If you’re unfamiliar with what substrate is, think of it as the base that all adhesive-backed graphics use to give themselves rigidity and strength. Essentially, the substrate acts as the hidden support that helps graphics hold up against environmental conditions and that gives them a foundation to be placed on top of.
Standard options of substrates include gatorboard, polystyrene, foam-core board, PVC and MDO board. Acrylic is another common substrate used by different organizations and companies for indoor and outdoor signage or displays. Many enjoy this substrate because it provides a contemporary, visually appealing look combined with durability.
WHAT IS ACRYLIC?
Acrylic is a versatile substrate that is used in many different types of displays. Acrylic signs and displays are made out of a multi-functional plastic sheet that comes with a glossy finish. If companies are looking for a display that looks high-tech and refined, acrylic is the way to go.
Appearance-wise, acrylic can come in varying translucencies and colors. Additionally, it can be produced in differing shapes and sizes, which makes it very easy to craft a creative display with it and makes it friendly to many types of marketing displays. It also goes well with backlights, spotlights, 3D lettering and many other additional visual accessories.
Acrylic often serves as a substrate for signs and panels. Many companies enjoy hanging acrylic signs off of a wall, and others like to mount them on standoffs to secure them directly to a wall. Also, they are popular both indoors and outdoors, adding to their versatility. As acrylic products are often lightweight and durable, they are perfect for setting-up outdoors and can resist the elements without cracking, fading or chipping, setting them apart from glass, for instance.
BENEFITS OF ACRYLICS FOR YOUR GRAPHICS
To get the full picture of what acrylics can do for your company, you should take a moment to examine the benefits that acrylics bring to graphics. If these benefits match up with the needs of your marketing strategy and your graphics, you can be confident you’ve found a material that will fit into your overall aesthetic. Consider the benefits listed below:
Acrylic is one of the best materials you can choose for your large format printing needs. It acts as a versatile canvas for a variety of beautiful images, varied dimensions, vivid colors and detailed etching. It even can be manufactured with different layers of transparency and is friendly to different lighting styles, like backlighting and spotlighting. Acrylic works for table signs, door signs, wall signs and standalone signs. Whatever your company wants to do with a sign or display, an acrylic surface can make it happen.
2. TESTED RESULTS
You pass by acrylic every day, and you probably don’t even know it. Office parks, hospitals, banks, arenas, retail stores, restaurants and many other types of buildings or developments use acrylic signage. Though you’ll often see it on the outside of buildings to advertise, it’s also used indoors to add visual appeal to any interior. Its common usage signals its high-quality results and the trust it has gained from companies.
Acrylic can work in almost any situation. When decorating the interior of an office or retail space, companies like to hang unique acrylic signage off of the wall, helping to set the tone for their space and deliver a visual experience like no other. Other companies enjoy acrylic’s ability to be cut into a variety of shapes or sizes, while also being able to be multi-layered, giving a sign or display some depth.
Since acrylic displays can be modified and adjusted to fit a company’s needs, a savvy organization that commonly interacts with clients in a set space, such as a retail store or restaurant, will use acrylic displays to set the mood for their space and to craft a targeted experience for customers.
Acrylic’s lightweight might indicate that an acrylic sign or project will not be able to stand up to the elements. However, this is far from the truth. Due to its lightweight material, acrylic signs and displays are easy to transport and convenient to install. Even better, this lightweight quality does not affect acrylic’s durability.
An acrylic sign will last longer outside than most materials like glass, wood or metal. This outperformance of other common materials makes it a popular choice among companies looking to invest in exterior signage but that don’t want to have to pay for consistent repairs or replacements. Acrylic is prepared to handle the elements and will maintain your professional image year-round.
5. BRANDING FRIENDLY
With any of your advertisements, you’ll want to portray your brand in a positive light and increasing awareness. A poorly designed advertisement or display may cause people to ignore your product at best and form a negative impression at worst. Good design starts with a substrate that is conducive to creative designs and vibrant imagery. Acrylic provides this, and, as such, offers your company a leg up on designing a display that catches the eye of potential customers.
EXAMPLES OF PRODUCTS MADE WITH ACRYLIC
To give you a better idea of how you can use acrylic for your signs and other types of displays, see some of the following standard usages of it:
1. CUSTOM ACRYLIC PANELS
Acrylic panels take the place of old handpainted murals featured on an office wall or in an exhibit. Instead of using the old-fashioned imagery of a handpainted wall or exhibit, consider using a custom acrylic panel for a creative and contemporary alternative.
These panels provide a glass-like surface that is still incredibly durable. Additionally, the panels can craft attractive and modern looking spaces that draw in customers and clients. Due to that durability and their visual appeal, companies consistently use them to adorn their office walls or as standalone or background exhibits at trade shows.
Along with standard panels, there are lit panels that glow and are incredibly eye-catching. These panels shine brighter than typical window displays. For those walking past your store on the street or driving by, a lit panel display is sure to draw their attention and cause many to come to check out your building.
2. CONTOUR CUT SIGNAGE
Contour-cut signage is a popular form of signage that can be crafted into a variety of designs that will appeal to potential customers. It gets its name due to it being cut along an outline of whatever shape or design a company wants. Generally, it will not have a border due to it being cut along its edges. If you want to make your acrylic signage pop, contour cutting offers almost limitless configurations that will differentiate your work from the competition.
