When choosing the substrate for your sign there are many choices available. You could choose plastic, wood, acrylic, aluminum, corrugated plastic (Corroplast), foam board and more. Two of the most popular choices for sign substrates are definitely Aluminum and Corrugated Plastic. These are the two I would like to compare and discuss in this article.
There is a big difference between corrugated plastic signs and aluminum signs. For starters one is made from plastic where the other is made from aluminum. One is not necessarily better than the other. They just have different areas they are designed to be used in. Let’s take a closer look.
First let’s discuss the rigidness of the two signs. An aluminum sign is much more rigid than a corrugated plastic sign. So we must keep this in mind when choosing between the two. I would never install a corrugated plastic sign in a sign stand on a windy day or mount it to a pole. It could buckle and blow away much sooner than an aluminum sign would, in the same stand, under the same weather conditions.
Now let’s look at price of each sign material. An aluminum sign will typically cost more than a corrugated plastic sign. A corrugated plastic sign is also going to be less expensive to ship. Without question a corrugated sign is meant to be a budget sign alternative. When you need a sign that will last outdoors I would say that corrugated signs are the least expensive option available. This savings is also passed on when considering sign stands or mounting hardware. The stands you purchase for light weight corrugated plastic are usually much more affordable than the stands you would purchase for an heavier aluminum sign.
If you are looking for a longer term solution I would have to say aluminum would win the battle for longevity. Not necessarily because of the image coming off or fading, rather because of the overall structure of the material. A corrugated sign is more likely to fold, buckle, and blow away. An aluminum sign mounted in a quality stand may cost a bit more, however it will last much longer than a corrugated plastic sign.
Ease of installation is not a big issue on either an aluminum sign or a corrugated plastic sign. However the corrugated plastic sign is definitely much easier to handle and install. Now would also be a good time to mention that a corrugated plastic sign is less likely to get damaged or scratched during transport. It is a much lighter and more flexible product, therefore it is much more forgiving when rubbing against other objects. With the exception of being crushed or bent in half. All of our signs are very well packaged with corner protectors when needed and air pillows to prevent this from happening.
I would definitely prefer using a corrugated plastic sign for mounting from a ceiling indoors. It is lighter and safer than using an aluminum sign. However if wind is present the aluminum sign would be a bit more stable. Aluminum also tends to have a more quality and a more professional look.
As you can see both of these sign substrates are a reasonable option to consider for your sign project. For small sign projects I would have to say aluminum and corrugated signs are two of the most popular substrate choices.