Aluminum Signs VS Acrylic Signs

Read to discover:

  • Why aluminum and acrylic signs are so popular and what they have in common
  • What you should consider when choosing between aluminum and acrylic
  • Different ways to use each type of sign and what type of environment they’re best suited for

People often ask what our most popular sign materials are. Aluminum and Acrylic signs combined account for about 40% of the signs we make. While the two have a lot of similarities, they also have some big differences that can help you determine which (if either) will fit your needs best.

What do aluminum and acrylic signs have in common?

Most importantly, both aluminum and acrylic are extremely versatile. They can both be used indoors or outdoors, though aluminum is more common outdoors while acrylic is often found indoors.

Both are very lightweight and durable, which accounts in large part for their popularity. In fact, aluminum is among the most durable sign materials available.

Because aluminum and acrylic are both light and thin, they are easy to install. Acrylic mounts easily to the wall.

Both materials are also waterproof – a big reason they endure well outdoors.

But the similarities pretty much end there.  So while aluminum and acrylic share some vital factors, their differences are extremely important to note.

What are the differences between aluminum and acrylic?

Let’s start with Aluminum:

  • Very popular for real estate signs
  • Extremely strong
  • Perfectly smooth finish
  • Rustproof
  • Cost effective (but more expensive than acrylic)
  • Won’t deteriorate
  • Rigid yet flexible
  • Great for double sided signage
  • Lasts decades indoors and up to eight years outdoors


Now let’s look at Acrylic:

  • Clear acrylic signs are available and extremely popular in office buildings, etc.
  • High gloss surface gives a professional look
  • Polished gold and silver standoffs used to mount acrylic signs appear very high-end
  • Pigments on acrylic hold color well
  • Inexpensive
  • Ideal for lighted sign displays
  • For one-sided signs only
  • Lasts indefinitely indoors

You can see that although similar, they’re best used for different reasons.

When should I use aluminum and when should I use acrylic?

Aluminum is the most popular outdoor sign material we offer. It is most often used for signs that provide directions or instructions, such as traffic signs and yard signs. Real estate signs are one of the most popular uses for aluminum.  (You can learn how to design an effective real estate sign here.)

Acrylic is used very often in corporate interiors and hotel lobbies. It’s glossy, modern appearance makes acrylic great for professional uses and branding. You’ll often see acrylic name plate signs on office doors, for example.

If you have any questions about choosing the ideal sign material for your needs, contact our sign experts anytime between 9am and 9pm seven days a week.

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