Construction sites, industrial facilities, manufacturing centers and any other heavy-duty work environments require heavy-duty signage, and in the world of signage, metal is king. Compared to print, metal signage offers several benefits and works in a variety of roles.
The only reason why aluminum isn’t more common is the difficulty of printing on metal. Printing on metal requires special equipment and processes that aren’t found in every print shop.
Considering metal signage for your business? There are several reasons to consider the material for your branding or safety messaging. We’ve got four of the most notable here.
1) Aluminum signage is durable in every environment
Metal has a clear durability advantage over paper products. This advantage is noticeable in most work settings, but it’s particularly noticeable in rugged work environments, like those found on construction sites. Metal resists impact, tension, and abrasion far better than paper, so it can take the occasional bump or dust blasting.
Aluminum stands out for its durability among other metals. That’s because it resists corrosion and chemical attack. It will not rust and withstands exposure to salt extremely well. As such, aluminum signage is a long-lasting option for coastal areas and some industrial facilities.
Aluminum is also resistant to UV damage and holds its colors better when exposed to direct sunlight. While special inks can improve a paper print’s UV resistance, aluminum withstands intense sunlight better.
2) Aluminum signs can be mounted in a variety of locations
Aluminum is one of the world’s favorite building materials, partly because of its weight. It’s light enough to easily mount in many settings, but heavy enough to remain in place when the wind kicks up. It’s a perfect middleweight, in other words, and this allows companies to mount their aluminum signage almost anywhere.
In construction areas, aluminum signs can be mounted to walls, poles, shelving units and fences. They can be hung, fastened, or propped up. They can be secured to brick, concrete, wood, chain link, drywall – almost any material. In short, aluminum can be placed where it’s needed most.
As a form of safety signage, aluminum’s versatile positioning means it can be mounted close to hazards – ideal for safety and compliance reasons. In retail shops or restaurants, aluminum signs can be mounted to walls without issue, or even suspended from the ceiling. With aluminum, business owners can get creative with their signage.
3) Aluminum signage can be customized to an impressive degree
Aluminum can be cut and shaped to mechanical precision, so it can be developed into an endless array of shapes and sizes. In rugged environments, aluminum signage’s design versatility makes it ideal for visually communicating important information. Diamond-shaped signage, for example, is a universally accepted warning signal that is found everywhere in high-risk work environments. Since aluminum can be precisely machined, it is ideal for conveying visual messaging like this.
But that only scratches the surface in terms of aluminum’s creative potential. In restaurants, aluminum signage can be shaped to look like anything – food, characters, interesting typography, or abstract graphics. And while it’s natural to assume that prints wouldn’t look as vivid on metal, the opposite is the case. Aluminum takes ink well, and specialized inks are used with the material to improve color appearance. For instance, some commercial printers use UV inks instead of standard pigment-based inks. UV inks are designed to cure in the presence of UV energy (pigment inks cure due to oxygen) and produce an impressively vivid finish on metal business signs.
With brilliant color and a huge variety of shape options to choose from, aluminum signage can work in any role, whether it’s for safety, branding, or informational purposes.
4) Aluminum signs convey professionalism
What your signage is made from is almost as important as what’s printed on it. In this way, printing materials set the “tone” for what’s printed on them. Paper is perfectly appropriate for most applications, but when professionalism is key, aluminum is the material of choice.
In offices, museums, and professional buildings, brushed aluminum is a popular printing medium. Brushed aluminum is polished until it takes on a gentle luster. It also has a pleasing texture and works extremely well for presenting typography. As such, brushed aluminum is closely associated with luxury and professional environments.
In this way, aluminum can support your company’s position as a trustworthy brand.
How is an Aluminum Sign Printed?
There are several reasons why businesses opt for aluminum signage, but finding a reputable printer that can handle the material can be tough. Aluminum can only be printed using specialized methods and technology, which limits its availability.
One such method is dibond printing. During dibond printing, a pair of aluminum sheets is adhered to either side of a polymer core. From the side, the effect looks like a sandwich.
Once the aluminum and polymer sandwich is put together, the image is printed using UV inks. Dibond printing can be used with brushed aluminum to create a brilliant, durable finish.
Metal Signs Offer Several Advantages Over Paper-Based Print Signage
Metal signage can be used where paper and other materials can’t. It can shrug off sunlight, wind, dust, water, heat and cold with ease. It can be placed just about anywhere and designed to almost any specification.