Sign material – dimensional/channel letters

Three dimensional signage substrates can be purchased preformed from many suppliers. With a free-floating appearance, dimensional/channel letters can be displayed on their own or with backlighting, depending on the aesthetic desired.

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Sign material – magnetic sheet

Magnetic sheeting is a good choice for small reusable and reaffixable signs, and is a particularly popular material for car decals. Sheets typically have a blank side onto which you can affix vinyl decals or letters or print using inks. Although the magnetic side often is strong enough to withstand even high wind speeds once affixed, the sign’s ability to withstand other elements such as UV light and precipitation often is dependent on the ink used to personalize it.

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Sign material – metal

Nonporous and durable, metals are an ideal choice for outdoor signage because they tend to withstand the elements well over the long term, although some varieties may rust after prolonged exposure to precipitation or humidity. Bronze is a particularly popular choice for outdoor signage because it does not rust—although it does tend to be flexible and will need to be attached in several areas to prevent it from catching the wind. Metal can be heavy, so many organizations choose to use lighter, metallic-finish substrates, such as treated Styrofoam, to achieve the same look with less weight. Most metals and metallics can be laser- or rotary-engraved to achieve at least a surface etch; with a pretreatment, some metal and metallic substrates also will accept direct printing.

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Sign material – acrylic

Acrylic comes in a wide variety of colors, translucencies, and sheens, making it appropriate for a wide variety of signage applications—and giving it a reputation for a high-end look. This versatile substrate also can be edge-lit, giving acrylic signs a glow reminiscent of neon. But acrylic can melt or warp when exposed to very hot conditions or direct sunlight over the long term, making it a common choice for indoor uses. Acrylic can be rotary- and laser-engraved and cut, sandcarved to a surface etch, and thermobent into specific shapes.

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Sign material – plastic

From the engraver’s variety of corrugated sheets, plastic comes in a wide variety of looks and types; from opaque to translucent; in any color; and in finishes ranging from wood-grain and chalkboard to glow in the dark—making it a highly versatile substrate for signage. Used for both indoor and outdoor, plastic typically withstands the elements well, although may be sensitive to high-heat, focused light. Corrugated plastics are a popular choice for time-limited indoor and outdoor uses, such as for election or real-estate signs, although it is relatively thin and therefore more sensitive UV light, wind, and precipitation.

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Sign material – vinyl

Vinyl tends to withstand the elements well and can be used for a wide-variety of applications, including semi-permanent decals. Vinyl also is easily cut, making it a popular product for custom-cut letters. Note, true vinyl (that is, PVC-based vinyl) releases various chemicals that can be harmful to laser engravers when subjected to high heat. Most vinyls take printing well, and represent a relatively quick, cheap option for large-scale signs such as banners and window or floor decals.

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Sign material – plaques

This signage workhorse can be made with a wide variety of materials, such as metal and metal-look, plastic, wood, glass, and crystal substrates, and is used for everything from wayfinding signs to donor walls or informational signs, although plaques often are the first choice for more formal recognition uses. Based on the material used, plaques can be personalized using a wide variety of processes, from laser engraving to sandcarving and direct printing.

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Sign material – wood

Wood products tend to be strong and rigid, this substrate a good choice for post-and-panel
applications. Wood and wood-based products also give signage a rustic look that is popular among clients. However, without pretreatment, woods and medium-density overlay (known as MDO)/medium-density fiberboard (knows as MDF) can absorb water over time, eventually warping the sign. Wood substrates are highly decoratable and can easily be laser- or rotary-engraved and cut, as well as sandcarved or painted. If you’re looking for a less porous substrate with the same natural look, try working with plastic substrates with a wood-grain finish.

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Reach new heights

Look no further than Encore Awards crystal for show-stopping awards. These optic crystal pieces give off a stunningly strong presence through the use of carefully cut bevels and towering heights, making them perfect for all of your recognition needs. Available in different sizes, all of the awards offer plenty of engraving area for a beautifully sandblasted message or logo.

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Shot Glasses

Our Personalized Shot Glasses make chic party favors for any occasion! Featuring a weighted base and your chosen design printed directly on the glass, these shot glasses are cute and custom made for your special events. Personalized Shot Glasses can also be used as votive candle holders.

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