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What Are the Main Materials Used for Signs?

We’ve all seen signs both in stores and outdoors. But have you ever wondered what they were made of? Where the sign is located and what type of purpose it serves affect its material composition. A sign placed outdoors near a pond isn’t going to be made from the same material as a “Sale” sign in a department store.

Another factor that influences a sign’s composition is how vital it is. A stop sign is going to need to be more durable than a yard sale sign, for example. Below we’ll cover some of the most common materials used for signs and some of the best materials to use for an outside sign.


When it comes to cost effectiveness, vinyl is one of the best materials for an outside sign. It’s durable enough to be used outdoors, and easy to alter or construct, but cheap enough that you can use it for an event for a few months and throw it away without worry. Driving down the road, you may have seen political signs in election years, and these are typically made of vinyl.


Coroplast is a portmanteau of the words “corrugated” and “plastic.” You may have heard of corrugated cardboard, but they make corrugated plastic as well. It’s an ideal solution for short-term outdoor signage, as it’s lightweight, easy to fabricate, waterproof and affordable. If you’re having a short one-day or weekend sale, you might consider using Coroplast for your signage.


Aluminum is one of the most common materials used for signs. This is because it’s strong and it won’t rust. You can also use it both indoors and outdoors, or both if you have a two-sided sign. If that’s not enough, it’s lightweight and affordable too. To top it all off, it comes in three thicknesses, which each serve a respective purpose. Aluminum signs come in 0.04-gauge, which is ideal for political and real estate signs, 0.08-gauge, which is used in regular road signs and 0.125-gauge, which is the preferred choice for heavy duty highway signs.


You may know this material as Plexiglass. Acrylic signs are frequently clear and are one of the most common materials used for signs. They’re durable and offer a smooth finish. Despite this, acrylic signs are best used for indoor signage. They offer an unmatched aesthetic quality, as they’re smooth, glossy and can be backlit nicely. You may have seen these behind the reception desk at various companies, as they present a classy and elegant look.


If you’re a small business, you might have dreamed of having a wooden sign in front of your shop. The only problem is that wooden signs aren’t durable enough to withstand constant weathering. Dura-wood gives you the look of a wooden sign with the durability of plastic composite material, which is significantly stronger. It can be easily cut into any size and shape and offers a good blend between fashion and function when it comes to your exterior signage.

Call for your sign today

Now that you know some of the most common materials used for signs and some of the best materials for outside signs, call the team at Sign It Up to place your order. We’re the premier sign company in central Oklahoma and we’d love to make you a sign that not only withstands the elements, but looks great in the process.

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