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Finding the Right Materials for Outdoor Athletic Signage

Posted by  Ryan Willi on 07/31/2017

Ice, wind, and the harsh ultraviolet rays from the sun can all be harmful for outdoor signage. Choosing the right materials should be the biggest consideration when selecting outdoor recognition signs. It’s important that your signs stand up to all the standard weather elements. In the sign industry, standard elements are defined as temperatures between 150 degrees and -50 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The backbone of any outdoor sign is the rigid surface or substrate on which the graphics are applied. The material we typically recommend is a composite aluminum material such as Dibond®. This material is made of two sheets of .012” aluminum with a solid core of polyethylene plastic. This extremely durable material will never corrode, rust or warp, and is guaranteed for 15 years by the manufacturer. This material has even been approved for work-zone safety signage and other highway signage by the Federal Highway Administration.

Next the printed graphics are applied to the selected substrate. Team Fitz digitally prints on outdoor, permanent-grade adhesive backed vinyl. This process not only produces crisp and vibrant graphics, the vinyl also carries a seven-year manufacturer’s warranty. This is the longest any of the major manufacturers guarantee their materials. The ink features a three-year guarantee if left un-laminated.

As a final protection, It is important to properly laminate outdoor signage. Not only does this laminate layer offer extra protection against abrasion and reduces glare, it most importantly protects against UV color fade. Our laminate offers a five-year manufacturers guarantee.

So there have been several guarantees mentioned in the paragraphs above. It is important to understand that these materials work together to prolong the life of the final product. Durability and lifespan is calculated by adding the three-year ink guarantee, plus the five year laminate guarantee equaling eight years. This takes into consideration less than 10% color fade or breakdown of materials. Protected outdoor prints will not fade more than 10% in the first eight years and should not fade more than 5-10% percent beyond that over the following ten years. A 10% color fade over 8-10 years is considered undetectable to the naked eye.

Team Fitz is committed to using premium materials, printing, and manufacturing processes for all outdoor signs. We do not think you will find a sign manufacturer that will provide a longer warranty than the material manufacturers. Provided your signs are not abused, your outdoor signage should last well past the first ten years with minimal change from the date of purchase.

We offer a full range of outdoor signage including post & panel campus signs, die-cut championship signs, retired jersey signs, and standard facility signs. Reach out to Team Fitz today to speak with a representative about signage for your athletic facilities.

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Topics: Record Boards

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