What is rigid signage?
SpeedPro offers a solution to match almost every imaginable need that a marketer might have when planning for physical marketing materials. Two of the broadest categories are rigid and soft signage. While these types of signage are clearly self-explanatory to a degree, there is actually quite a bit to consider within each category.
While some of the top advantages of soft signage are lower weight, easier storage, and often lower cost, these may be offset by your need for signage that is more durable, needs structural integrity, or is part of a more permanent marketing installation. That is where your choice of rigid signage will come in.
What types of rigid sign materials does SpeedPro offer?
The base material on which your signage is created is called the substrate. Many substrate types are available to choose from, each with its own advantage in cost, weight, appearance, and more.
- Foamcore: One of the most lightweight selections for rigid signs, this is a firm foam sandwiched between coated paper. It’s also cheaper than many other rigid choices, allowing it to be disposable while imparting a solid appearance that works well with contour cutting. This is a solid choice for short-term, temporary use, as with presentations, trade shows, conferences, and more.
- Coroplast: This corrugated polypropylene is several layers of plastic, thereby light and more durable than foams and cardboards.
- Metallic: Perhaps the most durable signage, metals offer an impactful look and unparalleled resistance to weather, UV light and physical damage. Most often aluminum, other metal selections are available, including steel, bronze and even copper. It is perfect directional signage as well, matching the expected appearance that people are used to seeing along roadways. Various finishes and polishing options are also available for metallic signage which add to the visual appeal.
- Ultraboard: This includes a firm foam layer, much like foamcore, but sandwiches it between two thin but rigid plastic sheets, resulting in a much more durable option great for outdoor usage.
- Wood: Offering one of the most unique looks for signage, wood as a substrate is perfect for outdoor use or in rustic settings like cabins, bed and breakfast inns, parks and museums. It can be a fairly light choice while retaining strength and durability.
- Rigid plastic: A single, thick plastic layer, most often PVC, this offers excellent durability while being lightweight and somewhat lower cost compared to aluminum. It can also be produced in a wider variety of substrate colors. This is an excellent choice for hanging signs.
- Max Metal: This is a sheet of aluminum affixed to a core of polyethylene. Lighter than solid metal options, it offers the exterior durability of metals.
- Acrylic: A shiny, clear, moldable rigid plastic also known as Plexiglass, acrylic offers a more sophisticated look than most other signage.
It is important to consider a number of factors when deciding on what type of rigid sign substrate to use for your project.
Is your signage short-term? Your best choices may be corrugated plastic (Coroplast) or foamcore.
Will your signage be exposed to the elements? This use case requires high durability, which means you should consider Ultraboard, acrylic, max metal, rigid plastic, metallic or Coroplast for your substrate materials.
Are you going to be producing a lot of signage that will need to be shipped or transported to multiple locations or over a long distance? Go with lightweight selections such as max metal, foamcore, rigid plastic or Coroplast.
Do you want a striking, more classy look for a modern office? Consider acrylic signage for a sleek appearance that is versatile in how your designs and graphics can be applied, or highly polished metallic selections like bronze.
It is easy to see how rigid signage presents both opportunities and advantages when it comes to various use cases. One especially significant opportunity to choose rigid sign substrates is for company logo and lobby signage. A few selections will give you a more professional, polished look: wood, acrylic, and higher-end metal choices like copper, stainless steel and bronze.
These substrates are also the most flexible, as they are able to be manipulated and shaped in three-dimensional ways that most other rigid signage cannot be. This process is known as custom dimensional signage. Acrylic can be cut in a variety of ways, including beveled edges and engraving. Since acrylic is clear, LED backlighting is also an option for an amazing, striking appearance day or night. You can also layer multiple panels of acrylic, and because of the transparent properties use the different panels to showcase completely different visually-artistic choices, such as frosted shapes.
Metal signage can take full advantage of the metal’s physical properties, all the way from brilliant polishes to rusting for an intriguing look. Some clients like to do away with the idea of a complete “sign” by cutting out separate letters and graphics and affixing those to their walls. Wood is often treated much the same way. One unique quality of wood is that when laser cutters are used, the wood is actually charred, imparting another unique factor to your signage.
The possibilities are nearly limitless with rigid signage, and SpeedPro is here to guide you.