request.

Key Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Higher Cost
  • Wide range of colours
  • Suitable for outdoor or long term applications and vehicle graphics where recess’s are present
  • Resistant to fading and chemicals
  • Resistant to shrinkage

We hope this gives you and idea of what materials are available and might suit your next business sign, shop sign or vehicle graphics project.

If you have any questions about sign materials or your sign needs in general please dont hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.