Table of Contents

Combining the Best Materials for Outdoor Signs

Most signs require multiple material systems to accomplish the goals of your message, with a focus on long-term durability and the use of recycled content materials where applicable. Bright Idea Shops specializes in knowing all the wide range of materials available, their long-term durability, and costing structures for a wide range of applications depending upon your quantity and budgetary limitations.

One of the best materials for outdoor signposts and certain sign applications is recycled plastic lumber. This is the same material we use for our high-quality outdoor furniture. Also known as poly-lumber, our plastic lumber is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) derived from recycled materials, primarily milk jugs. Plastic lumber is an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to traditional wood.

Recycled plastic HDPE lumber is exceptionally durable and resistant to fading from UV light, making it ideal for applications like weatherproof outdoor signs. Plastic lumber performs in any environment or climate, but performs its absolute best in outdoor applications where water touches wood. Fiberglass-reinforced products are available for certain structural applications.

Our outdoor signs made from plastic lumber materials are available across the United States, from Florida to Alaska. The non-porous material holds up against wet weather conditions and is not prone to cracking or splinters like traditional wood. Plastic lumber is also completely rot-resistant, giving it a long-lasting appeal.

Additionally, plastic lumber is available in many dimensions and UV-stable colors without requiring special tooling. Custom outdoor signs can be built to your exact specifications and designs and easily incorporate your branding into your final product.

The Best Colors for Outdoor Signs

The best colors for outdoor signs are those that match your purpose. Looking for high visibility? Our designers will guide you through the various options for visibility and branding. We have 19 UV-stabilized colors, including black, white, green, blue, brown and gray.

We also offer epoxy color accents in a wide range of options, such as dark blue, maroon, lemon yellow and metallics. If you want colorful, eye-catching outdoor signs, Bright Idea Shops has you covered.

Outdoor Signs

Things To Consider for Your Outdoor Signs

The first steps toward creating your outdoor signs will involve many discussions and design meetings to help you understand your preferences.

Start A Project By Filling Out The HDPE Form

Here are some additional things to consider when getting ready to order your new outdoor signage:

1. Size

Go big or go home? Or pleasantly understated? The overall size of your outdoor sign will depend on its purpose. Do you want a city welcome sign to greet people in your town? Or are you a homeowner's association looking for a sign to let visitors know they've come to your lovely neighborhood? You will most likely want a bigger outdoor sign than you might find in a park or along a nature trail.

2. Location

As with most things in life, your customized outdoor signs are all about location, location, location. Placement of your signs is an important consideration, depending on their purpose. Outdoor information signs like park maps should be highly visible and placed in high-traffic areas like trailheads and entrances. For park signs and state park signage placed along hiking trails, however, you want them to be smaller and kept in non-distracting areas that won't disrupt the hiker's enjoyment of the natural environment. Keep the location in mind when deciding on your signs.

3. Cost

There are two significant costs for outdoor signage: initial expenditures and upkeep. Permanent outdoor signs made from other materials, such as wood and concrete, have costs associated with repairing fasteners, replacing rotted wood or rusted areas and touching up or redoing paint and stain jobs.

Outdoor signs made from plastic lumber have little to no upkeep costs. Poly lumber is also cheaper than concrete and easier to work with in terms of your designs and desired imagery. For more information, check out our plastic lumber cost comparison guide.

4. Colors & Images

Few materials are easier to work with than plastic lumber regarding the color and image design of your custom outdoor signs. The number of color and image options for your signs is nearly limitless, as the color and shape are all determined before creation.

That means we can build outdoor signage for you that incorporates your branding or text directly into the material. Besides our UV-stabilized colors and epoxy and color-fill options, here are all the capabilities we have with plastic lumber:

  • Unlimited fonts
  • Modular frame systems
  • Digitally printed vinyl logos
  • Routed custom outdoor signs

What Kinds of Outdoor Signs Are Available?

A complete list of available outdoor signs would be impossible to cover, as our designers and clients frequently invent new applications for custom signage. Here is a list of the most common uses for custom outdoor signs:

1. Parks and Recreation Signs

Weatherproof custom signs made from recycled plastic lumber are used year-round by parks and recreation departments on their various properties. Park signs create welcoming environments for visitors and inform them that they've come to the right place. Our custom outdoor signs for parks and recreation are used for parks, playgrounds, community gardens, baseball diamonds, soccer fields and much more.

2. Camping Signs

Custom camping signs are a great way to greet campers and provide valuable information regarding your campsite. From trailhead signs to information regarding fish and wildlife in the area, camping signs are the perfect way to keep your hikers and campers informed about the conservation area.

