Routed Signs & CNC Routing Services

Routed Signs & CNC Routing Services

Want to create an elevated look for your storefront signage? Custom-shaped routed signs add depth and dimension to your signage.

Whether your want a simple circular sign or a detailed contour cutout of your logo, the experts at SpeedPro have years of experience providing precision CNC routing services to local businesses.

What Are Routed Signs?

Routed signs are ‘cut out’ using CNC machines. The machine removes material from a substrate, such as wood or HDU, to create shapes and add dimension to the lettering on the sign’s surface. Modern CNC machines use onboard computers to automate the process for a perfectly cut precision routed sign every time.

These signs are completely customizable and are cut from various materials depending on how and where they will be used.

What Materials Are Used For Routed Signs?

While wooden signs are what most people think of when their picture routed signs, CNC machines can cut a variety of materials depending on the application.

Let’s discuss the materials used in routing and what works best in different circumstances. Remember that some materials have a longer lifespan than others, so finding the suitable material is key if you’re investing in a long-term permanent sign.

Wooden Signs

Wooden carved signs provide a rustic and elegant look. They have charming wood grain and complement nearly any indoor or outdoor space.

Wooden signs are generally more expensive and don’t quite have the same lifespan as other synthetic materials. While cedar is the most cost-effective option, redwood is the better choice as it has a longer lifespan.

Wooden signs are great indoors but won’t last as long outdoors.


PVC is affordable, incredibly weather resistant, and still provides a high level of detail.

This signage material has a much longer lifespan than redwood and is an excellent material choice for an outdoor sign. PVC has an outdoor lifespan of up to 80 years, so if you live in an area with harsh weather, PVC is a solid choice.


The nice thing about acrylic is that it is lightweight and incredibly durable. When mounted outdoors, acrylic signs last for about five years, and more if used indoors.

Because acrylic is clear, it can be used in conjunction with other materials to create a ‘push through’ sign with routed acrylic letters. Push-through signs can be backlit or lit from the inside, or an opaque material can be added to the face of each letter to create a halo-lit effect.


Aluminum is a popular material for routed signs, providing a clean, modern look.

It’s often combined with other materials, like acrylic, to create lit signs. Aluminum is an excellent outdoor sign material as it doesn’t rust.


HDU, or High-Density-Urethane, is another excellent choice if you need something built to last, especially for things like monument signs. HDU won’t warp or crack in high heat or freezing temperatures, and it is 100% waterproof.

HDU can also be routed to mimic wood grain. Once painted, it looks like a real wood sign but will have a much longer lifespan. HDU is a popular material for signs in parks and to mark walking trails because it seems natural but lasts a long time.

hiking trail sign

Best Uses For Routed Signs

Because of the depth and dimension created by routing, these signs work best where you want your letters and images to pop.

Some of the best uses for routed signs include:


  • Outdoor hanging or mounted business signs
  • Monument signs
  • Park, playground and trail signs
  • Recognition walls


  • Lobby signs
  • Plaques
  • Nameplate
  • Wayfinding signs

How To Make Your Signs Stand Out

Thinking outside the box when customizing your sign can help your brand stand out.

  • Think about the sign shape. Square signs are great, but it might be time to think outside the box. Rounded or oval-shaped signs are a great way to draw attention.
  • Add a custom-carved routed border. Framing your business sign with a routed edge gives it a unique look over other signs.
  • Want to make those channel letters jump off the wall? Add backlighting for standout branding around the clock.

Are Sandblasted Signs The Same As Routed Signs?

Sandblasted and routed signs are not the same thing.

Sandblasted signs use textures to create depth and cannot reach the same level of detail as CNC routing. The lettering and logo are taped off when making sandblasted signs, and the surrounding wood is sandblasted to create depth. It provides a unique finished product but without the detail.

Additionally, sandblasted signs can only be crafted from wood, not synthetic materials.

On the other hand, routed signs can be made from various materials (many of which are weather-resistant), such as PVC, acrylic, aluminum or HDU. Unlike sandblasted signs, routed signs are more durable, can achieve a higher level of detail and are more customizable.

Are Routed Signs Right For Your Business?

Routed signs are right for your business if you’re looking for signage that is:

  • High customizability
  • Affordable price point
  • Weather resistance of some materials makes them ideal for indoor and outdoor use
  • Naturally draws the eye to your business logo

Why Work With A Professional 

Ready to invest in routed signs to showcase your business? Working with a reputable sign company like SpeedPro is your key to success.

Choosing a sign company with experience making customized routed signs in-house with a CNC machine ensures that your sign stands the test of time.

Working with a skilled sign company, like SpeedPro means you can proudly hang your sign! Check out the closest studio near you to schedule your free consultation.