A Sign of the Times: Choosing a Business Sign

Choosing a material for your laser-engraved sign

Whether you're creating an eye-catching display for your business or an intimate welcome sign for a wedding reception, laser engraving lets you create the sign that's right for you. There's more to creating a sign than just settling on a technique, though. You also need to select the material that's right for the task. Your sign can feature a wide range of different materials, each with its own advantages. 


Wooden signs create a traditional image that evokes an era of bespoke craftsmanship. Within the world of wood, you have a choice of different materials. Plywood offers durable, affordable signage, while timber has a richer appearance. The finer the grain of the wood, the better visible your design's details will be. For bold designs, a heavier grain can create an attractive background, while finer grains are more suitable for intricate images. Each type of wood has its own special qualities, from the clean brightness of bamboo to the rich colour of walnut or the natural simplicity of driftwood.


Lightweight, affordable and hygienic, plastic sheet is an ideal material for business signage, especially if you have a large number of signs to create. Multi-layered engraving stock, often called "Traffolyte," features layers of different-coloured plastic. Cutting away the top layer reveals a contrasting colour in the layer below, allowing you to create many different combinations of image, text and background colour. Signs like these can be optimised for maximum visibility or chosen to match a company's existing branding. Alternatively, translucent acrylic sheets provide a contemporary, minimalistic look for office or home signs. Adding LED lighting can produce a glowing effect on reverse-engraved translucent acrylic, giving your sign an eye-catching brightness. 


Just like wood or acrylic, metal offers a wide range of different possibilities. Aluminium and stainless steel combine contemporary style with a hard-wearing finish. During engraving, a special marking solution applied to the surface of the steel bonds with the metal itself, creating clear, high-contrast lines that are easy to read and can withstand all kinds of weather. Alternatively, other materials such as brass provide an understated, traditional elegance. However, brass signs can require a lot of care to avoid tarnishing. Brass-effect finishes on other metals are a useful alternative if you're interested in replicating the look of a brass sign in an outdoor area. 

Choosing the right material for your sign is just a matter of deciding on your priorities. Whether style, durability or budget is most important, there's a laser engraving material that's right for you. For more information on laser engraving, contact a professional near you.