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The best outdoor signs are strong and durable to withstand the harsh conditions of the weather. Various materials that are resistant to the elements have been manufactured into robust outdoor signs. Hardwearing outdoor signs and barriers are often made from materials such as waterproof fabric, mesh and PVC.

To help you figure out which materials you should use for your outdoor signage, here’s a rundown of some of the most popular:

Fabric

Used regularly for outdoor feather flags and fabric-based signs, polyester is a lightweight material that can tolerate the weather for several years, depending on the conditions. There are other kinds of fabric, such as satin, which is used for brighter and glossier designs for the likes of concert and stage backdrops. Veil, an extremely thin textile, is especially great for lighting effects as the printed graphics can be seen from both sides.

PVC

What is a PVC banner?

PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride, also known as vinyl, and can be used for anything from records to piping. It’s an extremely popular thermoplastic polymer and has been around longer than most plastics. It’s highly accessible, due to high demand, and therefore cost-effective. Usually hemmed and eyeletted, PVC banners are thick and robust and available in a range of sizes.

Although PVC banners are hard-wearing, they are actually very light. This makes them the ideal product to transport to business events. They are highly affordable and are the ideal signage solution for short-term use for functions such as birthdays, graduations, retirements and quick advertising.

They are also a go-to choice for café banners, because they are usually made from a tough outdoor waterproof material that can easily be fitted to a barrier system.

How long do PVC banners last outside?

PVC banners can last anywhere between two and 12 years. Brightly coloured printed graphics do not last as long as ones with a more neutral appearance, as colours will tend to fade and crack over time. Although two to 12 years seems like a long lifespan, it reflects the various kinds of PVC banners available on the market.

There are several ways you can increase the durability of your PVC banner, such as installing your banner at a higher angle. A banner that’s installed at over 45 degrees will last longer due to less exposure to UV rays. UV can cause accelerated fading and deterioration.

Mesh

What is a mesh banner?

The fabric of a mesh banner consists of small holes, which allow air to flow through the weave. The holes serve to counteract the wind, making the interlaced material durable and excellent for use outdoors. Mesh won’t tear easily and will last much longer than the likes of vinyl.

Mesh banners can be somewhat transparent due to the crisscrossed stitching of the material. This, however, doesn’t affect a bold graphic or printed image. They can be attached to several surfaces with grommets, clips, ties and so on. These kinds of banners are usually found on fences at events or attached to barriers outside cafés and restaurants.

Due to the convenience of the holes allowing wind, light and sound to pass through the fabric, they are the perfect option for large-scale outdoor advertising to avoid weather damage.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, short-term sign for an occasion, PVC banners are the ideal solution. For bigger events, such as advertising for a festival, large banners made from mesh are especially resistant against the wind. Depending on your signage needs, you should always check how reliable, sturdy, affordable and weather-resistant each material will be.

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