Why Quality Matters for Outdoor School Record Boards

Posted by  Ryan Willi on 06/08/2016

So, you’ve decided it’s time your athletes were recognized for their hard-won achievements. A school record board is a great way to do it. Record boards can be displayed both indoors and outdoors, but outdoor record boards require a little more thought to make sure they are done right. Outlined below are the largest factors to keep in mind when considering an outdoor record board for your team.

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MATERIALS

Choosing the right materials should be the largest consideration when shopping for an outdoor record board. Ice, snow, rain, wind and even the sun can be harsh on outdoor signage. Your record board must stand up to all of the standard weather elements. These standard weather conditions are typically defined in the signage industry as temperatures between 150 degrees and -50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The first thing to consider is the substrate used for the record board. This base material is the backbone and main support structure for the record board. The material we recommend is an aluminum composite material such as Dibond®. This material is composed of two pre-painted sheets of .012” aluminum with a solid polyethylene core. It offers excellent durability for outdoor applications, as it will never rust, corrode or warp. In June 2001, the Federal Highway Administration approved this composite aluminum material for work-zone safety signage as well as other highway signage. This is the most common material used for outdoor signage and has a 15 year product guarantee from the manufacturer.

Once the substrate has been chosen the next consideration should be the printed graphics. Team Fitz digitally prints on outdoor, permanent-grade vinyl with adhesive backing. This vinyl has a guarantee from the manufacturer for 7 years of outdoor use. This is the longest the major manufacturers guarantee any of their materials. The ink that is used comes with a manufacturer’s outdoor guarantee of three years if left un-laminated.

That being said, it is important to make sure that your record board is properly laminated. The laminate we use on all outdoor record boards protects the printed surface, features a matte finish to reduce glare, and most importantly, offers ultra-violet light protection. UV light can cause image fade, so this is an important factor to consider. Our laminate manufacturer offers a five-year guarantee.

So I have mentioned a couple different manufacturer guarantees on individual materials, but what happens when they are all put together? Durability of these materials is calculated by adding the three-year ink guarantee, plus the five-year laminate guarantee equaling eight years total. This is all without seeing more than 10% color fade or breakdown of materials. Outdoor protected prints like these will not fade more than 10% in the first eight years. Beyond that there shouldn’t be more than 5-10% fading over the next ten years. A 10% color fade over 8-10 years is considered undetectable by the naked eye. Team Fitz uses premium materials that are all designed for outdoor use. I do not think that you will find any sign manufacturer that would offer a longer guarantee than offered by the material manufacturers. As long as the signs are taken care of and not abused, your outdoor record board should last well beyond the first ten years with minimal change from the year of purchase.

DESIGN & PLACEMENT

Once the correct materials are established, it is time to think about design. For an outdoor record board, the biggest detail to think about is size and placement. Talk to your sales representative where you would like to hang your record board and from how far away it will be viewed. Because outdoor record boards are generally viewed from a distance, you will want to make sure the type is large enough to read. Your sales rep will work with our design staff to make sure your record board is readable from that distance.

Like any product we design, we will work to make sure your logo and colors are thoughtfully incorporated in a high-impact layout that will grab attention.

SERVICE AFTER THE SALE

School record boards are unique from many other types of outdoor signage in that you will need to update them as records are broken. We’ve established that these record boards will last a long time. You want to choose a company that is easy to work with and can provide you with the same high-quality record board updates as the original record board created. This service after the sale is something that Team Fitz prides itself on. We understand the importance of this excellent customer service is a huge part of what earns a good long-term partnership with the schools we work with.

Every outdoor record board project is unique. Contact us today to discuss the details of your project with a member of our sales team. We would be happy to walk you through the process and get started on an initial design and quote proposal. We can be reached at 855.356.8550 or info@teamfitzgraphics.com.

Topics: Record Boards

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