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6 Durable Materials to Use for Outdoor Signage



06.08.2022

6 Most Common Materials for Outdoor Signs

When selecting materials for outdoor signs, it's critical that you take into consideration the many variables that are at play in comparison with indoor signage. Factors like weather, temperatures, wind, and ultimately the purpose of your signage will all impact the material you select.

Get helpful tips on setting up design files for large format print >

To help guide you in your decision making, here are six of the most common materials used to create durable outdoor signs:

1) Coroplast

A staple in the sign industry, coroplast is perfect for outdoor signs on a budget. Made of corrugated plastic, coroplast is both light-weight and weather resistant. Coroplast is best used for temporary outdoor signs including event signage, although the material can last up to 1-2 years outdoors depending on conditions. This product can be easily cleaned, is stain-proof, and will withstand elements like rain and snow.

Coroplast Sandwich Board

Key features of coroplast signs include:

  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Water proof
  • Ability to add grommets for hanging
  • Can be printed double-sided

2) Bubbl-X

Bubbl-X is an ideal option for lightweight outdoor signs. This product is blue bin recyclable, making it an ideal option for businesses invested in their environmental footprint and sustainability. Bubbl-X is similar to coroplast in look and feel, but offers a smoother surface for printing, and instead of flutes, it has a core similar to heavy-duty bubble wrap. The result is a smooth, waterproof, light-weight sign that is slightly more durable than coroplast.

Key features of Bubbl-X signs include:

  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Water proof
  • Recyclable
  • Ability to add grommets for hanging
  • Can be printed double-sided

3) PVC Board

PVC board is a white product that looks and acts similar to wood, but has a hard, smooth finish that is ideal for printing single or double sided. Stable for use indoors or out, PVC board can be cut, glued and screwed as if it were plywood.

Key features of PVC board signs include:

    • Indoor or outdoor use
    • Water proof
    • Can be printed double-sided

4) DIBOND

Dibond Billboard

DIBOND is an aluminum composite material that has a solid polyethylene core sandwiched between thin gauge aluminum on either side. This product offers a lightweight, rigid and durable solution that is very suitable for long-term outdoor use.

Key features of DIBOND signs include:

    • Indoor or outdoor use
    • Water proof
    • Can be printed double-sided

5) Aluminum

Solid aluminum is an ideal substrate for signs that need to perform outdoors for several years, such as parking lot signs, pipeline markers and site access signs. Most road signs you'll see today are made of aluminum because of their ability to withstand heat, hail, and rain. And for those looking for a sustainable option, aluminum's recyclability makes it an ideal choice.

Key features of aluminum signs include:

    • Indoor or outdoor use
    • Water proof
    • Recyclable

6) Crezone

Crezone Billboard

Crezone is an exterior grade plywood, specially treated and pre-painted white for use in outdoor signage. This product is ideal for use in cold temperatures because it is resistant to cracking and can easily be screwed to a backboard or bolted to sign posts. This product is often used for billboard advertisements, construction site signs, real estate signs, and a-frames.

Key features of crezone signs include:

    • Indoor or outdoor use
    • Water proof
    • Can be printed double-sided

Need help with your signage project?

If you're not sure which outdoor signage product will work best for you, we're here to provide expertise and guidance. Get in touch with our team today, and we'll help you manage your signs from concept to completion.


