View Full Version : How to make white sign

Scott Shepherd
07-31-2007, 11:27 AM
I see a lot of signs, larger signs, that are some sort of white acrylic with various colors of letters on it. On most, it appears the lettering is done on the inside. I know there are some translucent vinyls available but I'm not sure if that's what you use.

The application I'm looking at is an outdoor location and is not backlite at all. The letters almost have to be on the inside as it needs to be somewhat vandal-proof, where as letters on the outside would allow them to pick at them.

Anyone know how to accomplish this, what materials are used? The white acrylic looking material as well as the vinyl?

Joe Pelonio
07-31-2007, 12:20 PM
There are several ways to do it. One is to place colored vinyl lettering (cut in reverse) on the back of clear acrylic (or Polycarbonate) and then cover that with white vinyl. Another is to do the same but place a thinner piece of white acrylic behind it. Or, you can plave the lettering on the front of white acrylic and add a piece of thiiner clear on top of it.

If the sign is up high and not subject to picking, do the lettering on the outside of white acrylic, it will look better/brighter.

When you buy white acrylic there are several levels of opacity. The one I use for backlit signs is referred to at my supplier as "sign white". For non-backlit you want the most opaque.

Translucent vinyl is normally used only for backlit signs, since the color is not as rich and glossy as the opaque vinyl.

Brian Robison
07-31-2007, 4:24 PM
Hi Scott, I'm trying to figure out exactly what you mean.
If I understand correctly, how about this.
Paint a piece of acrylic white on one side. Cut out the letters and cut to size. Take a piece of colored cast acrylic and cut out the letters. Take a piece of substrate (more acrylic works well) and put a 3M or other brand of double side tape on it, then cut to size. I use a 6" or a 12" double sided tape. Place the white sheet on the substrate and install the letters. I use this technique for mirrored license plates all the time.

Scott Shepherd
07-31-2007, 7:45 PM
Thanks Joe, that's it. Brian, I'll try and take a photo tomorrow or the next day and post it. Basically, it's just a solid white substrate. You see a lot of it used in signs on tall poles for restaurants, etc. and they most often seem to have a light in them that makes in light up from the inside. Some are vacuum formed, but some are dead flat and just have colored letters and graphics.

Those are the type I'm talking about. Joe's got it right. I'll try and get a photo up soon.

Scott Shepherd
08-02-2007, 9:55 AM
Brain, here's the type of sign I was talking about :

Brian Robison
08-02-2007, 4:33 PM
Got it, I was way out in left field there. I hope to learn a lot from this thread and be able to efficiently make signs in the future.