Printastic Media Information: Rigid Substrates

An Introduction to Sign Substrates

Sign printing substrates print material comes in a variety of weights and configurations. Knowing which types are best for which applications is key to making sure the job is done right.

  • Application
    There are a wide variety of signs that we can make for clients. In addition, the type of sign company that you wish to build will determine the types of materials that you should have on hand. This section is dedicated to exploring the differences between sign making materials.
  • Environment
    Please note that every type of material (or substrate as it is called in the sign industry) usually comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors, thicknesses etc. Printastic only offers premium products with a primary focus on quality and customer satisfaction. There is always a “cheap alternative” available and the end result is lower quality.
Selecting The Right Substrate Option

The right sign substrate for your project and requirements is determined by a combination of the two factors listed above: application and environment. Which one is right for you? The answer to that question is dependent upon the intended uses and application of the sign. Different types of matierals are more strongly suited to specific applicaitons than others. Below we will discuss the different options that Printastic offers, along with the pros and cons of each.

  • Foam Core - 3 / 16” Thickness
    Foam Core (also known as Foam Board or GatorBoard) signs are constructed from biodegradable, foam material sandwiched between paper surfaces on the front and back sides, creating an environmentally responsible solution for temporary indoor signage needs.
    Foam Core
  • PVC - 3mm or 6mm Bright White Rigid Plastic
    PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is inexpensive, durable, and easily to work with. Unlike the PVC used in pipes and even clothing, sheeted PVC (what we use) is a very durable formed flat sheet. PVC boards are available in a variety of thicknesses and sizes that make it appropriate for many indoor applications.
  • Corrugated Plastic - 4mm/6mm/10mm
    A corrugated substrate (think cardboard but made from plastic) that makes a fast, inexpensive sign product with rigidity for special events, temporary signs etc. Corrugated plastic is incredibly durable without being unnecessarily heavy. It’s so lightweight that it can be easily transported and is surprisingly resilient.
    Corrugated Plastic
  • Aluminum - .040/.063/.080
    A thin metal substrate, relatively lightweight with a nice gloss enamel finish. When made using high performance vinyl it makes an excellent exterior sign that can be used for anything from parking signs to large main store front signs. More durable and with a more professional appearance than corrugated plastic, aluminum signs deliver a highly professional look from a premium product that resists rust and corrosion for extended life. Custom printed aluminum signs feature full color, high quality digital imaging, giving designs a sharp look at sizes up to 2’ x 3’. 
  • Composite Material - 1 / 8” Thickness
    Our hybrid aluminum/plastic composite sign material is a very substantial 1/8” thick substrate for printing made from a unique combination of a solid, rigid plastic core sandwiched between two aluminum sheets - making a rust resistant and very dimensionally stable sign material.  
    Composite Material
Sign Substrate Comparison Chart