04.06.2023

How to Use Signage to Enhance Your Customer Experience

Have you ever walked into a store or office building and felt confused by your surroundings? Maybe you weren’t sure which line up at the coffee shop was for ordering versus pickup, or what floor of the high rise your meeting was on. These subtle but critical interactions—or lack thereof—all contribute to the customer experience. Customer experience is a hot topic for businesses today—and it’s no wonder why when 73% of companies that do well with it perform financially better than their competitors. While customer experience is a broad topic and includes many facets of your customer-facing interactions, there’s one aspect of it that businesses often overlook: signage. In the examples above, proper signage would have made for a smoother interaction with the customer, creating a better overall experience. Let’s explore how your organization can enhance the customer experience using signage solutions. 1) Direct customers with wayfinding signage Wayfinding signage helps customers navigate your space, find what they're looking for, and feel more comfortable in the process. Wayfinding signage can include directional signs, maps, and floor decals that guide customers to different areas of your retail store or office. By making it easy for customers to find what they need, you can help reduce frustration and create a more positive experience. Some examples of wayfinding include: Directional signs that point to restrooms, elevators or exitsPathfinding signs that guide customers from point A to BIdentification signs such as floor numbers and room namesRegulatory signs including warning signs, exit signs and parking regulations 2) Establish connection with brand signage Your brand is a critical part of your organization's identity, and signage can help reinforce it to create brand recognition, attachment and recall. By incorporating your logo, brand colors, and other branding elements into your signage, you can create a cohesive and memorable experience for customers. This type of signage can include exterior signs, window displays, and even custom wallpaper or murals that showcase your brand in a unique way. Get inspired by our signage gallery > 3) Communicate clearly with informational signage Making it easy for customers to find the information they need is essential to creating a positive experience. Informational signage can include things like your hours of operation, pricing, policies, and other important details that customers need to know. By making this information clear and accessible, you can help customers make informed decisions and avoid confusion. 4) Create an atmosphere with decorative signage Signage can also be used to create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. Decorative signage can include artwork, inspirational quotes, and other fun elements that add personality and warmth to your space. By creating a space that feels inviting and comfortable, you can help customers feel more at ease and enjoy their experience more. Next time you’re out and about, take time to spot all the different types of signage that were well thought out and intentionally installed to make your experience a positive one—or, not so positive. Being strategic about your signage placement can make a space easy to navigate, reinforce your brand identity, provide customers with the information they need, and create a welcoming atmosphere that wins loyalty. Are you ready for a signage refresh? We’re here to help! If you’re not sure where to start, we’ll send a signage expert to explore your space and provide strategic recommendations for signage that can improve your customer experience. Drop us a line to get started.

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03.02.2023

Print Design vs. Digital Design: Understanding the Differences

Just decades ago, graphic designers spent their days producing print layouts for products like posters, books and brochures. But in today’s digital world, the realm of graphic design is expansive and ever-evolving. Although they share the same basic principles, print design and digital design each require a unique skill set and approach. Let’s dive into some of their key differences. What is Print Design? Print design is the artful creation of digital files that will eventually be produced as physical media. You can find print designers developing creative for products like: MagazinesBooksNewspapersBrochuresFlyersBusiness CardsBillboards Packaging, and more Dive into digital printing > What is Digital Design? Digital design refers to the creation of designs intended for publishing across digital media. The world of digital design may include: Digital advertisements WebsitesSocial media assetsApps, and more The Core Differences Between Digital and Print Design Whether designing for print or digital, creative designers need to take into consideration these core differences before diving in: Resolution Print design requires a much higher resolution than digital design to ensure the final product renders sharp and clear. Digital design, on the other hand, must take into consideration the resolution of the varying devices on which the design will be viewed (like a small cellphone screen vs. large desktop screen). Digital designers also need to consider the interactivity of their creative, which may include animations, clickable links, and other features that are not available in print. Medium When designing for print, it’s important to take into account the physical characteristics of the finished product such as paper size, weight, texture, and colour. This means that the design needs to be created with a specific print size in mind, including appropriate margins and bleed areas. Print designs must also take into account how colours will appear on paper, which may differ from how they appear on a computer screen. That said, our brand new HP Indigo 15K Digital Press is able to colour match up to 97% of PANTONE® colours—a truly unprecedented innovation! We own the only HP Indigo 15K in Western Canada! Learn More > Layout A billboard is huge, a banner is large, and a mobile screen is itty bitty. Our point? The layout of a design is heavily influenced by the medium in which it will be displayed. In print design, the designer has complete control over the size and placement of elements on the page, allowing for precise control over the visual hierarchy of the design that guides the viewer's eye through the content. In digital design, layouts often need to be responsive—meaning that it must adjust to different screen sizes and resolutions. This can limit the amount of control that the designer has over the layout, as certain elements may need to be moved or resized to fit the screen. Calls-to-action (CTAs) In digital design, the audience’s call to action (CTA) often renders in the form of clickable buttons, links and forms. Because taking action from a print piece typically requires more effort, print designers need to be creative in the way they incorporate their CTAs. Many designers today are using print-based digital technologies like QR codes and augmented reality (AR) to make it easier for the audience to move through the journey from physical to digital. Printing & Publishing Finally, the production process for print and digital designs varies greatly. Print designs must be sent to a printer for physical production, while digital designs can be published online with the click of a button. This means that print designs require more pre-production work—such as physical proofing and colour correction—to ensure that the final product matches the designer's vision. Get a designer that can do both! Did you know WCD’s in-house Creative Services agency specializes in both print and digital design? Not only do we have the all-around expertise, but we also have the production capabilities to print small and large format projects—from 10” brochures to 10’ banners! It’s never been easier to produce your multimedia campaigns in one place. But don’t take our word for it—get immersed in some of our favourite creative campaigns!