3. Wayfinding and Interpretive Signage

From complex to simplistic, wayfinder signage keeps visitors safe and knowledgeable about the areas they are venturing into. Some examples of outdoor information signs include maps of the surrounding trails and parkland, on-trail directions to points of interest or visual cautions about insects and other wildlife found in the area.

Outdoor signs are also commonly used on Golf and Disk Golf courses to give players information and may even provide a layout of the upcoming hole.

4. City Signage

Hospitality starts at the city limits with the proper city signage. Classic "Welcome To" outdoor signs can also provide information on a city's population, elevation and date of founding.

5. HOA Signs

Custom outdoor signs for homeowner's associations (HOAs) have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. As a visual representation of the style and aesthetic of the neighborhood, HOA signs will greet residents and visitors to the neighborhood for years to come. Using recycled plastic lumber is an economical and aesthetically pleasing way to keep the neighborhood looking pristine well into the future.

6. Business Signage

A good first impression for your company or brand can be found in custom business signage. Whether you need an informational sign for the parking lot, along the roadside or on the face of your building, we can create customized outdoor signs that match your company's existing brand identity.

7. Plaques

Memorial outdoor plaques are a time-tested way to celebrate members of your family, community or city. With plaques made from HDPE materials, you can honor and memorialize someone in an environmentally friendly way with no maintenance required. You can place these specialized outdoor signs in a garden, park or cemetery or as part of a larger memorial tribute.

8. Cemetery Signs

Outdoor signs for cemeteries make it easier for visitors to locate and navigate the grounds. Cemetery signs can be created to match the current site's distinct personality without drawing unnecessary attention.

9. Farm Signs

Farm signs accomplish a variety of goals, such as marking the farm entrance, identifying crops or directing visitors. The durability of recycled HDPE makes it ideal for these applications. Our outdoor signs for farms are low-maintenance and environmentally friendly.

Other Outdoor Signs We Offer

In addition to all of our available HDPE signs, Bright Idea Shops also makes custom outdoor signs in a range of other materials:

High-Pressure Laminate (HPL) Signs

Able to withstand rigorous outdoor conditions, HPL signs can be colorful and informative additions to your outdoor signage. HPL is fully customizable in terms of colors, graphics and text. We can layer laminate signs to create a dimensional appearance or incorporate interactive elements. Easy to install and long-lasting, HPL outdoor signs are great for trailhead maps, nature centers and other points of interest.

HDPE Two-Color Signs

With around 15 color combos to choose from, HDPE two-color signs offer a fresh way to get your message out. We use a CNC router to give the signs dimension through raised or lowered lettering and images. Offering all the advantages of our HDPE signs, these products can accommodate other features, such as metal plaques, full-color inserts and epoxy color-fills.

Aluminum Signs

Attractive, durable aluminum signs are great for informative signs with a lot of text, as they present clear, concise directions. Aluminum outdoor signs sit at the intersection of affordability and durability, making for great economical options that don't sacrifice quality.

Western Red Cedar and White Oak - Natural Wood Routed or Sand-Blasted Signs

Should your project absolutely require a natural wood product? We offer Western Red Cedar and White Oak in a routed look or rustic appearance with sand-blasted wood. We can design custom outdoor signs for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Signs

The $10.6 billion U.S. printed signage market can be confusing. But Bright Idea Shops is a trusted source of information about outdoor signs. Read the following questions for the answers you need.

What Is the Cheapest Material for Outdoor Signs?

When it comes to long-term maintenance, the most economical material for outdoor signs is plastic lumber. Recycled HDPE resists rot, weathering and corrosion, requiring minimal maintenance.

How Do You Make a Durable Outdoor Sign?

One of the best ways to make weatherproof outdoor signs is to use recycled HDPE plastic lumber. Its long-term durability makes plastic lumber a top choice for outdoor signage.

Are Outdoor Signs Made of Plastic Lumber Eco-Friendly?

Plastic lumber outdoor signs are considered eco-friendly because they are made from recycled materials and are themselves recyclable, reducing the demand for new raw materials and the impact on landfills.

Start Your Outdoor Sign Project Today

Bright Idea Shops knows every outdoor sign is unique. We get excited working on fun and creative projects for our clients. Customers come to us at every stage of their development process, and we help them sharpen their ideas into innovative solutions. Start designing your custom outdoor signs today. For more information on recycled plastic lumber, outdoor signs or pricing, reach out, and one of our experts will help you every step of the way.

Begin the Design Process

Articles Related to Outdoor Signs