If you are planning to purchase outdoor signage, getting the right materials is one of the most important concerns you may have. Materials for exterior signs should:

  • Allow you to customize the sign to fit your business perfectly.
  • Stand out the right way to best promote your business.
  • Be durable and weather-resistant.
  • Be easy to attach in a safe, permanent way.

Below are some of the best material options, along with our recommendations for the types of exterior signage they are most suitable for.


When it comes to outdoor signage, aluminum is an excellent option—probably the one we would recommend first. It is a very affordable option, which contributes to making it a best-seller for all kinds of outdoor signage.

Aluminum is lightweight, durable, rigid, and strong. It is an extremely versatile material that can be used for a wide range of outdoor signage. It is easy to customize, as it comes in strong panels of various thicknesses and can be used to build anything from temporary yard signs (.040 gauge thickness) to sturdier post-and-panel signs (.080 gauge thickness), and even heavy-duty permanent signs (.125 gauge thickness).

Aluminum can be combined with other materials to create the perfect sign for your business. As a substrate, it can be covered with vinyl or printed panels.

Aluminum outdoor signs are weather-resistant: aluminum is waterproof and UV resistant, which makes it durable in high temperatures and dry weather. It is a material that won’t rust, split, warp, bleach out, or shatter due to weather elements. Aluminum is also eco-friendly, as it is recyclable once you decide to replace it.

We recommend aluminum for:

  • Temporary outdoor signs, such as yard signs and political signs.
  • Permanent exterior signage, where aluminum can serve as a substrate for panel signs or as a basic structure for light cabinet signs.
  • Channel letters.
  • Custom shapes.
CTDI-Aluminum channel letters outdoor sign | MagSigns: expert signage services
CTDI-Building sign with aluminum channel letters


Made from plastic, PVC is an affordable, extremely durable material, widely used for outdoor signage. It is a lightweight but very sturdy material that never fades or loses its shape, providing you with lasting value signage.

PVC can be cut into whatever form you need for your signs and can be printed in vibrant, high-resolution colors for a highly professional, matte (and glare-free) look. Because it is lightweight, it is great for larger signs that you can attach to an external wall. It is also a great option for A-frames, as it is easy to move around or transport.

We recommend PVC for:

  • A-frames, outdoor tradeshow signs you move often.
  • Large signs that need to be lightweight.
  • Signs with custom shapes.


ACM is a composite material made with a solid polyethylene core and an attractive aluminum surface. Its multiple layers offer ACM exceptional strength and resilience to the elements. There are several ACM types, some with solid sheets of polyethylene as a middle layer and others with a ribbed/corrugated plastic core.

ACM comes at a higher cost than aluminum or PVC, but is stronger than either material. It does not peel or flake and offers a professional finish that makes for high-quality signs.

ACM is highly customizable, as it can be cut to any size and shape. This makes it a great option if you have a sign of unusual shape or dimensions. Because of its plastic core, it offers thickness and depth without any extra weight.

We recommend ACM for:

  • Exterior signs of unusual dimensions or shape.
  • Decorative yard letters or shapes for special occasions, such as yard Christmas decorations.
  • High-quality wall-mounted signs.


MDO is plywood that has a resin-impregnated fiber overlay fused to the surface of the plywood panel. This makes for a glossy, highly professional, durable surface that is water-resistant.

Compared to wood, MDO is more resistant to weather conditions. Also, unlike wood, it needs no special treatment or varnish. It can be painted in any color.

We recommend MDO for:

  • Post-and-panel signs of any kind.


Cafe Diem-Channel letter and logo cabinet with acrylic face outdoor sign | MagSigns: expert signage services
Cafe Diem-Channel letter and logo cabinet with an acrylic face

Acrylic sheets (also known as Plexiglas) are used mainly as the front part of exterior light cabinet signs, because of their translucent nature that lets light through. Acrylic is perfect when you want a glossy finish and illumination. It is a sturdy material that can survive most weather conditions while also being resistant to color fading.

We recommend acrylic for:

  • Light cabinet signs.


Vinyl is a great material for outdoor banners and temporary outdoor signs. It is a durable material that withstands most kinds of weather, from exceptionally cold to extremely hot conditions. Therefore, signs can last for several seasons and be reused repetitively.

Vinyl prints offer high definition and vivid colors, which is exactly what you need to attract attention and make your brand highly visible.

Businesses may need temporary banners for various reasons, from a one-off occasion to repetitive events such as festivals, bazaars, seasonal events, etc. If you need temporary outdoor banners, vinyl is your ideal choice, as it is both inexpensive and highly portable.

Vinyl is also a good option if you cannot afford a more expensive permanent sign yet. It will cover your needs until your budget allows for an aluminum or other type of outdoor sign. Finally, vinyl is also great for A-frames, since you can change the message as often as you wish at a minimal cost.

We recommend vinyl for:

  • Outdoor banners.
  • Election campaign signs.
  • Aluminum panel signs.
St. Mary's Pole banner vinyl outdoor sign | MagSigns: expert signage services
St Mary’s Academy-Vinyl pole banner


Wood is a traditional material for outdoor signs, especially when you go for a rustic, traditional feel. Sturdy and rigid, wood has a classic beauty that looks great as long as you maintain it regularly to withstand water and moisture.

Wood is a very versatile material, as it can be carved, painted, and shaped in any form. The price of a wooden sign depends on the wood you choose to use and the craftsmanship involved in creating the sign.

We recommend wood for:

  • Wooden monuments.
  • Post-and panel signs.
  • Outdoor directional signs.
  • Rustic-looking brand signs.
Outdoor wooden sign by Magnify Signs
Saint Mary’s Glacier – Wooden Post and Panel


If you want the look-and-feel of wood without the fuss, Dura-wood can be a good option. Classy-looking like wood, Dura-wood is in fact made from vinyl and is, therefore, less expensive than real wood. It is also far more weather-resistant and requires very little signage maintenance.

Dura-wood is great for signs of any size and shape, whether one-sided or double-sided.

We recommend Dura-wood for:

  • Signs with a classy “wooden” look.
  • Double-sided hanging signs.

Magnify Signs for Any Materials

Depending on your needs, budget, and the design of your exterior signs, there are many great materials to choose from to create high-quality, professional-looking signage.

From temporary to permanent, from inexpensive to long-term investment, from small to large, and from simple to custom-shaped, we can help you find the best materials for signs that offer value for your investment and will help build the best possible image for your business.

Whichever option you choose, let us help! Call now 303-647-9005 or contact Magnify Signs online for your free quote.