How Do I Choose A Grade of Material for my Custom Sign?

This article will tell you:

1.      What grade of material means and why it’s an important element of your custom sign

2.      How the grade works to protect your sign and the difference between grade and type of material

3.      The three grades of material offered at TheSignChef and which one best fits your needs


Some things are more important than others when you create a custom sign. The grade of material you decide to use is vital because it determines the durability and longevity of your sign.


What is a material grade, anyway?

First, you chose a type of sign material for your sign – aluminum, acrylic, etc. Now it’s time choose the grade of material.

The grade of material refers to the level of color protection on your custom sign. All of our sign materials are of excellent quality and will most often outlast the colors on your sign, despite the grade you choose.

This is because our sign materials are made to last a long time. Aluminum, for example, will last decades.  But the pigments in the vinyl letters that are laid on your sign material will naturally fade with time, the sun and other elements. This is why we offer the extra protection of high quality grades.

So what are my options?

We offer three grades of material at TheSignChef

  • Economy
  • Standard
  • Premium

Each grade of material is rated for durability. You’ll choose your grade based on how long you’d like your sign to last.

Economy Grade signs are uncoated and rated to last up to three years outdoors. Economy grade is right for you if your sign is not for permanent use or if you need to frequently change the design on your sign. With economy grade, you are relying strictly on the strength of the pigments. If you’re happy with replacing or getting rid of your custom sign after three years, choose economy grade.

Standard Grade signs are coated in scratch resistant, clear Dura-Shield UV Protective Laminate and rated to last up to five years outdoors. Standard Grade is right for you if you want more protection against the elements and you’d like more durability.

Premium Grade signs are coated in Premium Grade 3M UV Protective Laminate and rated to last six to eight years outdoors. They have maximum protection and withstand extreme temperatures very well. Premium grade is right for you if you’re looking for a more permanent custom sign and the highest level of durability.

If you’re still not sure what grade of material to use…

Try to look strictly at how long you want your sign to last. The other stuff doesn’t matter all that much.

…Feel free to contact us with any questions!

Our sign specialists are happy to help you determine what grade best fits your needs. We’re here to help! 

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