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The Best Materials for Outdoor Signs: An Expert's Guide

The Best Materials for Outdoor Signs: An Expert’s Guide

The key to developing durable outdoor signs that can brave the weather and stand the test of time lies in the choice of outdoor sign material. The selection of outdoor signage materials can significantly contribute to the durability, utility, and visual appeal of the final product. In this guide, we shed light on some high-performance materials well-suited for outdoor signs due to their hardiness, weather resistance, and striking visual impact.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Outdoor Sign Material

Understanding the significance of selecting the best material for outdoor signs is integral to designing an effective signage campaign. The right material not only improves the lifespan of the sign but also enhances its visual appeal and ability to withstand environmental factors. Whether your need is for short-term promotional signage or long-term brand promotion, choosing the appropriate outdoor sign material can make all the difference. The top 6 rigid materials for printing outdoor signs include

  • Alupanel
  • Acrylic
  • Corrugated Plastic
  • PVC
  • Crezon Boards
  • Aluminum

Alupanel Signs

Alupanel Signs

Alupanel signage material increases the potency of aluminum with a polyethylene core. This trifecta breeds a lightweight, sturdy, and weather-enduring material that is a brilliant solution for outdoor signs. Its main areas of use span outdoor establishments such as restaurants, retail outlets, and business parks.

Alupanel’s biggest strength is its immunity to dents and scratches, which ensures its longevity and visual appeal. Additionally, the smooth surface of Alupanel allows for high-resolution, detailed, and vibrant graphics.

Acrylic Signs

Acrylic, better known by its trade name Plexiglas or Perspex, is a clear plastic material. It wins the hearts of businesses for its durability, adaptability, and resistance to weather conditions. Acrylic offers a radiant, high-gloss finish that is reminiscent of glass at a fraction of its weight or cost. Its resistance to UV radiation adds to its longevity, maintaining colour and clarity in the long term.

High-quality outdoor signs often rely on either cast or extruded acrylic due to their excellent weather-resistant properties. This versatile material can be transformed into a myriad of shapes and sizes and can be efficiently lit from behind or on the sides, resulting in a visually arresting display.

Corrugated Plastic 

Corrugated plastic, also recognized as Coroplast offers an affordable, light, and weather-resistant option for temporary outdoor signage. If your requirement is short-term and the budget is tight—such as for yard signs, event promotions, and temporary outdoor displays—corrugated plastic stands as the reliable choice.

PVC Signs and Expanded PVC 

PVC Signs

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and expanded PVC are other excellent materials for outdoor signs. Lightweight, water-resistant, and highly resilient, both are suitable for long-term outdoor applications.
Both types can deliver high-resolution prints with ease, with PVC offering a smooth surface and expanded PVC a slightly more textured one. Expanded PVC demonstrates flexibility, accepting curvatures and contours in the final design.

Crezon Boards Signs

Crezon is a popular signage material known for its outstanding resilience, weather resistance, and lightweight properties. More so, it has a flawless, smooth surface that allows for crisp, rich graphics, making this material especially valued for outdoor signage with high-definition image reproduction.

Essentially an outdoor-grade plywood, Crezon is resistant to moisture and exhibits excellent dimensional stability, meaning it won’t warp or deform under different weather conditions. Furthermore, Crezon can be neatly cut into various shapes and sizes to meet precise design requirements, thus providing excellent versatility for a range of signage applications.

Aluminum Signs

Aluminum is a go-to selection for outdoor signs, and for good reasons — it’s adaptable, light, and notably resistant to weather conditions. Additionally, aluminum-based signage trumps rust, fading, and flaking, permitting the sign to maintain its visual allure and functionality over an extended duration. Aluminum is typically used in two forms: solid aluminum and Alumalite.

Solid aluminum sheets are typically 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch thick and offer excellent sturdiness and flatness—making them an excellent substrate for high-definition graphics and text. They’re also easy to cut into custom shapes and can be pre-drilled for straightforward mounting.


When making your choices for outdoor signage materials, bear in mind factors like projected longevity, environmental conditions, desired visual impact, and budget constraints. Each material, with its unique strengths and weaknesses, caters to different needs. By making a well-informed choice for your outdoor sign material, you can ensure that your signage serves as a lasting and effective asset that aligns with your business goals and leaves an impactful impression.

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