Corrugated plastic (Corflute, Coroplast, Correx, Corriflute, IntePro, Twinplast) has multiple uses in the signage industry here are some of them:
Question: I am trying to find someone who can produce a life size sign of a person, either cartoon character to use as a ‘halt’ sign on our campsite. Is this possible?
Answer: Yes it is possible.
However making a once off item like that at a signage company could be quite expensive.
While you have not provided a lot of detail as life span or weather conditions. There are some options you can discuss with the signage company if you are not DIY inclined, factors to consider include budget, and longevity.
If it does not have to have cut into the silhouette of a body the most permanent solution would be to have the desired person/cartoon digitally printed onto vinyl and stuck onto steel sign board. The bottom of the signboard can be folded to create a base to stand. While you can have it laser cut into a silhouette this will only add to the cost. See below photo for an idea. Steel signboard would be the most permanent solution and would last many years – unless someone steals it.
Second best would be having have the desired person/cartoon digitally printed onto vinyl and then stuck on corrugated plastic. Corrugated plastic unlike cardboard is waterproof but not as long lasting as steel signboard. The silhouette can then but cut with a craft knife or router/cutter. See below for some ideas. [Read more…]
Opal acrylic sheet is a translucent acrylic sheet used to make signage light boxes. Opal acrylic diffuses the light source so you don’t have light concentrated on one area or dark spots as well as hiding the light fittings. Making individual globes or tubes look like its one big light and not individual light fittings.
Uses for opal acrylic sheet
Opal acrylic sheet can be used to make both signage and photographic light boxes.
I saw these three signs on the fence at my local market and I thought I’d do a page about it, the materials used, the branding method and my opinion. [Read more…]
Corrugated Plastic (also known by its different brand names Corflute, Coroplast, Correx, Corriflute, IntePro, Twinplast) is an extruded twinwall plastic sheet which looks similar to cardboard (corrugated fiberboard) but is made of plastic. It is commonly used in the signage industry for temporary or short term signage. In South Africa (where it’s commonly known as Correx) its most popular use is to create real estate “for sale” signs. Corrugated Plastic is available in various colors and thickness, is durable and waterproof and can be easily cut with a craft knife or box cutter. [Read more…]
Steel Sign Board is sheet metal mainly used in the signage industry for long lasting outdoor signage. In South Africa the most popular brand of steel signboard is a coated metal sheet product from ArcelorMittal called Chromadek. Steel signboard is often used as a long term outdoor signage solution compared to ABS sheet which is often used for indoor signage.
Uses for Steel Signboard
Building site signage
Sometimes used for indoor signage but many instances ABS sheet or even corrugated plastic is employed as its cheaper.
Ways to brand steel sign board
Computer cut self-adhesive vinyl
Digitally printed self-adhesive vinyl
Examples of steel signboard
ABS Sheet is durable thermoplastic sheets used in the signage industry for various signage applications. It is more durable than corrugated plastic and thus used for medium term signage applications, it also fairly cheap and more affordable to make a sign with compared to steel signboard. ABS sheet are commonly used for emergency signage (exit, fire extinguisher etc.), toilet signs as well as the omnipresent “No smoking” sign. ABS sheet is available in various colors, lengths and thicknesses. [Read more…]
Magnetic sheeting is a flexible magnetized rubber-based material with a white or colored coating sold in sheet or roll form. It is used for semi-permanent and temporary advertising or signage. Magnetic sheet is also used to make fridge magnets. My supplier sells magnetic sheet in two sizes and thicknesses: the thinner around 0.5mm thick is intended for fridge magnets and other indoor use and the thicker around 0.8mm thick is intended for magnetic door signs and more heavy-duty use. When making fridge magnets make sure to purchase the thinner sheet as the thicker sheet is more expensive and unnecessary for the purpose. [Read more…]
After getting a few quotations (which we thought were all too expensive) we decided to do the signage for our first Cape Town office ourselves. The size of the sign was 970mm wide and 400mm high, made up of laser cut acrylic sheet (Acrylite, Lucite, Perspex, Plexiglas).
Despite various people advising us to mount the acrylic sheet to a backing board which could then be painted the desired colour (or the colour of the wall) we were adamant we wanted to mount the acrylic sheet directly to the wall. I had looked around signage supply companies for mounting pins that would attach to the wall and acrylic sheet but found none locally.