For a more tangible example of contour cutting, you can compare it to when you created a collage in elementary school and had to cut pictures out of a magazine. Of course, contour cutting will be a little more high-tech, as digital imaging studios will use a digital cutting machine rather than scissors.
Contour-cut signs can be printed on several different materials, with acrylic being a perfect choice. Contour-cut acrylic signage will provide companies with a sunning, three-dimensional sign that acts as a focal point for their office space. With acrylic, the signs can be crafted into unique shapes that don’t have any borders, making them feel more a part of the environment. These signs will grab attention and make a statement about your company’s willingness to incorporate cutting-edge designs into its material.
BENEFITS OF CONTOUR-CUT ACRYLIC SIGNAGE
If you think contour-cut signage might be right for your company, you’ll be happy to know that it comes with several benefits:
- Reproducibility: As the appeal of a contour-cut sign comes from its specialized design, you want to be able to reproduce it consistently to maintain your brand’s image. Contour-cut signs will only provide the most accurate, reproducible cuts.
- Efficiency: Along with being reproduced accurately, contour cutting allows for fast graphics that can be produced quickly. As cutting machines are largely autonomous, they can manufacture signs with speed and precision, allowing for the highest degree of efficiency.
- Specialization: Contour-cut signs can be crafted into the most unique designs possible. The precision and ability to have lots of creative freedom with your designs will separate your company from the competition.
- Possibility: Along with their benefits, contour-cut signage can be applied to a variety of surfaces, providing for almost endless marketing possibilities. Some of the most popular contour-cut uses are for mascot cut-outs, point of purchase displays, 3D dimensional lettering, directional signage and packaging, to name only a few.
3. OUTDOOR SIGNAGE
When you’re trying to bring customers into your building or draw attention to your brand, you’ll want to use an outdoor sign. Outdoor signs are some of the best ways to generate quality attention for your business. Additionally, an outdoor sign can dress up dull areas of the exterior of your building that might make customers or clients less likely to be attracted to your company.
Acrylic signs work well for exterior displays as they hold up well against any negative weather conditions. Their strong plastic casing can resist dents or cracks that a glass sign would run into issues with, while still providing the appeal of a sleek glass appearance.
An acrylic sign can serve several purposes. One of those purposes is to generate brand awareness if you can place the sign in an area that is commonly trafficked. For instance, a retail store might place an acrylic sign outside that displays their name and logo to create fast brand recall in the minds of consumers who consistently see it.
Additionally, an acrylic sign can serve as a wayfinding device outside of a building. It can direct customers to your storefront or help them find their way through a parking lot. With this form of acrylic signage, you can provide customers practical value along with looking stylish.
4. DIMENSIONAL SIGNAGE
Three-dimensional signage is one of the most eye-catching forms of advertising that you can put into place in your marketing strategy. Dimensional signage refers to any sign that has elements that pop out of the wall or another type of surface that it’s mounted on. Common dimensional signs will have letters or a company logo project out of a sign to draw attention.
Dimensional signage also can serve a practical purpose, as organizations can use it for wayfinding. For example, a hospital or other large building could use arrows that project out of the wall to help people find their way around the facility. Additionally, pictograms mounted on walls or doors can make locations more apparent, like showing where a bathroom or meeting room is.
As acrylic is a versatile material that’s already known for its ability to be multi-layered, it is one of the best materials for this type of sign. It can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that play to the advantage of a creative dimensional sign. One popular feature is an acrylic logo block that puts your logo onto a block that can be placed on an employee’s desk or at the reception area.
Since many dimensional signs will often be used outside, acrylic offers the needed durability to weather the elements. If you’re looking for acrylic logo signage, a dimensional sign pairs well as it can make a logo project out of a sign to draw attention. Additionally, to take an advertisement to another level, a dimensional sign can incorporate an acrylic logo with lighting to its design.
BENEFITS OF DIMENSIONAL SIGNAGE
By selecting dimensional signage, you will be choosing signage that brings with it unique advantages. Some of the top benefits are:
- Engaging: Potential customers are drawn to dimensional signage, as their 3D nature generally generates more engagement than other forms of marketing. Viewers will typically spend more time studying and viewing the advertisement than if they were viewing a run of the mill 2D display.
- Sophisticated: A dimensional sign’s additional features will give a more elegant and contemporary look than the other 2D options. As customers come into contact with your sign, they’ll leave with the impression that your company cares about producing high-quality products or services, along with being on top of the latest trends.
- Flexible: Dimensional signage can be used both inside and outside, allowing for the signs to be used for a variety of purposes.
- Memorable: Customers will see 2D images all day long, but they will rarely come into contact with a 3D sign, making it stick in their mind longer. Our brains react more strongly to 3D images, causing consumers to be more drawn to a 3D advertisement more than a 2D one.
READY TO MAKE ACRYLIC SIGNAGE WORK FOR YOU?
If you want to add new acrylic signage to your advertising efforts, consider SpeedPro to make your logos and graphics come to life. A digital imaging specialist will work with you to find the right acrylic display that will match your brand’s aesthetic and send a message that your company is dedicated to producing only high-quality material.
SpeedPro has the largest network of digital imaging studios that specialize in large-format graphics, so you’re sure to find a SpeedPro in your area. Contact your local studio and see how SpeedPro can take your graphics to the next level.