When working with a signwriter to create your signage for advertising or branding it helps to know your options to ensure you choose something that is not only cost effective, lasts for the required length of time but most importantly, looks good. The look and feel of your signage can help to give your customers an expectation of the quality of product or service they are likely to receive when working with you. By understanding the typical materials you will be quoted on will help to understand the quality and the cost involved. The typical materials you will be quoted on will be alucobond, acrylic, corflute or vinyl signs; here are some tips to be aware of.
Working With Alucobond
Alucobond or Aluminium Composite Panels, is the most common material for branded signage or cladding in the industry. Think of it as a tasty ‘sandwich panel’ (which is another name for it) that has two aluminium cover sheets (0.3-0.6mm each) on the outside and a gooey polyethylene core. Mmmmm polyethylene.
For cost effectiveness, alucobond will be your choice for the fascia of an awning, pylon, directional or safety signs. Basically any type of sign that you need to last for more than 5 years. Alucobond has a number of benefits that have made it the signwriter’s and industry choice.
• Lightweight & workable into almost any shape
• No warping
• Weather resistant and durable
• Glossy finish
• Available in 80+ colours
Your signwriter will be able print your artwork or logo on a 5 year self-adhesive vinyl sticker that is then mounted onto your alucobond sheets or panels. Different sign writers order different sheet sizes, meaning that your sign may or may not have a join depending on the supplier’s standard sheet size. However, any sheet size can be custom made but then cost is more likely to increase. For example, the typical size sheet we use at VooDu Marketing is 1220 x 2440mm.
Working With Acryllic
Made from a substance typically derived from acrylic acid, acrylic is a clear, glass-like plastic that is usually used as a better replacement for glass. With a similar cost to alucobond, but used for different purposes, acrylic is a material perfect for indoor or outdoor use.
For indoor use you will typically find it inside office buildings or behind reception desks with a frosted glass appearance to add professionalism. For external use you are more likely to see it used for lettering that is glued or screwed into fascia or pylon signs or inside lightboxes.
The benefits of acrylic:
• Moulded or shaped to any size
• 92% of light can shine through
• Many times stronger than glass
• Half the weight of glass
• Scratches can be buffed out
While there are many pluses to the use of acrylic there are some downsides to be aware of. Environmentally, making acrylic releases poisonous fumes into the atmosphere and is harmful for those that make it. It is also a product that is difficult to recycle and isn’t biodegradable, meaning when it’s discarded it ends up in landfill. Physically, when scratched it can be buffed out however it doesn’t take much for it to be scratched and if left in direct sunlight for years discoloration is likely.
Working With Corflute
Perfect for cost effective temporary signage or short-term advertising solutions, corflute is a reliable signage option. Available in 3mm or 5mm thickness and made from plastic and corrugated like iron, corflute has become a versatile solution for both indoor and outdoor use. Typically used in A-frame signage, it allows businesses to interchange promotions on a regular basis.
The benefits of corflute:
• Light but sturdy
• Inexpensive and great for bulk orders
• Can be cut to any size
• Can be full colour printed
When using for outdoor purposes keep in mind that corflute won’t last forever and will begin to warp or bend if left outside for a long period. To get that little bit of extra time from your sign, especially if using it for A-frame signage, be sure to bring it inside at the end of each day.
Working With Vinyl
Vinyl can be used for a number of signage solutions with the ability of making it adhesive or not. Vinyl is great for creating banners with eyelets and rope that can be taken up or down for promotions or specials. Or vinyl can be used for adhesive purposes, be transparent or solid or shaped into lettering for fascia, window, door, or internal signage. Vinyl is also waterproof and UV resistant, meaning that the life of your vinyl, if cared for, can be years.
The benefits of vinyl:
• Resistant to moisture and humidity
• Strong and durable
• Can be manufactured in a variety of colours, both transparent and solid
• Low cost material to produce
• Can be custom made to shape or size
Before installing self-adhesive vinyl it’s critical to clean or wipe down the surface area with turpentine or something similar. If the area is dusty or dirty your vinyl will peel, so before a sign writer begins it is recommended to clean the area. If using vinyl for an outdoor banner, consider where this is to be displayed. If it’s in a windy spot, and quite sizable, you want to ensure it is secure to avoid causing injury. If unsure ask the sign writer to cut slits in the banner the help the wind blow through.