Guide to Rigid Materials for Signs and Displays


At American Color Labs, we have the ability to print directly to rigid surfaces or print to an adhesive and mount onto a rigid surface.   Whichever method you choose to create your sign, it is important to select the right rigid material for your sign.  We put this table together to help you choose the right material.  You can follow the links in this table to other blog posts learn more about each material in greater detail.  We hope this helps you make an informed decision and, as always, if you have any questions you can contact us.

SubstrateMost common thicknessOther thicknessesLargest size (without a seam)WeightPriceSuitable for outdoor use?Common applicationsKey materialsSelf standing
Flatstock paper12pt, 16pt, 18pt, 20pt, 24ptSeveral options available, contact us for more info

 

28″ x 40″W$NoWindow signage, wall decorationsPaperNo
Foamboard
Foamcore
3/16″1/2″, 1″4′ x 8′W$NoTemporary signs, event signs, self standing displaysFoam and paperYes, but can curl/bow over 24″ x 36″

 

Gator
Gatorboard
3/16″, 1/2″4′ x 8′WW$$NoTemporary signs, permanent signs, event signs, self-standing displaysFoam and wood fiberYes, less likely to bow than foam at larger sizes

 

Aluminum.040″ .063″.080″4′ x 8′WWWW$$$YesOutdoor signs in rugged applicationsAluminumYes

 

Dibond; E-panel
Aluminum composites
3mm6mm4′ x 8′WW$$$YesIndoor and outdoor signage, wall decordations, self standing signs

 

Aluminum and plasticYes
Coroplast
Corex
4mm6mm, 10mm4′ x 8′W$YesIndoor and outdoor signs and displays, yard signs

 

PVCYes
Falconboard
Recycled cardboard
3/16″4′ x 8′WW$$NoSelf standing displays and signs, wall decorations

 

CardboardYes
Cardboard1/8″ (b-flute); 1/16″ (e-flute)5/32″ (c-flute); 1/32 (f-flute)4′ x 8′W$Usually no, but ok for shipping in packaging applicationsPackaging, self standing displays

 

CardboardYes, but can bow at any size
Styrene.040″ .080″.020″, .030″, .060″4′ x 8′W$$YesDisplay units, durable wall signage

 

PVCNo
PVC
Sintra
3mm, 6mm10mm4′ x 8′WW$$YesSelf standing displays, wall decorations, reusable signs

 

PVCYes
Acylic3/16″, 1/4″, 1/2″4′ x 8′WWW$$$$YesWall decorations

 

PlasticYes

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