How Commercial Signage Is Made

All business premises require some form of signage. The manufacturing of this signage is quite a complex process and consists of several different production stages. Read on to find out more about how this type of product is made.  

Material selection

One of the first decisions that need to be made before a sign is produced is what material it will need to be constructed from. The material needs to be not only attractive and appropriate for the business's brand, but also suitable for the environment in which it is to be displayed.

For instance, outdoor signs, which will be exposed to wind, rain and UV rays, need to be extremely durable. This is why acrylic is frequently used for signage that is to be installed outside. This material is incredibly robust; in addition to having a high level of thermal stability, acrylic is also resistant to impact and to chemical corrosion. Acrylic sheets can, therefore, be used by almost any business requiring outdoor signage, even if they are located in an area with a particularly harsh climate. Indoor signs do not need to be quite as tough as their outdoor counterparts. Aesthetically-pleasing but less hardy materials such as vinyl, wood and PVC are often selected for signage that will be hung inside business premises.

Types of printing

The type of printing method used will be dependent on a number of factors, including the business owner's budget and how durable they need the print work to be. Solvent printing, which involves coloured pigments being bonded to the sign's surface by a solvent, is a popular option for outdoor signs. Whilst it is more expensive than other methods, it allows for high-resolution lettering and images, which are both fade and scratch resistant.

For indoor signs that will not be exposed to the elements, aqueous printing is a good choice; this allows for the creation of photographic-quality images. Because the ink is water-based, this method cannot be used in outdoor settings, as rainwater would damage it. Digital signage is another option; this is usually done using a UV laser printer. This type of print work is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

The production process

After the design of the signage has been decided upon, the production of the product begins. The fabricators at the manufacturing facility will use specialist equipment to create the sign shape. Signage made from plastic sheets will usually be cut into a specified shape using laser cutting machinery, whilst signage with a metal base may be bent into shape with a CNC press brake. The sign is then painted inside a spray booth. Following this, it will be printed with the customer's chosen text and images, using the printing technique they have requested.  All of the various components of the signs are then assembled, and if desired, LED or neon lighting is installed. After the finishing touches have been added, the sign is subjected to a number of inspections by a quality-control expert.