materialy dlya naruzhnoj reklamy

What are advertising signs made of?

What advertising signs are made of – theory, practice and materials for outdoor advertising

When it comes to outdoor advertising, qualified specialists, first of all, stipulate the features of the engineering structure. At the same time, there are some peculiarities of what advertising signs are made of. There are a variety of materials on the market for the production of outdoor advertising, all of them differ in their pros and cons. It is about them that we will talk today. Of course, we will talk about all the available options and materials for signage.

What are advertising signs made of?

When it comes to calculating the price of a sign, it is almost impossible to say the total cost that will be fair in all cases. If you want to order an advertising sign, keep in mind that any such work is individual. At least with regard to the choice of materials for outdoor advertising. Advertising agency «Elite» selects raw materials based on expediency, specifics of installation and operation.

Here it is important to know the technical characteristics of the materials and to select them correctly in relation to a specific task, installation conditions, operation and the customer’s wishes. There are also new proposals and technologies. Such work will cost more, but it is objectively better, although improvement in quality is not always required. Our customers often strive to reduce the cost of work, and this is a complex task. It involves the combination of engineering design, design and calculations for a specific sign.

Outdoor advertising materials should be selected at the design stage. Then, in this case, the budget will be really optimal. A qualified outdoor advertising agency usually does this for the client, providing him with a ready-made version for approval. However, we recommend that you find out the specifics of the materials used for outdoor advertising.

Plastics – acrylic, plexiglass and polycarbonate

The most common types of plastic are only two – plexiglass and acrylic. They are especially suitable for the production of light boxes. The disadvantage of acrylic is fragility. If there is a possibility that acrylic will not withstand the operating conditions (for example, in a large light box), then a more durable and expensive polycarbonate is used. An alternative to these materials is PVC sheet, its physical characteristics are between polycarbonate and acrylic glass.

Вывеска из пластика и металла
Indoor signs are less demanding on the quality of plastic. They are made, often combining different materials, but, as a rule, backlighting is not done.

The advantage of acrylic is its high light transparency and performance. High-quality and more expensive acrylic retains its original appearance throughout its entire service life. It is always used to make three-dimensional letters. It is easy to shape it with relatively little heat and glue it with dichloroethane. In advertising production, you can also find new liquid acrylic, usually it is used for the manufacture of volumetric elements. But this is a rare material for advertising signs.

It should be borne in mind that the fragility of acrylic increases with decreasing temperature. At the slightest likelihood of damage to the sign during operation, polycarbonate is used, which also lends itself to heat and mechanical treatment. It is an excellent material for wrapping and painting. Paintwork materials lay flat on polycarbonate and retain their appearance throughout the entire service life.

Foamed PVC is considered another plastic option suitable for signage. A product with a thickness of 1-20 mm is offered for sale. Also available dyed PVC with a thickness of 3-6 mm. The disadvantage of PVC is its fragility, high coefficient of linear expansion at the temperature difference “summer-winter”. PVC cracks and shrinks quickly. Moreover, the thinner and cheaper the sheet, the more often it manifests itself. Colored PVC plastic quickly fades in the sun.

Some advertising agencies offer another material for outdoor advertising – cellular polypropylene. It is cheap, lightweight, does not burn and is resistant to climatic changes. At the same time, it is highly hydrophobic and resistant to UV radiation. Perfectly pasted over with foil or painted. It is often used for small signs and light boxes due to its good light transmission.

Metals aluminum and steel

Despite the fact that metals are rarely used as materials for outdoor advertising, still metal, namely aluminum, signs are common. For the manufacture of high-rise structures, sheet aluminum, painted at the factory, is often used. Such a structure will serve for a very long time without the need for renovation and repair. The disadvantage of this material for outdoor advertising is the high price.

Алюминиевая вывеска
Aluminum sign

On sale there are sheets with a thickness of 0.6-1 mm with a size of 1220 * 3050 mm. This type of material is available in anodized gold or silver version.

Анодированная алюминиевая вывеска
Anodized aluminum sign

In addition to aluminum, sheet steel is often used. The most popular is galvanized steel, since it is protected from corrosion, in rare cases (mainly due to the high price) stainless steel is used. Galvanized steel sheets are often used with magnetic vinyl to make signage with changeable ad unit. At the same time, it is more laborious to apply paint and films to the steel sheet.

Вывеска из стали
Steel sign

Steel is often used as a cold-forged decor in retro signage. Hammer and other specialized paints are used to protect against corrosion. A steel sign needs maintenance and renovation, but it can last for over a hundred years.

vyveska s kovkoj

Vinyl fabrics

Vinyl fabrics are used for the production of awning, banner and oning advertising. The least durable of all types of banner fabric, it is used for the manufacture of banners, billboards, flags, posters. It belongs to black-out materials, that is, it cannot be used for light boxes.

vyveska iz bannernoj tkani

Awning fabric is used to cover canopies, awnings and awnings. Oning fabric is used for the same designs. Its main advantage is “work in the light”, therefore it is often used for signboards with internal illumination. In addition to awnings, oning fabric is used to make light boxes of large size with pasting without joints.

Vinyl fabric can vary in density, this indicator varies within the range of 250-500 k / sq. m. The quality depends not only on the density, but also on the strength of the polyester film used in the production of vinyl, so thin vinyls can be stronger than denser ones.

Vinyl films

For the manufacture of signs, calendered and cast vinyl film is used. The first has a more acceptable cost, the second is more durable and durable. Cast film is used for uneven surfaces and high quality advertising structures.

In addition to those mentioned, there are reflective, translucent (light-conducting), fluorescent, magnetic and other special vinyl films on sale. Self-adhesive vinyl may differ in the type of adhesive – solvent-based and water-based. This is taken into account when tracking material compatibility. Water-based adhesives are considered environmentally friendly, but experience has shown that they are much less durable and reliable. Such products are not used for pasting car bodies or uneven surfaces.

Magnetic vinyl deserves special attention. It is made on a rubber base with an admixture of iron and is laminated with a film of different colors. This type of outdoor advertising material is used as a basis for silk-screen printing and pasting with films.

Thin magnetic vinyls are used to make stickers on refrigerators and other metal surfaces. For cars, a material with a thickness of 0.8 mm is used.

Foamed polyurethane

Polyurethane foam is often used as a material for outdoor advertising. It is manufactured using a similar technology as foamed PVC. Its structure resembles polymer foam, which can have different densities – from 100 to 1000 kg per cubic meter. It is used for the manufacture of volumetric signs and is processed using a sandblasting machine or a milling machine.


Wood is rarely used, more often for the manufacture of interior signs. Sometimes you can see wooden signs in provincial restaurants or pubs. The original finish is epoxy resin. As an additive, you can use a luminescent pigment that glow in the dark. Such a sign will look original and will not require an electrical connection. True, the intensity of the glow will fade out during the dark.

wood signs

When you order outdoor advertising, we recommend that you inquire about what advertising signs are made of in the selected advertising agency. The main thing is that the lower price does not turn into a short service life and low structural strength.

We also recommend articles on this topic:

  • How to make 3D letters and 3D signage features
  • Concrete signboards
  • Wooden signboards
  • Lightbox options: different shapes and mounts
  • Interior signs
  • Metal signboards
  • Retro signage
  • Corner signs
  • For shopping centers: Banners and mega-lightboxes in interior advertising
  • For supermarkets: basic interior advertising package

Good luck with the promotion,

your outdoor advertising agency «Elite».

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