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04.11.2022

6 Renter-Friendly Ways to Decorate Your Home and Workplace

Personalized Décor Ideas for the Home and Office Spring has sprung, and so has that “out with the old, in with the new” itch that comes with spring cleaning. It’s a time of renewal, and often that means redefining our space with new inspiration. For many renters, redecorating a home or office space can be challenging. Thankfully, there are many options for temporary, removable, and non-damaging décor that can bring renewed energy to your space—all without the stress or expense of permanent renovations! We’re here to help you get those creative juices flowing. Discover WCD’s options for home and office décor > 1) Canvas Prints You can bring your most cherished memories and your favourite landscapes into any space with personalized, art-quality canvas prints. A cost-effective option, canvas prints are available in a wide variety of sizes and are light enough to be hung with non-damaging photo hangers like Command strips. Creative tip: Style a featured gallery wall in your home or office with a series of different-sized prints! 2) Wall Murals Go larger than life with an indoor wall mural that you can become fully immersed in. Vinyl wall murals are affordable, easy to remove, and non-damaging. They are also fully customizable and can adapt to your space. Wall murals are commonly used in commercial spaces like offices to brighten up a space, but can also be easily applied to a feature wall in any room at home. Need help with design? Our Creative Services team has you covered. Creative tip: Bring the outdoors into your space with a wall mural that celebrates nature. 3) Wall Decals Wall decals can add dimension and depth to your space, and the creative options are endless. Whether you're decorating a children's nursery with fun florals or adding pops of your brand throughout an office space, decals are a great temporary to long-term solution. Made with removable vinyl, these oversized stickers are easy to self-install, won't damage your paint or drywall when removed, and can be cut to your desired shape. Creative tip: Colour blocked shapes like arches and circles are in! Instead of painting a feature shape, install it in minutes with a vinyl decal. 4) Custom Wallpaper Traditional wallpaper can be difficult to apply and especially difficult to remove, often causing damaged walls (and frustration!). With removable vinyl, you can achieve any textured look you want in a space using your own custom wallpaper design. Creative tip: Create a bold feature wall with a unique wallpaper pattern that complements your space. 5) Metallic Prints Printed in lightweight aluminum, metallic prints are a unique way to liven your space. Corporate offices often use these for wayfinding and branded signage, but aluminum can also be used for personalized prints that render beautifully when printed with colourful imagery. Imagine your favourite photo of the mountains coming to life on a vivid and dimensional piece that you can proudly hang in your living room. Creative tip: Print your favourite vibrant landscape photo on a metallic finish for a stunning effect. 6) Acrylic Prints Acrylic prints are a great way to enhance your space with a sophisticated, crisp and clean look. Print your favourite photos, landscapes, or even your corporate brand on this durable material that stands out beautifully on any wall. Both acrylic and metallic prints can easily be mounted with standoffs (shown here) or can be outfitted with a custom hanging kit. Creative tip: Mount your acrylic print with aluminum standoffs for a “free-floating” effect. We can’t wait to help you decorate your space! Our experts are here to help you bring your space to life with creative ideas and recommendations. Learn more about our Signage Solutions and personalized home décor below.

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