Full colour or logo application on perspex business signs
Perspex business signs come in all shapes and sizes and can be laser-etched or printed with vinyl. But they both have their limitations: so if you want full colour for a logo or image, sublimation is the technique to use.
How sublimation works
Sublimation uses heat to bond ink to polyester. As with all printing these days, the process starts by creating your image on the computer; for sublimation we produce an .ai file in Corel Draw, though we can work with .pdf files as well. The image can have as many colours as you like – what you see on the screen is what you’ll see on your sign.
The image is turned back to front on the computer, so that it can be laid onto the printing surface and be the right way round at the end of the process, and sent to the printer. It’s printed onto coated paper using special ink which bonds with polyester, so the surface of the signage material has to be polyester-coated.
We print onto coated aluminium 0.5 mm thick, which comes in silver, white, bronze or gold and is very light. The sheets are cut to size on the guillotine, so we can make signage any size you need. We can also supply credit card-sized pre-cut aluminium which is slightly thicker at 0.7 mm and comes with a smart bevelled edge.
Only one side of the aluminium is coated, so if you want your sign printed on both sides we cut and print two separate pieces and then glue them back to back.
The image from the printer is applied to the coated face of the aluminium and put in the press, which is then heated to 220°C for 50 seconds. Once it come out of the press, the paper from the printer has to be removed from the plate straight away so that it doesn’t stick to the printed aluminium – that’s the worst part of the job!
Fast, light and good-looking
As you can see, the sublimation process is very quick: from the image being sent to the printer to the finished result coming off the press takes just a couple of minutes. The printed aluminium is then fixed to whatever you choose: badge blanks and wooden blocks are popular choices and the sublimated aluminium also works well for logos on clear or coloured perspex business signs, with single-colour vinyl lettering to complete the design.
One colour of the aluminium we use looks like brass and, like brass, sublimated signage is best used indoors. This is because the ink tends to fade in sunlight: it will last a year or two, depending on the site, but it’s not appropriate for long-term outdoor use. For indoor use it works well and, since the aluminium costs roughly a quarter the price of brass and never needs polishing, has major advantages for many people.
Perspex business signs can be rather limited if you only have plain vinyl lettering in one or two colours. Adding a full-colour logo or image using sublimation makes a big difference to the appearance of your signs and allows you to keep your branding consistent across all your signage. It’s a quick and inexpensive process, the results are light and easy to install and, so long as the finished article is used indoors, it will look good for years without requiring any maintenance.
Perspex is just one of the materials we use to create business signs. If you would like to discuss having signage made for your business, in whatever material, please get in touch.