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  • Rebecca Lavengood

Indoor Sign Materials & Features: Design Ideas to Get Your Business Signs Noticed

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

Live edge wood sign with stacked cut metal

The possibilities are endless for your business signs when you work with a custom sign shop. While this is a huge benefit to you and your business, it can also be hard to know where to start and hard to imagine how your finished sign can look. This is especially true when you’re not sure of the capabilities or the types of materials that can be used. This is why we love when our customers come visit our Idea Center, located here in Mansfield, to see some of our past projects and so we find what draws their attention. If you’re not ready for an in-person visit, don't worry! We hope to shed some light on the options for business signs so you can be confident in your ideas when you are ready to create your new sign. Here we'll share some of our favorite and most popular materials and features for indoor signs.

Top 3 Materials: Acrylic, Metal & Wood

We’ll start with acrylic since it’s such a popular, multifunctional, and cost-effective material. Acrylic can be cut into shapes or designs with our laser cutter, and it can be back-printed to include brand colors, logos, or designs. The acrylic can be applied to hover just above your wall using a standoff for an added dimensional feature, or can be applied directly to your wall as we did with Brown Family Eyecare shown below. Each letter and piece of the tree was individually installed directly onto their wall. Since the acrylic is clear, the colors printed onto the back of the acrylic can shine brightly through the material and the printing is protected from the risk of scuffs and dings that can come with signage being installed in an active area.

Metal is another great choice, and just like acrylic, metal can be cut to a shape/contour cut or can have letters carved out. Using an exclusive HDC technique, metal can also be direct-printed to add information with wording or a company logo. All our metal products are then powder-coated to protect them from rust and scratches. The Keller Williams sign below is a great example with some sections of the metal cut out to reveal their eye-catching red wall showing through, while other areas are printed to provide more contrast.

Lastly, wood is a wonderful option as an indoor sign. The options are just like that with acrylic and metal that we can cut and print directly on the wood. Wood does have an extra capability to etch or carve into the surface. The wooden sign below features cut areas as well as an etched logo. A piece of colored acrylic fastened behind the cut lettering allows the acrylic color to peek through while the etched portion gives a different effect for some added interest. Depending on the type of wood and finishing stain, wood signs can vary greatly but can add a classic and timeless appearance to your space.

We've highlighted our top 3 materials, so let's move into some of the features available to indoor signs that can add character and customization to your sign.

Favorite Features:

Mixed Materials & Stacking

Once you get an idea of what materials you may like, then you can start getting creative with additional features. Many will decide to have more than one material incorporated into their signage; such as printing on acrylic and layering (also known as stacking) underneath or over top of other materials. The first sign below features wood as the base material, which is both printed and etched. Multiple layers of printed acrylic are placed on top to give more depth and interest. Layering the acrylic with standoffs also provides the opportunity for portions of the sign to be removable so that information can be changed in the future. Features like this help companies keep their signs updated without having to redesign or reprint an entire sign when employees or hours or office suites change. Our "Welcome to Mansfield" sign shows a similar stacking method but uses several larger etched wooden panels to display as a collage. Or instead of having more space between layers, the layers can also be placed directly on top of each other. We chose direct layers with our HDC sign shown on the far right, which uses printed acrylic for the dark blue and white elements and incorporates a sleek, powder-coated silver metal layer. Once you start adding in multiple materials, shapes, colors, and stacking elements, you can truly have a one-of-a-kind sign for your business.


We saved our favorite feature until last, which is the attention-grabbing and sharp look of a backlit sign. There's something mesmerizing about the soft glow of a backlight. Hope 419 features a piece of printed acrylic as the base layer with a cut, powder-coated metal top layer for a stunning lobby sign. Another and more subtle lighting option is to backlight around the edges of a solid material as the All Glass Systems sign. This sign incorporates the exclusive HDC printed metal technique and various stacking elements for an alluring sign. Or, perhaps you like the look of individual letters or elements. In our HDC conference room, we created super lightweight letters using foam core and applied individual lights to each letter. The options are endless for your sign to literally shine bright. Backlit signs are a beautiful and professional option to add the perfect finishing touch to your office space.

After reviewing different materials and features available for lobby/indoor signs, hopefully, you’re able to daydream and possibly envision your own updated company sign. If you’re still not sure what you want your own sign to look like, it’s not a problem! This is exactly the reason for the HDC Idea Center and why we have an in-house design team to help create a unique showpiece for your business. Contact us today to get started or visit our website to see even more examples!

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