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How Much Does Plastic Signage Cost?

For many new sign businesses, pricing is one of the most critical things to consider. Making a price that’s too high or too low could affect your business’s profitability and survival.

To better understand what goes into appropriate pricing for signage, let’s look at some of the different materials you can use.

What Materials Are Used For Sign Boards?

Choosing a new sign for your business or event? It’s time to consider the materials you could use for your new sign. We will look at the benefits and disadvantages of each and ensure you make the right choice before ordering a sign.

Below are six of the most popular materials used for commercial signage. Each has advantages and disadvantages, which makes the proper selection based on how the sign is to be used a must.

Corrugated Plastic

Also known as fluted polypropylene, corriboard, Cartonplast, Polyflute, Coroplast, Corflute, and other names, corrugated plastic is one of the most widely used materials for signs because of its affordability, versatility, and lightweight. Unlike most other materials, corrugated plastic can be folded or bent into any form to provide distinctive displays. Standees, bollard covers, and post sleeves are three of the most popular types of displays made of corrugated plastic.

That corrugated plastic can be used outdoors is one of its main advantages. Because of this, it’s a common choice for signs at events like sporting competitions and music or art festivals. Corrugated plastic tends to come in thicknesses of 3.3 mm and 5 mm.

Foam Board

You can frequently find foam board (sometimes referred to as foamcore) used for temporary signs at indoor events, including trade exhibitions, corporate gatherings, and press conferences. Foamcore signs are highly portable, thanks to their exceptionally lightweight. Foamcore can also be printed on both sides to increase visibility. Its primary drawback is that it’s not advisable for outdoor use.

Foam board typically comes in 5 mm, 10 mm, and 20 mm thicknesses.

Aluminum Composite Panel (ACM)

Aluminum composite panels, also known as ACM, are ideal for outdoor signage. It’s a robust and durable material that’s also highly weather-resistant and won’t fade in the sun. ACM can also be made to be rust-resistant. This material is trendy for real estate signage.

The only notable disadvantage is the price. These signs cost a little more to reflect their longer lifespan.

PVC Foam Board

This solid plastic sheet sign material is commonly used around trade shows and exhibitions. Though not intended for outdoor use, some people will use PVC form board signs around business locations because it is waterproof and can hold high-quality images.

Unfortunately, PVC foam board signs might be too frail for outdoor use. While rain wouldn’t be a problem, strong winds could cause the sign to become damaged or bent.


Acrylic is an excellent material for both interior and exterior signage. You’ll often see it used as reception-signage or signage in an office setting. Acrylic’s transparent features give it a modern look, making it a popular alternative to many other rigid materials. It’s also weather-resistant and considerably more robust than glass but ten times less the weight.

Self Adhesive Vinyl

The main benefit of self-adhesive vinyl (SAV) is its adaptability. SAVs may be applied to almost any surface and look fantastic. While popular for large surfaces such as walls and tall windows, SAVs can also be used on concrete, carpet, tiles, floorboard, and even roads. It can come in different varieties, including removable, permanent, and transparent.

What About Illuminated Signs?

For outdoor lighted signs, popular options are certain types of acrylic or polycarbonate plastic—the most popular brands being OPTIX® and Acrylite®. One of our most popular sign grade polycarbonates is TUFFAK®,  an acrylic material from Plaskolite.

While the polycarbonate costs more than acrylic options, it’s for a good reason. It’s incredibly long-lasting and strong (up to 50 times stronger than acrylic or plexiglass) and is virtually unbreakable. Clear versions of polycarbonates are often used for bulletproof glass. It also features an extremely high light transmission. This allows you to use LED lights, which helps reduce overall costs without sacrificing brightness, clarity, and quality. Polycarbonate is usually the best choice whenever an oversized sign is being considered.

Calculating Costs

Several factors go into figuring out how much to charge for plastic signs.

Labor should generally be the first to consider and it's usualy charged by the hour. This should cover design, printing, mounting, cutting, assembly, and wiring where applicable.

Materials costs will vary depending on what you choose. As we covered above, different materials are more appropriate for some signs than others. Most sign manufacturers in the US use an online resource called SIGNTracker to help calculate costs.

Should you factor in overhead?

Possibly. Much of that depends on the size of your business, the number of employees, and if you’re paying for specialized, high-end equipment or software. This may require some experimentation on your part. You want to be profitable, but you also want to be competitive. Study what types of signs are most in demand and what your local competitors are charging, and use that as a basis for how you determine to price.

The Ultimate Pricing Factor

What it really comes down to is quality.

Quality design. Quality materials. Quality service.

The good news is that you don’t have to go into this blind. Online resources such as Canva can help with the design process, and resources such as SIGNTracker can help you with some of the specifics of material and costs.

Providing thoughtful service is up to you.

At Piedmont Plastics, our materials experts can help as well. Give us a call, and we can help you choose the best materials for all aspects of your next sign project.