Glossary of Terms



We use high quality translucent colours and opaque coloured cast acrylic sheets. These are suitable for a wide variety of applications and have a very professional finish.The material has a high molecular weight, which makes it rigid and hard wearing. It is lighter than glass and does not shatter whilst still providing high light transmission. The materials is hygienic, easy to clean and abrasion resistant and fully recyclable. We use acrylic as a background material for both internal and external signage as well as flat cut letters and shapes using our laser machinery. Acrylic is often referred to by brand names, such as Perspex, Repsol & Altuglas.


Light weight rigid metal widely used in signage and it is also corrosive resistant. We use 3mm thick aluminium to make a wide variety of signs from Road & Traffic Signs, Sign Trays for building fascias, on posts for directional signage or where fixing to a wall is not an option, through to smaller door & meeting room signs.

Aluminium Composite - See Dibond

Anodised Aluminium

This has a flat silver finish and we use it for engraving, usually at a 1.5mm thickness. Once engraved we can use a paint infill colour of your choice to finish off the sign / plaque / label.


We generally use 2mm Polished Engraving Brass with which we create plaques, door signs and labels amongst other items. Once engraved signs are etched to prime the engraved area and then a paint fill is added. Brass looks fabulous when it is polished, but please remember it will tarnish if not regularly polished. We can supply thicker brass and Laser cut Letters and even plates with Vinyl Lettering & Graphics applied.


A corrugated plastic material, most often seen in use on Estate Agent boards. This material should only be used for temporary signage and we stock 4mm Yellow and White. Other colours and thicknesses are available on request.


DIBOND is a brand name for this lightweight, but very rigid aluminium composite material. It consists of a polyethylene core and aluminium cover sheets with a thickness of 0.3 mm. It is suitable for Interior and Exterior use and has a matt or gloss finish. There are a wide range of colours available which we can order for larger jobs and we stock the more basic colours such as White, Black, Red, Blue, Yellow and Green all at a 3mm thickness, which is ample for most jobs.

We recommend Dibond on a wide variety of jobs for its robustness and high quality finish i.e. Shop Fascias, Construction Signs and Safety Signs requiring a tougher finish. Please be aware that the black polyethylene core can be seen from the side of the panel - this is not a problem if a frame is being used. Also known as Skybond, Probond, Reynobond amongst others

Engraving Laminate

We stock a wide range of Engraving Laminates (plastics) for use with our Laser Engraving machine and the more traditional Rotary Engraving machine. Generally the colours are 2 ply i.e Black/White, Gold/Black, Red/White and the thickness is 1.3mm or 1.6mm (others are available). The top layer is removed in the engraving process leaving the bottom colour showing.

The laminates have different properties such as suitable for Interior / Exterior Use, Reverse engravable, suitable for laser engraving etc. When ordering please let us know what the product you would like is for & we will ensure the correct material is used.

When the Laser is used to engrave your sign it can be cut to any shape, can have a wide variety of fonts and if you have a vector image (.eps, .ai or CorelDraw file) we can also engrave that for you.

The Rotary engraving machine is mainly used for engraving metals, larger signs and 3 ply materials (Traffolyte / Traffolite) and is more limited in the design as it relies on dedicated engraving fonts.

Foam PVC (Foamex, Foamalux)

High quality Foam PVC with a uniform, expanded closed cell structure giving a combination of strength and durability. Foam PVC comes in a wide range of colours as well as a bright white and at various thicknesses. We generally stock 3mm and 5mm Foam in White, Green, Yellow, Blue, Red and Black, others colours are available on larger orders. Suitable for smaller signs and larger signs with a limited lifespan, at a larger size it can buckle over time (Dibond is a preferable option on larger signs).

Foamalux Ultra

Similiar to above but with an extruded, closed cell, rigid PVC foam sheet with a gloss finish on one side. The co-extruded gloss finish gives improved UV protection and stability over standard foam PVC. Available in a range of colours and white at 3mm and 5mm thicknesses.Recommended for external use over Foam PVC.


Polycarbonate provides a UV protected surface on both sides, giving excellent resistance against yellowing and loss of light transmission in exterior applications. Polycarbonate provides superior high impact resistance, making it particularly suitable for use in areas where there may be a risk of damage or vandalism and it also has excellent fire resistance and can help to reduce energy costs through its superior thermal properties over glass.Polycarbonate is only available as a clear material, but we can back it off with a coloured vinyl , so that the colour shows through to the protected front.


We use PVC Plastic at 1mm or 2mm to create Semi-Rigid signs, generally for Safety Signs. The PVC has a glossy white surface and is weather resistant and a relatively high impact strength material.

Self Adhesive Tapes

VHB Tape - Very High Bond tape, as the name indicates a very strong double sided tape that we can apply to the back of your signs. It is 25mm wide and comes in 33m rolls - we can also supply rolls, which may work out more cost effective if you have a lot of signs to put up. We generally try to use 3M brands.

Stainless Steel

We stock Brushed Stainless Steel Grade 304 at 1.5mm thickness at various sizes. We cannot cut Stainless Steel on our saws at our premises, but if a different size is required we will be more than happy to order it in for you.

Grade 316 is strongly advised near water i.e. river fronts, seaside - if your signage is for this type of area then please specifically request this grade when ordering your signage.We can also supply different thicknesses and finishes upon request.

Brushed Stainless Steel can be Laser engraved, which gives a black marking and is extremely durable, to the extent it is used to mark components used on oil rigs. Laser engraving can incorporate a wide range of fonts, patterns and graphics (if supplied as an .eps, .ai or CorelDraw file). We have also used it with digital prints on a clear vinyl background and solid vinyl colours to create contemporary looking signage.


Vinyl comes in many guises and qualities. Below are the main ones we use, but we are happy to buy in different vinyls for other jobs as it can be bought by the metre.

Solid Vinyl - We use external grade vinyl which has an 8-10 year lifespan under normal conditions. The colours are available in a Gloss or Matt finish - please see Colour Chart for a guide to some of the ranges available. The uses of this vinyl are vast ranging from large scale factory building signs through to small safety signs.

Banner Vinyl - Specifically used for Banners as they need a different adhesive and conformity to normal vinyl. We hold a wide range of colours in stock.

Window Etch Vinyl / Glass Etch - We stock a wide range of Window films which are used to etch glass. This can be used for privacy and / or branding where we add other text in solid vinyl and back off with the etch vinyl, cut out the text & graphics on the etch leaving clear glass or even digitally print the etch itself.

Digital Print Vinyl - We stock 3 year, 5 year and 7 year printable Vinyl in White & Clear Gloss as well as Static Window Cling, Reflective Vinyl, Banner Vinyl, Matt Vinyl and Perforated Vinyl.

Protective Laminate Cover - A clear gloss adhesive film which laminates your sign and helps to protect it from UV discolouration and creates a wipeable surface. (This is not Anti Graffiti film)

Anti Graffiti Film - A clear gloss adhesive film which laminates your sign and protects it from UV discolouration, letters being picked off and creates a wipeable surface, should the sign suffer from graffiti.

Floor Vinyl - Specialist Vinyl digitally printed with your graphics and a non-slip laminate cover over the top to protects the image.


a few previous jobs completed by SK Signs ...