I had solicited the opinion of a friend who manages a local signage company. This is what he had to say:
You could cut a number of blocks – all the same thickness – glue them to the back of the sign characters out of sight obviously and then in turn glue the blocks to their final position. You would need some fairly aggressive double sided tape to hold the characters to position while your silicone or adlock or other industrial type adhesive sets to dry.
The characters in quality content are thick enough to conceal the blocks.
You would need a paper or vinyl template prepositioned to the selected position in order to get ‘register’ between the sign characters.
Adhesives have to be compatible with acrylic materials.
This is a DIY method that would work as long as your materials and adhesives are compatible and of course your design would need to lend itself to the method so to speak.
The acrylic sheet was laser cut to the form of the sign
The two biggest challenges left was the mounting to the wall and the registration of the letters.
In order to attach the sign to the wall we decided to use square spacers made of clear acrylic sheet. We also decided we wanted the spacers to be 10mm thick, however we could not get 10mm thick acrylic sheet nor could our laser cutting supplier safely cut that thick. We then decided to glue two 5mm squares together and purchased a 150x150mm square sheet of clear acrylic 5mm thick:
This was then laser cut into spacers of three different sizes (10,12, & 14mm in diameter) to accommodate both thick and thin lettering:
Two of the same sized squares were then glued together to create a 10mm thick spacer:
We first used a PVC cement to glue the squares together, but that took too long to set:
So we used a super glue instead:
Squares being lined up after they are glued:
A hole was drilled through the 10mm thick spacer to attach it to the wall. Here is the drill bit and drill we used:
Screws and plugs was used to attach the spacer to the wall, we used 6×40 chipboard screws and 5.0x25mm nylon wall plugs:
We made a stencil for registration purposes and traced the outline on the wall using a pencil. The stencil was made using sign vinyl and a vinyl cutter:
We drilled holes in wall where spacers would go to support the lettering and added plugs:
Square spacers was then drilled into the wall using the screws, the lettering was then glued to the spacers using a fast setting epoxy adhesive.
We had lightly sandpapered the acrylic letters where the epoxy will make contact to roughen the surface for better bonding:
We mixed the epoxy and hardener, applied it to the acrylic sheet lettering, stuck the lettering onto the square spacer, then moved and stuck it into place. Best done on a clear day.
Acrylic sheet sign mounted to wall:
If you are looking to cut acrylic sheet (Acrylite, Lucite, Perspex, Plexiglas) into perfect letters or shapes one of the best ways to do it is to use a laser cutter, but unless you are in the industry, the cost to own a laser cutter will be prohibitive. However, there are companies that offer laser cutting as a service. The company I use supplies both acrylic sheet and laser cutting but I usually supply my own sheet and they only charge for the cutting – which is based on the time the machine is spent cutting the acrylic. I’m not sure if all laser cutting companies use this pricing metric or will allow you to bring your own acrylic sheet but mine does and if your size and thickness are within the limitations of their machine they will cut it no problem.
How outsourcing laser cutting of acrylic sheet works
The laser cutter can cut acrylic sheet from vector graphics artwork – like CorelDRAW files. Once you have submitted the size to be cut and thickness of the acrylic sheet, the company doing the cutting will provide you with a quotation on what it will cost. I have found this method to be quite affordable, time-saving with the acrylic sheet being precision cut.
Laser cutters have a maximum width (bed size) they can cut as well as thickness. So you have to be sure your job falls into those dimensions. Example: the company that does my cutting told me that their machine (which normally has a 10mm thickness limit), wasn’t cutting straight above 8mm. This sounds a bigger problem that it is as most suppliers locally sells colored acrylic sheet with a maximum thickness of 5mm.
1. Design artwork in vector graphics software editor
2. Submit artwork to laser cutting company (make sure it is vector artwork, with typefaces/fonts converted to curves).
3. Get quotation
4. Give go ahead for cutting
5. Acrylic sheet is cut to your specifications
Tips if you are not supplying your own acrylic sheet
* Have a look at a colored swatch to make sure that the color of acrylic sheet the company is supplying is the color you want.
Tips if you are supplying your own acrylic sheet
* Leave the protective plastic on the acrylic sheet to avoid scratches, the laser cutter can cut through it with no issues.
* Make sure you are buying the correct size and thickness acrylic sheet
By having your own acrylic sheet cut you can make your own signs cheaper than what signage companies would charge.