Di-Hard: The Ultimate Guide to Dibond Business Signs
Dibond signs, also known as Aluminum Composite Panels (ACP), are a type of rigid sign that was originally created in 1965. They consist of a solid polyethylene core sandwiched between two .12” aluminum sheets. While Dibond has been around for over half a century, it’s become increasingly popular over the last few years due to its strength and durability, along with beautifully rendered images — as well as its affordability when compared to other hard metal signs.
Some other great features of Dibond include the versatility of allowing graphics to be printed on both sides, as well as being available in thicker versions than solid metal graphics (usually 2mm and 4 mm). Additionally, being half the weight of aluminum means they are also considerably easier to transport and install. Dibond signs are ideal for indoor as well as outdoor signage, and they allow for a professional look at a surprisingly reasonable price. They can last for years outside and a decade or more inside without fading. In short, they are often considered the ideal type of multi-use commercial sign.
In this blog we’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to purchasing Dibond signs, as well as offer tips on how to create the perfect sign that’s right for you — as well as maintain your graphic so that it lasts as long as possible.
Dibond Sign Sizes
Since we already know what Dibond signs are made of, the second most frequent question we get asked about is sizing. Dibond sign sizes can vary greatly, from compact indoor signage to expansive exterior signs. A single seamless sheet of Dibond can be as small as 6” x 6” (24 square inches) or as large as 5’ x 10’ (50 square feet)! Even larger signs are also possible, which will usually involve multiple panels being mounted together to form a single graphic.
Dibond Sign Finishes
In order to complete the look of your sign, Dibond aluminum sheets come in a variety of finishes. Brushed metal, bronze, and coil-painted are all popular choices.
Our standard Dibond sign comes with a pre-painted polyester finish because it is:
- More receptive to digital printing
- Offers greater color clarity
- Provides a rich luster for an overall attractive look
On the other hand, a brushed metal finish offers the following advantages:
- The lack of polyester finish will increase the sign’s luminescence, allowing light to beautifully reflect off it, in addition to
- Offering a more textured appearance
- Providing a more industrial look to fit in better with certain surroundings
Dibond Strength and Durability
We know Dibond is both strong and durable but we still often get asked:
Just how strong and durable is it?
Why does it last so long?
Both aluminum and polyethylene are tough materials on their own but when combined they complement each other greatly. The aluminum panels protect the solid plastic core, while the plastic allows for added structural stability — by minimizing the risk of bending or bowing in high wind conditions — and depth for the aluminum panels, creating a graphic that is both more lightweight and more weather –resistant than even solid aluminum plate. In fact, Dibond panels are even being used as an architectural material in many buildings.
Dibond is Stronger than Aluminum Alone
Our Dibond is also printed using waterproof UV-resistant inks, which prevent the sign face from fading in both sunlight and harsh winter weather. The one thing you should be careful of is scratching the sign face — which normally occurs in the form of fine marks when a sign is being moved or cleaned. These small hairline scratches can usually be seen from up close and may not be visible from a distance.
To prevent scratches, use only soft cloths and mild soap for cleaning Dibond. You should also watch out for buttons, belt buckles, and loose items hanging from your tool belt while moving your sign. It is also probably a good idea to wrap your sign in non-abrasive packing foam sheets while carrying it, in order to prevent any minor damage from clothing such as denim.
As far as Dibond signs’ service life, it can often last for up to five years outdoors without any noticeable fading — even in harsh weather. Indoors, they might exceed ten years of mint condition use.
Uniquely Shaped and Dual-Sided Dibond Graphics
In addition to the standard rectangle and square dimension signs, Dibond can also be made into nearly any shape or design. This involves contour-cutting using a CNC router, which will precisely fashion your Dibond sign by either using a variety of popular patterns or a completely custom-made shape.
In addition, Dibond possesses the unique characteristic of allowing a double-sided sign. This means that instead of printing two separate signs, you can create one multi-purpose graphic. Anytime you need to change the sign’s look or message, simply flip it over, and voilà — you now have a brand-new sign face.
Photo Printing for Amazing Dibond Displays
Another great advantage of aluminum composite signs is their ability to retain superior quality photographic prints. Thanks to their durability this can be a great way to preserve a photo, as well as display it both indoors and out with ease. The strength of Dibond also means your photo prints will not bend, arch, or curve — even under strong winds. Whether you use a polyester finish for bright vibrant colors or a textured brush metal finish for stunning black and white images, Dibond can help you bring your photo displays to the next level.
Popular Uses for Dibond Signs
Dibond signs are a great way to advertise, decorate, or even create custom art installations in galleries and museums. Some of the most popular applications for ACP signs include:
- Corporate Offices
- Architectural Signage
- Tradeshow Booths
- Point of Purchase (POP) Displays
- Construction Materials/ Building Facades
- Real Estate
- Directional Signage
- Marinas/ Party Boats / Charters
- Hospitals and Nursing Facilities
- Cultural Institutions
- Art Galleries
- Government Departments
- Military and Law Enforcement
- Family Photos
Dibond signs possess a variety of advantages for all types of businesses, properties, and organizations. Much of this multifacetedness stems from Dibond being a hybrid of durable plastic and rigid metal. Anyone who has ever used Dibond knows how effective it is both as a sign material and a medium for printed graphics. Whether you’re looking for a large outdoor sign that both withstands the elements and stands out from the rest — or indoor signage that offers a unique and permanent look, then Dibond may very well be the perfect sign for you.
Need Help? Ask the Pros at Brooklyn Signs
To learn more about how Dibond signs can work for you, contact Brooklyn Signs anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 252-7575 during normal business hours. We can walk you through our wide selection of styles — along with any existing logos or artwork that need to be included — in order to collaborate on a custom-tailored signage solution. You can also view our Dibond sign gallery for some examples of effective business graphics we’ve made for our successful clients throughout New York City and beyond.
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