Sign Materials

Sign Materials

We are always happy to advise on the most suitable materials available for signs. Some of the most common ones are listed below. The materials are just the substrate or base, the print is generally applied via a vinyl graphic or printed directly on to the substrate using digital or screen print. The life of the substrate can vary depending on the situation and the print is UV stable permanent inks. We also offer engraved and chemically etched signs.


NB: Video includes music

Self-adhesive Vinyl:

Self-adhesive vinyl is an economic, flexible and versatile material suitable for a large range of interior and exterior applications where you already have a smooth surface. It will stick to most flat and curved surfaces including glass, plastic, metal and painted wood.

Rigid Plastic:

1mm rigid plastic is most commonly used for small standard health & safety signs when self-adhesive vinyl is not suitable. We would recommend Foamex for anything over A3 size and also for non-standard signs. Rigid plastic can also be supplied in a brushed silver or gold finish, giving a more economical option for prestige signs.


Although this is a brand name it is used widely to describe the product from a range of manufacturers. The technical term for this product is high density compressed PVC but to most people the word plastic suffices. It has a very slightly gradient surface which can be likened to orange peel. Foamex is available in many thicknesses, we recommend 3mm for small signs and if you need something very sturdy on larger boards then 10mm is strong enough to mount on posts without any further backing required. It is suitable for external use and will last several years. Other thicknesses are available.


Also a brand name used for this product. Other names include Dilite and Alulite. Frequently described as ACM or aluminium laminate. Although many grades are available we generally only use 2…permanent or hoarding board. The permanent variety is a sandwich of plastic between 2 thin layers of aluminium, giving the smooth finish and appearance of aluminium but with no scrap value to help prevent theft. This is widely used for site signs, building signage and road traffic signs, the latter of which can be supplied with channel to the rear for post fixing if required. The hoarding board is a slightly lower quality and is more suited to temporary signage that needs to last 2 years or less.


Still used in some road signs, this is also a great substrate for folded signs and panel or tray signs. Usually powder coated or sprayed.


Zinc coated steel. Originally used for the side walls of fridges, zintec is a great temporary product used in temporary road traffic signs, usually supplied with frames for standing near road works.


Great for signage on vehicles that need temporary branding or messages, it leaves no marks. We only use traffic grade for panels as it stays on vehicles better although we do not recommend it for high speed or motorway driving. We also offer a lighter grade for promotional goods and fridge magnets.


Another generic brand name for fluted plastic. This is most commonly seen on estate agents’ signs. Depending on the use, it can be either long or short flute (the central twin wall flutes either on the long or the short section). Most commonly used for temporary cost effective signage, however the 10mm version is extremely strong and still lightweight.


Also best known by its most famous brand Perspex, this come in clear, frosted, opaque and a huge variety of colours and thicknesses. Looks great for prestige signs and is most effective when used inside buildings as wayfinding or door signs. Can be used with lighting, and is often printed to the rear so the lettering cannot be tampered with. Fixings are often stand-off fittings with chrome or silver tops to give a prestige look and finish. Acrylic can also be cut to shape so individual letters can be attached to a wall. These can be flat cut or moulded to suit.

Brass, anodised aluminium and bronze:

Most commonly used for engraving/chemical etching and printing for plaques and permanent prestige signs. Can be supplied in an array of colours and finishes, including brushed, satin or mirror polished. Engraving can be either to the reverse of a clear product or to the face. Also can be supplied with sliders for engaged/vacant or your custom message.

Soft signage:

Broad term to include banners flags etc. Banners are commonly supplied printed directly on to 440gsm PVC. Our banners are flame resistant to DIN 4102. 340gsm mesh is also available giving less wind resistance and some opacity and light if fitted across windows. Generally a temporary installation, although we know of some banners that have been in situ over 10 years. 740gsm is used where double sided print is required to prevent show through on the reverse. These can be used on banner frames, lampposts or walls with a bracket fitting. Banners can be finished with hems and eyelets, trimmed to size or with pole pockets for scaffold fitting.

Dry wipe:

Ideal for when you have a message that needs updating daily or weekly. We can either supply blank signs for you to use, or print your message or design leaving sections for dry wipe. Ideal for sites daily hazards checklists or when businesses need to know who is in or out at any particular time.

This list is by no means exhaustive but gives an insight into our most common products. Please feel free to ask us if you need any further assistance or samples of a product.

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