Help & Advice
Materials for Signs:
We hope you find the information below useful. With such a wide range fo materials, coatings, vinyls and lighting we try to give you the facts to help you choose the right sign*.
Also known as Prespex, Plexiglass, and other branded names this product was probably the most widely used material for sign makers for many years. Available in a wide range of colours and considered to be extremely durable it makes an ideal choice for the vast majority of signs. Today acrylics are not as popular. They are genaerally considered a fairly expensive solution, heavy to work with and difficult to recycle and considered to have a significant impact upon the environment. Acrylics are still a great choice for flat cut lettering but other materials are rapidly taking over.
Acrylic Foam or Foamex:
Acrylic foam is usually refered to as Foamex. Although a very lightweight material it is amazingly durable. Very popular within the sign industry due mainly to it's strenght and versatility. Often used for both interior and exterior general signwork it makes a great base material. Foamex can be cut into lettering and printed upon with fantastic results.
Aluminium is in our opinion the most durable material. Suitable for many years of exterior use and of course doesn't rust or crack. A great solution for high quality long term signs and 100% recyclable.
This material has swepth through the sign industry in recent years. It's usually made of 3 layers of material. A polyetylene core with an aluminium outer skin on both sides. This outer skin usually has a very tough coating on the surface available in a wide range of gloss or matt colours and finishes including brushed aluminium, mirror polished and even wood effect. A lightweight easy to work with material that appears to be as good as raw aluminium. Suitable for long term outdoor signage, cost effective and in our opinion looks the best once fitted. There is no hiding the fact aluminium composite is our favourite, It's certainly proven itself to us and is virtually all fully recyclable.
The usual choice for estate agents signs. Excellent outdoor durability for short term outdoor use (under 5 years), super lightweight, printable. Not the right choice for exterior shop signs but has a million and one other great uses.
Types of Lettering used for signs
Vinyl lettering is by far the popular choice for sign making. Used widely for shop signage and van signwriting. It's available in a wide range of colours and is perfectly suited for long term outdoor work. With the use of Vinyl plotting machinery the vinyl can be cut to virtually any shape or letter required large or small. Applying it relatively easy for small projects and of course it can be removed at a later date.
Flat cut lettering:
Flat cut letting is mainly used for building signage. Available in a range of materials from plastics to stainless steel. It can be fitted in a few ways either bonded directly to the surface or more commonly fitted using stand off locators. This gives a more 3D effect and gives the sign an air of quality feel. Cut with either a laser or cnc router the process of manufacturing flat cut is slightly more complex than vinyl lettering but is still very affordable.
Built up lettering:
Built up lettering is widely used on shop signage. With some similarities to 'flat cut lettering' they can be made from a wide range of materials and are fully 3D. The inclusion of returns on the lettering allows space for LED lighting. These letters are fitted in a similar way to flat cut lettering but should be fitted using brass screw type studs due to their additional weight. The returns of these letters are usually shaped by hand and individually soldered.
Here is an example of a sign with mirror polished stainless steel 3D lettering.
Other lettering types are available. Please contact us for more information. 020 8663 3346.
*All the information on this webpage is only a guide and based upon our experience and preferential opinions.