3 Tips for Selecting the Best Material for Outdoor Signs

Huntington dental exterior sign

Outdoor signage plays a significant role in helping people find your business and advertising your products or services to customers. Having impactful outdoor signage is essential when you have a physical location for your business.

When investing in outdoor signage, selecting the right material is important because the material you choose will impact the sign’s appearance and longevity. Here are our top three tips when it comes to selecting the best material for your outdoor signage.

1. Consider the Location of Your Sign

The location of your sign will affect what material you choose. Will your sign be freestanding, attached to the front of your store, or will it need to be applied to windows and doors? 

Your sign’s location will also impact how well you can maintain the sign. For example, it won’t be realistic to clean a façade sign all the time, so the material for this particular signage location should be something that resists damage and doesn’t dirty easily.

A few signage material options based on the location include:

  • Acrylic. Acrylic is an excellent material to consider for outdoor signs that need lighting, such as backlit channel letters.
  • Aluminum Composite Material (ACM). ACM is a rigid sheet made of two sheets of pre-finished aluminum, bonded to a polyethylene core. Light-weight, without sacrificing durability, ACM sheets are often used for a variety of outdoor and indoor signage.
  • Vinyl. One of the best materials for window graphics, vinyl is also ideal for temporary signage, such as advertising promotions or events at your place of business.

2. Know Your Climate

Weather is another important consideration when looking for the best material for outdoor signage.

For example, suppose your business is in a location that frequently experiences high wind, rain, snow, ice, or a wide range of temperatures. In that case, the signage material needs to be able to withstand exposure to these elements without deteriorating.

Signage materials that hold up well in different types of weather include:

  • Acrylic. Acrylic holds up well even in areas that get a lot of moisture or sunlight. It also resists damage from chemicals and changes in temperature.
  • Aluminum. A lightweight signage material, aluminum is resistant to water damage, but it also resists scratches, which can be a concern in areas that see a lot of wind-driven debris.
  • High-Density Urethane (HDU). If you want a sophisticated look for your business’ signage, you can have the look of real wood with the weather resistance of HDU.  And HDU can be routed, sandblasted or shaped to look and appear like virtually any material.
  • Medium density overlay (MDO). A plywood base with a resin coating, MDO works well as a signage material for drier areas that don’t receive a lot of rain.

3. How Long You Need Your Sign to Last

Most businesses want their outdoor signage to last as long as possible, but certain signs don’t need to be as robust. For instance, window graphics often showcase promotions or new products, and so won’t need to be as durable as your business’ façade sign.

Temporary vinyl banners or signs also won’t need to last as long in many cases. Although vinyl is an affordable material, if you need a sign that will withstand the test of time, you’ll need to consider more durable materials.

HDU, acrylic, aluminum, MDO, ACM, and even PVC are all long-lasting signage materials that can help you achieve your business’ signage goals without compromising on quality or sacrificing your budget.

We Can Help With Your Outdoor Signage Needs

Do you need outdoor signage that lasts as long as possible, or are you looking for temporary signage for promotions? We can help at Legendary Custom Signs & Graphics. Let us help you weigh your options for all your outdoor signage materials: give us a call today at (571) 512-7446.


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