How-To: Choose The Right Substrate

March 8, 2019

Choosing the right substrate, or material, for your sign can be an important choice. Substrates can have a huge impact on durability and overall aesthetic. As your project partner, we are happy to provide suggestions based on what you’re looking to use the sign for, but it never hurts to have some basic knowledge in your back pocket!

Let’s break down some common options and what they’re used for: 

Coroplast: Coroplast is a corrugated plastic backer, often used for temporary or signs that are going to be used for a short period of time. This material is budget friendly, allows for quick turn around, and is easy to replace. It can also look like a higher quality product from a distance, however up close ridges from the corrugation will be visible.

Foamcore: Like coroplast, this product is a light-weight, paper product with a wood fiber outer layer. This medium is commonly used for office displays, kiosks, POP, exhibits and other temporary displays. This product should be used for indoor signs, since it’s paper base is not resistant to weather. Also – if you are transporting this project, be mindful of the edges coming into contact with other surfaces.

Gatorboard: Gatorboard is a lightweight, polystyrene foamboard bonded between two layers of ultra thin polystyrene veneer. Uses for this material are similar to foamcore, like custom shaped signs, displays, easels, and other temporary signs. 

Acrylic: Acrylic is a versatile product that can be used in many projects. Available in multiple translucence levels and thicknesses, they’re perfect for lobby displays, back-lit signs of all types, 3D lettering, and more. This material looks great when mounted on stand-offs. 

Alupanel: Alupanel is a aluminum composite material, made by layering two thin sheets of aluminum on either side polyethylene plastic core. This material is preferred for medium to long-term uses, since it is strong and will stand up to outdoor elements. We recommend this for building signs, post signs, address signs, and other signs meant to last for long periods of time.  

PVC: PVC is lightweight, yet rigid and durable plastic based material. It is ideal for medium-term signs for use both indoors and outdoors. It’s commonly used for menu boards, point of purchase, and directional signs.

Have questions for us? We’re happy to provide you with specific recommendations based on what you will be using your sign for – ask us about booking a no-cost consultation with one of our visual communication experts. Contact Speedpro Imaging Burloak today. 905-582-4873

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